WORDS & IMAGE: KATE WEINER
That's been my mantra these last few weeks. I've wanted to do less, to slow down, to sit still, to stay in bed longer and listen to the world wake up.
Confronting this desire in me isn't always easy. I love having a lot going on. But lately, it's been too much and I can sense it in my body. After a particularly productive weekend, packed with ALL the things—work, writing, hikes, yoga class, dinner with friends, farmers' market sojourns—I was jittery. I had thought interweaving room for leisurely meals with loved ones and outdoor activity would've tempered the hours I spent working. I soon realized what I was craving wasn't a crammed schedule, however infused with joy—it was the space to be quiet. Having gone from one thing to the next made me achey with anxiety. I couldn't quiet my brain. I don't think more stuff is better but I have always felt more experience is. I'm coming to realize a jam packed life isn't the same as a full life. And what I want is fullness.
I am so hungry for new, more, adventure that I don't always take the time to waste a day reading. When I reflect on the last year, however, those moments when I felt achingly alive were about presence, surrender, and stillness. I can remember what it felt like sitting naked under the stars after a soak in a redwood hot tub, the eucalyptus trees around me casting shadows across my stomach, and feeling deliciously happy that I had nothing else to do right now. That moment was it. And that's what I want. To do less and to live more.
Doing less takes reframing. We live in a capitalist culture that prizes perpetual productivity. But maybe, when everything feels so urgent, when it's easy to lose a day to answering e-mails and careening between appointments, what we need is to do LESS. The urgency of climate action. The urgency of political change. The urgency of growing up and figuring our s**t out. Being victim to this urgency has complicated my capacity to be present. And like so many of you, I want to be awake to my life.
So here's my hope—for myself and for you, too. That in doing less, I live more. That in slowing down, I focus my energy. And that in breathing in the simple, irresistible bliss of every moment, I find the sustenance I need to heal our world.