How can we set our lives up in such a way to maximize our health and vitality, ensure depth and breadth of experience and simultaneously be fluid, flexible and flowing? How can we create a systemized way of continual growth and development on all levels in such a way that each day we feel renewed from the fruits of full experience?
I've been studying human potential and experimenting with different life practices for human growth and development since my freshman year of college. It all started in 2006 when I went to Matthew Barney's DRAWING RESTRAINT exhibit at the MoMA in San Francisco. The underlying message in this exhibition of Barney's work was that without the cycle of being challenged -> responding to challenge -> engaging the challenge & "maxing out" -> relaxation, the physical body and creative mind will begin to weaken. In other words, use it or loose it.
To be the change you wish to see in the world means you must engage with your desire to actualize your fullest potential and in doing so you benefit yourself and all other human beings.
Instead of being "driven" in response to your past, the growth process of blossoming into one's full potential is a constantly emerging continuum where one is PULLED by a VISION.
While there is no one single best way to do life, or live a fully engaged life, there are certainly definitive areas of life engagement that practice in does bring to life a fuller, stronger, and more conscious you.
But how do we create such structure and habits for life that enables us to continually become our best self, to grow and develop each day, without getting overwhelmed, stressed out, or simply lose interest? This past year it has become clear to me that most of us really and truly want to be our best and make positive productive life habits for maximized well being.
The gap between wanting to and doing it is simply: how do I? My advice is Integral Life Practice. Ken Wilber's integral life practice is the best resource I've encountered that provides a universal structure for organizing an integral life and setting your self up for long term success. Whether you start with action, or with intention makes no difference. The important part is whether you choose to act and be in control of the only person you can ever have true influence over, yourself.
Integral Life Practice is a way of making sense of—and making best use of—the existing treasure trove of insights, methods, and practices for cultivating a more enlightened life. It offers a uniquely adaptive approach to awakened living through a highly flexible system that will help you develop your physical health, spiritual awareness, emotional balance, mental clarity, relational joy, and energy level, within a framework that integrates all aspects of your life. "Integral Life Practice is the ultimate handbook for realizing freedom and fullness in the 21st century."
"What is a fashion? From the artistic point of view, it is usually a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." Oscar Wilde
Aesthetics is crucial for our transitioning from a consumer culture saturated with disposable goods to a more sustainable consumer practice. Aesthetics concerns beauty and sensuous delight. But what is considered beautiful and delightful? Beauty is in many ways connected to taste – and therefore connected to the ideals of our time, our culture. Connected to trends. And yet, I do believe there exists within the world and practice of design (from architecture to clothes to furniture) an expression of a lasting aesthetic - an eternal beauty.
The definition of an aesthetically sustainable design object (whether this being a dress, a table, a bag, or a bowl) is, to me, an object that has a lasting expression… an object that lasts aesthetically. A design containing lasting harmony, and beauty that is not affected by trends. If something is aesthetically sustainable, it pleases our senses as well as our fundamental human need to structure what we experience. It has a constant expression; a lasting look.
The ultimate sustainability must be buying a few, good things that last. That requires durability, quality, and aesthetics! Which look do you never get tired of? Which shirt would you want to wear again and again, year after year (if it didn’t wear out)? How can designers of all disciplines rise above the short term rat race of fast fashion and disposable trends into the realm of aesthetic sustainability?