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“Do not suffer life to stagnate; it will grow muddy for want of motion: commit yourself again to the current of the world.” – Samuel Johnson
Motion, or change, is the one constant in life.
We are always moving, whether it be forwards, backwards or in circles. Most of us would, I imagine, want to be moving forward – achieving something, becoming fitter, stronger, wealthier, more skillful, happier. Yet so many of us get stuck in a rut, going over the same ground like a mouse in a wheel.
We’ve all seen friends there. We’ve all been there ourselves: overwhelmed, confused, lost in evaluating a big life dilemma.
What should I do with my life? What job should I take? Should I move or not? Should I stay with the good, secure option or take a riskier road that has the potential to be great?
Sometimes thinking about these questions leads us into a tearing-out-our-hair, overwhelmed, utterly confused state. Intricate pro and con arguments swirl through our heads. We’re swimming, unable to keep up with the multiplicity of factors to weigh and reason through, and fearful because we sense there is no way to rationally predict the best outcome. Thinking gets us more and more stressed, further and further away from a connection to our desires, our truths, to clarity.
On October 10th, 2006, at the age of 36, I suffered a stroke. Thankfully, it wasn’t a major stroke and I was able to make a full recovery after spending a week in the hospital!
In the weeks that followed, I can’t count how many times I heard the phrase:
“But you’re too young to have a stroke!”
My answer to this was always the same:
I’ve been involved in the personal development world for several years, since I was in college. I believe that there’s a lot of good material – in blogs, in books, taught by coaches and trainers – which can help you to enjoy life more and to achieve your goals.
But what I’ve come to believe is that, on some deep level, we are who we are. However much you might envy Richard Branson or Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey or whoever your particular hero is, you are you.
Perhaps you’re reading this because you’re curious. Perhaps you want more from your life. Perhaps there’s something you’re desperately keen to change – your weight, your fitness, your financial status, your job, your happiness.
Silence is truly a beautiful phenomenon with the power to transform you; it touches you to the very core of your being. This is the part of you that is connected to reality, existence itself. Silence is rejuvenation; it allows you to be yourself, to relax into yourself.
The reality for most of us, though, is that we never truly experience utter silence.
Why is it? The reason is that we have a mind that is conditioned to always be active. To experience silence you need to have an extremely quite and sensitive mind.
You labor to fill the day with activities; you create more tasks for tomorrow than the ones you have completed today; you hyper-intentionally force productivity (yet you have not defined what it is that you are trying to produce); you make plans to make more money; you make career plans; you make retirement plans; and you make plans to make more plans….
But where are you going and what are you becoming? Are you merely surviving the day or are you living it?