I strongly recommend reading this little article. What I notice regularly these days is how “overwhelmed” everyone seems to be. What’s up with that? Sure we are busy, inundated, caught between conflicting demands. Pulled in two directions — well — more. But the toughest demand is the one that we labor under from within. I am not sure that we are busier than our predecessors — but we are inundated with information, drowning in data, and weighted down by a world — a whole planet of concerns. It can seem impossible to unwind. But sometimes I find that it’s not that I can’t unwind — I just don’t want to because I suspect, I know that I will just have to turn back into that storm of overstimulation. Better to keep myself wound up — perhaps even armored.
Of course, then I don’t ever really learn how to be in the storm but centered at the same time. And I don’t ever really learn how to settle down into myself, relax or just feel the peaceful core that lives within me, or the soul that Parker Palmer talks about – that, like a wild creature, is shy or wary, perhaps, of too much noise and so hangs back in the underbrush.
It’s possible to accidentally collude in robbing myself of soul-time. In that robbery so much else is lost as well — but I have the power – in any moment — to choose differently. The hands of the clock don’t slow down– but I do and that’s very much, ultimately, the same thing.
In that choice I find I have discovered more time — or is it really more time or the ability to make more of my time? I find that I can resist the tumble into despair that seems to be the not so hidden agenda of the 24 hour news cycle and the politicians who would like to make me pay for their campaigns with my fear, and, through my fear, give them power they little deserve.
That’s my power! That’s my peace! This is my life and our world! And finding my way or finding our way to beat back the overwhelm is to rebel on behalf of life. Out of that rebellion comes possibility that, instead of being overwhelming, is inviting. And then, when I take that invitation I find that I am connected, in peace, purpose, and passion — with everything. And that’s another story altogether.