THE END OF A CRISIS.

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I decided to draw myself a bath late last night, mainly because I was so cold I could almost feel the bones ache beneath my flesh, but also because there is simply not a better place to relax than my very own bathtub. Usually, I either read a book or watch an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience when I’m soaking, but it was after 10 p.m. and I didn’t feel like doing either of those. A podcast should suffice, I thought, hearing someone talk whilst taking in the heat of the lavender-infused water and doing nothing other than breathing deeply, and maybe taking in some wisdom. 

I’ve been having a self-proclaimed existential crisis for about a year and a half, it’s built up of multiple layers of worry that don’t seem to leave my mind, even though I consciously try to shoo it all away almost daily. One layer is thoughts of not understanding what life means, why we’re here, what all this is, and all such things that many a philosopher has written about and I still cannot wrap my mind around. The second layer is the one of who am I, what do I do, why do I do it, what if I suddenly stopped doing my own things in my own way – my mind worrying about itself, essentially. The third: am I doing enough, am I spending my time well, am I wasting my life? And so, I read, a lot, about other people’s ideas and answers on any and all of those questions, as though I am trying to make their answers my own. It’s tiring, really, to spend a big portion of my time worrying about time itself. It feels as though I am floating above myself, not truly participating in life because I am trying to analyse every aspect of it, which becomes terrifying, over time. 

My man, my dear, my lover, told me a while back to listen to Alan Watts talks on YouTube, “you’ll like it, it’ll be good for you.” (He was right, as he often is.) But I didn’t, because I always keep myself busy with so many things that I tend to put off the recommendations others give me. Until last night, when my bathroom smelled of lavender, my bathwater was tinted a soft pink, candles lit up the room, softly, and I chose to listen to his advice after all.

It changed me. Took away some worries, replaced some others, and then took away those, too. I first listened to this one, then took out my notebook and scribbled down the thoughts that rapidly ran through my mind, for its shift came with new ideas to hold onto, and the best way to do so is to write them down, to clear things up. 

The main lesson I took from this particular talk, and from some of his words I read afterward, was that Now is all there is. That our ‘I’ is no more than the happening of Thought and Feeling in the Now. That notion, with its simplicity, was freeing to me, it lit me up and took away the worries that were on my shoulders the year prior. For being in the Now means spending less time longing for days that have been and fantasising about futures that may never be, and instead brings forth pure focus. I’m grateful for it, and I advise you to read everything of his that you can find, because it may make you more light, more grounded, and more present, and those are some pretty big shifts to make within your self.

I’ll leave you with some of his words to fall in love with,

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”

“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”

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6 thoughts on “THE END OF A CRISIS.

  1. Are you familiar with mindfulness as a practice? Being in the present moment is all that’s about, really. I found it helpful – not as in ‘it solves everything’, but it does help to not get lost in anxiety. Had my own crisis a little while ago, still don’t have the answers now but I’m less panicky…

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    1. Hi anyushka!

      I’ve read about it a couple of times, but haven’t looked into it deeply yet, hearing that it helped ground you in a way does make me more curious about it, though, so it’s on my ‘to research’-list for tomorrow. Thanks for the tip!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I found it helpful :). It does help me when anxiety rises and the thoughts spin out of control – there are good skills in it about grounding yourself, like you say, focusing on your senses, on breathing. I realised that my breathing often gets erratic when I get anxious, which then makes things worse. That’s been particularly useful.

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  2. Dear, Jocelyn hier, ik lees graag jouw blogs omdat ik het heel erg herken wat jouw bezighoudt: ik ben ook mnieuwschierig aangelegd en altijd bezig met eenzelfde scala aan vraagstukken. De vraag of je wel ‘genoeg uit het leven haalt’ is daarbij het meest prangend vind ik. Je zou eens de weg van de OOsterse filosofie moeten inslaan, die geeft hier beantwoording aan. Lees het boek van Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: echt een must read op dit gebied. Ik heb hem nog lang niet uit, maar het is ook de bedoeling dat je telkens een paragraafje leest en hierover gaat nadenken, dus typisch iets voor jou: Brain food! eigenlijk protesteert tegen dat over ge analyseer waarin jij /ik snel vervallen. Alhoewel ik niets negatiefs zie in jouw nieuwschierige aard en de kwaliteit van (zelf)analyse, in tegendeel: dat brengt je alleen maar verder en maakt je een wijzer mens! Probeer alleen op te passen dat je niet in melancholie verzandt,in dit stadium vind ik mezelf vaak. Goed dat je jezelf bezig houdt met lezen en leren, ik heb net m’n minor filosofie geschiedenis afgerond, zou ook wat voor jou zijn om te studeren/cursus te volgen! Blijf vooral schrijven, ik geniet van je blogs!!!! Veel herkenning maar ook mooi woordgebruik en poëtische manier van schrijven, keep up the good work! Xxxxxxx Joc

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    1. Lieve, lieve, lieve Joc! Wat een super mooie comment, en wat fijn om sowieso weer van je te horen! Toevallig heb ik The Power Of Now afgelopen week voor het eerst ook aangeraden gekregen van een vriendin, dus die staat nu bovenaan mijn lees-lijst, ik heb een interview gezien van Oprah met Eckhart Tolle en dat heeft al een hoop gedachtegangen in mijn brein verschoven en meer rust gebracht. Je hebt gelijk, dat het nadenken over wat alles precies is en betekent een prachtig iets is om te doen maar de angst om hierin door te draven blijft me achtervolgen iedere keer dat ik dat pad insla (dagelijks..), dus alle filosofen die hierin meer kalmte en vastigheid kunnen brengen zijn me welkom (mocht je nog aanraders hebben na je prachtige studie dan hoor ik het graag, ik heb meer brain food nodig, haha!).

      Dankjewel voor je complimenten, tips en inbreng, en laten we gauw een keer koffie gaan drinken in Utrecht om meer te bespreken, lijkt me fijn! Kus!

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