This is what I have set my phone to ask me, every night at 8pm.
Realistically, I’ve had a minimum of 12 hours to conjure up an answer to this question. My phone doesn’t care if I answer and obviously neither does anyone else. But I do. It’s a small way that I can keep accountable to myself in a way that is positive and constructive.
I suppose now more than usual, this kind of mental proactivity is useful in keeping our brains open and flexible to new information, no matter how minimal. It forces you to seek out all kinds of bizarre knowledge that you never knew you needed to know.
Small goals help create small habits. When compiled, these small habits lead to consistent behaviours.
Every person you meet knows something that you don’t.
That thought changed my interactions with people. It helped me give otherwise vexatious people the time and space to expose themselves more to me than I probably would have otherwise let them. Be it younger or older, more or less travelled, educated, whatever… the same principle applies: everyone knows something that you don’t.
So then, you may as well make what you know a little interesting. Get creative in acquiring your knowledge. Read books, listen to podcasts, learn a new word everyday, trawl through google or pluck up the courage to ASK SOMEONE – ANYONE – A QUESTION!
For you reading this, what interesting thing did you learn today?
I sit in a smoky, crowded room 4800m high in the Nepal Himalayas. In my headphones, Ludovico Einaudi plays like honey to my ears. In the background, the voices of Nepalese, Spanish, Israeli and English intermingle. I am a witness to life. People gather around the cylindrical fireplace, equal faces of happiness and exhaustion. Some here because they are paid to be, some for adventure, reprieve or healing. I have walked through the mountains for a week and tomorrow we pass Thorung La, at nearly 5416m. I have crossed rivers and with altitude, traversed many different terrains with a rainbow of flora and fauna. I’ve been very uncomfortable, in body and mind. I’ve also found more acceptance, appreciation and patience for myself and the world around me.
This is meagre excerpt of the deep reverence I have always had for nature, increased by my time in the mountains. Before I came, I set a trajectory here to fertilize some soul soil. To challenge my sense of self. To be okay with being alone in one of the most remote places in the world. To help solidify the mastery of my own mind and emotions; where I will always be a sojourner in a foreign land. I envisaged nourishing my soul with mental and physical challenges, in an ever-evolving endeavour for growth. What was a physically taxing journey was all the more mental for me. My muscles were nothing compared to the storm raging inside my mind.
In nature, you find more than you ever thought you were looking for.
With infinite love for this beautiful world.
I have a thirsty soul Quenched by the colours of the world (Satiated by love)
Kaleidoscopic Life; In its many faces Eyes speaking stories of universal human experience Those you And I Know well
Relative are our experiences But no less valid Suffering and happiness Yin and yang Chaos and order
On this plane we meet Where souls recognize one another Themselves reflected An unavoidable dichotomy The ebb and flow of our existence
My soul yearns – For the gradual awakening of a deep night sky A slow dialled gradient Where first light glints Over oceans Or beams over mountain tops
I have a thirsty soul! A heart that dreams Of snow dusted mountains Mottled stone walls Staggered and sheer Protruding from their icy encasement
Pine trees perched on pinnacles Exposed cliff edges Rivers that churn and rage Creeks that trickle Water as the lifeblood of seed Seed to flower Flower to fruit
Mother Earths sheer totality Air fire earth and water Together they mould And balance our everchanging Earth
I dream of underwater worlds Life aplenty Myriads of coral cities And creatures of the deep Of desert landscapes Harsh and arid Where nature is most cruel and unforgiving
My soul pleads for diversity For every creature to flourish For coexistence with the natural world For harmony
A soul that yearns and a heart that dreams But in nature Mind body and soul Unifies
Under a labrynthine lush canopy Where light filters in between carefully crafted leaves Where soft wind whispers through trees Fingers of the universe sounding carefully selected piano notes of natural wonder Warm light endows each leaf Exhibiting each fragile vein in their perfect creation