Unplug to Connect
We live in an age that we are constantly connected via technology through our smart phones, tablets, and social media accounts. However, this constant stimulation and screen time has led to many of us being disconnected from the self – our true, authentic center of being. Through our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram account (to name just a few), we present an image of what we want others to think about us, but how many of us show who we really are?
While we may have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, what is the state of our relationships? Many of us are too busy to spend quality time with those to whom we are closest. We rarely pick up the phone to have a conversation just to catch up or to let someone know we are thinking of him or her. I find myself communicating more often via email or text message, because it’s quick and easy.
What is the cost of our lack of connection with each other in person, and of ignoring that which is deep within us that gets pushed aside in favor of our to do lists and responsibilities? We feel alone, disconnected, maybe bored or un-inspired. Eventually we might experience an illness, a life event, or extreme level of dissatisfaction that sends us looking for something more than the life we have chosen. We may have become so out of touch with our true self that we struggle to find that for which we have passion. We might even think that we never knew, but I’m willing to bet that you do know – that whatever it is that makes you feel the most alive is something that you were naturally drawn to as a child before the pressures and expectations of society, or even your family, started to drown out your inner voice.
Rediscovering yourself and your passion often times takes stepping away from your day-to-day routine and giving it time to bubble back up to the surface. It takes quieting the noise that permeates our every waking moment to hear our own voice. Some opportunities and practices to help us tune in are as follows:
Take a news fast for 1 to 3 days for a week – if you find it difficult to stop reading, listening to or watching the news for three days, work your way up by fasting from the news for just one day for the first week, then two days the next week, and finally three days in the third week. You can then decide how much news you want to let back in at the end of the fast.
Reduce screen time - set limits on how much time you spend on your smart phone, tablet, computer, laptop and watching TV. I recommend giving yourself at least an hour or two in the morning and again at night before bed that you avoid all of these devices. Turn off alerts and audible notifications, and if you typically sleep with your phone by your bed, move it out of your bedroom (or at least out of reach).
Commit to calling at least one or two friends or family members to catch up, and make a date to meet up for a walk, have coffee together, or your favorite activity.
Meditate for five minutes per day for one week, and then continue with a schedule that works for you. Sit comfortably with a tall spine and either count your breath, silently repeat a mantra, or envision a light burning in your heart and focus on the flame as you breathe.
Spend at least 15 minutes outside every day. Take a walk, remove your shoes and socks and put your feet in the grass, or enjoy a picnic lunch in the park.
Take a vacation that allows you to completely disconnect, such as a yoga retreat. Firefly has two retreats in 2017. Visit the Events/Retreats Page to learn more.
To learn more, and receive guidance in connecting more deeply with yourself and others attend my workshop Unplug to Connect at CorePower Yoga in Broomfield on Saturday, April 22 from 2:00 to 3:15 PM. Pre-registration is not required, but is recommended to reserve your spot. Register in person at any of the North Denver CorePower locations. You do not have to be a member to attend, but members receive a $5 discount on registration.