What 2020 Has Done to Us as Humans:
It seems that everyone I talk to these days has just had enough of the year 2020. From the start of the year, with our planet’s worsening climate, to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the unprecedented unemployment rate, to the terrifying politics in the U.S., and the most recent of which being the entire state of CA going up in flames, there have been few moments of relief since we said, “Happy New Year!” I myself have continued to struggle with family matters and emergencies, from my father’s ill health in Wisconsin, to my grandmother’s very poor condition overseas in Iran.
Murphy’s Law has told us that “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” and I have been seeing that I am not alone in my struggle to remain on my feet. The more people I talk to, the more I realize that, just as we begin to regain our footing to pick ourselves back up, so many of us continue to get knocked right back down again, all of which is exhausting and discouraging.
What has been occurring over the past eight months is that more and more of us are increasingly hitting our “escape reality” buttons. What does this mean? Well, when the state of the world becomes too overwhelming for us to face, we tend to retreat into our safe spaces, where we can essentially escape the reality of what is happening around us. This can come in the form of getting lost in video games, such as ones that make you feel as though you are living within an alternate reality, or watching movies / TV shows that make us feel good, like the ones with happy endings, which provide us with the tiniest bit of hope to carry into the real world.
Feelings of Unfulfillment with Our Lives:
Although keeping a healthy balance between our reality and alternate reality can oftentimes be beneficial to help us reset, recently, more and more of us are being sucked in further and deeper into these alternate and false forms of reality. Spending too much time distracting yourself from your life, and the state of the present world around you, can oftentimes leave your loved ones feeling neglected, while likely leaving you feeling unfulfilled, as well.
Collective Human Consciousness:
As painful as it can be to sit with the heartache of the collective human consciousness at the present moment, it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to essentially live. We as humans need to start collectively seizing our present moments within each and every single day, so that we can begin to shift our awareness back to what we need to do as members of this race to create a better state for the future of all of humanity.
This thought can be very overwhelming, as we must remind ourselves that no single person can take on the burden of fixing the entirety of our planet and/or the human race; however, each and every one of us has the opportunity to reflect inward, and to allow ourselves to truly feel what it is that we are experiencing at this very moment. The more of us that practice this, the easier it will become for all of us to practice, as well.
One of my favorite guided breathwork websites is www.DoAsOne.com, where you click on the “World Breathing Room” button, where you can view a map with little icons of people all over the world who are in the universal breathing room with you. There is an overwhelming sense of community and calm when you realize that you are sharing in your mindfulness, and active presence, with individuals across this planet.
How to Re-Enter Our Bodies:
When we spend too much time running away from our realities, it leaves us with feelings of anxiety and depression. However, taking a moment to reground ourselves is so incredibly essential for our mental health, as well as our ability to be present with those around us. When we fall into cycles like the ones we have all been getting sucked into, it can often become very difficult to find our way out.
One simple way to find yourself, and reconnect with your body within the present moment, is to use all five of your senses. Choose one thing to touch (e.g. a fuzzy pillow), one thing to smell (e.g. lavender oil), one thing to look at (e.g. a picture of a loved one), one thing to listen to (e.g. the mesmerizing song of birds), and one thing to taste (e.g. your favorite warm beverage). Ideally, all of these objects will be ones that are pleasant to you, and that you enjoy. Spend 3 minutes sitting down with your eyes closed, and hold the object to touch in your hands, and just allow all of your present consciousness to be enveloped by what you feel in your hands / fingers. Then spend another 3 minutes with your eyes closed, taking whiffs of the object you have chosen to smell. Continue with each subsequent sense, spending 3 minutes completely immersing yourself within each sense, one at a time.
Another easy way to ground yourself is to walk barefoot on the earth (e.g. grass, sand, rocks, gravel); however, one of my favorite ways of really shocking myself back into my body is to walk on a reflexology mat, or using natural gemstone reflexology sandals. Although this feels extremely painful at first if you are not used to it, before you know it, you will love the feeling of walking on stones and/or wearing reflexology sandals around your home. You will be surprised at how much the tension within your entire body can be relieved, just by releasing the tension in your feet; however, the best part of this is how quickly your mind shifts to the sensations that you are feeling in your feet / body!
Try making the conscious choice to step into your life, and to seize the present moment. I often think of myself as disembarking from a time travel ship, which is my mind being stuck either in the past or in the future, and stepping into my present moment with as much conviction as I can manage.