While waiting for an appointment yesterday, I looked at the shiny gold coffee table in front of me. It caught me completely off guard. Every inch of it, top and bottom, was completely engulfed by magazines, spanning every topic imaginable. I couldn’t help but stare at it for a minute pondering what it said about us as a society. We have too much stuff.
We’re infiltrated by media.
We’re constantly bombarded by the thoughts and opinions of strangers. Even when we do put our phones down long enough to look up, this is what we find. It seems nearly impossible to quiet our minds while we have access to an entire world of information literally at our fingertips.
That isn’t going to change any time soon.
So we have to decide how we’re going to live, right in the middle of it. We have to be conscious of our moment-by-moment choices. We have to be intentional about what we allow into our minds.
To pay attention to how we spend our time.
It’s easy to pop on social media to quickly check out that notification, only to find ourselves half an hour later, buried in an article about how to feed garden snakes, wondering how in the world we got there. It’s like a never-ending rabbit hole, you could literally get online and never get off. Am I right? My hand is raised.
“The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.” ~ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
The moment that changes everything is the very first one.
The moment you’re still in control, is when you’re outside the rabbit hole, looking in. It’s only then can you decide if this is a hole you want to explore. It’s a skill our parents didn’t have to learn to the same degree we do. It’s a dilemma our kids are having to face before their brains are even halfway ready for it. They need us to teach them how to stay on track.
But how can we help them when we’re falling down the rabbit holes ourselves?
We can decide together, with the people in our lives, that we want to be more mindful of the way we spend our time. We can hold each other accountable by setting firm limits on our media consumption time. (like literally setting a timer) Then we walk it out with them. We talk it out when we mess it up. We’re vulnerable and open to correction because we care enough to do it differently.
We lead the way by example.
The next time you’re frustrated about the state of your emotional well-being or the lack of connection in your life, back away from the rabbit hole. Put down the devices, the magazine, the books. . . anything that is keeping you from being eyeball to eyeball with your people. When you decide in advance to back away from the rabbit hole, you might just find your people are ready and waiting to connect.
Someone just needs to lead the way.
Will it be you?
to more love,
P.S. Time spent investing in your real-life relationships always makes the rabbit hole less appealing. If you need more of that, we’ve set the table for you at GNO tonight. All you have to do is decide to show up.