On making a life that fits you

One of the things that strikes me most about my life here in Thailand is what it doesn't have. No solicitors. No junk mail. No regular mail. No advertising (I can't understand the stuff I do hear.) No social obligations. No set time I really have to be anywhere. No expectations of who I am, or what I do. No habits.

And in this space, I'm thriving like I've never thrived.

I write every day. I eat salad for breakfast. I work until I've accomplished a significant chunk of work, then I stop. I make projects and art. I exercise every day. I meditate. I give myself a break when I need one.

The result has been that I'm more productive at work than I was in Portland, on fewer hours. As a result, I now have the time and energy to pursue the creative projects that recharge me and keep me lit up. And have time to explore a new country and learn a language.

In Portland, I wrote The Steven Manual - software that tracks every bit of my life, and keeps an eye on if I've exercised lately, if I'm getting out of the house and seeing friends, all that kind of thing. I love the manual. It's been a daily habit for more than two years, and it has single-handedly steered me out of depression, gotten me out into nature when I really needed it, and generally been psychic, robotic best friend.

But here, even after a few conscious attempts, I just don't use it. Here, it's like I have a hand on all the knobs - seeing people, number of work hours, time with friends, number of new experiences - and when something feels out of balance, I'm just giving myself permission to just do whatever it is that needs done.

And in a beautiful and powerful way, it's working. I haven't been as centered, fulfilled, as genuinely good as I feel here in a long time - and without propping myself up on love or someone else - maybe ever.

Every one of us is different. Each of us has our own equilibriums and knobs, and our balance is sure to change with the seasons and the weather and all the passing tempests of our lives.

But there's something to this listen to the voice that pushes against doing that thing. Something powerful about the quiet, the space to be able to hear it.