If you're anything like me (which I'm guessing you are!) you don't even realize how much you're actually doing at any given moment.
I had an epiphany last Sunday when I listed all the things I currently have going on in my life: Mentor Masterclass, a full-time job, a new business to grow, an 8-week Creative Insight Journey with the lovely Jennifer Grace, a new puppy to train, a relationship with my boyfriend, and an 8-week detox program! WHOO! Holy heck that's a lot! And I didn't even realize it.
What it took for me to realize my self-induced schedule overload was the fact that I had been making the commitment over and over again, each week, to exercise 6 days/week for an hour, and I was troubled by my lack of follow through - "Why do I keep falling short?! What the heck is wrong with me?! Am I just a lazy bum?!" Uh no, girlfriend, you're not lazy - the problem, in fact is exactly the opposite!
Doing Vs. Being
Ever since I can remember, I've always been DOING. Going to the zoo, doing "projects," working 2 jobs at a time (if not more), being a student, being over-involved in extracurriculars, … the list goes on. I have always prided myself on being busy and an achiever - after all, doing all these things would position me to be super successful later on in life, right? What about NOW? (Can you relate?) I don't want to wait for "someday" to feel at ease, free, abundant, etc. - I want to feel that now! So how can I do that?
When we can learn how to stop DOING and start BEING, the whole world can change for us. When we focus more on stepping into our feminine energy of being and receiving, and out of the masculine energy of doing and striving, we just may find that we get more done without having it feel like such … well, WORK! When we take the time to REALLY unplug - step away from the computer, turn off the phone, look someone in the eyes, sit in silence - we create the space for brilliance and clarity to emerge from within. That sense of peace and ease you crave? That's a mindset - and it's your choice whether or not to cultivate it. And in my experience, that can't be done unless you start carving out some serious unplugging time in your schedule!
When I first realized that this was my problem, I started asking people: What do you do to unplug? (I didn't even know where to start!) I think I must've missed the "unplug" lesson somewhere along the road ;) But seriously, I'm really not even the person who is on her phone all the time, staring at the screen on social media, obsessed with Instagram and Facebook. I am that girl who is taking her dog for a walk in gorgeous nature, while listening to an audiobook. Multitasking for the productive ambitious lady, right? But I'm not being present or appreciating fully my surroundings. Doing things like this is like living your life in black and white instead of technicolor - you're missing it! I'm missing it!
It's so easy to slip into information overload when we feel so passionate about whatever it is we're creating in the world - but I've learned that it's so important to just STOP and be - it's part of the creative process and it prevents burnout. You can't share your message or your gifts with the world if you don't have the energy to do so!
So here are my top 5 ways to REALLY Unplug:
1. Read Fiction
Okay so I hope I don't sound too crazy when I say that the last fiction book I can remember buying/loaning from the library was when I was about 10. The only books I own are self-development, spirituality, or some other type of non-fiction - things I can learn from. They help me DO. But absolute brain candy books (Pretty Little Liars prequel, anyone?) really help you to just be in the moment. You don't have to think about how any of that information will help you in the future, or take mental or physical notes. Just read, enjoy, get lost, and BE. I'm proud to say I bought my first romance novel this past weekend! ;)
2. Immerse Yourself in Nature
This seems like an obvious one - but when you really stop and think about it, we ARE nature. All creativity and consciousness stems from nature. I never really would consider myself a nature lover, but I'm getting there - the idea of going camping without a toilet nearby still freaks me out, but I have been enjoying so many long walks outdoors in the many parks of Pittsburgh this summer. There's something so mentally detoxifying about just getting your body moving outdoors - breathing in all the fresh air, observing how the light beams through the trees and other foliage - gorgeous! What's there to be distracted by other than the beauty of your surroundings? Try this without an iPod or a phone - completely unplug and just go BE.
3. Light A Candle & SDM
Stock up on some inexpensive candles (hit up Marshall's, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods) and SDM - Stop, Drop, & Meditate. Just spend 10 minutes at least (set a timer on your phone) and breathe deeply. When your thoughts start to creep back in, just say "thinking" to yourself and imagine your thoughts are floating down a river - you do not have to attach to them, as they are just floating. Be in complete silence, even darkness besides the candle. Sooooo relaxing and rejuvenating!
4. Dance It Out
One of my favorite things to do that I find oh-so-calming is to dance with my boyfriend in our kitchen - we call it "kitchenette dancing!" We usually slow dance, which is the epitome of soothing, but you can totally rock it out on your own to some Broadway tunes or Beyonce - whatever you like! I listened to a Broadway hits Pandora station last week and just sang along, belting out all the words to the best songs from Rent, Hairspray, Wicked, Grease… it was quite a good time! I find singing and dancing really helps me to just RELEASE whenever I'm feeling stuck or blocked in any way.
5. Start Your Technology Detox
I know this one is probably the hardest of them all - but once you make it a commitment, it won't seem so bad. Ease into this one by creating some boundaries for yourself. Set a few hours aside per day where your phone will be completely OFF (no, not on silent, but OFF!). Start putting your phone on Airplane mode when you go to bed and keep it either out of your room and get an old fashioned alarm clock, or at least off of your bed. Make it an absolute non-negotiable that when you're with your friends, family, or significant other that your phone will be OFF or at least make the commitment not to look at it - off might just be easier to avoid the temptation. Get into the practice, and start to go into evenings, or even whole days on the weekends when your phone is totally off. Screen time can just make us want to DO more, especially if work, e-mail, and social media are so easily accessible. Shut it off, and just BE.
Planning to try any of these out? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Which are you planning to try? Do you have any other ideas for how to really unplug? What do you do to unplug? Is this an issue for you, too? Tell me all about it! :)
Sending you lots of love & light,