Often I find themes in my life that come to me (through books, podcasts, in conversations or social media), stay for a period of time, move me in different ways and then become replaced by new themes. Of late, the theme du jour has been the idea of taking the lessons we have held in our minds, and moving them to consistent practice. I have certainly read a lot about happiness and focus and mindfulness and self-love and forgiveness and patience and productivity, etc.; and knowing how to optimize these things is important, but life doesn't happen in our heads. How do we take what we learn and make manifest the knowledge in our moment-to-moment encounters?
In a podcast he gave, Amir Zoghi talked about the ways in which people live as a means to an end. "I will make a lot of money, so I can…travel, have a big house, own lots of fancy things, gain respect, etc." How can we live the end itself? How can we pursue our joy today and not put it off for some future time?
In connection to the idea I opened with, how can I live what I am learning now, in each moment of my life; rather than accumulating knowledge for some future experience, professional endeavor, or for the book I plan to eventually write? I find myself rushing through the day, crossing things off my to-do list, so I can get to the things that excite me, like learning about health and well-being and the such. I read, take notes and even discuss these ideas with friends, which is all helpful and positive. However, how can I instead embody the lessons and "be the change" to model these things in my life? What would that look like? For me, that looks like stopping to give my full attention and listen patiently and with empathy when someone is talking to me. Recognizing when I am being judgmental and shifting into more compassionate thoughts. Setting boundaries when I feel drained or want to preserve time and energy for self-care. Standing up for others against bullies in a kind and loving way. That means rather than accumulating knowledge for the future person I aspire to become, I will instead be that person in this moment and all the next ones I encounter.