Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
~ Mary Oliver, The Summer Day
Laine Coates is living the dream. She and her husband are quitting their jobs, hitting the road — and choosing to be curious about this great big country of ours. Would you want to spend six months in 37′ with two cats and a spouse?
Laine and Mike are taking to the road in hopes of finding the right place to settle down. How do we know what is right for us? What should we be paying attention to? What feels like “home”? Jenn Seiff had some powerful insights on just that subject in our conversation about curiosity, yoga and body awareness. My favorite? Something she calls 5-5-5. Quick — what are the first five things you see? The first five things you hear? The first five things you can feel?
Listen to Curiosity to Go, Ep. 10: Feeling at Home
Thanks to Jenn, I find myself using that 5-5-5 technique all the time.
Bored at the traffic light? Distracted in the market? Relaxing on the dock? 5-5-5.
Dappled sunlight. Painted toe nails. Birds on a wire. Kids at the curb. Dog on a leash. Wind. Laughter. Airplanes. My own breathing. A hiccup. Sun on my face. Wind in my hair. Hands on the wheel. Feet on the floor. Beat of my heart.
It’s grounding. Deeply grounding. It brings me back to the moment, to the essential, to the now. Ever since Jenn shared it, it’s been my favorite way to be quickly, quietly, wonderfully curious.
What would bringing Jenn’s 5-5-5 mindset into the conversation about what we would consider home offer? What are the first five things we would want/hope/fear to see? To hear? To feel? How might attending to these things influence the choices we make about where and how — and with whom — we live?
Stop a moment to consider those questions and you realize how much we take for granted, how much we assume both about our options and how we exercise them.
Are we where we are because it really suits us, or because we’ve just always been there? Are we where we are because it allows our best selves to blossom, or because it’s all we know? Are we where we are because we’ve thought about it, or because we haven’t?
I come back to Mary Oliver — and Socrates. The unexamined life may still be worth living, but the life to which we really pay attention, the life we lead with intention and curiosity, is surely the better life.
So, tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
ὁ … ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ
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