Yes. I am a tech nut.
Yes. I am attached to my iPhone at the hip. Not the other way around.
But recently, I have learned that the art of unplugging is indeed an art and a necessity for all of us to come back to center.
For me, it all started about a year before my separation, Eat, Pray, Love came out in theaters. I knew what the book was about, but at the time it was published, it didn't really apply to me. Fast-forward to August 2010, when the film version hit the big screen, and suddenly things had changed. It was difficult for me to watch the movie. I had not reached a place of acceptance at that point. I do remember, though, Julia Roberts on her knees at the beginning of the movie. Delivering her poignant soliloquy: "I'm in serious trouble. I don't know what to do. I need an answer. Please tell me what to do. Tell me what to do and I'll do it." To this day that scene strikes a chord in my heart.
Julia's words are words that I had said often by then. They are words I continued to say months later. The similarities ended there. I did not have the time for a yearlong sabbatical to find myself. I ate, but truthfully had very little appetite. What I did do was learn to unplug--for an hour at a time. As a social media lover and a tech geek, this was not easy; yes even an hour can be difficult. But it was something that allowed me to just sit in silence. It's okay to just be still, to unplug and enjoy yourself. You are going to be with you for a long time, and the sooner you get to know yourself the better off you are. If you are going to be moving forward with renewed energy and strength and clarity for a restart on life as you knew it yesterday, I found that to unplug helped me tremendously. It allowed me to be still and it allowed me to look around at what I like to do: read, walk, explore, organize, and most importantly have some quiet time to get ready for new challenges. Once you know who you are, you will know what you can and cannot accept for the future.
The benefits I have found:
Yes, this is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Despite the fact I am connected, I was not always getting a lot done. In fact, after I come back from an hour or so digital detox, I work hard and smarter than before.
2. Less Stress
It turns out I am a little less stressed when I leave a yoga class or leave my phone across the room for a hour or so and just watch TV. I am not responding instantly and spending precious minutes swiping the spam in my inbox. I am just less stressed.
3. Happier Moments
I think that sometimes we are so busy comparing ourselves on Twitter and Facebook and any other way we can find that we are not always happy about what we are actually reading. I find some happier moments when I leave (even briefly) to do things that lighten me from the inside out.
Let me know how your detox goes. Trust me, it's not easy, just a little at a time goes a long way.