Here's a beautiful irony: about a week ago, I was talking about the upcoming total solar eclipse with a steward at the local art space who was going to NYC and would miss it, tho it was going to pass practically on top of my home and the art space we were standing in (couldn't he wait a week?) He had a look of stricken panic on his face, then started laughing, "o, no, I don't do FOMO anymore." And that was that. At which point I learned about the phenomenon called Fear of Missing Out and simultaneously said a very inaccurate thing, "O. I don't ever have FOMO." And that was that.
Except, was it?
No, of course not because here comes eclipse day which taught me that the only thing worse then fomo is FAKE fomo: pretending to care that you're missing out on something you're pretending to care about in the first place but that you don't actually. The first half of this day I had this peculiar anxiety of feeling utterly uninspired or interested in driving 3-6 trafficky hours to have a 2 minute experience and also feeling badly that I didn't want to do this so I didn't let myself be honest to myself about my feelings, which is one of my surest way to drive myself nutz.
Deeper still, I was capable of being swept up into fake fomo because I wasn't anchored in its opposite, Joji, the joy of jumping in. I woke up with an unexamined should: "I should want to do this thing because other people have placed value on it" yet it was at odds with a very passionate and organic inspiration I woke with, which was to work on the next stage of my coaching program and embed meta-habits in the weekly exercises (it is WAY more sexy then it sounds, trust you me). That was my joji, and yet I wasn't in range of hearing my joji or engaging it and all the satisfaction, clarity and confident joy that comes when we do what we are being called to, the incredible and life-giving joy of taking the next real step on our true path.
The anxiety and self judgement of fake fomo held me in a really staticky place right up until the moment when I walked outside, held glasses to my eyes, say the shadow of the moon cross over the face of the sun, thot "neat" and immediately had a thot about my joji, and then another and then another. In the place of that energetic stopper, the floodgate of joji energy just whooshed into and I started to feel better immediately.
It's worth noting that while I was held captive by the spell of fake fomo, I felt like shit in my body, a kind of all body headache and low level cellular nausea. I also felt jumpy and slightly askew of myself. When the spell broke and I turned toward the joji, my body felt lighter because it actually got lighter. All those heavy thots of confusion and self judgement felt like I had little weights of unhappiness tied to each of my cells. As I began to write and craft and pour my energy towards my joji I slipped into flow, into joy, I felt myself begin to swim with the fishes of creativity and imagination. I felt effervescent in my body again, the relief causing my body to lift up.
For the record, I don't actually believe in FOMO. I think all fomo is fake fomo because if you really and fully wanted to do something you'd be doing it. Real, unresisted, uncontradicted desire has extraordinary drawing power. I do see that lots of people don't take time to clearly examine all the things they're spending time on or pining for to see if the buzz is real or deep or helps them to fully step into their funnest, realest and most deliciously satisfying lives so they carry a low level fake fomo as they go through their days, which keep them just out of range of the Joji (I imagine this as a Myasaki like fruit shaped woodland creature who twinkles and beckons you) A true joji is always hailing you to dive deeper.
I think beautiful questions are a wonderful way to cut through the haze of confusion. My mind wants me to say: "do I give a shit about this?" but I just said beautiful questions, so I won't. How about, "is this truly bright for me in some way that adds meaning for me?" "am I doing my best? can I be clearer?" "am I contributing something here?" or just simply "is this a yes?"
Bravery with beautiful questions can turn fake fomo to real joji in a moment (anyone else feel like we descended into an episode of teletubbies?)
love and joji-berries from the deep,