The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
In dreaming about the future, I often find myself deeply entranced, visualising the person I want to become. Living how they live. Feeling what they might feel. Going through their motions. Cultivating unique experiences. Trying to discover their level of intimacy with things that can only be truly understood when you do it personally. And it took me some time, but now I see more often that life and our dreams are hardly different. Both are there to make us feel.
Speaking to a close friend about something similar recently, I thought about how we will ultimately live for our own view of success. Life and our goals are aimed at one thing: to feel. Emotion. Consciousness. Catharsis and peace through motion. The feeling of being truly alive as you breathe deeply, move slowly and let your emotions flood into your life’s movie.
Some people think it’s doing less; others say it’s doing more. Most people don’t really want a busy life. It’s often the simple things, such as having more time to walk in nature, finding more friends to reminisce with, or just discovering our hobbies.
We all see the same end. And while how we get to that end is different, what matters to us the same way is passing through without tension, resistance, or unhealthy attachments. In a sense: being able to sit back, relax, and feel like there’s no ego, no overbearing consciousness, nothing but stillness and happiness.
That’s why self-curiosity is so powerful. It gives us all of those things. A sense of calm when fiercely working. A sense of experience when delving intensely into something new. A sense of connection with something you’ve never seen before. Creating a personal chord that no one gets to hear anywhere else. Your personality is like magic.
Meaningful lives are painted with honest pictures. They tell a story of tapping into universal truths, the deepest emotions, and finding your way through that was unlike anyone else.
As part of painting this picture, one of my favourite things to do is imagine myself visiting a high, peaceful hillside away from the busyness or chaos of the city where my life resides. From time to time.
From there, I like to sit and observe parts of my life as if it were through a screen. This was how I realised everything I wanted to keep or cut. A way to understand feelings not fully faced—or simply twisted and entangled deep into the back of my mind.
Life is better when we let our feelings and curiosities flow through us rather than try to block them. Self-curiosity is letting those feelings and processes flow through us. Resisting them only means they catch up to us later. As explained in Mind Mine, there are beautiful ways to pave beautiful channels for the deep feelings we often resist: art, dance, conversation, music, play, work.
Your curiosities are excellent teachers. We spend our lives searching for this, but it’s not hard to find—most of us are simply looking the wrong way.
I’m at a stage in my life where it’s about knowing what I care about the most and what protects and nurtures my energy. Figuring out what I could endlessly wonder about took understanding soothes me versus what is more numbing. We sometimes don’t want what’s good for us. Because it can feel like a burden at the time. Whether that’s time with friends, hard work, or putting our foot down and standing up for ourselves. But we all need to make that time to care more about those things.
We’re more delicate than we think. And even the strongest cores need care. Life is all about beautiful stories and mini-stories, a world of self-discovery, pains, and processes that sculpt us into new versions with every passing day.
But it’s up to us to understand and work on what keeps our fire going.