How do you live with daily inspiration in a distracting world?
What has been the most inspiring time of your life? Do you have one?
A time that you felt the most creative thought, the most wonder, the most directed in your decisions? A time of personal enlightenment?
The last several months I have struggled with discontent. Okay, let’s be honest. The last YEAR :) Maybe longer…
I finally asked myself the above questions and was a little surprised by my answer.
My most inspiring time of life? I would have to admit that it was 1999-2005. My college undergraduate experience.
- I was a Music Major at USU and was so in love with my major that I would sit on the front row of every class and tap my feet in anticipation for class to start. (Total music geek!)
- I had phenomenal instructors who were passionate about their calling as a teacher. It was not unusual for me to leave a class or private lesson with major life applications that I could draw from their simple music instruction.
- I journaled a lot.
- I drove to and from campus in silence because I had so many great things to think about.
- I spent about 8 hours a day creating/performing music that was inspiring in its message and its craft.
- I had really great friends.
SIDE NOTE: I was also insanely busy, constantly studying and doing homework or practicing, freaking out about deadlines or tests, going through the usual college heart aches and insecurities, and over working myself.
But overall, I was essentially happy and inspired the majority of the time.
Why do I not feel that way now? What has changed?
Obviously, I’m no longer a student on a campus, but in many ways I’m an even better student now than I was then. I take regular classes both online and in my community, not to mention I read voraciously. Getting information and being in a learning environment was not the difference.
I am married now and have a family. But that shouldn’t matter either.
I’m actually less busy now than I was in college–so technically that should be working in my favor too.
What is the difference? As soon as the thought came, I immediately knew it was true.
Distraction. My level of distraction has significantly changed.
Those early college years I didn’t have a cell phone. Facebook didn’t exist yet. I had an email account but it was not even close to being the major player it is today. Blogging was something I’d only heard about but didn’t have time or interest for. The first ipod I saw was in my senior year and it was still considered an expensive luxury item.
But really, no one was plugged in all that much yet. We’d ride the campus bus and talk to people. We’d walk across campus and talk to our friends. We made eye contact. We were left to our own thoughts during any moment of downtime.
That was the difference.
I wanted that back. I wanted to reclaim the enlightened life I led back then.
I wanted my mind back…you know, when I could think through entire thoughts and get some depth out of them without buzzing in my brain to the next thing to check.
But how do you do that and co exist with the world we live in today? I can’t go cold turkey on digital technology, nor do I want to.
It’s a problem that both scares and fascinates me. I’m making it a matter of personal study and research to find some answers.
How do you cope?
Do you feel that you live slow enough to take in regular moments of enlightenment and take advantage of digital distractions? Can you have both? Is your most inspired time of life right now? I want to know! I’ll be actively responding to this conversation for the next 24 hours HERE. Please share your thoughts!
Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She is by nature, overly introspective. She listens to Gregorian chant in the morning, Jack Johnson in the afternoon and in the evening? She makes her own music! You should hear her yodel :)
Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.