I am having to reset my priorities lately, in a big way. Primarily because I have been experiencing some real depression and looked around to see I really do not have enough JOY in my life.
The biggest change I’m making is cutting out the use of social media as much as possible, except to keep up with very close family and a few teachers. It’s eating my life and it’s completely unsustainable.
I don’t mean unsustainable in a farming kind of way, I mean in my BODY and my MIND. The more things we “Like” and the more people we follow or friend, the more we have to read. The more rants, whiny posts (and oh I’m so guilty), the more political vomit, the more anger and victimhood and woe-is-me because the world is coming to and end and… NO. Just NO. Stop the bus, I’m getting off. Ferrealz.
I realize my life is literally slipping away and what will I have to show for it? Facebook posts? Eww NO!
I mean I’ve met some interesting people on Facebook, many who I’ve never even met in real life so I’m not even sure that constitutes knowing them, but I just can’t keep up.
When I realize after a day in town or with family that I spend an entire day trying to catch up on the latest with everyone, to read every comment and see who liked what while I was gone, I realize my life is literally slipping away and what will I have to show for it? Facebook posts? Eww NO!
Without getting too “conspiracy theory”, I really do think it’s mind and emotion control. For what purpose you ask? Capitalism. And ultimately the only cure is our own ability to push the Off button. It’s NOT connection folks. It’s not. It serves to further isolate us from each other and that is not a good thing.
There is a move to COMMODIFY everything and I’m tired of it. I had an old acquaintance recently re-friend me and be all chatty so she could invite me to her very pricey pyramid scheme. I seriously felt used. Dirty.
Late-stage capitalism says every shit and thought should be turned into a post, a concept, a marketable item and a business plan. Just NO. The capitalization and commodification of our every spare moment and thought, our every friend, relative and acquaintance is just sick. It’s a symptom of late-stage capitalism and is the epitome of scrabbling for that last buck, just like fracking, no matter what the cost to our planet, our relationships or our own body and mind.
And just like cutting back on Facebook activity, I’m having to cut back on connections (face to face and over the internet) with certain people. I have been accused of judging people. And I will admit, I have. I have judged people, situations and activities as unhealthy. That is my right as a human being, the same way judging that a smoke filled room means the house is on fire and I need to leave. People can be toxic and if they choose to be that way, that’s great. They are where they need to be in order to learn something. And if I am also at that level, I will think they’re OK. Others who are further along the path will judge me as toxic. But I have every right to judge people as unhealthy or unsafe and move away from them, no matter how long we have known each other.
I am cleaning house-removing the things that no longer serve me to make room for joy and peace. Simple.
I don’t see this as a bad thing-to preserve my own health, joy, happiness and mental well being. It’s an extension of myself. And if I won’t “keep house” literally and figuratively, physically and mentally, in a way that is sustainable, nurturing and joy-producing, I am not being the best steward of my own landscape. I am cleaning house-removing the things that no longer serve me to make room for joy and peace. Simple.
I look at it through the lens of Permaculture. My partner and I have stewarded one piece of land or another for 13 years together. He is the one that introduced me to Permaculture. Through seeing the way he lived, the total immersion that was his life before and after I met him, and partaking of that life completely, I now see most things, not just farms and plants, as ecosystems.
So here’s a scenario: If you had a garden, and you planted more and more plants, just kept loading them in, because you like them, or a friend gave them to you, kept watering more and more, spent more and more of your time watering and weeding and tending that garden, ate up more acreage planting more and more plants, eventually one of a few things would happen-and none of them good. And this garden I’m speaking of could be seen as Facebook.
So what happens to the garden with the increasing burden?
1. Pests show up. Advertising increases, subtly and not so subtly…And then you notice no one is using it to actually share personal things with each other, they’re sharing their work, their businesses, their political rants, their “horror of the day” (oh, I’m guilty)…and suddenly your garden is knee high in snakes, grasshoppers and fire blight.
2. The garden takes more and more of your resources (time). If you find you do nothing else, or that your hobbies, human conversations, house cleaning, or other aspects of your life are not happening-this is a warning sign.
3. The garden gets too big for you and you collapse. Physically we can become ill, and more-so mentally. Sitting too long in front of a screen trying to read every post, respond to every comment can and does make people anxious and depressed. It did me.
And that garden can also be seen as our body. When we neglect our body and mind in order to feed pests, to do too many things because they’re cool, or interesting or everyone else is doing it, if your personal relationships are suffering or you find yourself depressed, anxious….these are signs that someone or something else has taken priority over your own body.
For example, recently, on line, I found myself hanging out with younger women in a group that is about healing from abuse. There are some wonderful people there, and I was trying to be witness, from my vantage point as Crone, to these women as they heal and learn. But it was also causing me considerable anxiety and depression, flashing back to my own trauma as a young woman.
At some point, we just have to be DONE with certain things, certain stages and must move on. We build healthy boundaries and keep out the pests. If we don’t heal and move forward we are clinging to our victimhood. And I am in no way saying these other women are doing that-they’re currently working through their trauma. Something I was doing 15-30 years ago. I’m done with that. I personally need to move forward rather than hang out in the “healing my trauma” zone. I have already done that work and it’s time for me to put my attention elsewhere. It’s what I have to do to be the healthiest most awake person I can be. I am healed, I am whole, and now I have a joyful life to live.
Just like recently I mentioned being a former alcoholic and someone challenged me because per AA and their idea that “Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic” we should always say “I am an alcoholic”. But I’m sorry, after 26 years sober, I am a former alcoholic. And moving on.
So all of this is really to say that in the vein of taking my life back and doing things that matter, creating tangible works of art, quilts to leave as a family legacy, and just BEING in my own space and skin, stoping to observe a plant or animal, feel a feeling or just BE, without need to share or post about it, blog about it, or try to turn every thought into a way to make money, I want to just BE in the moment-Be Here Now, as Ram Dass said.
And yes, true to my nature, this blog post does say something, perhaps negatively, about my own writing. Is it worth it for me to write? Is it worth it for 1 or 20 or 100 people to stop and read? I don’t know-I won’t know. And that’s OK. That’s for you to decide. Just 🐝