March 05, 2019
I’ve been craving a good conversation. One where the ideas and words flow easily and time slides by without anyone noticing. When I really think about it, I haven’t even had many real conversations with myself lately. (Maybe I’ll get more into self talk another day. It’s so important!) We all talk to ourselves, at least in our heads, all day long. I’ll often catch myself reaching for my phone or the TV remote the moment that something else ends, in a mindless effort to occupy myself with activity. Even if it’s not good activity. My mind is a like a badly behaved child (or in my house a badly behaved cat), and any attention is better than none. I think that my awareness of this, and my craving of a good conversation is a sign of something larger going on.
I ask you to question yourself with this: where do your thoughts live? Try to become of aware of what your mind is doing. So much in life revolves by our thoughts. One could argue that everything in life does. Our attitudes, our activities, and our choices are largely the result of our thoughts whether we are aware of it or not. Since I got a smart phone, maybe eight years ago, my mind has spent a lot of time living in other places. As I mull that over, it occurs to me just how much time that truly is. Eight years of life and it feels like nothing. I imagine that if eight years with hours a day spent staring into a smart phone screen went by so easily, so might much of my life. Instead of engaging with others around me, playing music on my untouched guitars, listening to my vinyl record collection, or simply enjoying the sun coming through my windows, I spent a lot of time with my brain on autopilot. So much scrolling. Instagram. Pinterest. Facebook. And for what? Stronger relationships? No. Fulfillment? No. Comparison with highly edited versions of other lives? Yes. Lack of conversation with my husband? Yes. Encouragement of the desire to constantly want more and newer possessions in my life? Yes.
I recognize that there is a necessity and even enjoyment to a limited amount of time spent on these platforms. As someone who owns a small business selling pottery that I make by hand, I know that these platforms are vital to spreading the word about what I do and drumming up sales. It’s liberating and exciting that I can build my own business online without having to rely on galleries and festivals to connect with new customers. It’s important to spend time sharing new content and promoting myself and my work via social media. And sure, I’ll admit it- I also have a Pinterest account with lots of things saved on it. Outfits I like, paint colors for my house, delicious looking recipes, inspiring artwork, etc. For me, the line where an ‘icky’ feeling sets in is when I realize I’m turning to the internet for inspiration and ideas instead of drawing on my own heart.
This realization makes me think of a saying I’ve read a lot in self-help books and heard in more than one yoga class- ‘energy flows where intention goes.’ It’s simple but true. At first it might feel uncomfortable to spend 30 seconds in quiet instead of reaching for distraction. That’s because if you’ve spent the last few years putting your energy into scrolling through the internet, that’s the mental muscle you’ve grown. I want to work through those uncomfortable moments and days, and flex the muscle that will help me re-engage with my ‘analog’ life.
My hope for this blog is to offer something that others can relate to and provoke readers to question if they are also feeling some of the things I’m feeling. It seems to me that genuine connection and honesty are lacking in a time where we spend a lot of energy engaging with a surface-level version of each other. My intention is to think deeply and share a purer version of myself with you in hopes of sparking meaningful conversations. I’ll share my experiences as a maker, and simply as a fellow human.
Peace & Love