The past month has arguably been the busiest in my entire life. Between coaching men, performing as a solo musician, managing, writing, producing and performing with an evolving band (particularly during F1 season), turning up the intensity of my Muay Thai training, being a Muay Thai teacher to kids, working for our environmental NGO, taking care of family and doing most things around the house, contributing my time to different causes in the country, I'd say I've been managing quite a bit. I am in continual gratitude of every minute of it all. Yesterday, after running errands all morning, I came back and did sessions with our guys, had a killer Muay Thai session, coached kids, came back home to shower, went out and bought things for the house, got dinner for the family, came back and fixed the lighting fixtures that were waiting for me, changed and went to perform my solo street gig. Oh, and by the way, I also did all of my core programming.
As I was performing my set, pretty much on autopilot, I was looking towards part of the audience standing on the curb, swaying, tapping their feet, dancing with their children with smiles on their faces. I remember thinking to myself “This is good. Life is good. Thank you”. I remember a time not too long ago when it was the exact opposite of this. There was a pandemic. I remember being isolated with covid during the first days of Ramadhan (a month of fasting and devotion for Muslims). It would have been a slow month anyway, but everything was literally shut down. The pandemic extended to a period of time none of us could have imagined. But that stillness, that silence was very familiar territory for me. I had a very similar experience with isolating myself from the world years before the pandemic.
I remember working through terrifyingly dark and lonely days with my coach Dennis, who I truly believe, or rather, know for fact was meant to be introduced into my life at that exact moment. It had to happen. What I went through was existential training. It was death and rebirth. It was the most difficult place I’d ever been in. I had to face and embrace the “loneliness”. I had to face and embrace myself. I did. I had nothing to lose. I worked harder on my programming than I’d ever worked on anything before.
Later on when the pandemic happened, the stillness and isolation that we we were forced into was my playground. On a personal level, I had welcomed it with open arms like an old friend. I was born here. This is where I found inner peace. This is what made me. Fast forward to last night. Here I was playing my music, making people happy, thinking about the wonderful day that I’d had where I was yet again able to contribute and live my purpose. I thought about how every single thing I did that day came from the same place of inner calm and stillness that I had developed years ago. I was at peace and grateful when I was coaching, when I was training, when I was teaching, when I was doing things for the family and as I was playing to those people in front of me. No matter how busy life gets, I am never able to separate it from stillness because it’s the foundation from which I am able to fulfill my function in the world.