It’s 5:07 AM and I am settling into my first cup of coffee of the day. I’m in the mood for the good stuff this morning.
As I lay in the dark coming back into consciousness this morning, I was thinking about results. How addictive they can be. I know it’s the dopamine hit that comes from positive results that make them so addictive. By design, social media apps prey on this craving for dopamine. Our body’s natural high is weaponized against us turning us into fiends! Like the zombies on the Walking Dead, we relentlessly pursue the next dopamine hit. And we seemingly can never get enough. In fact, the more dopamine we consume, the more we crave. It’s a cycle that goes beyond vicious.
Practicing detachment (something I need to do more of) is our only salvation.
Anyway, how are you? How has your week been? Are you getting excited about the run-up to Christmas?
They turned the Christmas lights on in my town over the weekend and a handful of my neighbors have gotten into the Christmas Spirit having decorated their houses with lights, Santas, reindeer, and wreaths. Will you have the good fortune to spend time with family this year? Or are you celebrating alone, in good company with yourself? I hope that whatever you do, you get to spend some time decompressing from 2021. I haven’t had a break since the pandemic started 22 months ago. I’ve had the occasional four-day weekend, but that’s it! So I’m really looking forward to having an extended break in a couple of weeks.
Physically, I’ve moved from the gym to being outside (haha, I know, just in time for the cold!). I need a break from pushing heavyweights. My joints could use the rest. I’m back to taking long walks in the morning. I love the feel of the cold crisp air. It’s electrifying mentally and spiritually.
Speaking of spiritually, I’m back into my Taoist practice. I have a tendency to wander off from time to time. I let busyness get in the way. Taoist practice is gentle. It brings the mind, body, and spirit into balance. But the Monkey Mind hates this of course and tries to convince me being still is wasting time - time I could use to do one of the million things I haven’t done yet.
Mentally, I’ve been sparring with my Monkey Mind a lot these past few months. It’s only in the last couple of weeks that I’ve managed to get him back under control. Relaxing into the Tao has helped. Yesterday, during my reading period, I came across the term: self-importance. I’m familiar with it as one of the power sinks Robert Spencer writes about in Craft of the Warrior
. After my reading, I was curious about my own relationship to self-importance. Here’s what I had to say in an audio Tweet: