You know that feeling you get sometimes when something annoying is in your space (a gnat, the neighbor’s music, the sound of a chainsaw nearby), but you’re only barely conscious of it?
You start to get fidgety with unconscious frustration, and then consciousness rises like the sun: slowly at first, light barely streaking the sky, until POP! The orb lifts from the horizon and soon it’s all brightness and ferocity. Impossible to ignore.
I sense this happening for many of us in relation to the Internet.
Or more specifically, in relation to the effects the Internet has on our thoughts and feelings and ways we spend time.
We’re getting fidgety at how regularly our screen time leaves us feeling gross: ashamed inside the comparisons we’ve made, strung out by the hours we’ve lost compulsively working or checking or surfing, overwhelmed by our world, with its crowds of voices, its troubling news, and the apparent break-neck speed of it all.
And the sales pages! There’s just so many of them! So many promises speaking to so many of our wants and needs. We want to be joyous and trusting and courageous and wealthy and creative and prolific and fit and cooking well. Yes. We really do!
But as a whole, this crowd of shiny products and the pages that sell them leave us feeling the impossibility of our lives incorporating all the good, all the growth, all the learning and fantastic-ness we wish we could have yesterday. It leaves us not seeing the wonder and the miracle of the lives we actually know, and instead a hollow, dingy backdrop to the lives we wish we had.
So I love reading pieces like this. And like this. I love voices that name this experience and help us both understand it better (hello, consciousness rising!) and begin to forge an alternative path to the one many of us, myself included, take unthinkingly. A path marked less and less by yuck and shame and deflation, and more and more by trust. By the possibility of sinking into our physical lives – warts and all – with gratitude, welcome, attentiveness, and a pace that truly sustains us.
More and more, I’m coming to see the forging of this alternative path as a core competency all of us must develop as we face the years ahead. And all the more so those who lead us.
After these years of Internet’s infancy, and the crazy adolescence many of us have experienced with it (tossed about by our emotions; finding impulse control a challenge; feeling often like we’re back in junior high with yawning needs to be loved, to be cool, to fit in), it’s time to consciously move to greater maturity with it.
If you’re interested in reading a free little book I wrote and drew about this process, click here to grab a copy.
(Subscribers, you should have received yours last week; let me know if you didn’t and I’ll fix you right up!)
Here’s to us! With all my heart I hope we collectively grow into a new, and more nourishing, relationship with time spent online.
P.S. Trust Habits has begun. If you’d like to dive deeper into what trust means with a gorgeous group of kind souls, come join us! The course is self-paced, and there are links in every lesson to the lessons already sent.
And if the thought of this makes you feel gross, go spend some time outdoors and forget you saw it! :) Right now, without any other class or thing, you and your life are enough.