Anchored at Home by Carolina Allen
With the tech revolution in full swing, we now have direct access to the world. In years past, what would take a lifetime to reach an international audience or broadcast a global voice, we can now achieve at near lightning speed, with a mere click of a button!
Within the centrifugal Big Ocean Model of Powerful Impact, we see how lasting impact takes place. As an individual connects with his/her wellspring of internal abundance, that influence naturally spills outward. This in turn affects the first and primary sphere of influence: the family, generally those nearest in emotional and relational proximity to the individual.
As Big Ocean Women we have a voice, and we must seek to influence and impact the world, yet we must do so with wisdom and thoughtfulness so as to not forsake and thus sabotage our family, the most critical sphere which bears the greatest potential for deepest and long-term generational impact.
The challenge then is how to develop the personal skill of fluctuating deliberately between the many spheres of influence so as to honor the powerful impact we are seeking. With the seemingly infinite and intrusive external spheres of influence that are so readily accessible to us through social media and other tech platforms, how can we best manage our time and focus to prioritize the Model of Powerful Impact?
Social media fasts are trending. Typically, though not always, they are the result of some sort of unbalanced binge, mismanagement of time, or some negative interaction. Although in some instances a fast is needed to reboot or clear the slate to begin better personal habits or boundary setting, this “all or nothing” mindset often undermines the skill of thoughtful and deliberate engagement with these other spheres by way of social media. Rather, the skill is acquired through the hard work of genuinely understanding our motivations and inclinations and managing them steadily through our internal compass.
Although I’m still working on it and have made many mistakes along the way, I like to think I am making slow and steady progress in acquiring the skill of wisely engaging with the other spheres of influence. By using my personal mantra “get in, get out” when engaging on social media, as silly as it seems, I envision myself as an astronaut floating into the online universe but always tethered to my home and family as my home base. It helps me remember that any online use I engage in ought to be a mission of sorts. This protects me from getting sucked into the black hole of online distraction. I like to ask myself, “Why am I doing in in the first place?” I try to check into my feelings. Am I doing so to escape an unpleasant feeling or emotion? Am I currently stressed, overwhelmed, tired, or angry? What are my motivations?
I have found that when I’m engaging with tech and social media in unhealthy ways, it’s highly likely that I’m in need of a mental break from the many hard tasks of care-work and/or family distress. It’s a way to tune out and numb my emotions for a bit of a break. Yet when I enter the internet from such a place of scarcity, I am easily vulnerable to getting sucked into a black hole of distraction, and I end up spending far more time than intended, and I emerge far more frazzled and overwhelmed than before.
Yet there have been many times when I have been nudged by my internal compass to engage with numerous external spheres via social media, so as to impact in thoughtful and deliberate ways. This may be reaching out to a friend in need, providing relationship connections that further the movement, organizing service opportunities, signing petitions, finding articles that inform and pondering on their implications, and finally reframing from a maternal feminist lens many difficult current issues. When I “get in and get out” because of a “mission” I feel as though I’ve accomplished something: I am renewed and am happy to return to my children. They are more filled with abundance themselves and are far more likely to be understanding of my mission. They welcome me back with cheerfulness rather than resentment.
I have felt the effects of when my heart is anchored at home and I am able to “get in and get out” of the internet universe quickly. When my focus is on my family relationships at home, my family is happier, and they in turn directly fuel my peace and happiness too. When my heart is anchored at home, I tend to be more objective, compassionate, and can more easily resist getting trapped spinning my wheels or wasting my time online. When my heart is happy at home, the many black hole aspects of the internet are not alluring to me. Likewise, when I first seek to be in a place of personal internal abundance, I am much more likely to engage deliberately and thoughtfully with my loved ones and can better provide my family with my full attention. They respond with equal focus and attention. When I can engage with the other spheres thoughtfully and intentionally, it is rarely at the expense of my loved ones getting snubbed or ignored. That careful balance becomes far more instinctive as I practice following the direction of my internal compass.
My hope is that each Big Ocean Women member will personally work to develop this skill to better engage with the various spheres of influence in articulate and happy ways, thus truly impacting for good!