Monday, September 12, 2016

Being In The World But Not In The World

There's a saying that says "be in the world but not of the world" meaning to live in the world but not to be influenced by some of its ways, especially if it goes against your own standards. But a couple of weeks ago, I was finding myself in the world, but not in the world. 

When I drop off Carol (the lady I work for) at her fit and fall class, I always venture over to the arboretum to eat my lunch and read and just to enjoy nature. The sad thing is I'm constantly pulled towards my phone and sucked into all the endless scrolling that I do. People pass by on the trail and sometimes I just don't bother looking up and saying hi. 

One time, a man was walking through the arboretum and taking pictures and most of the time would just stand there and listen (it's so peaceful and quiet at the arboretum). A lot of the time, I'm thinking, you only got 1 hour, check every social media platform out there before you have to leave. But then I'm so glued to the screen that I neglect really the beauty that's around here. 

Instead of trying to stick myself in a virtual world, be in the real one. Take a few minutes to think and just be present, mentally as well. Don't feel like you need to do anything. I took a culture and gender psychology class at BYU-Idaho and for one of our assignments we were told to nothing for 30 minutes. Really, nothing. No sleeping, eating, writing, just sitting there doing nothing. A lot of people are appalled by this kind of assignment because it's "wasting time". 

I chose to spend my 30 minutes of nothing at the Taylor chapel on campus. It was actually kind of therapeutic. I didn't have to stress about deadlines (I was planning a wedding at the time), or struggles or worries, I was just there, at that place, at that time. Once Austin and I got married, I noticed I started doing a little of "doing nothing" after dinner (this might also have something to do with the fact that I did not want to do dishes, but that's another matter.) Actually a lot of cultures do that. They just sit for a long time after a meal and don't do anything. They just take everything in and not rush to the next thing.

To be present in the moment is a struggle for me because I'm always thinking ahead and looking forward to some future day, possibly because I think further down the road, it will be better. I know that's a trap and as much as having hope for brighter days ahead, I'm striving to be grateful in every circumstance that I'm in. This a lot of the time means looking around and noticing the good that is there. 

It's so hard in this world of fast technology to just put it aside and try to be present. I don't even have kids and I can't even imagine how hard that is to squeeze in time like that. But I know I don't want to miss these moments of stillness because I was trying to crowd my mind with other things. Sometimes all it takes is to look up.

Pictures I took at the arboretum. Do you see the bees?


  1. This was an inspiring read. Thank you for such a good reminder of being in the present and enjoying it. inherited that rush, busy life from me and Dad.

  2. I love this too! It's embarrasing that I can't allow myself to be bored. It's like I need to always be looking or reading something! Even standing in a check out line, I'm so guilty of this! Thanks for the good reminder!

  3. Love your thoughts. I struggle with being in the present and setting down my phone!

  4. Love this! I just wrote a blog post on this same topic... We must be on the same wavelength! Kindred spirits indeed. 😉