Most of us don’t know how to live our lives. We get caught up in the nuances of life, in the details of living life, and forget to actually live life. We trap ourselves in thoughts of acceptance, actions of propriety, and boundaries of conformity that we forget what are true desires are. We work so hard at trying to please the public that we place secondary importance to pleasing ourselves. I was a gymnast when I was young; when I had my practices and competitions all the emphasis fell on landing the cartwheel on the beam, or following the routine as a replay of practice. Life happens when you don’t land the cartwheel on the beam; life happens when you improvise and don’t keep playing records.
Living our lives adequately does require patterns and repetition, but it is when we start trying to replay these patterns that we start confining ourselves within expectations. I know waking up at 5A.M., going horseback riding, doing yoga, listening to music, and working make me feel good- so I incorporate this into my daily routine; when this routine is interrupted because of an injury, the weather, or other uncontrollable circumstances I get a little disheartened. I forget the reason those things brought me peace, happiness, and stability: myself. I try so hard to stay on my schedule that when I am unable to follow it I am so focused on the missed ride, the oversleeping, or the missed stretch that I forget to improvise and live.
Living your life entails doing what you want. That’s not always possible because there are certain rules that we have to follow and certain parameters set to guide us. Work, diet restrictions, school, and family are examples of things that restrict our expression. Every activity will have more or less parameters, but it is how we attune to those parameters that defines our life. When we try so hard to color within the lines, walk on the dotted line, or speak not to offend anyone that we stray away from living our lives and begin to live a conformist life.
When we worry about how others will react to our behavior, think about how to conform to what’s ‘pretty’, or do what others are doing, we begin overstepping the very fine line that separates our life and a commercialized robotic life. Living your life is about doing what you like, having your own thoughts, and expressing yourself as an individual; it’s about your uniqueness. Watch movies if that’s what you like, but don’t get caught up in looking or acting like what you see; go shopping if it’s what you want, but don’t get caught up in following the trend or fashion; get a job because you have to, but don’t get one that gives the most money. In life some people are rich, some are poor, some people are attractive, some are not, some people are intelligent, some are just smart; don’t get too caught up in attaining what you are not or don’t have, enjoy and make the most of what you do have.
Many people look to make more money, a better reputation, be a good person, or improve in some way, in essence everyone tries to improve their quality of life, but what is the point in doing so if the quality increases, but the duration decreases? Quality over quantity, but when life’s moments are so fleeting there must be a balance between the quality and quantity.
Live your life, not to anyone’s expectations, not to please anyone, and in no one’s shadow, but for yourself; your own expectation, pleasure, and in your own path.
Most people on a spiritual road would say that the aim of life is to reach enlightenment, nirvana, moksha, etc. and to reach this state intense meditation, sanyasi, and abandonment is required but the teachings of GURU say otherwise. Live to your enjoyment, live in abundance, live with pleasure: soon you will realize the tranquility of nothing, the peace of silence, and the happiness of being alone. Life is meant to be lived, and when you can live without preconceptions, without expectations, without worrying about judgments, and without caught in influences, you will have reached your enlightenment.