I got rid of my keyboard and drum set months back along with all other stuff. The intention was to “slim down”.
The pandemic brought a lot of things into focus and to me, one of those was how much stuff I’ve accumulated while living in a foreign land. Mind you, it’s not like I have a permanent residence here, so to realize I can’t anymore fit my stuff in one luggage and travel light was kind of weighing on my shoulder.
Projecting this thought to how we live on planet earth reveals how we accumulate a lot of material things too, when we are all but pilgrims who can never take more than our souls in then end. Even memories have the possibility of inexistence.
Does trimming down mean I can’t possibly live a big life?
Ironically, during that time I was conceptualizing a podcast and the title I’ve been drawn into, is you guessed it, “The Big Life”. The fear of losing and missing things drowned as weeks went on. Apparently I didn’t need a lot of stuff to create something. Getting rid of all excess tested my creativity and challenged me with this constantly pressing question,
“So, what can you make out of this?”.
Months after, I saw myself producing videos, launching episodes, writing articles, covering songs and yes focusing on things requiring my attention at that time- family, work and prayer. The more I got rid of things in-excess, the more I realized that I didn’t really need them. Allowing myself to fill what seemed like “empty space” has actually pulled me away from what I value at the core. As I saw more things popping up, I lost sight of what was significant and important in my life.
The other side to the story is, at one point in time I thought I lost my gift for music and even writing. A friend of mine thought to himself, “I can never be that guy anymore who runs a marathon or cycle up through mountain tracks”. Another thought, “I can never go back to my 25-year-old shape”. One said, “I can never go up that stage again and deliver a powerful speech”. Another summed it all, “My days of victory are gone, that’s it, I think I’m done”. My friend, did you find yourself in these moments too?
From where I’m standing, I see excuses. I see US giving up on us, and doing it before everyone else does. I think this is classic example of self-sabotage, for:
- How can others believe in us when we’ve already lost faith in ourselves?
- How can we see possibilities when we’ve already closed doors?
- How can we create new victories when we refuse to see that better and best years are still to come?
We’ve never really lost our gifts nor our capacity to build and create.
The gifts just got buried underneath while we fill our jars with lots of “nice-to-haves” and “responsibilities” spiced up with excuses like “I can’t”. Again, a realization that rose to the surface after clearing out the “garbage” and “noise” brought about by mindless accumulation.
If you’re up to the challenge, here it goes: Break that spell!
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.Henry Ford
You can always start again.
You can always brush the dust off your old violin and play it.
You can always show up to the gym, go for a half a mile run, or cycle through the neighborhood.
You can always accept opportunities to speak regardless of the size of audience.
You can always pull up your journal and scribble your thoughts.
All you need to do is to start, right here, right now.
Stop thinking and start doing.
Don’t look for that gift you “think“ you’ve lost.
Look for that person who refused to show up.
Look for You.
Show up for YOU.
How your life goes from this point on, is entirely up to you. Now it’s your turn.