Day 2: Epoché

Story: Yesterday I got more depressed than I have been in a while. 

It all started when I met with a local influencer in my hometown of Durham, NC. His name is Pierce and he created this amazing community called Blackspace. I actually created a documentary on Blackspace a few years ago with some teenagers and that’s how we got connected. 

Anyways, during our meeting, I was telling him about the community that I was building for photographers and I was picking his brain about how they’ve been helping people and how I can be a part of Blackspace more deeply. 

Pierce eventually pointed out that “things always take longer than expected”. When he said this he said out loud “I sound like my dad”. 

I left that meeting really inspired but I felt unease which later turned into sadness. 

Thankfully, I had a counseling session scheduled last night so I had a place to figure out what the hell was going on. 

I realized that I was judging and comparing myself to Pierce and the community that he had built. Once I realized that and acted like it, I felt some peace again.

What does that have to do with the title? Epoché

I came across this word when I was doing research for the name of my community that I’m creating for photographers. I almost named the community Epoché. It means ‘to suspend judgment’. 

As I researched this word more I found another word that seemed to be the effect of ‘suspending judgment’. That word is ‘ataraxia’ which means ‘not perturbed’ or ‘tranquillity’. I translate it as feeling happy. 

Epoché is not just a cool word. It’s a state of mind which leads to ataraxia, which is a state of being. Which is what I want to feel all the time. 

Lesson: Judging myself makes me feel sad and when I compare myself to others that are walking in a similar vision as mine, that also makes me sad. 

Learning from others’ successes is really hard but if we ‘suspend judgment’ in our relationships I bet we’ll just start feeling better. 

Action Step: When you inevitably compare yourself to others try picturing yourself living, feeling, and acting as if you were the person you’re comparing yourself to and you’ll find gratefulness for that person plus you’ll your judgment melt away.