The Importance of Stopping

Written by Andrew Morrison

Woman sitting on straw balesThe importance of stopping is so huge, and yet so few practice it. How often do you stop doing stuff? I mean really stop doing stuff. This would look like disconnecting from your TV, your email, your computer, movies, and everything that’s not directly related to you or something you can touch. I’m in the middle of doing that for the first time in a long time. Here’s what I’ve learned so far in the first two or three weeks of a roughly 4-month journey.

It’s not easy to do, at least for me. I should mention that I decided to not only stop all the “extras” but also moved with my wife and 11-year-old daughter into a REALLY small pop up tent trailer and moved to Baja, Mexico. (There is a plan, yes, but the reality in the immediate time frame is that things are very taxing for us all.)

When all of the distractions go away, I find I’m left with a lot of time to think and feel. Think and feel the things that are otherwise blocked out by the ‘busyness’. Much of what I’m finding, thinking and feeling is amazing and beautiful and some of it is painful and ugly. I believe that we all have those places that are not so fun to look at or experience. I’m currently experiencing some of mine. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do so, no matter how uncomfortable it is, and I want to encourage us all to take the time in our lives to stop and experience life, for real, in its unedited, uncut version.

16 Responses

  1. Dear Andrew, thank you for your lines about stoping things, I quited to drink alcohol this year, I changed a bit for the better, hope to read you soon!

    Yours, Jens-Martin from Leipzig, Germany

  2. Andrew’
    I just started reading a book that may be meaningful and helpful to you as you “stare down” the painful and ugly- in yourself and the world. It’s titled World as Lover, World as Self by Joanna Macy. Hugs to you, Gabs and Terra. Travel Safe.

  3. Thanks for sharing Andrew…we definitely all need to “check out” more often, especially in this generation…here’s one of my favorite quotes:

    A rose has timing. So do trees and seasons. Only humans are in a hurry.

    Again thanks for sharing.
    Be well!

  4. Andrew,
    What an experience you, your wife and daughter have embarked on. I hope someone is keeping a journal!

    While you all will undoubtedly experience “growing pains” during the self discovery aspect of your journey I’m sure in the long run each of you will emerge better off for it.
    It is my hope you all will be able to better live in the mind set of Gratitude once you return ~ if you return :)~ to life in the states.
    Stay safe and I hope you are able to feel good about your “trip” each day!


    Victor G

  5. so good to hear from you again andrew. wasn’t suprisied hearing of your change in life thing, cuz i wasn’t getting as many emails from you,but so glad you stopped a bit.Glad you are still in the bail thing. Felt so bad my schedule missed the Tenn. Applegate build. Been dreaming of a small afforidable place and maken plans,which i can scrap cuz your applegate is now my dreamhouse. How did that bale go? Will you do another applegate next year? So stewing about this dumb roadtrek van i bought huge responsibilty, trying to sell keep thinking there is a reason i have it, and you just reminded me.It will be needed for my new years resalution. I will attend a workshop on this continent in 2012. Thank you andrew and family for still being there. Beth

  6. Thanks, Andrew. That’s a real lesson for everyone and even putting pen to paper (so to speak) can be difficult. I’m looking forward to reading more about how you get on down there. Hope you manage to tap into a bale supplier!

  7. Hi Beth (again). You didn’t end up missing the Applegate build because the host/owner ended up in the hospital a few weeks before the workshop. I was able to scramble and find a new host nearby to hold the workshop (so grateful for the new host); however, we did not build the Applegate. Instead we did a timber framed cabin with 160+ year old timbers. Looking forward to meeting you in 2012!

  8. I just found your site while researching straw-bale construction and read your post about “checking out.” Just today I read the following poem on the side of a building and wrote it down:

    “Do the Crazy Thing

    the hard-to-imagine-but-somehow-you-did thing
    the no-one-would-ever-do-it-that-way thing
    the it-could-kill-you-but-not-trying-is-another-kind-of-death thing
    the saftey-net-would-not-even-matter thing
    the thing in your heart
    do it
    and let them gasp
    right before they call it a thing of wonder

    by Ciona D. Rouse” (sp?)

  9. So, my Balin’ Guru…you’re in la Baja del Sur. Excellente! With introspective time to contemplate something other than the “works of Man”. Baja is a place much like the Galapagos Isles where Nature has had the time and isolation to create something that lives only by local rules. Draw inspiration and strength from Her. She has it “going on” in Baja.
    We have our 32’x40′ (ID) strawbale shop built in WY. Putting in septic and foundation for the 48’x40′ house next summer. We’ll start framing next winter.
    If you give me a general delivery address i’ll send you my copy of John Steinbeck’s, Log from the Sea of Cortez, if you don’t already have it. Good read.
    I envy your time spent in the “Big and Scratchy” (euphemism for wildland). I’ve had my fair share of similar time…..and have always felt rejuvenated and at peace, and with a greater capacity for Love at the end of it. Fair Thee Well. Brian n’ Melissa
    P.S: My first Grandchild’s name is Balin Orion Hawley…not named after the contruction activity, but rather the Knight from Arthurian legend! (Yes, Yes…of course you have my blessing to name your next boy-child Balin! Ha, Ha!)

  10. Hi guys. Nice to hear from you and congrats on the grandchild. Is that a relatively new addition to the family? Glad to hear things are still moving forward for you on the SB front. That’s great news. Baja is amazing. We love it! I do indeed have a copy of that book. Thanks for the offer though. Love to you both.

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