It’s been a while since I wrote anything. Somebody with whom I shared this blog with responded with a comment that had me questioning whether or not I was over-sharing or being too vulnerable.
The answer to that question is probably yes but one of my personal goals is to practice vulnerability and although I went into hibernation a little bit, I felt compelled again to spout off some spiritual goodness that I hope will both help and inspire other men and women in becoming more fully themselves and being a brighter light in the world.
Today I want to talk about community and connecting to ourselves in order to build truer connections. I also want to speak as a man about how connecting to my body has helped teach me how to better respect, appreciate, and harness my masculine power including in relation to both sexes, men and women.
Today I woke up with a knot in my solar plexus, the area right below the ribcage in the stomach. Breathing into it, although easier to do than in the recent past, did not work to ease the tension; my left leg and foot, still chronically aggravated by a twinge of muscular tension. This, I believe, is due to my self-disconnection.
Community. I am feeling a pull towards community. I look around me, on Facebook, Instagram: there are millions of people on journeys, connecting their hearts with purpose and finding shared connection with others. It’s beautiful and what it’s all about. I want this too, and in my own small way, have gained ground in moving towards my personal missions.
This fills me with strength and purpose each day, but my self-disconnect cannot be ignored and it distracts and detracts from my purpose to the same extent that I cannot connect to myself.
What does it mean to connect to myself? What is self-disconnect?
For me, dropping into myself means dropping into my body, fully awake, fully present with it, with my physical reality in space and time; it means harnessing my attention, which is usually wrapped up in a torrent of conditioned thoughts and emotions, recognizing that’s where it is then directing it into the present, noticing my physical body and resting in that awareness.
The shift and impact of this practice is profound. It is a profound shift in being and reconnects me to my deepest, truest self -my unconditioned self.
I have adopted this practice of present-moment awareness (or mindfulness, if you like) as an antidote to anxiety and depression. For me, it is the most direct, potent, and intuitive way of overcoming the tendency of the unobserved mind.
It has been my mission, since realizing the power and absurdity of the mind, to reconnect to that truer part of my self (I say reconnect because I believe this is an innate characteristic of every human being, one that we never lose but simply lose touch with).
I realized that the mind is not who we are because it is so transient, so malleable, so amenable to suggestion. It is more appropriate to consider the mind an incredible tool, one that can be used to manifest our realities.
What is permanent, relatively speaking, and what remains when thoughts subside is our physical presence, our bodies in the here and now. And learning to connect consciously to your physical presence is, in my opinion, the most powerful way to connect to your truth.
Going back to the idea of community, I believe it’s imperative, in order to create genuine, healthy, and resilient relationships, to be able to operate from a place of personal truth. That is, moving beyond game-playing, pettiness, neediness or ulterior motives and being comfortable in your own skin, which is really to say realizing your deeper self, which in itself comes with a sense of personal power and independence from other people.
This does not mean you do not need people in life to create things. It means you no longer rely on others to give you emotional sustenance. When you are able to look within and look at the places you fear to look, you find that you already have everything you need. And that which you desire, you realize that you already have the power to attain for yourself.
When we are disconnected, we operate from fear and lack; our minds trick us into thinking we need something or something’s missing. We then over-reach, grasp too hard, the sand slipping through our fingers.
As a man, reconnecting with my body has been a terrifying and beautiful journey. It is revealing in that it pushes me to acknowledge my true, animal sexuality, a sexuality that I have successfully repressed and covered up for shame for most of my adult life. It has also led me to recognize my own masculine nature in a very stark and direct way, requiring me to acknowledge and take responsibility for this male body.
These are just some of the things I have forgotten and that can be forgotten when we live most of our lives in our heads, in an insane culture, bouncing from one thing to the next, and never stopping to inquire within, to heal the parts of us that hurt, that we hide.
My journey is still underway and will likely last a lifetime but with these realizations has come greater personal confidence and assurance, less anxiety and depression, a greater sense of purpose and more honest and fulfilling relationships.
I believe this type of self-knowing and clear looking is one of the most important things we can do in our lifetime. It is not easy work. It is a conscious practice of looking into ourselves, in the places that we repress because we fear the discomfort of feeling.
Some days are easier than others. Breakthroughs happen: the peaks. But there will also be valleys. This is where the breakthroughs are birthed. However, in doing this work, we are strengthening ourselves and, in the process, strengthening the world. It starts with you.