Social media is a spiritual discipline
Learning how to “do” social media effectively is a lot like learning a spiritual discipline. There are paradoxes involved, and you have to abandon the traditional western approach of applying ego-based will-power to get results. Here are five spiritual ideas and how social media exemplifies them.
1. The law of attraction
The more you try to “get” results — such as increased sales or traffic — using social media, the more likely you will fail. If you come across as too pushy or too self-promotional, you will be shunned. You can’t use traditional selling or marketing techniques that rely on pushing your message out. Instead, you have to be like a light, a beacon. You have to be attractive, to attract.
This is the paradoxical nature of the law of attraction. The more content, confident, happy you feel as you engage in social media, the more likely you will be to attract attention. Neediness and greediness will have the opposite effect.
2. Letting go of attachment to outcome
If you are concerned with the bottom line, and with the results of your efforts, you will miss opportunities for engagement, for community building, and for nurturing long-term customers and readers. Letting go of attachment to outcome also frees you up to discover what you enjoy, and to do more of that. Plus, it leads you to be in …
3. The moment
The gift of social media is ironic — given that it is done largely when people are alone in front of an electronic device, and their pixels are engaging with other people’s pixels in cyberspace. But if you are truly engaged in social media, having conversations, sharing interesting, important or entertaining information, you are in the moment. Social media gives you the opportunity to interact with others; to notice others, to get interested in who they are and what they have to say, or what they want to share. The more you are able to JUST BE, the more likely you will have satisfying exchanges. It also helps to accept that you have little or no control. Just like life.
4. To give is to get
One of the best uses of social media is curatorial: looking and finding things to share, plus adding your own take and embellishing. The social media net is like a matrix; in fact, it is a lot like the connectedness that spiritual masters teach is at the base of all reality. Movements take root, people inspire each other, they help each other to reach a wider audience, new connections are made, even friendships. The effects of sharing are instantaneous, unpredictable, creative; and the more you give, the more you benefit, both because sharing and being generous are highly valued in the social media world; and also because of the nature of social media and how it works.
5. Go with the flow
Yoga teaches that going with the flow of energy creates efficiency and harmony, and puts you in a more spiritual and creative frame of mind. For example, I am writing this in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. I am going with the flow of my restless energy — and creating a blog post! Likewise, on social media, it is more harmonious and satisfying to go with the flow, and join in conversations, trends, organized chats. Once you accept that you cannot make things happen — you have to let them happen — you can relax and enjoy … and trust that social media will help sweep you and your business towards your destiny.
And like any spiritual discipline, you don’t just learn these ideas once. You continue to learn and practise, always getting a little more awareness, a little more mastery, until the knower and the knowing meld….
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