In Wealth Warrior, Steve Chandler quotes Napoleon Hill, who outs a fundamental habit of “unsuccessful” people: drifting. Steve differentiates between conscious side-tracking and unconscious drifting: side-tracking might be looking up a website in the middle of writing an article, while drifting might mean spending hours, ahem, on Facebook. In my own life, I can definitely tell which is which.
My name is Christy Harden, and I am a Facebook drifter.
Sometimes it seems to happen to me, but other times I almost drift on purpose–usually it’s to block out what’s going on in my head and/or route it in a new direction. Or… in no direction. There’s a misconception that this is an effective way to relax. But truthfully, I don’t find simply checking out actually restorative–which to me is the whole idea of relaxing. I often “come to” out of a way-long FB session feeling disoriented and slightly stressed. The thing is that when we’re drifting, we’ve not only disconnected from our thinking (which is usually what we’re looking for), we’ve also disconnected from who we are and from awareness of our experience. As Eckhart Tolle would say, by checking out on FB, what I’m really doing is using low-level static to go unconscious. True dat.
And… (whisper): that’s not really what I’m going for. What I’m going for is consciously being truly alive as experienced by my true self.
When we’re drifting, in addition to not really relaxing like maybe we think we are, we’ve also left ourselves open to whatever drifts in while we’re checked out. But more importantly, we’re not present–we’re not living our lives–which means being aware of being alive. I can lose hours in the blink of an eye drifting on FB! If the whole point is to stay aware of this experience of being alive, then checking out, because it’s basically unconsciousness, is the direct opposite of what we actually want to experience.
How do we relax while staying aware of being alive? We’re here.
To be truly relaxed, we’re in the present moment, in our bodies–not on autopilot, not spinning around in our minds about the past or the future. Not in fantasyland (unless you’re physically at Disneyland–then by all means have at it). No resistance. Or at least no resisting the resistance (you’re never getting out of this post alive).
Just. Be. Here.
We’re either present, or we’re unconscious–which we can also handily accomplish (in a slightly different variation of checking out) by placing all of our attention on our thoughts. As Ram Dass koans (yeah I just verbified that), “the thought is the thought of the thoughtless.” * And the thoughtless, my friends, are drifting.
No judgment. I’m just noticing the times I habitually drift and check out, and when it feels right for me to choose presence instead. One arena: FB.
But concocting a rigid rule and then sticking to it isn’t the point; the point for me is to be awake and aware of my life as it occurs and to out myself when I’m not doing that.
“No FB Sundays” is just one way I feel inspired to do that. Pretty self-explanatory. Sunday = FB-free zone. If you feel inspired as well, join me and share this post, no matter what day it is. So. FB, I’ll see you on Monday, centered, present and moored. Drifting’s for river rafting. Ooh–now that’s a legit Sunday thing! LiveLove&BU
* This reminds me of a tongue twister in one of my son’s baby books that rooted itself permanently in my head. Ready? GO!
“A tutor who tooted the flute tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot?” (and I can say that really, really fast. Ask my kid.).
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