“How wonderful is it to know that we will never have everything together. One moment we have it "together," the next we don't, and that is just the nature of human life. All we can do is keep opening our hearts; this way, we can handle anything life throws at us with a smile.”
— Sah D'Simone
"If I was going to repair my brain, I needed to practice doing nothing. So during my morning walk to the office, I looked up at the buildings around me, spotting architectural details I’d never noticed before. On the subway, I kept my phone in my pocket and people-watched — noticing the nattily dressed man in the yellow hat, the teens eating hot Takis and laughing, the kid with Velcro shoes. When a friend ran late for our lunch, I sat still and stared out the window instead of checking Twitter."
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” -attributed to Albert Einstein (most likely originating from Ram Dass)
“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think you would have the courage to write it? What is true for writing and for a love relationship is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as we don’t know what will be the end.”
— Michel Foucault
Tell me what you miss, and I’ll tell you who you are. Here’s a thought experiment. Clear your mind, close your eyes, and simply ask yourself: What do I miss most right now? Capture the first thing that comes to mind. Not the second thing, which will be what you think you should miss most. The first, automatic thing. And to be clear, I mean a specific thing in your own life, something you can control.
“This time we’re in is interesting because we’re spending less time and energy trying to look good and mirror societal ideals,” notes Kathleen Smith, a licensed therapist and the author of Everything Isn’t Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down. “The pandemic has drowned out a lot of that day-to-day noise that tells us who we should be and what we should want, the things that distract us from what we really value.”
Many psychologists believe that your most immediate thought is also your most honest (it’s what drives psychology studies like the implicit association test). The key is not to judge whatever comes up. And don’t feel guilty if it’s not what you think it should be. It’s okay if you don’t suddenly love the “simple things” as much as your scallion-regrowing, sourdough-starter-nourishing friends seem to. Accepting your true self is always going to get you closer to happiness than anything else will.
Write down what you come up with. Save it somewhere you can return to once you’re out and about in the world again, when your pseudo-self reawakens. And when the bustle of life is once more so noisy you can’t hear your own thoughts, take a peek. It just may help you stay grounded, make an important decision, or steer your ship on a bold new course.
The ego says, “You must be concerned with everything.” The higher self says, “If you surrender, serve, go with the flow, have an overriding spiritual objective, and know that you are here for a purpose, there will not be time for what offends you.”