Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
In this quote, Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese Taoist philosopher, is trying to express that great things start from humble beginnings. It is a motivational proverb that expresses deep insight about determination and avoiding procrastination.
At Momentom, we understood this wisdom long ago. We see that if a conscious initiative is taken, the rest of the venture falls into place, and the mission to your destination starts. It also means that a voyage marked as a milestone starts with a single step.
Momentom Artist Residencies are the best places for us to start our “first step” and to acquire subconscious habits and beliefs that will last with you for a lifetime. We share space, beliefs, culture and eventually, we become the habits and spread that light out into the world.
When habits are formed in unison with a community, something magic happens. Slowly and surely, the set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate our own individual belief become a unifying glue within the culture.
Aside from settling ourselves in dream-like settings in nature, momentom consciously creates subconscious patterns in the way we relate and express ourselves that allow us to “human” well – we learn to relate deeply, to communicate effectively and to get out of our own way. When we get the ego out of the way, we can see ourselves for who we are at the essence and ignite our creative energy to create the world of our choosing.
Here are 10 wisdom bombs that we take out of residency that can be applied to all beings and all moments.
1. Joy of missing out
Fear of missing out is a thing. In residency, you are faced with a lot of different options for what to do with your day, and they are all one more exciting than the next. Jump in the ocean? Go to an Architect your life class? Get energy healing with Hava? Go meditate? Work on your business? Over and over, again we hear of the conundrum residents face of having too many ultimate choices in residency
Stepping back we see the paradox that we are preoccupied about having too many good options to choose from. The truth is that this is an opportunity to celebrate – when we take the time to truly CHOOSE what is in our HIGHEST excitement, we take time to consider OURSELVES and our DESIRES as a priority. In this way of looking at it, we see this as a Joy of Missing out because it is a joy to put ourselves first.
2. Follow your feel good.
There are multiple, infinite decisions happening in every single moment of our lives. Our ability to make decisions according to what feels the best in that moment, is a master skill. Without letting doubt set in, we follow the most expansive feeling, usually from the heart, rather than the mind.
In order to “follow you feel good”, you must first tap into the body, which means finding a brief moment of stillness and silence, nothing long, this isn’t a mediation, but just long enough for you to notice how your energetic body is responding to your options or environment.
It can be something as mundane as what color of socks you will wear that day, but in residency we guide our residents to learn how to be guided with intuition, rather than the mind, following in every single moment what feels the absolute best. If it means to leave a conversation, to not go to class, to fast, to go to this class rather than the other, then by all means- follow your feel-good. This question eventually translates to: “How Good Are You willing to let it get?”
3. Be Curious.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers” Voltaire
In residency, we celebrate curiosity. We invite residents to be as open to learn, to unlearn to relearn, to shed, and rebuild, to keep asking the questions. When we ask the right questions, we get the right answers.
Curiosity is the seed of creativity, Curiosity ignites awareness, and awareness brings light into the unknown. Being curious is getting excited about opening up new worlds and possibilities that would have otherwise not been visible. When we see new worlds in our minds, we can create new worlds in 3D.
Curious people have active minds instead of passive. Curious people always ask questions and search for answers. Their minds are always active. Since the mind is like a muscle which becomes stronger through continual exercise, mental exercises caused by curiosity makes our mind stronger and stronger.
The way we see it, we are children of this earth always learning. Being curious means that you do not see learning as a burden, but as something fun. So one of our top wisdom bombs is to remain curious, and always dig for more than what is at face value.
4. A No Is A Complete Sentence.
Learning right Relations is an important aspect of Momentom Collective. We invite many specialists in Authentic relating, Non Violent Communication to teach us how to communicate harmoniously to achieve our goals.
Saying ‘no’ is all about creating personal boundaries. This helps to ensure that when we share our time and energy, especially in community, we do it in such a way that makes the most impact and keeps our own cups full.
In her Friendship class, Captain Pat from Green Residency once mentioned “Follow your No’s to find your yeses’ ‘ When something does not feel like a full yes, then follow your no to a more exciting, full yes.
The thing is that if you don’t say ‘No’ then saying ‘Yes’ loses meaning. Mastery of this is to not allow your “No” to be followed with feelings of guilt, or shame that we are not doing enough.
Even if we do manage to squeeze out a ‘No’ we feel obligated to follow it up with an explanation. ‘No’, is a complete and powerful sentence. Sometimes you may be asked to explain, which can be another beautiful opportunity for honesty and vulnerability. If saying no is something you struggle with, start by saying ‘No’ to yourself in little ways throughout the day, like checking your phone first thing in the morning. Notice the things you do out of habit that don’t actually feel good and start to shift that behaviour. Then you’ll begin to make time for the things that are a real ‘Yes’.
5. Saying I love you for the sake of love.
Speaking and touching loving awareness in platonic ways is a deep and important aspect of our culture. In residency, we celebrate love, and let each other know our appreciation for one another as a gift for fulfilling relationships; romantic or otherwise
Saying “I Love You” is a universal phrase that has an important impact on people and is significant because it shows true vulnerability.
For some, these three little words can also be the hardest to express. Yet at the core of every human being, we all just want to be loved and appreciated for who we are. Love emerges when you have come to appreciate the ups and downs, happy and sad, positives and negatives of any relationship including the one you have with yourself. Whether we know it or not, love is our ultimate objective. So, give it freely.
6. Giving gratitude to your food.
In residency, we take time to praise our food. We take the opportunity to acknowledge and be appreciative of the efforts that took place for the food to be planted, harvested, cooked and served, before you could sit down for that meal.
Showing gratitude can look like a verbal prayer, one word, a song or a poem, it can be private, like taking a moment of silence or it can be more of a ritual, such as slowing down, turning off any screens and being mindful of each bite. However you choose to show gratitude to your food just know that this simple act can change your energetic state, emotional wellbeing and transform the overall effects the food has on the body.
7. Practicing platonic touch.
Touch is the first language we learn and the first sense we develop.It can strengthen connections, heal, communicate, influence and soothe.Twenty seconds of wanted affectionate, platonic touch is enough to trigger the release of oxytocin, “the love hormone.”
8. If it’s not a fuck yes, it’s a no.
The Law of Fuck Yes or No by Mark Manson is applicaable to community living, sex, friendships and relationships. Mark says that a fuck yes or no will apply differently on different levels. You could be a fuck yes for getting to know someone better but a fuck no for sex for example. The important part is that both people are a fuck yes on the same thing, otherwise you are just wasting your time. It is also important to remembr that a fuck yes can always turn to a no.
This can be applied also to the first wisdom bomb of following your feel good, which is to always follow your fuck yeses.
9. Follow the rhythm of the jungle.
Spaces architect minds. Amongst large, square, grey buildings, our mind’s tempos also mimic this reality. In the jungle, our minds are ALIVE yet slower paced. We see the interconnectivity of all things, listening to the subtle sounds of nature to be guided. We slow down, take a breath, and listen. Pachama knows the way, we just need to have faith and follow.
10. Embody character not the story.
If yoga is about eradication of the ego, the self the illusion, then the circus is about expressing all of ourselves in every moment. We are many different characters in every moment, and in every conversation. Who do we choose to show up as? What do we share about this specific character? How does this character impact the other person? The world? Being aware of who you are and how you wish to show up in the world matters more than the story going on all around you. Taking ownership of your thoughts, actions and emotions allows you to take control of your life, giving you the opportunity to constantly embody the things that are important to you. You become the author of the story and can shape the character however you wish, navigating them as gracefully as you like through the waves.
Two people can be going through the exact same challenge, but one character embodies a mind of trust and abundance, while the other of criticism and wallow. Its the same world, but a completely different experience. It’s really never about the story, because the story is malleable according to the mindset, what you can choose is WHO you show up AS. Residencies are a perfect place to explore these characters and see which one resonates the most with you.