I was recently interviewed for this unique podcast hosted by Brilliant Miller, who has an incredibly fun, fresh style. He started the School for Good Living to help everyone live more fulfilling and joyful lives. In our discussion we explored my books and some encounters from my time as a tracker, as well as what it means to live a good life. We also talk about what it took to get my books written and my tips for future writers!
When a great tracker loses the trail of an animal, he may learn where it has gone by discovering all the places it has not gone.
In the moment the tracker loses the track he meets the full 360-degree dimension of possibility. The animal could have gone in any direction and so each path of blank, trackless soil is talking to him.
“Not this path”, “not this path”
As he walks he is eliminating wedges of the full degree of that rotation. Refining where the trail may run by learning where it does not run. In this way, a tracker is always on track even when he is off it.
I always wanted to be someone whose life was an expression of the things I cared about. For me in some cases coming to that path began as an imitation of what I thought I should care about.
The gift of finding the path of ‘not this’. The realization that certain things I thought were for me was in fact not part of my path helped me know myself much more deeply.
By tracking imitation, my own trail twisted, turned and then opened to the authentic. In this way, no trail is ever wasted by the tracker.
Walking in a life that is not for you can be the beginning of knowing the life that is meant for you.
The path of ‘not this’ is a part of the way of a tracker.
There is a tree I know that has been teaching me about the power of presence. It’s an ebony tree with a thick black stem and dark limbs that flex into a thick canopy of evergreen leaves.
In stillness, the tree is uniquely itself. It is elegant. It does not have a five-year plan. The tree does not need to look busy to feel valuable or important. It is not actively doing anything. Yet, the scope of what that tree achieves is quite remarkable.
The tree invites birds to its branches. Recently a giant eagle owl took to roosting in the recesses of it dark shaded branches.
At a certain time of year it fruits and monkeys and baboons gleefully take to its branches.
Nyala can bee seen under the tree eating leaves that have fallen to the earth due to the monkeying around in the branches above.
A monitor lizard is living in a hollowed section of the trunk.
The tree’s presence is formatting the space around it. It’s shaping an infinite scape of occurrence simply by being itself. It’s essence arising out of it’s deep unmoving refusal to be anything but itself.
Let your presence invite everything to be itself around you.
Harmony is everything being uniquely itself, and in that way a part of a greater whole.