I like to say that I don’t do things by half measures. But that is not true. If I am honest the last few years were half measured living. Not bad, and there were adventures and laughter and travel. But inside, in my head and heart, I was treading water. I stopped writing blogs because I had nothing to say. I wasn’t growing, discovering, thinking. I was stuck in a rut.
Facebook came into my life ten years ago as a way to promote my martial arts school, as well as connect and stay connected with friends. It seemed pretty straightforward and innocuous. Innocent and fun.
That is not what it is today. At least not for me. It certainly isn’t innocent. And the fun? Sure there are cute animals, babies, sunsets. But there is an insidious addiction too. A dark kind of fun, the ranting and raving, diving into the dark underbelly of what people stand for that is now being brought to light through political posts, arguments about religion and all the other rhetoric that has no bounds. I judge people without really knowing them. Because of a meme. Because of their political affiliation. I’ve felt disgust, even down right hatred. Anger raises its ugly head over and over on a daily basis.
In meditation, we try to clear the “monkey brain”. The incessant chatter of the childish and yammering consciousness that pollutes our thinking. By shushing the chatter we can go deep and start to find a different way not just of thinking, but seeing ourselves, others, and the world. Facebook is that monkey brain chatter throughout my day.
Moving to a new place opens up lots of possibilities. The soul feeding beauty of Pagosa Springs has given me space to look at myself closely and challenged me to develop new habits for individual growth. I knew that I was stagnant in Penrose, in a rut and bored. I was aging, but not growing. With the drumbeat of getting older came a sense of urgency about how I was going to live this last chapter.
With a warrior mentality from my lifetime of martial arts as well as careers in male dominated business, my instinct has been to fight. Push. Never back down. Attack.
That Michelle developed the skills she needed to be successful and survive. I’m proud of the accomplishments I achieved. But I don’t want to be that person anymore. It is not that she was bad, or at fault, it’s just that I want to explore other aspects of me, and life.
Enter yoga. I’ve gradually, kicking and screaming, incorporated yoga into my daily life. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with yoga for ten years first trying it just for asana, the physical aspects of yoga. Then over the last year starting to dig into the spiritual aspects of the practice, the “joining” that elevates yoga from stretching exercises to a way of looking at myself, others, and the world.
It’s not easy, the process of shifting your thinking, emotions, and reactions. It’s not easy looking deep within yourself and being honest. No excuses or “they made me do it”. I journal. Read. Study. Meditate. All in an effort to take myself to a higher level of living and understanding myself, others, and the world.
I realize that I hang on to so many things that I don’t need. Attachment. Old patterns, old emotions of resentment, hurt, anger. Old cycles of reaction. I need some peace and calm to get rid of all of that to make space for new. I need blocks of time for positive. I need to clear that monkey chatter.
So I’m going to say goodbye to Facebook for a while. I haven’t decided if I will deactivate the account, I’m going to leave it dormant for now. I will continue to blog at https://noodlingaround.blog/ and https://michelleraycox.com/. I hope you will consider following the blogs and interacting with me there. Steve will still be active.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Email me. If you don’t have my phone number, Email me and I’ll send it to you. I haven’t decided yet about Messenger but I will be turning off notifications and checking it rather than reacting to the alert. I’m doing the same with news alerts. I’ll choose when and how I spend my time in a conscious manner, not in a reactive way.
This has been something I have thought deeply about. I have friends on Facebook that I love, I look forward to their interaction with me every day. I enjoy seeing kids grow up, and hearing about all of the joys and excitement of others lives. That I will miss. That is what has kept me coming back every day.
I’m looking forward to the silence. I’m also dreading it.