Integral Life

Titles, categories, and labels—that’s how the life is often perceived. There are different functions, tasks, and roles to accomplish and carry out. Often those names deceive us to believe and do things that we do not like. In actuality we even may do exactly the opposites in a hope of brighter days.

Work, holiday, retirement, hobbies, spare time, and weekend are not real. They are labels or symbols. You give them the meaning and special connotation. Those words often embody many expectations, hopes, wishes, and desires. And they are not real either.

Most of the titles have also their opposite counterpart. Work is considered as an opposite of pleasure or holiday. One needs to ‘work’ in order to have fun, later. This labelling is an excuse to delay or deceive oneself from the current moment. Categories are necessary as long as one needs the counterpart as well. This fragmentation is entirely useless in reality—unless you are living under its spell.

Replace the counterparts with their opposite adjectives and you start to see the absurdity. It may not be any big surprise to realise that most of the daily activities are filled with those more or less negative connotations. Wouldn’t this mean that you’re spending most of your time doing something you rather not like to do at all? If that’s the case maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities. We can only live now and it happens 24 hours a day, every single day. No holidays or exceptions.

There are two ways to cope with the situation. Either you can take a new course and start to drop off the unpleasant things and replace them with the things you love to do or you can change your state of mind towards the various engagements and tasks in your life. Nevertheless the end result is that there is no need to have various labels in order to contrast things against each other. To say it more bluntly we are taking responsibility and control of our lives and this shows in the way we carry out our daily existence. Every moment we declare by our very presence who we are. We show it by our actions, possessions, social network, even by the way we treat total strangers. No labels needed—we simply are.

Integrated living means that one’s life is consistent and in balance. There is an overall harmony and ‘lightness’ without extreme fluctuations or sudden ’highs and lows’. If you need to ‘party hard’ in order to wash off the work stress are you really enjoying your work? Life is too short to do things we do not appreciate and enjoy doing. Even hard work is fun when you’re engaged with the activities that are close to your heart and bring fulfilment to your life. Compromising seldom brings good overall results in the long term.

Still not convinced? Check again the second paragraph. It’s all about your own expectations and assumptions. The catch-22 does not open if you do not reconsider your values and priorities. If you still need those lavish expensive holiday trips and you ‘work’ only to maintain your expensive ‘lifestyle’ aren’t you saying at the same time that most of your hours are sacrificial for the few moments you spend enjoying the ‘fruits’ of your labour. As long as you cannot enjoy your life now but later you’re living in dreams and illusions. Life happens now—never later. How can you appreciate the destination if you do not value the journey as well?

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