How many different apps do you have open on your phone right now? How many tabs on your internet browser? And how many different e-mail threads and Facebook messages? If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of each of these – too many, in fact. The myth of multitasking has seeped into […]
A Swedish book was on my list for this week but unfortunately, it doesn’t exist in English. Therefore, I will do my best to share the essence of it and make you feel like you’ve read it. Instead of doing a traditional summary of the book, I will simply take out parts from every chapter […]
The word “human” is often referred to as the conscious being and probably so far, the only one. Consciousness, as the French philosopher Henri Bergson defines it, is historicity. It is the capacity of being aware of time. Moreover, humans live consciously in the time and have a special relation to it. This is why, we invented the watch, the calendar and timetables; but also we have deadlines, memories, projections and so on.
Consciousness is memory, a link between the past, the present and the future which allows us to go back and forth and to anticipate the future while looking back at the past. in Bergson’s words:
“In reality, the past is preserved by itself automatically … the pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory”.
Is this ability a heavy weight? Isn’t the cause of constantly saying to ourselves “what if”?
Mainly there are two consequences of this: resentment or pro-activity.
Resentment is the sum of negative feelings like regrets, remorse, jealousy and persecution. What if I did this instead of that? What if people hate me? What if I am fundamentally stupid? What if I will never make it? All are legitimate questions which can become psychologically lethal if one is entangled in this obsessive attitude, feeding all kinds of negative feelings. We can easily desire to be constantly feeling bad.
On the other hand, these questions can become the way to a better living only if there is a desire to change and face the new. Bergson said it better:
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly”.
It is cloudy today
Heavy clouds full of rain
The sky looks like me today
Sometimes covered, sometimes uncovered
Shy sunlight in the groovy blues
Shall I dance for this matching?
No big, no small, only a coincidence
That the sky looks like me today
Or is it a self-projection?
Thinking is blurry, like the sky
Repetition kills the mind
Eye folded spirits on survival mode
Waiting for another unknown
Waiting for the misfit rain
Feels chilly warm
A wintery spring day in the pausing world
Life goes on in silence
In the groovy sky looking like me
There is nothing wrong with sitting comfortably and meditating, just like the common taught method of meditation. However, I feel there is something in this that doesn’t work for me. Meditation is an individual practice, although done sometime in groups. The meditative experience remains different to each one of us. This is a why a seated meditation doesn’t work for me.
Longtime ago, thousands of years ago, when meditation was invented as a technique to calm the mind and bring awareness to people, life back then was totally different. People used to walk all day to bring water and food and walk back home carrying whatever they gathered. They laboured their lands, picked fruits and vegetables, hunted animals, cooked and cleaned, guard their herds. Surely at the end of a long active day, they needed to sit down, close their eyes and meditate.
Nowadays, especially in big cities, life is busy in a different way. We sit down for too long, counting on machines and vehicules to do the daily chores. Food is abundant and easy to get, as long as we can pay for it. Then, why to sit even more just to meditate? We should meditate while moving more.
Meditation is commonly refered to as a prolonged concentration on breath and on being present. Which means it can be done in any activity. Put your heart in it, concentrate on the present task, focus on your breath and you are meditating.
No one likes stillness; it is unnatural, taking into consideration that movement defines us. Stillness is socially abnormal since we are constantly asked to move, to be social, to commute, to be active. Consciously or not, stillness has not a great reputation socially speaking.
Why do we fear stillness? Does it remind us of death in a way? And what is the link with containment?
Yes it reminds us of death. Life is noise and action. Stillness is the anti-life.
However, the power of stillness occurs when there is a shift in perception. Take for an example the picture above, or any picture you have; it is an action or a moment that stood still in time. Without this stillness made possible by the camera, the moment refered to wouldn’t have been immortal. We wouldn’t have seen details, often blurred by movements. Worse, we wouldn’t have concrete memories.
Whoever tried a Yin yoga class knows what I am talking about. Yin yoga is a slow paced yoga where a pose can be held up to 3 minutes. It’s a test for the body and for the mind that can go crazy. Before almost crying, a shift in the mind can happen, a call for discipline and focus. Benefits will be felt at that moment of mind shifting.
Containment is a sort of spacial stillness, a self-imprisonment. Normally speaking, imprisonment is a punishment. Ironically, it has become the only way to save ourselves and the world! Just like in Yin yoga where the body and the mind feel in captivity, containment is quite the same painful experience. Only a mind shift can turn containment into something positive.
Then what is exactly this mind shift?
Simply put, it is focusing on ourselves, on our inner growth. On our intellectual developement by reading that book that we once bought and we never read. On our connection with the loved ones. On our inner child who wants to play and creates. On our plants. On everything that makes home the place we love to be in. But also, on our body by optimizing it and taking care of it. Last but not least, we need to focus on our mind, on our mental health. If you focus on all these daily, time will fly quickly.
Boredom is a state of mind. Anxiety is a state of mind too. Both are not needed. In time of crisis, positivity and reasonability can save us.
I have been on a lockdown (forced staying home) for two weeks now and no changes before the end of March. In order not to go crazy bored, here are some tips to help you stay sane and focused
If you have this option or if you want to work on your blog, this is a time killer, hours will pass by unnoticed.
This is a crucial for fitness in general and for immunity. Without noticing, you will see yourself sitting all day and this is bad. You can find millions of workout videos on youtube for all levels and all sessions, from 4 minutes and so on. Personally, I do my 20 minute yoga routine in the morning, on empty stomach and I workout in the afternoon for at least 30 minutes.
Intermittent fasting and proper nutrition:
It’s not the time to indulge in fast food and processed food and sugar crap, this is bad for immunity. In these days, we must give a break to the body to work, to regenerate itself and to fight anything it must fight. Personally I fast for 16 hours and my eating window is 8 hours.
And rearranging. Take the time to do it, it will help you know what you should keep and what you should give away. Another time killer activity. Everyday do a part of a room, so some is left for other days.
That’s a therapy, and a great way to keep you and your hands busy. You will be surprised how creative you are.
A good novel is always the best companion.
I hope my post will help you. Remember, don’t go out unless you must to. Take all the necessary precautions when going out and coming back. Much love and care are needed in this time. Corona united us all!
The country is shut down due to the corona tsunami and people remain home. For me, it was a new experience as i am teaching online. I hate corona but i am loving this online job experience. However, being locked down, I couldn’t help but wonder about the year 2020.
For those who follow my blog, they know that starting october 2019, we have been on a long revolution against corruption and injustice. So on a shaky land we entered 2020 that hit us with more turmoils and with corona. Horrible as it is, we must look at the bigger picture. 2020 is the year of battles and change; which logically leads to the desire of change or to resistance because of fear. I feel it is a turning point: there is before and after 2020. The decade sounds revolutionary on all levels.
Corona, floods, earthquakes, protests, climate change and more demand responsibility and collective consciousness. It demands awareness and redifinition of oneself, of social structures, of relationships, of politics, of economics. Basically it demands form each one of us a choice and a role. Speaking of Corona: movies, tedtalks, conferences predicted the outbreak of a similar virus. We listened but we didn’t get ready for it. Now that the outbreak is here, what am I going to do? How to deal with others? Who am I and what are my deepest desires? The natural incidents I mentioned indicate the redifinition of the earth itself.
2020 is the year of big lessons in life. Incidents will force us to retrieve into ourselves and connect on a deeper level with our fears and desires. It is the year that must teach us to let go of the past and start fresh new, both on individual and collective levels.
So yes there is fear and loneliness. There is a resistance to change. But do we have a choice other than love and flexibility? I don’t think we do.
Imagine sitting alone, thinking of death, of hardships, of a scary phenomenon. Imagine all this happening to you or to your loved ones. Don’t you want to cry over your thoughts?
Hell knows where these thoughts come from. Is it imagination? Worse: is it intuition? Or is it a mental health issue?
Specialists (and I asked some of them) believe that professional help is needed in case of total disturbance of daily activities due to these thoughts. If not, then one can and must know their origin. It’s hard to tell most of the time whether these thoughts are imaginary or intuitive. They are intuitive if the thought becomes reality.
What is less known for common people is the normality of these dark thoughts. A “healthy” mind would have light and dark thoughts. All depends on one’s background and experiences and their interpretation of life.
One of the best ways to deal with dark thoughts is to try to know the cause of their emergence. Is it because of guilt or a feeling of failure? Is it because of deceptions in the past and fear of the future? We know the answers only if we choose to focus and understand. Once we know the cause, the solution is around the corner.
For heavier cases, speaking out is the path to remedy. Also activities such art, sports, yoga, meditation or any kind of activity that keeps the mind busy and helps boost self-confidence can help soothing the pain.
I noticed that dark thoughts emerge in my lonely boring inactive times. Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, underlined the importance of boredom to reflect on the essence of life in his philosophical masterpiece: Being and time.
I have been trying to keep myself busy with what I like to do and to reflect on my dark thoughts in my alone times. I noticed that all of them have one origin: the fear of a future deception and loneliness. However, these thoughts have become much lighter and some images they brought disappeared.