Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Calling All Stoics! Invitation to a Stoic Year!

So as we begin to near the final quarter of the year, I thought maybe an update on my Stoic living guide that I planned on making for next year should be in order.

Just it recap, the Stoic living guide is supposed to be a yearlong habit-building exercise for Stoicism like the Happiness Project was for happiness. The idea is simple enough. Figure out practical ways to reinforce the theoretical. It's all well and good to know what's not in our control, but if we don't take the time to remind ourselves of these things on a daily basis, it does us little good.

However, it's been a few months of since I've started this project and I found that I'm not that great at it. As it turns out, it's hard to find practical ways to apply theory to Stoicism. Outside of the things most Stoics know, such as the View from Above exercise, negative visualization, and Seneca's nightly review, there's also others that we know about, but don't apply to everyone or involve major life changes. Such as not shaving your beard. Or becoming a vegetarian.

It did get me thinking, however. Stoicism, back in it's heyday, really liked the community. It's like they were cosmopolitans or something. It made me realize that any Stoic project that I undertook by myself kind of missed a part of Stoicism. Stoicism was to be practiced alone and with others. Alone, because it's up to us to follow through with our practice. Together, because we become stronger with others.

So, I propose this: starting in January, I invite anyone who is willing to a yearlong Stoic practice. Instead of a lot of little things, we'll focus on one big thing a month. Think Stoic Week, just longer and slower paced. Once every two weeks, we'll catch up with each other and talk about how we're doing, both on the blog and Google Chat. Do videos, start your own blog, paint your porch and start inviting others to share in your wisdom. Whatever you want to track your progress and share it.

I started this blog because I wanted to be a part of the community. But I realized that if I wanted to be part of it, I have to be willing to take time to make contributions to it. I fail most of the time because I always viewed this blog as somehow apart from the Stoic community. This, the cosmopolitanism, was what I was missing from my Stoic practice. Even my able to control my emotions is way stronger than my ability to get involved.

What do you guys think? Would you be on board for a yearlong practice with others?

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