We weren’t meant to work. We were meant to exist. [SERIOUS]

When Nihilism and Buddhism work in tandem.


Proceed with caution. If you are not ready for a perspective shift, please do not read.

I talk about death and how to accept death as nature intended.

Please read this in a quiet room, preferably alone.

Set your mind to accept new ideas and new thoughts.

Take a deep breath.

Thank you in advanced.

~Jess


“The trouble is, you think you have time.”
Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

Nature. It’s a crazy thing.

The universe is 13.8 billion years old. 
Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
Homo Sapiens have been around for 200,000 years.
Our modern existence (communication) has only been around 12,000 years.

And our ultra modern existence is really only 60 years old.

A few thousands years ago, Aristotle, Plato, Buddha… they didn’t have Snapchat. They also seemed to be super happy, amirite?


In the last 100 years, we created modern inventions like washing machines and cars to make our lives easier so we had more time to have freedom. And we replaced doing whatever we wanted to do with more work.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong, but I called myself a workaholic and didn’t see a problem with it.

Literally — in the name, I was declaring that I was addicted to working. I wore it as a badge of honor, but even at 27-years-old, I’m asking where the last four years of my life went. (Kinda like how I used to be proud for my drunken shenanigans, and now I realize I was being a dum dum.)

Here’s another way to look at it:

Each of our lives is this: ~80 years /4,500,000,000 years. Or

My life matters .00000002% ~hooray~

Each of our lives are a fraction of a percent of the universe’s energy. 
And I used to choose to spend my time in stress, constantly complaining about my career and relationship. I dreamt of one day being successful and rich enough to be happy.

Welp, a few introspectives later, I don’t think that’s why I’m here.

THE REALITY IS: I cannot plan to be happy. I cannot predict that having that house, hubby, 2 kids and dog will make me happy. I might be miserable. My partner might be cheating on me. My kids might hate my guts. Statistically speaking, I might be dead before all of that is even possible.

These are truths as I know them:

  • Happiness can only exist in the present moment
  • There are only two emotions that naturally exist: happiness & sadness 
    I call these positive emotions
    (EX: a tree does not get angry, new born babies do not get angry)
  • Anger, stress, anxiety are all learned emotions 
    I call these negative emotions
  • Our existence means nothing. We are only here to enjoy the fact that we can experience life. Anything else is a bonus.
  • You can experience existing by turning off your stream of consciousness
  • We are all going to die. Oh hayyy.

READ THIS if you want to know more.

It’s a little scary isn’t it? But realistically, we all know it to be true. We just don’t think it’ll happen to us (which is, ultimately, user error).


THE NIHILIST REALITY:
I am nothing. I am a tiny blip of energy in the entirety of the Universe whose only desire is to be a tiny cute blip of energy. I have a name because my parents gave me one. I have some thoughts which are whatever. Everyone has thoughts. Others have probably thought the same things as me. I am very unoriginal. I will die. Life is pretty meaningless.

So, what can everyone do?

Be happy.

[WARNING: proceed with caution]

How?

Accept death as the only reality. 
*You are currently dying right now. Just at a super slow speed*

“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
[Jess speaking:]
I’m going to walk you through some things. This is what I like to call a truly “guided meditation.” If you are not up for it, then you can skip down to where it says *gulp*.

I will teach you how to contemplate death with every breath.

Take out of this what you’d like to. Be as serious as you’d like.
Put yourself in a mindset to be open to change.
Every statistic spoken is verified to be true.
This is my secret to happiness. I am giving you my cheat sheet of eight months of mental suffering to get to this point. You can do this in 10 minutes.
Enjoy the cathartic release.

Be in a quiet room. By yourself.

Put some headphones on.

Play this song. Queue it up 5 times over for good measure.

Read all of this with the tempo of the music.
1. Learn and practice this.

The perfect breath: Slow inhale for as long as you can. Hold at top for 3 seconds. Slow exhale the most air out of your lungs as you can. Hold at bottom for 3 seconds. Repeat. Practice this right now, 5 times over (helps to close your eyes).

Feel your heart become calm.

2. Now, clear your mind of anything you have to do for the next 10 minutes. Write down your thoughts if you need to. Your laundry can wait. 
Take a few perfect breaths. Let go of your memories for a few minutes. Let go of your to-do lists. Exist for a moment in time. Calm your heart. Breathe.

Nothing is important except for this:

You need to accept it. We are all going to die.

It helps to say this out loud:

“I’m going to die. I might die tomorrow. I might even die later today.”

3. Breathe.

Take a slow inhale while reading the next two sentences:

On average, 3,287 people die every day in car accidents. 
3,287 lost lives from something most likely preventable.

Now hold your breath for three seconds and say I’m going to die.

Release to a slow exhale, and read.

On average, 93 Americans die every day from gun violence. 
How many people are in your office? 
Most of those people were likely innocent, too.

Hold at the bottom for three seconds and say I’m going to die.

Slow inhale while reading

One person takes their own life every 40 seconds. 
How long has it taken you to read this?
About 6 people have committed suicide.
They thought their life was not worth living.

Hold for 3. I’m going to die and slow exhale.

Do I think I’m above being a statistic?
Anything could happen to any one of us at anytime.

Hold for 3. I’m going to die and slow inhale.

100% of people die.

I’m going to die and slow exhale.

Am I happy?

… Repeat.

Until it actually hits you.

Once you’ve actually accepted the realization, you’ll probably experience a panic attack.

The nervous deep-pit stomach feeling is normal.

If you get a chill or goosebumps, it probably means you’ve acknowledged it.

If you start becoming anxious, it means that you’ve accepted it.

Take a deep breath.

Take 3–4 more if you need to. Try to remain calm. (Crying is welcomed)

4. Take as many perfect breaths until your heart rate is normal.

5. Now, read this chart.

Start at ACCEPTANCE. You’ve accepted that you’re going to die. Doesn’t matter when, doesn’t matter how, but it will happen.

Acceptance: You’re going to die. Walk through the rest of the stages.
6. Breathe.
7. Follow the rest of the steps

[Forgiveness > Finding Peace > Finding Purpose > Action].

Think about your life, who do you need to apologize to? Yourself? Go ahead.

Your family? Do that too.

An old ex? Yep. A text will do.

Hug it out.

Finding peace? Breathe until your heart rate is calm and nothing is on your mind.

Finding purpose? Text a friend who has been down lately if they want to grab dinner to talk. Buy them dinner. It will make you feel good to help someone else.

Action. Go and actually get dinner with them.

8. Rinse, repeat until your heart is calm 100% of the time.

Yay. You did it.

This process took me EIGHT months and counting.

Try and beat my record :)

Every time you feel sad. Breathe. And remember that you get one life, so make it great :)


*gulp* so…

Okay, put this song on now.

Take a few breaths.

Chills are good. Crying is good.

Yeah, I know, trust me. But it’s okay. It’s actually an easy thing to accept once you really think about it [if you start going down the rabbit hole, just remember, life is fucking rad if you make it so].

Here is happiness in 4 steps:

  1. Unlearn negative emotions. Practicing how to not react with anger is very difficult, but after a month or two, it becomes like clockwork. Then you look peaceful AF and people respect that.
  2. Make amends. Go through your to-do list of “woops I feel guilty about this shit” and apologize to literally everyone you know for being a butthead sometime in your past life. Clean slates are good. ~You are always allowed to change~ People are more forgiving than you think. No one wants tension in their lives, believe dat.
  3. See if anyone needs help. Ask people if they’re okay. Buy someone a meal. Find a passion you like that also helps others. Volunteer. It will make your existence have a purpose.
  4. Dance, whenever you want to. Exist in happiness. Be happy.
Credit: The Internets

So, okay, but what about the actual dying part?

How you react to that is totally up to you. This is what I have done —

I’ve learned to take every day as it comes [read: I’ve accepted that I’m going to die]. I’ve cleaned my slates [I told my family I love them after 26 years of not even hugging any of them], I have cleared most of my anxiety [still get a little paranoia], and I wrote a will at 26 years old. I still have bad days, but who doesn’t?

It sounds weird, but I try to live as if I’m going to die in three days (while still being responsible about the future, like saving some money).

I’ve begun to learn how to contemplate death with every breath.

I’ve been practicing how to go to bed in peace, prepared to not wake up the next morning.

Because, I know one day, I won’t have a choice in the matter.

It’s not easy, but literally no one ever said it was.


THE BUDDHIST REALITY:
Time has slowed down.
Everything looks brighter.
Everything tastes sweeter.
Happiness happens.

The best part of this all is that I get to choose to live the rest of my life in whatever way I want. I chose to stop drinking. I chose to stop wasting money. I chose to stop doing things that made me stressed out. I chose to end relationships that made me unhappy. I am choosing to be kind to everyone. I am choosing to let go of my past. I am choosing to help others as much as I can.

Your birth is the only lottery that matters.

The unfortunate part, is that not everyone is as lucky as me. Not everyone in this lifetime gets a choice. There are many people in this world who can’t get a job. Who can’t afford a home. Who can’t have clean drinking water. Who have childhoods full of terror and war. Who can’t even survive, much less begin to enjoy life. Usually by choices from outside forces that have been made for them. And they have no choice but to accept their circumstances.

We are all so very lucky.

Please remember:

There are people who have given up their lives to fight for this country, and they can’t find employment after their service.

There are some 18-year-olds who have never gotten a chance to celebrate their birthday.

There are children who have been abandoned by everything and still have hope to make the best of their lives.

Please, be kind. And give, whenever you can.

Thank you :)

With love & perspective,
~Jess :)

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