Being a master of your life includes learning how to appreciate where you live. There are countless nuances in the universe of the place we call home that are outside the range of human perception. Our universe is visible, audible, tactile, and taste-able, but do we always appreciate what we see? We continuously compare our perceptions with beliefs and values. Put another way, we let our expectations control us and then become miserable when the real world does not live up to them. Even though Earth is a beautiful, loving planet, we sometimes begin to take it for granted.
In the article below, we explore deeper about why we constantly searching for something else, as well as how to change our habits so that we love where we live.
Why We Feel Unrooted
The well-known expression “The grass is always greener on the other side” originates from a perceptional habit. We can relate to Paulo Coelho’s main character, which is why “The Alchemist” became a best-selling book. The book’s narrative sometimes parallels our own life story precisely, other times not at all. We never stop searching. We overlook the possibilities of the area we reside in favor of traveling to other locations to improve our experience.
The answers are present in the area where we currently live, and yet we search for them elsewhere.
I propose that, in an attempt to address this delicate aspect of human nature, we conduct a thought experiment in which we travel back in time to the moment when mankind first relocated on Earth. Many scientists today reject Darwin’s theory of evolution, arguing that there was an inexplicable leap in the evolution of apes to humans.
In this context, may we acknowledge that many thousands of years ago, humans who were interstellar travelers from other planets or possibly galaxies arrived in our solar system and settled on Earth. This could be the cause of our inability to always feel at home and our desire to go to other locations or just return to our home planet. I have had numerous such moments when stargazing at night. I have little doubt that at times, you, the reader, experience the same.
However, as this piece of writing is not about finding a solution to the original home of humans, we will remain focused on the subject of appreciating where we are now. Nevertheless I’ll keep writing from the same perspective—that of a galactic visitor who comes to Earth to learn about and experience it.
The following are some of my thoughts on how we might move from being unsettled to loving this place we call home.
Discover Local History
No matter where you live, there is always something to learn about fascinating history. Do you know of any intriguing hometown traditions that you are unable to explain? Perhaps you are interested in the previous inhabitants of this area. The museum in your town (if there is one) is an excellent spot to start. Locate the town’s oldest building, reach out to it, and let the memories flow back. Have candid talks with the oldest persons you can locate. The history I am speaking of is not found in history textbooks, but rather in the earth, the water, the trees, the building structures, the recollections of the elderly, and the young children’s imaginations.
Celebrate the Local Cuisine
Do you live close to a market where you can buy locally made goods? This is an additional method of establishing a connection with the energy of your home. It may surprise you to learn that consuming local food will help you bond with the area’s history. To truly connect with the food, try to find the oldest restaurant in town, but homemade cooking is still the best option. This implies that you have to interact with the locals and sample their cuisine.
Get Involved in the Community
Though I must confess that not everyone is social enough to do this, it is a creative way to comprehend the place we live in. Never turn down an invitation if you are given the chance to be welcomed because it is not always simple to socialize or get accepted by various communities. We say in Qi Gong that the people’s energy is what the place is going to take in, so one method to understand the area is to understand the people.
Connect to the Animal / Plant World
While some of us get to live in quieter neighborhoods, others can live in the center of an energetic town. While some of us live next to a lake, forest, or the ocean, others are closer to a group of buildings. It is true that there are quite few animals in certain areas. However, each animal you come across—be it a bird, an insect, a street dog, or a cat—offers you a chance to establish a connection with the animal kingdom. If you pause and pay attention, they can reveal numerous mysteries to us about the location. The same holds true concerning the world of plants. Locate the oldest tree in your neighborhood and chat with him about the unique qualities of the place you live in.
Be a Tourist
Some of you may think it silly to be tourists in your own hometown, however I link this idea to two other concepts. First, let’s go back to our original goal of exploring the universe. Our mission on Earth is to discover it and, through the soul, bring back our experiences to our creator. Our primary and singular objective is to experience. Why not be in love with it too?
The second thought is related to the idea of “beginner’s mind” and is derived from my Tai Chi practice. Regardless of the number of times we witness the sunset, each experience is unique. An ancient tree may always be appreciated from a new perspective, regardless of how often we walk past it.
Heaven and Hell are the two sides of the same coin. You may feel that where you live now is not exactly a paradise. However, there are wonderful locations to explore right outside your door, no matter where you live. All you need to do is put on your “explorer hat” and be willing to see things from new angles. Ultimately, there is a reason you were born in that place or moved to another place. It is a given factor rather than necessarily a conscious choice. One of the many reasons we are drawn to diverse locations on Earth is the energy vibrations that those locations evoke for us.
As a Daoist practitioner, I always seek to learn from nature. I find it appropriate to reflect on a particular animal who’s carrying his humble home everywhere.