A few years ago, actually more than a few (it’s a decade, to be exact) — I wondered why the lights went out. I wondered why my desires disappeared. Why I suddenly found myself disinterested in everything. Absolutely everything. This included the people in my life, the city I lived in, the work I was so passionate about since my youth, all of my possessions, my diet & fitness, my past, my present & future — everything. I thought it was due to my extensive practice of meditation at the time, or to my fasting on water, or to the never-ending rat race I found myself in, or to the destruction of planet earth (I was going to say our planet, but it’s not ours) and the eco-awakening that is taking place. I don’t know exactly what sparked my disinterest in being a “human doing”, like most other humans (very-very few of us embrace or fully live “human being”.) But everything just stopped. Actually, it only stopped internally, because the external goes on. Bills still arrive, rent is still due, friends still call, work is still required — everything is in motion, the carousel continues to rotate on its axis. Whether we like it or not.
Of course this was extremely difficult for me, because it had me standing between two worlds; the world of stillness & silence imbued with disinterest & dispassion, and the seemingly opposing world of social structures & ongoing desires. I think if I could have been one side or the other, it would have been fine. But feeling wedged & conflicted between the two didn’t work at all, and it became increasingly frustrating and unlivable.
The interesting & wonderful thing is, I learned a lot and I got myself un-wedged (just recently). It’s kind of like the butterfly in the chrysalis; you have to literally become mush. You MUST surrender and face your fears, and be willing to end your life as you know it. <– Please re-read that sentence, and let it sink in. You have to fully live it out, embracing the entire experience and all it encompasses. You have to love both sides: the light & the dark (that does not mean good vs. bad or evil, it simply means contrasting perspectives).
If you want more information on surrender, you can find it here:
I'll just say that surrender really is unconditional love. And love is a form of appreciation. So think of it as unconditional & ongoing appreciation. Being thankful, being open, being patient and being loving — no matter what the situation is, no matter what feeling or moment you find yourself in.
Everything can be considered a blessing if the lesson/gift is realized. The lesson/gift could be to leave and get out. It could be to stay and continue on. It could be to completely destroy and create something new. It could be to let go and give up. It could be to see with new eyes and listen with new ears. Whatever it is, it's a gift that was born through pain. And like a muscle, pushing through the weight & resistance makes us bigger & stronger.
If you want more information on facing challenges, you can find it here:
So if you ever find yourself in a situation like mine, or in some sort of stuck-ness, or feeling like you're "not here or there" — this is what I recommend:
You have to get turned on. I know that sounds silly, but trust me.
You have to plug in. Get energized. Light up. Activate. You have to literally turn yourself ON.
You have to get your POWER moving through you. This happens through connection and circulation, giving and receiving of energy, from being moved and inspired.
Now let's get practical. What does that look like? How does one do that?
Think of it this way, you are in a relationship with life itself (as well as in a relationship with yourself, your life happens through your senses/mind). This is your primary relationship. Your relationships with others (family/friends/lovers/children/pets) are secondary to this.
So if you were to go on a romantic date with Life, or make Life your life partner — there has to be an attraction first, right?
Sometimes we fall out of love with places or people. This is normal. But go back to the very beginning. How and why did you initially fall in-love?
How did you fall into deep appreciation for this place or person?
What turned you on? Literally.
And how open were you at the time? Were you open for new experiences?
Get clear on this. What turns you on?
Get as general as you can. Then get super-specific after that.
For most people it's the following:
Okay… now use that list to your advantage.
What is currently attractive in your life or in the world? What is beautiful or gorgeous?
What are you secretly afraid of? What excites you and makes you nervous?
What feels unknown in a big way to you? What feels uncertain or challenging?
What positive feelings come up for something in particular? What makes you appreciate it?
What makes you feel good when you focus on it? What do you love giving your attention to?
Go into your belly. What gives you butterflies?
What gives you energy?
What do you love?
Now laser focus in on whatever your "I'm turned on by…" answers are. Surround yourself in thoughts about it. Do this daily. All day, ongoing. (Like when you are in-love and couldn't stop thinking about someone.)
And if there is something scary or nerve-racking to face (and I hope there is!), I want you to face it head on. I want you to drive yourself right through it. Pretend you don't see it. Just plow right through. Meaning, fully experience how alive you can feel when you face something you rather dodge from.
If you can do this, and if you can keep these feelings & focus going… I promise you, you will be turned on and you will come alive with newfound enthusiasm.
Here are examples of what it means to be turned on by life (in your mind), no matter what situation you find yourself in: