Tuesday, December 22, 2009

+ slowing down. +

I clearly haven't been blogging. So, what have I been doing?

Slowing down.

Several months back, I read something about how we've become a society that is so obsessed with documenting [ twitter, taking photos, fb statuses, blogging, twitpic, moleskins in your pocket ] what we experience, that the documentation has become the experience, and not the experience. This has haunted me to the point of guilt, and I've finally decided to make a conscious effort to document less.

Quality, not quantity. I've felt so pressured to churn out quality en masse - and if you're human, you just can't do it. I've cut off 95% of my creative outlets for awhile to teach myself this lesson. The world won't stop if I do. I've taken a little bit of time to watch the world, instead of the world being forced into watching me. Quality will come back, per elimination of quantity.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote an excerpt for the book What Matters Now (you need to read this, by the way - it's a free eBook here) that's worth sharing:

We are the strivingest people who have ever lived. We are ambitious, time-starved, competitive, distracted. We move at full velocity, yet constantly fear we are not doing enough. Though we live longer than any humans before us, our lives feel shorter, restless, breathless...

Dear ones, EASE UP. Pump the brakes. Take a step back. Seriously. Take two steps back. Turn off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell. I know, I know – we all need to save the world. But trust me: The world will still need saving tomorrow. In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon (or cause a stroke in somebody else) if you don’t calm the hell down.

So go take a walk. Or don’t. Consider actually exhaling. Find a body of water and float. Hit a tennis ball against a wall. Tell your colleagues that you’re off meditating (people take meditation seriously, so you’ll be absolved from guilt) and then actually, secretly, nap.

My radical suggestion? Cease participation, if only for one day this year – if only to make sure that we don’t lose forever the rare and vanishing human talent of appreciating ease.

Also, a challenge from Rajesh Setty:

The Litmus Test: If you are truly enriching someone’s life, they will typically miss you in their past. They think their lives would have been even better if they had met you earlier.


Chase said...

What an incredibly insightful suggestion. There's so much wisdom in this.
I've decided to take most of January off from most of my Interwebbing. I did the same thing in '09 and it's freeing.

We need time to declutter, resurface, and - as you said - exhale. My gawd, have we forgotten how to breathe?

Beautifully said. You've great insight, my friend.

Going now to unabashedly take a nap.

Cheryl said...

I tried once to turn off all my electronics, stop blogging and updating my Facebook status, etc and I just got really disoriented. I lasted about 6 hours. After 6hours, I started freakin out.

Elle said...

Very inspiring. I totally agree that sometimes we're too caught up capturing and recording every waking moment of our lives that we fail to enjoy the NOW that we have.

Have a Merry Christmas :)

missy. said...

wonderful post today. so true. i will definitely have to slow down when the new year starts. loots going on.

have a merry christmas love!

Chantelle said...

You're a deep motherfucker, do you know that? I love reading your posts. But I completely understand why you removed yourself from the 'my life is oh-so-important and I must tell the world what I have done because they will care' trend. Good post.. I will actually think about this for a while after closing my laptop for the day. I like blogs that do that to me. Hope your holidays are going well Lauren!

oh oh

I just cut out dance, and my sorority for the semester. You know why? I actually want to have time to go out and enjoy myself this year. It's tough when you have so many deadlines and responsibilities. Those can wait til school is over. TTYS love!

nariness said...

I love this post. =) Thank you for writing and you should know that I've added you to my Google reader. =)

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