And clear the rest. Many bloggers, pundits, social media mavens, political commentators and humanitarians are writing, speaking, blogging and tweeting about the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, now that it’s blown itself out and away. I have been resisting the idea of blogging about Sandy, and am going to do my best to refer to it without making it the focus of this piece.
The images that we see on the news are disturbing: mighty New York City underwater. Subway stations filled to capacity with sea water, not people. Staten Island. Queens. The Jersey Shore. Southern Connecticut. West Virginia. And the stories of lives lost, unimaginable damage, homes destroyed.
CK minimizes her contact with mainstream media and its sensationalism. Not just because it feels as though brain cells die when exposed to sensationalized drivel – dramatic stories from the hurricane, followed by information about what fashions are hot or what Angelina Jolie had for breakfast. But because energy flows where attention goes. And I prefer that my energy stay out of the collective sensationalized unconscious!
The provocative snippet of news that I caught post-hurricane was of some people on Staten Island, screaming and raging at the cameraman about the injustice of the devastation and demanding immediate help. It was ‘in your face’ journalism, and after witnessing about 30 seconds of the drama, I was out of the room and on to things that would support me, not denigrate me.
Yet the image stayed with me. The dialogue and image on the screen was rage-filled. What was palpably clear was that the energy behind the diatribe was not rage. It was fear – perhaps even terror. The feeling I came away with was helpless fear – what will become of me, us? How will we get through this? I’m so frightened I’m covering my fear with rage and pushing the fear away, away, away through the rage and the swearing.
Been there, done that as the tired saying goes.
So that’s what’s been on my mind. Feel what’s real. My compassion for the people who have been impacted by this storm is great. And I prefer to connect to the situation through what’s real, not through the secondary emotions or the contrivances of the media’s rating strategies.
How many times have we all covered our vulnerability, taken on the emotions of others, polled others about our situation to decide how we should feel? As we do these things, we lose our grounding in the real emotions of the moment. We’re afraid to be real.
Because we learn to costume our emotions the way we dress up as someone or something else on Halloween, we lose touch with our genuine selves and we get lost in the quagmire of our made up emotions.
This past week I dedicated my meditative clearing practice to the goal of feeling what’s real and clearing the rest. I found myself feeling peaceful within, in spite of the dramas unfolding around me.
As I’ve shared the idea of feeling what’s real and clearing the rest with other colleagues, students, family and friends, I’ve noticed that their tone and tenor has shifted a bit as well. Several mentioned their own sense of containment, peace within.
I’ve offered the following clearing idea in the post, Mine vs. Not Mine. The same basic resource can be applied for feeling what’s real and clearing the rest.
Put a rose out in front of you at arm’s length, off to your left side. Invite all of your feelings about [topic] – the hurricane, your family, the boss, your lover – to go out on to the rose in front of you.
Now put a rose out in front of you at arm’s length, off to your right side. Invite all of the feelings that are REAL for you to move to the rose on the right. The energy that moves to the rose on the right will be a small subset of the totality on the left.
Disappear the rose on the left. Feel what’s on the rose on the right. That’s the stuff that’s real, that’s worth working, contemplating, engaging and owning. In feeling what’s real, we can all learn to deal. It has some appeal, it’s not just a shpiel. This is my appeal, let’s all keep it real!
Keep your vital energy flowing!