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Returning to the Trees

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

For about 4 years now I’ve maintained a regular yoga practice which consists of at least 15 minutes of asana a day. Alongside this, meditation and mindfulness have become a large part of my everyday life and have helped me navigate through the past two years of pandemic weirdness. They have also revealed to me how reactive I am, how fragile my mental health is and how overstimulated my mind can become. I am susceptible to bouts of news fatigue where I simply cannot take anymore information in lest I crumble in a fit of despair.

Yesterday, on Instagram, I read an article about how the koala had been declared an endangered species in several Australian states. It was the straw that broke the camels back. Around that story were numerous posts and reels selling me stuff I don’t want, influencers showing off their perfect outfits in their perfect homes and an explore page full of celebrity gossip, plastic surgery before and afters, and things I would never normally waste my time on….

And I felt tired.

So, I went for a walk in the bush and it felt good to be amongst the trees and the birds. The wind made music with the leaves and all the jaded angst was blown from my heart. I started to think about ways that I can be less of a burden on the beauty that surrounded me. I felt at peace in my skin, breathing in the eucalypt-scented air. I resolved to take more walks!

Now that is all well and good, but I thought to myself, ‘why don’t I walk in the forest more often?’ Immediately I realised that if I took away the time I spent on social media I could spend hours with the trees every day! So I decided to impose a 3 month social media ban on myself, creating a post to say ‘see ya later’ and deleting the app from my phone.

The sense of relief I felt was immense. Palpable. I felt free.

To be truthful, I don’t know how to be an artist/illustrator in this world without social media anymore. It’s been my main (mostly, only) mode of displaying and selling work for a lot of years. In many ways it has made my work performative and I don’t even know how deeply I actually connect with it anymore. Well, it’s time to find out who I am without it. For the next three months I have no audience except for myself and Frankie, and he sure as hell doesn’t care much for anything I do!

And look, here I am, already blogging in long format and feeling a thousand times more authentic with these verbose thoughts written on my own page. I wonder when it was we all gave ourselves up to the metaverse? I can’t even remember. Anyway, things just seem more magical outside of it, I notice the little things more and see that my place, my true home, is out here amongst the trees and the birds.

It’s where we all belong.

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