Flow with the river of life

I think in 2019 I am going to focus on being a sloth.

Sloths are very interesting animals. They have very little energy, move very slowly, sleep 16 hours a day, take up to a month to digest their food and defecate only once a week. In short, they do very little, but they probably live only in the moment and are pretty contented with life.

That’s how I want to live in 2019 – the sloth life! (There is even a group I found on the internet called The Sloth Club, I wanna join!)

I will still work on my goals, which continue to revolve around the two main creative areas of my life – photography and writing. I will continue to write essays here and work towards publishing something. I will work harder at becoming a better photographer. I will still do this or that fun project (like our LITO podcast). But I’m going to do everything with a relaxed heart, like a sloth… 😉 (And really, goals are not so important to me at the moment!)

Direction-wise, I would like to move inwards rather than outwards. That means placing very little emphasis on achievements or on how people view me, but focusing on what’s inside instead. In other words, my mind.

Meditation will be an important practice for me in 2019 as I further explore and get to know my mind. I know that as meditation helps me to see reality even more clearly – and rid myself of all the mirages and illusions of life – I will get to experience even more peace, joy and happiness.

I also will continue to simplify my life. This is a big topic for me because I really would like to own less. I am giving away my books, reducing my wardrobe drastically and trying to part with anything that doesn’t spark joy (thank you, Marie Kondo, for this brilliant concept). I hope to be a much more mindful consumer as well.

Like a sloth, I am going to have lower – or maybe even no – expectations of life. Have you ever walked into a cinema and watched a movie without having any expectations of how good it would be? Usually the movie turns out surprisingly good. It has almost very little to do with the actual quality of the movie itself, but more so with your very low expectations. I believe that one of the keys to happiness is exactly this – not expecting much out of life, you will find it far easier to be contented and happy, because anything is good enough.

By now you must realise that the big theme of my 2019 is going to be this: flow. I just want to flow with the river of life. I don’t want to try to mould life so that it looks or fits a certain way, or chase after my goals at the expense of life. I don’t want to give myself unnecessary stress about which path I should or should not take. All I want is to enjoy the scenery, no matter what path I’m on.

I simply want to flow because I have seen how destructive and painful it is to resist reality or to try so hard to change reality. Even if we succeed, resisting or changing reality comes at a cost, and a very high one at that. The truth is that we are here, living this terrible and beautiful and incomprehensible life, and there is very little we can control about it, except for our own reaction to it.

So we can choose to swim against the current or flow with the river.

I choose to flow.