Knowledge Obesity

A few months back I was in a pretty positive state of mind despite being in quarantine. But I think like most of us, we are pretty much over being alone. There were a few benefits- working from home, no commute time, more time for working out, more “me” time in general. But a few months later, it seems like life got hectic.

My day job became much busier and since we are all communicating through technology, it seems as though it’s technology all day, all the time- total overload. It was interesting because in the beginning, I was liking seeing everyone in teams/zoom meetings and how they were adapting- barking dogs, kids, tech dropping out, and some funny home issues. But then it became overwhelming, always being on screen. In my company everyone is always on video so when you don’t turn it on, it feels a little like being judged. Also many more reports became available and much more information being shared and dissected. I started researching this topic of tech overload and I’m not alone with my thoughts. It seems that during this work from home period, our access to information has grown exponentially.

It was interesting to find that someone has termed this issue “knowledge obesity”- a feeling of total overload of information similar to the term analysis paralysis.

This is a real thing. Last week, I was asked had to dissect a 15 tab excel report that someone had created and repurpose it for another project. After staring at it for about 2 days, I came to the realization that in its current state, it was completely paralyzing and I could not process the information it was telling me. Omg, “what is happening to me? I think my brain is no longer working.”

I did appreciate the intricacy and time and work that was put into this monstrosity and the realization that someone way smarter than me developed this report, however what I realized was that the human part of the work was missing. There was just too much going on in my brain to process what was handed to me. And then it hit me… I tore it apart and made what I called a silly, simple report- a term my last manager used over and over which I really came to appreciate. I whittled the more important information into to 3 pages- easy to navigate and easy to decipher. Fifteen tabs down to three. My mindfulness practice has made me realize that humanness and ease is what is needed more than ever in the workplace.

The same week of this aha, I was lucky enough to see a screening of a documentary coming out in a few months called The Portal. It’s about the conditioning of human behavior and how we create what we are. The story focuses on about 6 individuals and the intense trauma that they have faced. Mindfulness is woven through all the stories- the capacity to shift human attention and to optimize what we have. It’s a big genie out of the bottle topic that will continue to be on the forefront as humans deplete the earth and as technology continues to push boundaries and integrates deeper in to our lives.

I have been practicing meditation regularly for about a full year now and it has changed me. And this film, was about choice- choosing to climb up out of misery and hardship, to rise above the really bad and create positive out of the dirt. Everyone is recovering from something but you can never tell from the outside appearance the deep rooted pain that your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family is carrying. Their experiences might trump your silly daily shit a 1000 times over.

This film made me think of my life, all of the trauma that runs deep into my core. When it all started, how I have been dealing with it, not dealing with it, and dealing with it again and again. It will always be there trying to cloud my judgement. I am really proud of how I evolved and survived.

For those that know me, you might think that I am strong, opinionated, stubborn and sometime ruthless. Yes. Others may think that I am overly compassionate and a pushover. Yes, to that too. But at least I am feeling… and always aspiring to be more neutral and seeing improvement.

Once again I have realized that I cannot ignore what is going on in the inside. Ever. And that my practices will always be there to help me feel. Feeling is dealing.

Mindfulness for life… trust the process. Sounds like a T-shirt in the making.

Up Up and Away

by Bari Kriependorf

Let’s face it-the world is upside down. All generations are processing the changes in different ways but there is one commonality. Gen X, Z, millennials and boomers have never experienced this type of calamity and many are beginning to lose it. 

It’s interesting to watch it all from afar, how people are dealing, how negative social media posts are becoming, the blame game- China, Trump, the Dems-it just goes on and on, negative comments whirling, gaining traction and spiraling through the collective consciousness. The constant news reporting all of the updates might be the worst part of it all.  I’ve had enough. The energy has to change; thoughts have to change.  Humanity can overcome this. There is a way to find positive in all of the negative and eventually this will end.

We need yoga now more than ever…. yoga in the broadest sense.  A specific path and lifestyle, discipline, awareness, concentration- overall freedom from suffering. Yogic and other philosophies are rooted in suffering thought to be caused from ignorance. Ignorance here is a loaded word related to the metaphysical parts of yoga.  We can get into that a later but the fact is the world is suffering. 

 At the same time however, there is also a swelling of positive collective consciousness. There is a movement under foot that has been and is continuing to gain traction. People are changing and humanity is moving to an elevated state of awareness.

There are many discussions about the cycles of culture and consciousness which brings huge energy changes to life on earth and greatly affects the human mind and body.  There is a school of thought that we are now in a bronze age or Dwapara Yuga which demonstrates a rise in widespread spiritual advancement.  There are many signs that we are in this era and advancing towards silver, but most notable is that over 35M Americans are meditating and those numbers continue to rise +10% since 2012. (LA Times 11/8/18, Karen Kaplan). It is becoming such common place that even children are learning meditation skills early on in their education.  Yoga asana is no longer unconventional. The yoga industry is big business generating over $12B per year and growing almost 5% each year since 2015. (ibisworld 2020)

So back to the point, we are in an enlightened age of cosmic consciousness! The time to change the course of negative discussion and spreading of fear starts now. Let’s take a minute to find some joy in this misfortune and the joy in opportunities.  Staying inside with family or close friends, reading more, getting outside, creating, gardening, writing songs, TV bingeing, cooking, meditating, and omg devouring Easter Cadbury Mini Eggs- the best chocolate seasonal candy ever! 

I am writing daily, running, practicing asana, pranayama, meditation, working from home, slowing down, loving on my dog, purging my home, doing crafts, doing whatever I want. It sucks out there, it’s scary, but let’s not panic. Post images of spring time. NC is starting to bloom and grass is green. Stay inside and if you must go out, stay at a safe distance from others- yes a full six feet away. Be kind to one another. Meditate on peace with others through digital. Consider mantra. Write happy posts about funny things going on with your family. Dress your pets up!  Pray for and thank publically the people on the front line-caregivers, drivers, medical, police, manufacturing, supply chain workers and grocery clerks.   They will be happy that you care.

As these posts flow through in mass, moods will be lifted, positive energy will start moving, and the earth will be charged again. Maybe this virus will die from love.  And if it doesn’t, stay inside and be happy so that other don’t catch this damn thing.