Think Less Feel More
Although I don’t have a television I do like to watch the occasional selected program via the Internet when I feel like being entertained and last night I watched the first in a new series on the BBC in which the adventurer Bruce Parry is exploring the Arctic. In this first episode he visited remote tribes in the Sakha region of Siberia within the Arctic Circle. He arrived during the summer Solstice and experienced the intense spiritual link these people have with nature and in particular the Sun. Apparently this is the part of the world where the word ‘Shaman’ originated, and he met one by the name of Kulan who invited him to join everyone at the Welcoming of The Sun ceremony to herald the sunrise on the first day of summer (3.30 am that far North). All of the townsfolk stood with their arms outstretched towards the Sun as the Shaman played a Vargan Mouth Harp, an instrument not unlike a Jews Harp but far more expressive. It was fascinating to watch and Bruce was obviously very taken with the Shaman and his outlook on life. When it was time for Bruce to leave he asked Kulan if he had any words of advice to help him on his travels to which he received this reply:
“Try to think less and feel more, try to ignore the endless barrage of information, try and experience the here and now, just as you and I are sitting here together we can feel the wind, we feel alive, we can feel our heartbeat, nature is all around us and it is Summer”.
Wow! What incredibly wise words and even more so coming from a guy living in a small village in sparsely populated Siberia….endless barrage of information? He has no idea! His words really struck home with me though because one of the things I decided to change whilst undergoing my digital cleanse in Cornwall was to restrict my intake of information. I’ve stopped watching the news, cut right back on the blogs I read, I’ve eliminated aimless web surfing completely and I’m reading random stuff far less. To be fair this wasn’t entirely my own idea as whilst away I re-read Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week (more on that in upcoming posts) in which he talks about the ‘low information diet’, freeing up more time and space for the important stuff. Anyway the point I wanted to make here is that those Shamanic words of wisdom sum up perfectly one of my goals for 2011, and whilst it’s a real challenge right now I can imagine that feeling the wind, feeling alive, experiencing nature all around will be far easier on the deck of a Tiki 38 out on the ocean, and yes, it will be Summer.