In the last few weeks, I have stepped to the side, unplugged and listened. I didn’t listened to podcasts or audiobooks as I usually do, no, I listened to myself and I am not done yet. I have a lot more listening to do. Sometimes I can’t hear anything so I need to be patient and keep listening.
We can’t demand for what we need to know to just come through like a PDF instant download. We need to patiently create the conditions that will allow it and that can be tricky. Shutting off the noise around us is a challenge that is personal and will range from being easy if you have had enough, to stressful if you suffer from Fear Of Missing Out.
Getting offline proved relatively easy because I was tired of hearing the same things from “experts”, tired of being fed fear in order to buy, tired of being placed in a state of constant comparison, tired of feeling how I had to measure up to people in a world I don’t even want to belong to. There was a dissonance between how I felt I had to live and how I naturally wanted to live.
When we stop listening to ourselves, we let others dictate their agenda. We do what they expect us to do, not what we really want to do.
I like looking at the sky, observing what shade of blue it is, what the clouds look like, spotting stars and planets and admiring the glow of the moon. I like watching horses grazing as the sun is rising, contemplating the sea and rejoicing in the millions of sparkles on its surface (things I can only do on vacation. I like spending an hour or more cooking for my children a few times a week. I like sitting in my tiny garden with a cup of tea. I like listening to my 17-year-old for an hour and a half when he is in a chatty mood.
I want to always make time for things that matter, for things that make life meaningful. Where a lot of people are afraid of failing professionally, I am afraid of failing at life. To be successful, I need to preserve my time, my space, my environment, so that I can enjoy life in the moment, spend time with people I love and make new friends.
Last time I wrote to you, I shared how I struggled with returning to London and after a long reflection, I realised that it wasn’t just because of the beautiful weather, the ocean and being on holiday. I was desperately missing the need for less, the friendly community, the presence of nature, being unplugged for parts of the day. Life is experienced differently outside of big cities and I remember thinking that life as I experience it, just like many city dwellers, just doesn’t make sense.
There are many reasons why I can’t just move out of London so I am determined to increasing the quality of the life I have now and it starts with protecting myself from unnecessary noise, spending my time in a way that make sense to me and having my own back.
There are constraints that we can’t avoid (work, family obligations), but we are in control of our life and we have more power to choose than we have come to believe.
I want to live a slower life and meet my own needs. I want to make my life more enjoyable throughout the year, not just on holiday or when I manage to get in front of the canvas. There are many ducks to get in a row before I do, but at least I have a clearer picture of what I want, and I am listening carefully to my soul.
This means that my letters to you will not necessarily be coming every week as they used to, but rather they will follow their own pace.
Plans for October
Stay mostly offline
Drink lots of water
Return to creative expression
Read for pleasure
Truly enjoy the last of the mild temperatures
Write a list of all that could enhance the quality of my life and what changes they entail. These will be implemented over the next few months.