Sunday, 6 April 2014

Retreat


There aren't too many people reading this blog, I know. My discontent with my blogging at the end of last year had me changing everything around again and I'm glad I did but it disrupts the flow. Disrupting flow is not good.

Anyway the fact is, I'm feeling a very strong call to retreat from the online world for a while. I did a little experiment in less social media back in January and it was transformative. Until February when I went back. The obvious correlation between my inner peace and my distance from the internet verges on the bleedin' obvious. At least for now. I am nothing if not changeable.

So, I am going to step back and stay offline. I'm keeping my email open because daily life requires it. I'm taking Twitter off my phone and deleting my unloved Facebook page. I am not going to think 'I could blog this' about anything. I love instagram and could always just post one pic a day BUT my issue is not with my pictures, it's with the way I fall into endlessly scrolling through everyone else's. They are beautiful and inspiring and just plain lovely but they are a distraction I don't need. At least for now. So, I'm checking into insta-rehab. God help me.

I am checking in to my life. My partner, my child, my dogs, my garden, my home, my day job, the friends I can reach out and touch, this land I live on and its spirits that pull me deeper and deeper into Life, what it is and what it means. I have almost lost touch and just in time I am seeing that the loss of these things would kill me. The internet, not so much.

I need and want to be someone who creates and maintains her home, family and spiritual life with as high a quality of consciousness and love as she can.

Here goes.

Added: The great writer Peter Matthiessen recently passed away and this quote has made its way to my eyes. How perfect for this. Thank you Peter.
"I am here to be here, like these rocks and sky and snow, like this hail that is falling down out of the sun."

16 comments:

  1. Hi Jo

    I'll miss your posts and also understand the need to retreat. I've been reducing my online time over the last few months to give more space to reading, meditation and contemplation. It isn't such an issue for me given that I have a lot of time if not a lot of energy, but even then there are days when I find myself feeling quite drowned by the online world and so I retreat a bit more, only to come back when I feel ready. I suspect it will always be like this, waves moving back and forth, in everything I am interested in, whether it be online or offline.

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  2. Hi Alison,
    I so agree. Ever the ebb and flow, right? Thanks so much for your comment (and the RTs : ) ). x

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  3. I just wrote something on my blog about making peace with the social media monster. I didn't want to hog your comments section. Read if you get a moment--or not if it is too much today. I think I have found a way for now to keep sane and safe out here. This new approach is obviously always a work in progress. This relationship with the Internet is hard but I think I have found a way that works for me and I am hoping I am on the right path. I am sorry that things out here make you feel out of sorts. I hope, over time, you can find a way to use the tools out here in a way that feels healthier because I am pretty certain this way of living isn't going away--but until then, keep in touch when you can and in a way that doesn't feel too ugly or soul sucking. You know I am rooting for you. xx

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  4. This honestly made me cry:

    "I need and want to be someone who creates and maintains her home, family and spiritual life with as high a quality of consciousness and love as she can."

    I am about to create a new life - and this is something I will take with me. Lots to ponder.

    I love you. I'm so glad to have you in my life.

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  5. Jo, I absolutely understand this conclusion you've come to. I've tried blogging, completely deleted Facebook, rarely tweet (and thinking of leaving there too), and go back and forth with keeping Instagram. Now that you're leaving it I really wonder if I want to stay on, as your morning photos and the pups gave me such pleasure and peace. I will really miss your presence. You live in such a beautiful space, so dream-like. I can nearly smell it when I look at your photos. I feel privileged to have 'met' you, though our hands cannot touch. As happy as I am for you, I cannot help but experience sadness at your departure. Your kindness when I lost Alfie was appreciated and deeply felt. Thank you. Best always to you, Evie, little pug man, Dooley and husband. I could never forget you... xox

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  6. I mean little pug lady! Sorry Zoey!

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  7. I read your post Tracie and it's inspiring - as ever. I'm so glad you've found a way that you can weave social media and other online things into your vision. I think the internet and most of what it brings is a wonderful thing and I certainly hope it is not going anywhere. My problem is with how I interact with it and what it does to my head. I need to work on that. I am not an organised thinker - by any stretch; I am easily overwhelmed (it seems 'introvert depletion' can happen with virtual connections too, which fascinates me : ) ) and distracted, and I have a tendency to have A Brilliant Idea every time I see something that interests me. That is always exhausting and fruitless for me as you know : ) I have more self discovery to do before I can row my boat among the webs and enjoy them, rather than just be pulled to and fro by the tides. But you have inspired me to find my own way. xxx

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  8. Ditto : ) I do hope it's clear that I am not saying that anyone who has an online presence is not operating with a high quality of consciousness! What I meant is that to maintain mine, I need to be away from things that muddy my awareness and right now, I'm not able to be among that stuff and not be stirring up all sorts of nonsense in my head. My highest high may not ever reach great heights, but achieving it is still a priority. I'll see you in real life soon. Love you too. xx

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  9. Oh sweet Brenna you always say such lovely things. I'm not going to disappear forever. I just need some time to get my head in order. It might take months, it might take weeks. But it'll happen, no doubt. I used to think that at some point in our lives we were 'sorted' and could then go on to live the rest of our time as that person. I'm now accepting that we never stop learning, never stop changing. Just when I think I have the answers, I'm shown a deeper truth and off we go again...adjusting and growing. It's wonderful really. I think these changes are particularly profound in women going through their second hormonal change, as I undoubtedly am, and the shifts echo out into every aspect of our lives, calling for major realignment. I've always been able to shed layers that no longer fit without any great trauma - my blog wasn't called Shapeshifting for years, for nothing : ) - but this time there is BIG stuff happening and I want to stretch out my new wings away from the influence of things that don't belong in my life anymore. I want to pare it down to my nearest and dearest and try to keep it all clear and true. I have a hunch that my final lesson will be that this is really all that truly matters. Small things done with great love. Jackson has been gone almost a year now and at the moment I feel him with me so strongly. He was always my connection to 'the zone'. I would imagine him in my arms (if he wasn't actually physically there already) and instantly be able to connect to that place of love. I'm feeling his presence for a reason, I know it. He was a small thing made of great love : ) I know you'll understand that! xx

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  10. I dropped Twitter some time ago and frankly, felt much better for it. The dreaded FB has stayed, for the most part so I can check in with the couple of family members who use it but actually, they don't much. My blog has remained untouched for four months altho that I miss. I have little structure to my day and can, and have, spent hours reading blogs and looking at pretty pictures whilst my own life passes me by. There is a car in the garage for which all the petrol is paid for, a camera that sits in its dusty bag unused, a relatively new country to explore outside my window, with or without camera, friendships to nurture, a couple of new roles to develop, one paid and one voluntary. I have a husband (of three years tomorrow!) who's recovering from an illness that included stints in hospital. I too wish to check in to my own life and look, see, hear, smell and feel what I have. Thank you for this, you may well have just given me the push to step away.

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  11. Thank you. For telling me I'm not the only one : ) Happy anniversary for tomorrow. x

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  12. Its hard, the push pull.

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  13. She lives : ) So very good to hear from you Debs. It was worth writing this post just for that. x

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  14. Or maybe everything I said was wishful thinking and bullshit as I was hoping to convince myself as well as you that living tethered to the web is doable. To be honest, I am not sure it is. Granted, it's a tool that seems to be so useful for so many but lately, unless I really narrow my focus out here, I find it extremely ugly and toxic. Good luck with your spirit mending. I have deleted the blog post and am taking a holiday myself. You are one of a small group that prompt me to check in each day and since you can 't come out to play, I think I will return to my paper journals and my SLR for a while. I've grown weary of this conversation--of this struggle not to get too tangled in the stupid web. Can't find the joy in it today. I won't press you to come back. If it's wrong. It's wrong. Take care of yourself.

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  15. ye gods. somehow, due to the damnable Technologies, i haven't been getting your lovely posts lately...

    i totally get this.

    stupidly, perhaps, i've thrown my lot in with the online world and am therefore shackled to it by necessity. i, do, however, have a regular unplugging habit (which are my favourite days of the week...hmmmm...).

    i've done a few digital sabbaticals in the past and have always emerged with new perspective -- once the twitching and tremors wear off -- so i wish you every bliss-full peace and abundance of the days ahead.

    meanwhile, i shall be seething with envy and stamping my foot and pouting because "I WANT TO, TOO!"

    just kidding.

    or am i? ;)

    xoxoxoxo

    ps. i'm going to miss your dreamy Instagram pics....if not for the treacherous creatures lurking about these parts in the early morning (coyotes, skunks, mad raccoons), i'd also walk the dogs before tea and notebook. clearly, we need a bigger dog to scare off the aforementioneds. so i live vicariously.....;) i shall raise my tea mug in salute from my 5am to yours....xo

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  16. Northerners who start sentences with 'ye gods' are my favourite people. So that's you and my Dad then. For people whose work benefits from mass exposure, the internet is wonderful, obviously. What a gift. For me, who doesn't have that work, it feels quite unnecessary right now. But for this introvert it's a good way to connect if I can do that with healthy boundaries so no doubt I will, as someone once said, be back. In some shape or form. x

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