Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Spiritual Transformation Blog: How to Disconnect from the World but not Yourself

(Tips on how to do Solitude “Right”) by Jean Walters There are moments – we’ve all had them – when the only way to maintain sanity is to disconnect from the world. You know – the times when your head is going to blow up if the phone rings one more time; or, one more person needs something and you are tapped to take care of it; when your head is buzzing and your ears are ringing with too much to do. That is the instant when the cabin in the woods, the “sitting” tree, or the dark, quiet room calls. It would be good to heed the call. Let’s get clear… solitude does not mean retiring to a cave to live with bats or cutting off your phone service, although those ideas might be appealing if you wait too long. The truth is that our neurology needs quiet. It is the way we recover and stay healthy. That is why hospitals tend to be quiet. Recognizing the moment and seeking solitude are two different things. For many, the idea of pursuing alone time is scary. It requires being alone. Yikes! Most people fear being alone. They do not understand that psychically they NEED it, plus there are treasures to be found in spending time with yourself. You might find out that you are quite companionable. We live in an over-stimulated world. Each person has three or more devices, each one ringing or chirping or, in some way, demanding a response. And when we aren’t talking or texting or reading, there are the other distractions – television, play station, youtube; you name it! Bottom line: Your nervous system can’t take it. After a while you start twitching, shaking, and scratching because you don’t know what to do with all the crazy energy coming at you. These are signs! Take them seriously. Take Diane, for instance. Diane is a nice, normal lady who goes off to work at a busy office where the phones are ringing all day, people are needing this and that, and there are tasks to complete and tempers to sooth and paperwork to file and lots of other stuff to do. Essentially, she is the answer person to lots of folks. From there Diane hops in her car, picks up her kids from after school care (who are often over stimulated, tired, hungry, or cranky). She arrives home to cook dinner, water the plants, do the laundry, answer the mail, pay the bills, and spend quality time with her family, which includes helping with homework, correcting, admonishing, instructing, drying tears, and kissing and hugging and bed time. And who knows what else she does before collapsing in bed for a few hours to start all over the next day. But the thing Diane doesn’t do, the thing that is at the very bottom of her “to-do” list, is to give herself quality time by herself to read a book, take a walk, meditate, or just sit and stare. So, you get the point. Diane NEEDS QUIET TIME and so do you! (Are you Diane?) We think that being focused in the material world with all its noise and chaos is the place to be. “I am bored. I need noise, distraction, and stimulus.” But that is not true. The constantly stimulated mind becomes agitated. When your focus is always out there where drama after drama unfolds, the only way to find balance is to turn everything off and focus within to the stillness (more on that later). The idea of leaving the world, even for an hour, frightens the ego as it craves drama. Hence, all the police and political dramas on television these days. Thus you develop fear of aloneness. Here are the ego messages they keep you uptight. See if you recognize any of them. “What is wrong with you – you are alone. You must be unloved and unloveable. This proves that no one wants to be with you. You are a loser.” These are reasons people avoid solitude. This ego babble is how you are convinced that being alone is dangerous. Yes, you might miss something and it will probably be a nervous breakdown. The issue is that we have constructed an identity – a false one – that is dependent on the material world. It starts with your name, then your circumstances. You call yourself a male or female, an American, Indian, European or South Sea Islander, or some locational signature. You also identity all sorts of material conditioning such as tall/short, blonde, grey, or redheaded and various religious ethnicities – Hindu, Jew, Muslim, to name a few. These are external distinctions and designed to fool you in believing that this physical being is who you are. The whole identity fiasco will run you until you go deeper into your psyche and gift yourself the adventure of aloneness. The first inclination when spending time alone is to get busy. Do something. Why? Because you don’t now how to be with yourself and you are running from the unknown. Do something quick; don’t just be. Wash windows, clean something, sort papers, make phone calls. The mind is indoctrinated with busyness, and freaks out when asked to be still. It can even become depressed…. “You are useless, a bum, lazy, good for nothing, blah, blah, blah.” These are fear thoughts that are conjured from old programs planted in your subconscious mind from long ago. They relate to some past identity you have taken on that now rules you. As you calm down and get grounded, you will get pass the ego and all its lies. Now it is time to enter the natural world. Nature is still and rhythmic and primarily peaceful. Go into nature as Jesus or Buddha went to the mountain, the desert, or the Bodhi tree. Go where there is emptiness. That is how you can release stress and noise and rest your mind. Stay for an hour or linger longer. Stay until your mind quiets and then stay longer. Remain until your body relaxes and begins to breathe and then stay even longer. Now you are beginning to experience your inner world. It is in rhythm with nature. In our Western world achieving stillness is monumental. Not so much in Eastern countries where silence is cultivated. Just grant yourself permission and put solitude on your calendar. In time you will get the hang of it and it will nourish you. Even heal you. Remain in solitude until you have forgotten all the roles you play and the ways you clothe yourself with identity. Stay until you become empty. This is peace. Loneliness is not the same as solitude or aloneness. Loneliness is always questing after something. It is painful and demoralizing. It is the feeling of never being or having enough. When you cultivate aloneness, you are at peace. It is like dropping all the makings of the world and listening deeply. There is something that would speak to you. Have you created the inner space for it? Have you opened your heart to receive it? Take time to practice. It will put everything in perspective because when you are alone, nothing else exists. It is like the contentment of the womb. Everything is provided and you are safe and nourished. No wonder babies cry when they leave the peace of the womb. They are essentially leaving the Garden of Eden, where there is love and no stress. As you get stronger, the craziness of the world dissolves and what remains is YOU – vast and still like the forest at dusk or a clear, calm mountain lake. As Socrates said, “Know thyself.” Jean Walters books can be found on - Set Yourself Free: Live the Life YOU were meant to Live! - Be Outrageous: Do the Impossible - Others Have and You can too! and Dreams and the Symbology of Life by Jean Walters-Lucy

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