Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Maintaining the Unplugged State of Mind

By Healingyoga

Back when I was participating in a yoga training, my fellow students and I would often talk about what re-entry (this was we termed going back to one's life after spending over a week in our happy yoga training cocoon) into life post residential training week was like. I can remember many a conversation going something like this: 

Student 1: "Did you have a safe trip back home?"

Student 2: "Yes. How about you?"

Student 1: "It was fine. And now I'm wishing that I had stayed at the center. Real life sucks."

Student 2: "I know! Me too! I want to go baaaack!!!! Last week was so awesome and now it's...not."

You get the idea. My re-entry into the plugged in world was a bit...unsettling. I suppose I've had a mild case of no-I-don't-want-to-plug-back-in-and-you-can't-make-meitis. That's why it's taken me so long to write this post (to say there was resistance is a bit of an understatement). Yes, I promised that I would blog sometime the middle of last week, but...I just didn't. I've been trying to ease my way back in.

It's sort of like this bunny on my front yard -- he's chilling out with his bunny buddy feeling mighty relaxed. He sees me pointing this funny looking piece of technology at him and while he knows that perhaps it might be in his and his buddy's best interest to make a quick getaway, he's just feeling a bit too happy and comfortable in his under the bush shelter. 

Bunny at Rest
Being unplugged was definitely comfortable, and no, I didn't exactly relish coming out from my unplugged cocoon. There's nothing like time away from distraction to bring the myriad ways one wastes time to light. After taking stock of how I've been spending my time of late, I find myself desperately wanting to drop many of my "real life" habits in favor of some of my unplugged practices. 

Today my first order of business was to write a list of daily practices that need to come first -- before email and chores and time sucks like Internet, TV, and the like. I'm going to start with a few priorities and build on it once I drop some of my nasty plugged in habits. 

This isn't rocket science and I am certainly not the first person to discuss slowing down in this 120 mile per hour world. In fact, the folks over at GOOD are on the exact same page. Each month they offer up a 30-day challenge (June's was Go Vegetarian and July's was Waste Less). This month it's Unplug at 8 (you can find the challenges here although August's isn't live on the Web site just yet). It's exactly what it sounds like -- disconnect from the Internet and any other distractions by 8:00PM every evening. The goal is to get back to the simple pleasures of low-tech life.

Being that I just spent two weeks enjoying the simple pleasures of low-tech life, I highly recommend it. About 5 months ago, the folks over at Sabbath Manifesto put forth a more expanded challenge -- an entire day of rest, relaxation, and unplugged bliss (there's even a free iPhone app to help you ease into the unplugged life). Sabbath Manifesto provides 10 principles for slowing down:

  1. Avoid technology
  2. Connect with loved ones
  3. Nurture your health
  4. Get outside
  5. Avoid commerce
  6. Light candles
  7. Drink wine
  8. Eat bread
  9. Find silence
  10. Give back

Okay, I might change a principle here and there -- since I'm not a wine lover, I'd say drink tea. And make my bread gluten free. And, of course, I would add in do more yoga and meditation.

The point is to slow down and enjoy a little peace and quiet as opposed to bombarding yourself with noise, distraction, and an overload of information. Amen. I'm going to participate in the Unplug at 8 Challenge, as it's the perfect way to incorporate some of the daily practices that I typed up this morning. My goal -- to be plugged in while still maintaining my unplugged state of mind.

Are you up for the unplugged challenge? What are you going to do with that precious unplugged time?


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