The Non-Negotiable Nature of Unplugging

As a type-A hustler who authors a blog “to the dreamers, seekers, & creative goal-getters” covering “mind, body, heart, & soul” I’ve found myself, on multiple days, in a state of go-go-go-GO. As in, legit overdrive.

I’m not about to get into how I needed to completely stop everything or that social media tormented me, or how I got caught in the comparison trap. On any given day one of those things might temporarily be true, but I’ve come to know myself well enough to find ways and cues to know when it’s time to just step away from the screens.

Because all that other -ish? Serves no purpose. (If you know me in-person, you know I tend to randomly use this weird, ghetto, talk-out-the-side-of-my-mouth kinda thing, and it’s one of my favorite phrases to say in it.)

“No purpose.”Β 💁🏼

Say it out loud in a funky, sassy accent. I dare you.

Hilarious, right? It almost immediately snaps me out of whatever funk I’m in and makes me remember the best f-word there is.

No, not that f-word.

FUN.

Because we can have fun doing un-fun things, and we can make fun things really not fun at all.

And well, when you’re a type-A achiever who takes herself pretty seriously, the latter can happen quite frequently. (Woof.)

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I’ve recently found myself in a full-time job as a Communications Manager, running a regular faith-oriented blog, starting up a freelance business, managing separate social media accounts, being a contributing writer to various publications, interning with a life-coaching company, staying connected to my local church, dating the best guy ever, spending QT with family & friends, recovering from a recent surgery, and trying to keep my head spinning out of control with 234, 678, 965 other passion projects and interests.

Your list might not look quite like mine (stages of life come and go), but I’m willing to wager you’ve got a lot on your plate, and there are a million other things on your bucket list, too. Am I right?

So how do we find the balance between the hustle and bustle; the screen-tox and unplugging?

Because, although I encourage the get-stuff-done, make-it-happen mindsets, I’m also not about the anxiety that can come from it, when they’re not balanced with rest and stillness.

Part of the problem is, it’s hard to say what unplugging really even means these days. On some level, almost every single thing we do has now been embedded with some form of technology. If you don’t believe me, come on over to the East Coast, experience a power outage from a hurricane, and let me know how well you fare.

It begs the question, are we ever truly unplugged? And if not, what’s the cost of constant e-connection?

Honestly, you and I can only answer that question for ourselves.

The internet age has given us this incredible ability to pop up a website, an Instagram page, &/or an online presence within about 6 minutes, and provided us with 10,000 how-to videos, all so we could say TA-DA! Then finally, we can ‘be somebody’. Because ‘x’ number of followers in the digi-sphere makes us somebody, no?

But then what?

I wish I had all the answers for you right now, but in the spirit of #liveauthentic, I’m constantly heart-checking myself with the same questions. Communications is my field of work, it is my hobby, and it is part of my social interaction with friends and loved ones.

Keyword – part of.

What I do know is, these heart-checks are imperative, and no number of ‘likes’ replaces the feel of real human contact. The kind of touch and connection where you’re like, “Wow, he/she just gets me“, and you feel wholly enabled to be your beautifully imperfect, spell-check free self.

I try my hardest to drown my own perfectionism by inviting the right friends and family into my process, even when it feels unclear. I ask them earnestly to speak in and over what I’m doing. To the point where sometimes I feel annoying. Not because I’m doing it to please them, but because I know their words carry weight in my life. They know me at my core, and they know when something isn’t sitting right.

I want their feedback, whatever it is, because I now understand that any praise or critique we receive is given in love, even if it doesn’t come across that way.

Some of my clearest ideas and best decisions have come from a really messy, foggy place of sharing my heart.

No matter what feedback we receive, it will contribute to shaping us, to refining us, to strengthening our convictions and creating our unique ‘brand’ story. Withstanding the rollercoaster of “too much and not enough” comes at a price and with the practice of discipline. Your amount of internet surfing, Netflix-ing, Words with Friends playing, Instagram scrolling – or whatever it is you succumb to, can only be managed by you.

There are seasons where we will have to put in the hard yards, and work our butts off to get even one megabit closer to the dreams and visions we have.

With that, comes the development of the right mindsets and moments, to let us know what a boundary looks like in our personal and professional spheres.

Much of the work I’m most proud of came out of taking a minute to step away and gain perspective – or even just a breath of fresh air. Too much stationary sitting and observing can be a recipe for writer’s/creative block. As the business savvy Marie Forleo says, “Create before you consume.”

No matter how young or old you are, by all means, have a bucket list. But don’t let yourself fall into thinking you need to accomplish it all by tomorrow. (I have my boyfriend to think for that recent revelation.)

Your feeling of success and worthiness can’t be purchased for the price of a cheap domain or learned through emoji-only communication. It can’t be defined by that one person you wish would act more excited for you.

It comes from within the depths of your soul.

It comes from the heart of being a ‘”pilgrim on a journey”.

It comes from having a growth mindset.

It comes from developing the intangible strength of courage, that you can physically feel within your body.

Because taking action is essential to bearing the fruit of your labor.

But longevity comes from the non-negotiable nature of unplugging, so we can continue to rest in knowing: whose we are, what we do, and why.

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