Do You Suffer From Emergency Mind?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress4 Comments

When we afraid everything around us looms large and chaotic. Lately though it seems that fear has become the norm and we are living in a perpetual state of emergency. Perhaps it has always been this way but I am noticing something else at work that needs questioning. Emergencies Are Not Innocent Emergencies have become a way of life for many of us. Notice our entertainment. They are mostly about emergencies. Whether depicting our health care system, focusing on national security, or relationships, many of our movies and television entertainments are based on the idea that life is an emergency. Of course, we have some emergencies – some of the time. However, I think we need to ask why emergencies have become the norm for our lives. It seems to me that we have been suffering from emergency creep for a long time, and now emergencies have reached a critical mass to the point that we may not recognize life without them. Emergencies are not innocent. They take huge amounts of energy and resources. When they occur, they replace any other priorities. A continual state of emergency is a great way to control the social and even political agenda of a family, community and society. The Consequences Of Emergencies When an emergency is over we are often poorer for it. If we have a hospital emergency we certainly understand the enormity of the bill, even if paid by our insurer. When we have major storms, it is obvious how much damage is done to the physical plant of a community but also how disruptive of the ives of the people affected it is. It takes no imagination to grasp the horrendous losses created by wars. Occasional major emergencies create small disruptions. Large and continuous emergencies do much more: they make … Read More

The Importance Of Uselessness

Maria HillCreativity, Emotional And Mental Health, Personal Development18 Comments

Being useless feels awful. Being useful feels good, doesn’t it? It is nice to feel valued and know we are valued. It helps us to feel secure. It also means we are supported to others and that we are welcome in the world. Is There A Stigma For Being Useless? As a highly sensitive person, I suspect that the highly sensitive suffer more from being perceived as useless because: we need more rest and frequent breaks we are not handy for dramas and emergencies since we operate more slowly we question a lot of things including others view of what is useful – like I am doing now! Busyness often seems like much ado about nothing. The Problem With Being Useful We live in a very strange time. People are expected to be highly productive. However, in spite of it we are often replaced by machines. We are filling up the planet with huge amounts of garbage – the residue of our productivity. We are becoming sicker and sicker from our efforts to survive in a system that makes us obsolete. Being productive does not mean taking good care of ourselves. It does not mean developing greater self reliance. It means participating in the consumption business: supporting it, making it work and reaping rewards from it. In other words, being dependent on it. This is one of the observations that highly sensitive people will make about our current system and the idea of being useful: we are really making ourselves dependent. Busyness Is NOT A Sign Of Intelligence Busyness has a fatal flaw. It keeps us engaged tactically and removes us from considering the big picture. As a highly sensitive person, I notice when the big picture and present activities are at odds. In fact, I notice when anything is at odds. Busyness … Read More

Why Impatience Is SO Bad For You

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress8 Comments

Impatience is so bad for you. It is one of the most seductive emotional states. It is a great way to make life more difficult and relationships challenging. Impatience is like playing a child’s game of bumper cars with real life and adult consequences. Worshipping At The Altar Of Speed I find the adoration of speed in our culture to be curious. When I am going fast, I stop thinking. Speed demands focus on the task at hand and so it cannot be a time to contemplate what you are doing. To be truly effective at warp speed, you need to have contemplated, evaluated and assessed your intended actions before you engage in them, Does our cultural speedfest really allow for that? In my opinion, no. Speed For Conquest When the speed of daily life is ramped up, there are consequences. One of them is what happens with our attention and intention. When we function at a slower pace, we spend time contemplating what we are doing, what we want to do,  and what we need to do. We think about the implications of our actions, the alternative courses of action and the possibilities that our choices present. We can own our intention. When we have to go faster something has to give. What gives is usually the way we direct our attention. A high speed life makes us more task oriented and more focused on the short-term. That means that we delegate the long term to others. In doing so we disempower ourselves. Faster living means that we have been made one down almost like objects or parts on a conveyor belt. We are the wheels on the bumper cars and someone else is doing the driving. Our attention has to be elevated but we have lost our intention … Read More

Is Independence Real?

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

Independence and autonomy are cherished goals in many people’s lives. I am all for standing on one’s own two feet. However, I notice more and more how autonomy and independence can become distorted. Is Independence Real? Here in the US we are all about independence. So much so that we have little in the way of safety nets for the inevitable down side of life. Independence is virtually a mandate, a matter of character rather than development. Independence can also have many meanings. It can interpreted as independence from want, the realities of life, aging, mistakes and failures. Independence often suggests an idyllic experience of life, free from pain or any other concern. Under the character definition of independence. the more pain in your life, the greater your failure. It is personal, you know. But it is not a real independence. None of can escape mistakes, aging, ups and downs that are always a part of life. Why is it a sign of personal failure if we cannot? The Failure Of The Independence Model Independence can become an obsession. If any dependency is a fault, then revealing that you are not entirely self-contained can be a serious exposure of yourself and to yourself. In a world where perception has consequences, being perceived as needy or needing can cost you the respect of others. It is one thing, however, to challenge excessive neediness and the lack of independence underneath it and another to base ideas about independence on false ideas about what it is. Yes, There Are Limits Our Western view of independence suggests that limits do not apply to us and that they should not. I guess limits are for other people. Perhaps for highly sensitive ones. The denial of limits has serious consequences that actually limit our independence. When we deny reality we limit our choices which results … Read More

Walls Do Not Make Us Safe

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development0 Comments

The walls are up in our society. All sorts of walls: brick, stone, identity, geographical, ideological, and economic. There there are physical walls of race, sex and physical abilities. Roles and social affiliations are another form of wall. So are rules. We can’t live with them and we cannot live without them. Why We Have Walls Walls are not intrinsically a problem. However, after thousands of years of creating walls to protect ourselves we are now drowning in them. Rules, roles, customs, conventions, expressed expectations, unexpressed expectations. There are a lot of ways to create walls. We humans have been very creative about it. And of course we all have our personal walls including our habits and personalities. Many of our walls came into being when we needed them when our species was younger and more defenseless. They became a part of our reality out of necessity. Now with 7 billion people on the planet they are being questioned in a more serious way than ever before. Walls are meant to protect us when we need protecting. They are not meant to just keep others out. There is a distinction. Walls are a closed and fixed structure; boundaries are more open and flexible. The Limitations Of Walls Sometime walls are contrived and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they help and sometimes they do not. There is a reason why, however, at this particular point in time we are in need of a rethink about walls more so than others: 7 billion people all with their own walls is unwieldy. we have always needed to cooperate. However, the complexity of our current human systems and the demands on them require a more skillful interdependency. our problems are bigger. There are too many of us for the resources on the planet. Our walls are making it harder to … Read More

Transitioning To A Heart Based World

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health0 Comments

We are in transition to a heart based world. The changes we are going through may seem imperceptible, but that are happening. What does it mean to be transitioning to a heart centered world? What is it like to live in a heart centered world? What changes can we expect? The End Of The Eighties Mantra I remember in the 1980’s there was a saying that was very popular. It was “don’t leave anything on the table.” The idea was, of course, to grab as much as you could for yourself. It is easy to condemn it because it is an awful attitude. It has created a country without safety nets and strong communities through greedy behavior when people need some security in their lives. Of course it was more than that. Greed fits in nicely with ideas about American exceptionalism and puritanical ideas about work and morality. Greed can also feed our desire to feel productive and being busy “producing” can bring a kind of high. Greed avoids the disdain for those who were poor, or who weren’t greedy. The End Of An Era All of the productivity and greed has run its course and landed us in hot water as we deal with all the collateral damage to our environment: human, animal and vegetable. And then there are the systemic issues. Now we have to change and we are doing that. New movements have spread around the world on human rights, animal rights and protection of the environment. Some wise thinkers have presaged this age by offering Conscious Capitalism as an antidote. It’s a start but may not be enough. Fixing The Deeper Problem There is a deeper problem at work. We have been living in a mind-centered human world. That means that we have believed and acted as if all factors in our world can … Read More