Jonathan Fields

I’m Aware, and it’s Bumming Me Out. Now What?

In today’s GLP Riff, we’re sharing two powerful questions from one of our super-awesome podcast listeners.

Turns out, we’ve received similar questions many times over the years, so we figured this’d be a great time to share a bit of a longer answer, along with a few stories and ideas.

It’s all around the realization that, sometimes mindfulness—becoming aware of the truth of your life, and the truth of the world—can leave you feeling exposed or upset, and in need of help figuring out where to go and what to do once your eyes have been opened.

Here, below, is the listener email and two questions:

Recently, I have been thinking about all the default inputs that unintentionally come into our lives be it high fructose corn syrup, a never-ending facebook feed, empty fear-instilling news, and of course, overt cultural norms which, more than we know, can determine our own beliefs of what is acceptable or not-acceptable.

Fed up with feeling like I am cattle being forced-fed grain (which I do not naturally prefer, haha), I have being going on an “input” cleanse — which means everything from deleting instagram, cutting back on sugar, only spending time with people that I really can have honest conversations with, and not reading / watching / listening / consuming things that don’t seem authentic or true.

I am a big believer in meditation, movement, being outside and appreciating the small details and beauty that always exists around us. I write poems and dance freely in parks. I would say I am ‘pretty mindful’… I can recognize when I am taking actions out of fear vs acting out of a genuine place in my heart…

But.. I find myself saying… “now what”.

I find the stage just past awareness is hard to get through

The ‘now what’ is in two parts.

1. Overcoming depression. I do find myself taking a bit of a nihilistic attitude. I can see that a lot of the busyness doesn’t matter – a lot of what people do in society in general, is empty. It’s a truth that is hard to shake, and can honestly get me down.

2. Practicality of living the life you want. The things that feel most pure and rejuvenating are spending quality time with good friends and loved ones, movement and making art. Things that typically don’t generate income. I’m finding it very hard to find meaningful work.

Do you have advice for either of these, what I would call “post-mindful” predicaments?

For the detailed reply, check out today’s Good Life Project Riff.

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