This last year I have been thinking a lot about ways in which I give my power away, both consciously and unconsciously. I began to question: Is what I am thinking and feeling mine, related to my own personal and soul-level experiences, or is it the collective consciousness of some "channels" that I follow or am tuned into? There are so many dimensions of our own, as well as the larger collective consciousness. An instructor in my graduate master's program recently mentioned the idea of a fish in water.
Does a fish even know it is in the water? Maybe some do and some don't. What are our human collective patterns, “waters of thought and feeling”, that we swim in as various collective groups? These existential questions coincided with wanting to remove myself from social media, even as a trial, for some time. But I was finding it hard because so many of my friends post what they’re up to and it is fun to keep an eye on them. However, the desire to remove myself just kept getting stronger and I felt logging out for the long term was really important for my own personal reboot, as well as to help me answer some of these burning questions.
One of the big fears I needed to face was that I had started my yoga/coaching/counseling businesses for the past 15 years based somewhat on social media. Many of my clients connected with me primarily through social media. I adhered to this strong belief that in order to be successful or fulfilled in my business or personal life that I need to be on social media. But is this really true or is it a collective belief system? Another thing that lined up for me to help this happen is that I recently took a break from my business to help a family member through a health challenge and then after that, started graduate school. It couldn't be a more perfect time to give this desire a whirl. So back in December 2021, I deleted my Instagram account and deactivated my Facebook account…
Please note, I had experienced a bit of this in the past by removing the apps temporarily from my phone. But by pulling my energy completely off of Facebook and Instagram—something incredible happened. The first thing was that all these extraneous, fearful thoughts in my mind vanished. In fact, my mind was soooo clear. All the negative feelings (guilt, fear, shame, ideas of loneliness, etc.) that I had prior to actually pulling the plug, they vanished when I hit the buttons. Another cool thing that happened was that I opened to a more authentically connected way of doing business with people.
Shorty after, I got calls from people who wanted my help. Even though I was on a break and referred them out, I could see immediately that all of those old beliefs were a lie and something I had allowed myself to personally buy into. Finally, after having all that mental space freed up for a moon cycle (one month), I naturally flowed into a deep technology clean-out of email, cloud drive, smart phone and computer—a clearing out and re-organizing process that I had been wanting to do for a long time, but just couldn’t get there. This was a confirmation and good reminder that sometimes other “space” needs to be opened up first.
My intention for this article is not to tell you to get off of social media—as I will likely at some point step back into that world, but here is what I learned:
Firstly, I need to have a purpose that creates boundaries. After taking a break, if or when I do decide to go back into social media, I can create a purpose that changes it from checking in on everyone else, to a place that could potentially act solely as an outlet for people to connect with my business and ask questions. It could be a way for people to touch into my business and a place for me to respond to those inquires and post some consciousness-lifting ideas.
Secondly, Face-to-Face vs Online-to-Face are completely different experiences. I am so clear now in knowing that I prefer face-to-face and the deep levels of connection with my friends that come with that. Social media just doesn't cut it for me. I want to see, feel, laugh and relate to this human experience together—things that are really hard to do through the strictly mental atmosphere of social media. I want to be more earthly, grounded and whole, and I need to see and feel with my friends in person for that to happen.
Where might your energy, thoughts and feelings be so interwoven with a "collective" that you don't really know yourself apart from the collective? Where might you, like me, be a lot like a fish that didn’t know it was in the water? Share with us in the comments online today.
Based in Knoxville, TN, Michael Lott is a life, spiritual and energetic awareness coach, intuitive consultant, and yoga/meditation teacher who helps empaths and sensitives find their inner power. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in counseling at Saybrook University. Find him online at michaellott.com.