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Dance and sing and be happy!

Why Your Life Is Not A Journey

I came across this when a friend posted it to Facebook. It grabbed me and SLAMMED me down hard.  This video “Why Your Life Is Not A Journey” includes the editors favorite Alan Watts quotes – my new favorite being the bit about missing the point the whole way along (skip to 3:13). I’ve always felt as if I were doing something wrong or missing some essential truth.

Life is not a journey… and you were supposed to be dancing!

When Watts says “It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing, or dance” I feel ashamed of my own behavior. I feel ashamed and sorry for myself. For not laughing more. Or Dancing more (or at all). For not  crying, or feeling more things more deeply.

The quote hit me somewhere very deeply. I am sure it’s because it’s true. I’ve taken life entirely too seriously – like an epic slog rather than the joyous, beautiful thing it was meant to be.

Did you watch it? What did you think?

12 thoughts to “Why Your Life Is Not A Journey”

  1. Do you have any thoughts about rejection and how to handle it mindfully? I’ve read many articles about it but it is more or less pop psych that doesn’t ring true to my inner being. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

    1. Thanks for the question. I’ve thought a lot about rejection over the past few years and like you, have read many articles and posts on it.

      I’ve spent a lot of time listening to different actors and writers talk about their early days of rejection and one of the common themes that always comes up is that they have a long-term vision for themselves. It’s that vision for their own future and a willingness to believe that somehow they will find a way to make it come true. When I hear that the guys from Stranger Things got rejected 15-20 times or when I hear some famous actor talk about how he literally couldn’t land a job, or that every show he got was canceled (looking at you George Clooney) it makes me think that there is magic in rejection if you can find it.

      For a long time, I had a vision that involved status, money and having lots of “things”. My world fell apart when I realized that was not my true vision nor did I have the right goals. My world felt like it fell apart right in front of me. It happened slowly, then all at once and I felt unmoored and completely lost.

      It’s taken me a few years to rebuild and your timing is incredible (hello universe!). Just this past weekend I was doing an exercise in looking back at my old vision & goals and seeing just how much I’ve changed and evolved.

      So I guess what I’m saying is that rejection in the context of a long-term vision should be manageable. Rejection in the short-term can feel devastating and horrible. My suggestion is to check your vision – does it exist? Have you fully fleshed it out? If not, how can you get one/find one/develop one?

      If on the other hand, you do have a vision and rejection is stopping you from moving forward… well, in my experience there are two choices…

      1. Find a way.
      2. Get a new vision.

      Good luck on your journey!

      1. I love that advice. And thank you for not saying “Don’ take rejection personally, you are worthy etc etc” because that just makes it worse.
        I haven’t been thinking about a long term vision very consciously and rejection does hit quite hard when I’m singularly focussed on that one event that felt so horrible. Thanks!

        1. You are welcome – advice is tricky to give because everyone is so different and is coming at things from so many different directions. All we can do is love ourselves and work hard every day!

          I’ve tried everything from random articles online to a paid personal coach to Tony Robbins CDs to help me frame things out. Any of those tools are fine really.

          The issue I had (your mileage may vary) is that I was never been truly honest with myself about what I really wanted. That is taking some work, and it’s something I revisit consciously at least 1x a year, if not more.

          You are most certainly worthy, that’s a given if we’d only just believe it was true!

          1. I want to address what you’re saying about you not being honest with yourself. You had also mentioned it in a previous article.
            While I think it’s great that you are trying so many things in self-actualization and are very focussed towards it, I feel like you may also be putting resistance on your path by re-litigating the past. Because your focus seems to be on ‘cleaning the mess’ or somehow dealing with a problem. But according to LoA you can’t get there from there. The vibration of the solution is different than the problem, so you need to find the feeling of what you’re looking for rather than focussing on fixing because then you’re keeping the past vibration alive.

          2. I agree. In short (will post on this soon) I’ve discovered an excellent book on self-esteem and combined with some other reading I’m very focused these past few days on acceptance. Acceptance of what’s in the past, and leaving it there where it belongs. The work I’ve been doing (daily writing exercises) have me completely upside down in terms of self-esteem and coming to terms with the fact that I’m not a horrible human being. Forgiving myself and putting in new patterns of thought sounds great, but takes work – hard work in fact. These daily writing exercises have been extremely illuminating, and I’m giving myself a few more days of writing before I even look back at what I’ve been writing down every morning.

            As usual, thanks for the commentary and thoughts!

            How are you doing?

  2. I’m doing great actually! I’ve been thinking and experimenting a lot with deliberate creation lately, trying to understand it. I’ve always imagined creation to be on an emotional level, but not something I can whittle down to the visual and material specifics. For e.g. if I want to be in a “spoiled” state of mind, where money comes easily and there’s very little work, I can think of the emotion and can understand that the universe supplies everything around me which keeps that emotion going, but I can’t imagine putting down the exact specifics of how my work should look like, where exactly I want to work etc. But I’ve heard that people are able to create that way too – if they imagine a red balloon long enough, it shows up in the reality. And that happens consistently. Have you tried something like that, imagining and getting things right down to the T. I feel like it takes away the element of surprise and fun in creation, if it is possible.

    1. What you are describing sounds like what the book “The Secret” promise – that by thinking (and doing) you can manifest thing things you want in life. Once you get past the negative implications of “magic” thinking and ponder this it sort of makes sense to me. For me it’s come down to focus, when I define a goal and focus on it with all my power (full power Scotty!) I usually get what I want. If you imagine a red balloon long enough – you’ll likely see one soon enough – because your brain is looking for it! It’s like when you buy a new car and all of a sudden, everyone has that car! I tend to avoid mysticism in favor of practicality, but I do think that there is something about getting very focused on something in your mind that leads your entire soul and body to follow and to make it happen. I’m thrilled to hear you are doing great.

  3. I feel just like your old self. Lost, confused, and asleep. I barely started with guided meditations and it seems that I flow back with the old patterns of overthinking and not being mindful. Is there a method to overcoming this? What can I do to use it in reality?

    1. I’m sorry to hear this Valeria. I think you are already on the right track just based on your comment of seeing that you are overthinking. How about starting there… I’d recommend some very basic meditation (get the free app headspace, or look up Tara Brach on iTunes or any podcast service). Go slow, it’s a journey to awaken, not a light switch 🙂

      1. I’ve already downloaded a bunch and I tried 3 of Tara Brach’s yesterday. They’re sort of advanced since I’m not very deep in life yet, so I was wondering if there’re more options you’d recommend. Also, I’ve been curious about your worksheets and books.

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