Happy Monday! Have another Stoicism focused newsletter. I continue to get great feedback each-time I send out a newsletter, and I’m incredibly grateful for everyone who subscribes. If you think you might know someone who’d appreciate these weekly newsletters, please forward this email or give them this link
You can rid yourself of many useless things among those that disturb you, for they lie entirely in your imagination; and you will then gain for yourself ample space by comprehending the whole universe in your mind, and by contemplating the eternity of time, and observing the rapid change of every part of everything, how short is the time from birth to dissolution, and the illimitable time before birth as well as the equally boundless time after dissolution. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditations IX.32)
What Marcus talks about here is essentially an exercise that you can perform to help give you perspective on all the concerns, issues and troubles you experience as a human being on this planet. So much of what vexes us only has significance because we have chosen to give it significance. Remembering where we and our petty concerns fit into the global scheme of things may change how we view our challenges.
Wherever you are, close your eyes and picture yourself from outside. The way you are dressed, how you are positioned, your immediate surroundings. With your eyes still closed, pull back and take in the area around you and the other people nearby. Continue the exercise, pulling further away, but keeping “you” in the center. Take in the nearby streets and buildings, then those further away.
Now, imagine that you are zooming in and out, watching everyone around you. People sleeping, people working, people having first kisses, and people saying goodbye. People experiencing triumph, and people going through tragedy. First days on the job, unexpected terminations, car wrecks and marathon finishes. The entirety of the human experience happening in one instant, all around you.
After holding all of that in your mind for a moment, it’s hard to remember what you thought was such a big deal before.
PS: If you haven’t seen it, check out Carl Sagan’s infamous monologue called, The Pale Blue Dot.
🍺 to a great week ahead!