Coming home to Self

ImageWhen we travel we make discoveries, we see new and/or different landscapes; inevitably we return home changed. Most of us and most of the time, we just get busy with our original lives, stuck in our comfortable ruts. Most of the time that works out pretty well … but.

This time when I came home, it was to a very different rhythm. Jeff went off to a silent retreat where he will most definitely come home changed.

I discovered a landscape that is breathtakingly beautiful, but not mine, at least not any more. My ancestors may have dug sod and reclaimed a salt marsh, but I can hardly claim any part of their achievements … or their deep and tragic uprooting.

I came home determined to examine what is (or was) in my life that worked … and what didn’t serve any longer.

What I discovered is that some things that served me well, still do. Knitting for example. I have neglected that pasttime for quite some time and while I was away I hungered so much to hold needles and thread through woolen yarn to see something emerge that would be useful — usually lovely to behold as well, but most importantly useful.

So knitting now comes to the forefront. Something must go.

And what could that possibly be?

Well social media springs to mind. One could devote 23 hours a day to FaceBook and surfing the Interwebs. One could. But I found that this was getting in the way of what serves me well.

I spent inordinate amounts of time playing games … that I will never ever ever win. Games that teach me nothing and only frustrate. So that was easy … only it’s not. It’s become a habit.

Habits are emotional entities. They are not just things we do over and over again. Not just actions. They become addictive only because we develop an emotional tie to them.

So. Now I have to understand the emotional tie in and replace one habit with another.

B J Fogg has some helpful hints. He says we have to tie the new activity to something we already do. I think it is helping for me to NOT turn on the computer until AFTER I eat breakfast. The other piece is I knit while the computer is booting up and loading Facebook. Then I review my notifications, check for messages and scroll down to see if anything is really really interesting. I also note who I am receiving notifications from and check off that I don’t want to see notifications from some person or page that I no longer need to know every site they like or share. Then I do something drastic, I shut off Facebook, check my email messages and respond to what is urgent. Then I delete what isn’t. Sometimes I even “unsubscribe”. Gasp!

This is helping … and I’ve only been doing this for three (3) days.

I feel a little more comfortable in my skin with this new routine, but the challenge will come on Saturday. I’ll let you know how it’s going next time.

Fall is in full swing and it seems the perfect time to turn over a new leaf.

I’ll share some other insights into my personal process next Thursday!Image

Photo Credit to Jeff Suchak

6 thoughts on “Coming home to Self

  1. Good for you, Sus. I check in on my mail and limit FB, which takes too much of my time. There are SOOOO many things that are tempting, but, I am slowly getting my house in order, and when my work is done, I need to create art. Hugs and keep on truckin. PS Loving that photo!

    1. I love hearing from you and many others who are connected by FB, but I just think I need to get my priorities straight and imagine and visualize what I really need to do at this stage of my life; I need to hear “…the music” you know? Thanks for the encouragement! Hugs to you…

  2. Hugs and best of luck, Sus! I’ve shied away from using FB, but it’s resulted in being out of the loop, and losing touch with folks who now rarely communicate any other way. Sad, that. But I also know how quickly I can get pulled in and lose track of time. So I applaud your efforts in simplifying, prioritizing, and focusing on what is important and life-giving to you. Yeah!

    1. This is so true a fact of modern life, eh, Rosann? We have to remember and re-member our priorities and reconnect with what and who is truly important in our lives. I’m trusting that by reducing what is peripheral there will be more time for me to do just that. Talk soon!

  3. Dear Susanna,
    This post resonates deeply….(maybe apart from knitting lol…)
    It makes me smile and feel better to know that there are other special people I am linked to that have got this approach toward the social media flood…I am definitely on a similar path and FB is the first that is out of the window for me apart groups that run there I will use it minimally to share things (I can’t keep up) and yes I rather spend my time connecting with the real world nurturing the creative side….
    Thank you for this post and amazing picture!!!
    Also turning a new leaf and you got me thinking about my blog too…whether open a new one or how to expand the usual one…a new challenge!!!
    Namaste xx

    1. So nice to hear from you Lizzie! I think it is interesting that I made some really wonderful friends through the Internet, but that I also need to honour the tradition of community in a very visceral and concrete way. Let’s keep in touch by mail! I know your postal service can be a challenge, but look for some rather regular snail mail from this side of the Atlantic! Winter gives us lots of down time to really connect and I find the act of writing with a pen very contemplative and soul mending.

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