Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

To Be Well

As both an Educator and someone with a general/professional interest in Psychology, I am both excited and disheartened at the same time as the ideas of community and fulfillment saturate convention podiums, carve a significant niche on the Bestsellers Lists and offer a number of healthful alternatives to people at large. Just this past week at our local Teacher's Convention, I took in inspiring talks presented by Farley Flex and Gabor Mate. There were also a plethora of booths set up in the convention's trade hall to promote wellness and well being; asserting that health is a combination of mind, body and spirit.

As a Yogi who practices a hodge podge of Buddhism/Taoism/Hinduism/Wicca in my spiritual approach to life, I truly am ecstatic that people like Thich Nhat Hahn are being cited by respected Psychologists/Educators, and that people are searching the pages of writers like Eckhart Tolle and Don Miguel Ruiz for a meaning in life that extends both the dogmatic and crass materialism that presently permeates our North American society. We are suffering incredibly in this modern society that has abandoned life for a superficial 24/7 light show that has blinded our social senses, leads us toward the darkness of paranoia and fear of the human face, making surrogates of screens, and saturates us with the superficial. We are working, living in the red, working to feed this perpetual monster of computer upgrades, security, fast, cheap food and - still always working - obliteration of being. We are no longer organic beings as we live from want, not need, only to find the food in which this want is satiated to be flavourless and leaves us lethargic. Our bodies rebel in depression, anxiety, ADHD and general insanity of perpetuating the same and expecting a change in outcomes.

As I stated in my opening, I am excited to see our shift in Education and Psychology toward building communities again, families and genuine sense of life fulfillment. The problem, however, is two-fold, leading to my disheartenment. The first point of frustration is the apathy and effort required to create these changes. We are the high speed society whose interests, while sincere, tend not to develop due to our inability to reasonably make life changes against the tides and currents of the societal sea in which we swim. Even when working in jobs we love, as I do, the demands are excessive to the point that there's nothing left in the tank afterward. This negatively impacts one's family, leads to little community involvement because of fatigue and deters one from doing those other well-being activities necessary to ensure that sense of re-charging and rejuvenation. As a result, after not-so-hearty dinners, we crash in front of the television for the night which leaves us feeling flat and unfulfilled. Personally, I have been fighting this like a salmon returning up the river to spawn. I force myself to go to the gym, do Yoga, read, rock climb and play in a band, but all of these things are soiled by a sense of fatigue and much of it is more going through the motions as opposed to receiving any massive benefits. I am always run down, frustrated that I work my tail off but still have financial worries, and get sick often.

Money is my second issue with this movement. Heath and Well-being has become a brand, and, with this, come the charlatans, the quick fixers and all the other corporate trappings that has lead us down this path to begin with. While there are community centres offering some activities like Yoga for a low cost, one need only browse a Yoga magazine and read the ads for supplements, clothing, etc. to see that health is not cheap! There are billions being made. What's even more frightening is, now with their hooks deeply set, these corporations will drag people who have swallowed their version of things hook, line and sinker along for the ride, leaving many of them perhaps more messed up than when they started.

And, this is where we find ourselves. The question: when now will we look and what, if anything, will we, as individuals, do to begin re-building?


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