you can trust the conditioning of capitalism to have us trying to out perform each other with lists about how we can be more productive with our quarantine days even though it’s so clear that all forces are asking us to slow the f**k down.
it’s weird because pre-quarantine, all of us huffed and puffed about being too busy, not having enough time to do more of the things we love, some of us didn’t even have time for necessities like eating a meal or god forbid, sleep. so why is it so hard for us to slow down even when we have all the time to?
my theory is that our culture has bred a bunch of “busy” addicts. busy is in quotation because who actually knows what that really means? is it that we are productive in the sense that we are crossing things off our to-do list or does it mean that the 24 hours of a busy person are more valuable than the not-so-busy? we are so addicted to the notion of it that when people ask us how we are, we respond with ‘busy’ as if that is a gauge of the inner happenings of a person. perhaps some of us just don’t know who we are if not busy because that would mean finding our worth in something more?
like sway, i don’t have the answers, but i do have suggestions that have helped me in the pursuit of being a little more present in the moments that make up a day. it’s not the cure to our addiction, but rather, think of it as a starter-kit for slowing down and being more present with each passing moment.
there is something about paying attention to a conversation between two people that calls for a level of stillness and if it’s a really good one, it only brings you back to yourself. in a lot of ways, podcasts are a gateway to self inquiry.
in a world where we’re praised for doing 50 things at once, reading books in particular, has become a form of meditation for me. they focus my attention to the now, which is comprised of me, whatever i’m sitting on, my cup of tea (or wine). at the risk of sounding like the elementary school librarian, they broaden our perspectives, and for that, i am eternally grateful.
how many of us have gone through an activity only to forget that we even did it? did i eat lunch today? wait, did i brush my teeth this morning? where is my phone? do any of these sound familiar? most of the time, we are doing one thing while thinking about another, which makes me wonder how much of life we are actually, fully experiencing? what if when taking a shower, we are there— with the scent of our soap, the temperature of the water, our body— not where we need to be or where we were yesterday when that conversation unfolded, but here, in the now.