What do I remember when I go down memory lane? The really cool pants or shoes I bought three years ago? Definitely not. The car that was sort of new then? Naaaa. The vacation to Italy? Oh yes, that will stay with me forever, and the memories of our experiences, the flavors, the scents, and the sights, still nourish my mind and I alight when I think back. "Do you remember when......," and a smile runs over my face.
It's experiences that create meaning, not so much stuff. Some stuff can of course enhance your life (lotions, candles, a treadmill, a coffee machine), make it more beautiful (art), make it more practical (dishwasher), or create health (food and supplements). But stuff without context has no meaning (see a post on meaningful stuff). "We are meaning-seeking creatures," says British author Karen Armstrong. A life full of meaning is what creates fulfillment and a worthwhile life. Experiencing is feeling alive and being part of something bigger. When we do something with others we feel connected; that is meaningful.
Traveling and tasting new foods is one of my passions; also sharing food and good conversation with people. Experiences are ephemeral. Once they have passed there is nothing material of them left in my life, only a memory. But it is all those experiences that keep adding layers of livedness, wisdom, depth, and humanness to me on a soul level. Experiences are soul work. What is meaningful to you?