“The farther you go on your own path, the more you understand every other path. At the end, they all converge.” – Philip Toshio Sudo (from: Zen Guitar)
Not many things are as liberating as letting loose the perpetual and urgent sense of having to do more. Whether due to an underlying belief of not being enough, or simply the addictive dopamine rush of the next new thing, this sense is able to wreck contentment, work-performance and ultimately even the principal prerequisite of a fulfilling life: your physical health.
The path of the heart
The self-improvement industry counsels clichés like “follow your heart”, which, however true they might be, are surprisingly useless. I highly doubt that the answer is found in more of what the heart wants. Perhaps we ought to actually follow less of it, to save ourselves from drowning in the youngest of numerous passions and allow the heart to reveal its essence.
And what is this essence? It sure isn’t some preexisting, godsend calling to become a yoga-instructor (although if it is, that’s fine, yoga is great). Nor is it a job title, life-altering insight, or newfound mission statement. It’s something else, something greater.
In fact, it’s the path itself, or perhaps I should say ‘a’ path, any path. For it isn’t the label that the heart truly desires, it’s the experience. It’s the process of deeply plunging oneself into something, anything. To be captured by it wholly.
And to be good at it too. Not good in the sense that you’ll be loudly applauded by the many (although, again, if that’s the case, good for you sir), but good in the sense that you find a deeper means of self-expression and life-appreciation in it. That you may forget about everything else. A kind of craftsmanship if you will.
Depth over width
The heart longs for such immersion, and it can only be found by doing less rather than more… by not allowing your attention to wander all over the place, checking Facebook first thing in the morning, or watching Game of Thrones, while texting your spouse and answering the last few emails of the day.
It can only be found by being. Right here, right now. And allowing single-minded focus to seduce you into its captivating arms. It’s by appreciating depth over width that the heart wins. May it kindly light your way.