In the last year, I feel like becoming a part of DHM has taught me to be more mindful and what it really means to be aware of what is going on in my day to day life, as well as the outside world. Now that I am a student in wicked problems, I get to learn how truly make it a part of my life and how to fulfill it. For example, through meditation. When I was a senior in high school, I had a friend that had started meditating and they suggested that I try it. I did a very small amount of research and maybe meditated 5 times, but never got the same “euphoric” feeling that they would tell me about. So, I decided to stop and thought maybe it was not for everyone. This last week was the first time I had meditated in 2 or 3 years and I do not know that I got a euphoric feeling, but I definitely got something out of it. Especially from the loving kindness meditation.
I consider myself to be a pretty forgiving person and it is easy for me to tell someone that I am sorry and I will work on whatever I may have done wrong. Having that said, there is a specific someone that I have not been able to forgive in my life and it is difficult for me to let go of the anger I have. It can be very emotionally draining or just really annoying to have a perfect day and then they pop up and bring my mood down. During the loving kindness meditation, when we had to wish that someone who we were not very fond of was happy and healthy, and we focused on them for a few minutes, I felt myself kind of forgiving that person. Or just in that moment in time, for the first time in a long time, the thought of their name did not make my day dull. I really appreciated this moment because I sometimes get angry with myself for having trouble with being less forgiving in this situation and have what I believe to be reasonable answers as to why I cannot seem to forgive this person. It is still just frustrating to carry it around all the time and to get a small break through meditation was 100% worth it to me. Even though my unforgiving feeling came back, I now know how to catch a break or hopefully work my way to forgiving.
I have heard the word paradigm pretty often in the last year, but did not know how to apply that word to my everyday life until this past Thursday. Paradigms are our beliefs, our own personal filters, our values, ad our experiences. Our taking sides assignment helped me be able to better understand this term. After our discussion in class, I used my own experiences and really thought about my reading on the “no” argument side and applied it to my everyday life. I do believe we are in a consumer culture, because if I am being honest here, the consumer culture is a big piece of who I am today. I can easily say I have a shopping problem and I buy groceries that I forget about and never get to eat so, I go buy food instead. I am more mindful of it now, but growing up, I was not taught against consumerism, I was taught to participate in it. Now that I know more, I try to talk to my friends and parents about it so that they can be more aware and to hear their opinions.
I think what really gets me today is the media. I can easily say that I rely so heavily on the media to get information or even to find clothes and here and there, there’s an advertisement for this new swimsuit that just came in style and I can get it with free shipping. If the swimsuit is $80 plus shipping I cannot do it but without I am sold. It truly is not a huge difference but everyone on social media is buying it and I was taught to be a consumer. I feel like media gives you that “it’s what everyone else is doing” feel and they know you will jump on the bandwagon. What I got out of my reading was that maybe we should use paradigms to reinforce our sustainable life choices other than institutions and technology. I’m not necessarily sure how we would be able to fulfill this at this point, but I do think that educating everyone and especially younger people can possibly make a difference. I know personally that since coming to OSU, I have become more mindful and all it took was the education I am currently receiving.