Last week, I wrote about getting quiet. In one sense I was talking about the quiet that means the absence of sound (specifically, music and podcasts). But at the end, if you noticed, I mentioned this:
In our world, which is hyper-everything, it’s okay to skip the latest podcast recording (even the one that a friend told you was so good), it’s okay not to read all the blogs and all the articles, it’s okay not to view every post on Instagram or Facebook.
I began that article writing about quiet as it relates to the presence/absence of sound, but linked closely with that conversation of quiet is a consideration of cumulative input in general (sound, or otherwise).
Too much sound becomes noise. Too much stimulation (of any kind) also becomes noise.
Our digital age has made learning and connecting and being inspired as easy as a swipe of the finger or the click of a mouse. Instantly, ideas and inspiration are right in front of our noses. Once a day, twenty times a day. Know this: we make choices about how much we let in.
Certainly, some of what’s available these days is fantastic. Some of it, less so. Either way, it becomes a question of what we let in. It becomes a question of how much we swipe and how much we click. It becomes a question of how much we look outward instead of looking inward.
This isn’t to say we should stop reading the internet or printed materials. Of course not! This isn’t to say we should stop scrolling on Instagram or pinning on Pinterest. Of course not! Learning is critical and empowering. Being inspired is critical and empowering. But…
At what point do we set aside the ideas of others and rest with our own? At what point are we saturated with the inspiration of others and so begin making space to create our own?
Again, we arrive on the doorstep of choice. I won’t tell you how to manage stimulation, input, noise. You must decide what is right for you. But I invite you to think about how you feel when you scroll and swipe and click. Do you feel lighter? motivated? heavy? less than? If it’s something along the lines of the first two, carry on. If you find yourself falling into the camp of the last two, perhaps reconsider your engagement. (and know that your response to that question might vary from day to day) (because you vary from day to day)
It’s not lost on me that you’re here in this digital space, that you’ve clicked through to share these words with me. I am part of the “noise” of the digital world. But this is the hope I hold in the corners and folds of my heart: that what you find here with me is not too much or too little in the way of stimulation, that it is, somehow, just right. I hope you find inspiration here…and important to me is that you take any inspiration – any feeling of ah yes, me too– and that you carry it with you in your own life, that you feel it for you.
I’m not here to give you five steps towards achieving this or that. I’m here, quite simply, to be with you. And maybe to remind you to get quiet enough to hear the whispers of your heart. Be inspired by others and connect with others and learn from others (oh yes, please do) (and thank you for being here). But at a certain point, set that all aside…it’s not going anywhere…you can come to it another day. Just be with you.
You’re doing okay. Also, it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. Either way, make intentional choices when allowing input (or any kind) into your life. Take a little here and take a little there, but never forget to stay with you.
Make space for quiet.
Make space for intentional choice.
Make space for you.
Here’s something to keep in mind: It’s hard to hear the whispers of your heart when there’s too much noise.
Sending a little love your way, m