Art? Consuming? Not a likely pair, I know. And yet, if you look past the face value of consumerism, you may remember having seen it happen. Perhaps even to you.
What consumes you? What is the driving force in your life that leads you by the nose, or threatens to tighten around your neck like a noose? What is that thing/thought/idea/need/want that absorbs all – or a great part – of your attention and energy? Does this all-consuming thing give you life or give you anxiety?
Perhaps with careful thought and awareness we can give over to our healthy passions – the ones that drive us to betterment and fulfillment – while at the same time release our undesirable passions – the ones that lead us down a road of stress and anxiety. This, one might say, is the art of consuming. Or the art of consuming to our benefit, at least.
How do we know if that ‘elephant in the room’ of our mind is befitting to a healthy lifestyle or not? How do we determine if what we believe to be a positive thing is not? How do we even recognize that the eternal focus on something that our bodies and minds respond to negativity could indeed be an unsolicited focus?
Awareness. Take a moment to look around you. Take a step back from your life. Become an observer of yourself in this very moment and then look at your day. Yesterday. Last week. This year. We need not look beyond this year – it’s a new year and hopefully we are becoming new people, out to enrich our very souls (that will in turn enrich the life of another).
What do you see? Confusion? Joy? Anger? Love? Stress? Peace? The over-arching theme of your life is a clue to your consuming passion, that thing moves you forward (or backward) with such vigor.
“But I have no passion in my life,” you might say. “I have lost all passion for everything.” Consider what has replaced that loss of passion; bitterness, perhaps? If so, then bitterness is now what you embrace with ardor.
A preoccupation with negativity is certainly nothing we seek out. We allow our emotions to run away with us and take the lead and before we know it, that day of feeling badly about our lives becomes a habit. A chronic mode of thought. The contentment we once felt is forgotten and to create a path to said contentment seems impossible. Because we forget that there is already a path. The provision is already there. We have been there before.
Enter awareness. Ah, but to see ourselves as we really are, without condemnation, is the first step to change.
Enter change. We have accepted where we have been and, seeing it’s negative outcome, resolve to change it. How do we do this? Resources such as healthy people, books that speak to your soul, friends that offer both a shoulder to lean on and encouragement, shows that remind us of the goodness of people, songs that make us dance or sing!
Enter the new and emerging you, awakened from the slumber and changed for the good exactly because of the slumber.
Remember that even those with passions moving us forward continue to have those things that hold us back. Which means this post is for YOU, too. Perhaps read it again, thinking this time not of your poor friend who suffers but also about the things in your life that have negative focus in your actions/thoughts/spirit.
I write this in mind for myself while hoping it can help others as well.