This is Part 1 of Holy Habits for Headspace – read about it here.
If your phone is flashing (mine is) – flash-flash – Email! – Email! – try ignore it. Read the next 467 words without checking that mail. Or skipping back into twitter.
Everyone’s buzz-phrasing about being fully present. Because the distractions heap up exponentially – the flashing and beeping while you’re sleeping or eating. The options – the apps – they dumb us down and freak us out if we let them.
I’m cyber-connected, for sure, but I’ve got to manage it before it manages me. My inside life can be invaded by social media bullet sprays that splinter concentration and bleep out the Still Small Voice. And it’s harder to hear other still small voices unpacking their days and their hearts while I pretend to listen and tap out another text. I get restless – anxious – because why can’t God’s plans roll out like RSS feeds and oh my word couldn’t Isaiah have said this chapter in 140 characters? I’m so busy jostling through the crowds in my head that I find myself isolated – alone elsewhere – petit-mal absent from who and what is actually happening now.
Ann Voskamp writes that ‘a study at The British Institute of Psychiatry showed that checking your email while performing another creative task decreases your IQ in the moment by 10 points. This decrease is the equivalent of the effects from not sleeping for 36 hours—and exhibits more than twice the impact of smoking marijuana,’ and that, ‘In an age of distraction — the real currency is attention. In a world of Facebook, it’ll be about who can focus. Whoever can pay attention — buys the advantage.’
So I’m telling myself:
For big dreams to become big realities you’ve got to slow into the very tick of this second. Forget your FOMO. This is where it’s at – right here now where God has you breathing. ‘Life is not an emergency. Life is urgent but it’s not an emergency.’ (Ann Voskamp again.)
Stop multi-tasking. Charles Dickens said: ‘He did each single thing, as if he did nothing else.’ Multi-tasking can be super helpful (like in a national emergency or if you’re cooking with kids). The rest of the time it’s pretty damaging to those around you.
Do a sensory check. How is the world coming at you right now? Be.
You’ll arrive at the future in good time. But if you mess up by missing out on the now it won’t be the future you’re so feverishly imagining. Today’s earth rotation will take 1440 minutes. Do what today demands. Enjoy the ride. Live each moment so it bulges into the next making the minutes fat and full. Even the difficult minutes. Bend down. Look the little people in the eye. Weigh your words. Sit with them on the swing just a little longer. Don’t stress out trying to save time and then lose it forever because you’ve marred the minutes with hurry-up yelling. Giving someone your undivided attention is never time wasted.
Stay in the moments left in today.
What keeps you from staying in the moment? Feel free to leave a comment.
i LOVE this post – i live within the tension of the amount of good i feel that i do internettedly and the desire to live fully present and in the moment with live people around me – is a constant one that needs to be revisited and revaluated and worked on – i think the by and large freedom-from-phone i’ve had for most of the last year has helped a lot in terms of when i’m away from the computer then i’m totally present for the most part but then the issue/struggle becomes judging those with phones who are not so it becomes one ongoing mess…
but for me this becomes super HUGE when you are having coffee with me [general you not Dalene you] and you answer a call or check a message because basically you are saying that anyone in the world [even a wrong number or spammer] is more important to me in that moment and i hate that [to an extent that most other people don’t feel the same way which also makes it tough] – if you choose to spend this time with me then i expect you to unplug – if you will turn your phone off for a movie or sports event then come on!!!
Thanks so much, Brett… Ja, this is a challenge for me ALL the TIME… Don’t want my kids remembering their childhood – me with a phone in my hand and always only half-listening…
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