My emotions felt pretty jumbled as I navigated through last week. I reflect now ( 5 October) on the moments that felt significant for me. What I recall is a strange collage of events that sparked uncertainty. Lately, the obvious randomness and chaos in the world is enough to set an uneasy tone. So many things just don’t make sense. Confusion is an energy, and optimism-killer. My ongoing meditation: What can I do in this moment to move forward confidently on my own path? How do I maintain my vital connection with our larger humanity when my thoughts are so often, “This is total craziness” ? The more I struggled with these questions, the deeper I sank into a kind of emotional quicksand.
On Sunday I began with what I hoped would be an Uplift. Deepak Chopra’s newly released series, “Becoming Meta-Human”. Usually, I love, and feel instant benefit from Deepak’s stuff. But as I slogged-through what felt like a televised Death by Power Point I wondered: Who, exactly, is this information meant for? The only people I know who would watch or stream it are already hooked up. What about everyone else? Is “meta-humanity” even a ‘thing’ in Mainstream America? “Priorities, Deepak!” Respectfully.
Our world has a lot going on. Meta-humanity (literally, thinking about what it means to be human) feels just a scoche out-of-scale and out-of-touch right now. The chasm between ‘what is’ and ‘what could and should be’ (a happier, healthier world) seems wider than it’s ever been.
This thought gained momentum mid-week as I did my best to soothe the angst of a twenty-something. He was in a deep funk. On social media the man said he’d seen a former workmate who’d ditched the corporate grind – something he longed to do. The new Insta-babe was now using her very lush beauty and allure to dazzle an astonishing number of Followers.
While the young man and I discussed the “crazy and unfair” -ness of it all (Insta fame and fortune), I kept a random thought to myself: I wonder how often this woman, cashing-in on her youth, beauty and sexual allure, has deep thoughts – any thoughts — about what it really means to be human? Why do I even think about these things? Because we’re all connected. We’re all ‘humanity’.
Finally, toward the end of last week (Friday), Covid-19 and the swath of human destruction caused by this pandemic forced my attention to a more existential and fearful place. It was announced that our United States President had contracted The Virus and was now hospitalized. Ever the optimist, my first thought was reassuring: a health crisis can be a stark reminder of one’s own mortality.
Fear of dying, for most people, is the Great Equalizer. The great ‘awakener’ also. But…our president and those committed to his welfare and continuing presidency side-stepped a prime opportunity to acknowledge an important truth for all of us: no one is invincible. But his physical vulnerability didn’t lead to any kind of “meta” awareness, only stark actions aimed at self-preservation.
When I was feeling most uncertain (this past weekend) about how to move forward, I flashed back on a little book I spied in the Take Me Home pile at my local bookstore recently. I thumbed-through it (“101 Survival Tips”) while I social-distanced in line. Rising out of feeling discouraged — the ‘emotional quicksand’ of last week – is a lot like escaping actual quicksand:
“Don’t struggle, and for God’s sake, don’t try to lift your feet and walk out of the sand pit – you’ll sink even faster to your doom.” “Instead,” the book advised, “bring as much of your body into contact with the surface of the sand pit as you can. Lie down on top of the sand, star-fish style” (then slowly breast-stroke your way to solid ground). Huh. Who knew??
The goal of “Becoming Meta-Human” feels out-of-sync with the current desires and experiences of most people on our planet. Daily input from just about any media source confirms this. My temptation is usually to ‘escape’ through any happy diversion (baking is my current fav.) Or — as I did this past week — I actively struggle against how this uncertainty feels, wishing instead for a better global understanding of what ‘being human’ really means. In large part, a stronger sense of our connectedness and responsibility to, and for, one another.
While I try to do my part every day to contribute positively to this paradigm shift, I remind myself to be brave. And vigilant. When discordant people (my fellow humans) and their value systems “get” to me, I need to dial-back my own desire for perfection. ‘Check’ my strong need for peace and harmony in the world.
As a whole, we may not be moving toward meta-humanity very successfully right now. But I know that I’ve got to double-down on my commitment to be a part of the solution toward that ideal. It’s noble. It’s worthwhile. It’s the right thing to do.
Many thanks to Deepak Chopra for continuing to work with us!