Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

I have developed this strange addiction.  I am not on a lot of social media; I only have a blog (is that considered social media?) and a facebook page.  I don't do Twitter or Foursquare or LinkedIn.  Oh...and of course, I text.  But I am finding myself compelled by the need to check these electronic spaces often to check and see what is going on.  I want to see what others are doing; I don't want to miss out.  I want to check my "stats" to see who is watching me and well...if someone texts, I feel the incredible obsession to text back immediately.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this.  I think we all want connection.  However, what I cleverly disguise as "connection" is perhaps becoming a way to avoid being quiet and being with myself.  Plus, sometimes it isn't real, substantial connection, but potential connection or a kind of voyeurism that likes to measure my life by comparing it to others (and that is a whole other blog post!)

If I stay plugged in all the time, 24/7, I am not cultivating the inner practices of quietness, stillness, patience, and a sense gratitude for how things are in this moment, right here, now.  Anne Voskamp writes, "When one consistently chooses cyberspace over holy space - life becomes a hollow space."  {Boy, can I be guilty of that one...frequently!!}  I don't want life to become a hollow space.  I would like to live life - the NOW of life - to the full!

So what do we do?  Sherry Turkle (author of Alone Together) writes, "When is downtime, when is stillness?  The text-driven world of rapid response does not make self-reflection impossible, but does little to cultivate it." I think we learn to cultivate downtime whenever possible.  Maybe just one time a day, when I am compulsively reaching for my phone to check the latest email/blog/facebook feed/text, I could instead just sit...close my eyes...and breathe deeply, even if only for a few moments.  Perhaps that is all the stillness I need at that point, or perhaps that moment of stillness will lead me to pursue more moments.  Either way, I am breaking the electronic-connection addiction just a little.

This is what I'm going to try this week.  Want to join me?

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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