Poem: Electric Self-Help

We live in a detached age,

age of technology,

where the discomfort of being human is simply comforted,

detached from what’s necessary for your body,

(movement)

attached to what necessary for the ego,

(likes and follows)

constantly seeking distractions from oneself,

while grasping at that which takes you further away from your spirit.

 

Our age allows us to connect with others, in

a way that has never existed in human history,

yin and yang,

ancient wisdom,

with connection with others, comes

the disconnect with oneself.

 

The computer screen lets me see the injustice that just took place a second ago on the other side of the world,

it lets me feel your happiness,

share in your nervousness,

open my art to you.

 

Grateful to the age of technology.

 

The computer screen shapes my sight to see the beauty behind a screen while real beauty goes unseen,

it normalizes me to the clicking of keys but not to the chirping of birds,

it lets me hide my own sadness,

turns my sight from questioning my own nervousness,

distracts my mind as I commit injustices to my own body,

shapes my art trying to please others.

 

For all of that, I take responsi——

Self-help books, five ways to identify your feeling, stream of motivational quotes, “how to be like me”, three easy ways to find yourself, two steps to becoming yourself, this is what’s holding you back from reaching your potential, one easy solution to your problems, follow this to be that and so it goes.

Motivational talkers, influencers, self-help gurus,

every day a new one joins the fray trying to explain to you what you are doing wrong, what you need to be doing and how to do it,

giving you a blueprint to live your own life.

 

Show me the way,

tell me the way,

lead my life,

O, stranger.

 

Here, the detachment is evident.

(for you listen to these strangers with long beards and shiny watches and in doing so you quiet the sound of your own voice)

Detached from your self.

Detached from your body.

Detached from your spirit.

Detached from your soul.

 

Instead of asking yourself how you feel,

you seek the comfort of a strangers words,

becoming a stranger to yourself,

deaf to your body’s cries,

devoting yourself to other people’s instructions,

(hence, living someone else’s life).

 

Is that living?

matching your steps on the imprint of others,

mechanical,

robotic,

lifeless,

soulless,

marching in a straight line,

conveyor bed human,

hoping this is good enough,

afraid to think for yourself,

afraid to make mistakes,

afraid of what your body begs of you.

 

Ask yourself what do you need and hear your body tell you,

it doesn’t want a new necklace,

it simply wants to go for a walk,

it doesn’t want to eat again,

it just wishes to move around, to feel the breeze, to smell, to touch, to hear, to see,

it doesn’t want a new leather belt,

it simply wants to stretch,

(tight hips, tight back, a knot in the neck, elbow flames, shoulder pain but all of that is just a momentary thought before you distract yourself, before you quiet the body).

 

But, this is uncomfortable.

 

So, the moment your body begins to speak,

you begin to scroll,

or type away,

seeking bodily pleasure,

pleasure for your senses,

pleasure for right now,

age of immediate gratification,

gratifying your detachment.

 

But, be uncomfortable,

 

Ask yourself questions,

for you know what you want,

you know what you should be doing,

you know which actions make you feel good and which make you feel guilty,

you know yourself better than any human being will ever know you,

love yourself,

for yourself, do what is necessary.

 

But that phone flashes and takes your mind away,

that new video comes and takes 20 minutes of your life,

that new alert comes and you lose yourself,

that itch comes, where you reach for the device, almost unconsciously,

and your mind tells you its fine, 2 mins, 5 mins, you’ve done enough work, 10 mins, your checking up on the world, 20 mins, your friends, 30 mins, and break, end of scene, back after the intermission of seeing how your doing — and back to the next scene, 2 mins, 5 mins….

 

Happy right now.

 

The detachment between thought and action has always existed,

always planning on what you’ll do next,

but not doing,

using the mind but not the body,

amplified with the aid of the new age,

your body softens,

not knowing work,

you mind continues a pattern of hoping, planning, distraction, inaction, dreaming, hoping, one days and some days,

as you watch others living,

your darkroom full of flashes from the video of others experiencing life,

you feel accomplished through the accomplishment of others,

human nature,

our group is successful which means you are too,

but now we imagine the group to be the world,

so you can always find something to justify your opinions, habits, actions, as you continue rotting,

your body tired of talking turns to whispering and soon it’ll go mute for that is nature too,

why continue something that has no effect?

 

An article on productivity,

a video about things you missed in a movie,

a plea from your body to do something about your back pain,

which to follow?

what to do?

perhaps look up what a guru would do,

but it’s obvious which one you should do and yet,

 

Disconnected. Detached.

 

All one needs is themselves,

self-help,

self-love,

self-care,

self-discipline,

follow the self,

pain/pleasure, needs/wants of the self,

self wishes to move, to love, to care, to embrace, to speak, to listen, to hold hands, to laugh, to empathize, to connect, to attach, to see, to wonder, to do, to act, to live.

 

Detach for a moment and be in solitude,

alone with yourself,

the silence speaks and guides you,

connects you with your path,

walks with you as you act,

fills you with feelings and emotions,

uncomfortable and comfortable,

growth through this way is everlasting,

growth through someone else’s path is unstable,

pleasure derived from solitude is fulfilling,

pleasure from someone else’s actions is fleeting,

no one can tell you who you are, if

they don’t know you then how can they tell you what’s best for you?

you know yourself,

your body knows you,

true self-help is when you aim to please your flesh, your bones, your muscles, your tendons, your nerves, your blood, your heart, your mind, your spirit, your consciousness, your soul,

selfishly aiming at getting to know yourself,

not your neighbor across the world,

that comes after.

 

Step 1: Help your self.

 

Age of technology is beautiful,

but don’t forget the other ages,

Know thy self as it says on the temple in Delphi,

true now as it was before,

for the age is changing,

but we are still human,

the same as the ancient ones,

same needs and troubles, same fulfillment and harmony,

our forefathers and mothers discovered the importance of listening to their bodies, trusting their instincts, following their inner voices, applying their own logic and reasoning, building their own habits, disciplines and work ethic,

and through this, they created all that is known to man,

there was no Buddhism before Buddha,

thus, this should be your primary foundation,

yourself.


Youtube: Learned Living

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/learned_living/

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Short Story: Everything Work’s Itself Out

 

 

 

Reflections: Get Out Of Your Head

If we do not keep them (our minds) busy with some particular subject which can serve as a bridle to reign them in, they charge ungovernably about, ranging to and fro over the wastelands of our thoughts. (Michel de Montaigne)

A lot of our issues are self-manifested. It’s because when we are inactive when our bodies or minds aren’t involved in a task then the mind is free to roam different possibilities and concerns, many of which lie in the uncertain future. If we don’t tame this impulse, we are wrought with stress and anxiety.

Many times self-doubt only creeps up when we are still, when the world is silent, that moment before you go to bed or right before you are about to take a risk, the plunge, that one second, that’s where doubt comes because for that moment you think about the possible failures and the mind becomes untamed.

An easier way might be to say that when we don’t concentrate on the present then our mind becomes untamed. But concentrating on the present moment seems impossible if we aren’t actively doing something so, that’s a difficult thing to practice. Be present is a nice phrase but impractical much of the time.

But as quickly as doubt, stress or anxiety arises, with equal ease, they can be erased if we simply act. Take action, get out of the head and get in your body: Go for a run, see how many burpees you can do in 30 minutes, go meet up with friends and play a sport, play an instrument, talk to someone you love, pick up a book, start writing, whatever it is, whenever we get out of the mind we also leave behind the “wasteland of our thoughts”.

Montaigne understood the side effects of an idle mind very well, he said an idle mind “gives birth to so many chimeras and fantastic monstrosities” because for some strange reason idleness loves to spend its time thinking about what isn’t going right in our life. Constantly jumping from one thing to the next and it feels so real because your heart might begin to race, thinking about these monstrosities and it’s in time like these when one almost has to smack themselves, tell ourselves “it’s going to be okay”, verbalize it, make the mind focus on the positive words, on the task of saying “everything will work out” and you see in that instance these monstrosities disappear.

When the soul is without a definite aim she gets lost, as they say, if you are everywhere you are nowhere. (Michel de Montainge)

Keep an aim in mind. I think this is why people love to journal in the morning or mid-afternoon. If you are able to write down what you want to do that day every morning then for the next few hours your mind is occupied and as the occupation wanes in the afternoon, one simply has to remind it of the aim and it’ll kick right back up and keep helping you instead of hurting you.

The biggest thing is to approach idleness with caution for you understand what comes with such comfort and at least, if those “chimeras” do come, we have a plan of action on how to fight them.