Grasping : Attempting to Fill the Infinite Void

Have you ever felt like there’s an emptiness in your life?  A certain nagging dissatisfaction? A longing for something unnamed?

You try to fill the void by overindulging in pleasurable acts, like shopping, eating, drinking, sex…the problem is that the hole has no bottom, it is infinite.  For a while you are satisfied with the temporary relief these pleasures bring, but when the pleasure wears off, you’re back where you were, empty.

You’re not alone.  The Buddhists have a name for this behavior; they call it grasping.  …and yes, as you may have guessed, it’s futile.  So what to do now?  Well, you could continue to ignore the problem and wait for yourself to be swallowed by the black hole you’ve created, or you could get to the root of the problem.  Easier said than done, huh?

Only a strong person can take an honest look at themselves.  Confronting our inner demons is no small task.  Letting go of excuses is imperative, it is what it is. Just as important is the letting go of judgment.  Be kind to yourself.  What is done is done.  Now is the time to understand, detach from the problem, heal and move on.

You can do this.  You’re stronger than you think.

If this is a subject that interests you, check out my book, “The Red Speck”.  The book is an allegory, not a straightforward self help book.  Couched in the allegory is a path that helped me tremendously.  You might also find this article on neuroplasticity helpful.

Good luck on your journey.  Take some relief in knowing many others have walked this path and survived, why not you?

Much Love,

S. Conde



You Are What You Think

…and I mean that literally.

It has been well known in certain ancient traditions that what a person thinks and says, especially repeatedly, are of the utmost importance. These thoughts and words become actions, evident in what a person does, reflected ultimately in the reality a person creates. When I was 19, the Jamaican singer, Marcia Griffiths, summed it up for me beautifully in casual conversation, “…be careful what you say.  Your words take wings and fly off into reality.”

Sophie, the main character in my book, “The Red Speck” is ill.  She has become infected by negative perceptions of herself.  As children we are particularly susceptible to the thoughts of others, their perception of who we are, and the nature of “reality” itself.  We incorporate this information into who we think we are, into our version of reality, because after all they (the adults) are the authority, they know best.

Once we mature, we become the sum total of what we think.  Hopefully, as children we were nurtured and fed positive images of ourselves, but what if that was not the case?  What if the foundation on which you were built is shaky, riddled with negativity, and self doubt?

It is my opinion, that a transformation must occur in order to return to our authentic selves.  We must be rebuilt, with a strong foundation capable of supporting who we really are, who we strive to be.

This difficult, painful, and long journey is the journey taken by Sophie.  She must go back and repair before she can move forward, before she can become Sophia. Why is the rebuilding of who we are so difficult?  Many of us know something is off in our lives.  Maybe we are addicted to a behavior of some sort, depressed, or just generally unhappy.  Maybe it’s less obvious, perhaps we experience the feeling of a void in the pit of our stomach or in our hearts and try to fill it, with shopping, eating, whatever.  If we know something is wrong why can’t we just fix it?  The good news is that we can.  The answer to the difficulty of fixing it, I believe, lies within the way our brain functions, specifically in neural pathways.

When we have a thought which becomes a repeated action a neural pathway is formed, through which information travels from one section of the brain to another.  The more you think the thought the stronger the connection grows until what was once barely a footpath becomes an interstate highway.  In order to stop traveling that path, a new one must be formed, and it is formed in the same way as the old one, through repetition.  Initially your thoughts will want to continue along the highway, because it’s so well established and easy to access, whereas the new path is completely overgrown.  Your new positive thinking, armed only with a machete is trying to hack through the bush, creating a new way.  Your new thinking will succeed, IF you keep at it.  Studies say it takes 30 to 60 days to create a new neural pathway.  This process is called neuroplasticity.  Once again, science “proves” what ancient wisdom already knew to be true.

Our protagonist Sophie, uses a set of metaphysical, yogic and chakra based tools to rebuild herself starting at the foundation of her being and working her way up.  Though never specifically mentioned until the end of the book, the reader with even basic knowledge of these traditions will understand “The Red Speck” on more than one level.

Personally, I have found Hatha yoga and chakra meditation to be invaluable in clearing out the overgrowth of my mind, and creating new thinking, on the road back home to myself.  It is my most sincere desire that “The Red Speck” is helpful to you in navigating your way back home.

S. Conde