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October 2012

October 30, 2012

Leave your phone at home

November’s issue of The Atlantic has an article called Being There. It’s about how being disconnected from our email, smartphones, and other distractions are an important and even necessary part of fully experiencing a place. The author laments landing in a foreign place and immediately being bombarded with emails from work demanding his attention, which requires him to sit and be absorbed in the world he just left instead of the one he’s just entered.

Sometimes I think it would be exciting to be in that kind of world, where I’m important enough to a company for people to find it necessary to contact me no matter where I am and what I’m doing. I know that’s a romantic idea, and that the reality of it isn’t that exciting. How people in that world talk to me or write articles that I read makes it sound like they expect everyone to jump onto this upward trajectory of ladder climbing, that if you’re not in a place where every moment of your time is demanded by clients or bosses then you are or should be on your way to it.

I don’t even have a smartphone. I’m a freelancer in a small town. Some months are busy and others aren’t, so I’m not sure if I’ll have an extra $80 in a given month to pay for a data plan (that’s how much they are now right?). Is the idea that a data plan might not be affordable be an insane concept to someone locked into that other world? I have no idea. Sometimes I think it would be great to be able to respond to clients as soon as they contact me. Most of the time though I’m pretty sure I could cut myself off completely from the world of freedom that freelancing allows me by always being connected to my phone or clients or email.

For the time being, I think I’m okay with my cheap flip phone and laptop. I encourage everyone to go travel, go to the woods, go on a hike, and turn your phone off. Better yet, leave your phone at home.

October 30, 2012

Cloud Atlas: New ways to see

After I see a movie I usually go online and read more about it, make comments on movie sites, read reviews and generally see what other people thought of it. I saw Cloud Atlas last night and I haven’t done any of that aside from reading a few bits of trivia on IMDB. I don’t feel the need to. I have no idea how it will be received by the public. It’s a complex, multi-layered story and those don’t tend to go over well with people.

Truth also doesn’t go over well with people, and there are certainly lots of pieces of Truth in this movie.

By each crime, and every kindness, we birth our future

I know many people don’t really believe this. If they did we would not see many of the things we see today and in our history. Some might give lip service to it, but they don’t incorporate it into everyday life. I don’t either, not all the time.

It is my belief that we are all in the process of awakening and that we are all at different levels in our own personal journey. We take steps forward and fall back. Cloud Atlas shows this process of living. It is not as complex as it could be–as life really is–but still makes the viewer work. It acknowledges the intelligence in the viewer and touches on a layer of reality that we don’t often see in movie theaters.

I will be seeing this movie many more times. I have not made all the connections in it and I believe have only scratched the surface of what it offers. However one of the memorable scenes for me is when one of Tom Hanks’ characters is climbing a rock with Halle Barry’s character. She slips, he catches the rope and saves her. The devil is whispering in his ear to drop her. We see the moment of his choice–to pull her up or drop her. That moment of choice is something we go through everyday, and whether you believe in the devil or peer pressure or any other kind of outside influence, something is always whispering in our ear. We have to choose.

There are things in the movie that I don’t believe are Truth. That doesn’t matter. We discern Truth from many places in our lives. As we move forward into what comes next parts of this film might help some to take their next step in Awakening, myself included.

October 27, 2012

Container for Negativity

It sucks to be a container for negativity. The real suck of it is you often don’t realize that’s what you’re becoming–you have to have someone else tell you. And then you look back and realize that yeah, that’s exactly what’s been happening.

What does it mean to be a container for negativity? For me it means that for some or many reasons I don’t want to let go of my negativity. I hold onto it like it’s necessary for me. Attempts to be positive feel like I’m just going through motions, like I’m caricaturing positive emotions and actions from other people.

I don’t know what the answer is. I know that all things change, and this is no different. I connect and ground and move forward. Negativity or positivity do not define me, they are just momentary characteristics going through the same flux and flow that everything in the universe is going through.

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