[This is a series of articles on reflections & ruminations on striving for mindfulness as a founder / entrepreneur.]
It’s two weeks into the new year, and I would have wanted to share with you all our nicely laid out plans for 2017, but we haven’t gotten it all figured out. The future is fuzzy, and it’s okay. (Really.)
La La Love
Yesterday, I put off writing this blog post to spend time with my family and watch La La Land. (No spoilers here, promise.)
Of course, being the crier that I am — some people might be surprised to know this, but those who know me are totally like, “What’s new?” — I was wiping silent tears in the dark theater as subtly as I could so my mother wouldn’t notice (she probably did).
It was so beautiful, really. Huhuhu.
One of the main themes of this film is the pursuit of dreams, of perseverance in spite of many-a-closed (or slammed) doors. And the other thing this reminded me is that whenever we choose one adventure, we opt not to take another. And these are the realities we face in life, especially in retrospection.
Much To MUNI On
Last year, I decided that MUNI should only do one MUNI Market in a year (the 2017 one is pegged for April 8-9, more details soon!), partly so we could have more time to think about how we could really serve the community in better ways, and even experiment with our storytelling workshops, while continuing to carry out our MUNI Meetups. But personally, another bigger reason was so that I could think more about myself.
When I had started on working on the idea of MUNI four years ago, I thought I got through the hard part of figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. It had seemed so clear and obvious that through MUNI, enabling people to live more mindfully, healthily and sustainably, is what I ought to dedicate my life to. As I worked on it, I also told myself I was living my life in a way that I could die any day and I would be at peace – happy and fulfilled.
But even if I’ve been working on MUNI for over two years now, and had relatively well laid out plans for MUNI (and myself) from 2014-2016, my 2017 seems a lot more uncertain than expected. It feels as if I’ve found myself asking more questions than finding more conclusive answers on how to move forward with it, and in effect, how to lead my life.
Unfortunate news about one of the most important people in my life, coupled with my attempt to help this person move forward with life productively, made me start to rethink about my life, what I really wanted to do, and how I really wanted to spend my days. So, I spent the last 6 months on me, spending more time with the people I love, and doing things I had otherwise convinced myself I didn’t have time for.
You might say I did something like the stereotypical Eat, Pray, Love thing (which I hate it being alluded to, but yeah). I went on a meditation retreat, I cooked more, I painted, I traveled, and I explored the idea of further studies and other possible career options that could help me earn better while still allowing me to pursue things that were meaningful to me.
So now, apart from thinking about what I could do to help nourish the world in my own way, I started to really think about how I truly wanted to nourish myself and pursue other things I wanted to too, because it is in taking care of ourselves that we can better care for others as well.
The future is fuzzy, but it’s okay.
How I’m Preparing For Uncertainty
They say there is only one thing certain in life, and that is change. And life can often surprise you with the cards it deals, how you thought you could be so certain about some things, only to pulled in different directions the next. Not everyone has it so crystal clear. But even more surprising than the cards life deals is how we choose to play the cards we are dealt.
I peacefully came to terms with change, that certain things were uncertain, and very slowly, that I am not giving up on a dream, but that it is simply changing in form. (I can only speak of this more eloquently to you when things have become clearer for myself, in retrospect.)
When the new year came, I took a mindful moment to appreciate where I am and how I got here. I feel I have so much more to learn, do and explore, and I get encouraged by the thought that all the amazing (and not-so-amazing but highly “educational”) things I get to experience are a result of the choices and action I took agency of myself.
Moving Forward with MUNI
That said, what I do know is that I really value the community we’ve built with MUNI, and I still want to continue on with the work we’ve been doing. I am committed to doing a MUNI Market targeted by April 8-9, 2017, and carrying out our bi-monthly meetups still. We are also looking for a way to engage the MUNI community for their support in helping us carry out more learning and networking activities throughout the year. (More on that at the MUNI Meetup on Feb. 4.)
So 2017 holds a lot of uncertainty, for me personally, MUNI, the country even, in that we are holding our breath, waiting on some things beyond our control. But that which we do have power over, we can make sure to make awesome. Our world, our choice. Here we go.
The future is fuzzy, and I could be botching some things up gloriously, but as long as I am making decisions out of love, hope and empathy, and not fear or hate, then it’s okay.
🎼 Here’s to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that break
Here’s to the mess we make ♪♫
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Horn is a wanderer, writer, and founder of MUNI, a community for mindful living. She encourages people to think critically – to ask questions about how they shop, eat and travel, to explore more socially and environmentally mindful ways of living and working, while remaining kind to one’s self.
She writes about psychology, wellness and the environment, and loves veggies, diving and bike-commuting. Follow her at @nomadmanager.