I thought it would be a funny idea to start this post with the name of our biggest enemy. Or, in case you disagree with me, my biggest enemy. “Who is it?” you might think. Well, I already said it: I think our biggest enemy is our sense of “I”. I just arrived at that conclusion in a very simple way.
Today I moved into a new place. I counted and it’s the 7th place I am staying in since arriving back in The Netherlands. I feel dislodged and vulnerable. Although I didn’t move a lot of stuff today I am somewhat emotionally tired from being stretched and having to make myself feel comfortable in yet another place.
Simultaneously good things are happening too. This morning I received a text message from one of the participants of the 100 Day Warrior. She told me she had a sleepless night and felt physically wrecked but, she said, “I am awake!”. She had a profound and liberating insight. That stuff makes me so happy. We are 19 days underway and the first major internal shift is happening. I am so curious what the next 80 days will bring us.
But I am tired too, as I just mentioned. And I was talking to my young buddy Wouter, trying to come up with an idea for a post and asking him for ideas. And he said ‘why don’t you take a happy moment and write about it Buddha-style? It sounded like a good idea.
I closed my eyes and looked back at the happy moments of today. What makes a happy moment a happy moment? And I realized: there is no “I” in happy. When there is happiness the I has dissolved. Today I had a good workout, I had some inspiring interactions with my participants, I had a nice cup of coffee and a short stroll through the park close-by. In all these moments not many thoughts were involved and the best moments are when the thoughts were gone. Doesn’t matter if I am having a laugh, am going so deep into the pain of a set that I can’t think anymore or I am having a sip of coffee: when there are no thoughts there is freedom.
But when I have plenty of thoughts and a lot of ideas about how things should be, how my life should unfold, how people should perceive me and how and why they should appreciate me and feeling sorry for myself if reality is different it is not difficult to become anxious, depressed or sad. So when my “I” dissolves I find freedom and happiness and when my “I” starts to become active I create concerns and a general disconnecting.
The best thing I can do for myself is to spend less time in the place where the “I” is manufactured and solidified: the thinking mind. Every time it becomes silent inside I experience peace. It works during lifting of heavy weights, listening to people or when eating. Sometimes the inner protest just has to give in under pressure (during heavy sets), sometimes I can just make space (when listening). But it is pretty clear: when there is more “I” confusion will arise, when there is less I harmony will arise. As a big fan of harmony and freedom I decided to dub the “I” the enemy.
This is episode 20 in a series of 100 blog posts that will be published daily during the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning. All posts are written by Atalwin Pilon, founder of Basic Goodness and creator of the 100 Day Warrior. For requests for motivational speaking, in-company workshops, online coaching and mindfulness training click here. If you would like to join our international community of brave and inspiring human beings or just follow this blog and receive updates, please click here of sign up on the right side of the page. Atalwin specializes in coaching smart and creative people, both groups and individuals. If you are interested in a free coaching session click here.