The selfie culture

We took a break from the mountains and flew to Kona Hawaii the big island.  We stayed at the Hapuna beach hotel.   The sand and water were so soft, like gorgeous well water. Even the shower and drinking water tasted soft.

As I walked on the beach I noticed that people were posing for themselves.  Practicing smiling, fluffing their hair and adjusting to get the best selfie.

Have we become a culture of self oriented navel gazers.  Clinging to our devices in paradise?  Most people on the beach were staring at their screens rather than the ocean.   In a place that offer sublime beauty and smells have we lost the ability to just be?

If we don’t take a selfie does the moment exist?

As we walked along the beach a woman stands in her dress, her young child building a sandcastle while she primps for her own picture.  What is she missing?  the moment with her child, touching the sand, interacting with the earth, listening to the ocean.

I believe when someone is interacting with a device their others senses are dulled.  We cannot multitask the moment, and be in the moment.

Try having a meaningful conversation with your partner while they are texting.  It does not work, they are not present with either the device or you.  I believe our brain can only process one thing at a time.

“The short answer to whether people can really multitask is no. Multitasking is a myth. The human brain cannot perform two tasks that require high-level brain function at once” thoughtco.com   

So next time when your partner is talking to you and you are texting.  STOP. Listen.

Be present.

Next time you are in paradise, just be.

Pick up a shell,  touch the sand,  let yourself get wet.

Aloha

The surrender experiment

How much do you resist showing up fully for life?

I am reading an interesting book called the Surrender Experiment. Michael Singer (author of the Untethered Soul). Mr. Singer describes how he decided to surrender to whatever presented in his life for one year and not evaluate what was showing up.  But rather to say yes to what comes into his life, despite any internal resistance.  His goal was to rid himself of internal resistance and go with the flow of life.    When something good or bad shows up in our life,  do we evaluate it based on our preferences in our mind of what we like or dislike?  Do we then we decide our action based on our mind’s preferences. 

The whole premise of the surrender experiment is to accept everything that takes place in your life, good or bad, and say yes to it. 

As I read this book I contemplated what a radical experiment this would be to undertake in my life.  How much of my time and energy is spent resisting life and evaluating what shows up, in order to compare it against my mind’s preference for what I was expecting to show up.  

So what has shown up in my life so far that was not planned?  Two wonderful dogs, a wonderful American man I met at a retreat, a home in the Colorado mountains at 10,000 ft.   Being financially dependent and emotional dependnt on this American man as I am not legally allowed to work (ie surrender control).  What would happen if I said an internal YES  rather than dwelling on where I should  be in my life at this age.  What if I defined success by my ability to surrender to what is present in my life.  To fully show up?

How do I  surrender completely to the experiences in front of me?

How often do I hang onto self concepts  that limit me and set expectations within myself about what I let into my life. What concepts am I holding onto that limit what I let into my life?  Can I surrender my fixed concepts of myself like the author did. Self concepts and labels such as independent woman, grieving widow, college teacher.  Do I let these concepts unconsciously define me?  The more I hang onto the past self concepts that no longer apply here in the present, do I limit the unknown, or mysteries that are waiting to flow into my life.

Michael Singer made the “commitment to surrender to life’s flow even if he didn’t understand what was happening.”

Through the surrender experiment he started out on 10 acres wanting to be alone and practice his meditation in the woods.  By saying yes to what life presented he ended up with a multi-millon dollar business developed on his land, he built a temple dedicated to yoga and meditation, and had a permanent  spiritual community  that was established on his land called the Temple of the Universe that has existed since 1975.   In his book he said “ I know perfectly well that I didn’t do it.  The best I can say is that I let go of myself, and allowed what was meant to be-to be.”  

How can I do that? How can I fully surrender to life?  How have I opted out of life, or not fully shown up to what is present in my life today? How have my attempts to control and direct my life from my mind’s preferences interrupted my true purpose?