“How in the world can Facebook be any part of mindfulness?!!” you might ask.
Although Facebook is often criticized as a waste of time, I find it can be helpful beyond keeping me current with friends’ lives.
You see, I have thoughts and emotions about what I see posted.
And I try mindfully to watch those thoughts and emotions.
Sometimes my thought is to be critical, to judge someone or someone’s activity.
Sometimes my emotion is happiness for someone or her or his situation.
Sometimes my emotion is anger or repulsion (especially about some political posts).
Sometimes my emotion is fear or sadness or worry.
And sometimes I’m amused and literally LOL.
You get the idea. I run the gamut of emotions when I scroll through my Facebook feed.
These emotions let me know where I am in my life’s work – that of transmuting my soul into something better. Or rather, letting my soul be transmuted.
Through my reactions to Facebook posts, I can see where I need to do more work.
I can also see where I’m making progress. Because I have seen a change in some of my reactions – a change away from so much criticism and judgment.
A change toward more acceptance of varying paths through life. Less need to evaluate a path as good or bad.
A change toward more appreciation of people.
A change to being more kind and compassionate.
If I watch myself and my reactions as I look through Facebook, I can tell about about my own path – and where I need to make more changes.
And though I’d like to be able to say that I’m always mindful as I look through the Facebook feed – I’m not.
I do use Facebook as mindless distraction. Too often.
And I do avoid some people and posts through the “unfollow” option.
I avoid people who post very critical, judging, or mocking posts. I’m already too inclined to be critical and judging. I’ve been known to be sarcastic and mocking. I don’t want to be sucked into more of those emotions.
I avoid people who post angry, ranting posts. I have been scalded by anger enough times already. And have myself done enough scalding.
I avoid people who post “victim” posts blaming others for this or that. I have enough victim in myself already.
Perhaps at some point I can follow everyone and be unaffected by the negative posts.
But I’m not at that point . . . yet.
I know those negative emotions are an Achilles heel for me now, and until I can be transmuted enough to let those emotions flow through me without hooking onto my own negativity, I’ll avoid putting myself in the middle of those emotions.
I choose now to follow people who post about mostly positive experiences or who are probing and insightful and honest (without meanness).
I enjoy being able to celebrate with them. Be grateful with them. Be amused with them. Ponder with them.
And when I do find myself having a negative reaction – then I can choose to be aware and let go.
And choose a more positive stance.
Facebook is helping me on my mindfulness path . . . as long as I stay present.
And as long as I don’t use it to avoid something in my offline life (which I do much too often).
But that’s a matter of awareness, of being mindful, too.
So thank you, Facebook!
You’re helping me grow. You’re helping me transmute (my word for 2017). You’re helping me on my path of mindfulness.
Who’d have thunk it?!! Facebook for mindfulness practice!
Yet there it is, waiting me for every day. Giving me insight into my self, my emotions, my thoughts, my avoidances.
Letting me choose to change, to improve, to transmute.
You might choose to try some mindfulness in your social media experiences. All it takes is some awareness of what is going on in you. A willingness to watch yourself without judgment.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself.
It’s up to you whether you choose to change.
That’s the hard part!