"Are you able to connect" is a very different proposition to "are you connected?"
Day 41/366 days Towards Self-Mastery Mood: Feeling settled
Making a conscious effort to be present. That's the work. Coming back to now, to what's in front of me, to right here, right now.
Twenty odd years ago when I began my self-mastery commitment in ernest, there wasn't the social media presence there is today. The distractions back then were newspapers and television. It was easier to turn them off. You had to make an effort to go buy a newspaper.
Nowadays with all the wi fi devices at our fingertips, it's a lot harder. The mind is easily captured by novelty, and what better way to grab our attention than give us a challenge to see how many likes and love hearts we can get for each and every post. How many make-believe friends will follow us, and who thinks enough of us to share our insights, even if those insights are nothing more inspiring than our breakfast?
It really is a challenge to feel into what you can live without.
Not only are we yearning to live with the wealth measured by icons of consumerism that are constantly touted to us, we are also totally engaged in another playing field, that of "likes". Yet another measure of our miserable failure to keep up.
Let it go. I say, LET IT GO!
You really can do without a whole bunch of strangers following you on social media liking, or worse, trolling your content.
Build real relationships with the people with whom you are familiar and leave the rest. It does appear that in spite of our amnesia, people are turning off to the idea of gathering thousands of followers. Even the youth appear to be waking up to that falsehood.
Today's challenge is to connect with what you can live without
Even the most wealthy amongst us are not guaranteed happiness. When I was immersed in more wealth than I am now, I was at my most miserable. Not because money made me miserable. Worse. I had everything I wanted and on the outside it looked as though I was living the dream, but on the inside I still had a lot of unanswered questions, unresolved conflicts, unhappy memories and distance from the people whom I cared about most.
Identify what it is you can live without. Shop for groceries and essentials. Leave everything else. Turn off notifications and check them once or twice today.
This I have perfected. Notifications were the first thing that were filtered on my social media. With the benefit of experiencing life pre-social media I resented the intrusion on my valuable time. That was easily fixed, thanks to the settings on each and every platform.
What about you?
Can you turn off notifications and only check them once or twice a day when you need to attend to business or a social contact you are expecting?
Can you allow texts and phone calls to go unanswered for a while and prioritise your own time and the activity that you are involved in?
Can you go a day or two without accessing social media?
In this modern world of constant stimulation, there's something very empowering about having good boundaries around social media. Having control over when and how others have access to your valuable time, your head and your heart space. It would send me crazy to live any other way, yet even so, I still find the allure of social media difficult to resist.
That's when self-discipline is gold.
It's more difficult these days for people to access self-discipline. We're too comfortable. There's very few challenges. It's driving us bananas. Our entertainment is at our finger tips. There's no effort nor challenge left in life to interest or engage us. There's more to life than this.
For me it's about making a conscious effort to connect with my immediate surrounds. My home, my garden, my community.
My home has been transformed by a comprehensive though amateurish Feng Shui assessment that's taken a few weeks to get right. With my knowledge of the 5 elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water, and a good feel for energy, plus of course, my friend Google, I've had fun assessing and shape-shifting the energy in each room. This supports me. Those areas that felt comfortable but yet weren't great performers in my life (finances, relationships, recognition) have a new feel to them. Don't underestimate the effects on your life path of that soup of energy and information that you live in.
Life in my garden is also undergoing a revival. Concentric rings of energetic support can only be a positive influence. We live in an ecosystem that we're not connected with. Change that. Reconnect with the natural world. We're kidding ourselves to think we can live a healthy and happy life without that connection.
Connect with each other. Spend more time together, have more conversations, ask more questions, work out challenges together. Offer to help someone who has challenges that you might be able to support them to resolve.
Being grounded and present to my home and community in the real world, where life is happening. I'm getting better at it, one day at a time. That's connection and I'm loving the whole process of working out how to do it better.
So what about you. What can you live without, to enable you to live more fully?
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.