Stress. Burnout. Chaos. These are things that can build up in our daily lives and create issues with health both mentally and physically if allowed to fester. While they can pop up for many reasons there has to be something we can do to remove them if even only momentarily.
Understanding what causes us our problems is important when it comes to prescribing a solution. Doctors find out what the cause of pain is before treating it, and when it comes to finding a good release we should be equally as surgical. Pinpointing the issue for myself is that my day job is very technical and service oriented. I do enjoy my job in how it pushes me to grow in those ways, but it is also important to not let those things bleed over into my personal life too much.
So, when it comes to being truly ‘zen’ I need the opposite of that. I am searching for something that can be entirely secluded where I don’t see too many others. I also look for something that I don’t have to think too much about. Either something mindless or that comes naturally to me by connecting with my intuition.
These needs will vary by person and even if it results in the same passion the approach may be different. A person that works in a creative field may need something that is more cut and dry in their free time and somebody with a high-stress corporate role may need to just turn off. The why behind this is to balance out whatever it is that takes up so much of our time with something we can still be passionate about.
Focusing in on the symptoms of our pain helps in prescribing what the fix will be. This might come naturally as so many of us have technical careers and have been lucky enough to find something we like to balance it out with in college. However, as we grow and change ourselves and careers come and go and the hobby or passion project should rotate with that.
The idea of establishing equilibrium throughout our life has been talked about by many before me. I believe that if it is ignored for too long there will be a major correction internally that may not be externalized in the most positive way. So, whether it is through meditation, gaming, focusing on fitness, art, or one of the many other ways to grow ourselves something needs to be there.
Summarizing everything up, I want to focus in on what I do to find zen in my personal life. Landscape photography, to be specific, fulfills my needs to be creative in ways that my day job won’t allow. It is still technical with the camera and editing process, but the more I have a camera in my hands the more natural it becomes and the processing is only as involved as I allow it to become. I can also go out into nature and be alone or go to an iconic spot to share the passion with others. I have plenty of flexibility to chose what to do.
The other part of this is that we don’t have to choose just one hobby or be alone in doing it. I also enjoy zoning out entirely while watching a show with my fiancé or playing games together. I also enjoy exercise and running at a certain level because it reminds me of running cross country in college. There are plenty of things outside of my day job and photography that define me, and at the end of the day finding ‘zen’ to me is spending the right amount of time with each for myself.
It isn’t going to be the same for you or the next person, but that is what makes life so interesting. Art is a great source of ‘zen’ for many because of how flexible it is. It can mean so many things! Make it your own and use it to make yourself fulfilled and find your zen. If you are so inclined, you can also share it with others so that they too may benefit from experiencing your version of ‘zen’.