Ever feel the sense that life is speeding up? It’s a thing, and I bet you have all felt a little weirded out by it but maybe haven’t been able to place your finger on what exactly weirds you out. I don’t have to explain how the internet has accelerated the rate at which we function, operate, communicate, (or even get us from A to B!) but I do need to explain how this has had immense impact on our physical and physiological state. As our rate of productivity accelerates, so does the idea that our numbered time on this planet is accelerating too. To be Frank, the modern condition is really throwing our mind and bodies out of whack, and never before has it been so necessary to take time everyday for a little self-care and self-love to ground yourself back to reality.
Ph.D Robert Sardello put this idea really nicely in ‘Freeing The Soul From Fear’, “The change in our feeling of time – that time is now speeding up – results from an imbalance between duration and tempo. Duration decreases, while tempo increases… The should requires duration of time – rich, thick, deep velvety time – and it thrives on rhythm. Soul can’t be hurried or harried. It has to take in events slowly, ruminating over them, turning them into its own experience. When the soul is instead bombarded with a rapid sequence of events that have little depth, another kind of fear as ‘time is running out’… For the soul to be deprived of duration and tempo takes away its capacity for expression in the world. We live in temporal anxiety, as if we are about to come to some unknown abrupt end.” I don’t mean to throw super long paraphrases at you but the man couldn’t have worded it any better. He’s saying that the anxiety of time, thanks to our modern condition, is very much a result of a fast-paced bombardment of junk, distractions, and things that hold little meaning. Take email for example, and think about how it has become a chat tool rather than an exchange of important, proofed and edited information. Ever thought about how time consuming it is to chat back and forth? Not only does an unedited, ill-thought-out email run havoc on miscommunication, dealing with the back-and-forth is another distraction, and another anxiety on the laundry list that we now have to deal with in daily life.
The number of interactions we are faced with today is simply overwhelming for any balanced human being. In this sense, we have truly lost the valuable element of ‘quality’ in business culture, as technology developed for streamlining, in fact adds more clutter to our mental state. I myself have fallen into the trap of treating an email the same way I would a Whatsapp conversation, because its all become the same right? At the end of the day, we cannot blame anyone but ourselves, as it’s our own responsibility to keep our codes of conduct in tact. Think about how important the basic etiquette that our parents and schools taught us from a young age has held societies together for centuries, and how quickly society can unravel without it.
In the publishing world, I have watched this high-speed tempo affect the quality and quantity of information in circulation. Most who work for magazines, media agencies, news media, music, will tell you that they are under increasing pressure to produce more content over a shorter space of time, as they are constantly reminded of the bottom line, their positions threatened at the thought of slowing down. The new kids on the block: bloggers, vloggers, and social media superstars suffer greatly from this modern day anxiety. They commit to producing regular content, yet hundreds of thousands (if not millions) lack the skill set, experience, and mindset to cope with the pressures of performance. It is a tough pathway that can be filled with low-selfesteem, doubt, and a lack of direction behind the scenes.
There is a fear that culture has suffered the most from our new-aged infatuation with space junk; and we are already experiencing a new wave of popular culture that arguably celebrates an ‘anti-culture’, an embracement of non-depth. What ever it is, no matter how much you love or hate it, we can all accept today’s pop culture is a reflection of our tastes and values. I see it as a much needed wake up call for self love and respect, pulling the reigns if you will, on the tempo that has been set to our movements. (Pun intended for those who are into dance music – a lot can be said for the state of pop music today).
So may I remind you all of the simple things that tell us that the Universe is much bigger than us, and if we move through it at our own individual paces, we will have the most rich and beautiful existence within its boundless parameters. Swim through time with grace, and remind yourself that your mind is the most powerful force in your body. It can control how you feel and as a result, the chemistry of your physical body. Taking care of yourself is the most important part you can play in the scheme of life. Greatness, beauty, and contentment erupt when your mind and body are balanced, so it’s within your best interest to take care of both entities. Take time for each meal of the day, free of distractions, and with food that will nourish. Remind yourself that the only expectation placed on yourself is that which you have placed. Take time to look within yourself, and remind yourself that the Universe is all for you. Peace.