“The meaning of life is just to be alive.
It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.
And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic
as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
~ Alan Watts
What is the meaning of life? Is our time on Earth just arbitrary or is there a greater purpose to existence? We put a great deal of pressure on ourselves to achieve and succeed, always looking for new ways to transform and improve ourselves. While there is nothing wrong with having goals, we are often so busy preparing for life in the future that we completely forget to enjoy life in the present. What if all you needed to do in life was enjoy the experience? What if, as Alan Watts says, the meaning of life is just to be alive?
Since our time here is finite, there is often a nagging feeling that time is running out. This leads to the “great panic” that Alan Watts is referring to, as people rush around trying to get the most out of life- to have as many experiences as they can while they are here. But, unless you learn to slow down and be present, you won’t truly experience anything. That’s because when you are in a rush, your breath becomes short and shallow. You become more anxious and self-absorbed with each passing minute.
Someone who is in a hurry is often too caught up in their own thoughts to appreciate the subtle beauty of the world. In contrast, a person who is grounded and present is able to breathe easily, experiencing the richness of life through all five senses. The main difference is that one person is desperately trying to get somewhere, whereas the other person has already arrived.
So, take a moment to slow down, breathe and be present with your reality. There’s no need to rush when you are already there.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.