How to live or do anything else

About a year back, I got into a great guitar practicing groove. Everyday I would spend up to four hours diligently practicing scales, exercises, chords and improvisation, more studiously than school work. Now I had been playing the guitar for years before this but only now did I dedicate proper time to proper, not half assed, practice. While I was still miles out from being a Petrucci, or even a Frusciante, it was a rewarding experience.

I would pick up my guitar, tune it, get the levels right and then dig into a series of patterns on the fret board. My focus would be on each pick only, trying to get it right and making sure the next followed neatly. It never occurred to me to practice for a set amount of time. Instead, by the end of the session, it would turn out that the concatenation of hundreds of picking strokes and dozens of exercises happened to result in hours of time.

The point is that I managed to complete what was relatively long endeavor. I did so by focusing on each step at time, forgetting about the goal, just leaving the end result as a product of these individual moments. Moreover, I can say the same for most of my smoother accomplishments.

Every story I have written came one word at a time. Every meal I ever made came one chop, grind or peel at a time. Every successful meditation I managed simply came one breath at a time. At no point did I try to digest the entirety of the process in one go. That is far too intimidating and distracting. Rather I just did what I had to at that given second, with no expectations, calmly enjoying the process.

I woke up today and lived one step at a time.

I did not think about the future nor the past. I gave no thought to what I have or will accomplish today. I let nothing exist but the present. Because our story is written not as an abstract, but just one word, step and breath at a time.

As I lay in bed, in the wake of insomnic frustrations, I chose not to dwell on the irritation. Instead, I just let the specks of sunshine warm my early morning eyes. Without thought, I pulled out my laptop, and let the ambient sounds of Harold Budd soundtrack my morning, bringing me into the day at peace. Walking outside, I then lay in the seven am sun, sipping on a glass of herbal tea, blankly gazing across the distant tree line.

As I looked around my parents garden, I was lured across by the almost fluorescent flowers, pulling each one close to my nose, waking up my senses with their sweet jasmine fragrance. Then walking back inside, I mingled around the kitchen, conversing proudly in Marathi, my mother tongue, as my mum prepared a traditional Indian breakfast to welcome me home.




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