The problem with unplugging is that it takes away distraction. But isn’t that the point, to be less distracted? It is, but if you think about it, we have built in those distractions for a reason. We are avoiding something.
Julia Cameron addresses this in her book, Prosperous Heart, “You may find that when you turn off your devices, you feel an uneasy awkward silence of “just” you and your thoughts. But when we learn to engage in conversation with our own thoughts, we begin to find that we are enough.” We don’t need the constant barrage of texts, phone calls, and emails to make us feel like enough. We think we do, and we have largely built systems in our lives to make sure that we stay distracted, but there is another way.
During this season of Advent “unplugging”, I’ve been paying attention to my tendencies and it has been informative. I few observations about myself:
– I’m much more focused in a meeting when my phone is on airplane mode than on silent.
– Giving myself 5 minutes right after a meeting to process what went on is helpful. When I immediately leave a meeting and check my phone I can easily get distracted from any needed follow up to the meeting
– I am much more focused driving when I put my phone in the door “pocket” than on the console. It’s too tempting for me to check something at a light, etc.
-Powering my phone off the last few weeks during the 5 to 8 pm hours is a beneficial. Something about hitting the power button has been freeing.
Maybe I am enough / We are enough. We just have to pause long enough to take in that reality.