It is a while since I consciously unplugged the digital devices, lit a candle and opened the pages of a physical book. When I did unplug completely it was because my head was so full of, what … everything, just everything that incessantly bombards us – and in our living rooms to boot.
Just stop with all the bad news of death, guns, car accidents, politicians behaving badly, the state of Third World countries, poverty …
When we retreat from our on-line world we come face to face with ourselves. Our, paired down, vulnerable, and soul-naked selves. Well, it is not all bad really. I think it is time we ran into ourselves; to use this time to take an inventory of how we are doing.
I’m curious. How are you doing?
Sometimes I wonder at the person I have become. Events pile one upon the other before I can unravel the core of me and my responses to these events. There are few times across our lifespan when three crises happen one after the other. But here we are, having survived fires, floods and now find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. Yet this is the context of our lives. I wonder how much of me is my own, and how much is the response to events.
No matter how we try to extricate ourselves from the web of our circumstances, they cannot be unwoven. We cannot unplug from them as they become a part of who we are and who we will become. While there are some elements that cement us in relationships – our parents will always be our parents and our children, our children, there are others from which we can unplug.
I have taken this lockdown period to look at the myths, thoughts, expectations (my own of myself and those of others of me) and judgements that keep me plugged into damaging mindsets or toxic relationships. It has been hard and I have squirmed and argued and whined inwardly. The more wound up I become the more air time I allow the inner critic to witter away, eroding self-confidence and assertiveness. It is this inner critic that tethers me to past events and behaviours.
How good will it be when we are free to fly and rise to see new vistas we’ve imagined but not dared dream.
How about being able to quieten our anxious mind and still our trembling hearts. These are the weeks and months when time is frozen for us. We didn’t have to do a thing. It happened for us. It has been taken out of our control and now we have all the time in the world to … slow down and unplug ourselves.
I suggest that we’ve been fast-tracking technology, space travel, taking massive steps in industry and we have measured our progress, in this post-modern world, through the eyes of capitalism. Furthermore, I posit we have lost much. We have sacrificed the quality of our lives and the quality of our relationships. We are poorer for it.
What about if we listened to the universe and took this time to slow down, get less done and thoughtfully consider our plans before barrelling headlong into a well-established pattern of doing. How about long conversations with loved ones without the time constraints of work schedules. How about we find those puzzles and dust off the board games and unplug from whatever it is that tethers us to chaos.
- How about if we did less but were more mindful
- What if we stopped texting and picked up the telephone and talked to someone
- Could you allow yourself to feel scared, but talk to someone about it
- Instead of sending that message how about writing a letter, walk to the post office, purchase a stamp and mail it away – via snail mail.
I’m curious, how are you doing?
- Finding centre in the midst of chaos
- Time to write
- Having beautiful surroundings in which to unplug