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  • Sam Darling

Zen and how to be

Achieving vitality and focus are of paramount concern, but instead of calm self assurance people seem frazzled.

Part of the answer, I think, is to embrace chaos. I love to edit and pare away nonsense in both writing and physical spaces but there needs to be a certain level of chaos. No one can actually live in a museum.

There was one fella I knew who told me the way to always see beauty in the world was to recognize beauty in even the ugliest things. Which I think is why my vacation photos end up full of pictures like these:

Genoa Italy


Strangely, the most calm people I know are my fellow critical thinkers and the least calm tend to be the “New Age” people; particularly the yoga people. The people who talk about being Zen are the most likely to be fighting against chaos. I remember heading to the subway with some colleagues at Penn Station in New York and one of them was fighting the crowds, complaining bitterly about the overcrowded conditions and the noise and crush of the people. My other friend threw me a look. This colleague of ours was someone who spoke constantly of yoga practice and being peaceful and having a holistic approach to the world.

Darling, it’s easy to be peaceful when you’re sitting in an empty forest sipping green tea. You know what’s really Zen? Getting dropped into the middle of Penn Station at rush hour and having none of it disturb your groove.

Urban Dictionary defines Zen: A total state of focus that incorporates total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts or emotions.

As an aside, that actually sounds like an excellent definition for Skepticism.

movie Serenity

My fellow scifi nerds will know that image for the movie Serenity.

One of the ways I help people as an organizer is that I’m not fighting against their habits. Clients will have a stack of magazines with ideas for getting organized (now!), but none of it will matter if they’re trying to  shoehorn a system into their lives that fights against their own natural inclinations. If you’re the goofball who keeps leaving her keys in the fridge then just stick a hook in there and store your keys in the fridge! Who cares if it’s weird if it’s what works for you.

Here I then give you all permission to be weirdos. Carry on.

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