I know. Truth Tuesday and it's arriving on Wednesday.
I took a break.
Like a breather.
Like a holy moly buh bye techdom, sweatdom, and to-dodom.
It was only 4 days. Maybe 5. But, still, I did it.
This break taught me that our world is becoming more and more programmed for a constant run on sentence of an experience. We have instantaneous and continuously updated *news* feeds on our facebook pages. Actual news via tv or internet is no longer merely readable and worthy of contemplation, we have to literally chase it with our eyes on a screen. Our freeways are getting bigger and bigger and BIGGER so that we never ever have to stop traveling at rat race pace. Twitter begs us to stay in the impermanent and forever changing flow of wit and *connection.* Our work schedules leave zero room for even a full lunch with proper chewing. Our kids are hustled to and fro, here and there. Texting demands immediate response. Our bodies go from awake to sweating to showering to driving to doing. We are expected to be “on” and available and reachable all the time. We are like those spinning rainbow wheels we see idling endlessly as the next click of our mousepad is incited.
Maybe we’ve adopted the idea that our value is tied to our giddy up. Maybe we’re afraid to listen to ourselves. Maybe we don’t know how to say no. Maybe burning ourselves out at both end of the candles is a way to be numb. Maybe we have too much to handle all on our own. Maybe we think the phrase, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” means we’re having more fun. I’m not sure what it is, to be honest, that keeps us on the move. But, there is one thing I do know: No matter who you are, you will be forced to stop at some point. It’s inevitable. And when you are either forced to stop or you opt for a breather like I did, you experience something that the very hustle you are engaged in right now blocks you from knowing:
You realize that you are pretty insignificant. And that any imperfection in the performance of your daily grind is actually no big deal. To feel small in this great expanse of the world around you is a gift. And you can’t feel that way until you step outside of the buzz. And when you do, you see that no matter how big you think you are or need to be, everything keeps on going. It just keeps going. From the most important things like the sun rising and setting or to your breath inhaling and exhaling to the least important like how perfect you are in that meeting or how many likes you get on facebook. Things keep moving with you and without you. And this is important because it gives you a massive amount of space to create exactly the experience you want. As soon as you realize that the world keeps on going whether or not you are in the manufactured human hustle of it, the more you can jump into the sort of hustle that burns you in instead of burning you out.
I love the hustle of my own personal burning in. I love being active and busy and full of things to accomplish and lists of things yet to do. I love saying yes to a lot and I love having the opportunity to say no when it’s good to. I love ending my day feeling like I exerted every drop of my energy, even sometimes edging on that border of borrowing from tomorrow’s capacity. This is to be alive. Not to be a big deal orchestration of any kind. Room to just do my thing.
There is so much space for you to do what it is you came here to do. And the more we break the rhythm of a monotone constant pace, the more we get sing our own song. So, maybe we’ll make some people unhappy. Maybe we’ll fail to meet a deadline. Maybe we’ll not be predictable. Maybe we’ll screw up. But. What I have experienced is that the more I break the flow, the more attached I become to the things that matter. And when I begin again in any aspect of my life, it is with an embrace and a hustle that stems only from authenticity and excitement and purpose.
The song of your choice has verses, a chorus, and a bridge. It has peaks and dips. Maybe it’s not recorded perfectly. Maybe the voice of the singer is a little pitchy or scratchy or not right. But, it’s real. And soulful.
And then stay put for the exhale.