Monday, March 08, 2010

Click the "unsubscribe" button

I've been involved with a rich online program of Lenten study this season that has taken me, so far, on a path of contemplative and centering prayer and meditation practices. Some of the self-awareness that has been stirring in me, through participating in this study, is in regard to how and why I spend time, where and when I do and for whom.  I believe in giving back to the community which so richly supports my life in this small town, so I am involved in community projects - occasionally, I feel overwhelmed and am tempted to throw up my hands and quit them all.  On the other hand, I gain much from outreach with fellow citizens and organizations and am blessed to share their dedicated service. 
Also as I support others, I am supported and strengthened spiritually by a wealth of blog and online friends that I might never meet or know in person.  Furthermore, childhood friends whose presence in my life is undeniably important to the person I am today, even family members that are not close by are met and interacted with through the wonderful internet communication opportunities that we have today.  I wouldn't give these opportunities up for anything.

Yet, while living this gift of life and gift of choice..... choices rich and varied - simple and complex, I realize there are those things in my life that draw me away from the importance of spiritual thanksgiving, prayer, meditation.  For example something as irrelevant to my existence as an email inbox is littered every day (and I do visit it every day, regularly) with offers and pleas from political entities, charitable organizations, marketing and merchandising ploys begging me to buy their goods - even a surfeit of spiritual offerings that is, at times, tiresome and overwhelming in their pleas for the "me now, most important, you can't live without this message" advertising.  I've built that inbox by allowing these day by day, step by step distractions to accumulate and populate my computer and thereby distract my mind often from that which is productive, positive, wholesome, and life-giving.

I spent some time this week scrolling to the bottom of senseless information crowding my space and head, searching out those little, teeny, tiny promises of not bothering me again, labeled "Unsubscribe" and clicking those buttons with fervor!  Often, a box appears with the question of why I am unsubscribing - I seldom write a reason but the explanation could be - "you're killing me with junk, I'm exhausted from reading your claims, your gripes, your guarantees.....etc. You're distracting me from time better spent with God, with my family, with my friends, with my writing, with my own creativity."

So, I guess my question to you today might be - what do you want to "unsubscribe" from?  What's draining your energy, your imagination, your time for family, prayer and meditation?  Why not join me today in finding that little "unsubscribe" button and clicking it..............

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  1. Anonymous5:05 AM

    Very good advice,
    Consumerism isn't only deadening in the acquisition of things, but also in the promise of things and information.
    I am trying to learn what "enough" means in my consumption of a variety of material, when does something no longer become nourishing? Am I consuming more than I can process effectively? How am I being weighted down by "harmless" clutter, preventing myself from flight?
    Good luck.

  2. I've been letting go of my need to comment on every single post my blogging friends put out there.

    What I want to unsubscribe to right now is my Monkey Mind. And I love this analogy for it.

  3. Must be something in the air, I've been hitting that unsubscribe button a lot, too. And I've even unsubscribed to some blogs I used to read regularly. That was a struggle, but I'd rather read and comment on a few than spread myself too thin.

  4. Bruno - always find wisdom in your responses. Thank you. Knowing what's enough is certainly a choice of our time isn't it? Seldom, probably never in my life have I had issues about having enough.......which makes me know that I've been blessed, but at the same time even greedy. I wish you a great day friend. I think that doesn't seem an excessive wish!

  5. Pollinatrix, I hear you....really not as needy as I used to be in the response category. I hope readers are "out there" but the richness comes in allowing my self expression - hopefully not always to silence from the readers - but I'm attempting to let go of the "need" for recognition.


  6. Tess,

    I found myself busily "unsubscribing" again this a.m. I can't believe how MANY distractions I've allowed to filter into my life. I've given up a few favorite blogsites as well finding I was reading more out of obligation than need or satisfaction. I will not, however, be unsubscribing from Anchors and Masts:)


  7. it must be something in the air. I just wrote about this very thing this morning -- and it came from a lenten course I'm engaged in at Abby of the Arts.

    Thanks for igniting my continued need to unsubscribe to unread, unneeded and inconsequential lists!

    I came by your blog from a list at my friend Maureen's blog at Writing without Paper -- great find!


  8. wow great post. I tend to only read the blogs that I find interesting .
    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it.

  9. What a fantastic way to frame the question of what to "let go". I'll have to think on the answer. :)

  10. Hi M.L. - Yes, it must be in the air....I stopped over at your site to read your post and so agree with your feelings; we just have an awfully lot "offered" to us. Certainly, we know when THE right thing comes along - like the Lenten Course from Christine - yeah, me too:) But we're the ones who has the control over all the distractions that we let seep into our lives!

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by, I'm a regular at Maureen's blog as well.

    P.S. Not to distract you but "Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy" is a great site you might like also. Listed on my sidebar.....

  11. L.L. - always glad to see one of your comments here - TX!

  12. I saw your post today and find that I too have unsubscribed from much. In order to answer a call for more silence, I guess.

  13. Claire - blessings to you as well. Thanks for reading.

  14. A very thoughtful reflection of the many daily distractions we all experience. I'm trying harder to make some time to quiet myself in order to hear God's voice in my life--sometimes I'm too noisy to listen well.....