Discerning Between The Real and the Illusion

You see it all over social media and on the covers of magazines; the digitally altered paradigms of beauty. The pretty tiles in the mosaic of the grand facade. 

What we can't see so easily is consciousness; aliveness; true engagement with life; the capacity to love and create. Interestingly, these are some of the values which matter most. 

Why do some people seem to have it all, and yet can't raise themselves out of the doldrums of depression, while others live on very little and rank high on the happiness index?

The answer... one knows what it means to be alive, and directs focus to what really matters. It is a fruitful loop. They focus on being.  

The other does not. They attach their self worth to illusions. Possessions, titles, followers. They focus on doing and having. 

In other words, there are flaws in the system. 

Photoshop is no measure of beauty. The more someone is dependent upon editing their image, the less fulfilled they are. That's a guarantee; they are focused on the wrong thing. Because their very idea of self worth comes from validation of a version of themselves that is not real. 

NO matter who a person is, they wrestle with the mind chatter that tells them they are not good enough. I've worked with all sorts of clients, and have never once found an exception. Remember that in difficult times. 

Most people aren't thriving. If they think they are, they either have low standards, or they're young enough so that their disease hasn't manifested yet.

Take care of yourself and honor your body. Redirect focus to what matters. Consider your 'karma.'

Love is the essence of the human experience. It is not dependent upon facade. In fact, facade destroys love, because it perpetuates lust and desire; mediocre expressions that some confuse with actual love. 

If you want to remind yourself what magic is, and how to live miraculously, remove yourself from social media (which is in fact not at all social), and go face a flower, or make love, or tell your mother how much they mean (or meant) to you. Making love with the whole body; sharing from the deepest essence... these are little known art forms. 

When I find myself following social media accounts that uses lust to market, I stop following them. Being treated like a marionette does not feel like aliveness to me. We've been indoctrinated into an addiction to sex and objectification. It's used to pull our strings and control us. Free yourself by cutting the tethers. 


Break the addiction by leaning out... way out. That is the only way the body relearns what is truly possible... that love exists outside of the digital sex fantasy world. 

Remember, companies that 'excel' find or create a need. If you think you need digital media, you have been well programmed. It needs you. When you put your entire life and wellbeing into the hands of massive corporations, it doesn't end well. Use social media without it owning you. If it can't be done, don't use it. 

While personalities seem to run the gamut of states of being, the essence of a person is always beautiful, compassionate, and loving. I see this time and time again, even in people that present themselves as snarling beasts. Become adept at inviting the essence to the surface, and your relationships will transform. The world will transform. 

The rarest beauty unfolds slowly. Therefore, question the notion that beauty is skin deep; it is another marketing lie. It is easier to sell skin-deep beauty. 

I've completed a 10 day silent Vipassana retreat. They took my cell phone away, and locked it away in a box. For the first few days, I ached for it. I kept reaching for it unconsciously. By day 4, I forgot about it. By day 7, it was as if the technology had never existed. I was rewired for the present moment. I felt more alive than ever before. I saw energies and auras and visions. In other words, rewire yourself for the present moment, and you may see visions, too. When I came back and tried to use Facebook, it made me nauseous. It was too detached from life. I'll never forget that. 

Don't let people (or corporations) manufacture your visions of what is possible, or of what is real. You are the architect of self. You are the curator of your reality. You can choose who you follow. Even this decision pulls attention in the wrong direction. We are given a faulty choice. Don't follow anyone. Blaze your own path; march to the beat of your own drum. And fall in love with the depth of the person, an art, an experience, a place. 

Everything is finite.  Change is the one constant. Beauty wanes. Trends change. The essence never dies. Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of it in a photograph, but mostly there's just the sheen off of skin and hair. 

Pretend your legacy matters. Stand at the center of the universe and grin. Soon, someone else will be standing where you are. You'll be replaced. Everything else is wishful thinking. Your legacy will be washed away like footprints on the beach, as will the rest of them, no matter how earth-shattering they seem. 

It's an illusion; a beautiful illusion. Dance with it, if you dare, but don't for a second believe it. Life is rushing at you. The flowers are in full bloom. The grass twists in the gentle breeze. It's time, again, to fall in love with life. 

In Truth,

Steven Budden

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