Are you feeling stressed today? So many things to do, so little time? Do you long for more excitement and joy in your day-to-day routine? Well, you’re not alone. Actually, that feeling is a worldwide epidemic much worse than COVID in all its mutations. We are not having enough fun and enough joy in our lives because we tend to over-prioritize our obligations.
Well, living in a world that seems to go faster every day we are probably busier than ever before.
Higher, faster, further – right? The Holy Trinity of our modern society.
Just slowing down a bit…
I have two issues with that slogan.
First, it seems it only applies to business and to making a buck. When it comes to creating a sustainable future, an earth that is still worth living on for our children and grandchildren society has a whole lot of time and not-so-great- ambitions.
Second – and that is something that concerns us directly rather than the future generations – there is a physiological limit to higher, faster, and further. Simply speaking, at one point our bodies will not sustain the philosophy anymore Yes, teh digital age has produced millennium kids with better and faster cognitive abilities than previous generations to cope with the speed-of-light technology that surrounds us now. So we do evolve to face the challenges but not as fast as the challenges evolve.
At a certain point “Higher, faster, further” will simply break the body and mind as in cardiac arrest, burnout, and nervous breakdown. The reason is simple. Our bodies and minds are in many ways still the bodies and minds of cave(wo)man not perfectly suited for a world that grows more complex by the hour.
Relearn what we need
We need to learn again how to unwind despite the odds against it. In plain English: we need to learn how to have fun again. It’s time to assign a new priority to fun and make it an integral part of our lives (again). Being in my fifties I know these subconscious programs that performance and fulfillment of duty is everything, very well. Took me a long time to learn that if you overdo this programming, they can literally kill you.
So let´s have a look at fun in a busy, busy, busy (and slightly crazy) world.
Having fun is not the same thing as sex, drugs, and rock n’roll on a 24/7 basis. For me personally, two glasses of wine on the same evening almost constitute an orgy.
Having fun is more like making choices about what experiences you want to have in your life and going for it.
That might actually involve getting out of your usual comfort zone as in dragging your sorry butt away from a party or away from the TV.
It is about overcoming boredom and stagnation and about getting out of hamster wheels built from habit.
It’s about going on adventures and feeling the excitement. If you check out any good action or fantasy movie you will find that adventure and excitement rarely involve laziness or convenience.
Trust me, that was a hard pill for me to swallow as well 🙂 Sometimes it still is.
EnJoy the runes…
As my most esteemed rune teacher once phrased it: “Heroes are not born in isolation”. I would rephrase that statement and expand on it by saying: “Heroes are not having adventures or being heroes by occupying a comfortable chair.”
So if you are looking for fun in the sense of new experiences and new adventures, take into account that it might require som
e initial effort and might actually feel like work for a moment before the fun sets in.
The good news is that this approach can rid you of the feeling that life is just a never-ending cycle of work and responsibilities. It´s a pattern-breaker and after you stop the hamster wheel if only for a few minutes you have to take a step back, regroup, and rethink.
Like this guy here.
He seems pretty chilled and at ease with watching the world from a different perspective.
Hanged (Wo)men – hang on, hang out…
Here´s the perspective I have developed for myself over time.
Holistic medicine and psychology have long pointed out that there is a connection between body, mind, and soul. As far as I know, few if any modern psychologists or psychiatrists deny the existence of psychosomatic diseases, illnesses caused by an imbalance of our soul and our emotions that eventually affect the body and cause physical illnesses. So we are not robots or machines. Unfortunately, we can be programmed like machines, in fact, we are programmed from birth one way or the other but unlike the robots, we feel the pain when we break down.
When I look at the runes of the Elder Futhark there are several of them closely associated with the idea of joy and fun or the harsh absence of it.
GEBO – partnership, friendship, fair deal, unconditional love, teamwork
WUNJO – joy, love, sex, in general, all the things we deep down really want for ourselves although we might repress or deny the want
NAUTHIZ – the need, the absence of joy and warmth when we are stripped down to the bare essentials, the painful absence of joy and fulfillment
What did I learn from these runes?
A lot actually but related to the topic of this blog they taught me that joy and fun are not a triviality. They are sacred states of being, a part of what makes us divine. One aspect of WUNJO in particular that is deeply ingrained into the energies of the rune is the idea of the shaman and his divine ecstasy. WUNJO is the Hanged Man if you look at it. For that reason, it is one of the runes closest to Odin who hung from the world tree for nine days to be initiated into the mysteries of the runes. The legend tells us that when Odin finally understood the runes, he fell from the world tree and screamed. Nobody knows, however, if he screams in total agony or in complete orgasmic bliss. Considering his ordeal both are possible and maybe it was both. We´ll never know.
But I know now that joy and fun are divine rights. I feel that truth in my bones like I feel the runes. Having fun is a sacred act and like the runes, it has a profound effect on our body, mind, and soul. To some degree, it is a remedy for the psychosomatic illnesses mentioned before.
If you are a devout follower of Higher, faster, further then consider this. You are going to perform better tomorrow if you recharge your batteries today. In my opinion, it is not 100% the real deal because you are missing the real point when you only relax to be a better performer but it is a start. I started with very small baby steps too. After a while the real wisdom that joy and fun are a value in their own right began to shine through.
And if you are like me and you grew up with the litanies about duty and responsibility ringing in your ears here is a liberating truth for you.
Having fun and enjoying your life is your sacred duty, a duty assigned to you by the highest possible authority in the universe.
We are all made in Thy image, we are all a spark from His fire and it is our duty to enjoy that gift and that brilliance we radiate from within.
Living a life riddled with pain, sorrow, fear, or boredom while we wait for death is neither healthy nor is part of the divine plan for all of us. We were not made to waste our lives with boredom and routine. Much less were we made to sit in a dark corner and weep every day until the Grim Reaper delivers us from our pain.
We are way too divine to waste the lives we are given.
So go out and fulfill your duty. Bring more fun, joy, happiness, and pleasure into your life by seeking out the experiences that you want, that propel you forward and return both energy and meaning to your life.
Make sure to check out other articles from Marco’s blog Fire Stealer Torch.