#ineedless social media in my life

I deleted Facebook from my phone a couple weeks ago.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve done this, but I believe it will be the last.

I have given social media far more than enough of my sacred opportunities to pause, to listen, to feel throughout my days.

But the mere presence of social media in my life is not the issue. Nor is it a problem, anymore than the presence of that delicious package of Oreos in my pantry is a health problem.

It’s the habitual, mindless consumption of both that truly causes the problems in my life and yours. When unhealthy and unnoticed patterns in our lives are running the show and determining our long-term state of being, we must step back and examine these patterns.

The guys behind theminimalists.com often say they are not opposed to consumption itself at all; we must consume things to survive, right? Where they have drawn the line, after having lived financially successful lives where they could (and did) buy anything they laid eyes on, is at the point of “compulsory consumption”. 

When consumption of anything is mindless, it is unhealthy and dangerous.

Maybe you are beginning to see, to feel, that you are trapped in patterns of compulsory consumption with social media as I have been for very long periods of time. Maybe not. (But something got you to read this post…just sayin’.)

The point is simply for each of us to take a very honest look at the control we have given over to social media. Control of our time. Control of our focus. Control of our mood. Control of our own mental health, our sanity.

Does your life literally orbit around your social media habits?

It’s a question each of us desperately needs to answer in this age of absolute overwhelm, of unfiltered information flooding in from every conceivable angle.

A quick challenge to wrap this up and send you packing with something to chew on.

Give up social media for just a single day and fill the gap with these questions:

  • What do I feel in this space that is created?
  • What have I been missing all around me?
  • What is truly here when social media is not my constant distraction (addiction)?

This is about taking a single step back from the patterns that dictate our days.

Take the step, ask some serious questions, and make any changes that your soul realizes it must take in order to thrive.

#ineedless social media, folks. I am certain of this. How about you?

#ineedless time under the crashing waves of desire

We have been slow-cooking in a carefully concocted stew of desire since the day we were born.

Can you smell it? Can you taste it? Can you feel it? Well of course not, and that’s the whole point.

It is in our DNA. Every mind-blowing six foot strand of it. And it’s not going anywhere, folks. That desire will be here as long as we are.

“Wait what?”, you’re thinking. “If that desire for more isn’t going anywhere, if I have no hope of eliminating it from my life, then what’s the point of this discussion? Are you just yanking my chain?”

Nope, not at all. Your desire for more may never go away. In fact, it will most likely continue to be fueled by our consumer-centric culture.

But when you make the choice to become aware of this desire, of what it looks like in your life and of what messages or events trigger you to act on the desire, its dark influence upon your life can be steadily diminished.

On the other hand,  if we remain unaware of it, we are truly powerless.

Picture a paddle boarder standing on the shore of the ocean.

The ocean is Life; the waves are the desires that often overwhelm us; the board is our own awareness.

Watch the paddle boarder wade out into the ocean, walking in the shallows with small waves just splashing up past her knees. She’s able to step over the small waves close to shore. No problem, no mess, no overwhelm. But also no gliding silently along on the paddle board yet.

Where are her eyes fixed? On the horizon. Because it is in that direction, beyond the breaking waves, where she will find the calm water she needs to stand on the board and deeply experience the serenity of this space and this experience.

The peace out there is her destination, her deep desire.

But the waves between her and “out there” are huge. They are violent. They threaten to rip the board right out from under her before she can even lay down, stabilize herself and start paddling toward the deep.

As she struggles, her eyes drift to the surfers around her. They seem to be making friends with these waves of desire, riding them for all they are worth and having the time of their lives.

But then she realizes something: the surfers always end right back up in the shallows, destined to struggle against the same crashing waves over and over and over again. Caught in the same cycle, needing another rush to make them feel alive. Again.

And so her gaze returns to the horizon. She reminds herself of her destination: the deep end of the ocean where peace and calm are the norm, the sacred reward.

Out there is where the beauty and majesty of this great ocean of Life can be soaked in and truly appreciated. Where she will not be constantly pulled under the surf, gasping for air and struggling just to survive.

This image reminds me: I know what my destination is.

I will be floating in the deep blue, more aware in each moment of every gift I already have. Now.

The surfers all around me can keep chasing after the next big, impressive thrill that each crashing wave promises. I think I’ve had my fill of that pursuit.

And I hope you will join me out there beyond the crashing waves of desire.

#ineedless. How about you?




#ineedless of pursuing more

#ineedless. That will be my next (first) tattoo.

Because we live in a world of “More!”. And the pace in pursuit of that unattainable goal seems to be accelerating.

“More!” is the oasis in the parched desert of our society. An illusion.

More to the point, as you can probably feel if you are also an American like me, we live in a country that worships “More!”.

We have believed the lie that “More!”, in every single arena of life, will quench our thirst and move us toward wholeness. Toward satisfaction. Toward fulfillment. Toward peace.

Better. Bigger. Faster. Holier. Healthier. Shinier. Newer. Richer. Busier. Skinnier. Smarter. Flashier. Louder. Wordier. Cheaper.

No, this isn’t just about our possessions. That’s an issue, and it needs to be faced head-on (because we are suffocating in our own stuff), but it’s not the only issue.

I’ve simply had enough of listening to people tell me that I’m not enough without this doohickie or that shiny gadget or this grand idea or that system for personal development or this tool for increased productivity.

I’ve bought that line (and all the crap that comes along with it) for far too long. Maybe you feel the same.

Bottom line: We can’t be who we truly are if we keep pursuing what our culture tells us we should be.

And it’s a process. Oh my, is it a process. My 42 year old self is smack in the middle of it, and that’s the reason this site was born.

Just as much for my own sanity as for anything, I want to get some of this out into the world where you and others can look at it and taste it and kick it and question it and hate it or like it.

But above all, I hope some of us will try it.

I don’t just want to ramble on about theories and ideas and concepts. I want to live a life that actually looks like I need less, and then talk to you about what that feels like. I want to try this stuff on and see how it fits.

I want to be changed by it.

And so, my ONE word for 2017 is: less.

For me, it’s time to remove the layers that I have mistakenly accepted as an integral part of me for so long. They are not me. I am the one underneath the layers of stuff and labels and marketing messages and social expectations.

Am I the only one that feels this strongly about the need to push back against the tide of “More!”? Could be. But I sincerely doubt it.

If one other person out there is encouraged to pursue a life that says #ineedless, if one person can read this and say, “Holy crap, YES!”, I will be thrilled.

If one human being can get a taste of deep shalom (wholeness) on this journey, it will be a breath of fresh air in my lungs.

And what do we need more than air?