i can’t stress enough the power of opening your mouth and letting it rip. haha – not what you think. i mean… just opening your mouth and letting the words come out or typing and letting the words be typed without a plan or direction of where you’re going. i know in buddhism it’s called having an ’empty mind’ and i seriously think i finally know what that means in a nitty gritty way. when you really stop planning and controlling things, life definitely emerges the way it needs to in the most natural, effervescent, indubitably interesting and soul satisfying way that it can. life is so much more interesting unplanned, in my opinion.
a man came to my door yesterday. he came to fix the internet by replacing the modem/router. as if i know what those things do. anyway, as soon as i opened the door, he began praising and saying “yayying”1 upon seeing me again after several years since he had taken my class. i was embarrassed but also happy to have made an impact on someone. we ended up talking about everything important in the span of an hour. he told me about his family, his life’s purpose, the importance of civility and how ‘it’s really not that hard to be nice and if people just realized that we’d all be so much happier.’ and that ‘it doesn’t take much to be even just a little bit polite and respectful’ and ‘psychologists are great and all that but just being able to be your true authentic self with a few good friends is really all you need to refresh your sanity’ and more and more and more. while he calmly changed wires and removed old machinery and punched buttons, i stood there amazed that here was this person who was telling me that something that had happened in a classroom with 20 other people two years ago had helped him somehow. as my ego grew more and more massive – yikes! – i tried to explain that the whole reason i keep teaching and enjoy teaching is because i actually really learn a lot from my students, too. and the more i thought about it, the more i realized that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a teacher or not. you can learn a lot from every person you run into every day. even the most difficult person has something to teach you. and he agreed. and we talked about what it really means to be ‘enlightened’ and how he felt it was his destiny in a way to help other people ‘wake up’ to their potential, too. and on and on we went in our high falutin’ philosophical conversation. and i spouted how i read once that the more ‘deep conversations’ you have per day, the higher your level of happiness tends to be. and so on and so forth. and then he left and i felt like i would probably never see him again but that’s ok. i would immortalize the moment somehow. and really what it all boils down to is…. we all have amazing lives, amazing stories to tell from our lives. and if someone ever stops to listen to our story, we may think that THAT PERSON is so amazing and we owe it all to them that we feel so good. but the reality is that if people just stopped and realized how amazing their own life stories are and shared them more often, they would be happier wherever they end up. it’s not just about getting a bigger and bigger salary. or a bigger house. or a nicer car. or newer clothes. or a cushier job. or retiring at 30. it’s feeling like the stories inside you are worth telling and remembering and that somebody out there is actually interested in listening to them. and once you feel that, then you realize that your time hasn’t been wasted.