Illustration by JAYMEE L. AMORES

Up-down, in-out madness
A SPIRITED SOUL - Jeannie E. Javelosa (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2017 - 4:00pm

I have been having writer’s block and a part of me blames it on the information overload. I talk to friends about it who advise me to “just write anything...” about what keeps me busy, or even my travels. And I think to myself as I stare at my laptop keys…Will I write to put more information out there and add to the overload? To counter this, I choose to write insights as these are harder to come by in a busy world. As a writer, allowing insights to arise becomes a discipline as it forces me to stop and dive to find the jewel of a message from some inner voice that can be shared with the readers.

I struggle, too, with the addiction to my gadgets, and I know I am not alone. I battle with myself for some self-discipline to not pick up that phone when I wake up, and for extreme moments, even leave my phone in the living room when retiring. And this is me, an adult. What was alarming was when my sister, a mother of two young girls, sent me an article that showed a global study of how the rise of technology is affecting our young children and adolescents making them “feel sad, hopeless, useless, left-out and lonely.” 

The study of Dr. Jean Twenge, author of  iGen, shows an alarming 50-percent rise of clinical depression (from 2011 to 2015) and substantial rise of suicide rates paralleling the rise of the iPhone. She concluded that we are in the worst mental health crisis in decades and this crisis is reaching epidemic proportions. 

As a workaholic, I struggle to step back from work even as self-imposed deadlines are way past due. A notebook of “to do” has pages constantly added on that makes me stare and say: what really is essential in all these? Which of these in the list should I just delete and not sweat it? After all, work is but one mere aspect of life and is not life.

Balance

We, who are plugged into technology, are in a state where we must, at all cost, take steps to balance ourselves. We need to bring back intimacy into our lives and our relationships (all) with or without the Facebook and Instagram posts. We need to bring back openness with our children and create new pathways of living that bring in balance: making choices that are sustainable by choosing healthy clean food, what we buy and from whom we buy. Choosing to spend more time outdoors for play (adults included) and be active; more time to deepen experiences with nature; truly understanding where we want to bring our lives, and what we want to get out of life.

Parents play a special part in the process of this by balancing their children: by talking to them, spacing no-tech time, creating sound, solid values so the kids can stand independently on these positive values. 

The whole world is experiencing a shake-up. We have seen, for some time now, how agitated the world is and how the switch is moving to “high.” We’ve seen a shake-up of global public events. Values are questioned. Institutions are changing, traditions are turned around. Fake news and systems of beliefs create actions into events so wild and new — they create fear, fight or flight. Sometimes, it feels like we are ping-pong balls, hit left and right in the play of a global world. We are experiencing the destruction of the old formats that stagnate growth or systems that do not serve the betterment of humanity.

This up-and-down motion is the evolutionary pull to higher states of consciousness where we are trying to centralize spiritual values at the core of everything we do. Practical spirituality, loving values, religious actions that foster inclusion and growth, sustainable practices and conscious choices. These are at the core of keeping the balance against the downward pull of the negative, lower, ego-mentality thinking.

If we are to locate the important tool that can help us find and manipulate the balance, it is energy. Yes, it becomes imperative for all of us to find and create basic energy that is positive, lighter, cleaner and expansive…in consciousness with our physical bodies, in food and products we consume, places we live, work and visit; people we relate to in all levels, relationships we build, work we choose to do and mindsets we want to keep. It is energy we must learn to read and discern. Then adjust and recalibrate existing programming in our body, heart, mind and spirits that our environment has put on us. 

One major insight I want to share now is that it is a natural thing that things should be easy in life. This happens when we are in the flow of a higher and balanced energy.  So, where your specific struggle is, is the hint that this is where you need to bring in a more expanded consciousness or mindset and bring yourself to balance.

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