Minimalism

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about minimalism, how leading a minimalistic life, i.e. living only with the things that give us happiness or something that we truly need to function, can help us in living a happy and successful life. It talked about how we often buy things just because we have this false need of validation that owning that particular thing will make us happy, or sometimes it’s just because we compare the things that we own with others, thus always trying to fill a void with useless garbage, but not realising that the void is always going to keep asking for more (it’s a black hole :|). It was very motivating and inspiring, and I ended up cleaning out some old stuffed toys from my parent’s showcase, that I had received as birthday gifts when I was a teenager. But this post is not about how to clean up your house or your closet. It is about cleaning up your mind.

Agreed that living with minimal things is satisfactory. But what about all the extra noise that we keep hoarding up in our minds? Signing up ourselves for infinite activities and bearing the burden of not being able to do them? Along with materialistic things, also craving for all the experiences that others are experiencing and feeling that doing that would make us happy?

I see a new book, I put it in my TBR list. That list keeps on getting bigger and I know I am never going to read them all, and yet I don’t stop. Watching that list only gives me anxiety and I have actually lost the names of the books I actually want to read in that junk. Same goes for trying to watch all the movies and shows, that I have been told are the most amazing piece of content ever created. I am sure they are. But do I want to watch everything, or can I even? The same way where we keep buying useless things to impress others, we keep on reading or watching things we don’t want to just to impress others or to get some sense of achievement, but the list never ends.

If that wasn’t enough, there comes travel. This earth is never going to fall short of the places where one can go to blow off some steam. And someone or the other is always going to go to places that you have not been to, and you will always keep craving for that, for more. More often than not, this craving is just out of FOMO and not because you actually want to see so and so place.

Along with that, there’s a crazy need for trying to excel in so many things, trying this out, trying that out, burning ourselves out. It’s good to be ambitious but it’s also good to know when to stop. And it’s best to realise which things actually make you happy, and not go crazy while juggling between activities because if you keep your foot on many boats, you are just going to fall down.

Minimalism goes a long way. I am not sure how ready I am to throw away many things that I own yet, but maybe I can throw away some items from my To-do list and get some peace!

Finding Peace

One of the greatest question, stretched across humanity. Something that we want to find for ourselves and for the world as well, something that we think will bring utmost happiness to us. There have been numerable books that talk about how you can achieve it, or can come closest to achieving it. I haven’t really read any such books because I am afraid that I am too messed up to find something meaningful out of them, and too lazy to make efforts and bring considerable changes in my lifestyle. But that does not mean that I have given up on this search for finding peace.

The meaning of peace for me changes often, because mostly it is related to giving a rest to what has been bothering me. Resolving things with a friend, having a good cry after long, letting out my feelings in front of someone, replying to that one text that I have been afraid to open since the morning, addressing the small and big issues that I didn’t want to, sometimes these small wins make up my day and result in a good night’s sleep.

If there aren’t these small wins in my daily life, sometimes (rarely but there are days) when my office life saves me. Even if I don’t like my work on many days, that one day when I do some good work, solve some bug, make that code work, learn something which changes my perspective, even if that something is small enough for the rest of the world, that day I feel utterly happy and at peace with myself. And sometimes, the joy of closing 10-20 tabs are enough for some peace of mind.

Sometimes there are days when nothing happens on its own, neither small nor big, that can make me feel good about myself and I need to put in some effort. I need to try something new, be it some dish or some yoga asana. If not something new, I have to fallback to following a routine because all the checked items give a satisfaction at the end of the day. Sometimes doing a small thing differently is great as well, like sitting on the balcony floor for a cup of tea or doing nothing and listening to good music (and not simply as a background noise while working).

Though on most days, I don’t find peace in anything. I struggle. I roam around, unable to enjoy anything. Unable to grasp any word of the book I am reading, watching episode after episode just to get lost, sometimes not liking even my favourite dish and simply swallowing it, having conversations that I forget within the next 5 minutes.

But when there are these rare peaceful days, I feel really thankful and enlightened, that the answer had been here all along. I am reminded of how sometimes some effort is needed to make your own day. For days when nothing great happens, it is important to have those small easy tasks that you can quickly finish off, it is important to do something nice for yourself, it is important to take a break, it is important to unwind in whatever way suits you and understand yourself better.
I know I’ll go back to my normal lost self tomorrow, but it feels good to say it out loud and be aware of the answer, that if I want to find that peace, even though temporarily, I don’t have to do a full fledged soul searching, cleaning my room might also work for me today 🙂

I wish I could fly …

Being someone who is constantly worried about every little inconvenience in life, I find flights very soul stirring. And it’s not because I am traveling to some holiday destination or going home, it’s because of a completely different reason.

No matter how hard I try, I always have to check my phone in every 5 mins. Even if I switch off the internet, I will go back, turn it on and scroll through Instagram or play some stupid game. If not that, I am talking to someone or maybe waiting for someone’s reply or to be completely honest, avoiding someone. But somehow connected and affected by my phone.

On the other hand, I just don’t know how to leave my office in office. At the back of mind, I am thinking about the mail that I have to reply to tomorrow or thinking whether the code change that I made today is breaking something or not. Or maybe thinking about something that I said today and if someone might have taken it the wrong way. Or pondering over something hurtful that someone said to me. Thinking about all the unfinished work whose deadline is fast approaching, whilst knowing that I am not even going to put some extra effort into it.

But when I feel the wheels of the aeroplane leave the earth, I have this feeling that all my baggage has been left behind on earth. For the next few hours, I am unreachable completely and well, I cannot reach out to anyone as well. So I cannot worry about my work, about my Instagram feed, nothing. Nobody is going to call me, no breaking code can reach me and force me to do something about it. I just sit, stare outside the window (if on some lucky day I manage to get the window seat without paying extra bucks) and just listen to some good music. And all the disturbing thoughts just don’t cross my mind at all. Nothing matters during those few precious minutes. I have actually seen how book reading also becomes so easy on flights. The lyrics and the music of songs suddenly become all the more beautiful and deep. I just feel so calm and I dread coming down, coming back to earth. I wish I could keep flying just like that, with nothing bothering me anymore…