Everyday Presence vs. substance-induced awareness…

In my last post I was trying to come to terms with the ‚Self‘. Something else that pops up in conversations about presence and being present in everyday life and that surprises me every time, are drugs…
.
The surprise comes from the fact that they come up not merely as experiences but as ‚recommendations for me‘ (if you’re interested in an experience of presence and learning to be more aware, you should try this ‚plant ceremony‘, this dmt, this cactus-thing –). The surprise maybe comes, because in the context of everyday presence this is almost the opposite of what I’m looking for.
.
It doesn’t seem coherent with my wish to explore everyday presence. Not one special experience, in a special surrounding, taking a substance to push my boundaries and allow me to experience awareness or something people call presence – in an instance. But rather a practice; a process that allows me to stay aware and connected, in any situation or in conversation with any kind of person, that I can keep my ground and be present.

Of course, I don’t manage all the time.
Of course, I also take breaks and disconnect from the world surrounding me – sleeping, spacing out, hiking, tv-ing… (which could also be described as providing space and time to recover, heal, digest)
Of course, I go to parties, drink and eat with my friends and don’t think about each moment having to be in absolute awareness…
.
But, when I’m talking about training presence and awareness, it’s the process that allows me to notice both myself and the world, people as well as other conditions and interact. To interact honestly and with integrity – true to what I feel, my values and how I perceive the situation. And gaining energy and clarity in the process, taking care of my physical needs in connection with others, rather than being separated.
.
Even knowing this does beautiful things for some people, I haven’t been interested in a ceremony with a drug that brings me ‘one amazing experience of awareness’. Partly because of my interest in the process described above and yes, also very much influenced by a fear of a bad trip or just not being able to stop when I want…
.
I have very little personal experience with drugs (everyday drugs such as sugar and coffee aside) – but even my approach to alcohol and marijuana is colored by this aversion.
I had an experience smoking weed once, where all my senses suddenly got amazingly sharpened and I was psyched by the way I could sense the air on my skin, smell flowers, hear dogs far away in the park… however, I didn’t like the experience, that I couldn’t get out of it this wide awareness and intentionally focus on something. I couldn’t adjust to the changing atmosphere, and be present with what I’m feeling at the same time – I was just distracted by these sensations. I couldn’t decide when I wanted to be out of the amazing experience and be connected again with the person next to me. Same with alcohol, I don’t like to drink more than what lets me still notice those around me and connected to my own movement.
.
For me everyday presence is connected to an ability to willfully move between focused and defocused attention. Fluidity in movement between content and context, detail and whole, being individual and connected to others…
.
Is this about a fear of loosing control? Maybe it is. But why not be afraid of loosing control?
And how is taking the drug less of that fear? Isn’t it numbing or enhancing something very specific, i.e. aiming at controlling an experience in some way?
.
I guess one conclusion is, that we all try to find a way to control our experiences and we have different foci. For me it is interesting to find out, how I can experience more direct connection with life, people and myself and focus my attention where I choose at the same time.
And there are – so far – enough wild and amazing moments in life, to allow me to experiment with this process.
Moments that give me rushes of energy or new physical sensations –
.
* be that noticing that I can’t handle listening to more complaints right now, without getting overwhelmed or angry and expressing that directly and clearly to a passionate complainer – thus stopping him, taking the risk of his disappointment and creating space for me to breathe and move on. (Reconnecting with him at a later point, when I am recharged and ready to communicate again.
.
* being able to react to my low-back’s sensation of stiffness and moving as I write, rather than having to wait for a better moment
.
* or noticing my fear of falling for someone ‚unreasonable‘ – and allowing myself to fall not knowing where to land, and – instead of being moody, heavy and focussing on why it’s ‚dangerous‘ or ‚dumb‘ – feeling the pleasure and excitement of those little moments of connection…
.
* or noticing my fear of falling for someone ‚unreasonable‘ – and allowing myself to fall not knowing where to land, and – instead of being moody, heavy as ‘preventive measure’ because it’s ‚scary‘ or ‚dumb‘ – feeling the pleasure and excitement of those little moments of connection…
.
.
.
Another thought, that I have had many times about drugs: to me, there is something lonely in there (yes, based on that one experience and observation of others from the ‘outside’). When I learn in the process of connecting attention/awareness to more of my body, I look for a speed, that allows me to still be connected to people next to me, my thinking and the world. And as I said before “My interest lies in strengthening the experience of being one and being in connection with the world around me (people, music, movement, things).“
.
Maybe it’s all just a matter of fear. But I think there are enough things out there, that overwhelm or frighten (politics… loosing someone… really connecting with someone…) that I don’t need to add an extra experience of fear and ‚overcome‘ it (if there is no other motivation or pull, than just to overcome it for the sake of that).
.

So far, practicing honesty in connection to people. Honesty in connection to feelings. Expressing disagreement or acting according to my personal needs. Letting go of efforts to make things ‚how they are supposed to be‘ and surrendering to how they actually are instead, gives me so much to learn with.

.

I think, I’ll keep on practicing

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment

  • “Aninia has a very special ability to understand the body and its reactions to pain. She is thorough, trusting and not least, a good teacher.”

    – Stine, 28

  • “… to just see what happens and enjoy the moment. This is a great gift. Thank you for it.”

    – Anne, 32

  • “I have been going to Grinberg Sessions with Aninia … This gives me more freedom in being who I want to be both in the workplace and in my personal, close relationships.”

    – Dorthe, Head of Payroll, 42

  • “I learnt to open up to our physical language as the mirror reflection of our mental state, and to date I can say this led to better control and confidence in dealing with both good and hard times.”

    – Francesca, Project Manager, 35

Contact

ANINIA - Embodied Collaboration
Berlin and Copenhagen
+49 176 64135045
Email

Book a session