How José Moura Lupi creates space by keeping his life light and simple

Happyplaces stories (video)

José Lupi, or Ze, modestly calls himself ‘just a country boy’. But once in front of the camera, hidden behind a huge smile, he shared buckets of insights and wisdom of how he creates and guards space.

This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

Space to feel free

Most of the time, the space I try to create around myself is an environment where people feel free to ask the most stupid questions. But, from my perspective, there are no stupid questions. And I like to contribute to an environment where people will speak freely and can be critical of other people’s perspectives. I believe that if we create a nice environment within a group of people, something amazing can come out of it by mixing ideas that can be sometimes conflictual. It is not a requirement. It can often just be wonderful answers when you bring different backgrounds together. In the beginning, people might not even understand each other. However, suppose there is the environment and the openness to discussions without prejudice. In that case, I think that is the environment we as a civilisation need to overcome the main obstacles in front of us. We must put ourselves around these kinds of approaches. Everybody has an ego, and the ego is very angry inside everybody, but we can sometimes try to control it a little bit and create an environment where the ego is put aside. Then we can step to a level without so much personal stuff. Then we can look at the world as a collective instead of as individuals.

The world right now runs at such a chaotic and fast pace that I believe that people are struggling to find space for themselves.

Balancing space

Then we can also think about how to create space from totally different perspectives, which may relate to time a little bit. Time for ourselves, time for our families, time for the people we love — to our dog, to our children, anybody. The world right now runs at such a chaotic and fast pace that I believe that people are struggling to find space for themselves. I cannot speak from my own experience because I have always been very protective about a little space for myself on a daily basis. To observe the day, actions, activities, discussions, and thoughts to create a distance. In that moment of peace and loneliness, I can find the connections, which puts me in a position where I can understand better where feelings and thoughts come from. Then I can detach myself in mind and body and the limitations the senses can give us. Our senses can put us on the wrong track in life to suddenly realise that we are on the wrong track and that we find ourselves in a deep hole.

People need to create a certain amount of time-space in their daily lives. Not only because for peace of mind, it also allows us to have a potentially different perspective on things.

Someone needs to create a certain amount of time-space in their daily lives. Not only because for peace of mind, it also allows us to have a potentially different perspective on things. Suppose we have the time and peace to look at things with detachment from reality. We could then dive into what reality is and is not; maybe everything is an illusion, and maybe we could choose the illusion we live. I think that it is only possible if we have space. I can’t imagine the life of someone with no space. The struggle is that 90% of the population is stuck in a rat race. They don’t have time for anything, they have no space. These can be very sad lives when people get to the end of their lives and realise they missed everything. That is how I see the importance of having space in your life. It is like, if you don’t have it, you are not in a position to find a wonderful opportunity that may come by. Or you don’t meet someone that may change your life. Or maybe you have an accident, and your life abruptly finishes because you were wondering with too much space in your life. So there should be a balance for every one of us, in occupied space and free space.

Space to be reckless

I would rather have more free space than occupied space now that I have been through some solid work experience in projects and jobs. I gave that up because I felt that being in the same space every day, with the same people, and with the same problems does not work for me. It pays me a salary, it gives me a lot of stability in my life, but in that position, you kind of know already the future. Then the possibilities shrink so much, which is not the point of the journey of living for me. I’d rather take a more reckless path and be amazed by the positive and sometimes the negative. But that is something that people have to figure out for themselves best. It is not about achieving or winning anything; it is about coming to the end of your life with the realisation that at least you were there to receive the opportunity of chance. I can say now, after a long period of making ‘bad decisions’ according to some… I have some frustrations, maybe, being under a lot of fire, mainly from family and close friends, because they care about me and see me taking all these reckless decisions in my life. But, in my case, they didn’t see the reason behind those decisions. Sometimes I could not even explain them myself.

I felt that being in the same space every day, with the same people , and with the same problems does not work for me. It pays me a salary, it gives me a lot of stability in my life, but in that position, you kind of know already the future.

I think that comes from this exercise: we have the matter in our life that makes up our body and brains, that produces our thoughts. And some unique energy puts this all to work. You can live the illusion that you may have an energy bubble that lives in or close by to your body. For me, it is quite easy to do this exercise to avoid identifying myself with my body, mind and thoughts. Maybe I will try to identify more with this energy, the same energy that runs the whole cosmos. This way, you can identify yourself with something infinite in terms of time. This tool also helps you think about the end of this material life and is maybe the birth of a more abstract and energetic life.

Space for nothing

I think it is only possible to develop this improvised talk because I always kept some space. Space to do nothing, space to read, study and research other people’s ideas and perspectives. Or space to be open is the main thing I value. Everyone, in my opinion, should keep some free space for themselves. So that you don’t lose the opportunities because you’re stuck in a job. Or not having the time to be open to the chaos of the universe that can bring you so much. It is unquestionable, I think, that if you choose something, you have to let go of something else. Eventually it comes down to one’s values. It is legitimate to seek a stable family life, but some people are more adventurous and take life slightly more lightly. That is a decision you make; there is no right or wrong. But for someone who feels stuck, this exercise can help to identify yourself, your thoughts, and your body and to have a separate view of your person and the surroundings. Then you might be able to spot what is a waste of time that you might give too much value to how clean your car is or how tidy your kitchen is. Maybe there is some space in there.

Maybe you can reduce the amount of stuff you have to look after, so you have more quality time with the things you value. In my case, it is awareness and experiences. I like to change my environment a lot. That gives me a lot of awareness of how people work on different things. It is also very interesting to learn that almost everything requires the same — everything is based on responsibility, effort and focus. Everybody has the same amount of time per day. We see many people not doing anything with it, while others build a rocket to go to another planet. They have the same amount of time. Maybe the guy building the rocket should find space for himself. Because for sure, every passion, every obsession, and even obsessions that are valuable to other people can destroy the people that invest energy in that obsession.

It is not difficult for me to create space. I don’t give much value to trends or what I should have to be accepted to belong to a certain group of people or culture. I like to keep myself light and my life simple.

Country boy wisdom

I value having the space to be able every day, for at least one hour, to be out of the noise, to connect to myself and think about how my emotions interfered with my immediate responses during the day that just passed. And think about how I can control those emotions better, so those moments have a positive outcome with solutions that solve problems, even in a small circle. How I create space is not that difficult for me because I don’t give much value to trends or what I should have to be accepted to belong to a certain group of people or culture. I like to keep myself light and my life simple. For other people to achieve this, they may have to let go of a lot of stuff they’re not yet capable of letting go of. But if they exercise for a while, they will learn what things they can let go of, what will contribute to improving their lives by letting go and what things they want to be closer to have a more fulfilled time in this journey that everyone is living. It’s funny that you ask me this. There are so many scientists, philosophers and psychologists — I am just a country boy who has had some time to wonder and think. That allowed me to come up with these ideas I have been applying all my life. Because I was born in the countryside, I could wonder at the stars every night, with the dark skies we have, and have some mind journeys with a lot of time. So I feel blessed for this. I would love that everybody would have the opportunity to be able to find themselves and make their space.

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Marcel Kampman

Marcel Kampman

Founder of Happykamping & Happyplaces Project, author, sensemaker