That sounds much loftier than it is. Mostly, I've been spending a lot of time removing the things that aren't important so I can better understand and pursue what is.
My goal to read 50 books this year has already paid huge dividends in this area; my closet looks incredible (Thanks, KonMari); my clothes are fitting better (Hard to thank you Ferris, so... Fist bump?) and I've been making time for silence in my life.
Most recently, I've been reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. It randomly landed on my reading list as part of a classic book club that I'm in. I'm only through the introduction and already, I'm finding the book incredible.
Within an hour of picking up the book, I'd already highlighted about 7 passages (which is rare, I would say I normally average 2-3 per book), but this one in particular stood out to me.
"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things." --Henry David Thoreau
As I sat reading on my cell phone, I realized how true this is for me. I'm not here to berate the mom checking her phone at the playground (ahem, me, ahem) or vow to stop using my phone (or ipad, or xm radio, or...), but it did give me pause. If this was true in 1854 (the year Singer invented the sewing machine, for perspective) how much more true is it today? Or to put it another way, how many more toys are there available for distraction?
And just in case that didn't hit home enough for me, I also found this:
I have had days when I was nearly unable to work because the wifi at my office was down. I can't possible claim WiFi is not necessary to my life, yet millions of people around the world live their daily lives with out it. While I won't go as far as to claim that everyone who uses wifi is 'the most helpless and diseased,' I have to face that my reliance does have a tendency to occasionally cripple me, and it may not be helping me in my purpose as much as I suppose...
"Some things are really necessaries of life in some circles....which in others are luxuries merely, and in others are entirely unknown." -- Henry David Thoreau