As I sit on the top deck of this boat making a crossing to the island of Ilha Grande I look around and see uninhabited islands of dense green, I look back to shore and see mountains that meet clouds with just a small sign that humans exist here. Just along the coast where the land is flatter. There is no sun just thick warm air that seems to be steeped with energy and peace. All I can feel is both immense gratitude and immense love for this thing we call life. It’s a beautiful thing if you make it, if you let it. All parts of it are beautiful. Not just the good but the bad too. The bad, the painful it shapes us. It creates us. It’s not meant to devour us or break us. It’s not meant to consume us or ruin us. It meant to teach us, to guide us and to awaken us to another way to live life.
One of my biggest questions on this journey called life is about freedom and the common belief that the only way to freedom is money. A word that conjures many thoughts, feelings and emotions within me. Will I ever have enough? How will I make more? Will I run out? If I run out what happens? Will I have to work my whole life for money? The dream is we find a career we love that pays us well enough that we have no financial worries but can that dream ever be a reality? If you have money don’t you fear losing it? If you have money doesn’t it take effort and worry to look after it? How can you tell if the people you meet genuinely care for you or just for your money? How can you look around and see people suffering because of lack of money when you have the means to help them?
All of these thoughts bring stress and worry. Both of which are pointless emotions. No one can ever tell me that worry is helpful or that stress is helpful. They don’t help us feel better and they don’t make any situation better. They make us less equipped to deal with situations, they make us more likely to over react and they mean that this precious life we have been given becomes laborious and tiring.
In the western world we are always trying to do ‘better’ to have ‘more’ but what is this ‘better’ what is this ‘more’ that we have been programmed to strive for? Aren’t these 2 things something we do so we can get more than we need? So we can have things we don’t want? So we can compete with our peers? So we can tick boxes that society so passionately tells us we must tick?
What about the things that make us human? Love, gratitude, peace and of course the one we all say we’re searching for happiness? All these things can be given and received freely. From ourselves to ourselves, one of us to another and of from our creator (be that god, the universe, spirt, source, a guru, Buddha) to us and from us right back again.
I find it strange that as humans we have spent our time building, creating, growing, learning, discovering, searching and being more and more focused on what’s outside of us whilst at the same time becoming more and more miserable and depressed inside of us.
I have learnt in the past 4 years the power I have as an individual to turn my life from one of misery and depression to a life of love, gratitude, risk and learning. Learning about myself. Undoing thoughts and beliefs that have crippled me for years. This is just the beginning of what I myself without ‘stuff’ am capable of.
It’s hard to imagine a world where stuff doesn’t matter. The size of the house or the car you drive. It’s hard to conjure up a world where people cared mores about themselves and others than they care about killing themselves to get stuff, to own stuff that when they die they can’t take with them. In fact some spend years doing something they loath for the dream of one day being able to ‘give it up and find freedom’ only to die before they get a chance.
Our lives are designed to suit commercialism. We are the robots who don’t question what we are taught. If you’ve watched kids play you’ll see they don’t care about shiny toys or ‘nice things’ they like the wrapping paper, the cardboard box, the stick or flower they find. Their imaginations are god given but their want and need for stuff is a learnt behaviour. It’s so when they grow up they too will do as society requires. They will go to school and learn a ciriculum designed to keep the world the way it is, with a few people holding the worlds wealth, with history of other races, cultures and country’s thus the true and encompassing history of human existence ignored. They will be taught they must attend school, college and university to succeed. They must get a job to pay back the debts they incurred getting that education and then they must work more hours than they get to live, to be and to enjoy. They must earn money to buy the things that society tells them they need. Houses, cars, gadgets, fashion because as they have been taught these are the measure of how good you are as a human. Success is equal to how much money you have and very few people would disagree with this due to their conditioning.
Shouldn’t success be about how happy we are? How much we help other people? How much love we have in our lives and how much we manage to bring into other people’s? The answers is yes.
As humans that yes it automatically followed by ‘in and ideal world but……… we all need to live some how, but it’s impossible in today’s world, but how would we eat, but where would people live, but the world would descend in to chaos, but we need doctors and lawyers etc etc. And all of that is true if you don’t believe that a world can change. I on the other hand do.
Depression kills you. It eats you. It lives in you. It makes your body acidic, your muscles tense and your stomach convulse. It isn’t just a feeling it’s a physical living thing inside of you. It’s not natural. It’s a big red flag screaming at you that things need to change. That you’re living out of line with your harmony. What do we do about it? We take drugs. Drugs, chemicals, things not natural or meant for our bodies. We want a quick fix. Our own internal guidance system is ignored and we trust a chemical over what our own intuition is telling us. It’s screaming that we need to change, it’s screaming at you to just listen, it’s jumping up and down in the hope you will acknowledge it. We find away to dumb it down to silence it. Maybe drugs, alcohol, sex, extreme exercise, food we humans are so good at trying to silence the one voice who knows better than any other. The voice with in us.