Jim Kargakos

“Sometimes, you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be.” – Anonymous

The noise is never ending, isn’t it?

We walk around with our brains chattering endlessly, thinking about tomorrow, yesterday, what happened this morning, what will take place tonight, replays and alternate endings of past events, and fantasies about things that could be or could have been.

And then, there are the gadgets – attached to our hands 24/7, armed and loaded with countless apps – they keep us fulfilled, entertained, in touch and distracted.

Ah yes, we can instantly be in touch with everything and everyone, it seems – the entire planet. Just a touch, a scroll and a click. Well, that is everyone, but … ourselves. Where on a screen do you scroll to get in touch with yourself?

But if we’re not in touch with ourselves, doesn’t everything around us fade out of focus? If we are not centered in the knowledge of ourselves, how can we know where we stand in relation to everyone and everything else in our world? What does anything mean, if I don’t know what it means to me?

Yet, how can we find our “self” while caught up in a whirlwind of constant noise and distraction?

Sometimes, you just “need to step outside, get some air.”

In my Psychology of Happiness class, we talk about the importance of what Carin Rubenstein and Phillip Shaver call “active solitude,” which is simply taking the time to literally and figuratively unplug and go for a walk, or sit in a quiet place. No smartphone, no music blaring in our ears, no interference or disruptions of any sort. Just the moment and us.

And it’s during those times, where the stillness and quiet begin whispering in our ears, that we can begin to finally hear what lies inside of us. So many truths that have been obscured by the constant noise in our heads begin to surface. So many yearnings that have been lying silent can be heard shouting from the depths of our spirit.

Now you’re really “in touch.” You’re in touch with your own being and soul. How many trivial text messages and “LOLs” would you trade for that?

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