FOMO is considered to be the emotional plague of our age.
Defined by the Oxford dictionary as: “Anxiety that one is missing out on an exciting event, social interaction or opportunity that is occurring elsewhere” it is also known as FOBO: Fear Of Better Options.
I discovered strands of FOMO in myself when I realized how addicted I was to checking emails: some gazillion times a day. When I asked myself why wouldn’t I open my emails, say, twice a day, it occurred to me I was afraid to miss that one important email that would need my attention right away. Not to mention checking the phone as soon as a message comes in. When I found myself weighing going out to a social gathering for which I had no energy, just because I might be missing something, a red flag waved at me from inside.
The realization was shocking enough to stop me on my tracks. Until then I thought myself to be more “evolved” than this. I had to admit I wasn’t. At least not in all of my aspects.
It was time to sit quietly, trace back my steps, unlearn, and release. Like pruning back a rose bush or a tree, I had to look at those out-of-proportion leggy branches, and cut them back so that the plant (me) can become balanced again, and whole. I used those trimmed branches, made of outgrown emotions and unwanted behaviors, as mulch for my roots. Our unwanted aspects are not trash, they are food that can be extremely nourishing if applied intentionally, that is if we manage them rather than let them manage us.
From FOMO to POMO
This was how POMO was born: Practice Of Mind Observation. Rather than being actively pulled outside of myself, can I cultivate a practice of observing my mind as it pulls me one way or the other? Observing my emotional body pulling me this way or that? Can I choose observation over reaction to all internal and external stimuli?
This is not the practice of meditation to calm the mind. Nor is it Mindfulness practice for it own sake. It’s an antidote to a FOMO moment. A remedy to practice when you feel FOBO pulls you off center. I invite you to try it!