Last week I spent three wonderful days at Kriplau. It was, as always, heavenly.
This time I truly unplugged, except to answer a few texts and calling the hubby each night.
It was much more challenging than I thought. No email, no social media, and no internet. I resisted the urge to grab my phone to Google as I’m so apt to do now.
Probably the biggest challenge of unplugging is sheer habit. I’m used to constant connection, instant responses. There is the ever present fear of missing out, apparently such a common occurrence that it has taken on its own acronym – FOMO.
What is happening in the world? Did I miss any important celebrity gossip? Has a thought provoking inspirational quote or comical YouTube video evaded me? And what are the cousins having for dinner?
While this type of connection has its value, It also easily distracts us from being with ourselves. It diverts our attention. It becomes hard to listen to what we need with a steady stream of news feed noise.
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, and email makes my work much more flexible and productive. It provides me with a connection, a community and an ongoing source of information all in one easy swoop. I enjoy seeing photos my girlfriend’s daughter Irish Dancing, the latest articles on neuroscience, and Sean Hayes’ most recent lip sync with the swipe of a finger.
But going inside has some vital lessons too. After three days I was energized and was able to create the space to listen to what I really needed. I didn’t miss out on anything. Besides, I can always call my friend to find out what her daughter’s up to. I can pick up a book to read. And Sean Hayes’ lip sync videos…they will still be there.
It will probably be awhile until I go unplugged for three full days again, but I am definitely seeking to make it a more regular habit.
There is beauty in the detachment. There is power in the silence. There is freedom in the letting go.