We live a screen-dominated life. We work in front of screens, we’re entertained by screens, there are screens in elevators and schools, and we carry screens in our pocket for the times between other screens. We are constantly and conveniently entertained, updated, and connected. Screens have become our closest companion, our friend, and our babysitter.
The problem is that these new media have made it easier for us to get sidetracked and distracted from the meaningful experiences of our lives. They become addictive and compulsive, and are, as embarrassing as it is to say, designed to be so. Pavlov-like, we check and recheck emails, keep up our online status and waste time with Solitaire and Angry Birds.
Our brains are being rewired. There is no longer a difference between “urgent” and “important.” We’re learning new habits and sadly forgetting the instincts we were born with. We hand off our iPhones to toddlers, so that we are relieved from the duty of parenting. Thus our kids never learn to handle boredom. We are led off the path and, worse, we gladly pay monthly for this servitude.
There is a lovely idea attributed to Aboriginal society that says, “The more you know, the less you need.” Accepting less means less clutter and meaningless stuff in our lives. Less distractions, less debt, less greed and craving, less servitude to work.
Never settle. Never give in. But accept less.
From Danielle LaPorte:
It helps to get poetic, lyrical, and abstract. Go there with me.
I want my day to feel like jazz.
I want kissing to feel like eating an orange off the tree from Tuscany.
I want my next success to feel like Adele must feel with her latest album.
I want my body to feel like a Jaguar in a new open field.
I want smiling to feel like mangoes.
I want my friendships to feel like sandalwood oil, and bowls of popcorn, and hand-knit, with Vodka mixers, served up in a red tent.
I want my nervous system to feel like The Buddha must have felt when he discovered The Middle Way.
I want my gigs to feel like Jimmy Page playing Kashmir, and Gaga doing a Born This Way finale, with some Leonard Cohen tenderness.
I want my neighborhood to feel like a new Jason Mraz song.
I want my integrity to feel like the Hope Diamond.
I want my money-making to feel like walking though a vineyard, surveying ripeness, a production of sun and earth for craft and pleasure.
I want my word to feel like gold bullion.
I want my laughter to feel like electric pineapple children.
I want the end of the day to feel like a happy quiet baby.
I want being of service to feel like The Medicine Woman mixing herbs into healing paste for warriors.
I want my philanthropy to feel like a cosmic Queen on her best day.
I want my challenges to feel how Siddhartha felt when the left the kingdom.
I want my love to feel like a gorgeous secret that only he and I know. For eternity.
I want my writing to feel like Citrine, and Jack Kerouac with a fresh buzz on.
I want my ideas to feel like sunrise.
You know those days when you stumble upon something and say, “hey, I needed that!”? Well this is one of those days, and this is one of those posts that just made perfect sense to me today. Written by Danielle LaPorte, whose soulful wisdom I’ve always admired:
Back away from overwhelm. Because when you just utter that word, you cast doubt on your capacity to rise. You let angst flop on your couch. You fret that you might not have the resources to surmount obstacles or to seal the deal on your dream.
Let’s make a pact. If you slip and use the o-word, I’ll refuse to believe you. I’m going to act like you didn’t even say it, and I’m going to remind you that
: you put everything on your plate with intention, and you have a huge say in creating your reality.
: you’ve been watering your dreams for years and you’re going to get what you ask for and allow (ya!)
: tragic circumstances or a circus of success — you’ve got what it takes to meet life with more giving.
Ban “overwhelmed” from your vocabulary. Refuse it entry to your psyche. You’re bigger than that.