What are your practices on a day-to-day level, and what should your progress look like year-to-year? Most importantly, how do you stay strong and maintain the practice for years and years, not four days? After you’ve thought that through, name the framework and make a symbol or mantra.
questions supplied by Tim Urban
Day to day my practices will focus on a few areas, mind, body, and soul. For my mind, every day I read from my teachers and write 1000 words. For my body, I practice yoga, run, and other body weight exercises. For my soul, I practice meditation and breathing. With all of these practices day to day, I will stay focused on the present. That is how the best work is done. The most enjoyable work. The work that really matters.
However some days I will not be fortunate enough to complete all of these practices. On those days, I have to understand that it happens. I have to let go of the external uncertainty that can get in the way of my practices. I have to be certain that it will all be okay, to keep a level head, and not beat myself up. I’m a human, I’ll mess up or miss out on somethings. That is the nature of it. No reason to get down on myself for when it happens. Take it in stride, and keep moving forward.
Year to year my progress will look quite different. I can’t tell you where I’ll be in a few years if I’m practicing yoga and writing 1000 words every day. But I can say that I will progress in a meaningful way. I’ll find my voice. I’ll be more present. I’ll share my work. Through these progressions, I’ll share more in the human experience. Every day is an opportunity for positive change. Either within me or with those around me.
Learning is a factor I have somehow forgotten about until now. Learning is what keeps me going. It doesn’t matter if I succeed or fail, as long as I learn. I cannot forgot that. Maybe that is my mantra? We’ll see. Maybe it is simpler than that. Do I even have to learn? Maybe it doesn’t matter if I succeed or fail, as long as I experience. With experience comes much greater teachings. Wisdom is power. It is derived from experience. Wisdom cannot be taught, only sought after. If my goal is to experience, then I have to be fully present. And if I am fully present, I will be in the state most susceptible to learning. Can I go deeper or broader than “it doesn’t matter if I succeed or fail”? How about just “it doesn’t matter”? It doesn’t matter, as long as I experience. That’s interesting. What is “it” in this context? I also don’t want a negative in my mantra. So instead of ”it doesn’t matter”, how about “life is ecstasy, experience it”.
Back to what my progress will look like year to year. The main progress I will find within myself is being more content with who I am and what I do. To be able to fully delve into the human experience, the more I am certain about myself, the better off I will be. If I carry myself with certainty, I can present my best to others.
How do I keep this practice for years and years, not just four days? By finding a balance between living in the present moment and creating habits. The first habit I would like to create is the daily ritual. Wake up, make tea, write 1000 words, yoga, and meditation. Starting my day off with working on mind, body, and soul will set me up every day to be present and to make consistent progress. Another habit that would be beneficial in keeping this practice going for years and years is finding my breath. Check in with myself every so often. Breath into my body. Read what it needs. Satisfy those needs. After all, the only needs in my life are that of physical means. As in the needs of my body. Water, food, oxygen, sleep, relief. If my body’s needs are met, I am okay. I can move forward. If my body needs are not met, recognize what I need and fix it. With this habit, I can stay in the moment, while taking care of my future.
What will I call this framework? What are the most important key factors? Staying present, experiencing, the human experience, sharing, habits, pursuit of ecstasy, living in ecstasy. If my mantra is “Life is ecstasy, experience it”, do I need those parts of the framework in the title? So maybe the name for it is something like “Presentism.” That has a decent ring to it. Could be better. What would a symbol for this framework look like? I think it would look similar to Leonardo Da Vinci’s diagram of the Vitruvian man. However, the arms would be closer to his sides, in a more relaxed, open position. Open to the world, to new experiences, to uncertainty.
Being certain with myself in uncertain circumstances. When that is the case, I am almost bullet proof. I can navigate through the fog and guide others out of it. Sometimes it’s fun to play in the fog. But by staying certain of who I am, I can always find my way out. If I master it, the fog is repelled from me. When I stop to take a breath, to get back into my body, I rise above the fog. I can see and think clearly. I am a master of my domain. I am the foundation of my creation. Sharing my creations is sharing in the human experience. Consuming other people’s creations is sharing in the human experience. Without creation, the human experience is lacking. Don’t take more than you give. To live in abundance is to consume, create, and share. To live in scarcity is to only consume. Don’t forget to create. That makes us human.