There’s all this talk about the “global village” nowadays. Most of us have friends on several continents. We travel regularly for work, sometimes crossing different time zones. But while the space and time zones we’re moving in are continuously expanding, we somehow manage to be even more present than ever.
No, not physically. Online, that is. We are virtually present. Urgent emails get almost instant responses, no matter what’s the time of the day (or night). People see the need to set up out of office messages that say things like “I won’t have regular access to emails this afternoon between 2 and 4pm“. Sorry, what?
Weirdly enough, while most of us maintain our online presence 24/7, constantly centred around our smart phone, tablet, PC – our true presence, our true centre got lost in the process. Sure enough, having access to messages all the time gives us the illusion to be on top of things. But are we?
Being constantly on the move is scary. What it means in a ‘non high technology sugar-coated language’ is this: We feel lonely, we lost our connection, we lost the place where we feel we belong. We try to substitute this by being connected to our various devices. Sure, these things are great to keep in touch with friends. But they cannot replace the life we’re living now, right where we are.
We cannot be physically in one place, and mentally in another. It hurts. So why do people do it? It’s simple. Because letting go hurts even more. Letting go means to loosen the grip on what you knew while there’s nothing new (or at least not yet) you can grab. Nothing to hold onto. WE DON’T LET GO OF WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND BECAUSE THE ONLY THING WE’VE GOT NOW IS THE VOID. Or at least this is how it appears to us. As Marissa, who commented on the post about moving from London to Oz, pointed out: “I’m really just in fear“. This is it. Here we’ve come full circle. We’re in fear because we’re attached. As the yoga scriptures pointed out 5000 years ago, attachment brings pain.
Nothing new so far – the question of course is: What do we do to stay centred in the moment, while being either on the move, moving countries or in a period of any other kind of transition?
There’s a few things I found helpful:
- Meditation. Obvious one. Nothing teaches us more to be present in the moment, just with ourselves, content with how things are or if not at least practising accepting things we cannot change. Big plus: Lightweight, takes no space in luggage, can be done any time, anywhere.
- Mala beads. Ties in with the above. Takes no space, helps finding your centre even if life is more like a roller coaster than a walk in the park.
- Eat well. Make a real effort with this. I know comfort food is an easy option if we’re lonely and feel bad, or if we’re working late and there’s no one to have dinner with. But feeling good in our bodies is crucial to our mental well-being. Go for the healthy option. Sustaining yourself on ice cream and chocolate bars will make you feel worse.
- The sun. Go outside. Put your sunglasses. It will change everything.
- If it all gets too much, too overwhelming, resist the temptation to resort to contemplating your “old life” as an escape. Read a good book instead, and dive into that story instead of your past. I find Agatha Christie works well, with a pot of olives on the side, for all the good lipids, you know 🙂
What’s your tried and tested recipe for staying centred on the move?