Monday, October 3, 2011

Activity as personal preference

A solo traveler on a cross country flight was settling in for some quiet work, when on came a group of high school students flying to Washington, D.C. for a school trip. The conversations began, "I really like Justin Beiber" said one. "I really like Miley Cyrus" said the other. "I don't like vampire books." "I really like the Professor Layton series." And on and on it went for most of the four hour trip - a constant cacophony of preferences or in Facebook lingo "likes."

While this behavior is not unexpected and perhaps a necessary place to start for people, especially young people getting to know one another, this refining and enthusiastically celebrating "preferences" is now a dominant social meme. This surface dominance and obsession has replaced deeper connection to visceral, wholehearted activity and true engagement in meaningful projects and a letting go into the fullness of Life! A recent quote from a fellow blogger says it simply this way, "The main form of activity in modern life is the expression of personal preference."

It seems with technology offering a richer and richer assortment of instantaneous choices and views, we fill our time operating in our comfort zone of likes and dislikes. This comfort zone anesthetizes something important and deeper inside. Life is lived more from the surface ego where, "it is mostly about me" instead of the more challenging and richer perspective of "being about life!"

Of course the likes and dislikes are important to clarify the expression of our soulful self and strip away the dead end layers of the False Self. The challenge and opportunity is to listen to the still, small voice that is woefully out gunned compared with the ease and excitement of a flick of the finger on your iPhone, a click of your computer mouse, or navigating between the hundreds of channels on the new plasma screen.

What does this have to do with wellness and healthy behavior?--plenty! Googling healthy eating plans has over 8 million results. Weight loss plans results in over 2 million results with probably a lot of overlap. You get the picture. We all knows this as it is the dominant "air we breath" that fills up our attention and captures most of our presence. How to decide? Down time, no screen time days, going off the grid for a while, a resting/retreating on the seventh day. All of these resting/pausing behaviors allowing the still small voice to muscle its way in to our consciousness. The muscled, grace filled consciousness can now engage in the heavy lifting of real critical thinking and integrated presence guiding and clearing the path and revealing the way to the freedom and joy of going where we really need to go.

No comments: