“Stillness is vital to the world of the soul. If as you age you become more still, you will discover that stillness can be a great companion. The fragments of your life will have time to unify, and the places where your soul-shelter is wounded or broken will have time to knit and heal. You will be able to return to yourself. In this stillness, you will engage your soul. Many people miss out on themselves completely as they journey through life. They know others, they know places, they know skills, they know their work, but tragically, they do not know themselves at all. Aging can be a lovely time of ripening when you actually meet yourself, indeed maybe for the first time. There are beautiful lines from T. S. Eliot that say:
‘And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.'”
It’s the easiest thing to get inspired on the internet. I open up my email and there are a dozen great newsletters in there, waiting to inspire me. My Google Bookmarks is bursting with links to my favorite blogs. Every time I get on social media I find new things to bookmark, new links to collect, new videos to watch, new stuff to check out. I have so many interests after all — I like music, photography, interior design, books, traveling, technology, etc. So I get easily whipped into a frenzy every time I’m online, thinking to myself, I’ll get to this link one day, and I’ll check out that app another day.
It’s too much for my brain.
In order to rest my brain — and to give myself space and time to really look at and enjoy the things and books and websites I already like — I realise I have to limit the amount of external input that comes in every day. That means not looking at social media for a few days on end. This includes deleting all the social media apps from my phone. No Facebook, no Instagram, no Reddit. And hence no noise. Life is much quieter. I love it.
It also means not mindlessly web-surfing and holding off on reading blogs and newsletters for a few days. I have serious gripes about social media and I’d love nothing more than to permanently quit them, but I love my blogs and newsletters. Most of them are wonderfully and lovingly maintained by people who truly love making and sharing things on the internet, and I’m inspired by them on a daily basis. But once in awhile, for the sake of giving my brain a rest, doing a short blog/newsletter fast can be beneficial.
So you cut down on the noise and the endless stimulation. Life ironically begins to expand. Suddenly you find that you have quite a bit of extra time.
You can choose to do one of the few things you already really enjoy doing. You can take the time to go deeper. To improving your craft. To demolishing your to-read list. Or you can choose to rest. Do nothing. Either way, the quiet is a welcome respite for your brain.
(I actually would like to further try a full information/technology fast. Maybe for three days or so. I’ll definitely write about it if that ever happens. Haha!)