in: Mindful Moment

Mindful Moment #23 – Quicksand & Amnesia

Take a deep breath
Quicksand & Amnesia
 
A long time ago, back when we mostly only watched weekly television shows, there were overused plot points and stereotypical storylines that sort of glued themselves into our psyches. One was quicksand. The other was amnesia. I swear, we were set up to believe that a quicksand emergency could happen just about anywhere. According to these same shows, apparently all it really takes to develop AND recover from a bout of amnesia is a good bump on the head. 
 
In these shows, the character is just walking along or running away from some other danger, and BAM! They’re stuck and slowly sinking into what we can presume is certain death by drowning or suffocation or both. It’s unclear, because almost no one died in this scenario…they always somehow managed to get out. But dang, it was scary to contemplate. Hence the *drama* was heightened. Dun-dun-dun!
 
The amnesia plot was always presented as a loss of identity and self-awareness. “Who am I? Where am I? What am I?” goes the amnesiac. Of course, this plays into our fears of being lost in a deeper, more unsettling way, especially with the implication that you DID know who you were just a minute ago. And what if you not only lost your sense of self, but also your intelligence? Gasp! That’s just chilling! The shows offered a quick fix, though…just knock yourself in the head again to reset! Please note, dear reader, we do not actually recommend knocking yourself in the head to reverse your amnesia.
 
Yes, in real life, head injuries are no laughing matter, and all kinds of memory issues can arise, but it is much less common than those shows would have us believe. Unless it’s really about how some of us reject the inner path of knowing our true selves. Who am I, indeed? How the heck did I end up here? Am I a lover or am I a fighter? I don’t know anymore. 
 
Quicksand moments in our lives today might be less literal than a super-hydrated patch of sand. You might be walking along, or even getting away from something, and OH NO! You are stuck in a situation you had not seen coming. It feels scary and dramatic and binding. How do you escape? In the shows, the character might have a friend who could help by throwing them a rope or a long branch. Sometimes they had to be super-intuitive to understand the physics of the situation, stop the sinking, and extract themselves. This often involved reaching a nearby branch on your own (after the calmest, most restrained, struggle toward said branch) and pulling yourself out. You might also magically come up with a whip to snap onto a fixed object and use it climb out that way. 
 
The reality is, though, that quicksand is pretty rare, and even if you stumbled into it, you are not going to be swallowed up whole by its pull. In our lives, it might feel like we are stuck in an amorphous pit of sucking muck, determined to trap us in its depths. Your fears might make you believe you’re doomed to die in this “stuckness,” but you really aren’t. You are clever enough to defeat any quicksand you encounter. Clearly, we should be on the lookout for quicksand situations so we can avoid them altogether. But, if you find yourself dealing with such a surprise, keep your wits about you. You CAN escape this. You might have to sacrifice your shoes to the muck, but you can extract yourself. 
 
In the same vein, if we find ourselves “forgetting” who we are, we have the ability to adjust that with focused intention. It is less likely to come on suddenly, but can be just as bewildering. When our lives veer off course, we adapt, winging it, trying to adjust to the unexpected. For some of us, it results in happy accidents and a life we didn’t know we wanted. But that’s not true for everyone. When we find ourselves lost. It’s time to regroup. 
 
Let’s meditate on it. 
 
Sit down. Close your eyes. Get comfortable.
 
I want you to think about who you are. How do you think other people perceive you? How do you see yourself? Do they match? If not, why not?
 
Do you define yourself in terms of your role in your family? Your job? How would you define yourself if you couldn’t refer to your family or job? 
 
When you were a kid, what were your aspirations for adult you? Who did you want to be? Have you become that? Did you set your childhood dreams aside? If so, why? If not, is it still in alignment with who you are today?
 
Allow yourself to delve deeper into the concept of self. What do you think you are meant to be or do in this lifetime? Have any quicksand pitfalls kept you from becoming that person? Have you escaped? Do you want to? Is the quicksand, in any way, a blessing of sorts?
 
Write down anything that felt important to remember. As you move forward in your week, stay wary of quicksand, and write it on your heart who you are.
 
I hope you stay true to yourselves, friends.
 
Namaste,
Amy

INSPIRATIONS THIS WEEK

We’re feeling inspired by these incredible and thought provoking pieces:

  1. Neptune and rings shine in photos from new space telescope Neptune and its rings haven’t looked this good in decades. NASA released new glamour shots of our solar system’s outermost planet Wednesday taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.
  2. Experiment Reveals What 1 Hour in Nature Does to The Human Brain Human history has unfolded largely in bucolic settings, with sprawling savannas and forested river valleys hosting our ancestors for millions of years.
  3. Rare 3,000-year-old gold mask offers glimpse into ancient Chinese Culture Hardly any gold artifacts have been uncovered from this period in China, making the finding exceptionally rare.
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