In driving to work on a warm(ish) autumn day where the sun was bright and the leaves on the trees were having their last burst of color I started to notice that the local nurseries’ were in full Christmas holiday decoration. As I glanced at the storefronts along the highway this was a common view. Then driving into my neighborhood, I noticed that a few houses already had Christmas decorations on them.
We haven’t even hit Thanksgiving yet, but we were being catapulted into the Christmas holiday season. Thinking back to August, I had the same experience where the new school year didn’t even start yet and we were in the last days of summer, but yet the Halloween candy and decorations were abundant.
These are more overt examples, but they got me thinking about how we can lose where we are and are compelled to transition our thoughts and actions to some time in the future, taking us out of the present. And for some these grand signs of impending holidays (or other future events) conjure up feelings of being behind in planning, and falsely thinking that we need to get a jump start so when the “holidays” or the future event arrives we can just relax and enjoy them. When our planning and work are done we can be in the moment.
Outside of the commercial aspects of this, in today’s society we have built in these distractions and real-time references to some future point or milestone that pull us away from being grounded in our daily experience of simply being. We have instilled the concept and expectation around planning that fuel lower vibrations of fear, worry, comparison, etc., under the illusion that somehow when we get to that milestone we can enjoy it. We function in a state of tending to do too much and be too little.
There is a preoccupation of getting “stuff” done and a mindset that being still or idle is not productive. We have built a society in which people, especially in developed countries, are overactive, distracted and restless—thinking that they need to do more, have more or be more. And we get so preoccupied that we may even lose sight of gratitude.
Our physical selves—our brains—are sort of programmed to race from one thought to another, and our emotional selves get caught up in feeling guilty, inadequate or fearful when we are not in some physical state of perpetual motion fed by self imposed expectation. This is compounded when the institutions around us put distractions in front of us that make us have either a step in the past or the future—but not in the present. Be it (too) early holiday promotion and commercials, social media or legacy expectations, we forget to appreciate right where we are and who we are.
But we have the power to walk away from the distraction and to remind ourselves that we are in the present. We have the power to be in the now and stop ourselves from being transported into some future state (or to be dwelling in past states). We have the will to shut out the noise and be comfortable right where we are.
As the holiday season gets kicked-off with Thanksgiving in the US—with the “race” to New Years, realize that the now is all we have. The past is a story and the future will unfold as it should. Recognize the feeling of complete presence and focus on incorporating that feeling more into your every day life. Know where you are and just be.
“Misery is complexity. Happiness is simplicity” – Lester Levenson
I wanted to touch on an idea that has always intrigued me and the more I open myself up to it and put it into practice in my life, the more evident it becomes in my reality. That idea is simply that as seekers of truth, the more complicated something is, the further it is away from ultimate truth. The more we can simplify things in our lives, the closer we come to what is the genuine Truth or Way.
So simplicity is key, and cutting away all the unnecessary fat so to speak, can clear our connection to the Source that is within us all. It’s a simple formula to abide by in our lives to help keep us grounded and on the right path. When we can do this more and more in our lives, we find ourselves genuinely more happy and content. This has a lot also to do with the fact that things become more and more effortless for us as well.
We can see the idea of complexity being the norm, and almost praised in our society, so in many ways people tend to resist this idea because it is so prevalent and ingrained. It’s almost as if we are taught that the more complex an idea or program(s), system, solution etc., is to get a certain desired result, the more effort has been put into it, and hence people many times feel more of a sense of accomplishment. But usually this is just the ego talking. The truth of the matter is though, is that many things can actually be really simple and easy that seemingly are not.
It doesn’t always have to be some ten, twenty or thirty step process that takes forever to get where you want to be. But in some cases, entire industries are based on complication, so we are brainwashed into thinking it has to be this way, when it doesn’t. There’s a lot of money to be made in keeping things complicated, so keep that in mind. It also is a good way to control people and keep them dependent upon something outside themselves or keep them submerged in an on going, sometimes unnecessary process that delays direct contact with a simple solution.
In fact, when someone does something or drops something simply, without going through all of the complicated motions so to speak, it almost seems unreal, or impossible to believe. What this really means is that one is taking things to a new, higher level is all. Simplicity is the gateway. A big part of this though, is also one’s belief or quality of consciousness that this is possible.
Since being genuinely happy is our natural state of being from following a simpler more grounded path, it is authentic. Complexity on the other hand includes (amongst other things) over-analyzing, over-thinking, not trusting yourself or your instincts and doubting your own power. In the end complexity is a very restricting and limiting way to live and approach things, and just obscures our direct access to happiness, because happiness is not complex.
In the light (or darkness) of what the norm in our society is and what is expected of us, we have to have a solid, unshakeable state of mind and belief in ourselves that we can do things better and differently, or in this case more simply. Give it a shot and see what happens, if worse comes to worse you can always go back to your old complicated ways.
“. . . Some of it’s magic. Some of it’s tragic. But I had a good life all the way.”
Jimmy Buffet, He Went to Paris
During our time in this physical world we often move through it not being in tune with the significance of ourselves. Some lose sight of the wonder of who they are and the life they live. Many get distracted with thinking that their lives are ordinary, feeling like their lives are not turning out to be what they may have envisioned, or longing for experiences they desire.
They stoically brush it off or make the excuse that this is “just life,” putting on the mental list all the reasons why—bad luck, being obligated or tied to someone, something or somewhere, less than optimal relationships, missed opportunities, or their social or economic standing. If they reflect and search for the answers, the voice of their ego starts to negate that inner dialogue. This voice speaks from fear, distress or limitations, and keeps one diverted. For many this leaves them stuck in the mindset that they or their lives are not significant, and they go through the motions of living not receiving the world around them, themselves included.
There is the cliché that life is a journey or about the journey—meaning the experiences. We are here in this physical time and space to experience. But often we let those experiences go unnoticed or let them lose their luster. By human nature, we tend to let the difficult and challenging experiences linger or stay more prominent in our bank of memories, where we draw upon them more than upon the joyful or pleasant experiences.
For the most part, people have no idea how incredible they truly are. One way of looking at it is they get too close to themselves, and their sense of self is influenced by expectations ingrained in them from when they are very young on what is success or happiness—and measures or milestones that must be met so one can consider oneself significant. And the sadness is that often it is only when one is fortunate to have lived a long life that the realization of the significance of one’s life is realized, when one realizes that they are exactly who they were intended to be.
As we walk on this earth in these amazing times of change, we should not do so in fear or self-doubt, or thinking that our lives are ordinary or less than ordinary. We should not be walking around in a trance, thinking about what we need to do or have done—spinning stories about what is happening. If our minds are full of stories already, we cannot notice the present moments.
We cannot see what is all around us and the significance of ourselves. If an emotional state or story has filled our minds, it prevents us from seeing what is in front of us. I read somewhere about this imagery of not being able to fill a cup with the present moment when it is already full.
Indeed, life is full of experiences that our human mind or state will classify as happy or sad, magical or tragic, energizing or deflating, etc. These are often fueled by us seeking love, wealth, success, fulfilment or even enlightenment, or as the Jimmy Buffet song goes “looking for answers to questions that bothered him so.” In efforts to find these things or answers, and attempts to change, we sometimes ignore who we really are and the wordless intimacy of and with ourselves.
Although there are days or seasons of our lives where we may not feel or think it so, each one of our lives is magical. I say do not wait to your later years to reflect on your life and in a melancholy state realize the significance of you. Reflect daily. Cherish who you are. Know when to empty your cup so you can fill it with new stories from being present and mindful, and know that the answers you seek are within you.
Sometimes we may feel that we are out of sync with others, even with our closest friends, special people in our lives, family and co-workers. We try to consider the factors of why this is so. Is it distance, distraction, something we said, something we did, etc.? We may feel that we are not important or special to someone any longer. We may feel that we don’t fit in. And we ourselves can start to feel “de-energized” or like our tank is on empty. When we feel this way it’s important to remember that relationships are energy and we ourselves are energy.
We live in a world of energy. This energy is behind all matter and is the basis of all that we see around us; in fact, of all of this world’s creation. Energy is not governed by time or space.
We as human beings are made of energy. What allows you to experience others and them to experience you—relationships—is energy. Relationships of all kinds—friends, co-workers, family, intimate, casual acquaintances—have energy circuits and there is an energy exchange through those circuits. There is an inherent magnetism between people. Most people are aware of it, but usually in a superficial way. We all experience this.
Think about the times you meet people that you automatically gravitate to and feel that you have a special connection with; that you feel like you have known forever, or are “like-minded” and the relationships that form from this basis. Think about the times you meet people that you don’t quite like, make you feel uncomfortable or can’t connect with no matter how much you try. This is energy in action or at work and our instincts kick in to how we engage in our various relationships.
Relationships or our people connections give us “rewards” that are emotional, physical or spiritual. What we give relationships is our time, attention, mind, hearts and energy. This is the fuel of the energy exchange through the circuits.
There are so many different ways energy can flow and so many different circuits. And for our more meaningful or complex relationships, energy must be exchanged and in balance to endure. In short, the electrical circuit must flow.
When you are feeling disconnected, it’s important to be aware of the kind of magnetism or energy you direct to other people. Are you engaging or reacting from a point of fear, uncertainty, or confusion? It is important to reflect on if what you are feeling is stemming from a past experience or some unresolved emotion that you still carry with you. These can cause energy flow blockages. In short, you need to be aware of your energy signal—which is a combination of your conscious thoughts and unconscious thoughts, feelings, beliefs, memories and unexpressed emotions.
As a rule, when you are feeling disconnected or tired, you are not receiving an energy circuit adapted to your environment. Beyond you, when you are feeling disconnected or out of sync, there are other factors at play, including the energy flow from the other person in the relationship. They themselves may be experiencing blockages or working through some unresolved emotions or experiences.
And it is human nature to feel like something is different or changed in the relationship. This is when an effort to maintain a high level of communication, sensibility and mutual confidence is important, as well as to keep a positive and rising change in the relationship. Putting time into self-awareness and being mindful is a must. This allows you to discover the energies that enhance and balance you and those in relationships with you, as well as those energies that may cause drain or disconnect.