I just finished an hour-long meditation. A moment of total silence, that I desperately needed. I needed to feel again for a moment. I needed to feel in touch with my heart and myself again, and this is something I’ve neglected for a long time. I feel that a lot of people with me neglect this part of ourselves. We keep on pushing. We do a lot of things, but forget to feel, and be. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t do anything, after all, I am writing this straight after my meditation because I committed to writing every day for the rest of the year or longer.
It’s just that after this meditation I realized what has been bothering me, and I believe so many other people around me. And instead of doing this thing called writing, I now feel what it means to write. I don’t need to do this, nor is it something I have to rush through. I close my eyes often and feel what words fit best in the story. It’s a totally different experience of writing, that a lot of you will find weird.
But I feel that this is something many people can use. It’s the feeling of lightness, having dropped everything. Because I believe a lot of us carry around unnecessary weight. Not just baggage from the past, but also pressure, stress, and obligations. All of these I feel like make our lives heavy. So extremely closed and pulled away from reality. So maybe, before sitting down and continuing with this piece, grab some tea, or a cup of coffee, or a glass of juice, or water. And for a moment, take some time to feel what’s going on within you when you’re reading through this piece.
Part One: The Weight We Carry
I felt like I was carrying around so much weight. Not literal weights but mental weights. That might even be heavier to carry around, let alone to drop them. I felt like writing about this because lately, I’ve been pushing out a lot of content, doing a lot. Working hard on Today I Lived as a brand, and with that, a lot of pressure, stress, and obligations started to pile up within me. Which completely closed me from what my intentions with Today I Lived are. It’s to feel alive, and that feeling part has been lacking.
And I don’t think I am the only one experiencing this. A lot of you are probably feeling heavy, drained maybe, just like me. It’s not necessarily that we stuff our days, or that we have a lot of obligations, it can also be that you are just pressuring yourself. Or feeling the pressure to keep going, or to make something of your life. Which I think a lot of people my age are going through. We have seen the light in that we attach less value to money. We don’t just focus on money, we want to make something of our lives. By being of service, doing something good for the world. This is an amazing shift, but something in me also tells me that even though we have shifted from self-centredness to purpose-driven lives we are still dealing with largely the same problem here.
That is, that we are putting a lot of weight on our backs. With the money that weight became the need to make more money, or to keep making money to get by. With making something of your life this has not changed. Instead of money we now put pressure on ourselves by having to perform. I feel like we have to do a lot, and make big things happen. We need to pursue our passion and need to be consistent, we need to grow ourselves, and develop. But all of this remains the same. Whether you are striving for money or service, if you need to do it, it will start weighing you down. It will become a weight, I feel like.
That’s what I’ve been going through. I don’t feel the need to make massive amounts of money, but I do feel the need to be of service to the world. In that quest, the pressure to grow my business, and to keep improving has become a weight that I had to carry around each day. Instead of it being a fun, exciting, and loving journey, it had become a burden that I grabbed from the floor the moment I got up, till the moment I fell asleep. That’s not saying that I don’t like what I am doing, or feeling ungrateful. I love writing, I love creating the podcast, and the videos. I feel massively grateful for doing those.
The weight that I, and I believe many others, are experiencing doesn’t come from not doing what you love. The weight we put on ourselves comes from ‘doing’ all the time. Instead of writing, and feeling alive whilst writing, I felt pressured to do so. That pressure to finish my writing as quickly as possible put a lot of weight on me. I love writing, it’s just that I want to experience what it feels like to write. I don’t simply want to rush through it or feel the pressure to finish.
I feel that the weight we carry around is created because we have stopped feeling, and instead started doing. We have started doing more things, creating more, working more hours, but forgot to experience what it feels like to do all these things. We forget to experience what it feels like to do our work, or to create, or to do things. It’s the lack of feeling that is putting weight on us, because without the feeling part, it all becomes about the result, instead of the process.
Part Two: What Does it Feel Like to Work?
I don’t think dropping that weight is a hard task. I don’t think it’s a tough job to let go of the obligations, and pressure we put on ourselves. Why? Because all we need to do is start feeling again. Feeling what it means to be alive. That doesn’t mean we have to do something else than we are already doing. We don’t need to go to an ashram, a monastery, lock ourselves in rooms, or pull away from society. All we need is to feel what’s going on right now.
What does it feel like to work? Can you remember that? It could be that for you it feels like a burden, that you don’t want to do it. Or you can’t even remember it. Or it could be just like me, that you love working, but that the weight of having to finish something makes it a burden. The feeling that something is heavy can go together with the feeling of loving to do something. Because the feeling of pressure and weight are created by the result you have to achieve. It could be finishing something before a specific time, or ticking off all to-dos on your list. It could also be that you have to go to the gym, or exercise and then feel like doing it quickly. Which puts time pressure on you.
The thing that makes our lives heavy is the pressure we put on ourselves by focusing more and more on doing things and finishing them as quickly as possible. Instead of doing things, and experiencing them whilst we are doing them. It’s not that we shouldn’t work, or that we shouldn’t be consistent. I think these are amazing things. It’s why I decided to get up and write today. It’s not the ‘doing’ that’s necessarily wrong, it’s the lack of feeling and experiencing the thing you are doing that is causing the pressure and heaviness. Now read that again. It’s not the ‘doing’ that’s necessarily wrong, it’s the lack of feeling and experiencing the thing you are doing that is causing the heaviness.
I’ve found that writing becomes a burden the moment I have to finish it quickly. Now at times, this is handy, when I have to hit a deadline for example. But 99% of the time it’s better to not feel the pressure to get something done as quickly as possible. Instead of finishing this piece in one go, I decided to go downstairs and grab myself a cup of tea. It relaxes me, allows me to feel again, and to stop putting pressure on myself.
So how does it feel to work? If you sit down to do the work, or to do anything really, what does it feel like? Do you feel light, and peaceful, or heavy and closed off. If the second is true, ‘be’ for a moment. I cannot give you an exercise or task to do, because that wouldn’t fix the problem. That would only give you another thing to do, instead of feeling. So instead the word “be” or “feel” will be enough of a reminder for you to do so.
Breathe. You got time. It’s not the result that makes the task at hand beautiful, it’s the experience of the process that makes it beautiful.
Part Three: The Thing We Always Say but Often Forget
I just realized that there is one short three-word phrase that we often say, but forget to live by. To feel alive. It’s a phrase I often hear recited in poems or spoken word pieces. It’s a short phrase that I have used in a lot of my pieces, yet forgot why I said it. To FEEL alive. That’s what we are after. Each one of us wants to find the thing that makes us come to life, each one of us wants to feel alive. We want to feel happy, we want to feel excited to get up, we want to feel success, or feel loved.
All we want to do is feel. But just like I did, we forget this. And instead, think that just ‘doing stuff’ will get us there. To feel alive to me looks like me standing before the rising sun with my arms spread wide open. I carry a smile on my face and feel the wind blowing through my hair. That to me is what feeling alive looks like. And why do I share this with you? Because all of these things are experiences. See the scene I just described to you has one thing that it is lacking. I am not doing anything. I just stand there. Arms wide open. The sun is rising. I smile. And do nothing. I just feel I guess.
And that is what I forgot. I forgot to FEEL alive. That’s all we need as an antidote to feeling heavy, feeling the pressure we put on ourselves, and the obligations we have. They are all results, outcomes, points on the line. But what we’re really after is the experience. The feeling we have whilst going through our day. It’s about the FEELING of being alive. To say Today I Lived, and I experienced every minute of it.