Spiritual Lessons from Screenworld

I’m a hopeless romantic.

There!  I said it!

I dream of having a life in which the hustle and bustle of modern life is brought to a screeching halt, in favor of a simpler, quieter, slower lifestyle.  So, whenever there is a discussion about computers, technology, phones, or other tech-related subjects, I easily move into my grumpy mode.  I am not a fan of technology, and try to use it as sparingly as possible.

And I’m writing this on a computer!  (Okay…so I’m not a consistent hopeless romantic.)

Back in my monk days, I was taught that everything is useful, if used in moderation.  From pens and paper to books and computers, I was encouraged to discover the meaning of moderation and how it translated into daily life with anything and everything.  This approach startles me out of my grumpy mode to shake me out of a false idealism, and engage everything around me with moderation and wisdom.

I firmly believe that technology has lessons for us with regard to the spiritual path, if only we stop, attentively observe, and uncover those nuggets of wisdom.  Below are a few of the lessons I have gleaned from the “screen world.”

  1. The world – the universe – is HUGE! Yes, this is a “no-duh” thing to say, but technology has really made this a tangible reality.  The sheer amount of information, data and people we can access and influence is truly incredible.  Nearly anything can be understood or studied in depth, with very little time or effort.

The spiritual value of this is sheer awareness; we are part of an immense reality that we are barely conscious of.  If we allow our conscious awareness to expand through mindfulness and meditation, we can begin to see how the immense complexity of life knits itself together into a profound simplicity.

2. We are capable of miracles, once we focus and set our mind to it. I was watching a TV show that first aired when I was a kid, and realized that everyone on the show had corded phones and no privacy.  What a difference a few years made!  Now you can talk, text, email, you-name-it, from anywhere.

 And all of this was possible because of people who dedicated their mental, physical and spiritual energies toward solving problems, and helping the human community become more informed and connected.  If you sit and think about it, these devices we take for granted are truly the stuff of miracles.

 Our own lives are also capable of miracles.  Every time we decide to serve the needs of others; when we choose to change our career path because we desire lives of meaning and value; when we finally leave a toxic friendship or close relationship, in favor of life-giving interactions, we are making a miracle happen.

 3. Comparison kills. Social media is a wonderful way to stay connected to others, and it also contains a potential trap in the mind of the user.  One can compare oneself to others, noting weaknesses and shortcomings in themselves, or in the person they are focusing on at the time.  The result is either a much lower self-esteem, or an elevated, exalted ego trip.

 Regardless of the direction, the ego becomes the primary focus.  Rather than focusing on letting our own heartsong be a guiding force our life, we suddenly become slaves to public opinion and popular trends.

 Rather than spend endless hours in the comparison game (and yes, it does add up to hours!), we can choose to use social media as a tool of connection rather than comparison, and let our heartsong be the driving fire in our lives.

 4. Have quiet spaces, mystery places and eyes for living beings. The technology we have today is wonderful, but it does have its limits.  There is no substitute for silence; not just physical silence, but visual and mental silence as well.  Making time to simply be quiet and alone, unable to be found through the phone or computer, can help us reconnect with our core values, beliefs and attitudes that tend to fall by the wayside in the din of modern life.  We can become fully present to ourselves.

 Make time for other people, too.  When we choose to mute or turn off the phone, decide not to multitask on email while we’re on the phone or talking to someone in front of us, we are making a decision to be fully present to others.  This sheer presence is deeper than any words, and lasts forever.

 5. Tech is a tool, not a life. I can’t tell you how many stories I hear from people who have either lost their phone, or had their phone go berserk, only to discover that they go crazy without the tech with them.  They literally go through withdrawal symptoms!

If you want to lose the “tech DT’s”, choose to look at all of your tech as tools.  They are essentially tools for your self-expression and connection; not internal organs.  Make time every day to simply fast from any technology.  Write a letter.  Go for a run.  Do some yoga.  Meditate.  Be proactive and take charge of your life, rather than be a slave to checking emails and texts every time the phone dings, squawks or plays your favorite music.

You have a life.  Live it to the fullest!

Don Marlette the “Metro Monk” is a medium, coach and teacher on the No Limits Life Staff. You can Learn more about Don, his services and more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

 

Do You Work Your Life, or Does Life Work You? by Don Marlette

Every day you wake up and promise yourself that you’re going to live today to the fullest, and not let  your fears hold you back. You decide to do the tasks you’ve been putting off forever, deal with the assignment that’s been nagging you for the last two weeks, but –  somewhere along the way – you lose your nerve.   You keep postponing things and making excuses for all the wrong things that happen in your life.

And so it goes.  Every.  Day.

How do you take charge of your life?

Our culture’s conviction is that there must some technique, secret or product that, when applied properly, will make all our dreams come true and make us eager for the next step in our path.  The truth is there is no secret at all.  There is no magic system, seminar or ritual that will instantly erase your fears and zap you into your best life ever.  It’s really not a question of “how” to do anything!

We’re asking the wrong question.  Instead of asking “how” to take charge of your life, it is better to ask what kind of response life is asking of you from the outset.  Just as a child “out of control” is sometimes simply asking to be heard, your life may be asking you to stop and listen to your heart for a moment.

Actions to take charge of one’s life often fail because they are not inspired actions.  Think about when you’ve fallen in love.  Did you go out and buy the book, “The 8 Habits of Twitterpated Lovers” or “How To Enjoy the Person You’re Head-Over-Heels In Love With”?  No way!  Love itself seemed to take over, and you followed a mindset of inspired action that seemed to pull you effortlessly from one idea or action to the next.

The same is true about your life.  Life is not a project; it’s a love affair!  We spend far too much time building monuments bereft of meaning and fixing problems that are best left to someone else, all in the name of being “busy”, rather than taking inspired action from a heartfelt call.

You are not asked by life to “work on” things, to create personal growth projects or construct role-based goals, ideals and aspirations simply for their own sake.  Instead, you are asked to fall in love with life, allow your hopes and dreams to emerge from a passion-driven heart, and take inspired actions to make these hopes and dreams a reality.

The first step toward living from that passionate state is the most important.  Stop.  Find a quiet place with your journal and a pen.  Close your eyes and focus inward.  Listen to your heart’s call.  What is it saying to you at its deepest level?

The next step is to take an honest inventory of your life right now.  What is working in harmony with that call?  What is working against it?  And then be brutally honest with yourself: Are you willing to let go of those things that are in working against your heart’s deepest longing?

Finally, ask your heart what two or three actions you can take over the next week to make its desires a reality.  Listen carefully and note those actions.  Make a commitment to do them, realizing that these are inspired, soul-driven actions with a higher purpose.  You will quickly realize that these actions are things you really want to do, because they lead you to a life you actually want to have.

As you accomplish each action, celebrate it.  After all, this is not busywork; you are taking meaningful steps toward a soul-realized life!

Once you actually experience the energy and joy from moving toward who you really are, other inspired actions will start to emerge into your awareness.  Now I won’t lie to you: challenges will come your way at times.  Yet, you will be able to face these challenges, knowing that you are aligned with a greater purpose, and this alignment will give you the insight, energy and resolve to overcome those obstacles with creativity and focus.

 

Ready to move forward with your heartfelt life?  Don Marlette can help.  Sign up for a free 30 minute consult and learn more about Don Marlette and the entire No Limits Life team at http://www.nolimitslife.guru