Tag Archives: reacting to routine

591. Looking Forward and Missing Out the Life

Or how I’ve realized the expectations I’ve built upon ‘my life’ creating a ‘waiting mode’ for these ‘grandiose things’ yet to happen, instead of appreciating life as it takes place in every moment to truly learn to live.

I’ve been looking at my relationship with ‘meaning’ and I am aware that this might be more of a ‘philosophical’ approach here that I haven’t written out in a while, but it’s equally important to me due to what I’ve been doing recently which is painting again and doing so from a different starting point than how it all ‘once began’ for me in this curiosity and ‘desire to express’ all of these ‘things’ that I wanted to say somehow after having been writing and reading a lot on my own, taking on painting as a way to now ‘do my part’ in not only ‘taking in’ others’ creations, but also expressing it out/giving back something, somehow. That all started during a summer 14 years ago, so here I am 14 years later reflecting on what has been this ‘ride’ with my intent behind painting and ‘arts’ in general and how much of a ‘big deal’ I made of it in my mind.

I notice how I started paintings more as a ‘way of communicating’ something, wanting to ‘express’ something which yes at the time in the plethora of little watercolors I made were all related to feeling sorry for myself, feeling depressed, feeling lonely or painting an ‘ideal lifestyle’ that I would somehow someday get to experience myself in, so in a way yes painting emotional states or ‘ideal situations’ I’d see myself in, painted my fears of the future, my fears of growing up and getting into the ‘adult world’ and in a way wanting to stay within the realm of the ‘eccentric’ out of the ‘usual things’ to do in life, like the regular job and the regular ‘adult lifestyle’ that is completely immersed in the system and living a routine that ‘slowly kills you’ quoting Radiohead’s song which I would have on repeat mode while starting this ‘new thing’ for me to explore at the time which was painting, having no background on it, no painting lessons, no artsy relatives, no nothing, just some drawings here and there that I’d be focusing on during classes, because somehow it assisted me in remaining focused on what was being said.

Focusing here on that ‘desire to express’ to me was my way of ‘creating a meaning’ and ‘creating a purpose’ to something that I had many times judged as trivial, like paintings, stuff that I would fixate on and hang around me just for the pure sake of – as I’ve defined it – ‘visual viciousness’, which  yes I ‘gave up’ for some time apparently while walking this process but, I decided to not make it a fixation anymore or this energized relationship of ‘seeing beautiful things’ around me to give them a name, because some were not necessarily ‘beautiful’ yet they more had a meaning to me. Each thing that I had around me had a ‘meaning’ and I consider that until this day, that can be said so about the bunch of stuff I have around me, so that is an interesting thing to consider as well.

How I got to ‘connect the dots’ to get to open up this topic on ‘meaning’ and wanting to create stuff that would ‘mean’ something or that would ‘express’ something closely related to something ‘transcendental’ or ‘beyond me’ or whatever else I defined as ‘larger than life’ was through having watched Jim Jarmusch’s latest movie Paterson and I must say that his previous movie Only Lovers Left Alive had left quite a ‘deep’ imprint on me at the time when I watched it and yes, was very emotional and dealt with a ‘touchy’ subject for me at the time, and when I watched this one, at first I was like ‘meh’ because! I didn’t get that ‘transcendental experience’ from it – read energetically charged and overwhelming experience – I didn’t get this ‘life changing’ insta-realization from it or didn’t get a floor-moving type of outcome from it –  or at least I thought so initially. But of course I didn’t accept that to be ‘my final verdict’ on it as it was more of an ‘out of the movie theatre’ experience, though I had been aware that I had been in fact ‘disturbed’ while watching it in a certain way by the whole thing unfolding and not only because of ‘the movie’ in itself, but due to observing my approach towards It and what it had brought up in me while watching it.

So I challenged myself to see further, to see how I had been in fact disturbed by it, because of the role that routine takes in the movie and how we are creatures of routine, everything that happens day to day is ‘the same routine’ – sun comes up, sun goes down and we have to do what we have to do to keep alive – and then there’s the rest of ‘in between’ moments where our lives happen, and that’s where I noticed myself being almost ‘yearning’ for something different to happen, where I saw myself in this ‘waiting-mode’ for this ‘grand thing’ to happen in the whole movie… and it doesn’t – or shall I say it just ‘didn’t happen’ the way I was kind of expecting. In the movie, life unfolds, things just ‘take place’ and within realizing my expectations, I saw how I was in fact challenged on that, I saw how this ‘looking forward’ impulse in me was there the whole time until something kind of ‘unexpected’ happens and it becomes like a ‘start over’ in the film, but there was a slight sense within me throughout the whole thing of ‘is this it?’ and so expecting some ‘major’ event happening, some major ‘plot twist’ that would suddenly take me to the edge of my seat, lol even though I am aware of how Jarmusch’s movies are, there was still that kind of expectation within me… well it never happened and I am glad it didn’t, or more like it didn’t happen ‘during the movie’ but more on how it assisted me to reflect things about myself, my own life and day to day approach.

What this movie showed me is how much of a ‘waiting mode’ I create within life, where I’ve been ‘waiting for my life to happen’ so many years, waiting to ‘get somewhere’ or ‘go and live somewhere else’ for years only to realize that’s not really where I actually wanted to go to, yet I kept my whole day to day in ‘waiting mode’ for that and sort of ‘doing my thing’ in between, not really fully ‘living’ but again quoting Radiohead, it felt like just ‘killing time’ until I would ‘get there’ and I just didn’t.

What this film made me appreciate again is the simplicity of life happening on a day to day basis, where we cannot ever ‘get rid of’ routine, in fact it was a great test to be OK  with witnessing this whole routine unfolding throughout a week and not getting ‘desperate’ in it or go into some sort of backchat around how ‘this was so predictable’ because in essence it could be defined as such – but I decided to choose to rather appreciate the ‘moment by moment’ situations in the film and let go of expecting these ‘grand situations’ coming up, and instead appreciate the normalcy of it for ‘what it is’ which of course it has a lot of charms in it that had been carefully built in throughout the whole film that I also in that moment got to enjoy.

It was also interesting because I had written out before about my relationship to routine itself, but something changes when you are witnessing someone else’s routine, specially within the context of a movie which opened up new points for me to explore, and that’s great, because it also made me realize how I cannot really ever say ‘I’m clear towards that word/concept’ it’s a constant opening, evolving, changing thing based on how we interact with everything and everyone else.

Once that the film was over, the fact that my ‘great expectations’ were sort of by default deflated, I was pushed to ‘rewind’ it in my head to then see what it was really all about for me and how there wasn’t this ‘great meaning’ to it, this ‘transcendental outcome’ that I was expecting, but how it all depends on ‘who I am’ within watching it and so rather seeing what I decide to appreciate or take from the movie as a sheer enjoyable experience of immersing myself in this guy’s life and his day to day living for a week and ‘all that happens in between.’

This led me to see how even if I ‘thought’ of myself as not being conditioned by the ‘great plots’ and ‘great twists’ in stories, I had become somewhat ‘hooked’ on that kind of narratives because they end up engaging more of an emotional experience than a simple witnessing of life happening – everyday living happening – which also reminds me of a similar Japanese movie I also watched not long ago called After the Storm in a similar vein where the character is already a mature man that seems to be waiting for some things yet to ‘happen’ in his life  and there’s no big ending on the story, but more like the resolution of how he had to simply ‘keep walking his life’ and letting go of these hopes he held about his career and personal life. I also got to enjoy the movie for the depiction that it is of ‘regular lives’ without any transcendental events, just  ‘normal day to day’ relationships unfolding and the ‘charms’ in life as it unfolds.

My redefined approach to these movies assisted me to see how there has been this ‘waiting for the great moment’ type of approach to my life,  just like that ‘climax’ that we many times believe will somehow end up happening in our ‘life story’ and will ‘forever change us’ and will ‘forever be this grand moment’ but, that’s more like how I realize I have been conditioned to THINK of life, instead of actually Living it, as is, in its day to day, without expectations, without ‘waiting modes,’ without ‘creating these perfect moments’ that I probably got to read a lot about in books and that I many times tried to recreate in my own life through relationships and through the kind of paintings I would make, where I wanted to evoke this ‘superb’ experience, this ‘epicness’ that could somehow scare you and frighten you and give you this sense of this ‘bigger than life’ meaning that …. Well, I have to now realize has been my own ‘mindjob’ to be honest and how I am rather being grateful to once again through art and in this case through films and documentaries be able to ‘get myself off of my high horse’ and appreciate what I had previously seen as the ‘insignificant things in life’, the day to day, the Living moment, rather than being in my head holding this ‘grand expectations’ for ‘greater meanings, greater purposes’ over my shoulders about this ‘epic event’ or ‘climatic moment’ in my life that is apparently ‘yet to come.’

I once made a lithograph that reads ‘never wait’ and the face has got this anguished experience because that’s for the most part how I spent many years in my life, waiting for ‘my life to happen’ in some sort of ‘waiting for someone to knock at your door, discover your real talents and make you have a great life’ type of thing… not really realizing that life is not about building these ‘great outcomes’ or ‘grand schemes’ or ‘big climatic epic moments’ but it IS all about everything in between from the moment we are aware of ourselves as individuals to our last breath, it is ALL of our life, from the ‘greater changes’ and decisions to the ‘smallest’ moments.

I decide to stop living as a walking-expectation in ‘waiting mode’ for this ‘something great’ to happen to me… if anything, I am living it as I speak, we are all kinds of ‘miracles’ of life considering how far we’ve pushed ourselves in this world to coexist and have relatively ‘normal lives’ with all the inner and outer chaos that we recreate within and without on a daily basis… It showed me how much I have taken ‘normalcy’ for granted as well when it comes to polarizing my experience to that of the most unfortunate majority in this world that surely cannot even afford to spend a couple of hours watching a movie about ‘life unfolding’ because their own is not even being ‘lived fully’ but only ‘survived through.’

All of these points make me place my life into perspective, not to make me feel ‘bad’ or ‘insignificant’ with my topics opened up here when polarized and compared to ‘those that are suffering in this world,’ because of course anything will seem petty and meaningless when going into comparison with anything that stands as manifested consequences that yes, we will have to sort out altogether; but I’ve also learned to not attempt and try to ‘save the world’ without first living one’s life in an actual self-aware manner, and so beginning within changing the way I approach ‘life itself’ for example, stepping down from this ‘grand idea’ of all of these ‘meaningful things’ that I wanted to create and say and express in my head and rather equalize the meaning to every moment that I am alive – no more, no less – it’s there for me to decide who I am in it.

I’ve been aware of how far out I’ve gone to when it comes to ‘judging things’ but this is part of how I’ve created my own limitations/ fears and ideals in relation to anything in life, any part of ‘what’s here’ and that’s all based on how I’ve judged things, people, places, situations, events, outcomes as either good, bad, exciting, dull, depressive, joyful, and creating preferences around ‘what I want to experience’ instead of embracing life as a whole, as the compendium of all of these things as ‘what life is about,’ which is not about seeking an ‘experience’ all the time or finding any grand meanings, not about making these ‘transcendental pictures’ or wanting to ‘save the world’ or ‘save others from themselves’, but about getting to live fully in my own life and with those around me and in the relationships that I create.

For now I do see that if we all did this, a lot of the existential anguish as I like to call it would fade away and we would start reconsidering what ‘living’ and ‘life is really about – maybe we would start embracing and appreciating our life in every moment, ‘as it happens,’ where in my particular case I choose to take it also as an opportunity to create myself in every moment as the person I am aware I can live with for the rest of my life, where I can enjoy those seemingly ‘repetitive moments’ by stopping judging ‘repetition’ as a ‘boring’ thing or ‘uneventful’ thing, and in that sense stopping looking for these ‘grand experiences in my life,’ but simply take life as is

Some events will surely ‘shake us’ more than others, but it’s all part of living, it cannot happen ‘every day’ nor would it even be sane to live that way in a ‘high rollercoaster of emotions’ because we of course take a toll on our bodies if that was even a possibility… it just can’t and I shouldn’t even expect that as ‘LIFE happening…’ that’s not living, that’s a constant yearning to be forever stimulated into a perception or energized experience of living, but it’s not living as such.

I’d like to rather consider the simplicity of things, which yes I have before in my photography practice tried to also ‘turn into something more’ than what it is when taking pictures of ‘garbage’ or what I would judge as ‘deprecating things or ‘meaningless stuff’ and give it a spot through my eyes in a desire to make it beautiful or ‘sublime’ or whatever else, but that’s still me wanting to make things ‘more’ than what they are… and that’s not the point either.

Here I can instead look back at my physical body as a reference of what ‘life is’ and extend the same approach that my body lives on a day to day basis to ‘how I live life.’ It goes through its ups and downs at times, there are entire seasons where everything is just ‘fine’ and working well, it just ‘is’, it moves, it digests, it grows, it decays, it goes through its processing and challenges due to whatever I do or not do with it on my day to day, but it doesn’t NEED any meaning to exist, my body doesn’t require these ‘transcendental experiences’ to keep itself alive, it just lives, it just exists, it just keeps breathing whether I am aware of it or not, and I am entirely grateful for it because, man, we all know that we would not be existing right here and right now if we had to entirely manage every single process that is consciously done by our physical body in itself and at the same time handle ourselves as our mind and being…  it’s a marvelous thing yet, I’ve already shared before as well how much I had taken it for granted.

This same approach is what I decide to integrate in my life from now on and even in this week after watching that movie on Sunday, it has assisted me to ‘slow’ down’ in that sense in my ‘waiting-modes’ and ‘building expectations’ towards something eventually ‘happening’ in my life which are still there as potential outcomes, yet I have been deliberately focusing more on this ‘moment by moment’ approach, and more so, to not judge ‘the moment’ as ‘more or less’ than anything, to not seek to make every moment ‘larger than life’ lol, because that would be me in my mind wanting to still exist as some form of stimulation, an ‘experience’, a ‘meaning separate from myself’ in my head rather than taking life as it happens and living it to the best of my ability in that moment, pushing myself to in my case and current point of focus, stop looking ‘forward’ to anything, but be fully present and in that creating an awareness more towards my physical body, my own experience, how I ‘see things’, how I relate to people, how I perceive my environment, etc.

All of this is also a result of a great series of interviews related to many of these points I’ve opened up and that I am quite grateful for because it has assisted me to identify where I am still very much in my mind looking at life, instead of actually Living it, so I suggest checking them out to genuinely ‘enlighten’ ourselves for once and for all about what’s really REAL in this world and that I had definitely taken for granted.

Redefining Physical – The Crucifixion of Jesus – Part 109

Redefining Physical (Part 2) – The Crucifixion of Jesus – Part 110

Redefining Physical (Part 3) – The Crucifixion of Jesus – Part 111

 

I’ll continue with more on the ‘meaning’ and paintings in another blog…

 

Thanks for reading

 

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE

Advertisements

524. Redefining Routine

Or The Gift of Responsibilities and Discipline on a day to day basis as a point of stability and consistency in my life

What I’ve discovered more and more through this process is how once that one decides to walk through an experience and does all the necessary work to see behind the ‘veil’ of such experience, what one will finds is oneself, the potential that we have to be in fact ‘here’, directive, content, grounded, stable and embracing the walk of life even during seemingly difficult or tough times.

What I looked at today was the benefit of having responsibilities and getting to fulfill as a point of stability in my life which I am in fact grateful for, as well as self-discipline that can be applied to taking on responsibilities and fulfilling them – but I also see discipline more in the context where one doesn’t ‘have to do something’ as an obligation, requirement or commitment with a second party, but discipline in things that we decide to do for ourselves, for the benefit, enjoyment and self-expansion of it.

An example can be how I know that it sucks whenever I over sleep and I’ve ‘squandered’ some 1 or 2 hours in sleeping over the usual time, which has happened after going through somewhat emotionally charged days or extensive physical work which doesn’t really happen in my life currently but has in the past. I generally dislike that experience and as much as I’ve stopped being moody about it, it’s one of those things where one simply didn’t get to use that time of the day for what was planned because of ‘oversleeping.’

So, a simple point for me can be to be diligent in waking up, sometimes reminding me of how I dislike the experience of missing out those hours of the day, sometimes because I enjoy waking up before the sun rises and I enjoy going out for a jog during the dawn and enjoying that there are not too many cars, that there’s not a scorching sun upon me and that there’s the chilliness of morning times, which is a constant here no matter what season we’re in. I discovered I genuinely enjoy doing this because I get to go to the park and be in such an environment even if for only half an hour a day and then I come back and feel content with myself, satisfied that I was able to wake up and direct myself to do that and can continue with my day which I also like to see as this continuation of activities – from one to the other, to the next – and sometimes fitting them like a puzzle according to the day, the plans that I have and making it work, which usually works but sometimes there are things that come out of nowhere and I also have to learn to be more flexible on that and not lose ‘track’ of myself that way, which I still have to work on.

So, in a way I am finding how doing seemingly ‘simple’ things as part of my day are quite grounding, supportive and a point of stability in my life – to me schedules work as an integral part of who I am in my day, I plan instinctively but in the sense of fitting things in certain timeframes and according to the set-times for certain meetings – and I am the only one that would be causing myself an ‘overload’ or delay of something if I don’t simply direct myself to do it as it is required. Of course procrastination is still something I have to work on, especially in doing things that I believe they have no ‘value’ for myself, which I will be working on fairly soon as well and challenging such rigidity in myself.

I personally enjoy going out for long walks when it’s windy and sunset time and I don’t know what it is but there’s nothing that is more enjoyable to me than that, it’s just feeling the wind and walking and if I’m listening to music it creates a complement where I get to enjoy the moment for and as myself. Same if I decide to go to the movies and watch a movie that I can reflect on for myself or enjoy for the visuals of it – I’m more allowing that to myself after having lived some years of almost no movies. I truly was living a little bit like a monk, which was ok to test out my relationship with things like music and entertainment, but lately I’ve been reincorporating more of this in my life because it is part of the things I can enjoy for myself and that I can do within my current life situation.

Of course all of this integrated with the rest of my day to day responsibilities and routines that I have to say in my case, have been a point of stability, of consistency that becomes more than just a ‘doing’ or ‘getting something done,’ but more of a way in which I am able to now approach a ‘routine’ not with the eyes that I used to before in the sense of going ‘oh no, not again the same, sameness, same old, ah, I need change, need a break’ or any of that –

interestingly enough, by now if I had repeated that kind of reactions every single day, today I was actually reflecting in how even the simple movement of coming to the computer and turning it on by now would have been something I would be physically rejecting or reacting to do, if I had continued to build reactions towards my every day, including daily self-care tasks which yes I had a time where I was reacting to the very fact of having to go to the toilet or having to eat, having to do all of these things on a daily basis. It may sound strange to some, but if you can relate to it: been there, done that and I had to stop my reactions, realize I am the only one creating them and instead embrace physicality, embracing the physical routine because that’s quite a certainty of our lives, day followed by night completing a day and ‘repeat’ the next day – that’s also a point of stability in fact, and I’ve learned to see it as such rather than ‘predictable’ and ‘boring’ or whatever else.

So what changed? Certainly not the length of day and night or any of that, but myself, entirely deciding to live my day to day in a way where I can be stable throughout it all, no matter how many times I will ‘rinse and repeat’ the same thing, because I stopped projecting ‘the future’ and my life based on the amount of days I believe I will be doing the same (or the amount of years I will get to live, because who knows! We don’t even have the next breath assured, really) but instead have actually learned to live a day and giving it what I am capable of in that one day, dare I say I am not yet in that ‘fullest potential’ for sure, and that’s what I’ll continue working on.

This also comes back to something that I decided to live on from when I was in junior high school and I read somewhere a quote along the lines of never losing the ability to be astounded – but I saw it not so much in terms of the ability to react in wonder or amazement or a ‘high’ experience of sorts, but simply in being able to rediscover oneself every day, by developing self-awareness. I’ve heard so many people say that they get bored, and I used to as well, but since I got to be aware of this process, there hasn’t been a day I have defined as ‘boring’ because there’s always something to do, we  simply got more than enough to ‘do’ with getting to really know ourselves and ‘debunking’ where our lies hide and getting real and honest with ourselves to change all of that which we dislike in ourselves, what we know will harm us and eventually destroy us or sabotage us.

I understand that initially it may seem – and I repeat SEEM, because it’s always an experience, therefore it’s only energy – as if it was difficult to get to a point of clarity in relation to something, to even wake up with a ‘clear’ experience to start your day, your ‘routine’, but all I can say is hold on to yourself and stick to the wheel, keep driving and navigating yourself through the seemingly stormy weather, it too shall pass and if you don’t give up or recoil back to fear during a storm, you will get to see the skies clear up and you’ll see yourself remaining standing. And that is something I can call a genuine strength, a perseverance and consistency, a result of discipline, clarity and stopping participation in reactions to our ‘day to day’ living – we decide which words define us – I personally prefer to keep cultivating discipline, consistency, perseverance and dedication rather than any other emotional outburst that I know will only drop me back to ‘square one’ in whichever development I am attempting to create in my life.

A last pointer here, to not get lost in the experience, but to get active and ‘on track’ on a day to day basis, this is the best gift we can give to ourselves on a daily basis, to dignify our lives with the responsibilities we have, with the care that we can give us because the moment we go into an experience about doing these basic things in our life related to physical care and work, responsibilities, relationships or anything that we know we have to face day by day, we are only preparing a road full of reactions and endless sources of Inner-conflict – because it’s not about ‘the world, the people, the relationships or the tasks’, never – it’s all about who we decide to be in relation to it all.

I suggest to rather consider or ‘keep in mind’ the potential that is right here as ourselves, in our very physical body that is being powered breath by breath – if we simply decide to do it, to move through the storm and stick to moving ourselves by living principles, continuing to clear ourselves up with writing, self-forgiveness and laying out corrective applications, then we will see the benefits of this process and understand what I mean here.

All I can say is: this works, if we make it work – it’s up to each one of us to tap into such life and consistency that is always here as ourselves if we decide to live as it and stopping getting ‘lost’ in the experiences towards a self-created doom.  

I decide to see every day as one more chance/opportunity to live, to learn, to expand, to explore myself, to re-discover myself, to challenge myself – yet keeping it simple – Simplicity is the key, as B would say

Thanks for reading

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE


%d bloggers like this: