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Speed!
by Therèse Tappouni

I am acutely aware of the way my generation is straddling two eras without precedent. We watched as things changed, slowly and gradually, after World War II. We could even adjust to a man going to the moon because the process had been publicly discussed for so long after President Kennedy’s Inaugural call to action. Things began to speed up as computers created for business and the space age became common in personal households. Because of my computer, I am moving through the editing process of “Me and Green”, a book for children to be published for Breaking Ground Contracting’s Education Division, and building a website for a client without leaving my office! Speed offers convenience, and I’m grateful to not have to use carbon paper and white-out, but it is also doing away with aspects of life that I cherish.

Social networking and e-mail travel faster than the fastest rocket. When I check on my FaceBook page I see old and new friends, and am tempted to stop by and “visit” for longer than I can afford. On my women’s networking sites I promise 10 minutes, no more. A letter has become an archaic form of address, and therefore treasured by the receiver as it must have been when communications traveled by ship from one continent to the other—a rare and wondrous event! Writing a letter to someone slowed down the process and let us re-think unfortunate words, saving a lot of hurt feelings. We could also turn an “I luv u” into poetry worthy of the Brownings. On the practical side, I remember when we could say “The check is in the mail,” gaining a few days to collect the money from clients to pay others. Then they invented the fax, followed by “Did you get my text message?”

Science suggests this excess speed is attacking our brains in an unhealthy way. Children’s brains are not growing as they should because the overload of images has “paused” the brain in its progress—sort of like overloading a circuit. High fructose corn syrup and chemical laden “fast” and “convenience” foods have led to brain cravings similar to those created by narcotics. As a teacher of meditation and finding the way on your spiritual path, it is very challenging to present workshops to the social network generation, but once they set aside even a few minutes a day to focus on their spiritual and emotional life, they are ready for more. Start with 10 minutes in the morning—consider yourself your most important client and schedule “you” every day. The peace and serenity that comes from honoring yourself above all else, even for a few minutes a day, is a habit people want to continue. The results are so amazing for so little effort that they can’t help increasing the time away from the fast-track. Some of them are even writing letters!

Welcome to our Musings where we share with you what is on our minds and in our hearts. We are honored that you are open to our words. We will be "musing" on subjects from our books in progress, current articles and current poetry plus thoughts on the world and the intentional life in general that we'd like to share with you.

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