I rewatched a lot of movies (as I do) while Brianna was away on her DC trip: Star Trek Insurrection, Star Trek First Contact, In Time, Avatar, Arrival. Each of these movies carries a message on the human condition as it relates to time, Avatar being the most subtle, the other four much more obvious. My obsession with time is real. It’s not about “Carpe”-ing anything, it’s about stepping into the icy waters of an ever-moving river and feeling the current whisk by your ankles as it flows forward. The cold water of time carries a sense of callousness that would continue to steal my resolute heart if I let. But it doesn’t have to be that way… if I can just get myself to see: not everything that shivers is cold.
It’s no coincidence that “Be Present” sits atop the Marty-Pyramid post from earlier this week. The pyramid is an attempt at graphically presenting my goals and how I am approaching them, a picture that’s already been amended since even that last post. Below is an updated version as well as a synopsis on how I see each of the layers.
The first row is all about character shaping action. Fitness & dieting are essential elements in order for my mind to think clearly. Volunteering my time allows me to better understand which causes I do and do not support and why; meeting people with similar interests is an important byproduct of volunteering as well. Conservation helps me to appreciate that which I have, while minimalism is the vehicle I use for determining that which I have or want but do not need. Adhering to these five lifestyles allows the top 10 practices to have much more meaning than they would without.
Row two is composed of give and take practices. Writing & music are my vessels of communication to the wider world, sharing my mind brings clarity and focus to thoughts that would otherwise only exist within the confines of my lonely mind. Conversely, reading gives company to those lonely thoughts of mine, granting me the ability to see into the thoughts of others and their unique perspectives in order to build upon my own. Without a proper understanding of language, I wouldn’t be able to read, write, or create effectively, it is the cornerstone of this second row.
Nature, relationships… love? I cannot imagine three concepts more important to a healthy and fulfilling life. To be one with nature is to lose myself in the wonders that are staring me in the face each and every moment of each and every day; appreciate and protect this beautiful existence and its fragile balance. Fostering healthy relationships brings me more happiness than any other element of this pyramid because it takes everything that I have and gives to me everything that I am. Love is the term I use to describe my deepest expressions of gratitude for this life, where I was, where I am, and where I will be.
Meditation and critical thinking are not used together as often as they should be. Think about these integral top skills in terms of what it takes to have a successful conversation with another person. A healthy meditation routine helps me to zero in on what is being communicated, it can really keep kneejerk emotional responses on a leash until I’ve had a chance to fully process the information at hand. Once I’ve processed the information, critical thinking is the skill that allows me to form and return a well-thought response.
Be present. While there are many websites with fun definitions for this concept, I’m not yet able to explain exactly what it means to me because I’m not there yet. It may yet be nothing more than an illusion in my head that ends up being some completely different buzz word/phrase. I’ll let you know when I get there.
Action, Art, Emotion, Mind, Presence.