I have begun work on the Venus picture for my Goddess Wisdom series. I am contemplating portraying the goddess with her back to the viewer. With this in mind I needed a model, so I googled “nude woman from behind“.
The results were shocking.
My instant reaction to the page of images was equally interesting. It was like a wave of energy washed over me. It was so strong, I wondered if it was all coming from me, or if I had tapped into the collective energy being focused on these images from around the world. It was intriguing. I observed myself. Another example of the subconscious in charge.
Reactions of this sort are commonly called being triggered. The sight, sound, taste or touch of particular things results in a specific emotional or physical reaction. We see or smell food and we feel hunger. We see our favorite vacation place and we feel relaxed or happy.
Most of the time we are nonreactive to the things we encounter in our day. These encounters are considered neutral. These encounters include seeing the walls in our house, smelling the normal aroma around us, feeling the ground beneath our feet. In fact, we are usually not even aware of these happenings. Neutral stimuli tends to get filtered out or unattended to.
Less frequently we have pleasant or unpleasant encounters. The smell of our favorite flower makes us smile while the smell of a trash heap makes us frown. However, there is no person, place or thing that is 100% pleasant or unpleasant to everyone. This means that our reaction is not dependent on the person, place or thing. It is dependent on whatever is stuck in our subconscious.
Many of us leverage our reactions to certain things. For instance, people often listen to music in order to feel uplifted. Music is a mind altering drug, as is dancing.
I once had custody of a 15 year old for a few months. While I always got up and “forced” myself to do tai chi. He would get up and cruise You Tube for martial arts videos. He would watch them until his motivation rose and then he would practice. He intuitively knew how to overcome the obstacle of laziness by using something to motivate him. (Earlier post on obstacles and remedies).
There is a tendency to let ourselves be tossed about by our reactions. Yet it is possible to remain objective and watch our reactions. This use of mindfulness creates some distance between our reactions and the subsequent actions we take. Mindfulness is the beginning of freedom. With practice we are able to choose our actions.
We can also become proactive. We can predict our reactions and use readings, contemplation, connections with others to reduce unpleasant reactions and increase our positive motivation.
Once again, consider who is choosing to get out of bed in the morning? The answer to that question may be trivial, but the bigger question of who is running your life isn’t.