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A New Philosophy…

Oh, hello, beautiful. I’m so glad you’re here.

Remember that post I wrote a couple months ago about sinking into fear?

Ya. Earlier in the year I went through an icy month. You know – those times of life when fear wraps its icy tentacles around your heart and refuses to let go.

Fortunately, I was able to stay clear headed enough to not sink into that quicksand of hopelessness.

Instead, I started taking action towards what I wanted my life to look like. And several insights revealed themselves which I’d like to share with you here.

The first thing is…

Develop a life philosophy.

We all have our beliefs. But I hadn’t considered the concept of having a life philosophy. I discovered the book – A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William. B. Irvine.

Ohhh my gosh. Life changed! I am one of those people who devours self-help, nonfiction, philosophy, spiritual, etc type of books, always with the hope – is THIS the one that will so drastically change my life that it’ll mark a turning point and all will hinge on this one book?

This was one of those books. From the first few words in the opening flap, I was having this internal dialogue:

“Yes! Oh, that’s so me. Oh my goodness. YES!! Oh, for sure – I DO want to get life right. Yes, I am afraid of getting it all wrong and mis-living. Oh, goody! What is the solution to mis-living? Yes!! How exciting!”

This book got me to thinking about the concept of creating your own life philosophy and it specifically discusses stoicism as a possible option for you. It’s definitely not for everybody, but it resonated with every cell in my body. YES and YES. I was in love. I was hooked. I was in hook, line AND sinker.

As fate would have it, my nephew then recommended I read The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.  Cool. So I started that and was dumbfounded that it was based on… you guessed it… stoicism. Wha!!!

No way. YES, way.

This was ANOTHER life-changing, oh my GAWD how-have-I-lived-my-whole-life-without-this-book, kinda book. I have it downloaded onto my iPad and iPhone and refer back to my highlighted sections almost daily.

Please, please grab a copy if you get a chance. You can get them at my Amazon affiliate links above or at your local bookstore or where ever floats your boat.

The amount of PEACE, clarity, focus and honestly, just JOY that this new philosophy (new to me – but ancient) has provided – unspeakable.

Tim Ferris talks a lot about stoicism as well and adopts a lot of the aspects of it in his daily life.

Really, it has been huge.

And I’ve shifted up and out of that fear into a much more peaceful, calm and joyful state for most of the time. Not that life is perfect.

It’s full of grief, shock, disappointment, betrayal, loss and more. That’s all a part of the territory.

But we can look at those things not as the enemy – not as events or emotions to be ignored or hated – we don’t have to shake our fist at the sky and ask the universe – WHY MEEE???

No. We can look at them and find gratitude – for they are the fuel on the fire that will help us grow stronger and more refined and ultimately, more tranquil and joyful.

“The obstacle IS the way – it’s not stopping you – it’s leading you to exactly where you need to be.”

There are various aspects to the philosophy but one I found quite interesting is negative visualization.

I had been under the belief that you should ONLY dream about, plan for and believe in what you WANTED to happen. Forget everything else. Don’t give a second thought (or first thought) about losing what you have, or not getting what you want or God forbid, your own death. No, no no. Think happy, positive thoughts only!!!

I’ve since come to realize that is not only unrealistic, but truly not helpful in your growth.

You came here to grow and be the best version of yourself that you can be.

And sometimes – not much, but sometimes, it can be incredibly powerful to imagine losing that thing you love so much. Or… taking your greatest fear and mentally walking through what you’d do if it came to pass.

And even, contemplating your own death. I know that freaks some people out. But when you begin to occasionally throughout the day or in meditation, contemplate these things… you will find an overwhelming appreciation begin to well up in you for all you DO have.

What if you lost your house? What if tomorrow, it was just… gone? OH my goodness. Look at this old fridge. How amazing! It might be 10 years old, but it KEEPS MY FOOD COLD. What miracle is this? And my coffee maker! It produces such a rich, bitter brew that I love!

 

Listen to my creaking floors that support my weight as I mindlessly walk on them everyday. What a fun sound!

I have indoor plumbing. Something even KINGS of ancient times didn’t have. Woooowwwwww.

And look at this person in my life that I love – what if tomorrow they were gone? It could happen. Deep breath – you’ll find them suddenly so fascinating. Look how they move their hands when they talk. It’s so funny! And how they laugh! I love it! Even when they get frustrated – what a treasure just to know them. How thrilling that they want to be in my presence right now.

 

And life becomes infinitely more precious when you know it will end someday. Oh my gosh….. the sound of a cricket outside your window will suddenly be the most miraculous thing. Cars on the road! Who cares if someone cuts you off! They probably had a stressful day at work with other stressed out people and they just wanna get home, kick their shoes off, eat some lasagna and watch Game of Thrones.

Every little experience magnifies in wonder, beauty and sheer amazingness. We are here on this blue planet spinning around in the middle of who knows where, for a brief time. OH wow…. Woowww.

 

We are reallllly fortunate.

I highly recommend you grab those books if they appeal to you or that you start to cultivate your own life philosophy. Something that guides you each day. A foundation that you can refer to again and again.

You go out and SOAK UP this day. SOAK. IT. UP. You will never have it again. There will never be another YOU, experiencing THIS DAY. How incredible is that? How fascinating are YOU!?

Very.

~Chandi

P.S. Take a moment real quick and look around. Listen. Right now, wherever you are. Notice something you’ve never seen/heard/felt before. The texture of the table you’re sitting at? The ambience of traffic outside your door? The way the sky is a gradient? Find something and let me know below. I can’t wait to read about it.

By | 2018-09-06T18:50:40+00:00 September 6th, 2018|Life Musings|28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. angela September 6, 2018 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    Amazing and beautiful! To be able to render oneself in absolute peace and contentment, full of self less thoughts, gratitude of all things given and taken away.
    Giving of self to God and others makes for me a serene life full of spirit and grace. As a child my first memories of the “hippie movement” appealed to me in a sense of freedom and oneness with ALL. Having been Raised by older parents to be of a servant mind and heart I wanted to be a flower child when I grew up. How those are connected I don’t really know…other than always having a passionate desire free spirit and love. I, and all of us, I believe, have these needs of spiritual freedom and love. Be blessed Thank you for you. Peace

  2. Patricia Ullrich September 7, 2018 at 1:23 am - Reply

    I just finished reading an article about Jim Carrey and his new show in the New York Times. You might check it out. What I have found is that we must always keep learning and searching in order to grow. The practice of Stoicism will undoubtedly lead you to things other when you are ready. And remember that melancholy is joy that has grown wise. Take good care.

  3. Tammy Decker September 7, 2018 at 1:23 am - Reply

    I am an over thinker, I tend to think of all that can go wrong, so I have to breathe and be thankful for what I am blessed with, and not let that stop me. I love how the night sky is different shades of blues, purples and blacks. Have a blessed day!

  4. Esther Leek September 7, 2018 at 1:39 am - Reply

    I love you Chandi!

  5. Amber September 7, 2018 at 1:41 am - Reply

    I was noticing all the clouds this evening on my way home. They were so defined and there were spots of blueness but then gray from a storm. One cloud you could see the stream of rain coming down and another was like a wall of rain. Then in another direction the clouds were just huge white puffs up against blue sky. I don’t know but the clouds just seemed more defined tonight.

  6. Mary mogilski September 7, 2018 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Lovely Chsndi as are you. A great deal to ponder on. At almost 80 I’m so uplifted to see you young people looking deeper into life. Its fascinating . much love Mary.

  7. Joanne September 7, 2018 at 1:48 am - Reply

    I find that when I forget to live in the moment AS WELL AS planning that I end up feeling like I’ve missed too many things. Bringing awareness to everyday life can be hard! And sometimes I don’t want to notice things, too, to be honest!

  8. Sandra McCormick September 7, 2018 at 2:00 am - Reply

    the wonderful quiet when night time is here and the outside goes to sleep

  9. Sandra McCrmick September 7, 2018 at 2:01 am - Reply

    the wonderful quiet at the end of the day when all go to sleep. Realizing that some are now waking up to start their day.

  10. Susanne September 7, 2018 at 2:12 am - Reply

    I’ve heard it many times, but since my little old dog was diagnosed with cancer, the sound of her snoring gives me such joy. It didn’t annoy me previously, but now it is precious, because it is limited.

  11. Karen van Heiningen-Kess September 7, 2018 at 2:48 am - Reply

    I love your blog. I have read the Guide to a good Life recentst and it appealed to me. I have to say that at age 61 I have reached that state. I have seen much, done much feared much, lost many and have doubted a lot. My philosophy always have been that God has given me, 3 times in my life, a chance to live on instead of dying and since then I live way more intensely. I am aware of the little things that others take for granted and celebrate them. I love my fellow human beings and reach out every time I can, and get so much in return. I just saw a beautiful sky outside my apartment, smelled the hue Vos rancheros I had in the oven for the celebration of Hispanic Heritage month tomorrow at my workplace for seniors and thanked my husband for making me a cup of my favorite tea. I am too tired today to knit or crochet, but not too tired to read your blog. Love it, love you and wish you happiness in all the little things in your life😘😘😘😘

  12. Allyson September 7, 2018 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing, Chandi! Right now, I’m in the middle of my usual weeknight craziness: six daughters, dinner, homework, bathing and bed at a decent time, if I’m lucky. But, I just took a minute to read your post and I’m so glad I did. I really do love all of this craziness and we are so incredibly blessed to have each other, to have a home, even to be able to go to school—there are so many places in the world where school isn’t even an option. I’m glad my kids have homework if it means they get to learn freely. Sorry for the super-long comment but thank you for all you give us: your words, your thoughts, your heart, and of course, beautiful yarn!

  13. Linda Thompson September 7, 2018 at 3:10 am - Reply

    Such beautiful and inspiring words. Thank you so much for sharing yourself. About 5 1/2 years ago I went through something that changed my physical self drastically. From that time I began noticing so many small, wonderful things. When I was finally able to walk again I started to get out in nature. Something I had never done before. My walker and I have walked on paths in my beloved Colorado Rockies.
    I love that you are so willing to share with us. Much joy on your new path.

  14. Karen Albee September 7, 2018 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Wow! I will look into the books. Thanks Chandi.

    Karen

  15. Gloria September 7, 2018 at 4:13 am - Reply

    So cool

  16. Diane September 7, 2018 at 4:15 am - Reply

    It’s counting your blessings. I have fibromyalgia, which can be a real annoyance at times, but I don’t have to look far to find people who are far worse off than I am, with horrible illnesses I do not have. It’s a matter of perspective, & how you look at life. Pout about something you cannot change, or recognize it as an opportunity for growth!

  17. Bonnie IG @ zeninvermont September 7, 2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

    just.my.skin. I Just turned 60 and sometimes I see scarey things in the mirror, but it is the same skin that has carried me throughout all of the ups and downs of this life. I am so very grateful that I got up early this morning for a little extra online time. <3

  18. Mary September 7, 2018 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Wonderful article we can all learn from, no matter out age. You are brave and courageous to post.

  19. Susie September 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Thank you. You are beautiful inside and out.

  20. Barbara Youngren September 7, 2018 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your thoughts… all we want in life is to be content with where we are, while also wanting to be better. It’s a tension of balance. Good life is found in that balance.

  21. Leslie Spencer September 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this! I needed this right now. I will focus on the positive!

  22. Kathy September 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Beautifully written. We need to be reminded to be joyful in the little things, they are precious. Thank you for your thoughts. Have a wonderful day!

  23. Dana September 7, 2018 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    As in currently trying to deal with my dad being diagnosed with a fatal disease, (ALS) I think this might help me enjoy the time I have left with him. Thank you, Chandi.

  24. Dorothy September 7, 2018 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    Awesome blog. I will check out those books. I love God on a Harley – it’s older but same kind of philosophy. Once A year I visit the possibility of not having this glorious life- and write more plans down. I give away more of my things to my children, if they want or need them. I also teach to people who want to learn courses but can’t afford full costs. I love to share knowledge.

  25. Lisa September 8, 2018 at 12:15 am - Reply

    I experienced the loss of my Love a year and a half ago. I knew what I had, I just never thought I would lose it. Since then I have gone deeper into my own life philosophy. I have always been a free spirit. Now I take each moment for what it is, fleeting.

    I have two dogs, one 14.5 years old, the other almost 13 weeks old. The puppy joined our little family (me and my older dog) when she was four weeks old. Every Tuesday I post photos or a short video of my puppy, and sometimes both furbabies, along with my weeks insight into her quick growth. I try to remind my family and friends to slow down and savor life.

    We don’t know what the next day, or hour, will bring. I have stopped waiting to find out and try to live through it. What a wonderful thing to know you are seeing your path more clearly. I hope more can as well.

  26. rebecca s gertgen September 9, 2018 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Bought the books – wish me luck on my journey! At almost 69 I still feel there is so much to learn!

  27. Richard Giltner September 9, 2018 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Thank you for your openness about having dark days mixed into the good ones. Sometimes just knowing that someone else has faced and effectively dealt with life one stitch at a time makes the job easier. Whether having faith in God leads to stoicism or the other way around, acceptance of what life has dealt leads to strength. Thank you.

  28. Katie September 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this insight. I think I have some reading to do. Best wishes on your journey through life.

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