As I mentioned before the reason that I took a break from everyday life was when I found a channel to how to truly live. To engage the second mind, the conscious mind, constantly and for me that is through traveling. If there are others who can achieve this vividly everyday, I salute you and I am working towards that. Yes everyday conscious living.
If you have the time, do listen to this wonderful commencement speech by David Foster Wallace, he spoke about things that are close to my heart. I had the enlightenment of conscious living few years back and ever since then, life is not the same, yet I felt that as if my life has just truly begun.
“Life is made of choices”
It is hard to stay conscious and alive in your everyday life. We all somehow live in default settings (in David’s words), whereby we do things automatically by what we came to have learn from the world and preset it. Samples of default setting people was that horrible guy who had just dangerously cut close to you on the highway just so he can save 10 seconds to get to where he thought he is needed. It was the horrible lady who knocked you with her trolley of groceries while grabbing to more random things into her already junk-filled trolley so that she can get to the checkout line first because her time is more important. It could have been you, who might have spoke a little bit too loudly to the person at the parking counter just now because your access card just happen to not work today and it is all his fault.
Now you see, that is unconscious living. Of course there are people who live through really ordinary routine life without having to resort to their default settings, but sadly to say, most people do that. You could be most people too unless you realize this and engage in conscious living instead. So yes, I got myself out of the rat race, of which I called for my previous 9-5 routine life, in search of conscious living. I have tasted what it was like while traveling, but it does not mean I have to constantly seek for this respite to truly live. Thus I redesigned my life, pull the plug and rush out of the hole along with the water.
What’s next after conscious living? That is where I get to the cheese of it all – freedom. But what is freedom? And freedom to what?
“The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness, discipline, and being truly to care about other people and sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think.” – David Wallace
Before this I just knew I had to get out of rat race to get to conscious living. But why? Maybe it is just me but I knew that rat race would not lead me there. And after I have unplug from the system, I find myself floating around, trying to find the next big thing, to finally achieve all my dreams, to do something great and be somebody. Yes, I still want to have all that but let’s pause a little and enjoy the journey, the process of rebirth. Here is when I start to really think why I am doing what I am doing. And then it dawn on me, when I take away all the frills and thrills, when I boiled it down to the core, the real essence of what I really want, and what I think is an integral part of conscious living is freedom.
“Freedom to do what I want
and when to do it”
Yes, freedom is what I want. Freedom to do what I want to do and when to do it. And with that freedom comes your own responsibility. There is always a choice in whatever I do. It would be a conscious choice on my side. Nobody to blame. No excuses. There is no “I have no choice. I had to do this. My boss would not allow it. My obligations make me do it”. No, it is all about your own choices. Life is made of choices.
“Imagine living life
as if it is a new
Now I can choose to put loved ones first if there is a need. I am standing by waiting for my sister to go into delivery, that’s when I zoom in as a superheroine to cover all the petty unsexy stuff. I am the person my friend called when she was really sick and needed someone to simply just get her food. Now I can also choose how to spend my time. I can choose to wake up and suddenly have an epiphany and write this long winded post. I can choose when to get back to work. I can choose on what to work on. I can choose what to think and how to react to things. This true freedom could scare me sometimes, because I am really thinking and engaging now, but in the end it is really exhilarating and liberating. Imagine living life as if it is a new adventure everyday.
So that my friend, is what I call conscious living. I am truly grateful every moment that I have this freedom and to be able to do conscious living in every waking moment of my life.