Take a moment to take a breath to take a pause. A lot of drafts and unfinished business are sitting around your folders, I know. But you didn’t look at them first thing in the morning. Not today. You also hid your Facebook notifications and all the other tabs in your browser.
There’s something more important right now.
You need to sit and talk to yourself before you talk to anyone else. Let’s be honest: you’re struggling even though you know you don’t have to. You know that you have a roof above your head, food to eat and at least a few people to laugh with. And that’s unlikely to change — unless you really wanted to get rid of it.
But you don’t want to. You are enjoying your life. Maybe sometimes you forget to appreciate it as much as you could. But once you do, everything you are trying to accomplish can be taken easy. You are already alive and striving. That means you are thriving — otherwise, the strive for success wouldn’t be so high on your priority list.
There is no good reason you shouldn’t relax and observe your efforts from a different plane. There is only so much you can do in a day. But even if you only do so much and stay patient, you will see the transformation coming about.
It just takes time. But you have lots of it. Even if you live in the culture that prides itself to function on borrowed time. You have it. And there is absolutely no good reason to rush.
From that solid, abundant plane full of time at your disposal, you can start looking at your worldly issues without dismissing them. That’s the way to tackle them — not ignoring or deeming them petty when compared to real-life problems of people who don’t have enough to eat.
All problems are real-life. It’s just that some of them refer to physical survival and others — mental health maintenance. That’s the discernment you see when you stop judging yourself.
You may be, for instance, wondering how to make the best use of your two hands and two brains in this physical reality. You already know so much stuff that needs attention and improving — but you only have so many limbs and mental power to solve the world’s problems. Someone once told you that everything will be fine once you find your “calling” or “sense of purpose.”
Now that you have found it, you realize this is not the end of the story.
There are essentially two modes of operating within any purpose that you could think up for yourself. The path within, exploring your own interior — and the path outside, aimed at fixing the world. Introspection versus external validation. The ongoing discussion between the spiritual and the activist.
You quickly realize that it is not about choosing one or the other. For all this to make sense, there must be some sort of balance available. Once you achieve the balance, you are in heaven — you may tell yourself.
But I bet a month’s worth of my Medium Partner Program earnings that this is not a journey that ends at one blissful destination. No, no, no. It seems to be more like the case of finding your “purpose.” You are lured into believing that once it happens, you will live happily ever after.
The reality is that “getting there” produces new questions that you could not even be aware existed.
Same goes for the discussion of the spiritual and the activist. You cannot know for sure whether this conversation will ever conclude. For now, you listen — and as you listen, you may get an impression that these two guys, S and A, pull you in two different directions.
The spiritual tells you to focus. Eliminate distractions and focus on what matters. Sit quietly, meditate and observe insight as it emerges. Then your only “work” becomes to write or paint it all down. Translate it into a worldly means of communication. Watch your environment for people who raise your vibration and favour their company over those who bring you down. Maintain your inner balance. Guard your time for this is the only resource you are in control of. Be in charge, but at the same time embrace everything that unfolds.
The activist tells you to scan the horizon in search of problems that you could fix. You have to think outside of your own privileged position. Look at people around — especially those who are weaker, poorer, iller and more disadvantaged than you. Consider helping them to be your mission, for you are all on the same boat. Supporting equity and the right to live for everybody, you are improving the whole system. You will be better off in a better system, too. So get your hands dirty and go to work. You have the resources and education that not everyone on this planet has. Give yourself to changing the world by acting locally while thinking globally.
Both voices speak to you, as you begin your day with a cup of coffee, opening up your computer in the first rays of the morning sun lurking through the window. You are about to decide.
Do you start off by opening a blank, distraction-less page and channelling your insights in the most focused and purposeful way you know how to? Or do you make it a priority to go and respond to people who sent you messages the day before, hoping that you can help them?
It is an important decision to make. Whatever you do will have consequences. So don’t get me wrong — this is not a petty issue. I get that you are thinking about this. I am, too.
But you know what helps when you feel torn between the spiritual and the activist? Remembering the plane you are already on. Remembering the comfort of your bed last night and the delicious breakfast you had to eat. Remembering that you are mostly sure you will survive the day. Remembering the gratitude for the little things.
Because when we ground ourselves and feel our roots hold us firmly in the Earth, it is easier to aim for the sky. Once we recognise that we are already safe and sound, we can dream up a journey towards the stars. It wouldn’t be so easy the other way around.
So watch out. From the mundanity of your day-in-and-day-out, big changes are coming about.