Creating my art and spending quiet time in nature is very important to me. It’s one of the ways in which I’m able to take time and space to process my thoughts and feelings so that I can come back to what I call ‘my true self’, that inner authentic self.
For me, time in nature is time spent away from the expectations of society. There seems something weighty about the expectations and teachings of society that sometimes does not quite seem to be always for my higher good.
It feels vital that I should be able to take some quiet time to just ‘be’ in the natural world so that I can work out which are the ideas and thoughts coming from my own ‘true self’ and which are the ones that I have learned by rote from society.
Has this always been the case for people throughout history? Have people always needed quiet time to distinguish their own inner voice from the loud and insistent voice of society, or the voices we’ve learned from those around us, or the brands we see so often they almost feel like trusted family now and when they tell us we feel a lack we do not question?
Did we used to feel more connected to nature in our everyday lives? And so, could we distinguish better between these societal expectations and our own inner calls?
Or is that our society has changed? With our modern technology, so much has changed, thinking back just 5, 10 or 20 years, let alone the 4 decades that have passed since I was a small child learning all about the world…
Or the further decades-past, from where our perceived societal wisdom often hails from, handed down through generations. Are our societal preconceptions still helping us now or looking into the future?
…an uncertain future where continuing technological developments will bring a more robotised era where our roles in society will certainly not be the same as they have been.
Are our accepted societal norms and expectations right for this new era? Do they hinder us from thinking clearly and adapting ourselves for the way the world is changing about us?
I am far from being against developing technology. Technology has allowed me to be self-employed and to work from the comfort of my own home for the last decade.
Technology allows me to create art… and then recreate it at the touch of a button. It allows me to chat daily to friends hundreds of miles away. It provides my husband with his job and income. We have wonderful and visual films and stories to amaze and inspire us and information at our fingertips…
But I think we need to understand our role as humans, where we are in the world, where we’ve come from and where we’re going, and decide how we want to live our lives. Technology must work for us and not against us.
Taking some time for ourselves in nature helps us think about this. We must listen to our inner self and not be weighted down by expectations for another type of society from another time.
Do those expectations of society serve us now? Are they relevant for us personally? Are they useful to us personally? Are they the right beliefs for us to carry forward into our evolving lives?
It’s not about ignoring the modern developments – in fact, quite the opposite. It’s about balancing the contemporary, technological, fast-paced, modern world with time connecting with nature, with our true natures – time in quiet contemplation so that we can think with clarity and come up with appropriate solutions for us in this world in which we find ourselves.
Our answers are always a work in progress and must evolve as the world evolves around us...
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This blog post was previously published on my old blog in 2018.
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