You’ve probably read that every seven years our bodies completely regenerate, cell by cell. This is a myth – some neurons last a lifetime, but it is safe to say you are not who you were seven years ago, and it is TRUE that the vast majority of your cells have replaced themselves many times over, but at various time intervals. We also replace all the things on us and around us. My husband Lee and I have been in an off-and-on Feng Shui attack since early 2015 – without plans to replace any of the STUFF we released. This process has provided a good feng shui-ing for my mind, too.
How many possessions do you still have from your youth? Childhood? Early adulthood? Anyone out there still have their first car? I have a couple of garments from my teen years, yearbooks, photos, letters from friends, the dolls I made by hand from childhood, and an eye-less teddy bear, now blindly staring at my back from his spot on my bookshelf. Impermanence and replacement are givens, but the one constant in our lives, the one thing we cannot replace once it is gone is time. How to use it, how to enjoy it, how to avoid wasting it are problems for everyone to suss out in their own way.
In mid-February after the Dam Short Film Festival came to a close, I deactivated Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ (as if anyone uses that) among others with the plan that I would reactivate after Easter. Now I’m nearing the end of my social media fast; I admit I’ve enjoyed it immensely and may continue to abstain. The biggest benefit has been the gift of time. Time, or my perception of it, has slowed down. My mental focus sharpened, (though part of the self-improvement plan this spring included supplements, dietary changes, plus ongoing meditation), I read several books, my enthusiasm for Chinese Medicine rebounded, and I even wrote a few old-fashioned letters, something I haven’t done for YEARS. How strange it was to put thoughts onto paper, seal them in an envelope, pop in the mail, knowing that if I were to get a response … it would be days, not seconds or minutes.
I’m wondering why I ever spent ANY time – on beautiful weekend mornings at that – scrolling, reading, posting, arguing, replying, taking silly quizzes, at the expense of living life … why? When time is gone, it is REALLY GONE, and the world of TwatFaceGram is mostly junk. Truthfully, it was the 2016 election that did me in with social media. Everyone’s a pundit – often an angry pundit! No desire to absorb any of it or the fallout. How sad that some people lost REAL friends because of differences posted online! My social media fast has been a news fast as well, and a much-needed one. Revelations of how Facebook and other media giants keep tabs on us attracts me even more strongly to media of cellulose, ink, and glue.
There’s no going back. My brain is repopulating with its own thoughts and I LIKE it! 2016 and 2017 have been strange years, with beloved people leaving the planet. Survivors are left behind to grok the preciousness of life and the scarcity of time. If I’m regenerating approximately every seven years, I want to feel and be present for the changes, participate in making sure those changes are high quality for body, mind, and spirit. Simply put, during these past nine weeks I have felt MORE ALIVE than I have since returning to Nevada from acupuncture school. Quitting social media, like acupuncture, meditation, sunshine, and exercise, has had broad spectrum effects.
*h/t: Mark S Miller for titular concept