In this game called life, the minute we become life, we’re participating it.
When you were in your mother’s womb, you showed up and were already engaging in life itself. If your parents were progressive, they might have played music for you while you were in the womb, told you stories or talked to you.
Perhaps you liked what you heard and you did an enthusiastic dance moving around in response. Or if you didn’t like what you heard, you might have given one swift kick.
While you may not remember any of this, or how you behaved, you were present for these moments without much other distraction.
Cut to your childhood - you may remember participating in some sort of sport or competition like a spelling bee or debate team or something in the arts like music, dancing or even a drawing contest. If there were judges, chances are there was a first, second and third place position, maybe honorable mention, and sometimes (but not always) a “participant ribbon” just for trying and showing up.
In high school, things became more night and day – you either graduated, or you didn’t. There was no ‘participant’ ribbon just for not ditching school.
As a working adult with domestic responsibilities, family, friends, perhaps multiple careers, your life becomes more complicated and there are no participant kudos. Your participant LINK either becomes an obligation, responsibility or an extremely conscious joyful and willing participation link in how you live your life.
The question is… Is it the latter?
How do you view showing up and participating in life today?
How much of your life is in balance between obligation and responsibility vs. actual willing participation where you celebrate doing so?
Do you give yourself credit for showing up, when your heart doesn’t really want to?
Or do you set boundaries and limit these participation links in your life to only participating in things you authentically feel good about doing out of your own truth?
Is there perhaps a little of all of the above?
In life, there are things we must do.
For some of us, there are many things we want to do. However, if you were to examine your life scales, which way would they tip?
How often have you tipped the scale the other direction?
More importantly, when was the last time you participated in something by showing up physically in person and actually participated mentally by being present, too?
Our consciousness within our own mind is always multitasking.
While you may not remember all that was going on in the womb when you were in it, chances are that two weeks ago, you don’t remember having certain experiences the same way as your friends who might have participated “more present” for what they did than you.
If you have ever recalled ‘old times’ with friends or family, you may not each remember things happening the exact same way, perhaps because something happened long ago. However, it could also be that not everyone was ‘present’ in their participation, too.
In today’s life where we’re plugged in 24/7, ask yourself if you can even remember a conversation you had with someone just last week. If you happened to be half-in and half-out of it doing something else, you will find that your participation link was not present.
Do humans compartmentalize? YES.
But do we all do this well? NO.
Some are more skilled than others, but no matter how skilled you are at doing several things while observing, listening, and doing – you are going to process all of your experiences in a muted way.
Our human is always multitasking… phone, email, eating, (hopefully not driving doing any of this), watching videos, TV or playing games, listening to music or merely staring out into space not even paying attention to this thing called LIFE.
When we examine our participation LINK further, we can see whether we are truly participating or faux/half participating in something. If you are experiencing mental ‘disconnect’ regardless of the activity, you are truly not tapping into your LIFE PARTICIPATION LINK the way you should. This could be the very reason you are feeling “blah” in life and not feeling connection to anything that interests or excites you because you’ve actually ‘checked out.’
If you look at relationships, you will see most people are only half in them if they are simultaneously multitasking. They are not listening to what someone is saying or getting the full picture of a mood, tone, or inflection as to what is behind the words or said actions. When this happens, we have a communication breakdown. This causes problems for us in life because we are not fully participating going all-in without our minds or even our bodies doing ten other things at once.
You can change your own participation LINK in your lifeline and you can do it almost immediately by focusing on your life from a place of being all-in, any individual task you are doing.
While you may think this is silly, the truth is you can savor life from a place of being truly present for every part of it.
Take for example memory recall back to one of your favorite moments. Chances are in that moment, you do not remember doing ten different things.
Say you were hiking on a beautiful day. You smell the fresh greenery (trees, flowers) in the air and you feel the breezes and the warmth of the sun on your shoulders. You hear the birds, or maybe the rustling of nature in the wind, and you remember what you saw with your eyes looking out when you reached the top of the climb. You may have noticed your pulse in your neck twitching, how parched you felt or a trickle of sweat reaching your brow and how it reminded you of winning a track event. You smile realizing how accomplished you feel taking on this hike with the same winning satisfaction. Life is great.
Now if you had been too busy with earbuds in your ears listening to music blaring, trying to text as you hiked, yammering away noisily on the phone, you might have missed participating in your hike and experiencing all of the above that the hike provided.
Your PARTICIPATION LINK might have been altered more than just a bit and the experience might have been, ‘meh’ at best and you didn’t get to have that victorious ‘moment’ or feeling again. This is how your life experiences become muddled into lack-luster experiences rather than glorious ones.
The good news? You have full control of changing this!
Take time to unplug, participate, be present, and enjoy life because you don’t want to have it pass you by and miss some if its best moments by only partially participating.
Life won’t be less exciting if you actually show up to be fully conscious and immerse yourself in one activity at a time.