It is autumn out there. I have often wondered which season I like better – spring or autumn. In my home country Bulgaria every season is beautifully defined and we’ve got all four of them there. In my country of living Ireland we don’t always get all the seasons throughout the year but we can definitely get all of them in a single day!
After being in Ireland for 8 years I have come to resent the summers and absolutely love the autumns. Summers often turn out cold and grey, and disappointing. On the other hand, autumns are warm, sunny and gorgeously colourful. Now I know autumn is my favourite season and I am enjoying it wholeheartedly.
I believe that the shedding of the leaves also represents the transformation which every single being on the planet has to go through during their life, in one way or another, at some time or another. Before the new growth comes forward, the old foliage needs to be shed. It is a beautiful metaphor for the renewal of the human soul and identity. And before the life sprouts again we need to go through the darkness and coldness of winter.
While watching the leaves fall down, I have been reflecting on priorities. There’s so much we want to do and never enough time.
I figured there’s two essential things to consider– discipline and distraction. This means learning to better structure our days and prioritise our activities and daily tasks, and also how to minimise the time spent on stuff of secondary importance.
In addition I observed how the feeling of anxiety emerges when we are unable to take control of our daily lives and routines. And while it is not so much about control, it is more about being in charge of our time and efforts, being clear of our priorities and being productive. When we are able to release that we wish to let go of, or in other words carry out a task, we eliminate the possibility of getting blocked and stagnant.
Last week I went through an episode of anxiety. I was trying to take deep breaths but it was like the air couldn’t fill in my lungs. I started panicking and my heart was beating fast.
I was frustrated. I wanted to write. I felt full of pent-up energy. And I couldn’t get it out. It felt like there’s too much going on inside of me. I was thinking about things like success, dream, purpose… and social media.
What is my purpose with this blog? How serious am I about it?
Is it just a hobby? Or do I have some greater aspirations?
How do other bloggers become successful? How do they get followers?
How do I get followers? Is that what’s most important for me?
What is my priority? Why am I doing this? For whom do I write?
Too many thoughts banging about in my head.
I’ve wanted to spend some time thinking what my purpose is with this blog. To sit down, think about it, and perhaps write it down. But I procrastinate. It keeps coming up, I spend a second or two tossing the thought around in my head, then I move on without resolution. I am not giving this my full attention. I keep distracting and it keeps chasing me. Until I feel completely distressed.
Part of this distraction is the social performance of my blog and Facebook page. I realised I spend a considerable time checking my social stats. And I am not a particularly social media person, I keep it up because it is somewhat part of the job description of the modern person. Social media is not my world but I feel haunted by it. Driven mad by the little red balloon notifying me about what’s happening with my posts.
I know this phenomenon has a biological explanation. The little red balloon triggers the organic chemical dopamine in our brains and bodies. Dopamine is connected to reward-motivated behaviour. Dopamine is also connected to addictive drugs. You keep going back for more to get your dopamine hit and feel rewarded. By six likes of your FB page, two shares of your posts, eight emails in your inbox… Honestly, I feel manipulated!
Sarcasm aside, I do feel torn apart. I want to focus on my writing, enjoy the process of it, and come up with something decent. But I do want to share it as well and possibly evoke a response from others.
So my priorities with this blog are:
#1 – enjoy myself
#2 – practise my writing and get better at it
#3 – use it as a tool to release pent-up energy
#4 – connect with others (last but not least)
I am not trying to help other people, I am simply trying to get myself out of a big entangled emotional mess. Of course, in the process I hope others will resonate with what I am saying and will be able to benefit from it.
And that’s the good thing about internet and social media. All we want is to tell our story. We want to be heard. Thanks to these free platforms we can all do that quite easily. But we’re also looking for alike souls. Inevitably we want to connect. We want to know we’re not alone. We want to be reassured.
And we are certainly not alone. And we can certainly reach and support each other. All we need to do is read somebody’s blog post. Or write one. You feel better. You are on your path. You’re evolving. And there are many others with you and around you. We are changing humanity and how our world works.
So my verdict on social media – it is not a priority, it is a tool. It is like our minds – it could be a great servant or a terrible master. If you let social media run your life, you will inevitably suffer – it will never be enough. But if you use it as a tool for connection, without looking for direct results, you can reach out and share your story. Dedicate yourself to your passion and at some time the rewards will come. And if they don’t – at least you have dared.
When I’m editing this article it is just turning 11:11 am, on the 11th of November (the 11th month). Today there’s also a new moon and is the perfect time for planting seeds. Plant your dreams in the damp fertile leafy soil and watch them grow and come to fruition when the first sun rays start melting the ice of winter.
Resolution: I’m going to be much more strict and disciplined with my time. No more distraction during my productive hours when I can sit without being disturbed. Every single quiet moment I will use to write or read. Later on in the afternoons when my toddler is back from school and playing around, I will spend some time updating social media channels, getting back to emails, online research, etc. And when I get tempted to check a notification or hear a buzz from my phone, I’m going to lay down the law. A designated time for everything.0