“Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. Then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present: the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then
dies having never really lived.” ~ The Dalai Lama
I’ve been quiet again. Whenever I go offline I’m either in my creative cave or I’m slowing down to intentionally create space to think, feel, reflect, and reset. I’m intentionally choosing less so I can live more, create more, and feel more.
As much as I appreciate the beauty of the online world and social media to keep us all connected, and to grow businesses (including my own), I am equally aware and respectful of its mighty distraction and soul sucking abilities.
Time. We never get it back. It’s precious. So precious.
Sometimes we have to slow down to speed up. Sometimes we have to unplug to connect to what matters most. We have to create space, get a little quieter, a little less busy, and STOP THE MADNESS.
It is so easy in our fast, busy, social media crazed culture to get carried away without ever asking what truly matters to us. Weeks, months, years and even entire lives can go by without ever stopping and asking:
:: Is this what I really want?
:: Is this how I want to live?
:: Is this how I want to feel?
I don’t want distraction and information overload. I don’t want to be documenting and sharing as I go. I want to BE in my life now. I want Presence.
I don’t want fast. I don’t want to go in a direction that isn’t aligned with my soul. I want slow, deliberate thought and action.
I don’t want busy. I want a fullness of heart. I want a life overflowing with peace, love, fulfillment, connectedness, impact, soul exhilaration, simplicity, creativity, and abundant time in nature. I want time and presence to look into the eyes of those I love.
I want an extraordinary richness in living.
I’m devoted to that richness. That richness brings joy into my heart.
And I admit, I’m a bit obsessed with feeling good. And with helping others to feel good.
“The point of life is happiness.” – The Dalai Lama
I often feel like running through the streets (or social media threads) shouting “Stop the madness! Just stop it right now!” I want to flag people down on the street and lead them to a quiet little bench and ask, “What are you up to and why? Where’s it leading you? And do you want to go there? Are you happy?”
I know this for sure, you can’t stop when you have more time. You will never have more time. You must choose to stop the madness. It takes discipline to stop the busyness of life to reflect, ask and answer some tough questions, and course correct if needed.
It takes awareness and discipline to stop doing stuff that truly isn’t raising the quality of your life.
And it takes courage to live who you really are and go for what you really want.
When was the last time you stopped, really stopped, sat down and thought about your life?
I invite you to Stop the Madness and set aside 20 minutes to answer the following questions:
:: Am I truly happy?
:: Am I healthy and full of energy?
:: Is my life full, or just busy?
:: Do I often feel rushed, distracted, or overwhelmed?
:: Do I keep chasing things I think will bring me happiness but just don’t?
:: What in my life isn’t really working for me?
:: What do I love or know I want more of?
:: What would my ideal day/life look and feel like?
:: What would make me so happy that I’d jump out of bed each day to begin it?
:: Do I need to course correct?
:: How do I want to feel?
:: How do I create and live that life?
:: Am I BEING who I really want to be?
:: Do I have enough time, energy, and space in my life for those I love?
:: Am I leaning into my highest and truest potential?
:: Am I fully living?
Good Lord Hollie, that’s a lot of questions! Yep, it is. But really, if you aren’t asking these questions what’s it all for anyway? This is your life.
Just think about all the massive energy, time, and money it takes to maintain your day to day living. If this day to day living doesn’t light you up, why for the love of everything holy are you exerting so much of all your resources to maintain it? Why? Truly, what is it all for?
The following are 3 practices I engage in on a regular basis to stop the madness and to keep myself grounded and aligned with living my truth. I invite you to try them out. You may find in one week’s time you feel happier, have more energy, and are connected more to what matters most (to you!).
1. Take a digital detox.
A 3 day detox is ideal, but if it’s not possible due to work, take a 2 day. It doesn’t even have to be a full digital detox. Plan 2-3 days where you will not check email or get on any social media channels. Stay as far away from your computer and phone as possible. Just stopping those two things will be change the energy of your entire body.
I want you to simply notice how you feel.
My first digital detox was a year ago and since then I do them regularly. As an introvert and a business owner, I thought I loved the online world. I wanted to love it. I’ve tried to love it. I STILL keep trying to love it. But my body and spirit keep giving me a radically different experience when I step away.
Notice what is true for you.
There is a reason why so many speak of nature as “their church” or that it feels like a spiritual experience. It is! Go for trail runs, mountain bikes, or long leisurely hikes. Go for a paddle. Go outside at night and marvel at the stars. Feel the cool breeze on your face. Breathe. Smell the earth. Lay on the ground. Take it all in. Let it nourish you. It will.
This past month I’ve been hiking as much as possible. It’s a different energy than biking or running. I wanted the slower, almost meditative movement of the hike.
There is a deep, primal, soulful part in all of us that is healed and rejuvenated in nature. Again, experiment. Notice how you feel.
3. Begin a morning ritual.
Start your morning off with getting centered. Learn to direct your mind, and create your day rather than jumping into reactive mode. This is life changing. Journal. Read something that is positive and that nourishes your mind. Meditate. Visualize. Write out your intentions for the day. Connect with how you want to feel.
There is no right or wrong way to do this. 30 minutes is ideal. But even 5, 10, and 15 minutes is life changing.
We all have the power to create our life experiences. We have a choice in how we feel. We have a choice in how we direct our mind, support our body, and connect our spirit.
Stop the madness and step into being the creator of your own masterpiece.
What makes you happy? What fills you up? What truly nourishes you?
Live it fully.
It matters. Your life matters. YOU matter.
And if I pass you on the street…well…hey, you’ve been warned.
Hollie “Stop The Madness” Flynn