I’m not sure when I started developing “Catchphrases”. Some of them I just copy from well known sources — the prayer of serenity is on one of my walls — but I do find that my versions are short, and a little different.
Sounds both simple and impossible, but it was born out of being around people who complain a lot about everything. No matter how much pleasure, how much success, how much gifts, how much attention, all they do is complain more. It is from that that “misery loves company” likely came, and so to counter it, I reminded myself that we can actually choose joy, just as we can choose misery.
This doesn’t mean that we have to be passive, or to be delusional. They are many more stances than misery and joyfulness, but the fact is that joyfulness is a stance, like sitting or standing, just as misery is a stance, like lying down or curling into the fetal position. They bring their own set of emotions, and it is important to remain aware that, even if you don’t feel like it yet, you can make that choice.
As mature beings (of whatever biological age), we can change a lot of things which we couldn’t have when we were younger. We can even change how we look at our past, how we look at our present, and how we look at our future. We can choose to stand up and enjoy everything, rather than lie down and be miserable.
This is a start of overcoming challenges, solving problems, setting purpose, and building things that matter to our future selves, as well as actually enjoying the hear and now without negative emotions such as (false) guilt, anxiety, or fear.
It isn’t the only choice to being happy, successful, or wealthy, but it is the choice which makes those other possibilities possible, rather than fleeting dreams. It is what helps separate good days from bad days, and ultimately, better characters from bad characters.
Rest well and often
When I started saying that, I didn’t know that workaholics anonymous was actually a thing. It is a testament to how progressive humanity is, that there’s now support groups for just about any type of recovery or growth, personal or professional. …take time out to prevent burnout… but how about, take time out to enable enjoyment and a higher level of constructive production?
The problem with hard workers is that we often think everything is solve by hard work. In fact, smart work removes the hardness from the human involvement of work, and leverages both machines and intelligence to not just solve problems, but organize lifestyles around the things which we love most as human beings.
Rest gives us the seeds of awareness. Meditation, reflection, and intelligence, are all rest-based activities, rather than hard-based effort-filled distractions from life.
But, it doesn’t feel that way. Five minutes to rest fells like something you can put off until the next goal, until the next day, until the next vacation. Your body joins the conspiracy and tells you to keep pumping the adrenaline, keep pumping the stress up, shut down the organs, keep fighting, sleep is for the weak, hard work always pays off, and so on.
Some things are difficult not because they take more effort, but because they take more rest.
Those things are easy to avoid by being hectic.
We’re even conditioned to do that, but not conditioned to put our own awareness, concentration, and being human above and beyond the needs of “the factory”, whether that be a school, a firm, or even a companion.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it wasn’t built in a hurry, either. It was, however, burned rather rapidly.
So, if you have a choice between resting too much and working too much, you should choose to rest too much… but the real choice is between working too much at the wrong thing, and enjoying every moment of life more and more, as you increase your awareness of your power of choice (to stand joyfully) and your power of awareness (based on rest and continual generation of fresh, intelligent, moving vitality).
A little different?
So, a catch phrase is supposed to catch you just before you fall into focus without consciousness, and help you bring life in line with life, rest into majority, and thus, life back into focus as some enjoyable business, rather than any burdens which were cause by following a pace which is not your own.
To say “to thine own self be true” begs the question of who this self is… but you only find out when you take some time out to be within yourself, not the images on the stages of life, but the you that is always there, within everything.
You have to know yourself to know yourself, you can’t find it in others, no matter how close or helpful they may be.
So, enjoy everything, and rest well, and rest often, taking your fill of the free waters of life.