Where Did You Travel Last?

The most recent trip I took was to Egypt. The one before was to Arabia.

If you’re wondering how on Earth am I getting to travel so much despite the lockdown, well, then let me intrigue you a bit more.

I am getting to travel not despite the pandemic, but because of it. And I’m traveling not only in physical terms but also in terms of time.

Now that you think you get it, let me spill the beans for you. I’m traveling in these far away lands of hundreds of years ago, by reading about them in books.

I have realized that reading has to be thought through – intentional, just like everything else. I generally enjoy reading non-fiction more than fiction. But I read fiction too a bit and I have realized that reading fiction just before sleep time is magical.

A good story just before falling asleep gives me wings and makes my imagination stretch far and wide.  Even during the sleep. It makes me forget my worries and opens for me the doors of opportunities. It tells me that all the worries of today and the box in which they all exist (me) are both so small in the large scheme of things.

Read fiction before sleeping and non-fiction first thing in the morning.

I wake up the next day vivid and fresh with a renewed perspective to life. And, that’s the time for me to read something more tangible, and practical, so I pick non-fiction.

That’s something I had heard from someone, but it was only when I followed this as a practice did I realize the power of this schedule.

Now, I read for around fifteen minutes every night and similar time in the morning, and just love the magic that follows.

I’m reading – Folk Tales from Different Lands, my night buddy these days and The Daily Stoic, my morning pal.

Yesterday’s lesson from Egpyt, seeking justice was not easy few hundred years ago (just like today actually) and the poor peasant earned justice through a long and tiring road. What eventually helped was his practice, eloquence and determination to seek justice. You can read the full story here, if you want a refreshing read.

And my morning pal, The Stoic’s lesson was to avoid feeling the responsibility for everything that is happening around you. Keep doing your best but then don’t be burdened by the pressure of it. That’s because after a while, no one remembers it anyway. The chapter is called “On Being Remembered” and this quote by Marcus Aurelius summarizes it well: “Everything lasts for a day, the one who remembers and the remembered.” 

I have etched these two times in my nightly and morning rituals, and doing so is transforming me, taking me from a state of worries and threats of everyday life, to a serene and peaceful state of calm and possibilities.

That’s me, and what about you? Do you have a reading ritual and if so what does it look like? Would love to hear from you.

Until next time, this is Mohit signing off.

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