the curated life

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Artist: Andrew Wyeth

We are a culture that has become distracted. Every tweet, email, blinking, beeping light serves to perk up our ears and demand some attention from our already overextended minds.

 

"Worry about me," shrieks the news. "Like me!" hollers Facebook. "Oh, you haven't checked me in an hour? Better get on that right now!" scolds email. On and on it goes until our brains are full of flashing lights in a weird, dark sky.

 

Consequently, we may be tempted to only skim the surface of our passions and priorities each day even though we know that going deeply into the task at hand is where the meaningful work exists. We also know that looking at the beautiful, human face in front of us rather than our shiny phones is what will keep us together. Still, this focused attention is rare. 

The good news is that we can become mindful curators of our own experience. We can treat our minds and hearts like the exquisite museums that they are and only allow artifacts of substance, knowledge, and inspiration through the doors. It's a choice. Not an easy one but a choice nonetheless.

 

I live on a steady diet of poetry, music, color, love, and nature and I am well fed. I live with Rilke, Anne Lamott, Mary Oliver, Pema Chodron, Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush, The Head and The Heart, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Neruda, and Georgia O'Keeffe. I open the doors of my mind and heart to forgiveness, intimacy, self-compassion, curiosity, and stories that spark strength and hope within me.

 

This doesn't mean that I put my head in the sand and only come up for air to look at and understand beautiful things. It doesn't mean that I don't know what is happening in our world. I do. It's terrifying. I have to be grounded within myself to take it in and so I carve out time to understand our current world after I have fed myself so that I don't lose all sense of who I am and why I am here. Rather than be bombarded with what the world wants to throw at me, I strive to deliberately choose what to allow into my mind, heart, and life on a regular basis which in turn improves the quality of my life and my ability to be helpful to others.

 

I fail at this. Sometimes I get wrapped up in internet holes and news feeds and social media. It feels awful. But, I make a conscious effort every day to always come back to the meaningful discussions, the face-to-face interactions, the undivided attention, the art, the stillness, the nature, the beauty, the things that make me happy to be alive and to embody the experience of being Jeannette.