I just finished reading the book called ‘Living With The Monks’ by Jesse Itzler. It’s about him going to a monastery to live with the monks for 2 weeks.
One of the lessons Jesse learned from the monks is that the monks are in love with their life. They have a ‘love affair with life’. When I read those words, it hit me hard but in a subtle way. I recognized that I do have a love affair with my life. I love my life. Not in the cliche way but in the truest sense.
I love to see my life unfold. Leading a rather unconventional life, I get to constantly let life surprise me. For example, last night on New Year’s Eve, I spent time with Vera’s family, Jewish immigrants in Germany. I got to immerse myself in their family love, experience their family culture, listen to their stories. They accepted me and loved me as their guest and a temporary member of their family. I had the kind of experience I probably wouldn’t have had if I had a conventional life where things are pretty much predictable and planned. Having this kind of lifestyle really opens me up to experiences that I would never think of or plan for myself.
The last two months traveling with Avner around Portugal and Spain is a similar affair. We didn’t really have a concrete plan. Some days we didn’t even know where we would sleep that night. Being totally open to what to come and staying curious along the way is a love affair itself. The mystery, the anticipation, the curiosity are the key ingredients to living a life that never gets boring.
I am a sucker for new experiences. I absolutely love meeting new people, especially those that I meet randomly. Like an old Portuguese man who doesn’t speak English and requires me to use sign language, translation app, and a lot of laughter to communicate. Meeting my friend’s family who takes me in as part of their family. Being in a foreign land for the first time and getting my way around not understanding their language or ways of operating.
I love the constant learning about my environment, new culture, and new people. I integrate all the new information into my being. As the more I experience, the more I expand. And that drives me, fulfills me, and makes me feel alive.
I feel blessed to lead the life I have. I appreciate even more my courage to play with the unknown, to sometimes sit with discomfort but to ultimately taste all the juice life has to offer.
‘Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’
What’s your relationship with life? A love affair or a dead marriage? How do you spice things up so your love for life gets tastier and juicier?
Cheers to a great year ahead!