It’s easy to over-think things. To become overwhelmed with everything happening outside of ourselves and OWNING that as if it’s our own.
Of course, in our current world of George Zimmerman trials and confiscation of tampons in Texas state capitol building -it’s easy to take on anger and frustration as if it’s our own. And, with these big things, it IS our own and we should focus on being part of the change.
But, it’s also easy to get all wrapped up in guilt over small things like “Did I eat gluten today” or “I had 3 glasses of wine last night”. Suddenly, we over-emphasize our every move as if we are a mix of Jesus Christ and Ghandi and Nelson Mandela and the axis of the earth will stop rotating if we make a wrong move.
Then, inevitably, we become so stressed and paranoid, we screw things up even WORSE. We grub down on pasta and crepes, we send out that email we wrote in anger without editing it, we miss deadlines because we are too scattered and fearful.
The Hippocampus is the most sensitive area to stress and PTSD patients have been shown to have a 8% reduction in their right hippocampal volume. The patients that suffered from child abuse showed a 12% reduction in their mean left hippocampal volume. (Bremner, J. Douglas (1 November 2007). “Neuroimaging in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Other Stress-Related Disorders”. Neuroimaging Clinics of North America)
We are programmed to make our best decisions when we are calm and collected.
But, how can we do that when we are too busy holding things together?
When the outside pressures have us convinced we constantly need to be on constant alert or the world come crashing down.
There are lots of yogic texts, workshops on consciousness and Joseph Campbell books to explain how “Following Your Bliss’ will help you operate from a higher level.
But, two simple methods (one super snarky) came into my world the past month and I think both break it down to bite-sized pieces.
Do. Whatever. The. Fuck. You. Want A blog poking fun at ridiculous posts of blissed-out yogis, prancing around and pointing out that no beach or scarf is required to find inner peace. Just try and be a good person, hang out with people you like and find some purpose in your life. Simple as that.
Or, if you need a more artistic and poetic version of this: my friend created this time-lapsed video of Burning Man 2011 with amazing footage showing what happens when people operate under Burning Man Principles which include, among others:
-Radical Self Reliance “…discover, exercise and rely on his or her own inner resources.”
-Radical Inclusion “We welcome and respect the stranger”
-Communal Effort “Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration’
-Participation “…transformative change, whether in the individual or society, can only occur through the medium of deeply personal participation”
He samples a poem from the writer Neil Kramer and parts of his essay “Way of the Infinite Explorer”
He expresses it like this:
Every conscious entity in the Universe is connected to all other conscious entities
Where ever and when ever they may be
In this way, deepening your awareness
Is the most noble and dedicated endeavor conceivable
Simple as that……