As my 6-year-old daughter and I watched a performance of Pocahontas yesterday, she kept asking me why there was so much dancing and singing in the performance. I responded, “This is what they did to enjoy life, be together and celebrate life. They did not have TV and computers back then.” My daughter looked surprised and bored.
As I reflect, I think about how different things are now. We have television, computers, smart phones, and are exposed to 5,000 ads a day in the US. in the United States exposed to 5,000 ads a day. With a quick google search, it looked like the amount of thoughts going through ones head in a day is around 70,000. Granted, technology can be really useful these days – people can even search through articles on places like https://www.genealogybank.com/explore/obituaries/all/usa/tennessee/chattanooga/chattanooga-times-free-press to help them find missing family connections, as an example. But 70,000 thoughts?! Wow! No wonder we feel exhausted!
As an outside observer of my daughter, I see when she has too much screen time she is grumpy, more tired, does not want to get up to do ANYTHING. She will also complain to me that there is not enough time. When it’s limited or not an option, she will complain about being bored for a while, but eventually, her creativity awakens and we are making pretend computers, books, make-up kits for her dolls. She dreams and makes up crazy stories or has me record her doing fun experiments and magic tricks.
Checking email, phone, work, texts, keeping up with media can take every waking minute of your day. It can suck life, joy, being in the present out of you. Do you feel you never have enough time in a day? Take a step back, like I did with my daughter. Can you see your life from an outsider? What would an outside observer see looking at the big picture of your life? What small shifts can you make to clear your mind of some of the clutter? Like a computer needs cleaning of all the unneeded files so it runs more efficiently, so do we.
Could you pause, for just a minute. Go ahead, even set a timer to give yourself a WHOLE minute and put your hands on your heart. Feel your breath moving as you inhale and exhale. Slow down your breath. Listen to your heart. What is it saying? What can you shift to tend more to your soul and less to the clutter that fills your day? For me, it’s often the same thing, “Breathe. Just breathe. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Breathe.”