There has been a lingering question in my mind surfacing from time to time throughout our Rest Retreat, especially more so now that the sand in January’s clock has almost run out. “What do I want social media look like in my life moving forward?” It’s a question I have been contemplating with regard to your end too. I’m curious, what say you? How are you going to trod this new path after all the soul-filling work we’ve done together, on our own, and from afar as we have given ourselves time and space to stretch and grow outside the noise of our loud devices? We have witnessed first-hand the magic that is the slowing of time, and how cutting addictive distractions out of our days can make us more present, so why continue? Why go back? And perhaps some bigger questions,
“What’s the point of it all anyways? Does social media fit in my life anymore? Does it matter?”
All worthy questions, I’d argue. I’ve always been a questioner by nature, now boldly confirmed after reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies – but can someone over question something? As in, am I taking this all too seriously and should I scale back on the thought and consideration I am giving this topic? That voice, the more insecure one, is my mind’s chatter, “my inner roommate” as Gary Zukav calls it, a voice that is nonsensical, nonstop, and sometimes, motivated by fear. I believe being vulnerable enough to step back examine one’s own life is a courageous act and a really important thing to do throughout one’s life. And with self-examination comes questioning, so question I will continue to do.
Before this retreat I would hear my inner voice’s words and consider them to be who I was. They were, after all, chattering away in my own mind, right? But now that I’ve allowed myself the gift of stillness outside the swirl and clatter of information and distraction , I have begun to better know and listen to a much wiser voice beneath the thoughts and feelings of the one who never stops. This, my friends, has been the most rewarding part of this retreat for me. I have learned so much about myself: that I am someone who not only feels more secure and fulfilled when met with pockets of quiet to still myself throughout my day, but that I am someone who needs that time just as much as I need food and water. I have learned that self-care for me means mindful quiet time, and that honoring the needs of my soul is essential to living a wholesome life moving forward.
I have always considered myself to be a pretty anxious person, my mind an emotional racecar going from” point A” to “point fear” in a matter of milliseconds. I struggled with more overt anxiety over the years dealing with my adoption and post-partum depression, but also, I have always blindly understood and assumed I was the sum of my thoughts and feelings. A sensitive person in a harsh world who just feels it all, all the time. A girl who is what she thinks. And part of that is true, I am a soft and sensitive woman, but I am also quite strong in knowing who I am and what I care about, and that is not a word I would have characterized myself as until up to this retreat. The inner part of me has come forth in a ways that I can connect back to my childhood. To that little girl who found solace in the grassy fields behind her home, and who made things a little more beautiful than they had to be almost everywhere she went. Not because she wanted anyone else to see it, but because it mattered to her. Creating meaning, making the world a beautiful home for us all, and living in the present long enough to smell and see and feel and taste and hear matters very much to me.
I have connected with that aware, more quiet part of myself, a part of my being that has always resided deep within the marrow of my bones as my spirit, and I’ve been loving our intimate conversations. I have awakened to the concept that she is me, and I her, and that the endless flow of thoughts and feelings that cannot and will not shut off, are neither of us, though they occur inside the home that is my body. Reconnecting with my soul was not something I expected out of all this. I wanted more time, but didn’t even know that this kind of reunion was possible. So to address the questions above, “What’s the point of it all anyways? Does social media fit in my life anymore? Does it matter?” …
The point of social media lies in the formation of my intentions, whether those be out of fear or love. Social media fits in my life if it walks the grace-lined path of love, and love alone. And it matters, because it can be a tool used for good, if the first two questions equal openheartedness, vulnerability, and love.
With that in mind, I have decided to establish some rules for myself and how I plan to use social media moving forward. Knowing that I am someone who can easily get wrapped up in and addicted to scrolling throughout the day, and given that I now know very well about myself that I need quiet to converse with my soul, boundaries are in order:
- Aim to use social media during times I’ve carved out, rather than defaulting to use it during wait times, moments I want to escape, or any other mindless reason I come up with on the spot. I do not want to fill my days by looking at the lives of others. I want to be fully present in my own life, and drink in the wildly beautiful moments that only come with true presence.
- Bring my book and journal with me, and when I feel the tug to get on social media, choose differently. Consistent practice will turn this alternative into a healthy habit.
- Take a moment to choose my intention before getting on social media. Yes, this takes time. But it’s worth it. If I am getting on there to feed my fear, choose differently. Social media is a simply tool (albeit an addictive one) but it can be used for good if the intention is there.
- Keep asking questions. Keep engaging in the hard stuff. Keep holding myself to a higher standard, pushing myself to do better today than I did yesterday. Not because I want to achieve “perfectionism”, but because doing better matters and is important to me.
- Build more Rest Retreats into my days. Whether this looks like a week off, a day off, or another month off in the future, follow the whispers of my soul and give myself the space needed to center and reconnect if I feel I’ve drifted from my path.
These are the 5 things I am going to work on moving forward, and I would really love to hear yours if you’ve thought about it. Are you going to build in more times of solitude and rest during your day? Are you hopping back into social media with little to no changes? Are you afraid of connecting there, or excited to see how joining again feels? And how are you feeling now that the month is officially over?
On my end, I am eager to start sharing more homemaking posts with you, hoping this little corner of the internet can continue to be a positive space that makes you think deeply, connect with your soul, and maybe feel a little more uplifted after each visit. This week I will be sharing a new direction I will be taking with Homesong, one with a narrower focus that will continue this meaningful conversation. I rediscovered on this retreat that I truly love creating and teaching with all of my heart, and that this space is such a life-giving place for me. I want to nourish and celebrate that part of myself with more intentionally, so posting more regularly here with matters of the home and heart is what I plan to do! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on moving forward, and I hope you all have a wonderful week, my friends!