The Trouble With Needing So Much Stimulation


It’s raspberry season. Today as I’m picking, it occurs to me that many people would find this dull. Boring. Tedious even. It’s particularly slow going on this morning because the porcupine has been getting into the patch; bending branches down and smooshing everything together. This means I have to painstakingly pick up branch by branch to get all the berries hiding underneath without breaking anything.

As I’m doing this, I’m thinking about us as a people and how extremely stimulating things have become in our world over the past decades. How once we would have found pleasure in something like picking berries. But that now, it would feel too slow. Not worth the effort. How an endeavor like this wouldn’t be exciting or engaging enough for many of us now. Where once it would have been the highlight of the season and a deeply coveted activity. Would even have been seen as an important function for helping to bring in the bounty of the summer, while feeding the family something special.

We are way off course when we allow our lives to be gobbled up by the pace of the machines we are so attached to. In jeopardy of forgetting who we are and what is most important when we live so busy and so over-stimulated day after day after day. With all that we believe we have now with our speed and convenience and ease of access, we are disconnected from the preciousness of Life, and oblivious to what is being lost.

That being, a true sense of ourselves, what matters most in Life and perhaps most missing of all these day, how to live in harmony and in accordance with our truest Nature. If we are rarely outside, if we do not pick our heads up out of the screens, if we are never quiet, we will not have access to our deepest selves and to our real place in the scheme of things.

I am content on this morning to be with the raspberries, despite the slowness of the task, because of two things: I have meditated this morning and because I have made moments like this a priority in my life.

And there it is. If you are looking, yearning even, to feel a greater sense of ease and connection, it requires putting your money (or the raspberries in this case) where your mouth is. Meaning, it is up to you to decide what is most important to you and live accordingly. This despite all the distractions and the pull to keep doing more. This means intentionally choosing to slow down regularly. Daily. Maybe it’s meditation. Maybe it’s looking out the window. Maybe it’s saying no. But certainly it is about getting a hold of your own schedule.

Slowing down and getting quiet serving as the non-negotiable prerequisite for figuring out, and then living, what matters most to you.

The world will not do this for you. The world will continue to encourage, demand even, that you keep over-stimulating yourself. But to choose this is to run right past the truest and the most important and most truly sustaining moments of Life.