Creating Space for "Real Life"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lately I have begun making inroads in a new aspect of acheiving my life balance. For some time now I have felt that I am spending way, way too much time involved in watching TV, hanging out on Facebook and/or playing computer games. I am sure there are plenty of people who spend just as much as I do if not more, but that's not the point.

Do I feel like I, personally, am wasting too much of my precious life experiences in frivolous and somewhat meaningless technological "entertainment"? Am I participating in a form of escapism from the world and all its challenges? The answer to this point is "Yes". I am the only one that should decide what I feel is "too much" of a good thing, and I think right now, I am spending too much of my life in meaningless pursuits. I want to keep working on becoming a better person and live by the virtues of God. I want to keep striving to be of service to the world. I want to make a difference and not sit idly by while the whole world moves on without me! I am WASTING TOO MUCH TIME!

This weekend I made a conscious choice to change my focus. I have been doing yoga, exercising, taking the dogs for a walk, praying, meditating, cleaning house, writing out personal goals in my planner, trying to learn the guitar AND I slept outside on my deck under the moon and stars the last two nights.

I have to say, it has been an incredibly refreshing change of pace and I have really enjoyed it a lot. I want to focus more on active "living" rather than being passively "entertained". In order to truly make a difference in the world my focus has got to change from being indulgent to finding ways to focus my energies on living a life of virtue and service to others. I feel so much better already!

It is not like I am going to avoid technology and entertainment all together - if you know me at all you know better than that. I am not going to mind spending some of my time watching T.V. if it really is something worth watching. And I think some of the time I spend on the World Wide Web is valuable - keeping in touch with friends on Facebook, sharing life experiences and talking about things that matter in the world. And I guess playing video games every once in a while is harmless as long as it doesn't become obessive or the focus of all my free time.

I am creating space in my life for "real life". I am striving for balance and moderation in all things. The picture above I took on my walk today to the ponds from my house. Just think, I would have missed the opportunity to take that picture if I was sitting in my living room watching "Wipeout".

Here are some more pictures from my walk and a couple of quotes on this topic. What do you think about entertainment and escapism? Do you use it or abuse it? Are you living your life or just skimming thru it? Are you creating space for "real life"? As always, please share your thoughts and quotes!

Gucci certainly looks happy that I took the time to take him on a walk!

"Where is that man in the world who is so restrained by shame that he avoids laziness like a thoroughbred horse avoids the whip? Like a thoroughbred horse touched by the whip, be strenuous and determined. Then you will be able to rid yourself of this great suffering by means of faith, morality, energetic behaviour, stillness of mind and reflection on the teaching, after you have become full of wisdom, good habits and recollection." (Buddhist, Dhammapada - Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))

Many a dawn hath the breeze of My loving-kindness wafted over thee and found thee upon the bed of heedlessness fast asleep. Bewailing then thy plight it returned whence it came."(Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words)

Whew! Thanks for the walk dad, but now we're exhausted. Are we there yet?


Anonymous said...

I truly understand what you mean, it seems the more t.v I watch the more I neglect my pets among other things, I have driven thru bailey and i have to say, you live in one of the most beautiful cities in Colorado, being so close to nature has got to help put that remote down, i usually go to Arapaho National forest when city life's got me ready to mimic some actions on tru tv, jk to me there's nothing like standing on top of a mountain and seeing the insignificance we are to this world and at the same time how necessary we are to keep it's beauty. May God Bless and keep up the fight to turn tv off one hour at a time

Justin Johnson said...

Thanks! I think it is pretty great. So small if you blink you might miss it, but you can't beat the Rocky Mountains. I love it here. It gives you a real sense of peace and serenity - I just need to take time to enjoy it more. God Bless you too and I will keep up the fight! ;-)

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