“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
In Los Angeles, and essentially anywhere in California, we’re subjected to a go-go-go mentality intermixed with a fast paced lifestyle. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we can fit a whole 24 hours in the day – zipping around from task to task, our heads are in the air and our feet rarely touch the ground; how many times have you wished for an extra minute here and there to smell the roses, or for the scenic way home.
Instead, we rush from one frame of mind to the next, often never even delving into our innermost complexities and questions in order to meet some imagined deadline. We hurry in hushed tones, seeking approval before self acceptance, forgetting to kindle our inner fire before choosing to passionately ignite the world around us. Too often, we’re required to put ourselves last – to place our universe on life’s back burner while living up to standards we never agreed to, yet can’t avoid trying to live up to.
At those times, we need to let the world around us dissolve as we turn inwards to our hopes and dreams, wishes and desires. The external world doesn’t understand your emotional richness or personal passions; instead, we’re erroneously adhering to an apathetic formula where money and time are interlaced. The tangibility of having is deemed better than the effortlessness of giving and somehow, presents have become more meaningful than presence. With heightened access to social media, our haves become have-nots as we compare to contrast, stacking ourselves against the world in continued contempt.
Every once in a while, we need to be released from the societal shackles that made us believe we continually have more to prove to the universe and instead focus on what we can give to ourselves. The bustling and hustling of everyday life doesn’t allow us to fully marinate within the moment, allowing a full undulating understanding of our personal growth and maturation. Take a step back and see yourself from a birds eye view, sink into the full weight of a second, take it slowly and then take it twice. It’s only within quiet moments of meditation that we’re able to truly evolve.
I’ve only been in Oregon for less than 36 hours but I already feel my muscles limbering from the top of my crown to the tips of my toes. I’ve been awakened, reinvigorated, ready to take on the world while fanning my own flames. I feel myself growing, evolving, understanding my minutiae contrasted with the novel nuances in emotion. In stark difference, of how I live in Los Angeles it’s quiet life, life surrounded by the whimsical wilderness of nature and the breathtaking beauty of Oregon’s lush landscape. It’s simpler here, slower, calming and all sorts of cathartic. The weather has been blissfully blustery with a sprinkling of sunshine almost unprecedented here this time of year. It’s a paradigm shift, and I’m curiously caught in mid-swing.