I remember well, those days when I believed that I had to plan my life; to carefully map out the trajectory of my evolution rather than simply trust the process of my own evolving. I remember well the degree of detachment that was required in order for me to be able to do what was required; to stay the course of my own intention; and to make the sacrifices that would be required of me, surrendering one person/thing/event in the name of gaining access to the next. I remember well what it took to stay the course of this separated way of ‘being’ in my world – hovering above my own life, having become the observer to myself as I dutifully followed the latest instructions on how to be successful, or how to accomplish, acquire and achieve, in accordance with the latest formula for meaning and validation.
In order to get through it all – in order to find a way to survive the internal pressures that mount from this way of living – wise women that we are, we find ways to cope. We develop strategies for getting around it or ploughing through it. One of our favourites is that we compartmentalize. We begin to turn what could be rich, full and textured symphonies of living into sound-bytes of what might have been.
We take what might have been a meaningful experience and we turn it into a practical one, seeking to compress it that it might fit more manageably into our schedule. We multi-task, doing several things at once and, in truth, being fully present to none of them. We sleep less and work more! Our purported ability to be ‘super woman’ begins to feel like a hand in the middle of our back… pushing us onward and upward into the supposed ideal life of our creation. We begin to isolate, separating ourselves from others that we might find some relief from what begins to feel like a relentless, numbing tide of ‘just one more thing’ to do… and be.
Sound-byte lives! Is that really what we’re looking for? Is that really what it’s all about?
The following closing thoughts can be found at the end of:
Episode 64 of ‘Reclaiming Your Self: Women Unedited and Engaged!’ on the topic of ‘Moving Beyond a Sound-byte Life’.
- Choose mindfully those with whom you engage! The company you keep is a living, breathing, impossible-to-avoid reminder of the life you’re carving out for yourself. One of the first things strongly recommended by those who work in the field of recovery from addiction, is: change your friends. Expressions like ‘Birds of a feather, flock together’ come into existence for a reason. Take the time to stop… look around… and notice the feathers of the birds in your flock. Is that really who you know yourself to be capable of becoming?
- Slow down! Slow down your breathing. Slow down the speed at which you speak. Slow down your driving and your walking. Begin to notice that the frantic underpinning of a sound-byte life is kept in place by speed: that process of allowing speed to override and dictate how much is left over for us to be connected to ourselves. Not good/bad, right or wrong – just one of those things that creeps up on us when we’re not looking, and then takes the wheel of the journey of our lives. Choose to take back your capacity to invite and allow that which is meaningful and sustainable for you, in your life, to take its rightful place in how you live. For that, you have to slow down to notice what it is.
- RIG – Respect, Integrity and Generosity of Spirit – begins with you, for yourself. Move yourself to the top of your own ‘to do’ list and make time and space for YOU. Make that one of those things you’re just not willing to compromise. And don’t be surprised if, in those moments of time and space that you reclaim, your body greets you with wave after wave of tears. Tears of gratitude. Tears of fatigue. Tears of reconnection. Tears of delight. Those waves of tears are the evidence that we are indeed, Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience; and that very human, biological instrument of the body NEEDS you to be in the same place, at the same time, that you might be whole and well!