Thursday, February 25, 2010
But Wait, There's More. (3)
This may not be the "Return of the Mojo" But my tendency to leave things half done has been made embarrassingly obvious so I am rushing, blushing, to fix it. (If you're new here, scroll down a couple of posts to see what the heck I'm talking about, ok?) So here's the next bit of the 'Exhaustion Series': I paraphrase: Modern technology, far from freeing us up to have more spare time, has just made us busier and thus more stressed and tired. (Most of us have actually realised that already, I bet. But we still "do" it!) Added to that are the other 'conveniences' - also not helping. The late night shopping, night gym etc. (LOTS of bright lights and stimulation!) Dr Whiteman (co-director of the Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction programme at Cape Town Medi-Clinic + +) says: "It is not that movement and activity are "wrong", it's that our "doing" is so dislocated from our "being". We get so caught up in the momentum of "doing" that very often, when we eventually do slow down, we become overwhelmed with what we feel." Don't we get impatient when our computers take more than a few seconds to respond? Or feel guilty if we don't respond straight away to emails, sms's, Facebook messages, voice mails? "The modern world is stuck in fast forward", says Carl Honore, author of " In Praise of Slowness" (Hmm - I think I'd like that book). He makes the point that though speed is fun and sexy, we often fail to notice that toll it takes on everything: our health, relationships and the environment. How can we slow down and keep up with life? Dr Whitesman's answer is really interesting, I think: "People misunderstand "slow". It doesn't mean "passive", "inactive"or "less functional". Its about getting in touch with the part of you thats not rushing or pressured." He compares it with the swimming crawl, with less splashing and thus greater efficiency and rhythm. (Now that paints a picture, doesn't it?) The article goes on to say that we will always have deadlines, responsibilities and ambitions - but those who are constantly exhausted, or rushing through their lives, might want to ask themselves this very important question: How much of how we are living is by choice? Next time a few suggestions on how to improve matters. And hopefully, we will be on the way to being mellower people.