Are your sensory perceptions serving you?
We all know that today we process far more information coming in through our senses than we ever previously did. The vast majority of this information never makes it to the conscious part of yourself, it lands in the subconscious. This does not mean the information has no impact on you, on the contrary, it has a greater effect because you don’t control it and most don’t even realise the impact, so it sneaks up on you. A lot of people walk around like sponges without any restriction to what information they absorb. Just like a friend can bring you down or lift you up depending on their own energetic imprint at that moment, you are influenced by not only what you feel, but also what you see and hear.
Just like your trauma and environmental programming sits in your subconscious directing your reaction patterns to situations you encounter, media, relationships, society, geography, etc. affects your attitudes and moods. It all really comes down to being aware of your sensory “intake”. Engage in healthy communications in your relationships, watch TV/movies that uplift you, limit your exposure to advertising, focus on what you support in society and help those in need and be in places that energise you and help ground you; these are just some examples of how we can work towards letting our external sensory perceptions help us as opposed to dragging us down.
We are surrounded by negativity in the news, suggestive messaging in advertising, division and conflict in society and ego driven motives in relationships. With this bombardment of negative energies it is really tough not to get swept up in the machine and partake in the perpetuation of negativity. This is where we are sheep, we do not see any reason or possibility of change because “this is the way things are”. I am here to tell you that there are compelling reasons and not only possibilities, but necessities to change. However, it is each and every one of our responsibility to make changes within us, it is not anyone else’s responsibility.
Let’s take a look at some of the major areas that trigger and influence us in our every day life:
- Social media
When you argue with someone, it leaves you feeling pretty poorly inside, doesn’t it? You may have said things you didn’t mean, you may have been belittled or just drawn in a screaming match. In any case you are left affected by the altercation. How long do you carry around this burden of the altercation? Do you let it go only when the other party apologises or do you just stuff it deep down where you don’t have to deal with it? So, is this feeling you are left with something that was created by an outside force? No, any emotion or feeling or reaction is always created by you, but your interactions may trigger you to create it. Some relationship experts, and I use the term experts lightly in this case, suggest that you need to have fights now and then to keep the relationship alive. There is actually never a time that you would be better off arguing with anyone to the point where you get angry or upset. I think what they mean to say is that you need to always communicate your truth to your partner, family, friends, etc. so that you maintain that meaningful relationship. No yelling or screaming is ever called for.
If you are upset, communicate it in a healthy way. In the case where the person you are interacting with and has triggered the upset cannot recognise that you are upset and the reason for it, nor giving you space to express yourself, then yelling is not going to change that. In that situation you have to just express your disappointment with the lack of empathy for you and move on. The most important step in this situation is to forgive yourself and the other person to release the pent up emotions that you may have. Also, be grateful for the lesson the other person gave you; it could be that you learned something new about that person or perhaps you learned something new about an aspect in yourself that gets triggered and why. It is when you take something personally that you start reacting from the point of your ego.
If you end up in a situation where one of you do yell, if you are the delivering party, apologise to yourself and the other person for raising your voice and not communicating effectively. If you are the receiving party, calmly state that you do not deserve the disrespect of being yelled at and will leave the space if things don’t calm down. Again, don’t take it personally, the reason you are being “yelled at” has everything to do with the other person and their perspective.
Forgiveness and gratitude are you main tools to successfully getting out of accumulating negativity from your relationships. Of course there are many more intricacies to consider, but this is a starting point.
Media, advertising and computer games
Until you try choosing positive messaging in your media intake, you probably won’t realise the impact TV, movies, news and advertising has on you. The message delivery system is designed to make you feel bad as it better grabs your attention. Take a look at these points:
- News broadcasts are predominately about bad things that have happened
- Pharmaceutical advertising is telling you that you have a condition and their chemical is the only one that is going to make you feel better
- Fashion advertising tells you that you have not succeeded because you are not wearing their brand
- Movies and computer games show violence, imbalanced relationships, gratuitous sex, etc. as something we should expect from life.
- Reality TV is focused on mocking people and showing them off at their most vulnerable
All these points serve to make you fearful of the world and humanity, cause you to feel bad about yourself, make you sick, eliminate your empathy and judge those around you, not to mention cause you to see yourself as separate from others. I am sure these are not the influences you want your subconscious to be programmed with, are they?
Imagine how you would start feeling if you chose the content you allowed your subconscious to pick up by choosing comedies, positive news, mindful content and move away all together from news and advertising. I have personally made a conscious effort of limiting my exposure by taking away my TV and only watching on demand programming. I also subscribe to Positive News, Happinez and Soul Hub, giving me content that shows a world that is positive and creative. It doesn’t make me ignore all the challenges the world has, on the contrary, it helps me come up with ideas of how to make it better. What would happen to our world if we all did that?
This is the double edge sword; it connects us to a vast variety of information and allows individuals to reach out through grassroots networks, but it is also highly addictive coping mechanism for many young people today. As many thing is can be used for both good and evil.
What I want to address for the purpose of this article is the information shared by some of our friends that has a sole purpose of creating fear. We have also seen that governments use social media as a subversive tool to wreak havoc on national election by disseminating divisive messages. The messages that appear in our feed have the same effect as the news on TV, in our digital as well as hard copy newspapers, but with the added boost that the information now comes from someone you know, which subconsciously adds a layer of trust. Thankfully, you control the content that appears on your feeds. I am ‘ruthless’ in unfollowing (not unfriending) people that I am connected with on social media that perpetuate negative messaging. I apply the same filter to groups I belong to, if there isn’t a positive vibe in a group, off I go! Your friends won’t actually know if you unfollowed them, but you will have less negativity to deal with.
Again, this is not about putting your head in the sand, it is about protecting your energy from the constant bombardment of the negative messaging we are exposed to. For example, you don’t need to show horrible images of animal torture in the fur industry, show the beauty in the living being and target your message from a positive angle why people should be kind to animals and not support the fur trade (please note, I am not making any arguments for or against the fur industry, this is just an example).
I could write books on this subject, but I will keep it short in this article by challenging you a bit. What do you think is the driving force that make us allow governments and government institutions to exert complete control over us as human beings? Is is because politicians and civil servants are superior to the rest of us? Of course not, they are human just like the rest of us. However, I would argue that the reason that we hand over the power to govern us is fear. We fear the past because, let’s face it, today is the best it’s ever been. We fear the future because we do not know it and we somehow believe this is as good as it gets, we cannot become better than this. The system is set up to create fear and division so that we won’t seek to create something new. If we did, politicians and civil servants would be out of jobs and they couldn’t have that. Hence society will, as a living organism, make sure your focus is on “us vs. them”, “follow us or this bad thing will happen”, etc. If you take a look at politics from a humanistic point of view you will see that it serves no one apart from the system itself. I am a willing participant in society, but I try to internally refocus from what could happen in any given situation in society to accepting that what ever is going to happen will happen. Beyond that, I then focus my attention on what I would like to see as the future of our society, partaking less in the game of us vs. them. Focus on what you are for and less on what you are against.
I think, unless you are a realised HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) or a realised ‘Empath’, it is when get older and more reflective that we pay attention to our geographical surroundings. What you see, hear and feel as you step out your front door will be what inspires you and drives your passion or weighing you down, draining you of energy. Artists are, in many cases, very adept at realising their environment is key to allowing their creativity to flow unhindered.
To show case this with a personal example; when I was living in New York City I remember walking out of our building on the Upper East Side (77th and York) my mood would change in an instant dependent on the prevailing energy in the City on that day. I didn’t understand this at the time, but now as I have been trained in the art of controlling my ability to sense energy, I find it fascinating. Now, add the noise, chaos, media imprint, advertising (I worked in Time Square!), etc. and I would be exhausted before even getting in the office. I love cities for the energetic flow and the ‘buzz’, but in terms of an optimal environments, cities weren’t, nor are, the best place for me to be. I need access to nature and solitude to recharge.
Paying attention to your sub-conscious ‘hygiene’ is no different than paying attention to your everyday physical hygiene, do it or you get sick; simple as that. If it all appears overwhelming to you, start in small steps. You may want to wait until noon to look at your social media and the news and then only glance at it a set number of times during the day. It is important that you just make a start and work your way towards becoming aware of how your external surroundings and sensory environment affect you.
Take care of what sensory perceptions you let in from your external environment into your sub-conscious and you will notice big shifts withing yourself.
Also published on Medium.