Knowledge Obesity

A few months back I was in a pretty positive state of mind despite being in quarantine. But I think like most of us, we are pretty much over being alone. There were a few benefits- working from home, no commute time, more time for working out, more “me” time in general. But a few months later, it seems like life got hectic.

My day job became much busier and since we are all communicating through technology, it seems as though it’s technology all day, all the time- total overload. It was interesting because in the beginning, I was liking seeing everyone in teams/zoom meetings and how they were adapting- barking dogs, kids, tech dropping out, and some funny home issues. But then it became overwhelming, always being on screen. In my company everyone is always on video so when you don’t turn it on, it feels a little like being judged. Also many more reports became available and much more information being shared and dissected. I started researching this topic of tech overload and I’m not alone with my thoughts. It seems that during this work from home period, our access to information has grown exponentially.

It was interesting to find that someone has termed this issue “knowledge obesity”- a feeling of total overload of information similar to the term analysis paralysis.

This is a real thing. Last week, I was asked had to dissect a 15 tab excel report that someone had created and repurpose it for another project. After staring at it for about 2 days, I came to the realization that in its current state, it was completely paralyzing and I could not process the information it was telling me. Omg, “what is happening to me? I think my brain is no longer working.”

I did appreciate the intricacy and time and work that was put into this monstrosity and the realization that someone way smarter than me developed this report, however what I realized was that the human part of the work was missing. There was just too much going on in my brain to process what was handed to me. And then it hit me… I tore it apart and made what I called a silly, simple report- a term my last manager used over and over which I really came to appreciate. I whittled the more important information into to 3 pages- easy to navigate and easy to decipher. Fifteen tabs down to three. My mindfulness practice has made me realize that humanness and ease is what is needed more than ever in the workplace.

The same week of this aha, I was lucky enough to see a screening of a documentary coming out in a few months called The Portal. It’s about the conditioning of human behavior and how we create what we are. The story focuses on about 6 individuals and the intense trauma that they have faced. Mindfulness is woven through all the stories- the capacity to shift human attention and to optimize what we have. It’s a big genie out of the bottle topic that will continue to be on the forefront as humans deplete the earth and as technology continues to push boundaries and integrates deeper in to our lives.

I have been practicing meditation regularly for about a full year now and it has changed me. And this film, was about choice- choosing to climb up out of misery and hardship, to rise above the really bad and create positive out of the dirt. Everyone is recovering from something but you can never tell from the outside appearance the deep rooted pain that your neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family is carrying. Their experiences might trump your silly daily shit a 1000 times over.

This film made me think of my life, all of the trauma that runs deep into my core. When it all started, how I have been dealing with it, not dealing with it, and dealing with it again and again. It will always be there trying to cloud my judgement. I am really proud of how I evolved and survived.

For those that know me, you might think that I am strong, opinionated, stubborn and sometime ruthless. Yes. Others may think that I am overly compassionate and a pushover. Yes, to that too. But at least I am feeling… and always aspiring to be more neutral and seeing improvement.

Once again I have realized that I cannot ignore what is going on in the inside. Ever. And that my practices will always be there to help me feel. Feeling is dealing.

Mindfulness for life… trust the process. Sounds like a T-shirt in the making.

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