One Apple A Day #607 – identity and change

There is a question that has been spinning in my head for quite a while. Probably since a was a teenager even if only lately I’ve been able to shape it with words.

How can I navigate changes, inside and outside, without losing my identity?

I am well aware that change is a constant in nature. Everything, including me, goes through a never-ending and never-pausing sequence of changes and transformations.

Identity, on the other side, comes from the Latin word “identitas”, meaning “sameness, oneness, state of being the same”. In philosophy, identity is the relation each thing bears only to itself.

When we talk about human beings, my understanding is that with “identity” we refer to the aspects of a person that make her unique. A set of properties and attributes through which a person recognises herself.

It looks like change and identity are on the opposite side of the spectrum. 

How can I change without losing my identity? 

How can my identity help me navigate through changes?

When I was a teenager, I discover what became one of my favourite characters of all time; Captain Nemo from “20,000 leagues under the sea”.  The word “Nemo” is a Latin word meaning “nobody”. Captain Nemo was a prince who gave up his identity to be free. The motto of his submarine, the Nautilus, was the Latin “Mobilis in mobili” which may translate as, “moving amidst mobility” or “changing in the changes”.

As you can see, even if I wasn’t aware, the relationship between identity and change was already there in my early teenage days.

All of this to say that I haven’t found, yet, an answer to the opening question. Maybe there is no answer but staying in that tension, in the space in-between identity and change. But if you have found one that works for you, I’d love to hear it.

One Apple A Day #604 – Connection

All of a sudden, the woods go silent. 

All the others are behind me and observing my movements, however, at that moment, I am alone.

There is nobody else. There is nothing else but me, the bow, the arrow and the prey.

It’s an incredible feeling that words struggle to describe.

Like being out of space and time.

Everything is happening incredibly slowly and fast at the same time.

I look at the prey. I choose the exact spot where I want to hit and then we are one.

The prey and me.

I can feel the connection as if there’s no distance at all.

I raise the bow, pull the cord and then liberate the arrow.

I know where the arrow is flying. I know where it is going to hit. 

I feel as if I always knew.

The arrow hits the exact spot that I visualise.

And then the world comes back.

The sounds of the woods, the voices of my friends.

I am back in the current space and time.

 

That was my experience of flow last Saturday. An utter sensation of just being one with everything. And everything happens effortless and naturally as if any obstacles have been removed.

It was not a pleasure for a good shot. That came only later.

It was a profound and potent sense of being whole.

It wasn’t the first time. I have the same experience sometimes when I’m writing, or when I’m immersed in a powerful conversation.

I’m still not sure how it happens. 

Anytime I try to deliberately create that feeling, I fail. 

And maybe that’s the secret. 

It’s not about trying more or harder.

It’s about setting the stage and allows for the flow to happen.

For sure, I’ve learned a valuable lesson.

Knowing your goal with clarity is not enough to get it. 

I must create a connection with it. I have to become one with my objective.

And then it will pull me towards itself.

P.S. Obviously, the prey wasn’t a real animal.

One Apple A Day #588 – just listen

Earlier this morning, I was sitting with my eyes closed.
I was trying to slow down my heartbeat after the morning exercises.
There was a lot of noise at the beginning, but not outside. It was inside my head.
Thoughts and images spinning around chasing each other.
And my heart pumping in my ears.

So, I shift my attention outwards.
The familiar sound of my dog barking to someone or something. The engine of a car, slowing pulling away taking someone to work. The birds singing, a choir of different voices that I can’t recognize but I felt some were saying hello to the new day and others were saying goodbye to the finishing night. A kid’s voice asking for something, maybe breakfast. The cat drinking from its bowl.

Then, all of a sudden, the silence.
Complete silence.
As if the world pauses for a moment.
I couldn’t even hear my own breath.
My body felt light as if it was made of air.

I opened my eyes, and the world burst to life with all it sounds, voices, colours, light, and smells.
It felt so alive.
I felt so alive.

I want to do it more often.
Pause and listen.
Not to achieve something, not even peace.
Just to be.