Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Opening up to life

A lizard just fell on me. Literally. A real one. I yelled and didnt even want to flick it, as flicking it would have meant touching it.. eeeeww!

not the point of this blog post though. Stepping into office, there was an interesting thought that emerged. A pal is having a moment of crisis and is in a job that she detests, cant do hates. What it does give her is wealth but little else. 

As we chatted, the idea of taking a vacation emerged. Not the lets go to italy, and see the leaning tower of Pisa kind of a vacation but a break from your life. From a need to work for security, from being on a path of getting somewhere, doing something that will get you someplace, from validity and productivity. 

Its a notion that is very urban based. I am valued because I do. I earn. I generate. 

Spending time wisely has got intrinsically linked to generating something, creating something that shall take you ahead. Living on a linear time line. Diversions are frowned upon and welcome. Milestone chase warranted and appreciated. 

The idea of taking a sabbatical - not so original I admit came to mind. The trick to however, truly enjoying a sabbatical is to give your self license to be. Being free is a mindset. If a sabbatical becomes a next job hunt, where every conversation is laced with an hidden anxiety - will this lead to business, will I gain something from this, then lets admit it, its a job hunt and not a break. 

Il bel far niente (dolce far niente) – This Italian phrase translates as “the sweetness of doing nothing.

This was the term that Elizabeth aka Eat Pray Love, learnt to appreciate in Italy. Cynics, I can see the rolling eyes and the smug expression of yea well, what would the world be like if we all just sat with our legs on the table playing poker all night long. But its not about laziness. On the contrary, its about awareness.

Imagine this. You take a sum of money and gift it to yourself. This is money that you made/got and have permission to spend. Gift yourself time. Say a quarter of a year, not too little not too much. This is when it gets interesting, find yourself ways to spend the time meaningfully. 

The only things that you are not allowed to do is
  • see any form of TV/movies/serials/games or external entertainment that comes of a box as a way of killing time.
  • or find a job or other ways of SECURING the future 
  • or facebook. 
rest is ok. the intention is to get comfortable with the idea of uncertainty. Letting the cloak of security drop and still live the present.
Hmm. As I type out this sentence, there is a devlish smile that is playing in my face. In fact I think I am going to give myself a break just like this once I have say 50l in my account. Challenge the self/soul/mind to find things to do. Be comfortable in solitude.

Drumming my fingers on the table, thinking thinking of what is it that I would really really want to do/be/learn.

Getting the obvious ones out of the way first, would want to head to a shamanistic master in south america, and drink the brew that only he can give to you, to spend time in serious guided meditation at the Kailash. To learn a dance and a martial art form. Stillness. 

To travel with a exploration troupe, and write a series about it.. like the nat geo kind of a group. Would work in a clean animal farm and bring up a baby orangtutan. Study the science of human behaviour, throw myself into the world of interesting classes, where I can shamelessly blend art, painting, history, psychology, creative arts and writing, learn what the term impressionist really means, tag a photo journalist for a while, become a healer and learn how to skate. 

or simply take the trans altantic siberian train-- nah somehow that is a bit too long in a train

Just today, sat transfixed in an auto for 3 minutes, stared at the map of the asian continent. Beyond the topmost point of the Himalayas there was a world. Tibet a nation - a mystery. China a power a centary. Mongolia and the wind readers, Russia. Siberia. Japan. The span of land was immense. 

Each city with its own tales and experiences. Travel for travel sake can get dull. its tough work, takes courage and the ability to not stop. But a journey is different. Its not about wandering for the sake of being in motion but exploring for the sake of knowing. It slows you down.

If I could and I will. On my sabbatical I will wander inward, with the presence of people who do so. Explore the thousand ways of connecting that people have. 

A self given gift of a break. Love the concept.