Take a leaf | the philosopher’s voice

I once stopped to admire an insect resting on a leaf in a garden. This moment moved me in its simplicity. Everything in nature has its purpose and this was one of those serene examples of fauna and flora existing harmoniously. This image captures individualism and interconnection, so when I was thinking of what to sketch next, I chose this. It made me happy to draw it as the process brought me into a tranquil state of being.

Take a leaf by Jennifer Trijo

Leading a purposeful life is important to many. According to Aristotle the ultimate human goal is happiness. Though many people try to achieve this through hedonism, Aristotle advocated for the sustainable kind of happiness which is to be attained by finding one’s purpose, realising one’s potential, and committing to self-improvement, hence becoming the best version of oneself. I’ve just started a new book titled Aristotle’s Way by Edith Hall. In it she cites ten ways ancient wisdom can change your life.

“Aristotle’s notion of happiness is wonderfully simple and democratic: everyone can decide to be happy. After a certain amount of time, acting rightly becomes ingrained as a habit, so you feel good about yourself, and the resulting state of mind is one of eudaimonia, Aristotle’s world for happiness.”

– Edith Hall

The past four days of sketching have been very meaningful to me. I believe creativity is a large part of my purpose in this life and the process of being mindful in a new creative domain has, so far, been very rewarding. I’m grateful to all of the people who’ve encouraged me in my early attempts to produce visual art. I’m maintaining a non-judgemental state about each work and I’m focusing my energy on creative output rather than evaluating a work using common emotion-laden subjective adjectives. My prefrontal cortex is definitely getting a workout.

“You are your own moral agent, but act in an interconnected world where partnerships with other people are of great significance.”

– Edith Hall

I think about everyday beauty like the lone insect on a garden leaf when the noise of life gets overwhelming. I could take a leaf out of nature’s book and get back to the garden of my life where an abundance of inspiration exists and my problems become insignificant.

“Ironically I say, the feeling of egolessness, is the journey home and the experience of the mindful self.”

– Virginia Woolf

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