I’ve never been good at being still.
My mind usually moves pretty fast throughout the day, jumping from one thought to another idea to another “to do”...and I typically feel the best when I’ve gotten the most things done on my to do list.
But after hitting a wall of burnout last year, I really started to take an inventory of how I’m spending my time. I’m wondering how many of us experience burnout on some level today with all of the information and notifications and groups and communication we’re “expected” to be keeping up with - but what if we just don’t? What if there’s a different way?
I think we’re discovering as a culture that it’s simply not sustainable to live our lives at this pace.
I’m reading “To Hell with the Hustle” by Jefferson Bethke, and he says this:
So what is this book about? It’s about the disease, but mainly about the cure. It’s about silence, obscurity, rest, and empathy - the things that make us deeply and profoundly human. And we’d do well to hold on to them during a time when no one else is.
Because, in truth, I’m over it.
I’m over us being statistically the most anxious and depressed generation in history.
I’m over friends by the dozens struggling to find any sense of purpose or meaning.
I’m over people destroying their lives, relationships, and marriages on the altar of working themselves to death.
And I’m over simply living in a society where franticness and a tornado of the soul are the norms.
What you’re reading right now is me putting my fist in the air and saying no. I’m done. I will not take one step further down this path. I refuse to glorify and elevate the grind, the hashtag #nosleepmovement, the noise, and the commodification of our personhood through these little rectangular glass devices in our pockets.
Who’s with me?
WOW, that spoke to me - this is a war - and we have to tear after distraction like it’s nobody’s business - because distraction is the enemy of purpose.
It doesn’t mean that we can’t be productive, or function in our work - but I believe it does mean making space for quiet throughout our days.
Some things Jefferson and his family do on the regular:
No phones in rooms
Turning off phones once a week for 24 hours
These really spoke to me - I got thinking about how many times we’re on our phones instead of looking at each other, connecting. When my phone is off - I actually feel a relief - I love the feeling of not having to check it.
Some things I regularly practice:
No phone zone (in the laundry room of my house) I put my phone away when I come in the door in the afternoons and evenings
Leave my phone at home or in the car
Do not disturb mode on my phone from 8 pm to 7 am - helps me manage the urge to be checking email or social media during these times
But more than these tangible ways to practice stillness, I’ve been starting to make space for things that restore my soul - Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons has been an amazing guide to the key rhythms that we need to restore us.
I’ve been walking a lot more, and during those walks I have some of my most clear thoughts, and not only that, I feel so close to God’s presence - I have grown to crave and absolutely depend on that time as my source of strength - it’s like a deep, never ending well that gives me unending strength, rest, peace, and joy.
When I’m in that place, I’m bringing all the thoughts on my mind (there’s a lot!) to Him and I’m hearing Him answer - I’m hearing clarity in direction like I’ve never heard before.
But not only direction, I’m resting there - and that rest is providing true restoration that nothing else can match. It’s a superpower, not a crutch. It’s the best feeling to take all of the weight off of my shoulders and transfer it to someone who literally created the earth - and not only that, but have the opportunity to be in His presence all the time. The more I’m there, the more I want to be there.