Are we that out of touch?  I don’t know about you but the headlines, social media and news clips over the past 15+ years {the past 5 or so especially} have me confused, saddened, angered and overall disheartened.  Additionally, so many people seem trapped in the past or having perpetual anxiety attacks about their futures, that we are missing out on experiencing an extraordinary present.

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between a causative past and an absorbingly important future.  We have no present.  Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation.  We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience.  We are therefore our of touch with reality.”  ~Alan Watts

Wired But Out of Touch

With all of the ways to be “in touch” these days, it seems as though we have never been more out of touch..  Swipe right, swipe left, Kik, Tumblr, WhatsApp, this app, that app, texting, tweeting, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram…does anyone talk face to face?  We are quickly losing conversation, healthy debate, respect and most of all–human connection. Yes, there are girls & guys nights out, but are we truly communicating?  Check out Connections, What Holds Us Back? and Relationships for Wrong Reasons  are we that out of touchfor more on the topic.

Rather than focus the reality of the present, we are digging up things that occurred 150+ years ago for which no one alive today is responsible.  A politician is inaugurated and immediately begins discussing the next campaign.  They are looking so far into the future, they can’t possibly be focused on today.  Bullies, young and old, are everywhere.  Even on the heartwarming posts, there is someone who must find something negative about a good deed or feel good story.  There are people who continually mock those who are religious.  Are people that hungry for attention or are they only happy being cruel and raining on someone else’s parade?

Maybe, they are simply craving human connection but it’s been so long, they are uncertain how to reach out to another. We are living anywhere but in the present moment and we don’t know how to do it well without some electronic device tethered to us 24 x 7.  Once again, in my opinion, it all boils down to fear.  If we live in the past or focus far off into the future, we can remain blissfully out of touch with our present reality.

Embracing the Moments

But, guess what?  Avoidance makes us miserable as well; it’s a Catch-22 for sure.  So, what do we do?  Let’s look at living more in the present:

Improve Communication

  • Put down the electronics
  • Make eye contact and watch your own body language
  • Focus & truly listen
  • Don’t offer your opinion or solution unless asked and then give thoughtful feedback
  • Don’t interrupt

Avoid Distractions

  • Prioritize
  • Organize
  • Tackle one or two things with gusto; a few things done well beats 10 things done in a half-ass way
  • Avoid distractions; focus

Look Up

  • Notice new businesses, art installations, etc.
  • If you have a few minutes–stop in and check it out; spontaneity is a great way to be present
  • Get out of “the zone” now and then
  • Develop your awareness

In a Bind

  • Solve any issues as quickly as possible
  • Try to worry less (or not at all)
  • Learn to forgive; don’t harbor grudges
    • This includes forgiving ourselves first
  • Let go of guilt & shame

Practice Gratitude

  • Do we want or need the latest, greatest gadgets?
  • Appreciation for the things and people in our lives
  • Mindfulness of what we have helps us to live in the present rather than worry about what we are missing out on

Social Media

  • Have fun with it but place limits
  • Don’t get wrapped up in the comments
  • Take everything, and I mean everything, with a grain of salt.
  • Do your own research to learn the facts
  • Don’t become an internet bully
  • Learn about the mute, block, and unfollow buttons
  • If you don’t use it for business, take an extended break now and then

Outdoors

  • Don’t live in the past, but remember some of things you did as a child and do them again
    • Jump in a puddle
    • Dance in the rain
    • Go for a long walk or bike ride
    • Red Rover, hide & seek, jump rope, hopscotch, pick up games of basketball or baseball, jacks (endless opportunities)
  • Take a day trip
  • Take nature photographs

With all of these things–the only goal is to embrace the present moment!

Lao Tzu states, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past.  If you are anxious, you are living in the future.  If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”  Living in and embracing the present moment, allows us to be more in touch with reality.  Buddha further explains, “All human unhappiness comes from not facing reality squarely, exactly how it is.”

Are We That Out of Touch

Reality

The reality is, there are a lot of amazing things and fabulous people in our world today.  Conversely, there is a lot of muck and mire to wade through as well.  We must face it head it on and embrace it for what it is.  One person can make a difference by simply taking positive actions.  We can’t get trapped in the past; we don’t live there anymore.  We can’t get stressed over the future–it hasn’t happened yet (you do know that a large percentage of things we fear or worry about never, ever happen, right?).  The thing we must not do is avoid the present.

What we can do to get back in touch:  “[Girl], get a hold of your life.  Stop medicating, stop hiding out, stop being afraid, stop giving away pieces of yourself, stop saying you can’t do it.  Stop the negative self-talk, stop abusing your body, stop putting it off for tomorrow or Monday or next year.  Stop crying about what happened and take control of what happens next.  Get up, right now.  Rise up from where you’ve been, scrub away the tears and the pain of yesterday, and start again…[Girl], wash your face!” ~Rachel Hollis, Girl, Wash Your Face:  Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You are Meant to Be

Are you feeling out of touch with reality?  What steps do you recommend to be more present and more in touch?

 

 

 

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