#90 - Escape
Drastic measures, head in the sand, and distorted
I used to think unplugging was escaping from life.
Quite the opposite.
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I spent my early 20’s escaping.
I’d escape from work & relationships with alcohol (et al).
And I’d escape from alcohol with work.
But most of all I’d escape from myself. From that gnawing feeling of dissatisfaction.
Then it 2019 I decide to do something about it.
First I tried taking a break from drinking; pretty successful.
But still the dissatisfaction.
Next I learnt Transcendental Meditation; a big improvement.
But even still the dissatisfaction.
Then I took a more drastic measure.
I flew to the Himalayas for a 10 day silent retreat.
For the first time in my life I unplugged.
Head in the Sand
On the surface it looks like I ran away. I flew half way around the world.
But on reflection it was the first time I stopped running. The first time I took charge of my life.
Up until that point I’d never faced anything.
I’d glided through with a happy-go-lucky but head-in-sand attitude. I hadn’t taken responsibility for my own happiness.
That changed in the Himalayas.
When you unplug there are things you escape. The noise, the crowds, the constant stimulation.
But you don’t escape the real world and, crucially, your place in it.
When unplugged I started to feel human again.
I reflected on the recent years.
I’d been living an illusion. The suffering and dissatisfaction came from my own mind. From a feeling that I needed to keep running.
But the trick wasn’t to keep running. It was to stop trying to escape from the present moment.
When you find yourself next stress or anxious, maybe the questions isn’t how can I escape? But how can I stop trying to escape? To face reality.
If you can really face reality, really see through the illusion, I think you’ll find it’s not so bad after all.
My Week in Books📚
Consolations of the Forest by Sylvain Tesson
A beautiful book. Tesson spent 6 months in a cabin in Siberia, and documented everyday. It’s a unique window into the human experience. A calming read (a side from his vast vodka consumption).
What else ❓
Chatted alcohol, social media & optimising for happiness w/ Harry McInley on Unboxing. You can listen here.
Only positive feedback plz. Negative feedback can go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Final Thought 💡
Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.
— Friedrich Nietzsche