Balancing Mind, Body and Soul in the East / Writing as a Tool of Self-care
Darius says that we tend to get caught up in our thought chaos, lose sight of who we are and forget (or never remember) our truth and authenticity. For this reason he had left the West and abandoned its definition of success, to go searching for personal flow in the East. Darius Lukas – an entrepreneur, writer and adventurer, a former theatre director in London, now teaches writing as a mindfulness tool and shares with us how to take care of our mental well-being.
by IEVA JUODELE
What were the exact reasons for escaping the West and moving to the East?
I left Lithuania 11 years ago and moved to London wanting to challenge myself and explore a different way of living. This set me off on the path of self discovery, and 5 years ago I moved to Bali, Indonesia, looking for what we had lost in the West: the mystical, the divine, the sacred. After living full time in Asia, I now divide between my time between Europe, Bali and Japan.
You quit your career in theatre directing and turned to entrepreneurship and self-development. Is writing more effective than psychotherapy?
From my experience, psychotherapy is constant digging in your past when you keep retelling the painful events and thus further perpetuate and relive your pain. The way I teach writing as a mindfulness tool is through presenting it as a form of meditation, which helps people go beyond their story. In other words, they become the witness of their life rather than an active participant.
So, what are the main 3 questions you should be asking yourself when starting writing therapy?
I always start with a free writing exercise and open it up with the question: what am I feeling at this very moment? And allow this question to take me to most unexpected places. I don’t stop writing for 20 minutes (without moving my hand away from paper or thinking what I’m writing about), and in this way, the mind often goes from its conscious thought processing to slightly more subconscious levels of thought. At the end of the practice, you can feel a certain sense of aliveness, as if you had got rid off of something unwanted. You can then further move onto asking yourself: is there anything that I’m not seeing or even ignoring right now? If the state you’re currently in satisfies you, you can ask yourself: how can I capture it in words or/and enhance it?
I can see from your social media that you travel a lot. Would you say that travelling is a type of self-care tool as well?
Yes and no. I guess, if it’s done intentionally, it can become a form of self-care, self- discovery and growth.
Guessing that being in the air, on the plane, is your home, how do you handle moments of home-sickness and melancholy?
I don’t think I ever feel home-sick as I don’t really have a home. However, constant movement can make you ungrounded and a little lost. Then I turn to something that I do routinely: writing, working out, calling family or an old friend. It reminds me of who I am and where I’d come from...
It looks like your life’s mission is to cultivate authenticity and truth as your source of happiness. Have you found happiness?
My aim is to live in the state of flow and stay in tune with my heart. Choosing to do what comes easily and effortlessly, what energises me instead of draining me. You know something isn’t right in your life (a relationship/a job) when you constantly feel fatigued.
At the moment you are in Tokyo learning the way of the samurai. Why?
I always wanted to try a form of meditation, which includes physical activity. Everything about samurai moral code and the way they see movement and fight resonates with me. It is essentially the embodiment of Zen.
Is it easy to learn meditation?
It‘s been really hard for me... But those moments of no thought are priceless and the best form of self-care.