"Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities." - Dalai Lama
For the past couple of weeks, I've been watching the French Open tennis and got caught up in bad (albeit enjoyable) habits. I have a philosophy that “television is a waste of time” yet when there is a tv at hand and there is a big sporting event on, then I am too easily seduced by my enduring love of sport and the alluring “comfort” of armchair viewing. Especially when it involves athletic women in skimpy attire.
What I find with watching tv is that it disconnects me from my own life, as I become sucked in to an imaginary world “out there.” Sport is actually happening, so it's not technically imaginary, it's just far-removed from my own life if I'm not actively participating in it. Despite the pleasures of tennis, watching it still disconnects me from my own “reality”.
I posit that the fundamental existential dilemma of our generation is metaphysical in nature – it is the delusion of separation. This is what is causing people as individuals and collectively as nations the most suffering right now.
What do I mean by the delusion of separation? It is the lack of wholeness that 'separation' causes one to feel. It is the drug of little things designed to separate us from this grand life-changing reality that we and everything (...and all) are connected. It is the lack of love we feel from being separate, and our desire to fill this lack with counterfeits and distractions. From television, film, games, phones, internet and a myriad of the latest technological tools and gimmicks, is it an accident that we have created more distractions than ever before?
When we look at the economic situation worldwide, there is a sense of chaos and powerlessness. How things look on the outside mirrors what's happening inside.
Who are we really? We are beings of great magnitude who believe many things about ourselves and the world. How we get out of the situation we find ourselves in depends on what we will believe about ourselves to heal our world.
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." - Carl Jung
Here is the choice. Feel whole and connected to the world and life itself, or continue with the status quo preaching and believing separation?
What happens when we feel whole defies limitation. From one moment to the next, we can infuse our reality with an entirely different meaning. This new meaning then creates a new reality.
If you want to be part of the change, then it's time to take responsibility for your thoughts and beliefs about the world (because they affect us all!). We affect every relationship with what we believe about relationships. We change the world when we change our beliefs.
Here are 6 ways to feel more connected...
Cleanse your life of technology. Practice one technology-free (well almost!) day of the week.
The goal of your special techno-free day is to remove surplus technology and give yourself a break.
So...no email, no social media, preferably no work that involves computers, no microwaves, no television, no radio. Create a sabbath from technology! You deserve it!
2. Stay close to the heart of nature.
The answers we seek lie in nature, which works perfectly without human intervention. Go outside, go for a walk/ hike, go for a swim in the ocean, hug a tree, climb a mountain...feel the sun on your naked skin.
Go barefoot as often as possible - feel the moisture of grass on your feet. This is as real as it gets.
3. Tell a better story.
If you don't like your story, change it!
Remove all blame, guilt and shame from the stories you tell yourself about your life, beginning NOW!
You can be anything you tell yourself you are. When in doubt, reinvent something better, something greater!
4. Feel at one with everything.
When you're meditating, feel yourself expand to connect with the world. If you don't meditate, then do this in traffic or during your daily commute. If you don't have time, then steal a moment to feel connected with everyone and everything. Practice non-judgment whenever you can.
5. Take responsibility for the world.
When something happens you don't like, ask, “how did I create that?”
This is a living principle of Gandhi's teaching of being the change you wish to see in the world. It connects us deeply and makes sure we don't feel separate.
6. Speak from the heart, Act from the heart.
The heart is where we feel connected to others.
Shift your identity from your head to your heart, and see what happens next.