Higher Self

I’ve been on an adventure to see what my life would be like if I only followed my highest excitement. I suppose it’s a more radical form of “follow your bliss” which makes me want to gag. For some reason beyond my ability to express with words, doing whatever is my highest excitement sounds and feels much more gritty and real. I have no idea how to get started following my bliss, but if you ask me what I’m most excited to do right this moment- hell yes I know what I want to say hell yes to.

It also appeals to me for feeling like a revolutionary if I don’t do things I resent anymore. If going out with friends isn’t in my highest excitement, I don’t go. If cooking dinner on Thursday isn’t in my highest excitement, I don’t cook. This simple rule finds complexity in implementation. What if I don’t want to cook but they do? Previously I would’ve had a whole internal debate with myself deciding how crappy of a time I was willing to have. I’d feel shame that I didn’t want to do the “reasonable” thing. Now I cut that shit out as quickly as possible.

Wishing you were a different person and this was a different universe is as close to a definition of misery as I can imagine. Now I flip into what-else-would-be-more-exciting option finding mode. The conversation with my partner starts with me showing vulnerability of where I’m at. It might go something like “I’m feeling like shit. I had a really rough day and I’m not up for cooking. What do you think about ordering in or microwaving some soup?”

Now, I get that right here you might not be impressed with the idea that your highest excitement might turn out to be microwaved soup. That doesn’t match the Hollywood fireworks and romantic version of YOLO that says every moment of your life will be fascinating, magic sparkly bliss one day if you can somehow land the perfect job, perfect romantic partner, perfect kids, perfect house and perfect body.

The more fully you can embrace the dullness of microwaved soup, the better you can enjoy said soup. I just got back from Burning Man, the ultimate lesson in how dull life really is, even in the most bizarre and delightful places. Hundreds of millions of dollars goes into one extraordinary week of hanging out with friends, tons of art, theme camp events of every taste and description, free food, explosions, burning down beautiful structures, dancing till dawn and more drugs than you can shake a German Shepherd police dog’s tail at. Still, you must tend to the daily chores of eating breakfast, dealing with the dishes, hunting for the lost chapstick and AA batteries and on and on. Some of the saddest moments on playa happen when you can’t come to accept that there are fifty cooler things happening on playa right now and all you have the energy to do are drink some warm pickle brine and reapply your sunscreen. Sometimes your highest excitement has to be the banal chores of life. You don’t get a day off from the basics. No one can eat, sleep, or pee for you. No matter how rich, stressful or beautiful you become, your body demands to be taken care of.

When you surrender to the dullness of life, it ceases to be boring. One morning, I was laying in bed thinking about what I wanted to do. I briefly felt guilty for lazing around. Then I asked myself, “what would I do if I was a god?” After briefly surveying all my available options from cooking myself a glamorous breakfast to summoning my favorite music up for a solo dance party, I decided the thing a god made flesh would do is roll around luxuriously in my fresh crisp linens. I never enjoyed being in bed so much as that morning. All of the shame of feeling lazy whooshed away as the ecstasy rolled in. I imagined a spirit being incarnating in flesh and heading straight to the nearest pile of squish to wallow in the bliss of pillows.

It becomes impossible to be bored when you’re grateful for the banal moments. When you commit to at all times follow your highest excitement, you realize how lovely small things are. When you’re washing the dishes, really get into washing the dishes. If you’re laying in bed, don’t just lay there — be the bed. Do the bed. Indulge your guilty pleasures and leave the guilt aside. Indulge with gratitude.

See the shadow reversal > SHOULD MONSTER