We should all be aroused. At all times.
There is a truly considerable amount of dialogue centered around the present, with conversations about mindfulness, and showing up. The New York Times recently published an op Ed about digital addiction and weening off of phone dependencies to spend more time enjoying the now. It’s everywhere, and in many cases it’s as polarizing as talks of juicing and cycling — positive movements whose downside is the image of a fad or a cult which pushes non believers farther from the message.
I am on my way to attend the Big Quiet, a mass mediation movement started by Jesse Israel, where 800 people will attempt to be present in a concert hall. The movement, and moreover the certainty that by being better as individuals we can solve bigger problems is only gaining ground in different groups and manifestations.
While I have a number of open minded incredible people in my life, most fall on the other sides of this movement decrying that it is obnoxious bullshit, pandering, or any number of offensive slights to a collective dignity. They’ve used the word unbearable with some frequency.
This is for you, for us, and for them.
The fact is that the larger shift in consciousness has incredible upside. We are becoming better people in many respects, with advances in human rights across the board. We can all agree.
So please picture what it would be like if we were all, in every moment, as awed and aroused as a three and a half year old.
Take a moment to digest it.
When I first heard the concept I was creeped out. The analogy didn’t resonate. What was explained by some of the foremost thought leaders in the field is that we spend too much time in an adrenalized state. Stress is ultimately fight or flight driven. We are stimulated in the wrong way. We are constantly driven to react and take action. We fail to realize that reaction is the weakest form of action, and we create conflict from this place rather than being like that three and half year old child. There is an unending appreciation and sense of wonder for everything when you are that age. Pure. Simple. Awe. The most receptivity imaginable.
The present as I’m told can be as simple as cultivating this space where we can receive others, and give them the opportunity to be their best selves. With the open eyes of someone just looking to accept and be a part of what is happening. The present is the ability to receive the basic human transmissions without prejudice but moreover with appreciation and a solemn and welcoming awe. To be in it is to be open to love of everyone and everything. Just like a toddler.
And the easiest path to get to this state is simply by breathing deeply. Simply. Breathing.
There are deep inherent flaws to our society which presently gives uppers as readily to its children as to its populace, and has us all adrenalized, veritably glorifying the state. It’s hip to stressed, over worked, and burnt out. It’s the new merit badge for success. It doesn’t have to be.
There is an alternative heightened state of bliss where you can take tangible joy in everything. Happiness in a smile, the love you keep in a song, the person who makes you light up like Christmas, or the warm soothing affection of hot toddys. You should sing more because you play the music in me.
It’s a simple as breathing and being three.