Day 36/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: complete
Just 2 days ago the television was removed from my living room. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I turned it on. Maybe twice in 2019?
It's stored. I'm not ready to give it away, though I can't for the life of me think why not. Something about the feeling of missing out.
For the passed 2 decades my life has been way to busy and too interesting to consume hours in my day watching television.
Our favourite time to watch movies was on Sundays when our beautiful view across the valley was cloaked in a frosty, wintery mist. With the fire burning and mugs of the best ever home-made thick Sicilian hot chocolate, we'd snuggle up on the lounge in the depths of Wellington winters, my little boy and I, and binge on animated Disney movies.
For the rest of the week the television didn't feature in our lives.
Today's inspiration is to unplug from the world
Some 20 years on, the world is a completely different place. Unplugging is that much more difficult. So much appreciation that my son was born prior to the madness that is screen time these days. And of course, prior to commercially available internet.
Shut out the world for a day, or longer if you choose. Observe any discomfort and explore what that means to you.
No news, no timeline, no Netflix, no newspaper, no magazines.
Turn off the world for the day or a week, or a month, or maybe forever.
It was when I turned off the invasive media that I began to develop a deeper relationship, the one I have with myself. It's fair to say that until then I had very little idea whether I was living my life or someone else's. Does that sound like an odd thing to say?
The conditioning that I had some willingly swallowed became glaringly obvious to me. A little anger animated when I realised just how much that conditioning informed every decision that I made, I have to confess! And you will find that this is true for you also.
Unplugging doesn't mean turning your back on everything the media has to offer. What it does mean, is being selective and discerning with what you expose yourself to.
When I unplugged I realised that I needed to consider why I made the choices I did. Were they really my choices? Where they choices I always made without consideration? Where they informed by trends and marketing? Which ones were mine and which ones belonged to someone else?
Suddenly you realise that many of your choice are not your own. That's a bit of a wake up call.
Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. With today's technology you can have exactly what you want delivered directly to you, with no interference from any of the other rubbish that is routinely reported.
It's important not to expose yourself to the sensationalising of the world's horrors. After a while you'll begin to think that the world is going down the toilet. It's too much to take in. We're not meant to carry everyone's trauma and drama in our souls.
Yes there are a lot of issues we are confronted with AND there are a lot of amazing stories and achievements and new discoveries and awesome people doing incredible things that we never hear about. Search out those stories if you're bored and you want to fill your time with screen time.
Break the habit of the scroll. Put your phone in another room on silent while you work or give your time to a hobby or craft. Turn off notifications for all social media and check them once or twice per day.
Don't feel you have to answer every call the instant the phone rings. Responding to a text can wait until you're finished with what you are doing.
Leave your phone in another room overnight. Drift off to sleep with the natural sounds of the night and wake to the bird calls in the morning. Luxuriate in those sounds for a while, and try feeling into what it means to be alive at those times before reaching for the screen.
If you have a partner, give him or her your attention at these times. Connect..., with each other.
Gazing out the window watching the rain fall is a perfectly acceptable way to spend an hour.
Are you ready to begin to live your life, a self-directed life? Or maybe you just want to experiment with capturing more intimate moments with your family, your partner or with yourself. You're going to have to make some media decisions for that to be possible.
There's even a National Day of Unplugging suggested for sundown to sundown, March 6-7, 2020 to help you. Okay, it's an initiative from the U.S.of A, and it just might be one that you could subscribe to if you struggle to unplug.
Good luck. Don't hesitate to share your experiences.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.