Recipe For Refreshing Clarity And Life-Altering Epiphanies
There’s too much going on. We're so busy plowing through our to-dos, reacting to horrifying media coverage, feeding our internet addictions, and dealing with our lives that we rarely stop to ask, "What do I really want to be doing?" "How do I want to live my life?" "Who the hell am I?" “What can I do now to make a radical shift toward lifelong fulfillment?”
These are worth pondering.
In fact, the number one regret of the dying stems from not attending to these very questions. In her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware explains that “most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it."
But I would like to offer a morsel of hope, if you’re willing. If you’re longing for clarity—the life-altering epiphanies that will help you create the momentum you need to move toward a deeply meaningful life— you’re in luck! I've been fine-tuning this recipe for many years and I'm happy to say that I've nailed it. It's like magic.
It’s also like baking. You have to follow the directions precisely (especially the dos and don’ts) or your epiphanies, like a loaf of bread without enough yeast, will never rise. And that's a major bummer.
It isn't easy but it's worth it. Go!
Recipe for Refreshing Clarity and
Follow this step-by-step recipe and everything’s going to be all right.
YIELD: 1 happy camper
1 ENO DoubleNest Hammock
1 ENO Atlas XL Hammock Straps
1 water bottle
Your favorite note taking items: pens, pencils, sharpies, sticky notes, etc.
Block off three full calendar days (72 hours) and protect it with your life. If you think you can't possibly get away, think again.
Pick your favorite natural setting: beach, woods, mountains, lake, etc. (Don’t get too precious about it. Just grab a map and pick a spot that you have no emotional attachment to.
Find a: cabin, remote Airbnb, or retreat center and book it. (Or, if you're the camping type, grab a tent.)
Go and stay for a minimum of 72 hours.
Stare into space
Take long walks
Read and write
Eat good food
Drink lots of water
Get good sleep
Be in or near water
Check your email
Look at social media (REALLY, DO NOT!)
Use a computer
Access the internet
Make a new friend and go bar hopping
WHAT TO EXPECT
DAY #1: Likely, it’s been awhile since you’ve been completely alone for 72 hours. The first few hours will be great. You’re embarking on a new adventure and feeling fiercely independent. Go you! But once you settle in and get the lay of the land things can start to get uncomfortable. First of all, you're going to want to check your phone. Badly.
This is why you’ve packed your ENO DoubleNest Hammock and ENO Atlas XL Hammock Straps (not an affiliate). Find two trees about 10’ apart, string the hammock up, get in, and breathe. Your chest will feel tight from time to time. You'll be anxious. Just keep on keeping on: read your books, be in nature, get some exercise, and before you know it, it'll be day #2.
DAY #2: The thing about being alone is, well, it can be lonely. On day two, you may start to wonder what the hell you’re doing. Life is hard enough without taking three precious days away to torture your self.
By day two, your mind will be much more clear. In fact, you'll start to hear the individual thoughts that pinball through your head on a daily basis. Incessant, pointless, annoying thoughts, like:
"I'm a weirdo for doing this;
need to get cleats for soccer;
must check email;
what kind of parent doesn't have a will;
my feet hurt;
when is the next Cirque du Soleil;
wish I could Google that;
this was a great idea;
does toe fungus medicine really destroy your liver;
need to check my phone;
this was a terrible idea;
I wonder what Trump's tweeting now;
Expect big highs and big lows. And during the darker moments, remember: this is a recipe for clarity and life-altering epiphanies, not fun. You’re on a noble quest to expand your mind and reconnect to the essential threads of your own identity so you can live a more fulfilling life.
There’s plenty of fun waiting for you on the other side. And when you get there, you’ll be grounded in a deeper understanding of what matters so you can make better choices and live in alignment with your purpose.
And if that doesn't work, sing Me Party from the 2011 Muppet Movie remake, until it passes.
Day #2 also has its ups. For starters, you’ll start to watch your thoughts instead of being their victim. You can start to laugh at them, too. Things get a lot less serious. Also, deep thoughts take center stage. You’ll start connecting the dots of your life, get lots of ideas from what you’re reading, and see new paths to travel.
DAY #3: At last, the incessant chatter of your hyper-critical monkey mind has stopped. There is stillness. And in this stillness you can see things as they truly are, reconnect with your heart, and know the way forward. Here is where the magic happens.
Day #3 is full of deep thoughts, creative ideas, and a hopeful giddiness you just can’t get with the monkey mind as your master. You’ll rekindle lost passions and get inspired to make the changes you need to do what you want to be doing, live the life you want to live, and make a radical shift toward lifelong fulfillment.
It isn't easy. But it's worth it.
“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”–Eckhart Tolle