Sunday, June 30, 2013

Deciding to be Still

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
     As it often happens, my husband came to me with a good idea. After reading a blog post from a friend who had decided to do the same, he said,  "I'm taking a week off from social media," he told me. "No Facebook, no Twitter." Impulsively I decided to join him, knowing that it would be easier to keep to if we were both doing it, and feeling weirdly excited for an 'excuse', as if I needed permission to disconnect.
                                          How to be happyFind a place to be still. Go there. Repeat. 
      I love social media. It keeps me connected to far flung friends, affords me support for different pursuits from people all over the world that I would not otherwise have, and gives me a way of sharing in people's lives that is nothing short of miraculous.
     There's only a couple of problems. One, I find myself almost addicted to that relentless connection. To that illusion of multitasking, always checking to see if there is something new. Two, I started to lose my connection to silence, to deliberation, to doing one thing at a time and giving it my full attention. So taking a break afforded me the chance to remember how I used to do things before I had that constant hit of information and interaction at my disposal. And it was good. I also noticed that I was less focused on the negative, in ways both petty and grand. There was no opportunity to dip a finger in gossip. Or that nasty little taste for schadenfreude that we all have trouble admitting we have.
     Commitment to stillness is a lot like commitment to exercise. Practice makes us strong and able. Practicing stillness makes us calmer, comfortable with less input, less "noise". And I think we need it as much as we need to move. So I'll be back 'online' tomorrow, but I am adding regular breaks from being online to my practice of the 'Whole 9' principles. I have a suspicion that being less connected will ultimately result in my being better, more meaningfully and mindfully connected.


Carol said...

I, for the most part, have decided to not connect. Other than FB, to keep connected to the likes of you and your siblings, the most gadgety thing I have is a tracfone in case my car breaks down and my kindle. It works for me as I continually try to simplify, simplify. Congrats on your sessions of unplugging!

Terry Duncan said...

I need to do more of that - you are an inspiration Kimberly - although I miss your in put.!

Terry Duncan said...

I need more of that and less of this. God even tells us to be still and know that I am God. Working towards a more complete me.

Lin said...

Every year, we schedule a camping trip with friends so that we completely disconnect for 3 days. No phone, no TV, no cell or wifi. Heck, there isn't even electricity. Okay, so we have to walk a bit to get to the flush toilets and the hot shower...but that walk truly makes you think about it twice.

I am the most happy in those 3 days. I love disconnecting and not feeling guilty about it. I think we need to do more of it.

Have fun!

meleah rebeccah said...

I also LOVE social media - however - it's just as exhausting as it is exhilarating.

That's why I always choose at LEAST one full day - per week - to steer clear from all things internet.

I don't know if I could do a whole week, though. Not sure I would want to be that unconnected.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

At the heart of simplifying, for me, is peace. When I get past that initial panic, as if a security blanket is being pulled out of my hands, any effort of simplification just feels right. And Lin, getting out in the woods is absolutely crucial for my happiness. I figured that out after we moved to a town that is surrounded by state forest. I feel like I breathe my soul back into my body out there. It did seem daunting, at first, Meleah; I felt like a person who'd quit smoking...I kept reaching for my tablet and I became mindful of how many times a day I had the urge to mash that little blue button....after a couple of days it wasn't so bad. It gave me time to prepare mentally for this month's challenge. I did feel like I was back to school after Christmas break, though. :)