Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where Did the Wild Ones Go?

Once we are past our early thirties, our everyday existence could feel as though it has become hum-drum and boring.  Maybe on a weekend we might have an evening of pleasant discussion or see a movie but life would not be labeled wild and crazy.

What is it that changes in us from a fun loving teen who is the life of the party, to a “mature” person who is sedate?  Where did our spontaneousness go?  One theory that has been proposed is that we squash our enthusiasm for life because we learn as a child (under the age of 7) that we are rewarded when we “behave” and showing wild enthusiasm is “misbehaving.”  So by the age of 21 we have learned to sedate the life out of ourselves for public approval.

This approach could not be farther from the truth.  Learned self control is not equal to killing off your emotional energy bodies.  Allowing your emotions to whip you around from highs to lows and all about is not a prized state, it only makes one dizzy.

When we are mindful and in the moment, we do feel the joy of life.  We understand what is going on with complete clarity, without the blinders of living in past guilt or in the rose colored future to distort our impressions.  The sensation we feel is like a warm, soft, encompassing glow that brings a smile to our face and a sense of contentment settles over us.  Why go jumping around like a firecracker when being still brings such pleasure?  It is impossible to have clarity of mind if you are jumping about and impossible not to have clarity if you are still in your being.  “Maturing” is not about denying oneself the pleasures of a wild life; it is about learning how to be in tune with it.

In order to feel this intense pleasure one must be willing to open the door to it.  This is done by spending time each day just “being” in quiet reflection or meditation.  Meditation is better than reflection where we tend to beat up on ourselves for every little thing we perceive that we have done wrong.

Instead, quiet your mind, be fully aware of your surroundings, yet not absorbed into it.  Quiet your body and mind for a period of time each day to allow your senses to recharge and bounce back from the barrage of stimuli it is showered in on a minute-by-minute basis.  No wonder “adults” feel they must be “sedated,” they must shield themselves from the constant bombardment of stimuli that comes with multi-tasking and living an electronic existence.  Humans have become like robots, programmed to patch into the command center – smart phones, computers, music devices – to receive their direction for life or to provide distraction so that they don’t have to experience the moment.

Hand held portable devices have been hailed as the technology that has improved lives and connection among people.  Instead, the reality is that they have done just the opposite.  People rarely make eye contact as they walk down a street or sit in a room full of people, but they are tuned into their own little shuttered headphones world.

How can you be open to the possibilities of a moment –to-moment awareness when you are deaf to your environment?  So improve your life – unplug, turn off the electronics, experience a renewed relationship with your environment and those in it.

Embrace the duel stimulation and calm that comes from being fully present in your everyday life.  You will be amazed how it will seem the pleasure days your wild youth has returned but in a way that is calmer, steadier, and providing you with clarity instead of a hangover.

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