For the past couple of weeks I've been watching the thrilling US Open tennis tournament and got caught up in this alluring television habit.
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".
The sporting event 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 find this escapist and mind-numbing activity comforting and hence addictive.
In my practice of non-judgment, I also acknowledge that even that is okay. It is okay to indulge in enjoyable, mind-numbing activities, so long as others are not harmed. It is not helpful to judge myself excessively harshly, nor to ignore the detrimental effect it may have on myself and my life. I always intend to practise a middle path of understanding.
Ultimately, it's all about connection - what connects us to our reality and the greater reality of higher consciousness.
There is no "good" and "bad" from this perspective. If the root of acceptance defines everything we do, we can work with what opportunities arise in present-moment awareness. There is no need to be in a state of conflict or suffer from separation or self judgment.
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 every other thing and being 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 the world and ourselves. How we get out of the situation we find ourselves in depends on what we will believe about ourselves to heal our world.
It is our responsibility how we respond to life. Do we react or create, see ourselves as victims or creators? As Carl Jung said, "I am not what happened to me…I am what I choose to become."
Here is our choice (in the words of Lao Tzu):
"If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have is that of your own self transformation."
Consider carefully the individual and collective preferences that define destiny. 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 six ways to feel more connected to your soul:
Give away excess clutter and things you don't need any more. Share with others.
Start by practising at least one technology-free day of the week.
The goal of this special techno-free day is to remove surplus technology. Thus, turn off phones, preferably do no work that involves computers, no microwaves, no television, no radio, no email, no social media. Create a sabbath from technology! Enjoy the silence.
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 bare skin.
Go barefoot as often as possible and feel the moisture of the grass or sand on your feet.
3. Change perspective.
If you don't like your story, change it! Stories are living creations that can be changed.
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.
From a spiritual and energetic perspective, we are all connected. 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. Practise 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. Embrace possibility.
Here is an invitation to speak and 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, moment to moment.
Growing up in apartheid South Africa, David had an early initiation into a dysfunctional society. It influenced his thinking and search for peaceful solutions in life. A passion for healing followed a severe childhood illness and a medical approach he found lacking gentleness and compassion. David later studied theology in war-torn Jerusalem for 3 years, before gaining a degree in health science in Australia (Naturopathy). He now works as a soul coach, whose speciality is offering healing guidance in finding peace. David is currently writing a book and sees clients for coaching and healing in Perth and on Skype. He has worked all over the world and is now known as "Zenon." Contact him at https://www.facebook.com/davidarenson or firstname.lastname@example.org