There is a lot of building and construction work happening in Sydney at the moment. As these projects proceed, there is a trend to put visuals up in front of the construction site to, one imagines, make it more visually palatable for the people who walk by.
A common visual used to hide the construction site are old photographs that capture a few moments in the history of the site. For some, as they walk by, this makes for interesting viewing and conversations. One can ponder how things used to be back in the day and how life may turn out to be in the future.
Another trend happening when a building is being repaired is to put up a visual mask that represents how the building will be (idealised) when the work is complete. See the image ‘ghostly’ façade behind which construction is happening at a local university.
Given the volume of construction in Sydney, this phenomenon is in plain view in many locations. What is the purpose of hiding these work-in-progress sites? Is the view of what is actually happening deemed not acceptable? Do we feel the need to construct something to hide reality? Does it make things more pleasant to the eye? Does it, in a sense, make the environment appear better? Is that what it is? Or something else?
So what? For me, it brings to mind how as individuals we often do the same.
How much are we living in mind, rather than being here?
As life processes itself through us, we often habitually hold images in mind of how things used to be and how things may be in the future. Then, we chat about these histories and timelines – past and future.
If we paid attention to the percentage of the day we engage in past or future conversations, what would it be? 10%? 50%? 90%?
What is the opportunity cost to ourselves, if we overlook and miss the now, the present? Is it time for a reality check?
What would happen if we exposed our true selves?
If, as human beings, we were to talk more consciously about the work in progress that is our life, how would that be? What would happen if we were to expose:
the unsightly mess of the chaos of not knowing
the creativity that is happening
the huge void that exists
the joy that arises as the process of life flows
the perceived frustration that gets in the way of live flowing – frustration with our health, work, relationships, cash flow, etc.?
If we talked more freely about what is actually happening to us, for us, with us, would we begin to accept more of reality in whatever form it takes? Would we let go of fighting against what is happening? Would we stop wishing reality was different to what it is? Would we cease futilely resisting reality? Could we actually surrender to it by simply relaxing more and being with life as it is? Would reality become clearer to us, for us, as us?
Why bother with a mask?
And anyway, why choose to wear a mask? Why do we decide to dialogue about our past and future – rather than engage in deeper, more authentic conversations about how things actually are now? How has that come to be a society norm, generally speaking?
How can we take the mask off, communicate from the present moment and be ok with being alive, in all its forms? How can we let go of our fear of judgement, ridicule, exclusion from the tribe, from society, from the other, from the self?
As a society, we are obviously well practiced at putting our best face and foot forward. What other options do we have? What is here for you and for all of us now in facing reality?
As you walk around Sydney, or wherever you are located, notice where your attention is going. Is it with reality? Or is it drawn to the pretty pictures (or horror movies!) in mind, accompanied with hours of dialogue about past and future timelines. Are you simply aware of the continuum? Or are you caught up in it?
There is choice point here in terms of what we pay attention to. There is a decision point now. To be aware and awake, or not. On offer to us all is the gift of reality. Right here and now. The present moment as it is. What does this offer you and us all?
When we turn our attention here, we realise what is true for ourselves. When we rest in awareness, the visuals, façades, masks, fear, struggle and other constructs dissolve. All we are left with is the naked truth.
Do you want to clear aspects of your timeline to be more present?
Do you want to get clarity on your personality structure so you can know yourself at a deeper level?
Do you want to understand more about the process of human development?
Would you like to get more intentional about your ongoing development?