You wake up, you grab your phone to scroll on Instagram, check you emails, reddit. You throw on the trending YouTube video or podcast while you brush your teeth. You gulp down a coffee and begin your commute to work with your headphones on, music pumping. You get through your morning of work, maybe you have taken a few minutes to check out Facebook or Pinterest for some good home decor ideas. At lunch you head to the gym to get a quick workout in or eat lunch solo while watching some funny videos on your phone. Post-work you head to the gym to get in some intense exercise- you're feeling tired and sore but you like to endorphins from fitness. You don't cool down because you have to get home to make some dinner for yourself of loved ones. Then all you want to do is crash on the couch to binge on some Netflix until the late hours of the night. The late hours are yours! It feels good to check out, tune out, mouth breath in your undies and watch the moving colours dance about the screen. It's nice to watch the ridiculous dramas of other people's lives on a continuous loop. Show after show. Season after season.
I am not writing this to be condemn you or to be all new-wave righteous. I repeat the exact same patterns mentioned above because escaping my reality for a while is exquisite.
Here's the thing: this dissociation is making us miserable.
It happens slowly. Being plugged in to our technology chips away at our ability to connect with the Great Mystery and radically accept our life from moment to moment. In time, we find ourselves feeling:
- stuck, frustrated, resentful, fatigued
- depressed or anxious
- numb, listless, an unexplained melancholy
- feeling like you are never doing enough in your work and relationships
- feeling self-critical and negative, judgmental feelings towards yourself
We are in an amazing age of information but this doesn't mean we have to bombard our minds with podcasts, shows, music, articles until our eyes and ears bleed.
We have our own inner wisdom that we can plug into which turns on the flow of pure, radiant presence.
If you have ever read Tara Brach's Radical Acceptance then you are familiar with the concept of a commitment to the truth of this moment and to be open, tender and loving to whatever that truth is. We cannot access that truth if we are constantly distracting ourselves or "zoning out."
"But Emily! I am just chilling out! Don't criticize me and my choices!" you cry.
I don't want to make you feel bad. Every once in a while I love to have a couch day in my sweatpants watching movies, podcasting, and being in receiving mode (aka "lazy"). One time I spent the ENTIRE day in bed watching a Netflix series and eating burgers. It was amazing.
The reason I am writing this is to offer you some alternatives to Netflix binge so that you can create a flowing river of what Suzanne Anderson calls Vessel Yin: the life-sustaining flow of our deep feminine expression to simply BE.
This is a healthy way of relating and caring for your body by opening to the fullness of our senses and emotions with all of the self-compassion and self-love to whatever arises.
3 Ways to Access Vessel Yin (without technology)
1. Sensory Awakening (taken from The Way of the Mysterial Woman)
Find some time every week to be outside in nature. Take note of all 5 senses: touch, taste, smell, seeing and hearing. I sit in a park and take in all that is around me. It can feel really boring at first, but It does have a lasting impact when we tune in with our senses. Notice how you feel after.
2. Free Writing (taken from TWMW)
I have just implemented this into my daily ritual. As soon as I wake I free write in a journal beside my bed. Anything that pops into my mind I write down stream of consciousness style. My anger, my fears, old hurts- giving myself permission to feel everything without judgement. I still find myself trying to be all Positive Patty but it has connected me with my shadow self- the demons that myself and society doesn't like to regard. I don't read over what I write- I just write. What I have noticed is that the delusion of all my stories is placed on the page so I can just be me. It's highly therapeutic to rage on the page!
3. Self-pleasure Ritual
Yes I am going there, again. I believe the best way to practice self-compassion and self-love is through our sexuality! This isn't just a quickie session (although those are necessary) but this is a full-blown ritual. I light candles, lay out my crystals, put on some music, read some literotica, get out my glass and crystal toys. I touch my body sensually, breath deeply and show love for my body. This has transformed my relationship to myself and lovingly forced me to slow the FUCK down. I have felt my body expand and glow with radiant love! At times really strong emotions or memories come up. This is great because I know I am finally processing the past so I can simply be in the here and now.
It takes immense courage to touch our truth and fully accept ourselves for who we are moment to moment. Especially if we have been living a hugely self-critical existence. Dropping into our bodies to feel and accept those feelings isn't easy. But it is so damn freeing and you will reap the benefits with a radiant, calm presence.
Self-loving and self-awareness is a radical act in a system that wants us to mistrust ourselves. The system wants us to go about our existence in a miserable trance thinking that the next distraction (the next thing to consume, the next thing to accomplish) will make us happier.
Here is to loving and accepting yourself just as you are you Pussy Power House you!
The Psychedelic Gypsy Queen