Loneliness is NOT an Illusion

We are the MOST “connected” society AND we are the MOST Lonely society! Yes, we celebrate the “illusion” that we do not feel our loneliness because we have apparatus which pretends to keep us “in touch” with “friends.” Many of us are addicted, YES addicted, to our smart phones and tablets with the expectation that our FB posts, or our Tweets, or texting, or our Instagram offerings are showing the WORLD, our world, that we are fully participating and really proud and joyful about our lives even if it looks like our breakfast or our cute pet postings. Yet, loneliness exists. You can see loneliness in the desperate behaviors which surround us.

Example. I came at 8:15 AM to stand in line at REI (Recreational Equipment Inc) for the semi annual “Garage sale.” The store opened at 9:00 AM and I was 40 or 50 in line with 45 minutes to opening. These are hardcore outdoor enthusiasts trying to get a good deal so they can go backpacking, camping, hiking, cycling, kayaking, or whatever. ALL 40 or 50 of these line standers was ON THEIR SMART PHONES! So, I asked the people with me in the lengthening line, “was it mandatory to be on my smart phone as I a waited the store opening?” Pretty much YES. So I pulled out my smart phone so I would not look stupid or upset the others in line, I say sarcastically. I did manage to engage the people around me in conversation and we were clearly old friends by the time we pushed into the store. Because we chatted, I could talk with them to find out if they had found the specific gear that they had arrived so early to acquire. THIS IS NOT UNIQUE. Look around at the line in the expresso place or bus stop or market, or bank or ….

Many of us have lost touch with our ability to have deeper conversations and emotional interactions with real, live, responding, human friends or family. Yes, I have seen, and so have you, people sitting in the same room, even across the table from each other, and TEXTING the person in the room. What is that about? That is about addiction to technology and false idols of communication. The illusion that some how we are not suffering from addiction and loneliness. Two dimensional text messages are NOT a substitute for a hug or looking into the eyes of someone who needs support or encouragement. It does not include gestures, body language, or tone of voice. Texting is NOT the way wisdom and experience can be shared in any meaningful way. Yes, superficial sharing is SAFE and easy and quick but it is NOT a deeply felt human interaction. The kind of interaction that truly supports us.

There have been studies of children raised in Eastern European orphanages where babies and young children were left for hours without human contact and touching. Many of these children grew up with severe mental, emotional, and even physical disabilities. My point is that people need human interaction and nurturing AND technology has NOT found the way to reach out and really touch you like face to face interactions are supposed to offer. AND, if you do not see this effect upon our human culture just look around. People can not speak with clarity or depth about important relationship issues. We seem to require very graphic, adrenaline producing movies, TV, or gaming to get into our very limited attention spans. Teachers are fighting for their classrooms attention and must adjust to the lowest common denominator of the lowest attention span in the room.

People FEEL LONELY. We are NOT connected. We do not honor the wisdom and experience which is shut away in our retirement “homes,” senior housing, and “full care nursing facilities kept separate from our Youth Oriented culture. WE are lonely both Older folks and younger people. There is even discussion regarding a new psychological/emotional symptom in our psychological codes referred to as “Loneliness Syndrome.”

Fear is driving the technology addiction. We do not want to feel left out of this mass behavior. We do not want to be odd or “unpopular.” We do not want to stand up and actually speak because that attracts a spot light of attention and that can feel threatening. “someone may make “fun” of me.” It is easier to be “anonymous” in a snarky text or FB comment. Advertising insists that for our “young” lives to be successful, we must add the latest technology or “app.” We have not evolved so far in the past 35 years of the “Information Age” that the tribal behavior of sharing stories, and maybe wisdom, around the campfire, as we have done for thousands of years, is now SO obsolete and primitive that it does not work any more. Technology has changed the way we live but the need of looking into someone’s eyes as they share their story has not!

Let’s try some silliness and humor.
A dead guy is in line to see St Peter at the “Pearly Gates.” He has his cellphone with him. He walks up to the Gate Keeper and says “Can I take this with me? I am waiting for a Text. BTW (By the way) Pete, what is the WiFi password for heaven?” Or, “Is there a GPS for the “Higher Realms”???”

Though we find ourselves worshipping our: individualism, independence, separation, this can lead to emotional isolation and emotional/spiritual loneliness. Our souls are connected and yet we do not have time to remember this because our technology keeps interrupting our meditation. Yes, we are all connected but the internet still has a ways to evolve before it grasps the deepest levels of sharing, listening, and witnessing the wisdom we can find in each other.

Take a risk! Look a friend or a stranger in the eye and with sincerity ask them who they are. Thank them for being the soul which you have bumped into in the warm dryer called life! We are all in this together, whether you know this or not.

If you want to have this conversation with people who have committed to supporting other people AND their stories, consider our Masters of the Journey Community. You are a blessing and the experiences you have had in this life should be shared (for you and for the witnesses.)

Technology Can Create Consciousness: A New Theory

You may not have heard this before. New technology may be leading us toward a higher consciousness. Yes, I do not have any proof of the following theory, it is simply an opinion formed from an insight from a meditation.

On a recent airplane flight to Los Angeles, I saw a newer development in the evolution of technology. Not only were people not speaking to one another, as was common before technology invade the fuselage, and people were not only engaged in their smart phones, iPads, or laptops, people were further isolated by new, large headphones. Higher fidelity I am sure.) Yes, people were cut off from fellow travelers even more by the sound dampening, self-separating technology. Since the addiction and reliance on personal technologies is growing, with no end in sight, I believe we will have to “Evolve” to keep up with technology. Let me explain…

Have you engage in “Text Messaging?” Most of us have. It is now part of our isolating cultural pursuit. Some would argue that “Texting” is communicating and it is a less than 2 dimensional communication at best. Mis-spelling, auto corrections, using acronyms instead of words, a lack of non-verbal communication, no voice tone or inflection, and a troubling lack of precision due to shear laziness or lack of time has driven this form of “communication” into a huge guessing game which is open to mis-interpretation or over-reaction by the person receiving this incomplete transmission. HERE IS MY POINT! Text messaging is so incomplete we now have to “Guess” at what is being said. Our “Guessing” will become more accurate over time and this will be aided by a developing sense, and trust in, our “Intuition.” Yes, I am saying that text messaging will lead directly (maybe that is a bit strong) to developing our Telepathy, our Intuition, our Gut Feeling, and our Consciousness. We will more quickly evolve into those futuristic Humanoids with Large Heads, Big Eyes, No Ears, and only one button pushing finger because we will not need phones or texting. We will have built in “chips” and our telepathic powers to “know” what everyone else is saying/thinking.

You heard this theory HERE FIRST! We will all be big headed, mental, telepathic humanoids. I can not wait! Cross talking and “over talking” each other will then be done silently. Our brains will have to use much more of its consciousness to keep up with all the simultaneous conversations. Maybe we will even have automatic translators installed so all languages and cultures will be on equally annoying levels. Shouting and yelling will take on a whole new dimension… I can not wait, (I say sarcastically.)

OR, we can find better ways to connect and to communicate. We can still advance our consciousness and our intuitive sensitivity. We do not have to wait for Apple and Google to tell us how to think and feel or have Amazon sell us our translators and upgrades. It is a real stretch to imagine that we will battle back from our addiction to technology, so maybe we should wait for the new 3-dimensional software to upgrade to 4th or 5th dimensional technologies.

Even NOW, You are a blessing! There is a perfect spirit lurking within you awaiting to be remembered. One way or the other we are rapidly evolving and know our Divine Perfection and our Universal connection to our higher consciousness is an inevitable evolutionary experience. Sooner or later… Let hope for an enlightenment that allows this to come sooner.

Consider your personal process toward higher consciousness and joining our community to share your experience and your wisdom, the Masters of the Journey.

Technology and Spirit

Since the 1980’s and the dawning of the “Information Age,” our modern lives have been driven by advancements in technology. Many of these advances have become time saving “necessities” for how we live, work, and play. The “world” has gotten smaller and, through this technology, more “connected,” if only superficially. As I write this blog, I realize that “blogging” and social media have driven even the wisest of spiritual development leaders to find use of the internet to “spread the word.” (They are just meditating in caves, awaiting disciples to show up.)

Looking at the development of technology also requires me to mention the “downsides” to using technologies when certain limitations have been created by our new dependencies upon instant messaging, smart phone “apps,” and photobombs. Relying on smart phones and computers can isolate us from deeper relationships with other humans (in face to face connection) AND even with ourselves. Many people are addicted to checking their smart phones and can ignore the person sitting in front of them. Messaging in 140 characters does not tell the story. Text messaging does not share the tone of voice, the sarcasm, the curled lip, the smile, any warmth of true care and concern. It does save time to use technology and can help us avoid truly exposing our deeper emotions, but this creates very incomplete communication and connection. Many people have lost the skill of conversing and sharing in the most personal and intimate ways.

Remember that for thousands of years our tribe would sit around the campfire and share stories, dreams, and learned wisdoms. The coffee shop or beer pub and our smart phones are poor substitutes for the cross-generational sharing that seems too often lacking in our modern world. The generational isolation of the youth from their elders (or any older persons with wisdom and life experience) is making the social fabric of our modern world rub very thin.

Since we do not sit around the campfires, where do we share our stories, our dreams, our intuitional learnings, and, most importantly, our touching-connections? Where can we find an “App” which embraces us with a heart felt hug or a view of the scenic majesty of glorious nature? Where can we find the grandeur of the sun setting over the ocean? Where can we view the deep blue sky juxtaposed against the rock and glaciers of our highest mountains? Where does technology allow us to feel the raging power of the surf crashing or the thunder of a waterfall? Where can smart phones allow us to feel the connection of a team in sports, or in business, or in a spiritual healing circle?

I am not saying that we should abandon technology but we may need to rethink how it can used to connect us rather than to isolate us. Video conferencing can be used to build relationships and to create supportive master mind groups where people, separated by physical distance or physical limitations, can connect to share time and deeper feelings. Wisdom can be discussed from the experiences of life’s learnings. People may be able to reach out beyond their families or local communities to find kindred spirits who may feel isolated from like minded people. The survivalists and conspiracy folks are already communicating this way but it could be a tool that consciousness seekers can also benefit from when using available technologies to communicate love or inclusion or acceptance.

We need to “connect” in deeper ways with our “tribe” to find the support, rather than the isolation, which is so necessary for negotiating the challenges of this life.

Thanks for taking your time to read and consider these thoughts. Share, if appropriate.

Consider the Masters of the Journey as a possible tribe of caring, supportive people who you connect with as you travel your path. Whether you know it or not, YOU are a master. YOU have much to share from the experiences learned in your life. YOU can serve by being an accepting witness as another pilgrim shares their story. YOU have more value and significance than you might realize! So Blessings to you on your travels…

Namaste

Life Balance Quality of Life

Since the “Information Age” began in the late 1970’s, we have been struggling to keep up with changes in technology and 24/7 streaming information. Consider the 1980’s and 1990’s when the information explosion included: fax machines, cell phones, personal computers, and the internet (world wide web-www.) In today’s world, we often feel that we are falling behind if we do not check our e-mail, text messages, facebook-twitter-myspace (etc) accounts, and have our cell phones turned on ALL THE TIME! There are many people who have no idea how to control their “connectedness” and will text while driving, at dinner, in their counseling appointments (I am NOT kidding,) in the bathroom, or even in other important meetings-classes-dates, etc. Maybe ADDICTION to this connectedness is the issue. Technology has driven us to rethink what Life Balance really looks like.

The concept of Life Balance has been around along time however, the challenge of how to achieve or maintain Life Balance has become a difficult dilemma. There are some major areas in most people lives that are necessary to maintain balance in life. Though we are focused on financial survival, focus only on our finances and our careers is not enough to sustain the highest qualities of life. Often we are trapped into thinking that if we made more money, had a bigger bank account, or had moved to the “better” job, we would be happy and healthy. For most of us, this is a false assumption. Besides money and a decent job, we need to be well-rounded in other important areas of our lives including: our family relationships, our world of friendships, continuing our educational pursuits, our health, participating in aesthetic or creative pursuits, and honoring our spirit. If any of these areas of our lives are not celebrated, with at least brief regular attention, we can suffer from “burnout” and a reduced quality of life. We may lack emotional well-being if we do find make time and put energy into these areas of our lives.

“Healthy” relationships with family and friends are more than just social outlets. It is life sustaining to develop and participate in positive connections with other people. Babies who do not have positive human connection do NOT thrive and can die even when they are provided with food and shelter. Most people need to connect and in our desperation to connect, we often settle for relationships with unhealthy people. This has been a problem that affects quality of life. We must guard against negativity in the people we must interact with and prevent ourselves from being drawn into other people’s “drama.” This is easier said than done…

Our psychological, emotional, and physical health requires regular work and attention. Many people take their health for granted. Many people put other people’s needs before themselves and eventually whither or burnout. Every one of us requires a different pattern of prevention to maintain our health and well-being, so you have to learn what your specific requirements are and do not fall into the trap of doing things that other people say you “should” do, when actually your requirements may be very different.

We must continue to learn and to grow. Life long learning keeps us going and interested in life. Waiting for TV to entertain us is usually not enough. We need to reach out and stimulate our brains with new and challenging situations.

Participating in aesthetically pleasing or creative endeavors is also required for the highest qualities of life. This may be appreciating works of art or going for a walk in nature. It may take the form of hobbies or crafts. It may be time spent creating or appreciating music. It is often shared with other people and aids in positive connections. It is a celebration of life and your own unique creativity. You do not have to be a great artist to celebrate the art that you encounter. And, this leads us to the celebration of our spirit.

Spiritual development is a necessary life sustaining activity. It is not a religious pursuit. It is a pursuit of higher connection to an aesthetic belief or activity. Honoring that positive exposure to nature or art through conscious meditation will help lead to a satisfying quest for your spirit. If we do not pursue understanding and celebration of our spirits, we can lack the depth which helps us to achieve the highest quality of life. To be clear, spiritual development does not require the practice of religion. The spirit does not dwell within a specific religious philosophy or the practice of ritual, for all people.

An additional life requirement for your consideration is the need in life to play or to have fun. A life is best lived when we find time for positive entertaining and joyful experiences. We can often overlook the need to have fun because other challenges are so pressing but people thrive when there is time and energy spent pursuing situations that can bring laughter or, at least, smiles to our daily existence. Please remember to play.

Balance in life requires a commitment to yourself. This commitment includes scheduling time and allocating energy to the various specific areas of your life. A well rounded and balanced life makes time for positive relationships, health practices, and the pursuit of creativity to feed the spirit. What are your requirements? What do you need to add to your life to be whole and complete? Can you be a positive role model for the the people who share your life?

If you require coaching to achieve life balance consider the coaching opportunities available through the Stress Education Center by contacting our website at www.dstress.com.