“I got sick last night…” “Had to go to the doctor again…” “Woke up with a sore throat. It’s gonna be a looooong day…”
Ram Das calls this kind of thing the organ recital, and it seems to be all over the place, including Facebook. (It’s like a rash!)
Facebook has been an amazing tool for me. I’ve seen baby pictures for the first time there, heard about engagements and deaths, and reconnected with high school and college friends that I may not ever have crossed paths with otherwise.
But I’ve also read a lot about other people’s ailments, sometimes with details I’d rather not have pictured, thank you.
We all need comfort sometimes, and I’m happy to offer a prayer or some good thoughts whenever I’m asked. I completely understand the need for support in tough times. But most people don’t usually ask so much as complain.
As a healer, I have to take issue with the litany of complaints for one simple reason: what we focus on increases. I’m concerned whenever a Facebook friend updates their status with a complaint of illness because their focus for that moment is on something other than wellness. Then they also inspire their whole entire network to imagine them being sick, concretizing the association between the person and the illness. When friend Melvin has a cold and tells Facebook, he’s sick not just in his own body for the moment, but in the minds of all the people who read his status update.
That’s a lot of snot.
And then when Jim thinks, “Poor Melvin. That really sucks. I hope I don’t catch that virus,” two things happen energetically: Melvin brings attention to himself for something he actually doesn’t want to keep in his life (his illness), and Jim has a passing thought about getting sick. He pictures himself in the same predicament, increasing the likelihood of it actually happening— if he isn’t mindful about his mental, physical, or energetic hygiene. “Well,” Jim thinks, “It is going around.”
From a shamanic standpoint, none of this conducive to anybody’s wellness.
Again, overtly asking for support is perfectly reasonable. If you’re struggling, it’s okay to say so and ask for comfort, prayer, and good thoughts. But many people have a habit of skipping the requests and just telling the story of being down and out —and guess what? They seem to be sick a lot. To me, this is no surprise because their focus is consistently on the stuff that’s wrong. I wonder what would happen if they posted about feeling great?
I’d love to see more of my friends updating their status with “I feel fantastic! All is well!” In fact, I’m going to encourage my Facebook friends to try it and see what happens and how they feel.
Want to join us? If you’re not a social media fan, you can practice this in everyday conversation, too. For one week, try not to participate in an organ recital, and if you need support ask explicitly for it. What resistance comes up around proclaiming your happiness and health? How do others react? It could prove to be a great experiment.