Most of you probably know that we have closed our non-profit art studio this summer. With that big change, a lot of questions, comments, and feelings from within myself and from people came as a result.
Change can be tricky, right!? It is one of those layered things that can mix both beautiful and hard. I have found that during change is a tender season, which makes you really moldable. It’s all the more reason to protect what voices you listen too and how you invest your time. I knew for this season I needed to pull back from social media and be more present with those who know me… and more quiet to hear God’s voice.
I took two months off social media, and it was a great break. A few things I noticed:
I looked up a lot more. Have you found yourself saying you wish you had more time in the day?
I got so much more time back in my day when I went off social media. I don’t play games on my phone, so other than normal phone calls, texts, and emails, my phone is a camera. When I stopped using social media, my phone time went down from 5+ hours a day to less than 1 hour. I often would pick up my phone in an empty moment and realize I had nothing to do on it, so I would sit it down and go look to see what everyone else was doing. I’ve watched a lot of live basketball 🙂
I processed my own stuff a lot more. When our mind is full so are our emotions.
I found that not seeing and absorbing as much information, pictures, reels, videos, and content my mind was more freed up. I was able to think through my own thoughts, feelings, and emotions; as well as, have energy to do the same for those around me. As an ennegram 4, I am a big feeler. I can feel what others may be feeling in a situation. That can be considered a gift in a lot of social settings, but it also can be a big weight in processing and carrying things that were never mine to carry. In this time of not seeing others lives so upfront, I did feel a little lost at first. I quickly then got to really understand what I was carrying with closing a chapter of my life (with the studio) and where my kids ages and needs are today.
I focused on what I enjoyed. Take a picture of what catches your eye.
For the first time in years, when I scroll my phone’s camera roll, I see my family, experiences or things that I love. I had no pressure in this social media break to “market” something, or showcase the latest at the studio, yet I could be present in what I loved. As I still took a lot of pictures, I found myself reaching out to family more. Another added bonus, my growing teens were more agreeable to take pictures. They no longer had to worry ‘where was this picture going?’ or ‘who is going to see this?’. They knew their pictures were staying on my phone or going directly to family.
I was more present with those I love. We never outgrow the need for friends.
Without interacting with friends online, I found myself getting together with friends and family more. Sharing laughs over meals, drinks, sweat in the sun or swimming in the rain, I was creating real moments and memories of knowing and being known.
I did activities I enjoy! What things are life giving to you?
I love to read, be in nature, and create. You would think if I love it, I would do it more, but life is so busy. As I had more time in my day, I found myself reading more. I also planted flower bulbs and tomato plants. I even re-did a room in my house that started with pulling up the carpet! As I created time in my day to do things with my hands that I love, I was reconnecting with things that build me up.
Life can feel so urgent. The pressure to see something when it happens, to “be in the know” and to respond to messages immediately can create days that feel like riptides pulling you through. What I noticed when I said no to social media, I was saying yes to living intentionally and life just moved slower.
It’s ok to rest. We were all made to have seasons in life just like there are seasons in the year. Some years are more obviously producing and some are more restful (or work behind the scenes) in nature. I hope if you feel a nudge to step back and take a social media break that you too can make it possible. Time goes so quickly as I can clearly see in these time lapse photos of when we opened the studio and when we closed it five years later.
Thank you for all the support. Remember, you can imagine the possibilities! We only have one life. Go out and creatively live it!