It’s an indomitable task to imagine the quantity of events leading to the residing moment – billions of years of chaotic evolution resulting in the accretion of a living planet and the bipedal “Wise Man”. Everyone who has or will exist is only provided a single human experience to participate in and configure a perception of life. To exist means to live at the forefront of time, to be able to utilize the knowledge of previous eras to become The Contemporary Human.
The aphorism “Everyone dies but not everyone truly lives” is trite yet right, however what can be noted in those leading remarkable lives is their ability to be placed in diverse environments while keeping their composure and authenticity. If an individual is intent on improving elements in their life it is advised to consider the maxim, Occupy your time and space but leave no trace. In owning your position in the powerful play one has the best chance in contributing an eloquent verse.
Have you ever witnessed someone doing their job with such enthusiasm and skill that it’s hard to take your eyes off them? What about a cheerful greeting from a bus driver or bouncer that you just weren’t expecting? These magnetic individuals display a central element of occupying one’s time and space – whether they are cognizant or not, they are surrounding themselves in a radius of joviality generating an attractive environment.
By becoming aware of the influence people can have over an atmosphere one can begin to see how they can positively alter a setting, changing an encounter’s trajectory and increasing satisfaction to all those involved. A prime example would be the simple acknowledgement of another’s existence; how different one feels at work if others ignore their presence and become only visible when needed. In engaging amicably with others we nurture our social side, boosting confidence and allowing connection to, not above or below, other humans.
Those who competently occupy their time and space don’t intend to dominate a situation, rather be a luminescent part of it. Consider a conversation where two people have differing views. One could take this as a chance to “win” an argument and confirm their perceived superiority, departing from the interaction with smugness or irritation. Conversely, if one is willing to listen to what the other has to say they create opportunity for genuine dialogue, increasing the chances of both parties leaving the encounter with additional knowledge and a cordial connection.
In Aldous Huxley’s Island, the Palanese refer to nearly any activity as “The Yoga Of …”, whether it be eating, climbing, adventuring, sex, singing, everything is done in a way so the participant is acutely aware of the surroundings and sensations. By training sensitivity to action and environment it becomes autonomous to the Palanese, their lives never superficial but profound and interconnected in everything they do.
Occupying your time and space has a residual affect when done properly – absence. If one is capable of owning their personal realm their absence will have a noticeable impact. Being missed by others for the person you are is a very admirable achievement, others may take your place but your essence loiters with veracity.
The pursuit of knowledge is something intellectually endogenous to our species. Tens of thousands of years of trail and error has concocted the “civilized” secular society where nothing is too distant, except a collective appreciation for the natural world (or a consensus reality).
There’s an old Greek proverb stating “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit”. Echoing eternally with authenticity, this is arguably more important at present than when it was composed.
The concept of leaving no trace means the indication of one’s person needn’t be left in this world for a lingering essence of their being – does it really matter who planted the trees or that some will benefit off another’s thoughtfulness? There is no need to stick your name on something when the action itself is most salient. If you able to positively effect change in the world let the residual effects build self-efficacy – a plaque may be worthy, but is it necessary? Excessive pride placed in action is a reputed segue to pretension.
Doing the “right thing” shouldn’t be overtly celebrated but seen as a resting mental state. One does the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not for reward or applaud but the benefit of one’s conscious and those operating in the space. Congealing one’s mind with this type of attitude grants better consideration of the impact our flesh puppets have on the planet, allowing individuals to be more observant of their trace left behind.
How often does one see someone finish a cigarette and instinctively cast without remorse? Is there any thought of where it may end up or the required effort to reach it? Doubtful, at best. In an age of excessive comfort the observation of our actions are often pixelated until the appropriate words or experiences provide transparency.
Leaving no trace means to respect the rights of others to enjoy what’ve enjoyed. Whether it be landscape, concert or exhibition, strive to not interfere. But if you must, at least don’t make it worse.
The concept of leaving no trace intends to induce reflection of us being nature’s temporary manifestation, to not avoid the thought of death but acknowledge its essential ubiquitousness. If life gets better because of you let your actions live on, the name is supplementary.
Action fades in time
A tree shades young minds
All is balanced
Ready For Anything
No matter who you are, we all have the ability to occupy our time and space by sharply observing the different circumstances we engage with.
The initial step of occupying is becoming aware of your influence on reality – developing mindfulness of thought and behaviour by examining how you interact with others and the natural world. A great tool for enhancing perception is to retrace situations where you would advice your previous self of better action, genuinely talk to them and re-create the situation as you would like. This exercise increases attention to one’s actions and gives confidence that they can improve on their former selves. Taking full ownership of your behaviour enhances understanding of the importance of having thought behind your actions – you can only control yourself and it’s wise to do so pensively.
Throughout the day various environments are encountered requiring people to adjust their behaviour – with friends, family, at work, in public or private, we change to the complexion a situation requires. Concurrently, we also have myriad versions of ourselves during the day – when we are hungry, sad, excited, tired, lazy, our internal sentiments are reflected in our external presentation. Due to continuous internal dialogue, those occupying their time and space understand the variations in their feelings and do not put on a character, but become a social chameleon fitting the essential self into the scene. People are liable to lose themselves if they repeatedly present an image for the benefit of others. The social chameleon owns their time and space by keeping onus on integrity.
Being raised in a society where the future is constantly of concern people being riddled with anxiety, so focused on impending events they ineptly appreciate the moment residing. Instead of living with anticipation of the future one can actively come towards it by working with the pieces they are currently provided, assembling a disposition ready for anything.
An essential component of occupying one’s time and space is to realize you are alive and living this moment. Even if it is just a smile to see a stranger’s frown turn upside down, the question is not “Can you effect reality?” but how?
As we spawn into the world we inhabit the time and space we live in, but inhabiting and occupying are differing styles of living. To occupy your time and space is to be aware of your influence on reality, to be mindful of your behaviour and to have no action without intent. This doesn’t dictate that individuals can’t have off days but to be more observant as to why they occur, to use previous conduct as templates for improving not belittling the self. To occupy your time and space means to be curious about what is happening both inside and outside your jurisdiction, to gather knowledge from a variety of sources and construct your own interpretation of the human experience.
Occupy your time and space but leave no trace; at the core of this maxim is an all-encompassing effort to make yourself the person your essence urges you to be, to listen to the great voice inside and become an active creator in reality.
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