There are days where inspiration comes in explosions, oozing out of my skin from every single pore. There’s a bounce in my step, I’m so excited and so passionate about being alive. I want to jump, dance, sing, scream, shout, paint, write.. I want to let the whole world know how beautiful life is, how miraculous it is to be alive. There is so much I want to share and express I don’t even know how to beging getting out.. but I sit down with paint and paper or pen and paper or whatever mode of expression it is, perhaps even song, and it all comes flooding out. Like a dam has been opened, and finally it can all be expressed.
Then there are days that seem so dark I lose faith the light even exists. Moments of joy and excitement are a distant memory, and I’m not even sure what the point in any of it is. I feel tired, exhausted, energy-less, lifeless… Like I just want to lay in a crumpled pile on the floor and do nothing. Or that I want to cry. Or I feel so much rage that I want to break things and tear them apart. This energy can be creative sometimes and I can find myself writing or painting, expressing what might traditionally be judged as dark and negative.
While other times, in these darker days; I’ll lie for ages and ages, doing nothing.. sometimes it begins to spiral into darker and darker places as the negative self talk berates me for lying and doing nothing, and as I feel worse about myself, I become meaner to myself and feel worse about myself, and it feeds on itself, spiralling on and on and on.
Then there are the other times, in these darkers days, when I can lie in my sadness, and cry and let it all out without spiralling out so much; and even within that spiralling out I can remind myself that I’ve been here before, that I’ve been through this before,and that it has passed many times before, and this time too it shall pass. Sometimes it helps, and others it's futile.
Human Beings we’re emotional creatures, undeniably so, with some of us are more in touch with this, and able to be more fluid within the motions. Sometimes we hold onto whatever emotion we’re feeling, like happiness we never want it to end, yet honestly it’s exhausting feeling ecstatic all the time. Whilst in times of deep sadness sometimes we really don’t want to be feeling that way, we resist it, tell ourself not to feel like this, berate ourselves for going through this, but this is also counterproductive as we’re feeding it and giving it more power.
Then there’s this thing of positive affirmations, which have their value and place; and if youre in a really dark spot and that’s going to get you out of there maybe it’s helpful. Personally I feel that if in times of sadness and pain we start rambling out positive affirmations we’re not truly facing whats going on, we’re not being with ourselves and our experiences, and if we don’t get to know these parts of ourself, how are we going to come to terms with them? How is it ever going to become easier for ourselves? Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right, maybe I’m both and some things work for some while others for others. Let me know you’re experience for sure.
Anyway! Throughout my teens I went through some dark times of deep self hatred and self loathing, which is a story for another time. But in short, as an expression of this I was cutting myself to express this pain, this suffering, in an attempt to escape, to runaway from what was happening. Physical pain is so much easier to cope with than emotional pain; and then of course there’s the high, the release.
We all have our coping mechanisms we use to cope with life.;be it drugs, alcohol, sugar, sex, exercise, whatever. Some of us cope with our coping mechanisms better than others; some of us are fine with them, and others of us beats ourselves up over them.
The reality is: when we resist who we are, when we resist what’s happening, when we wish for things to be different than how they actually are; we’re actually giving more energy and focus to that which we don’t want, and in so doing create more of it. You've experienced it yourself: as soon as someone tells you not to think about butterflies, what are you going to think about? Butterflies of course.
So then perhaps is the solution to focus on what you do want? What you do want to be experiencing, how you want to be feeling. At the same time, you don't want this to be another escape mechanism either. For example, when you’re deep in a moment of sadness, by focusing on happiness you’re in denial of what is actually happening and indirectly are still resisting what is actually happening.
The most effective away for us to allow that which we don't want in our lives to dissipate is to allow for them to be, to feel the sadness, to be with the dislike, to make peace and come to terms with what is actually happening.
On the other hand there are plenty of situations in which we can focus on what we want to be happening. It's a matter of identifying when to apply which way of approach; and the only way to learn this is from personal experience.
But just to give you some insight: in creating your future, in long term goals, yes focus on what you want to create, how you want to feel, what you wish to experience.
Whilst in the short term, when in the turmoils of emotion, when witnessing negative self talk, when berating yourself; if you realize you’re trying to escape your experience, what’s happening, who you’re interacting with, THEN go into the emotion, the experience, allow yourself to fully experience what is happening without running away. Then you may even gain some insight into the core of what is happening, you may gain some understanding and realise the futility in your reaction.. and THEN all on its own it shall dissipate; something that will never happen if you keep resisting and running away from your actual experience.
-Living the Human Experience-
The beautiful intricate creatures that we are. So simple and so complex… The sum total of evolution bringing us to be who we are today. Whilst on a personal scale created through the sum total of our experience and through genetics. If we break ourselves down we can divide ourselves into our physical body, our mental body, our emotional body, and our spiritual body.
The physical body, apparent to the eye and touch: Musculoskeletal system, nervous system, blood, skin, hair., etc. Perhaps it’s what gives this sense of identity separate to everything else. Allowing us to physically move through space; the vessel which allows us to creatively express ourselves. A tool through which we can manifest our thoughts and dreams into this physical reality. This sense of separate identity is what gives this sense of I (and though there is much ego bashing going on in this spiritual reality, the ego has its purpose) its what keeps the accumulation of all our experiences united, what gives shape to a unique expression of Being, unique ideas, unique thoughts, unique creations. Adding to the variety of this beautiful life. Creating more and more possibilities for the evolution of life and consciousness as a whole.
The mental body: the domain of the mind where thoughts reside. The rational, the analytical, the problem solver, the hypothesizer, the fantasizer. The mind is probably another part of our BEingness that gets a bad rep from time to time. And yes if we are only living from the mind we can become unbalanced, yet if we can bring it into balance with the heart, so that it doesn’t take over and take the lead, and instead harness it we can bring it to good use. So what is the role of the mind? We can rationally recall and analyse our experiences.. and from this deduct what is efficient, what’s not, what works for us, and what doesn’t; and thus grow, evolve, and learn to live to the best of our ability. We can relive stories over and over in our head so as to traumatize ourselves (total waste of energy and time, yet we do it over and over again). We can plan and speculate about the inifinite possibilities of things that can happen in the future (can be useful to some extent, but only so far). Or we can use it to come up with creative solutions to problems we are trying to solve, or even in the creation of art.
And then comes the emotional body. Sometimes we supress it while others we allow it to flow liberally and freely. We are capable of experiencing such an array of emotions: sadness, joy, fear, excitement, happiness, desperation,.. And that is one of the delights of being human, this capacity to feel.. Yet it seems often, perhaps through cultural upbringing or through negative experiences we learn to suppress our emotions, and that’s where blockages are created. This resistance to whatever it is we’re feeling is what causes us to not enjoy our emotions, what causes sadness and anguish to be a burden and stands in the way of us fully experiencing and expressing our happiness and joy. For when we allow ourselves to simply feel emotions are fluid they come and they go like the tides of the ocean. However when we resist this natural fluidity emotions stagnate and remain for longer than they need.
And finally the spiritual body, this sense of belonging, of being part of something greater than the individual self; be it family, a community, friends, the planet as whole, or the universe. This sense of having a purpose, this sense of being more than an isolated individual. That inspires us to grow and evolve and to become the fullest expression of our beingness. This is an element that contributes to the joie de vivre, an excitement for being alive. For when we don’t feel this when we feel disconnected and isolated, that’s where depression comes along right? And then of course none of the body’s exists independently of each other, in fact it can be counterproductive to view them as separate for each one affects the other. When were stressed we might get sick, when we feel disconnected form the world we become emotionally depressed, when we seriously injure ourselves we might become sad.. and so on..
So these are but a few of what makes up a human being.. and then each human being, what makes us each unique and individual is the sum total of evolution, our ancestry that came before us, and the sum total of our own personal experience in this life time. Which makes us who we are today..
So yes, we are all each unique indivual expressions of humanity, yet at the end of the day, in essence we are all the same, we all come from the same place, we are all brothers and sisters in this life. So if we can remember this, to communicate from the heart, from one human Being to another. Drop the barriers we uphold to protect ourselves we can further accelerate this growth, this evolution. For when we come together, combine our unique traits we can create so much more and so much variety than that which any of us could accomplish on our own.
There’s much talk about the monkey mind, but what about the monkey heart? or in other words the monkey like nature of emotion.
Which I suppose is what the current capitalist system feeds off of. This desire of ours to feel to experience, to feel intense emotion, to feel pleasure, delight. It’s where we get our kicks from: movies, food, social media, extreme sports, sex, and so. It seems a common trait amidst the 21st century human to be always searching for the next high, the next hit, constant excitement and stimulation.
We all want to feel good, but perhaps there’s a misunderstanding that feeling good will bring us happiness
Yet this feel good experience we’re all chasing we’re associating with instant gratification, instant stimulation of pleasure receptors.. yet once the experience is over what are we left with? We’ll be left with the satisfaction of the memory for a little while, but how long does that last?
This idea that we need something external to us to feel good. Most likely on a totally subconscious level. Or it might not be the case at all and I’m totally wrong, but check in with yourself and see is this true for you?
Not to say that wanting to experience pleasure, wanting to feel good is a bad thing. It’s a perfectly healthy thing, and a super enjoyable experience. I just believe it’s even healthier to check in with ones self to see what ones relationship is with this instant gratification system we have in place.
Is there a subconscious element in place that believes we need this pleasure stimulation in order to feel happy? That this short term high equates to happiness. Is there a subconscious part of you that’s often searching for the next temporary “high”?
Addiction itself is a funny thing as its often not what we’re addicted to that’s the cause of the problem, but rather the reason we’re addicted, what we’re trying to escape.
I guess that’s a point I’m making here.. are you relying on these instant gratification mechanisms for your happiness? Or is there happiness there with or without these experiences?
Which brings us to the question: what is happiness?
Rather than being this feel good feeling, I believe it’s a underlying tone to ones life experience. It’s something we can experience in moments of both negative and positive emotions. So rather than being this feeling of feel good, it’s a sense of ease with your experience, an attitude of allowing yourself to experience whatever it is you’re experiencing. For lack of a better word it’s this sense of contentment with being either “happy” or being sad.. It’s coming to this spaces of being at peace with who we are.
And it’s all over the place we’re all searching for it, and we’re being sold it left, right, and center. If we have the latest x, y, or z. THEN we will be happy.
Yet.. as long as we are looking for happiness outside of ourselves.. it’s never going to happen on that deep permanent basis. There will be moments, and they will be beautiful. Yet until we stop searching everywhere for what is already within us.. we will always be on this crazy vicious cycle of a puppy chasing it’s tale.. searching searching searching.. for what we think is outside of us, but is in fact part of us all along.
So what is the path to long lasting, life permeating happiness? Honestly, it doesn’t always feel great, yet it does allow one to live life at ease, and in the long run it allows the everyday moments to be more vivid, to be fully lived and experienced. Not only the highs and lows.
I’m sure there are many practices, many techniques. But whatever allows you to come more fully into to the present moment, into your experience. That allows you to be honest with yourself about your experiences; that invites you to become intimate with what is actually happening. Personally I’ve used mindfulness, yoga, breathing practices, meditation, immersing myself in nature, and taking time to DISCONNECT from the constant stimulation of technology.
And these are not quick fix solutions.. which we are so accustomed to.. these are practices, that take practicing over and over and over again.. and that as you’re practicing you wonder.. “why the FUCK am I doing this?!” yet with retrospect, months later, looking back, the change is evident, friends and family will notice.. something shifts.. we become more at ease with ourselves, with our experience. We reconnect with ourselves.
But hey, that’s my experience and you don’t need to take my word for it, try it and see.. and feel free to share your story with me. All of our journeys are different, yet there are similarities, and personally I love to hear about it.
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