In her recent post, Nimue Brown writes about the value of being bored.
“Big dreams come out of idle wondering. Big visions come out of empty days, if we use that space. The urge to make and do, to meet and encounter comes from a feeling of lack. What we get when we fill some of our time from our own resources does more to nourish us than staring blankly at little time killers.”
Innovative and creative people, mystics, and devoted meditators have known this for ages, though in modern times are also challenged by the constant lure of various tech-facilitated entertainments and boredom-relievers.
Contemporary scientific research verifies the myriad benefits of cultivating time and space for quiet — something that can drive the tech- and busy-addicts into an actual panic attack.
These are all insights from people who know the value of technology, and use it as an important part of their vocations and livelihoods.
The Harvard Business Review cites the experiential wisdom of writers, governors, teachers, and scientists in their article, “The Busier You Are, The More You Need Quiet Time.”
That’s the case whether you’re busy creating, writing, leading, strategizing, home-tending, child-tending, elder-tending … and for many of us, some combination of these and more.
A Scientific American article points to the effects, or costs, of chronic over-stimulation and busyness, calling it “cerebral congestion.”
I think more than a few of us recognize the condition of cerebral congestion, yes?
In a recent post, I shared the poignant words of Omid Safi, who wrote about the “thief of intimacy” … chronic (and unmindful) busyness … and the very practical value of those deep-Yin practices that help us to receive, reflect, restore, rejuvenate.
This is another example of why I have a great appreciation for the more recent research that circles us back around to the great value offered by some of the older ways and timeless teachings, and to question the (lack of) wisdom of some of the more modern habits and addictions.
Reorienting to a healthier balance between our busy-doings and tech-affair, and that which replenishes us and nourishes our creativity, intuition, wellness, and well-being, can feel like breaking an addiction. There are reasons for that.
The cultural dictate in favor of constant busyness is deeply ingrained.
The NY Post, in an article, called it ‘digital heroin‘. Good one. But action-heroin has existed for a lot longer than the current tech-addictions.
And if you’re like me, you may also have an innate disposition that includes the push-and-pull between busyness and spaciousness (I wrote about that in Narrow Mind, Spacious Mind).
It’s taken me years to become more aware of it and skillfully mindful about dancing between those two polarities. It’s still a challenge, but I have a much more well-stocked repertoire of practices that help.
For all the challenge of ‘detoxing’ from a truly unhealthy and unproductive bias for busyness and tech-addictions, we also notice almost immediate the benefits of doing so, committing to that ‘detox time’ and the building of new ways that nourish our wellbeing and allow us to think and do much more clearly, creatively, and effectively.
Where to begin (or recommit)?
An intention — with those wonderful benefits just waiting for you — and deep, mindful breath.
That’s a start. Your body wisdom and intuition — along with some of the synchronicity that seems to flow more abundantly when we visit with stillness — will guide you from there.
Related Sophia’s Children inspiration:
- Florence Nightingale: Noise is the most ‘cruel absence of care’
- Receive, Reflect, Restore … Love (including the poetic insight from Omid Safi)
- Creative Vision and Renewal: an Rx for Burnout
- Narrow Mind, Spacious Mind
Feel like you’re caught up in the rip-tides, fog-zones or marshy-bogs of your own life?
(You’ll find several options in the Current Special Offerings, too.)
– Current Featured Offerings, or email me directly — jamie ‘at’ sophias-children ‘dot’ com.
Big Love & Restorative Chillin’,