Is anyone else feeling a little smothered by, or impatient with, bigger than life drama? You can probably tell by my question that I am. Usually, I’m a pretty unflappable person (I’ve even been told that people feel more at peace when they’re around me — very grateful to know this), but like everyone I have my “enough” point, and I’m reaching it.
When I say bigger than life drama I mean our need – at least in the U.S. – to have something be presented as giant and catastrophic for us to pay attention to it.
Political rhetoric, entertainment (which are tragically becoming way too similar), news reporting, religious discussions, non-mainstream spiritual discussions, advertising… If someone isn’t throwing a temper tantrum (brides, celebrities, tattooed men building motorcycles) they’re trying to start or prevent something that will “destroy our way of life forever” (so tired of political ads and sound-bites).
It feels like we’re stuck in a groove of needing to be hyper-stimulated in order to bother showing up for our lives.
And, no, I don’t think getting irritated and ranting is necessarily a solution, especially since it’s, well, dramatic. I know some people stop watching, reading, listening to anything that feels disruptive. I’ve tried to do this, but telescoping my world smaller and smaller to avoid hyperbole doesn’t feel sustainable. I need to be engaged with my community — warts — hiccups — simple beauties and all. So, I obviously need to start with what I can affect. Me. With what I require from the world to be engaged and how I speak and write about the rhythms of our evolution. But, then I run into that pesky question, “How?”
How “fluffnarts” fit in…
A few weeks ago I took a different route when driving my daughter to a friend’s house. She was talking about her day at school as we wound down the tiny, wooded road. When she realized we were somewhere she didn’t recognize she blurted “Where the fluffnarts are we, Mom?”
After a whole lot of laughter and some serious appreciation for her ability to pop new words into being in mid-sentence, I realized that the quality of our interaction had changed. We were both more present to each other, and to the Place where we were driving. We were having a more connected conversation, no drama necessary.
For the next few weeks I thought about how a new, deeper engagement with my daughter and with Place had happened simply because we both recognized that we were on a new road. I realized that this was one possible answer to the pesky “How?” question. A simple way into engaging our lives so we are fully present, fully aware, fully participating, without needing to create a big, huge, hairy drama.
The beauty of the road less traveled…
We don’t have to be in a world-ending cataclysm or life-transforming event to appreciate our lives. We’ve gone a little numb to what’s already here. Just life. Which can be BIG and DRAMATIC, but is usually most breathtakingly beautiful in it’s subtlest moments.
Rather than needing to be hyper-stimulated, what we need is to find a different path, or a new perspective on our current path.
My assignment for the coming year is to choose less traveled roads both real and metaphoric. To wander new roads and new ideas, to peer at old ideas with a new perspective.
My intention is to appreciate what’s been quietly there in my life all along by perceiving it in a new way. I might use a different sense to appreciate it. For example, sitting and listening to my garden with my eyes closed. Or drop judgements, assumptions, and “shoulds” so I can listen more deeply to someone and truly hear both what they are saying and how they are saying it without my need to be right obliterating what they are communicating. I will speak in terms of wonder, awe and appreciation without needing drama or chaos to draw me in, or draw others to me.
What am I doing about the bigger than life dramas happening around me? Bringing curiosity to them. Looking at them through the lenses of beginner’s eyes. Encouraging people who are starting drama-less conversations of their own by joining in. Starting a few drama-less conversations myself.