November 8, 2012

But What Does It All Mean? ~ Brittany Hiller

photo by An Untrained Eye

Welcome to an alternate universe, one in which everything you see is not as it seems.

Ever find yourself looking out of your car window waiting for the light to turn from red to green and see a person walking down the street? Do you find yourself making judgments toward that very person?

Let’s say they are wearing dingy clothes and walking at a slow pace. Did you just picture this person to be homeless and less fortunate? Did you have feelings of pity hit your gut? Ah ha!

You, my friend, have fallen into the realm of the Meaning Junkie.

My friend and teacher, Mark White, said it best:

“We are all Meaning Junkies.”

If you found yourself placing a meaning on that person we were just speaking of, you know with the dingy clothes and slow walk, do not fear—you are not alone—I am there as well.

Now let’s take that same person and find out more about him—he was simply walking home from landscaping a neighbor’s yard.

The pity you felt before has diminished and you may no longer think anything of him. Isn’t it interesting how that works?

Often we forget to think about the possibility of another story than the one we have just played in our head.

When we get wrapped up in our thoughts and aren’t aware of the present moment—seeing things for what they are—we can fall into the trap of ignorance.

For example, if you are in a situation with a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while and find yourself placing meaning or blame toward them, why not contact them and find out what is actually happening. No, that would be too easy. Instead we may begin thinking, “this is what they say, this is what they mean, they posted that—it’s about me!”

We live in a Facebook world—we are quick to assume that others place their status of the day in relation to us. If we are on the outs with a friend or relative and we see a post they have placed up on their page—we tend to assume they are talking about us, “Oh, well that person said they are upset and angry. Well what have I done?”

Instead of jumping to conclusions about a friend or relative—why not ask them directly? Instead of assuming they mean something—why not ask how they are doing?

Give your inner Meaning Junkie a bit of knowledge.

Reflect on why you may place meaning on certain people, sayings or things. In reality, you may just be placing the meaning back onto yourself. Witness your inner meanings toward others as the possibility you may be saying, “I’m lonely” or “I’m lost.”

You may be searching for the place of uncertainty you want to come to terms with. Look forward to finding an inner peace instead of blaming or placing meaning onto another.

Through a practice of meditation and yoga, often I come to terms with my Meaning Junkie. He and I battle, argue, and eventually come to a place of ease. I notice where I need to work within myself.

When is the last time you came face to face with your Meaning Junkie?


Brittney Hiller has been practicing yoga since the fun age of 15—just when pimples begin to shine through and the reality of being good enough sets in. Yoga gave her the confidence she needed to turn away from the gossip girls and instead enjoy the beauty each fellow student had to share. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Yoga Instructor eager to share her love of yoga and massage with everyone she meets. Recently breaking free of the yoga studio lifestyle she is now found teaching yoga outside. Follow Brittney: The Outdoor Yogini on Facebook.

Photo: John Arthur Photography


Editor: ShaMecha Simms

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