CategoryAll posts under‘September‘

If not now, when?

Sopheak

Bomb brass bangles

I was catching up with a longtime journalist friend and had to ask if she would quit her job and set up shop. After all, she spent all her life covering the coolest and most desirable must-haves in town. To me, it’s a no-brainer only because she has all the contacts and I imagine the clout she can wield is incredible.

Her response was a straight, don’t-you-even-think-about-it no. “You are damn brave to do this” was all she added. Some of us build a comfort zone and safety wall that would take more than a courageous bulldozer to tear down. The inevitable question from friends when they hear of my gig is not the big “why” because, I suspect, they know me enough to ask the obvious. It is an envious “How is it like being your own boss?”

They say living your dream is better than being stuck in a cubby hole. They imagine the boss has complete control of her time and resources, and perhaps, has time to read a book under a coconut tree if she so desires. Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side if you are depleted, dehydrated and forget to water your own backyard.

The truth of the experience defies an easy one-paragraph explanation. There are very real day-to-day challenges that test every ounce of your resolve. There are dark days when you feel vulnerable, spiraling down a tunnel with no light in sight. Certainly, you find that you have to dig deep to find mental strength and clarity. You need to replenish yourself frequently and more than ever.

This is when the practice on the [yoga] mat pays off. Svadhyaya, or self-study, is one of the foundations of yoga practice. What inspires, lights you up and brings you joy? Why do you do the things you do? Your honest answer may very well provide the reason to plod on.

To the Third World person who has limited, or rather, no life choices, fundamental sustenance is the sole reason to hang in there. Sopheak, the silversmith pictured here laboriously crafted this beautiful bangle from discarded bomb casings. He was 26 years old when he decided acquiring a practical skill will ensure a better future for his children. The 42-year-old went from possessing zilch knowledge of metal art to being noted for his fine craftsmanship. From living hand-to-mouth in a rental flat to owning his own house and sending his sons to school. The social enterprise that hires him – and from whom we purchase from – pays him a fair salary and ensures he works in safe space.

What inspires you, the First World being blessed with wonderful material possessions, to live the life you dream of living? And when you do, what will sustain your heart work?

The ethically and sustainably produced merchandise at 100 Good Things are sourced with care, consciousness and understanding. To purchase them, visit 100 Good Things store.

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