I sit here staring at the blank screen of my new computer. It feels light and clean, weightless and present, not unlike how I feel after I meditate or go for a walk. Spacious. It feels like a deep breath. It feels like possibility.
Why didn’t my previous computer littered with folders and pictures feel this way?
Well, maybe because it was filled with a lot of “I could…” and “I should…” and “I might…” Every time I opened my old computer, I felt overwhelmed, heavy, weighted down with the expectation, a kind of neatly labeled chaos disguised as work capable of holding me back and feeling incomplete. There were folders of things I was currently working on, ideas and material of future projects I could work on, and some things that I will never work on.
There was no air, no breath in all that. The kind of weighted density of “what I should be doing next” that fed into my driven nature and consequently made me feel like I need to do more; that I’m somehow lacking if I don’t do more. Do more. Nothing is ever enough. And it all seems so important when I’m in it.
As I begin the restoration process of downloading and retrieving my old material, I have to pause and reflect and wonder if I want to download all of it right back onto my new computer. I’m hesitant. I like the feeling of lightness that stares back at me. There is peace and healing in the pause.
My computer appears to be a metaphor for life. How much are we trying to squeeze in? Is it all necessary? Are some of the things that we are trying to accomplish just for the sake of accomplishment? Or to impress others? Or to satisfy a story that we tell ourselves? Or to fill voids in our life? Or all of the above?
I’m not suggesting that everything on my computer is unnecessary. Much of it holds space and acts as a receptacle for what I feel is my life’s work. But does it all need to be on there? Am I trying to do too much? Am I allowing myself to enjoy the journey because it sure doesn’t feel like it sometimes. Is the fact that I am enjoying staring at this blank desktop screen and feeling lighter a message? I think so. I believe it is allowing me to trust the space in the process more. I think it is telling me to work smarter rather than harder. I think it is telling me to take a step back and truly allow my intuitive nature to come through to guide me. It doesn’t work very well when we are pushing all of the time to get through a crowded to-do list.
Are you trying to do too much? Has your work in the world become a kind of survival of just getting the most done, day after day? Are you enjoying the sweetness of your journey? Fully taking in all that is going on and observing the lessons and embracing your growth process?
If you think about it, there’s so much going on, there’s constant noise and assault on our senses; a never-ending push to get more done. Usually, when we try to do too much, we aren’t able to fully be in the moment to truly embrace everything we are actually achieving.
This blank desktop has definitely got me thinking about how I can take some things off of my plate so that I can see more, feel more and be more present. And maybe take a breath.
Yes, I will need to retrieve and restore much of my saved material but I will do it with more self-awareness and a more conscious observation of what is important and try to stay in a lighter mode going forward.
G. Brian Benson 2018
Brian’s new book “Habits for Success – Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar” now available for pre-order at Amazon via
This is a great and enlightening article! I know many of us struggle with this and also with our phones/apps. I am typing this on an old lenovo desktop that I actually don’t have anything ‘on’ but DO have many things in the cloud. This computer is old and slow but the monitor is still very vibrant in color. The computer itself is IN the monitor so I don’t want to get rid of it. It still has life even tho its slow. Yet, because its slow, I can’t be as productive as I’d like, I get frustrated with the waiting, and sometimes it turns into anger-other times it ‘forces’ me to get up and get a snack (haha). In a way I’m afraid of getting new computers now-the starting over is unsettling in a way. The emptiness, the new forced learning of a new version, the feeling like there is something ‘missing’ or ‘forgotten’ or ‘left behind’. Its funny how many emotions are tied up in THINGS.. especially electronic THINGS. Thank you for this wonderful observation and thought!
Thank you Teresa! I appreciate you sharing your personal experience with this. Don’t let yourself be afraid of getting a new computer…the initial uncomfortableness of getting used to a new system will be over soon and you will then be able to really flow! But you are correct in that there are soooo many emotions wrapped in “things”…for sure! Just try and stay in the present moment with it all. You rock!