Is An Online Contemplative An Oxymoron?
As we spend more and more of our lives online, managing our worlds, running businesses, staying in touch and promoting our work, I’ve been asking myself this question:
Can a deeply spiritual life and an active online business coexist together?
Does it seem counterintuitive to even ask? Does your neck begin to tense up when you consider this conundrum?
Maybe you have a really active life and you spend a lot of time online for work. As you go through your day, you might have a fleeting thought that you really need to stop and meditate. Or you really need to schedule in a yoga class.
Or maybe you have a deeply contemplative life, but you have a small cottage industry that you can’t quite get off the ground because you feel frustrated by all the technology that you have yet to learn.
For what it’s worth, here are a couple of my personal truths that I am finding helpful as I navigate this question:
I think that the online world is here to stay. More and more business is done online every day and new apps and technology are evolving the way we do almost everything in modern life. In other words, technology is coming for us all, and if we embrace learning new things, we will also find new freedoms. I personally love the freedom of running a business from my home!
I cannot live without my Loving Kindness practice. My meditation and yoga practices that are bathed in Loving Kindness provide the sustenance for everything else I do. They are not more things “to do.” They are my way of being in the world.
So if the freedom of having an online business is beginning to feel like shackles instead of freedom, maybe it’s time to take a couple of days off to retreat to your true self. To remember that you are a “human being” not a “human doing.”
It may seem counterintuitive, but the moments that feel like it’s most impossible to stop and just be are actually the moments it’s the most essential. Do you feel like you can’t possibly take a break from answering your email or checking Instagram and Facebook today? Then I suggest you put your phone in a shoe box for an hour (or the rest of the day). Lace up your tennis shoes for a walk outside, no matter the weather. Or roll out your yoga mat and meditation cushion and listen to your body tell you where it needs to move. Give yourself the gift of time, space and love.
Make sure you come up for air after swimming in the online world. Then you can dive back in with intention from your grounded, strong center.