Picture this. You’re on a tropical island with white, sandy beaches.
The ocean around you is glistening, and it looks like it’s painted with different shades of blue. Beautiful fish of different colours and shapes swim gracefully past you.
You hear the birds and the gentle breeze brushing against the trees everywhere you go. There’s laughter, children happily playing with the sand. People swimming, smiling and loving life.
It’s warm all day and night.
You go to sleep listening to the crickets and the trees dancing in the moonlight. You wake up with the beautiful melody created by the island birds.
You step outside of your front door and your feet touch the grass. You walk on paths of sand and feel the powdery earth touching your toes.
People walk slowly, look you in the eye and say good morning with a smile. There are people around you throughout the day.
You have pleasant interactions, yet enough space to enjoy solitude and full connection with nature when you feel like it.
You eat together with the people you love and others in the area, no matter what time of the day it is.
You have quality time with your family and enriching conversations that create a deep sense of connection.
This is my definition of paradise. And that’s how I just spent the last 7 days with my husband and children.
Yes, we were on holidays, in Fiji no less. But this is how I wish we lived as a community at home which, curiously enough, is also an island (the South Island of New Zealand).
You could argue that it’s easy to feel good and be happy in a piece of Fijian paradise. The beauty of the place is inescapable and it’s incredibly healing.
We were also on a break from our normal lives, away from the weight of routine and challenges.
But it made me question (even more than normal), why have we created a world where our daily lives are something we need to seek relief from?
Why are we living in ways that suck joy and vitality out of our daily lives and having to find ways to escape?
The answer is surprisingly simple. We’re listening to the demands of the ego, or the persona we’ve created in response to past hurts, instead of our true selves. And we create our lives accordingly.
As a society, the systems, values and economy we’re organised around are almost solely focused on exploiting our sense of separation, fear, wounds and lack.
Which all come from not knowing or experiencing our true essence, which is loving, abundant, compassionate, creative, resourceful and naturally healthy.
Instead, we’re identifying with labels that make us shut off from entire parts of life, entire sets of experiences and even groups of people.
Things like, I’m this way, I’m that way, life is this way, people are this way. The world is this way. This is beautiful, this is ugly. I can do this, I can’t do this. This is easy, this is hard. I’m this body and I’m trapped by this story of what happened to me. This is possible, this is not.
Whatever “this” you and I fill the gap with means we’ve adopted a fixed way of seeing and experiencing life and that perspective keeps some things in, and some out.
Including the things we long for the most, like love, connection, happiness and peace of mind and wholeness.
Labels, language and descriptions were only ever intended to help us navigate the world of the senses and facilitate communication.
Instead, we’re using them to create false identities, stories and mental cages that keep us more and more lonely, hostile and unhappy.
(Un)social media and screen addiction have helped us dig even deeper trenches.
More and more of us seem to be trading sacred and irreplaceable real life experiences for the digital (ultimately depleting, if not harmful) versions of it.
Even in Fiji, in front of a majestic, perfect, inviting, mesmerising beach there were people preferring to stare at their phones mindlessly scrolling, sipping cocktails, instead of being fully present to an experience that feels so good that is hard to put into words.
This is not a case against labels, screens, cocktails or even social media. We’re communicating via a screen right now and I’m certainly grateful for it.
But we must tell the truth to ourselves and admit how much we’re sacrificing by living this way.
We must understand that if we never get to know our true essence and build a life that honours it, life will always feel empty and like we’re living a façade.
This is something I wish we’d all been taught as children, but it’s never too late. It can be learnt at any stage of life.
For me, the last handful of years of learning who I truly am and creating a life based on joy, love, balance and connection have been filled with a kind of bliss that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.
Who you and I are is a powerful presence and being established in it, living life through it, is the key to what we all deeply desire as human beings.
Lasting happiness and bliss are a direct experience of the quality of our presence. And the way we’re organised collectively is designed to have us be anything but present… Even under idyllic conditions.
So one of the most powerful choices we can make (for our own sake and the world’s) is to say NO to this mad way of living and learn how to access the part of ourselves that is ever-wise, ever-present, ever-happy, timeless, faultless and filled with love.
And then express those qualities wherever we go.
This a skill that can be learnt, just like any other. And it’s urgent that we do.
While all the madness in the world right now is contagious; so is joy, happiness and love, even more so.
Chopra Meditation Instructor™
Theta Healing Practitioner®
& Author of the children’s book “The Magic of Who You Are”
P.S. I’d love to hear from you; are you living a life that honours who you are? If not, what would you change? Let me know in the comments. 💛