What’s your likeability?

More and more I find that I’m trying to re-create a positive view in my mind of social media. But it’s a challenge because for me it’s always been a love, hate relationship. I mean how many of us critically judge our likeability based on our amount of likes? We return to our screens every ten minutes after we make a post, curious to see how many of our friends have responded with a thumbs up. If we don’t get enough blue thumbs, we start to question whether we’re attractive enough, interesting enough or whether people even care anymore. Explain to me the positive points of this destructive behaviour so many of us are caught up in? That I’m caught up in.

I cringe every time I see a selfie stick. You know, those people that parade around the earth like they’re lost in some kind of virtual bubble, completely disconnected from the world around them. I’ve had a passion for photography ever since primary school, and simply loved to document life and find some way to freeze a memory. I want to hear more stories for this same desire.

And I can see that for others (the selfie stick others) that there is that little element that lives inside of them. But the art has well and truly become lost in a meandering course ofselfie-stick-827879_640.jpg attention seeking behaviour. Have you ever watched a bus load of tourists pull up at your local beach? These days, so very few actually take in the beauty of their surroundings. Rather, it’s straight to winding up the selfie stick to capture their overly joyful smiles in front of a scenic background.

I was sitting in a café in Timor recently, where fifteen or so Indonesian tourists came in, each clutching a selfie stick or the latest oversize iPhone. There was no acknowledgment at all for the wait staff, instead they pushed their way straight to the back of the restaurant, pulled out chairs and started snapping up photos of them pouting in front of a well presented selection of art work. There was no intention for purchase of food. Once enough photos were taken, they then proceeded straight out the door, much like the coming and going of a destructive tornado.

And then there’s friend requests. Unless that is what they are, a friend who you know through and through. Perhaps you’ve met someone on your travels whom you formed a spiritualdeep connection with, and wished to stay in touch. I’m not talking about these genuine ones, I’m talking about a person you may have once met at a party, or spoken to on a bus, or even seen from across the room.

If you do decide to accept the request, then you could go months, or even years without a single exchanged word, but you still allow them to sit there, because the number of friends you have somehow gives you comfort. I’m sure by now you’ve realized a lot of these people are more concerned about the attention they can get from their incredibly intriguing posts than to care what you’re doing with your life.

We have become so fluid as to expose our entire lives to strangers. With more than one billion people around the world being active on Facebook, I wonder how many of them are living a life of illusion, forgetting the true meaning of authenticity and connection. Just don’t forget to live your life as it presents off the screen.

 

 

 

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Negativity- A State of Mind

To think of what we don’t want in our lives is to focus on our fears rather than to invest energy into what we do want. It’s a classic behaviour of the ego, stepping in to remind us of all the reasons why we can’t possibly grasp onto our true wants and dreams- whether through lack of skill, title or talent. It’s a trait of inbuilt human behaviour but is also influenced by external factors such as culture, television and others negative attitudes. The trick is to continually recognise the egoic traits of the mind and to practice a switch of focus.

Many years ago when I found myself trapped in the vortex of city life, working full time in a corporate office environment miles from my love of the ocean and allowing my black shiny heels to audibly trek the same paved paths day in and out, I wanted to know what it would take to re-invent my life and escape this soulless routine.

I had heard of successful horse lifeathletes visualising winning gold at the olympics throughout their training regimes, with a focus on not only being as physically strong as possible but also mentally strong.

In interviews following their gold medal wins they would explain that their visualisations of winning was an important part of their recipe for achievement.

When I began what seemed to be an impossible task of finding work close to the ocean in my area of expertise, I began toying with this concept.

In my mind I would create a conversation with a make believe someone about how I had spent six years living the city life, but now I’m so glad to be out of that toxic lifestyle and living near the ocean surfing every day. I would play this scenario out in my mind every day for weeks at a time, to distract me from the lengthy robotic commute, crowded streets or whichever other situation I found myself in daily.

I would further visit areas of the coast where I most wanted to live, in order to take in the surrounding environment to help solidify my dream. It was almost as though my physical being was in the city but my soul had made its way to where it longed to be.

I truly believe that this mental focus was what finally had me break free into what felt like a surreal existence living next to the ocean while working a full time “city job”. You see if I had been caught up focusing so much on all the pains of city life, my true desire would have been so engulfed in negative energy that it couldn’t have possibly come true.

From this first experiment I have continually allowed this same concept to shape other 1472065_10151778274180168_1682323650_nareas of my life such as impassable opportunities overseas, treacherous and fearful moments travelling solo and allowing love to show up in my life.

Visualisation can become a powerful tool in achieving whatever it is you set out to do. It is said it only takes 17 seconds of thought, whether positive or negative, to begin adding to the pool of attracting and magnetising that thought into a physical form. It takes strength to remind yourself of this theory alone as you go about your day!

The Art of Forgiveness

As long as you cannot forgive, you have others permanently anchored in your heart. A lot of the feelings associated with the lack of forgiveness are hate, regret, grief and anger. How could you possibly open up in intimate relationships when you are weighed down by these toxic egoic emotions? The answer is you cannot severe that attachment until you have forgiven, regardless of how terrible the sin is that another human has placed on you. How many people of your past still have attachments in your own heart? The lesson of forgiveness serves as one of life’s greatest challenges but until you master it, I believe you will always be handed negative situations until you realise what it is you need to do to 32204_400218545167_814411_nunlock the flow of love.

It’s not possible to love for as long as hate remains in your heart. It’s the same as trying to surf when you’re angry- your energy is tainted, you have no flow with the wave and you’re totally out of tune with what’s going on. Beneath the superficial surface of society, we’re all just energy. Moving into new relationships with tainted and unprocessed energy is a sure fire way to reach disaster.

Any bad events, words and circumstances that were said or occurred are in the past and unchangeable. It is the truth of the matter. Therefore why spend valuable energy caught up in the negative emotions of these aspects of the now ended relationship? Instead focus on the aspects of that relationship that touched on your heart and made you grow into a better person. Remember that saying that your grandma loves to use “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”. Memorise that warm feeling of love and the happiness that it brought to you, forgive the rest and move on.

As humans we are all imperfect. Sometimes we think we know someone but we don’t. Take reassurance that any bad intentions or actions carry heavy karmic consequences and 1913986_153381815167_40687_n.jpgknow that that person will be appropriately punished in this aspect. Don’t get caught up in games of revenge it’s going to hurt you more than you care to imagine. Instead redirect that energy into healing yourself and severing your ties to the past. Your goal is to be the best version of yourself you are here to be. The first step is to quiet your mind- meditate or practice yoga until you calm down all the emotional turmoil in your mind. You cannot make progress amidst an emotional storm- this is often why we ask those closest to us for advice in times of trouble, for they don’t have the thick blanket of emotional cloud blocking their train of thought. It’s often the heart we need to listen to to guide us, but the rational mind that gets in the way. Practice listening to your gut feeling or instinct as it never lies. Again you cannot hear its whispers until you have quietened the mind. Your instinct can lead you through doors you never knew existed. You’re the captain of your own ship. When you’re ready- put that sail up and continue your journey to happiness.

The Truth of the Inner-Self

Some days you’re faced with people who act in indescribable ways and go out of their way to use methods to hurt, offend or upset. They can be someone you know or they can be complete strangers, regardless of who they are, they both have something in common- either a negative intent to in some way shape or form affect you with their words or actions, or a general unhappiness in themselves.

An encounter with one of these types is bad enough but when you’re really unlucky, and it’s usually the way the energy game works, you seem to attract and encounter many in one day. Let’s say you come across someone who has  made an offensive statement directed at you and about you. Their words or opinions are so distasteful that you begin to65169_10151137360180168_400812489_n question yourself and who you are, you start defending yourself in your own mind. You might even find yourself having a conversation with that person in your head even though they are long gone and may never cross paths with you again. Before you know it, that particular person with their negative energy has left an imprint on you and you may keep thinking about that one irritating action or word they said, hours, days and sometimes years later.

You don’t have to be a victim to this energy. If you have taken the time over the course and events of your life to get to know yourself inside out, and I mean truly know yourself- your strengths, your shortfalls, your typical emotional reactions, then you should remember one very important thing. That person can never take away the truth of your own being. You know you’re a good person who does good things, you have a big heart, you tread on this earth lightly, you not only care deeply for your closest friends, family or spouse but you care in general for the goodness of humanity. Any single vexatious word someone attempts to offload onto you is simply an expression of the current state in which they are in, which ironically has most likely come about from their encounters with an even less desirable human being in their past. It’s a real lack of love, an outcry-and unfortunately it’s very contagious. Some days I view it as a food chain, a man-eat-man energy game and it’s simply not necessary.

Reminding yourself of your truth is similar to gratitude- a gratitude of your own strength and essence. Come the end of the day, you can compare and dissect your current emotions with encounters with any other human being by imagining that you had just spent the day in a beautiful wilderness setting, alone with your spirit- with absolutely no interaction with anyone but nature. This will help to put in perspective your energy vs the energy another carries- which is none of your business. In Baz Luhrmann’s 1999 song “Wear Sunscreen” one standout line to me is “Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how” In other words, we’re all human and it takes a lot of mindfulness, control and discipline to tame the ego that reacts to insults but I believe it is possible with practice. You can’t always forget words or actions of another but you can always work on taking away the emotional attachment.