Mindfulness in the Facebook Age


The Practice of Not Saying Everything You Think

I set an intention to not post to Facebook for a week (including posting on my timeline and commenting, but I can still “like” posts or send private messages). I’m also going to make an exception to post this, as I need motivation to catch up on my blogging!

It’s been a really eye-opening process, though I haven’t been perfect. (I made an exception for a picture of my new car – couldn’t resist! – and posted to two groups for help picking up my old car.) There have been a bunch of times I have held back from a knee-jerk reaction, and you know what? I’ve never regretted not sharing my spur-of-the-moment thoughts.

Twice I have posted a comment without even thinking, and had to quickly delete it. They weren’t bad comments, but they weren’t necessary, either. So much of my interaction with Facebook is utterly mindless. Mindless: The very opposite of the mindfulness (mindfull) I try to build through my yoga practice.

A Spiritual Practice

Saturday morning, I had an incredible dream involving Amanda Palmer. I worked out the message from my psyche pretty quickly, and knew how it would be expressed in my day (about to go to a yoga training). I was also inspired to go look up AFP’s TED talk, which I hadn’t yet seen. Her message! Oh my goodness, it was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment, and it was so close to my dream it was a little spooky.

           *Make real connections and be willing to ask for help. *

It was a moment, I tell you. An ah-hah moment, a spiritual lightbulb, an awakening of a long-neglected inner fire… and I came so close to posting it to Facebook.

Then I remembered my commitment to myself, and I felt that temptation. “But people need to see this!” I reminded myself that I needed to see it, and that I did see it when I needed – and not because a friend linked to it (though a few did).

I had watched it at my own perfect moment. That changed everything.

Holding the Energy Within

When we share everything we think, especially things we haven’t yet had a chance to process or things that are very, very special to us, we diminish their energy. That thought (a lesson from The Artist’s Way) kept coming back to me Saturday, when the energy of my dream-lesson would return in the most amazing moments.

[Moment: I stand in tree pose and experience it in a way I never have before – in power, strength, vitality. I feel bold and ready to soak in life, unafraid. I feel energy course through my entire body. ]

Even as I was purely in that moment, shifting into a new experience of my life (from passive to action, from yin to yang), I had the deep – bone-deep – understanding: Facebook would have hindered my journey.

Am I giving away energy now, by writing this? No, or at least, not much. I’ve let this experience process, soak in and boil down to a message suitable to share. This method of expression is a story, a connection, an experience that may resonate with another – as AFP’s TED talk resonated with me.

It needed time to settle, though.

Letting Things Settle

We don’t let things settle, in our world. We panic, we obsess, we pick apart every detail of tragedy. We play the same images over and again, and we put so much sensory input into our poor brains that it is as if we experienced the trauma ourselves.

Six months later, it is history. But have we processed it, or moved on to the next thing about which to panic?

What would happen if we didn’t share every thought we have?

My belief is there would be a lot less drama, a lot more peace, and that actual action taken would be in the direction of a better world.

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