Reflection and Realizations

Today is March 3rd – a day of great significance and meaning in my life. Rather than write yet another blog post about my Second Life Day anniversary today, I thought I would take a different approach this year. Time to look at a few realizations that I have had recently.

February was a low-energy month. As I wrote about early in February, I decided to use the month as recharging time. I took care of myself, rested, relaxed, did things that engaged my soul rather than my mind and ego. Towards the end of the month, I was still feeling run down so I opted to take a couple of vacation days to end February. Having an extra long weekend (from February 27th to March 1st) was the perfect way to end the month.

My realization through this last month is that I need to make a concerted effort to listen to my body more regularly. There was no need for me to feel as run down (both mentally and physically) as I did. I would often find myself going down these mental rabbit holes, sucking the energy and drive out of me as though I was caught in a downward-spiralling energy vortex. How do I quiet the noise? By literally quieting the noise.

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Meditation and silence are two big factors for me. I have come to realize that I need to partake in both of these practices more regularly. And yes, I do consider silence to be a practice. Maybe stillness would be a more apt word to use. My wife and I can happily spend long periods of time together (whether in a car or elsewhere) and not say a word. Just being in each other’s presence provides comfort. I bathe in the quiet; soak in the energy and love.

While there are people who feel that they need to have the noise and distraction around them at all times, I am not one of them. When I do that, I’m masking the little voice inside of me that’s trying to communicate. There’s nothing to be afraid of in stillness. You will find truth in silence and stillness – if you are brave enough to listen.

As part of my stillness, I have also removed all notifications from my social media apps. I actually did this last summer, and it has been a most freeing exercise. I’m no longer assaulted all day long by dings, bells, pop-ups, etc. If someone comments on my picture or post, I don’t know that they did unless I go into the app and check. Is someone having a birthday today? Unless I actually remembered that it’s your birthday, I probably didn’t know because Facebook won’t tell me anymore.

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I love being in control of deciding when I want to shift my focus to social media. It’s so freeing to not react to these notifications that happen so frequently, so haphazardly throughout the day. We’ve been trained to shift our focus from whatever we are doing whenever we get these little signals. It’s no wonder so many of us have a hard time focusing and getting things organized in our minds.

Lastly, I’ve come to realize that I am a contradictory being. One of my most prominent values over the past few years has been freedom. I wanted to be able to live how I wanted; to do what I wanted when I wanted; to live by the rhythm of my own drum. I made changes in my life to accommodate this. I moved into a leadership position, which gave me greater freedom at work. A year ago, I changed roles and took an individual contributor role that was still being developed, so I had even more freedom to do what I wanted and how I wanted to do it.

Now, I’m torn because I feel that I need some structure in my life. As much as I prize my liberty, I realize that I currently need to have some rigidity to help me reset my system. I’ve changed roles again, to one where I have more regular tasks and duties that must be done on a day-to-day and monthly basis. I feel that I need to add some structure to create a framework for myself to include more meditation, more yoga, more physical activity, more creativity, more stillness. In order for me to feel free, I will need to give myself structure.

And there you have it, a few realizations that I have had over these past few years. I always get introspective come my Second Life Day, as I truly do recognize the gift that I was given on March 3, 2008. Each day is a treasure and I am an excellent receiver! I look forward to the journey and to see where this road will take me.

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For those who may be interested in reading more about my Second Life Day, here are a couple of old posts.

Second Life Day

March 3, 2008 marked a new chapter in the book of my life.  Eight years ago today, was my Second Life Day. I was rushed to the hospital in a near-comatose state in a story that I’ve repeated ad nauseum. I don’t want to retread on the same story, but can’t help but be contemplative…

My Second Life Day: The Prelude

This coming Saturday marks a milestone in my life.  I will celebrate the 10th anniversary of my Second Life Day.  While I’ve written about the events of this day in the past, this is the first time that I’ve ever attempted to document the entirety of the story. Over the next few days, I will…