Have you notice sometimes how hard it is to stop doing and just be still? As a culture we are addicted to entertainment and so many of us struggle to just be present to our experience without something dramatic to distract us from reality. Often after we consume something (wine, Netflix, shopping, chocolate, news, social media) that distracts us from what we are feeling in order to feel better and afterwards we feel less fulfilled than before we even began. Or we may just look to entertainment to feel something because we are so out of touch and with our own alive and sensory body, bored by our day to day experience.
We might also be looking for ways to switch off the overwhelm of information across the globe. If it's not the pandemic, climate change, natural disaster, sexism, racism and discrimination of all kinds. Now it's war we are being exposed to and the impact that is having on our humanity is far reaching and traumatic for some. But I wonder if we are constantly seeking to escape our everyday situation and be entertained are we really developing the capacity to address the issues we seek to escape from in the first place or just perpetuating the conditions of our culture?
I believe it is important to get off digital devices and let go of the constant barrage of information and entertainment. I believe it is important to get into your body, feel and sense into your environment if you want to experience presence, vitality and aliveness. It is clear to me humans are constantly seeking all of this but so often looking outside ourselves and yet struggle to be in our bodies connected to our local environments.
Awareness is important during these complex times we live and there are many ways we can cultivate it. Rather than seeking out our usual patterns and pace of entertainment, or numbing we might seek a new relationship with our body mind being conscious and compassionate. Mindfulness allows us to be engaged with our immediate environment in a slower more embodied attitude of connection, opening up our senses to everything in our environment.
You'll notice when you give up the need to be constantly entertained and distracted by drama that things seem more equanimous and neutral but also spacious and expansive. It's important to have patience and gentleness with this journey because the patterns we have may have been with us for sometime. Starting mindfulness, yoga, writing, nature hikes or creativity can help you find ease by connecting to your body, emotions, senses and environment and get out of your head. Explore the sounds, smells, shapes, light, textures, tone and subtitles of your inner experience and environment.