“Independent Togetherness” is a saying my friends and I use to describe our relationships at music festivals. We must be self-sufficient: know what we need to survive the harsh conditions (heat, dehydration, mass crowding, intoxication etc…). That way we can contribute to our community: reach out to neighbors (offer duct tape or a drink) and help everyone sway along with the good vibes.
It is easier to be successful in the collective when we take care of ourselves individually. That way we are fit to help everyone enjoy the journey. It is Our Journey independently, together.
Activities that may seem indulgent or selfish indeed produce happier, more productive members of society. Things like yoga practice nourish our inner self to help us contribute better in the environment off the mat. It can take just one happy human to stop a chain of aggravated ones. Like Pay It Forward: one good deed by one person can lead to a chain of good deeds.
Airline stewards instruct passengers: “secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.” How valuable it is to take care of yourself before you can help others. Once you can breathe you can do anything! (Or at least try).
Selfishness has gotten a bad rap. It can be seen as free-market-competitive-capitalist-jerk-business. People such as Ayn Rand who created the Objectivism movement may bring up many negative connotations. However, the idea that moral purpose is to pursue rational self-interest – that is: personal happiness – is not so flawed! DISCLAIMER: I do not believe in laissez-faire capitalism. Yet, I do believe an individual must live out their personal vision until it is complete in the form of physical contribution (sculpture, poem, song, movement). Then others are welcome to react with their own forms of free expression.
In my last post I spoke about leaving a legacy – what better way to fill your aims than to create.
“It is only in his work that an artist can find reality and satisfaction, for the actual world is less intense than the world of his invention and consequently his life, without recourse to violent disorder, does not seem very substantial. The right condition for his is that in which his work is not only convenient but unavoidable.
Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that’s dynamic and expressive—that’s what’s good for you if you’re at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. That time is short and it doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, Loss, Loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.” –Tennessee Williams
Find what makes you feel good and share it with the world. Nourish yourself and glow with energy, oh bliss! Make yourself useful with true loving-purpose, drive and generosity of spirit – anything is possible.
To reach a serious aim
Without a serious face
Is a serious goal!
How many good Humans
Will (for) it (to) take
to breathe free and safe
Wear your toes on your teeth
Live as nutrients in our soil,
Offer all your cells, your fate
What to feed a tree that stops giving?
Who to punish now Earth starts quaking?
Honey, let’s get a tan and start baking!
Fill your pain with creating.
Love, Desire and The Way,
Lauryn Elan Z