Living Through My Skin

       I believe that we are living in an age of information overload and overstimulation. Our brains are functioning as supercomputers, absorbing and divulging information both at the same time, in a way like never before! I can just login to Facebook and in my newsfeed there are about thirty sources of science and technology, spirituality and history, so on and so forth— running through my feed! And these thirty or so sources run some fifty or so articles and images each, for me to see, every day! And I have observed that all of this info can run me over, just like what getting run over by a truck on the street would be like! It leaves you flattened out on the road— like a carcass! It's like we're turning into machines... forgetting how to live... it's only January and we've already forgotten the magic of the holidays when we were greeted by terrorists just a few weeks ago! We forget all our hopes and magical aspirations for the year, when we run into rude and obnoxious people at work, at school... at Starbucks! So what I'm saying is that I think I need to not get run over anymore and I think that you shouldn't, either. I think that I want to cultivate, focus on, and practice, a culture of kindness. What is a culture of kindness? It's a culture of living through the heart, a skill of stepping away from that highway and instead, having a picnic beside the road... or under a tree! A skill of stopping and breathing and living life gracefully through experiencing every divine moment, cultivating thoughts of humility and gentleness all along the way!
       It's easy to forget living in our own culture of kindness, when we are overstimulated in so many different ways. We are frightened by the news, we are rubbed in the wrong ways by bitter and frustrated people, we see garbage on the television and we are always bombarded with the notion that knowledge is better than kindness, that intelligence is better than empathy and compassion. We are taught that our magic is laughable and that we ought to "wake up"... everybody is telling everyone to "wake up" from a host of different things to "wake up" from! Everybody wants everyone else to "wake up" from something! One person will say wake up from magic, another person will say wake up from your daydreams, an organisation will say that you're not good enough until this or unless that, some people will tell you to forget your religions while another group of people will invite you to church and to prayer meetings... everybody in the world is trying to hoard in other people, as if we all need to make little camps of ourselves and give our camps little names and huddle up together and be weird together; but the truth is that we're all weird, anyway, and we can do that very well without secluding others or without having to push our egos up onto platforms of our own makings, in order to make ourselves feel that we have some sort of advantage over the rest of the human race!
       The culture of kindness is a culture wherein people will be motivated not by the promise of being more and better than others around them; but the culture of kindness will encourage people to be motivated by the sheer longing to live life beautifully. What are the things that allow a human being to live life beautifully? That's simple, because it's the simple things, really. It's a forgiving nature, a grateful heart, an attitude of simplicity and magnanimity at the same time... being able to take the time to smile because the sunbeams dance on the wall in a beautiful way— that is the culture of kindness. And it's not about being in a race to be kind and to show and see who and what can be kind to more people and to more things—no— because we have too much of that, already! We are in fact bombarded with advertisements on how we are supposed to be kind to these people and to those people and to this thing and to that thing— enough. It's not about racing towards anything or anyone. It's about being. Being a sentient human being. Being a sentient soul. Knowing what exact moment you are in, right now, and living in it. And that's not about "YOLO", either! It's about breathing, feeling, living life sensuously!
       I live life sensuously. When I am not too busy being a carcass on the road being run over by the trucks in my Facebook newsfeed; I am living life sensuously. Not being chased by doubts and fears and feelings of frustration. I live sensuously and that means living through your skin; feeling the moments in life as you live them. That's what it means to live sensuously. And I invite you to join me, this year and beyond, to cultivate a culture of kindness and to live sensuously.


C. Bells


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