I’m guessing FOMO is running pretty high today, this New Year’s Eve 2013. You know FOMO, right? It’s the everywhere-you-look acronym for “Fear of missing out,” that dread feeling (wrought by our constant online engagement) that we are somehow not where the action is.
I definitely don’t have FOMO tonight, since I’m hosting the party at home, but I will admit to feeling the occasional pang FOMO brings. Is everyone really having that much fun out there?? Who knows, but lately I’ve realized there’s something much more powerful to me than the anxiety of missing out. It’s actually just the opposite: Fear of Missing In.
FOMI is what grips me when I’m caught up in chasing externals and ignore a deep need for time alone to reflect on what’s happening and what I want to happen in my life.
A few years back, I started a daily meditation practice. Twenty minutes every morning when I quiet the chatter of my voracious mind, and await the messages of my intuition, my higher wisdom. When I skip this ritual, (usually because I’ve gotten swept away into email or work), I feel disconnected from myself. I’m just not as grounded or happy as I am after I practice.
The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests in this inspiring TED Talk, is born from gratitude.
“It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy. Be grateful for the things that are real gifts, and that have value to you. We live gratefully by becoming aware that every moment is a gift. You haven’t earned it. You haven’t brought it about in any way. This very moment with all the opportunity that it contains. This moment is a gift. And the gift within this gift is the opportunity to enjoy and do something with each moment.”
Steindl-Rast says we can cultivate gratitude and deeper happiness by installing “stop signs” along the way, helping us slow down and notice the tiny things. So as I head into 2014, with plans to run fast and focus on big stuff, I’ll try to keep FOMI close by my side. Reminding me of the potential and opportunity in every little moment.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year’s Eve. May it find you surrounded with friends, and filled with gratitude, peace and love.