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 happy: Find 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.