The world is in upheaval. My home is a reflection of this. Growth and change requires constant adjustments and small steps forward, although often times these are difficult. Living with two teenage daughters in the age of Snapchat and video games feels like a battle between wills. Living authentically and in true connection can prove challenging.
My vision sees this timeframe of social media and virtual reality as an age of illusionary friendships and false relationships. Like a drug we hope for the next hit, yet, once it arrives, it is empty and meaningless. At the same time we neglect our present family and friends, right in front of us. We no longer can have conversations with those closest to us, withdrawing to devices for escape and protection. We ignore what or who is in front of us, for a feigned connection, in hopes of filling the emptiness in our souls.
The constant need of distraction and the avoidance of real life, leaves us feeling lonely and lost. There is no longer a sense of community, only a false sense of connection. Having 800 “friends” on Snapchat means nothing, especially when you can’t talk to them face to face. Relationships, hidden behind screens are not relationships. Our devices give us a false sense of bravery and association, but our spirits know that it is not the truth, so we live in conflict with who we are, versus who we think we should be.
This is a recipe for unhappiness. It is no surprise that depression and mental illness are on the rise. Living authentically means following your heart. Listening to the inner compass and then taking actions that align with this calling is living in true interconnection.
Susan J. McFarland
It is a cold and quiet morning, except for playing cats, as I ready myself for yoga. Listening to 528 Hz music, I sit down to write for a few moments, after meditation. In an effort to simplify my life, my daughter and I cleaned out her room yesterday. She is good about letting go of items, especially clothes that no longer suit her. Stuffed animals are another story. They each hold a special memory and attachment. For the most part, I too, can release items that no longer serve my needs. Books, pictures, and mementos are the hardest to let go of, as they are reminders of the past.
As I grow and change, certain items no longer hold the attraction or purpose they once did. These items may be worn out from use or
have lost their style, often, they are goods I have grown beyond. My daughter no longer plays with dinosaurs, cars, plastic animals, My Little Ponies, or Pokemon, things she once loved and adored.
She has moved on from a DS3 to an iPhone 6S! All of these items she has donated to kids that are in that stage of childhood. I am proud of her for letting go, a skill that will serve her well in the future. She is not overly sentimental, perhaps she understands that the items are only representations of moments in time.
How frequent do we hold on to stuff, people, places, and ideas, that have come and gone, serving their purpose with grace and love, but then are no longer needed? Letting go isn’t about loss. It’s about gaining. Gaining space in your home, in your life, and in your head, for new adventures and opportunities. Let go, hold the open space, perhaps for a moment, for a day, for a year, or for a lifetime. Once the space opens, you may find it freeing and want to stay with it forever.
Susan J. McFarland
This is the Moment
Returning from the holiday break and settling into a routine, I find a renewed focus on being in the moment. The holidays are a busy time. On top of that, we returned from back to back vacations. One trip we ventured Up North, in the bitter cold, the other, we traveled down south to Florida. Vacations are a wonderful reset button, especially after a chaotic December. I find it hard to be in the moment, when the moments pass by quickly. If space is added to the moments, the moments can be enjoyed and appreciated.
A new year is a period in time, where we assess and reflect on our moments, either those of the past year, or the ones expected. The moments of the past, whether we loved them, hated them, or are neutral to them, are gone. They came, we experienced them. They are over in a flash. The moments to come, anticipated with enthusiasm or dread, are still not here. The only moment we have IS this moment.
In today’s ever changing world, moments speed by. If we have a moment, we tend to fill it up by checking emails, social media, or completing a task left undone. It is necessary to schedule a moment in order to appreciate it. Whether it is by meditating, yoga, walking in nature, writing, music, or art, these mindful and creative tasks help us to understand that this IS the moment. When we do this, during more hectic times, our awareness can bring us back to this moment.
In planning for certain activities of awareness, we give habit and space to being in the moment. These daily exercises become routine. This translates to finding and taking the moments of our lives as they come. For the new year, I hope you come to realize that this IS the moment.
January 10, 2018
Susan J. McFarland