The Watcher


I restore myself when I’m alone. – Marilyn Monroe

Me too. I know that Marilyn struggled with privacy and wonder how she would feel in this age of social media, when we can stay connected at all times. Both glorious and distracting, this new way of connecting can separate me from my experience while simultaneously allowing me to share my experience with more and more people.

I am finding it important to remember to embody my experience. For me, social media creates a kind of watcher in my head. As I am living life, I can see the luscious pictures on instagram and the short quip that might express the moment. When I find myself frequently thinking in facebook status’, I remember to come back to my breath, the steady stream of life that connects my mind and body. These moments restore me to a sense of connection with the my humanness and the earth. Then I can go back to reaching out, exploring, and connecting.

How do you restore yourself?

14 thoughts on “The Watcher

    1. Cooking is a great one! I especially love chopping, something very satisfying. It’s interesting to noter that after I wrote this post the bombings in Boston happened, and I felt immediately that I wanted to be with people…not alone.

  1. I wonder if Marilyn was introverted. I protect my introverted nature with a vengeance with plenty of down time and self-nurturing with reading, art, and wasting time on Facebook (like a digital meditation). To a certain extent, I do what Julia Cameron suggests in The Artist’s Way, to have regular creative outings all by myself in order to replenish the spirit. It could be a walk to a new destination, browsing at a thrift store or attending a different kind of event that I normally wouldn’t seek out. She calls it the Artist’s Date. One time I went to a Garage Band contest. What a hoot!

    1. I think she was introverted! I saw something on the web that said that she was extroverted, but from my research I see more of the introverted tendancies. Thank you for sharing about your ways of self-nurturing.

  2. I was interested to see that in the wake of the terrible events in Boston yesterday, both of the large art museums there offered free admission today. I had a friend or a teacher/friend who used to say that art fed our souls We do what we can in this world, and that was what the museums had to offer the people of Boston — time out from the images on t.v., another view of life …

  3. “…in this age of social media…we can stay connected at all times.”
    We don’t always realize our freedoms. We are free to be unconnected from social media, if we find them distracting. I participate in social media only when something is very interesting to me or when I have something to say. I find my life sufficiently rich and satisfying without social media. I refresh my life by practicing transcending twice a day, and remembering to be aware of pure awareness (this moment, that which does not change) the rest of the time. Transcending is following thoughts back to their source in pure awareness and automatically enjoying the side effect of the gradual elimination of stored stresses–there are two courses available to learn transcending, Transcendental Meditation (TM) and Natural Stress Relief (NSR).

  4. I have always craved distractions to get away from stress, boredom, sad feelings, demands, worry and fear with food, tv, work, cleaning, internet, exercise, friends, and so on. And I have noticed that when it all wears down, I would create some other form of distraction hoping that I would be restored in myself. But in truth I just didn’t want to feel vulnerable. Now I recognizes that being in that vulnerable space is what restores me to a place of equanimity and peace of mind. I still have my tendencies to seek distractions so as not to feel my fear in life. But I’m blessed to know that when I can’t run from my fear or when I don’t want to, I can let myself feel vulnerable and then the world is tangible and present.

      1. Dan, thanks for your wonderfully thoughtful remarks. So true for most of us! David and I have been exploring the non-dualist teachers for many months, and you actually sound very much like one of them, Rupert Spira, or Mooji perhaps,in what you wrote. They all try to teach that kind of simple acceptance of where we are in any moment. There’s a lot of philosophical-sounding stuff around the teaching sometimes, but one-on-one in satsangs, and in their writings, a simpler truth can be gained. For myself, I’m feeling lately that I’m finally starting to understand in a deep way what they’re getting at, I can’t wait to see you — you and David will get on famously, I think.
        Alice, you seem to have been a catalyst here for a discussion that was just waiting to happen. Love you, sweetie. (Also, the photo above is probably my favorite so far of Marilyn.)

  5. I think being alone is everything when it comes to properly restoring yourself, I love to be around people, but I also love coffee and writing in my pj’s with no one to perform for.

  6. I agree with Alicia A. about “properly restoring” oneself. Whether to help ourselves or those in our environment, restoration and rejuvenation is one of the basic responsibilities in life. My chosen way is Transcendental Meditation, a specific and effortless mental technique for eliminating stored stresses and expanding consciousness. Besides practicing TM twice a day for 41 years, I currently distribute a written course in transcending to offer the world an alternative to the high prices and mysticism of TM, while retaining its scientifically-validated effectiveness. I find this volunteer work very fulfilling. It is a way I can help people not only deal with the stressors in their lives, but actually eliminate them. I have been blessed in helping others while still so imperfect myself, and I am deeply grateful. I consider this as the basis of my love for your mom.


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