Repetition and Awareness. The Universal Dance.

A Letter Written by Sam Lyons to J.L. Quinby, Esq. |


You sly devil, you…

You recently asked me what I thought was the most defining aspect of my philosophy. The cornerstone of my ethos, so to speak. Well, I think I have my answer.

One of the strongest components of my own self-awareness, or self-identification is based on my constant desire for independence. It’s led to a relative sense of detachment that has served me well, though at times it has also backfired, specifically with respect to my relationships. So while there is a lot of merit in this evolving identity of mine, there is perhaps an equal amount of danger, but I try and navigate the tightrope in between as best I can.

The only way I’ve resolved to accomplish this is through practice. The practice is awareness, and it is something I try and work at daily. The key is repetition. Conscious repetition. I’m sort of repeating myself right now actually, but hey, at least I’m aware of it. All kidding aside, there is much to be said about the beauty of repetition. Many people, particularly those in the artistic sphere (particularly Jude and Cal), might think that it easily kills the spontaneity of creation, but that is a load of bollocks. I’ll tell you why.

I suppose it prudent to preface by saying that it depends on what you are repeating. Let me just say this, repetition is the most time-honored of way of learning and developing a skill or habit. A writer becomes a good writer by writing, the same way a painter develops their skill at painting by painting. A pianist…you get the idea.

In a broader context, we develop our own people skills by continually working at being a better people person, through developing awareness in our conversations with everyone we encounter, whether they’re loved ones or total strangers.

That being said, the key is also awareness. It’s one thing to just talk to people, it’s another to do so with awareness. What does all that mean? It means examining and understanding how we communicate with others, and whether we are doing so in a way that is productive, or effective in accomplishing an outcome that is to our benefit and hopefully to the benefit of all interested parties.

And yet, awareness itself can only be perfected by repetition. Nothing helps in learning a skill more effectively than repetition. The practices we once utilized as children, say in memorizing our multiplication tables, are equally applicable to any other practice in life, no matter how simple or abstract that practice may be. No matter the context, just about everything in life, every goal we set for ourselves requires some form of practice by repetition.

Many of the solutions to these goals are very obvious, no doubt. If you want to get in shape, there is only one way to do it. Despite all the various, highly-advertised ‘magic pill’ alternatives, nothing beats good ol’ diet and exercise. And still, the practice can prove more effective and even more enjoyable if it’s guided by awareness. That is, being aware of the good that diet and exercise are doing for your body; and how a healthy body fosters a more healthy mind and spirit, and vice-versa. Thus, we see how there is an exercise behind the exercise. Not only are you exercising your body (mind & spirit), you’re exercising your awareness of the exercise.

Herein lies the yin-yang, the harmonious dance guiding every step we take toward a more fulfilling life. It’s a waltz between two fundamental principles within the cosmos of human consciousness. Repetition and Awareness.

And now, Quinby, I’ve repeated myself endlessly into a closing spiral within a neat little circle. At least, I think it’s neat. I hope it’s neat. I hope the circle is neat enough to read. Hey, if you don’t get it the first time, I encourage you to read it again. If you do get it, then I still encourage you to read it again. Like all circles, it’s really quite simple. Even pretty.

Sam Lyons

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