Life is full of distractions
It’s not until something out of the ordinary happens that we are disengaged from our daily habits. Sometimes it takes a power outage to bust us out of the coma we call daily living.
Living on the north shore in Haiku, HI, we are blessed with the trade winds. These winds keep us cool in the summer and bring rain in the winter keeping our rainforest green. It’s not uncommon to experience power outages when the winds are strong — like today. And, with no power, I am less distracted by my phone, text messages, social media, and emails.
When the power went out, the house instantly got dark and quiet. No hum of the refrigerator or buzz from the lights. It was beautifully silent. My ears started tuning in to other sounds from outside, such as the wind, the roosters, birds, and the occasional splash from car tires. I thought about what to do if we didn’t get power back soon. What will happen to my dinner plans? No oven. How can I paint in the dark with no lights? No computer to read my mail! I guess I can’t vacuum either. Oh well. Minor compared to Puerto Rico.
I’ve compared living in Maui to be like camping because we are very much in touch with the outdoors here. Today it was even more like camping without any power or hot water. What do you do when you don’t have power? I’ll tell you what I did. First, I cleaned up the week’s clutter. I organized my studio and put things away. Once I had the house straightened, I could think better. Then, I did nothing. You heard me. I stopped DO-ing. I sat and meditated.
You see, while I was de-cluttering, I started thinking about what it would feel like if we never had power and had to go back to living like our ancestors with none of these modern conveniences. I wondered how they got along in one part of the world not knowing what was happening in another part of the world. No televisions to blast images of violence and/or mass destruction into their living rooms and call it “entertainment” or “news.” If they had to get a message to someone they had to directly speak to that person or travel to them or put pen to paper and write a LETTER. Wait, what? While I enjoy the internet and technology’s conveniences, today, I was reminded to stop and listen to that inner-connection. I stopped DOING and allowed myself just to BE.
I’m not suggesting unplugging from reality. But it certainly helps to unplug from the noise and distractions of our modern world on a regular basis, like DAILY. While the internet keeps us “connected,” I am a believer in face-to-face contact, knowing who our neighbors are, and getting outside to see what’s going on in our communities. I believe in connection. What better way to start connecting, than with that inner-connection to my mind, body, and spirit? Of all our planet’s resources, the most precious is human awareness. No more referring to my life like it’s a series of achievements. My “busy-ness” is not a badge of honor. I do not want to be doing something only to be thinking of the next thing I have on my list. And why is it, with all of these modern conveniences, it feels like we have more to do than ever before? At least, that’s how I feel.
There’s something to be said for not having electricity. Today I had an opportunity to power up without modern conveniences or technology. De-cluttering, being still, and turning inward. The power is back. The world just got noisy again. But at least, now, I’m focused and content. Meditation, prayer, sitting in stillness – call it what you want – it’s powerful. Meditating is something I encourage everyone to try if you haven’t, or re-try if you haven’t in a while. When we allow ourselves to pause, we connect to our feelings instead of ignoring them or leaping forward into our emotions. We put ourselves in a place of power. Whatever feelings and emotions come up in meditation I’m able to acknowledge the information they are trying to provide. Then I can fully release them to create more space within myself. With more space, I am able to allow Spirit to flow through me, bringing peace to my life.
I would like to reflect this peace in me back to the world. The world needs it now more than ever.
May peace be with you,