The 50/50 Project
Updated: Mar 2
2021. A new year. In December, I will turn 50. To celebrate the gift of 50 years of life, I started the 50/50 Project. The aim is to inspire and coax out the best in me, to challenge and stretch myself, to connect to others and to my passions, and to seek greater bliss and peace through renunciation. The projects themselves and the results are not as important as the process. Clear intention is paramount. I'm more curious about the forces and currents beneath thoughts and actions than the thoughts and actions themselves. Our words and actions proceed from thought. But thought is guided by the power of attention and intention.
There is only ever this moment. We travel through life in a compartment called Now. Now is all there is. What unfolds now is the result of countless decisions, agreements, investments, forces and dynamics- many of which we are unaware of. The ancients call this unfolding karma.
With mindfulness, the intentions we set now materialize in a future now moment. When I set intentions, I set my heading. I want to take good care that my intentions are clear, so that when I arrive in the next Now moment my heart is full, my mind is at peace, I am equanimous. I cannot remain equanimous if I am attached to outcomes. So, I approach this project in a spirit of play- with curiosity, as an experiment.
My intentions are:
To promote life affirming habits
To create- hastening ideas into reality
To experiment and learn
To connect more deeply and lovingly with others
To remain present
To have fun
To transform the inner landscape
To relinquish self-will, feelings of separateness, attachments, and negative feelings
To purify the body, thoughts, desires, and motives
To explore potentials and possibilities
To surrender more completely to what is
I came up with 50 projects which I intend to have completed by the end of my 50th year in 2022. They fall into categories and are inspired by one or more of the intentions I listed above. To illustrate the process, I have provided one example for each category.
Creative. Create 50 songs in 50 different genres (https://soundcloud.com/j-felix-408176358/rb-1). This connects me to my passions, brings me joy, and connects me to others through music, language, and culture.
Physical. A 50 mile ultra. This is an expression of curiosity, a manifestation of confidence, a celebration of life, a willingness to endure suffering.
Financial. 50% of income saved in a market fund. This is an expression of prudence, frugality, discipline, and responsibility.
Cultural. Prepare 50 nutrient dense, vegetarian meals from 50 different cultures. This promotes life affirming habits.
Social. Connect with 50 friends. Affirms love.
Philanthropic. Donate 50 hours. This is an act of self-emptying and generosity.
Nature. Plant 50 trees. This is a recognition of our interdependence and connection with all that is.
Professional. 50 pages artwork for a children's book (Instagram). This is an expression of joy.
Habits. Take the Complaint Free Challenge (Go 50 consecutive days without complaining, criticizing, or gossiping). The intention is to purify thoughts and words.
Spiritual. Divide waking hours (16) into 50. Every 20 minutes practice one discipline for 50 days. Some disciplines include: gratitude, blessing those around me, returning to the present moment.
Mindfulness. A 50 day retreat or 50 days of retreats. This is an act of compassion.
However you choose to approach this new year, may some of the ideas shared here inspire you to clarify your intentions as you pursue your interests and live your passions more fully moment by precious moment.