There are two painfully self-restricting words we humans have a habit of using too much. I hear them all of the time.
Anytime we use those words, there is some form of self restriction at play. We’re applying a sense of duty, of honour, of what’s expected of us, of guilt, of shame, of caution, or a lack of confidence to our decisions. We think we should study medicine because our parents have high hopes for us. We don’t think we should quit our job because we’re not sure if we can make our dreams work. We should push away loved ones because we don’t feel deserving or worthy of it. We shouldn’t take a chance because it might not work out.
Every time we use the word should, a story is being repeated to ourselves. Ones we learned from teachers, parents, mentors, friends, and celebrities. Stories of the status quo. Stories that were meant to keep you safe, but actually keep you feeling small and afraid.
Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should have a code. Everyone should know and keep their own boundaries. But there is a difference between healthy boundaries and self imprisonment.
But the word “should” is one that is much better used to free yourself of your own prison, rather than keep yourself in chains.
You should open your heart to love, because you deserve that special someone who loves and cherishes you. You should chase than dream, because you were born to do just that. You should quit that job sucking the life out of you, because you deserve happiness in this life.
Men think. A lot. Sometimes, thinking too much doesn’t allow much room for feeling.
When we’re sick or something is broken, we try to figure out the problem. We look at the issue systematically. What’s broken? What can we use as a replacement? How do we fix it? Finally, after identifying the cause of the issue, we decide on a solution.
Eventually, depending on the problem, we buy new brake pads, take some antibiotics, or smash twelve shots of whiskey and put an irresponsible bet on the number six horse. Just like that, the problem is solved.
The brakes aren’t screeching anymore, our head cold is gone, or we blew off the steam we needed to blow off – even if we lost our rent money for the week in the process.
When we relate to women, our problems start when we try to approach issues in the same way. When we try to force our way of doing things onto the women we love.
We have plans with her in the evening. When we arrive at her house, we’re instantly aware that she’s in a shitty mood. She’s wearing a permanent frown and won’t speak to us. We watch as the storm brews inside of her. The room goes dark with her anger. We’re a bit put off by the entire situation. There’s something repulsive about her wrath. An ancient piece of ourselves is a little afraid at the dreadful power of our wild woman.
What’s HER problem? We think as we immediately go into problem fixing mode. Like virtually every other problem in our lives, we assume there is a single problem we can find and fix to make this situation better.
We think and think and think, but can’t come up with anything. We don’t know what we said, or did, or didn’t say, or didn’t do that caused this issue. What’s worse is, no matter how much we ask her what’s the matter, she constantly tells us it’s nothing.
Why does she have to be so COMPLICATED, we ask ourselves.
Eventually we become sick of asking what’s wrong, so we simply sit next to her without speaking. Maybe she breaks the silence by lashing out at us for not knowing what’s really going on. Maybe we make the very dumb mistake of saying “calm down.” The storm finally breaks, and we feel as though we’re forced to duck for cover.
We walk out, telling her to call us when she’s willing to talk about things calmly. At this point we’ve not only failed our woman, but we’ve failed ourselves as men.
We’ve wrongly assumed our woman’s situation is the same as a bike with a broken chain. We’ve wrongly assumed it’s as simple as finding the piece we need to fix. We’ve wrongly assumed – like all other problems in our lives – that it’s our time as men to TAKE CONTROL of the situation. Like a ship’s captain that finds his vessel has strayed off course, we attempt to change her direction.
We’ve tried to steer her, but our woman is not our ship. She’s the ocean that we’re sailing in. Vast and mighty, if we try to wrestle her immense waves we will lose every time. We will drown. She might not even know she’s doing it, but she will swallow us.
Our job is not to be the captain, or a ship. Our job is to be the rock, standing strong off the coast of the ocean that we love. Our job is to be there, and to be there for no reason other than our love for her waters.
Like any body of water, there will be days when she crashes against us. Wave after wave, it might feel like the ocean will never again be calm. When her tide is high we may feel like we’re close to drowning. Sometimes she hits us so hard we think we might crack. But if we remain full and abundant in our love for her, and constantly present in our masculinity, it will pass.
Her waters will quiet. She will once again lovingly caress us, her waves gently lapping at our ankles. She will completely open her heart in response to our stubborn love. She will trust in our strength, and feel safe in showing us the depths of her dark and healing waters. She’ll let us dive into her completely and we will taste her salty kiss. She’ll show us just how much we have to learn from the mysterious gifts she has to give us.
Until, of course, another storm shows itself on the horizon. But our job as the rock never ends.
So, if you cannot love her sunrise as much as you love her stormy weather, she isn’t the woman for you.
If you cannot find humour in the situation and need to lash out or walk away, you’re not the man for her.
If you cannot give unconditional love to her when her waters get rough, you’re treading in waters too deep and powerful for your abilities. It is better for you both if you find a smaller pool to dip your timid feet in, and for her to find a man willing to embrace her inherently wild and endlessly passionate nature.
Thanks to Drake, we even know what the views from the 6ix are like.
But do you know who your 6ix are?
I’m talking about the six men or women who will stand on each side of your corpse and carry your casket. Can you think of them now? Can you even think of six people you want to carry you from this world until the next?
If you can, are they the same six that you’re going out for drinks with after work on Friday? Or are those drink mates just people you’re passing the time with? The people that happen to be interested in the same thing as you? Will any of those drinking buddies keep in touch after they take a better job offer in a different city?
If you can name your six, are they the same six you ate lunch with in high school? Or were they just the other people who arbitrarily fell into the same “group” you did?
Is the last person you were intimate with one of your six, who will be there by your side even after you’re gone? Did they know your all of your hopes and dreams, and want to support you however they could in chasing them? Or were they just a one night dance, a single serving dose of validation and a few hours escape from loneliness?
What about the last person you dressed to impress? Or who you last sacrificed your time, energy, or integrity for? Were they in your six? Will their love-filled tears splatter on the cold concrete as they say goodbye to you in this life?
When was the last time you told one of your six that you loved them, appreciated them, and acknowledged them for all the light they bring into your life? When was the last time you sent them a text, instead of worrying about all the people who have nothing but self-serving interests when it comes to you?
We’ve all heard it before. We’ve heard it from our friends, our parents, our siblings, and our teachers.
Don’t get TOO excited.”
It doesn’t even seem to matter what the scenario is;
Trying out for a team and you made the first cut? Don’t get too excited.
Applying for a job and got an interview? Don’t get too excited.
Had the most amazing day with the person you love? Don’t get too excited.
Finished the second year of a three year degree? Don’t get too excited.
Lost a couple pounds of body fat? Don’t get too excited.
The excitement police is ever vigilant. But my question is this: When, exactly, are we supposed to get excited? The “don’t get too excited” warning – in my opinion – has two negative suggestions that accompany it.
The first is the suggestion that something may yet go wrong. You could still be cut from the team, you could still be passed over for the job, your loved one could leave you, or you could still fail out of your degree. You might slip up and eat some cake, putting those pounds back on. “Don’t get too excited” suggests we shouldn’t be excited about these things because they can still be taken from us – as though there is anything in this life that is permanent.
The problem is, the “may yet go wrong” mentality never ends. Once you make the team, you can still be benched, released, or break your femur in a thousand places and never play again. Once you get that job, you can still be fired. Once you get married, or start a family, you can still lose that loved one to death, or divorce, or circumstance. Once you get that degree, you can still be jobless or considered under qualified. A lack of permanence is in no way related to your ability to enjoy and be excited about a moment.
If you’re waiting to celebrate something permanent, you’ll be waiting a very long time. Laying on your deathbed, many years from now, you’ll realize nothing can be truly grasped in this life. So, no matter how fleeting or small the moment, get excited about it. It is these tiny moments of success, progress, and joy that – when their tiny parts are finally collected and assembled – we look back on and remember the life we created for ourselves. You’ll never get a second chance to get excited along the way, so do it now and do it every chance you can.
The second suggestion that comes with the “don’t get too excited” warning is that you somehow haven’t finished yet. You’re not at your goal or your destination. It carries the dastardly assumption that there IS a destination in the first place. But what if, at the end of all of your days, you realize there never really was a destination. What if you looked back on all the little steps you made along the way, and realized life was about the journey? Would you wish you got excited about and celebrated the little moments a little more?
Thinking about life as the destination leads to false regrets. You’ll always focus on the places you didn’t reach rather than the joys and growth you were lucky enough to experience. You’ll see yourself as never have making it to the big leagues, rather than seeing all the friends and mentors you met along the way, and the positive experiences you shared with them. Even if you do eventually reach that destination, you’ll replace it with a new one.
I’m not saying having goals or dreams is a bad thing. I think we’re all born with dreams and we should all let that call of our soul guide us.
What I am saying is this life is inherently exciting. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The small moments and the grand ones. It’s all part of this journey we call life. The journey naturally excites us – so allow yourself to get excited about it.
Get TOO excited about it, even.
Be good to each other,
Featured photo courteousy of forums.marvelheroes.com
There’s always something about the first words you type onto a blank page. It’s like splashing paint onto a crisp-white canvas. I believe we all have words pent up inside of ourselves. Those first ones break the pressure. You kind of just let the words fall onto the paper as they naturally would. Your soul is the bursting cloud, allowing droplets of inner wisdom to sprinkle the land underneath it.
It seems much too rare these days that we allow our soul the ability to speak its truth. Too often we are stifled by social and cultural concerns. I think its a pretty sad notion that our individuality is being suffocated by the very people that should be celebrating it: ourselves.
We’ve seen the unique nature of each human being oppressed in many different ways by many different tyrants.
We saw it masterfully done by the Catholic church after the dark ages. We were told we were all beautiful children of God who loved us infinitely. God would love us until the end of our days, unless we looked upon the stars with our own eyes and suggested, perhaps, that our solar system wasn’t exactly structured as the church had taught us it was. That, maybe, we weren’t the centre of it all. Then we were heretics; we were blasphemous, spoiled spawns of darkness.
We were loved by God so long as we accepted our fate as peasants, farming for dukes and bishops we would never see. Don’t worry, we were told, if we allowed ourselves to be powerless and impoverished in this life, the next one would have rainbows and beds made of clouds. Our sons were loved by God as long as they didn’t love other men. Our daughters were loved by God as long as they didn’t stay connected to their feminine nature or the earth. As long as they didn’t embrace their sexual power and remained subservient to men, our daughters were wonderful indeed.
We saw it done by Hitler and the Nazis, who told us we were perfect specimens of greatness. Unless, of course, our hair and eyes were too dark or our skin produced a higher amount of pigmentation. Then we were somehow sullied; we were somehow corrupt. Capitalism told us we were successful and smart, as long as our car was new and we had the latest smart phone. We were always perfect as long as we fulfilled someone else’s definition of it.
You would think after all of the great individuals, the great men and women who stood in defiance of the oppression of the uniqueness of humanity, that we would learn to celebrate the diversity of one another and of ourselves.
We are shape shifters by nature. We are flexible and bendy. We can wear many different hats. We are water.
Our ability to bend and twist and move and flow is proof enough that none of us were made to be packed into rigid little boxes of conformity.
And yet still we act as our own corrupter. We still restrict our own freedom to be individuals. We are still barbarically behind in a deeper understanding of who we are as individuals and as a species. From the very time we are school children, we speak and act harshly toward those who stand out, instead of celebrating them.
Celebrate who you are, and support others who do the same.
Because you’re all pretty fucking awesome.
Be good to each other,
Featured Image: inesperkovic.com
Geocentric Solar System: pics-about-space.com
Witch Hunt: hiduth.com
Hitler Youth: spartacus-educational.com
We waited outside of our bungalow. Our drivers pulled up fifteen minutes late. The van – formerly white but now the colour of a frozen cheesecake – was loud and leaking a curious brown fluid everywhere. The van carried a wonderfully blended smell of a gas station and burnt toast. The exhaust pipe was choking out ink-black fumes.
Isn’t the story already writing itself for you? Something bad is about to happen, right?
The driver stayed in his seat while his compatriot jumped out to greet us. His English was the best I had heard from a Balinese person since I landed on the island. He had a bright smile. I liked that he was going to be our guide for the day.
But I couldn’t stop looking at the driver. The ash from his cigarette was longer than the actual cigarette. The smoke rising from it danced into his bloodshot eyes. He had an Iron Maiden shirt on, which one could presume he wore to the bar the night before. His bed-head hair might have been evidence that he was the reason why they were late to pick us up.
Like Tom Cruise about to jump into a Grumman F-14 Tomcat, he coolly slid sunglasses over his sleepless eyes. Go time, we must have both thought at the exact same time. Danger Zone was playing in my mind.
We took our seats and I reached for my seat belt, except (of course) there wasn’t one.
Perfect, I thought. We were about to drive up the side of Mount Doom on an island which has little in terms of road rules. We would be attempting this task in a death-trap built in the 1980’s, driven by the Balinese version of Otto from The Simpsons. No seat belts. One might assume this is how it would all end for me.
The kicker? We still had to stop and pick up eight more people. To, you know, make sure death bus was full so we could all burn together.
Fast forward; miraculously, we had all survived.
But now I was mountain biking down the side of the volcano. I was doing this on roads without dividing lines, and without enough space for more than one car. I was accompanied by a group of inexperienced cyclists that were a far greater threat to my health than the speeding scooters or farm trucks I was attempting to share the road with. In the villages rabid dogs barked as I passed by, and the streets were even more congested than in the countryside.
Fast forward a second time; we made it. Sure, I had a couple bruises and cuts from some of the girls slamming their bikes into my leg. And yeah, it was hot enough to cook an egg on my bike helmet (I wondered how my driver – the hungover Balinese Maverick – was feeling in this heat). But all of us were just fine.
The thing is, we were always going to be okay. We didn’t put ourselves at some great risk that day. It’s only the stories we hear in our own society that make us feel fear in new experiences.
We see an old van and our consumerist conditioning tells us it’s not safe because it isn’t new and sparkling. We see the Balinese Iceman in his heavy medal t-shirt and remember what we’ve been told about a man who looks and dresses like that. That he is somehow more reckless and dangerous than a man in a suit. In reality it was probably his van, and his eyes were bloodshot because he probably stayed up late making sure it was running well for our trip. Maybe not.
The point is, the stories we tell ourselves will often be the only difference between a truly enjoyable and memorable experience in Bali, or being terrified the entire time and never getting to enjoy it. The entire experience that day, from the van ride to the bike down the side of the mountain, was one of my favourite Bali experiences.
But I certainly could have ruined it by telling myself fearful stories about not being safe.
How many of us woke up this morning feeling lucky to be alive?
Have you ever really thought about it?
We homo sapiens are the only surviving species of human on this planet, and we started stomping around this place around 200 000 years ago. Our ancestors date back even further, to about 2 million years ago.
I’ve read somewhere that since the beginning of time, there has been billions of different species of living things on this planet. Most of them, over 99% to be less vague, no longer exist on this earth.
Given our planet’s capacity to completely destroy even the mightiest of species (see: dinosaurs), we’re pretty lucky to have just survived and thrived as long as we have. I mean, we’re still here and, other than a few bad apples, we’re doing some pretty awesome shit.
And that’s just our species as a whole. How lucky are YOU to be alive?
You were lucky enough to be born into a time when infant mortality in the west wasn’t a massive issue, but for most of the history of humanity it was. You’ve survived the potential for a freak accident that is everywhere around you, and somehow you’ve made it to where you are now. You even survived high school. You avoided or defeated fatal diseases. You were born into a time where there was no “great” war to go off to. Even those of you who have fought for your country , if you’re reading this you’ve been lucky enough to survive the many perils of war.
But your luck goes further back than that.
When your father did his duty to evolution, he mailed a little care package of between 40 million and 1.2 billion sperm cells towards two microscopic targets. That means your odds of getting here in the first place was over ten times worse than your odds are to win the lottery. You were the one in a billion (or if you’re a fraternal twin like I am, one of two in a billion) to hit the target(s). That’s pretty fucking awesome. Well done, you little swimmer you.
Your majestic mother, with a feminine power that can shake the earth, kept you safe and warm in her stomach for around nine months. Let me repeat that. SHE GREW YOU IN HER BELLY. I think it’s far too often lost on us how absolutely miraculous that is.
But what had to happen before your father’s parcel delivery (what can I say, I like the mailman reference and I’m sticking to it.), and before your mother carried you around?
Your mother and father had to be luckier than you did. Not only did they both have to be sufficiently blessed to survive to an age where reproduction was possible, but they had to be genetically attractive enough to find a mate, and biologically functional enough to engage in the act of reproduction. They did it a time slightly more dangerous for infant mortality, for safety standards, and for war.
They had to have parents with even better luck than them. Their parents were born around the time of a second world war, when modern medicine was just beginning to take flight, and when safety standards were none existent. As you go further and further down your family line, you were luckier and luckier that those ancestors survived and thrived long enough to produce your grandmother, or your great great grandfather. If any one of them down the line didn’t get so lucky, you wouldn’t be here.
And it’s a pretty long line you have to look down. Let’s say you go down (up?) the family tree only through the matriarchal side. Her mother, her mother’s mother, and so on. Let’s also say that the average age for having a child was twenty years old, though it was probably younger than that for most of human history. Following just the line of your mother, your grandmothers had to be extremely lucky in an unbroken chain of 100 000 consecutive mothers. Add in the exponential nature of equation when you start including the patriarchs, and their mothers, and the number becomes unfathomable.
That doesn’t even include the biological line that goes beyond the modern view of a human. Our species came from another, which came from another, all of which had to be extremely lucky on both sides of the family, all the way back to the first signs of life 3.8 billion years ago.
Not one of those billions of ancestors was unlucky enough to die of small pox, get sacrificed in honour of Huitzilopochtli, or be eaten by a hippopotamus before they found an equally lucky (and suitable) mate to make the next in line until, eventually, they reached you.
So how lucky are you to be alive?
Be good to each other,
Featured photo courtesy of daddyelk.com
Raptor photo courtesy of reddit.com
Nearly all of us did once, at a simpler time in our lives, but I doubt many of us would still say we do.
Since I was a little boy, everyone from teachers to parents to priests have reiterated to me how silly the idea of magic is.
As a boy, I didn’t believe them. I remember running through the woods behind my house, certain I was in a magical place.
When you’re a child, everything from the brightest star in the sky to the smallest insect in the dirt is magic. After the age of seven or eight, however, it was no longer appropriate to believe. There was no longer a Santa Clause, or an Easter Bunny. It was time to grow up.
I still remember when the Harry Potter series came out, schools all over the world were banning the books in a desperate attempt to contain the potential spread of something as demonic as witchcraft and wizardry.
By the time we reached adulthood, magic was something only the strange or the unintelligent still believed in. We were grownups now, after all, it was time to think and act like one.
We were taught to scoff at the ancient spiritual traditions all over the world. Medicine men, shamans, wuyus, mystics, oracles, priestesses, and witch doctors were all terms that became synonymous with barbarism and the uncivilised. Silly adults splashing water, singing strange songs and burning incense in honour of spirits with funny sounding names.
So, how many of us believe in magic?
Well, there’s around 2.2 billion Christians in the world, with the Americas and Europe providing the largest percentage of those who follow Christianity.
There’s an additional 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.
Add another 1 billion Hindus, 400 million who follow the traditional religion of China, and 375 million Buddhists.
All up, around 5.6 billion people make up the following of the top five religions in the world.
That’s a lot of believers in magic.
Because really, what is the real difference between magic and religious practice?
I look at their priests and monks and see adults splashing water, singing strange songs and burning incense in honour of spirits with funny sounding names. Sound familiar?
the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
What religion doesn’t claim to have that power?
Religious practitioners believe they can influence eternity by uttering suggested prayers or through the singing of hymns and mantras. Whether its going to heaven, attaining saṃsāra, or improving the quality of our next life by raising of our karma, we must first place our faith in the mysterious and supernatural in order to find salvation.
We must believe in the prayer, the chant, or the mantra. We must believe in the magic. Without our faith, there is no power behind our actions.
We’ve somehow legitimized a select few forms of magical practice and file them under the term “religion”. We’ve used the power of words to shape our perspectives and change our opinions on what is legitimate and what is not (that, and a few good old fashioned witch hunts never hurt as a deterrence).
Instead of chants, we call them hymns. Instead of incantations, we call them prayers. Instead of minor deities, we call them angels. Instead of acolytes, we call them priests – or nuns instead of priestesses. In the end, it’s all just magic.
Has anyone seen the epic wizard staff the Pope carries? Even Gandalf would blush at the sight of it. If we were in the Harry Potter universe, that bad boy would be a 72 inch wand, made from elder wood (coated in gold) with a dragon heartstring core.
I’m not knocking religion. I think there are wonderful lessons to be learned from every religion and their texts. I’ve had profound moments reading the Bible, the Vedas, and various Buddhist teachings. I carry many of those lessons with me every day. Anything that makes us better people towards our fellow Earthlings and helps us to dive deeper into the deepest parts of ourselves, I absolutely support.
Our greatest gift as humans is the immense power of our belief; the strength of our faith. It gives power to the mind, body, and soul, that we never knew we possessed. Truly believing is the power behind our visualization and manifestation practices. There is no mountain we cannot climb as long as we keep the faith. The faith in ourselves; the faith in the universe. That is where the magic happens.
Children naturally possess the gift of magic. They possess imaginations that are limitless and a faith in the universe that is unwavering. They innately understand their own magical power – the power to manifest their own reality. They see the universe as it is: infinite, expanding, beautiful, and full of potential.
That is why I find it so hypocritical that we readily stomp on those imaginations and shatter their belief in magic, and yet we take them to mass on Christmas to perform ritualistic hymns for a deity who will burn them for eternity if they don’t follow his rules.
We turn a child’s world from one where anything is possible into a world with walls and barriers and limitations. They come to us wild, free, and full of self-belief, and we put them in shackles and convince them of their limitations.
Instead of teaching our children how to fit into boxes, maybe it’s time we learn from them how to live outside of them.
Maybe instead of teaching them religion, we let them teach us how to believe in magic again.
Be good to each other,
The Pope: Wikipedia
Burning at the Stake: breitbartunmasked.com
Medicine Woman: pinterest.com Featured Image: dreamatico.com
It has an astounding ability to filter the way we see the world. By shaping our values and norms, it can directly affect our appreciation for the little miracles in life.
Take pizza for example.
Our social conditioning has rendered the ordering of a pizza into something routine and relatively unimpressive. It’s something that is generally accepted aslogistically simple. It’s become a completely unappreciated achievement of humanity.
But if someone was to do exactly the same thing – that is, get on their phone and press a few buttons – but expect a baby, it would be absolutely absurd.
Think about what goes into the making of a pizza.
If the pizza has pepperoni on it, an animal has to give birth to another animal, which must survive childhood and reach adulthood, that animal must then be murdered, processed, shipped, and cooked before finally appearing as part of your pizza.
If it has olives on it, an olive tree had to be planted somewhere, probably the Mediterranean, had to mature enough over several years to bear fruit (is that what olives are?), be shipped across an ocean, and find its way to meet the pepperoni in a perfect union of infinitesimal coincidence in order to appear as another part of your pizza.
But you also love a bit of mozzarella. No problem. A cow must be born and raised. That cow has to first be forcefully impregnated and must carry her calf full term. In the meantime, she will be permanently chained to a milking device before having her calf taken from her at birth. This process will repeat itself until that cow can no longer get pregnant or produce milk.
The milk is then separated into curds and whey using acid and rennet. The curd sets, is drained and salted. Mozzarella is stretched and kneaded in hot water to give it that special texture a pizza lover has come to expect. It’s packaged and sent to meet it’s fate in that fiery oven with its new brothers the pepperoni and the olives.
This doesn’t take into account how the dough came to be, labour employed in the creation and cooking of the pizza and it’s elements, the delivery man, the electronic exchange of energy in monetary form, or the mind power you put into essentially manifesting a pizza by pressing buttons on a little magic box that fits in your hand.
To put things into perspective, the cheese on your pizza and the pepperoni on your pizza is made up of stardust from two completely different stars. Those stars had to both be born, act as nuclear fusion plants for billions of years, burn out in a beautiful blazing supernova, and have their tiny particles spread across the universe.
They joined the trillions of such like particles that formed earth, before those particles partook in a million year cycle of being born, dying, and being reborn again, before it finally ended up as part of your pizza – at the same time as the other stardust from a different star.
A baby by comparison only takes 2 humans and 9 months to make, compared to the many humans and collective decades the clockwork of pieces your pizza represents – pieces of pizza, no pun intended.
Yet the idea of ordering a baby would appear absurd, when logistically and energetically it’s much less absurd than the ordering a pizza.
This doesn’t even take into consideration the evolution of food, cooking processes, transportation efficiency, technological advancements, harvesting capabilities, and overarching factors of globalisation that were required to develop in order for the ordering of pizza to become common place.
The art of making a baby hasn’t changed since the dawn of time.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but I do not value the making of a pizza above that of a newborn child. We value a baby because it represents life in it’s most beautiful and fragile form. A new soul has come to this planet to experience it’s journey.
In meditation, there’s a few different reasons as to why the mantra is used.
Some sects of Buddhism or Hinduism believe that muttering certain words manifests change. The words plant a little seed in the plan of the universe which is then nurtured by our positive deeds, good intentions, and dedication to our practice.
Other sects believe that the mantra is a set of arbitrary words used to numb the mind.
This is because when we take any word, and say it over and over and over and over again, it loses all meaning.
When the word eventually fades into the realm of meaninglessness, we are essentially muttering nothing at all. We have short circuited our way to an empty mind. A quiet mind.
A mind content in its meaninglessness.
An integral element of turning a word or a mantra meaningless is that there must not and can not be anything behind the words. We have to say the words without putting any feeling behind it.
We may have originally known the intention of our mantra, and we may have started our chants with intense purpose and sincerity, but somewhere along the way we must lose that intent and meaning in order for words, and their meaning, to fade into oblivion.
This is exactly what happens in life when we go through the motions.
We get up every day and follow the same routine. Go to the same job, to perform the same functions, with the same faces surrounding us, who are also performing their own monotonous functions.
Too many of us call this life. Too many of us call this living.
Like the mantras that lose all meaning, along the way we’ve lost what’s behind our words and our actions.
We’re performing the action of living, without actually possessing the intent to live.
We’re just saying the words over and over and over again. Our actions are for the sake of action.
And in this way our lives become meaningless.
We confuse the action itself as being the crucial element of life, when in reality it is the intention behind our actions that matters the most.
Life isn’t about the vacation or the trip, it’s about why we’re going, what we’re getting from it, or what we’re running from.
It isn’t about the code we live by, it’s about why we’ve chosen that path. It’s about discovering the fears and the pressures that have convinced us to live life a certain way, and it’s about choosing – for your own reasons – to find a different code to follow.
It’s not about the corner office job, but why we get up and work there every day.
Once you lose the intention behind the action, it becomes meaningless.
One should therefore not rely on mere words, but everywhere search for the intention behind them.” Buddhist Scriptures.
And that goes for anything in life.
You can be a brilliant poet, painter, athlete, lover, worker, or mother, but if the intention behind it isn’t pure or has been forgotten, then your actions cease to have meaning.
Your actions become a mantra.
Your boss, your partner, your children, and your team mates will all begin to feel the insincerity behind those meaningless actions.
Life is never about the choices we make.
It’s about why we make those choices. It’s about those tiny moments of integrity, when we know we’ve made an unpopular choice but have stayed true to ourselves.
It’s about being fearless in the face of external pressures or socially constructed fears.
Life is the fire, intention is the oxygen that gives it strength and beauty.
So breathe some fresh air into your life.
Take some time to reflect on why you’re doing everything in your life. Look at everything you do today as a choice, and question the intention behind that choice.
That is where your power comes from.
You have the choice and the power to live life how you want to live it.
Don’t let any person or misplaced fear take that away from you.