Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’ - The Talmud
Communication technology has been a great tool to inform and connect people. It also promotes the spread of fake news, alternative facts, and hysteria. Dropping the Instagram account and quitting Facebook free me up to connect to the close relationships. I also feel refreshed as the cerebral pressure is relieved. It's difficult enough to deal with the consequences of living in the physical reality. A social community isn't what we can make up. It is what we are living everyday. We have a natural desire to grow and expand. However, artificial connection distracts and drains energy. How do you know it's artificial? Ask yourself if you feel distracted and fatigue at times and elated at others due the interaction. The roller coaster is what drains the energy. Our social networks naturally expand when others find our actions valuable. The buddha was a basic bad guy until he almost died due to the extreme physical practices as an acetic. Luckily for him, he heard the angel whispered and took to the middle path. Only after he dropped the search for enlightenment (which enlightened him) he began to learn how to be a good guy by reconnecting with his family and being of service to his community. I'm not advocating an annihilation of social media. If you are already a good person serving your family and community and wanting to expand your service then please get connected. I'm at the point of just learning to be a good wife, sister, daughter, friend, and yoga teacher, and trying to avoid skipping ahead.
Dropping the search for fulfillment internally or externally frees the creative energy to course through the present moment living. Desiring enlightenment or a billion dollars takes you to exactly the same place, the realization that the continuation of the desire is suffering and the dropping of it is peace, unless you die before realizing. Without peace there is no compassion. Without compassion there is no kinship that is the foundation of and a reason for human survival. Princes and scions like the buddha who get to live a life of inconsequence tend to live badly because there's no real urgency to learn life lessons. No matter how much their bad behaviors irritate us they still end up with enough money to spend and people to serve their whims. In agreement with the buddha, I'd rather die than to live this life and learn nothing from it. Yet so many of us not so rich desire the life of inconsequence. We use drugs, entertainments, or extreme psychedelic meditations to avoid the pain of actual living and relating. The souls on the inconsequential path consequently die young. Pleasure without pain is numbness. And numbness is the absent of passion that is the creative life force. Nothing outside ourselves can fill the void (of no thing) inside us. Fulfillment isn't the ability to do what we want in order to get what we desire. It's the capacity to do what our individual lives and other related lives require of us.
In the Creativity I, I wrote about the limitation the society and all of us impose and limit each other. The right amount of limitation and constraint is good as it catalyzes strength and grow. Too much limitation leads to annihilation. The more connected and healthy I am the more I understand the buddha's middle path and vice versa. A tree grows taller and dig its roots deeper when competing with other trees for sunlight and nutrients. Survival competition is in our DNA. However, if we're stuck in the survival mode the creative energy isn't free to create. It's busy trying to keep the body alive. Once thrived, survivors can become creators--free to fulfill soul desires which requires inner growth nurtured by life lessons learned from living through difficulties--relationship mistakes, career mishaps, social awkwardness and alienation we all feel from time to time. If you're struggling to live comfortably as an artist let the lessons of life guide you to a different, possibly surprising yet fulfilling path. I don't false my dad for not supporting my artistic pursuit back in college. I thank him and others for challenging me to find my own way to the present comfortable living and fulfilling the soul desires. We can't blame the other blades of grass if we are, as blades of grass, too inflexible to let the gentle wind of angel whispers blow us. Nor can we blame our inaction or the lack of creative solutions on someone else's behaviors or politics. If you spend time focusing on others' false you have no power or energy to spend on making your life and theirs more satisfactory.
The joy is in the learning. There is no learning without illusion and no mindfulness without mindlessness. This is the consequential life. The creative passion moves within the confine of physical and perceptual realities. The more aligned the two are the healthier the body, relationship, and aspiration. Learn from my mistake and do your best not to confuse reactivity with emotional sensitivity. Filled with expectation, irresponsibility, and blame we become reactive in dealing with emotions--ours and theirs. We take thoughts and words as finite selves while feeling misunderstood because of them. The soul is the connecting force fueled by the energy in motion that is the breath and emotional feelings it generates. We all get reactive--think and act badly from time to time. Regulate the breath and connect with the emotion. Connected within we can hold others responsible for their actions without disconnecting from them emotionally. The more we operate at the soul level the freer we are to co-create with others. This is where all paths of yoga converge. The yogic disciplinary of the royal or Raja yoga cultivates our capacity to show up for the personal life. Karma yoga cultivates the alignment of our intention and action with the people who truly matter in our lives. Jnana yoga and its self-inquiry practices lead to the dropping away of expectations and desires to find peace within where the clarity leads to insights. Bhakti yoga is the expression of insightful wisdom where we operate at the soul level and vibrate with all individual souls as one spirit--the vast field of creativity.