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Original photo by Breston Kenya

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When you look up at the stars at night, what do you see?

For most of my life I looked up at the stars without thinking too much about them. They were fascinating, surely, but not for more than a captivated glance. I looked at them, but I didn’t really look at them. In a way, I didn’t want to confront their existence, because that meant confronting my own and that of our species.

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Acknowledging our place in the universe is acknowledging our vulnerability, and that’s scary. Yet, as I’ve been learning more about our history and about the Universe in which we live in, I had to come to terms with the fact that, in the big scale of the cosmos, we are infinitely small. Almost insignificant, one could say. …


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In 2019 I attended a silent meditation course where I spent ten days in silence, isolation, and with nothing to do but to meditate. The course took place in a rural area of Spain, a place remote enough that you could gaze at the stars at night.

One afternoon halfway through the course I was meditating in my room. My task was simply to stay focused on the breath, but my mind was racing with thoughts. I was imagining what my colleagues were thinking about me doing this thing. I pictured what I would say to them at the end of the course, and what they would say back. The conversations were vivid and intense, when suddenly…💥 I snapped out of it.


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Photo by Gabriela Gomez

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The first time I realized the world was changing faster than we could keep up with was five years ago. As a business and marketing graduate, I was looking for a job to start my career, and I noticed that most job offers required skills that were not in any company’s radar when I started my studies.

It took me by surprise, I thought I was supposed to be done studying now that I had a degree. …


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Art by Giulia Rosa

I fell in love for the first time many years ago with a girl from my same high school.

I liked her and she liked me. We shared music CDs and countless hours on the phone. But I didn’t know how to express my feelings for her, and when I eventually did, it was too late: she could only see me as a friend. I felt quite embarrassed about it, but worst than that, she hooked up with another guy in our friend circle.

One day we all went to the cinema to watch a popular teen romance. The kind of movie you don’t really want to see with the girl you like and her boyfriend sitting around you. When the movie ended, as we made our way out, I saw them kissing. I felt a rush of shame take over my body and I wanted to vanish. …


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Few weeks ago I watched the movie ‘Joker’ by Todd Phillips and I loved it. Music, acting, photography, storytelling — I think it was perfect from start to finish.

Beyond that, I think ‘Joker’ is a masterpiece because it forcefully invites us to have a conversation about mental health, a topic still quite taboo in our society. As humans we might have mapped and conquered the oceans and lands around us, but inside our minds we still stand on shaky ground.

The movie tells the story of Arthur, a relatively harmless man who becomes extremely violent and destructive. His transformation is the result of accumulated and unresolved emotional pain. Since he is a little boy, he suffers trauma after trauma, and — unable to deal with the pain — he internalizes it. When he engages with the outside world he encounters lack of compassion, lack of listening, lack of support or encouragement. …


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One and a half years ago I started my life as a “digital nomad”. I stuffed my 40 Lt. backpack with the essential and I flew to the other side of the world, where I lived for 8 months, before moving somewhere else.

The idea of travelling and working remotely had always been fascinating to me: escaping the cubicle to work from tropical beaches? Hell yeah!

However, I soon realized that the true reason I was drawn to this life was not to work from a tropical paradise sipping coconut on a beach, but rather to buy some time.

Time to learn about myself. …


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Photo by Jason Briscoe

Digital nomads are known for their implacable thirst for more experiences: they want to meet new people and seek new adventures.

For them, the world is truly an oyster: from skinny dipping in the infinity pools of Bali, to Full Moon parties on remote beaches of Thailand, or ziplining in the jungle of Costa Rica.. the options to enjoy life seem to be endless.

Nevertheless, this dizzying abundance of opportunities comes often at a price:

Digital Nomads never seem to be quite satisfied with one single place.

Somewhere else there is always something cooler to do, or someone more interesting to meet. Therefore, they move around all the time, rarely staying in one place longer than a few months. …


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I learned about this book a little bit more than four years ago.

I was in Sweden for my studies and, despite having a good time during my staying there, I was personally facing a period of deep depression. I was suffering from recurring panic and anxiety, and had little clue about how to face my internal struggle.

Luckily, “luckily”, I had already suffered enough to be open for some form of healing.

I remember seeing the book on the sofa of a fellow study mate and being immediately drawn to it.


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Alex Honnold climbing El Capitan.

Did you watch Free Solo?

I watched it yesterday and today I feel like sharing few thoughts about it. For those who don’t know, it’s a movie about Alex Honnold climbing El Capitan in 3h56m with nothing more than his mind and his body.

One of the greatest athletic feats of all time.

The movie is great, the images almost unreal. There are several moments at the end of the movie when you sit on the edge of the chair and stop breathing.

Alex’s achievement is simply incredible. A victory of the human potential. An inspiring display of true mastery.

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It’s is also a solid endorsement of the power of visualization, the practice of using imagination to shape future life experiences. …


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So.. lately I got my mind fucked pretty hard by Brian Cox on the Joe Rogan Experience #1233 and by some other related content (particularly on the YouTube channel Exurb1a).

I felt the need to share a few things I’ve learned because.. why not shaking your mental stability too? It’s kinda fun, hey! 😬

👉 Here’s a small recap.

🌌 To the best of our scientific understanding, this Universe is 13.8 billion years old. There are potentially 20 billion Earth-like planets in the milky way galaxy alone, 200 billions stars in each galaxy for a total of 2 trillion potential galaxies. (lol? 😅)

🌍 We have still no idea how complex life evolved (how we went from unicellular organisms to multicellular organisms). One hypothesis is that 700–600 million years ago a bacteria got inside another single-celled microorganism (an archaea) and somehow not only survived as a symbiotic organism, but also — unbelievably — reproduced in that configuration. If that is true, it happened once for pure random chance.

🌝 We have still no idea how our solar system formed. One of the most predominant hypothesis is “The Grand Tack Hypothesis” which explains how the gas giant Jupiter first was migrating inward toward the Sun “like a wrecking ball”, destroying a first generation of inner planets.. until the formation of Saturn caused it to reverse course and migrate outward to its current position. …

About

Dario Villirilli

🌎 Explorer 📚 Thinker 🎨 Creator | Join my monthly newsletter: https://bit.ly/3fMFSg4

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