If you haven’t guessed already by the lack of exotic-looking travel pictures and/or airport location updates within the past month, I did not travel out of Durham during the Christmas holidays. To an outsider (that is, anyone that is not me), they might quickly surmise how boring, lonely and unproductive my life at that period was. Well, in my view, they could not be more wrong.
You can say that I am well-trained in the Art of Managing Loneliness, whereby I am now a black belt master in controlling and even befriending such a feeling. Generally, a person who is consumed by the negative side of Loneliness would crave for a different scene in an attempt to be productive or get rid of the symptoms.
This time, I associated myself with the positive side of Loneliness.
Putting uni work completely aside, I spent the first two weeks of holiday really analysing my needs, wants and wishes. Of course I had them in mind, floating freely, for some time but I only had the opportunity then to completely focus on them.
I realised that I need to:
- strengthen and maintain my spirituality
- keep healthy and fit
- “love the life [I] live” and “live the life [I] love” (in the words of Bob Marley)
- have deeper connections with living beings – people, plants, animals etc.
Therefore, I want to dedicate my life to concentrating on my needs by doing whatever it takes to satisfy them. And so I wish that I could keep this budding strength and motivation alive and not be pressured by anyone into doing what I would not get value from. I know it’s easy to say now what I wish to do in the future when the future is not set in stone and that I am still living comfortably under my parents’ provision.
But there is this voice in me, quiet but defiant, saying I would be better off doing the hard work that I enjoy or get value from and still be happy, rather than doing the hard work against my will and slowly face death from the inside out.
After reading up more about the topics that I find fascinating (energy, fitness, meditation, spirituality, herbalism, etc), volunteering at an organic farm, and some therapeutic sessions with a few of my good friends, I can see the purpose of my life unfolding in front of me. I began to understand what I must dedicate my life to and how I should go about it.
Before Doubt could come and disrupt my train of thoughts, I wrote them down. And then I told said good friends to further validate them. Now there is no room for cowardice. The words are out, the Energy is evolving.
And then I put my thoughts into action, gradually.
I have set up the habit of maintaining my circadian rhythm; I go to bed at 11pm and wake up around 06:30 or 07:00. No exceptions. I dedicate the first half hour of my every day to prayer and meditation. I make sure I try to exercise (stretching/cardio), for at least half an hour, ideally one hour. They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but I say that it takes determination with a set of purpose to keep up the consistency.
To rid of the toxic “habits” within me, namely procrastination and laziness, I analysed the root causes and rectified them. In the case of laziness, all I really needed was to discover my purpose and embrace the activities or topics that truly nourish my soul because that way I would not mind putting all my energy into pursuing them and receive satisfactory outcome. I was lazy because I had no idea what to do with my energy. Now I know that I simply cannot work with things that just don’t uplift me – it doesn’t make sense to me.
Battling procrastination was tough. Too much of it is detrimental, but I also realised that it can never be eradicated, and I actually do need a little of it. This is one of the many things where balance is key. I had obviously procrastinated way more than necessary and I found that it’s because I felt I needed some sort of social comfort or validation to curb the seemingly perpetual state of loneliness. And again it’s due to the fact that I was involved with the negative side of Loneliness. So when I looked to the other side of it, I knew I didn’t really need external comfort. I am an energetic being, an extension of the spiritual energy of the whole Universe, capable of manifesting happiness, gratitude and acceptance. And I believe this is true for all beings.
The solution seemed blindingly simple really. I just had to cut off the tangible sources that aided my procrastinating such as social media applications on my phone and online grocery shopping, and also the intangible ones i.e. the irrational desire for external comfort. Once I was able to manifest the necessary thoughts and Energy, understanding myself completely, the rest just fell into place.
Basically, I spent most of the holidays learning more about myself at an even deeper level. I’m glad for the time off from the stressful student community. My thoughts and actions during the holidays were the genuine outcome of my true self. I only hope that I can stay true to that now that I do have to associate myself with the community (which is of course necessary). And indeed I do feel different. I feel more strongly. I am better at expressing myself and I am able to keep focused on what’s important. I do feel an improvement.
God willing I can keep this up.