Antidotes to Emptiness  

Simplicity and de-cluttering the mind

What makes you feel simple and grounded? For me, it is the smell of the inside of a certain type of book, or watching my children play. Sometimes it’s just walking outside. What helps you get back to the basics. Yoga and meditation focus on the breath because it is the closest thing to focusing on the immediate presence of our being. We are not static but dynamic individuals. 

When we are stressed or worried or depressed, we can be so focused on making those things better that we get even further away from ourselves - which, in many ways, is part of the “problem” in the first place. Sometimes we need to slow down, calm down, maybe even lie down. When we are stressed or thinking a lot, we are not “down” but “up”. It is that ”upness” that keeps us disconnected from life, always thinking, worrying, figuring, persevering.

Look right in front of you and you will find your immediate experience. Simplicity is popular these days because our world is busy and complicated. We are able to buy lots of things. I’m not anti-consumerism, I’m pro responsible consumerism. It is our responsibility as consumers and society members to not get out of control. It is consumers that drive the market, not the market luring in the consumers. I digress! We are responsible for simplifying, no one else.

Back to the breath. Just breathe. Enjoy the love in your life. Enjoy nature. Focus on work. What makes you realize you are a living being? What brings you back closer to your self? 

We can simplify and de-clutter our own minds by focusing on the moment, on our immediate aliveness. Take a break from your problems. Take a break from your Self. In many ways your “self” is something that is constantly being created by your past, your present, and the culture within which you find yourself. There is a lot of constructing going on. But if you look right in front of you, literally, you will see that you are living right now. You will be able to actually see the people in your lives and maybe even the things that “make you feel happy.”

When we are stuck in our self-enclosed Self, it becomes hard to see and hard to simplify. It is not that we should never be inside ourselves, but it can get complicated in there and sometimes we need to bring our attention to what is right in front of us. It helps to simplify our attention, which, in turn, can often reduce the amount of stress and worry and the need to figure it all out. Sometimes we just need to live.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Jason is a counsellor, psychotherapist, and life coach in private practice. He is a Certified Canadian Counselor (CCC) with the Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association. Jason has a Master of Arts degree in Psychology with a Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization. Jason's training prepared him to work with individuals, couples and families. Jason believes strongly in helping clients to remove the obstacles that get in their way so they may embrace and accept who they are, utilizing their own resources.

For the past 5 years Jason has worked with people struggling with addictions. He has gained new insights and perspectives into this problem and is always learning about this phenomenon. Jason's passion for writing and researching addiction treatment philosophy has led him to a more grounded and humanistic approach to the treatment of addictions.

In his practice, Jason helps his clients change, grow and search. He is still working with addictions but also works with other issues such as anxiety/stress, finding meaning and purpose, depth work and couples therapy. Please see his website for more information. In addition to his private practice, Jason also facilitates groups for court mandated clients in the Relationship Violence Program and the Responsible Drivers Program. Lastly, Jason co-facilitates the Parenting After Separation Course through the Kelowna Family Centre.

For more information on Jason's services, visit his website at www.jasonmccarty.ca

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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