Frantic… for what?

It’s so easy to be frantic these days. We get caught up with where the money is going to come from, which latest business has gone under, or how many “For Sale,””For Lease,” and “For Rent” signs we see everywhere. And if there is no worry, we still so often frantically work, frantically play, frantically plan (worry?) for what might possibly happen in the future, or frantically dwell on what happened in the past. Who am I kidding… this is not just about these days. It’s the state of humanity, not just now, but so many of those before us and so many of those after us.

I’m also writing to myself.

The craziness, the busyness, the non-stop noise… if we’re not exposing ourselves to it on the outside, it’s probably going on in the inside. Usually for me, the extent of my stillness is watching a movie, listening to some music, eating, making coffee, and jumping up to run to my computer any time I get an email or a Twitter update. I’m distracted and frankly kidding myself if I think that this is stillness. Frantic. My sweetheart said I have “monkey mind.” Thanks, love.

It’s true, though. I’ve really forgotten how to be still. And our culture perpetuates it. There are always newer and better ways to keep us connected and efficient, each of them adding to the franticness, busyness, and craziness of our lives. We are connected (hooked…) with our phones, our IPODs, our computers, and our cars. Never getting the chance to listen to the one thing that we should probably tune in to… our selves.

Yes, we are more in the information loop. Yes, we know what is going on with all of our friends at any time of day. Yes, we are able to get whatever song, video, clip, photo, update, statistic, opinion, or gossip as soon as we possibly can.

But, what about the person right in front of you… sitting at the table at the coffee shop or even in your home? What about the people who care about you and want to hear what’s going on in your heart… not the latest screen app that you have discovered to streamline your 10 different social networking devices? Can you see them? Can you hear them? Do you know what your heart or your spirit is telling you right now?

Slow down, Nate, slow down. Turn it off, turn it down, put it away, get away… listen… to yourself. Get quiet. Disconnect for a while (no… NO… not disconnect!). Yes, disconnect. Because the world needs your presence. The world needs your stillness. The world needs your sincerity and your clarity. They need your compassion and your understanding. And they will never get it when you are as frantic as they are.

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3 thoughts on “Frantic… for what?”

  1. excerpt found in article “ADD at work” at MSNBC.com
    “Tom Stafford, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Sheffield in Britain and coauthor of the book “Mind Hacks,” believes that what’s at work with e-mail addiction is classic psychological behaviorism: operant conditioning 101. Basic psych theory holds that the best way to reinforce behavior is to reward it — but not all the time, only sometimes. If you want a rat to run through a maze, give him a piece of cheese when he makes it all the way through, but only occasionally, and at random intervals.
    Stafford says there’s a logic to this: The rat doesn’t know whether the rewards have disappeared for good, so he’ll run through the maze again and again, hoping that this time the piece of cheese will be there. The same mechanism operates with us and e-mail. We check constantly because every once in a while we receive positive reinforcement. In the end we’re just rats looking for a piece of cheese. ”

    Nate, I know when I read this article something resonated. Maybe you don’t have monkey brain…maybe you have rat brain looking for a little positive reinforcement.
    🙂 Best wishes on your quest for a little stillness.

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  2. Nate,

    I don’t often read your blog, as I feel simply knowing you and seeing your smiling face is enough. However, we seem to have reached a point in our lives that you actually have to read someones blog to have a deeper understanding of who is really under that frantic shell. Getting away from all these things has helped me understand myself better. It has helped almost all of my relationships. At first I worry constantly about being ripped away from social networking. After A while the worry fades. And when you have the ability to go back you don’t. It’s not appealing to have all your deepest conversations and revelations in front of a flickering screen….that may eventually give you cancer if you hold it close enough to your heart.

    With this in mind, I would like to challenge you. Challenge you to turn the e-mail alert noise off on that blasted computer. Challenge you to Occasionally “forget” your cell phone at home. At first I know this will be hard….you will think about all the people that may be calling you….eventually the worry fades…and you can actually sit across from someone at coffee for the first time…or tea since your a bit of a hippie.

    I, for a moment, thought I lost you in all these social networking obscurities. And, no I will not subscribe to twitter so I know what is going on with you when your sitting in the same room. I am sorry, but you may actually have to look up from that screen and say hello when I walk into the room if you want to have a conversation.

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