I lived and worked in a particular reality for years. I believed that by connecting the world, people and things with technology, and working hard, we would create more abundance, freedom and inter-cultural connectedness on this planet as human beings.
What I did not see then was that most of my inputs and motivation were driven by outside impulses. I wasn’t truly connected to myself, what I really wanted, what would make me and the loved-ones around me happy. I found a way to change, and you can too.
Connection and Separation
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein
All connection starts with a connection with ourselves. We are in a system that has promoted separation on all levels for more than 400 years (since Descartes). We are now so separated from life in its natural form that we develop artificial intelligence to show us how disconnected we are from everything. It sounds very innovative and exciting at first glance… Then what?
You start your day with the first separation: waking up and immediately checking the noise of the outside world (phone updates on news, your work or your network) before you check in with yourself, your loved one beside you or those physically close to you. We all know this scenario – I’ve been there many times and it still happens to me once in a while. We think it’s the obvious thing to do – work is more important than our loved ones. It’s so easy and utterly addictive.
Our day moves on with more separation everywhere, anywhere. Taking our children to school without really taking the time to connect with them, taking the car to sit in traffic jams, going to work having lost the meaning of it all most of the time. Then we do it all again, going home with no energy or time left to connect with those same loved ones who you know are really the most important part of your life. And we keep repeating this scenario, day after day, hour after hour, to stay in the game and produce enough money to take us to the end of the month, dreaming of a better future that will never come if we don’t break the cycle.
The weird part is that everybody knows this, really, but we have lost the strength, courage and vision to break through the daily routine. We created a society of automatons, slaves to the rhythm of technology and no-one seems to be able to stop it, and with a risk leading to data colonialism and digital dictatorships, according to Yuval Noah Harari at Davos 2020.
Regrowing the connection
My personal story is one of growing awareness of this reality, allowing me to take action and create a new reality for myself and my extended family. I believe personal transformation is going to be more important than digital transformation in this new decade. I believe that a better future can be a reality for everyone, as long as you challenge the old and are willing to create the new for yourself, your environment and community. Honestly, I cannot see a sustainable and pleasant future for ourselves and our children if we don’t reinvent ourselves, the models and the systems we have created around us.
The first thing to change is probably the most difficult: to (re)grow the connection with oneself. Becoming aware of the voices in your head, learning to observe them and understand what they really mean to you and your actions. Most of the thoughts we have are not created by us but are part of the conditioning of our parents, schools, work systems and belief systems we have created for ourselves over the years.
According to the National Science Foundation, an average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts. If it’s these negative thoughts that we repeat, then our thoughts are overwhelmingly negative.
It’s not just about our thoughts. We need to understand our emotions better, learn how to accept and manage them as a complete part of our being, and discover how to feel again with every cell in our bodies. Living life and creating healthy relationships takes more than just our heads. These are some essential human skills that will be critical in the near future, skills that we don’t really learn at school or at home. We may have diverse and qualitative psychological healing systems, but we cannot solve the mental collapse. There is a tsunami of mental illness spreading through our societies everywhere, caused by separation, the lack of connection with ourselves and the lack of interconnectedness with the universe, nature and our fellow human beings and mammals.
To bring change, we all need to start somewhere.
Lessons from my process
I started my transformation process by checking in with myself daily, through meditation and writing morning pages, as Julia Cameron suggests in her book “The Artist’s Way” to heal the hurt artist within all of us. Moving my body is a big part of my change, I exercise and take long walks in nature. Living in magical Ibiza, I am blessed to discover new hiking paths or hidden beaches almost every day. In nature – in its own splendor and abundance – I find it easier to be aware of my negative thoughts and feel more motivated to replace them with positive ones. Listening to myself without judgement, moving my body and being in nature, these are my new habits.
The best part of these habits is how much I like them. I have never felt this young, joyful and valuable in my life. It’s a process-oriented journey, the destination itself is in every moment, unfolding a new version of self, a new thought, a new emotion or a new compassionate look to old friends (thoughts, feelings and beliefs).
My old friend now is “I am not good enough.” A story spanning more than five decades that kept me in a dreamlike state. I chose to roam around places, people and projects that I thought were right. They were right of course, but for me to sober up to my rights. It’s the story that our systemic societal conditioning has most of us telling ourselves, enabling us to go out in the world to conquer and compete, to be perfect in the eyes of others, or simply to become somebody so we can feel appreciated and respected. Once we realise this conditional hiccup, we become aware that change is possible, in reach, and actually exciting to work through.
My biggest excitement these days is that I dared to start playing music again and re-learned to play my favourite instrument, the saxophone. I always thought I was not good enough. I became too much of a perfectionist and I lost the zest to play. I started playing again during my transformation, and since then I forgot about perfection. I learned to just enjoy playing my instrument and improvising with others. It became one of my daily habits and highlights.
My sax is like my story; I love experimenting with chords and melodies, to create unheard sounds that only my heart hears. The more I play it, the better I hear my heart. That is maybe after all, the purpose of life. To understand, to make peace and to love all, starting from oneself.
Ask yourself a few questions
Do you have doubts that keep you away from your dreams? Do you have so-called ‘negative emotions’ that keep on visiting you? Wonderful! YOU ARE ALIVE! Welcome them, embrace them. Sadness, anger and all things that are labelled as “negative” by society can become new friends. They come to visit you, to teach you how you can be and love unconditionally.
The mind will want to trick you that maybe welcoming yourself in your own home is not the way to go, it might tell you to hide. Thank your mind for giving you the strongest signal that your transformation process is working. These are the moments where the ego gives it one last try before it dissolves and leaves its space to a fresher version of you. Your strength will shine upon you on the other side of the tunnel. Taking care of yourself eventually leads to more inner peace, more joy for you and those around you. Isn’t it what we all want, through our relationships, through art, business and all sorts of adventures? Ask yourself, and sit with this question, the answer will be revealed to you. Your heart knows.
I’ll write more here about my transformation, the different methods I used and ways I integrate them to progress as a human being through what we call human innovation. Now, I want to go and blow my horn 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts and your stories about transformation, especially if they involve art or music. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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