I've spoken a lot recently about the ways we attempt to alter our own chemistry, so that we can feel different. We drink, smoke, eat, walk, sleep, dance, sing, clean, and choose other activities in an attempt to feel better. We know that some of these choices will up our Dopamine and Serotonin levels, so we pick things that feel easy and convenient to alter our states.
Especially over the past few years, many of us have felt low, either frequently, or at some point, collectively grieving what we have missed, and the lack of shared experiences. The problem is that often when we go too low, we over shoot, and seek out a high.
Highs are temporary, fleeting, and often come with a crash after-our bodies cannot sustain them, nor are we meant to live in them all of the time. And highs are often pursued through unhealthy patterns, addiction, cravings, trying to fill a gap, and they never really satisfy.
So here is what I am proposing:
High is not enlightened, but Freedom is. And Joy. And Love. And Compassion. High is not enlightened, but Grace and Goodness show the way. High is not enlightened, but Presence is.
Seeking a high is not transcendent, but choosing actions and activities that create space for enlightment invites transcendence into our lives. Live music, live theatre, meditation, breathwork, dancing to your favourite music, singing along, and especially when you do with with others invites enlightenment! And so often, Communitas, a collective of people gathered with a similar focus, energy, desire to share an experience, provides the foundation, not for a high, but for a Peak Experience.
These peak experiences occur when we are totally in flow with the moment, the energy of the surroundings, connected as one, present in the moment. You aren't thinking about the past, you aren't worried about the future. You are embedded in The Deep Now.
And in reality, this is what we are all seeking- the doorway to eternity, which is accessed only within the present moment. NOW expands into the timeless, the limitless, without conditioning or expectation. It embodies moments of ecstasy, ecstasis, moments of deep understanding, a remembering of the forgotten.
So with this in mind, over the next few weeks, I would encourage you to-
1. Recognise where you are seeking a high, especially through craving, addiction, drama, old habits/conditioning, negative emotions. Ask yourself what you REALLY want to feel, and choose accordingly.
2. Identify moments in your life where you experienced true ecstasis, where time slowed, you felt connected with everything around you. Recognise the conditions present. Start to identify opportunities for this alchemy again.
3. Recognise the things you choose daily/regularly that make you feel low, which then send you seeking a high. See where you run yourself dry so that you can eat a bunch of candy or drink a bunch of coffee to jump back up again. Recognise where you push people's boundaries to bring some excitement or attention to yourself. Allow yourself to choose something better.
Remember that we are always able to alter our states. They shift and change with what we plan, what we speak, and the action we take. Allow yourself to discern the quick fix from the state of higher consciousness, and commit yourself to enlightenment, transcendence, to The Deep Now.
P.S. I'll be writing more about these topics over the coming weeks, but please feel free to get in touch with any questions! I'd love to hear about your journey to enlightmenment!