The Walking Unplugged
This HuffPost Editors take on being offline for two weeks rings close to home for me. Having recently spent a couple weeks in the south of France, more offline than I’ve been in the past 5 years, it was refreshing to say the least.
But, the break from white noise isn’t just the end of that journey. It’s just the beginning. What happens when you take away the constant feedback from the world outside, the stream of thoughts, opinions, declarations, and narratives from others? Not surprisingly, you start to hear yourself. We’ve gotten so good at listening to the noise of modern day reality, that the feelings, thoughts, declarations, and voices that really matter have an even harder time getting through.
This was my quiet sitting spot in France.
Even taking a couple hours out of the day to unplug from the phone, TV, computer can reap wondrous rewards. But, when I was in France there were days when I went without logging on. Unfortunately, I had to at some points because I wasn’t really on vacation, but working. Still, I didn’t feel compelled to log on once I snapped the cord loose. It was something I had to do briefly, and then could escape from it again. I had gained control over the technology addiction. (I must admit I had digital music with me, but music is different. It aides in the relaxing process.)
I felt more grounded and connected to myself. I had time to think about all the little personal issues that had been piled into the internal closet of “not now, I have to check Facebook”. I had time to think about the people in my life, and what I want for my future. How often do you DEVOTE time to those thoughts? Really devote full attention- without being pulled away to answer the phone, check an online “ping”, or turn off your brain with some TV?
Ironically, I think, not giving yourself quiet time potentially has the affect of keeping us locked into certain habits or life situations that- given more quiet time to consider and listen to our inner voices- we’d pull ourselves out of. The simple “being” and “thinking”- the storm of thoughts beyond the white noise of modern living- can actually help propel us forward in life, towards our hopes and dreams. Otherwise, we’re just running on the treadmill, going nowhere, right? Cause, we’re already on there, gotta keep going….gotta keep checking in to the “outside world”. What about checking in with ourselves?
We usually underestimate the affect our daily grind has on our creative and spiritual energy levels. Whether you’re the artistic type or not, those elements are crucial to a healthy human life.
It’s not surprising that the last ten years (or less) has seen such a boom in the popularity of yoga in the “western” world. I know there are about 10 other factors that have helped yoga rise to the forefront, but one can’t help but notice the correlation between the rise of social white noise and the need to find refuge in a calming moment.
So, whether you take an hour for yoga, or take one whole day off from sitting in front of a computer, TV, or checking your telephone, just do it. Your soul will thank you.