Spiritual Laws for a Distracted World (Part 1)

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I’ve been trying to continually read and be intentional during this time off. I began reading The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success (thanks to Cliff for sharing the link) by Deepak Chopra. I usually don’t stick with books like these for long, something about the new terminology, the synthesizing and then figuring out how to apply the suggestions to my life can be become a bit much. To be honest, I like things in plain language when it comes to self-help. But there were some things that spoke to me as soon as I started trying to decipher the wisdom in this book. The first Spiritual Law it touches on is the Law of Pure Potentiality and the difference between self-referral and object-referral.

To quote the book, to experience the pure “Self” or self-referral basically means that you refer to your own soul/spirit (not your ego) for a point of reference, as opposed to being affected by things around you. In object-referral, you guessed it (you’s smart!), you are not referring to Self, but are affected by objects; people, experiences, situations (a.k.a things you cannot control.) In self-referral you experience your true being (void of fear, full of respect and humility) and in object-referral you feel an intense need to control or to have “power” over those things that drive the ego. Cool. Makes sense. But how exactly do we operate in the Power of Self daily? I’m glad you asked.

The first tip the book gives is…tapping into creativity through consciousness. What does this look like? Daily practicing of “silence, meditation and non-judgment.” Oh, sounds easy enough, right?

Silence. Withdrawing from speech and basically letting your mind run miles until eventually it quiets down. And it will.

How am I trying to apply these principles?

I already mentioned that I’m on a self-imposed Twitter break. This past week, I noticed myself just scrolling for scrolling’s sake and posting things just because a thought came to me. But what am I really talking about? Is it worth posting? Do I have to post everything I think about? Although I do prefer Twitter because I don’t spend hours on it, how much time am I really “not wasting” if I’m opening the app every 10 minutes because I’m wondering if I got a a new notification, or for FOMO(fear of missing out)? I don’t like the feeling of being addicted to the screen, or being out with friends and having to record everything we do. But what happens after I take 30 days off Twitter? I get right back on and build back up to the same habits that lead me here in the first place. Something has to change.

Besides the social media silence, I have experienced silence at home this past week. I’ve had minimal TV intake. By nature, I’m not a big TV watcher, I tend to prefer doing more creative things when I’m motivated. Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed and I need to do something that doesn’t require much effort, so I turn on the TV. I actually finished watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix last night and I was disturbed by some of the scenes. What happened to the time when events were inferred and not necessarily filmed? I’m reminded that everything everyone is watching might trigger certain things for me, and I should be more prudent before I consume. Same goes for the things we are subject to “auto-play” on Facebook, Twitter, and the like.

The book goes on to point out what silence brings out of us.

What happens when you go into this experience of silence? Initially your internal dialogue becomes even more turbulent. You feel an intense need to say things. I’ve known people who go absolutely crazy the first day or two when they commit themselves to an extended period of silence. A sense of urgency and anxiety suddenly comes over them. But as they stay with the experience, their internal dialogue begins to quieten. And soon the silence becomes profound. This is because after a while the mind gives up; it realizes there is no point in going around and around if you the Self, the spirit, the choice-maker are not going to speak, period. Then, as the internal dialogue quietens, you begin to experience the stillness of the field of pure potentiality.

Silence is powerful. We lead very distracted lives. Can we control that? I believe so. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible, if we are intentional.

-She

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Spiritual Laws for a Distracted World (Part 1)

Internet Silence

Maybe I need practice in this....

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a high about living on my own for the first time. But just as there’s perks, there’s also the downside to turning the key and knowing no one else is home. My apartment is a quiet oasis.

But no distractions don’t mean full productivity all the time.

Part of my issue is that at least for this semester, I have to adjust to living without internet. Who the heck lives without internet at home in the 21st century? A broke college student!   When you have to decide between groceries or internet, necessity wins every time. Starvation is a slow death but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone dying from lack of social interaction. The downside to that is that I don’t get to Tweet or blog as often as I’d like, or with the real-time impulse that makes some posts so authentic. So I’ve had to readjust my blogging habits; I write my posts ahead of time which leads to more time to edit and perfect my craft but may also lead to unpublished pieces (sometimes when you have enough time to think, you talk yourself out of posting). The upside to no internet is that I’m not wasting a whole lot of time web surfing when I should be studying, etc. Also, when I have to walk to campus or the local Library for internet, I tend to cherish the time I spend online more because I know that I won’t be online that night.

Besides the internet hurdle (which I’m sure I’ll survive), the other downside to living alone is that SILENCE IS LOUD. After a while, my music playlist is played out and I’m finding ways to fill the space with some noise. Being alone with ones thoughts can be brutal sometimes, as you may already know, because your mind tends to want to haunt you with deep questions that rattle your whole existence. So more likely than not, I have to quiet the following doubts:

What do you really think you’re doing back in school?

Do you think you’re smart enough to make it to grad school? 

You can’t afford this, and debt is not an easy monkey to get off your back.

Then I remember how I got here in the first place. How I was in Costa Rica making phone calls to the Department Chair wanting to know if I had gotten accepted into the program. And how although I was in the bottom of the pile, after I called and reiterated that I was the one with two last names, that same week I snagged one of the last 12 spots! This year has been full of lots of crests and troughs, but all in all, I wouldn’t change a thing. NOT A THING. And so even at the end of the day, when reality hits and I know I can’t have it all…all I pray for is PEACE OF MIND.

Internet Silence