I’m getting this blog to you late with good reason. This past weekend, I broke free from devices and distractions in order to enhance my mental wellbeing. It is the first time in –- honestly, I can’t remember when the last time was that I was unplugged. It was incredible. By unplugged, I mean no Internet, no cell service, no TV. Not even a watch. In other words, no distractions!!!
Not to minimize or distort what he said, I kind of felt like Nelson Mandela when he said, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last.”
I went to visit my son and his family out on their new property to celebrate my granddaughter’s 7th birthday! I slept in a tent, I slept in a cabin, I walked along the river and creek side. I fed chickens, ducks, pigs, llamas and a variety of other animals. I ran in the meadow, I did yoga on a mountain top, I bathed in the creek. I birdwatched, I sat silently by a roaring fire, I walked and danced in the rain, I laughed ‘till I cried, and I cried ‘till I laughed with joy. I was exhausted, exhilarated, happy, charged, alert and aware all at the same time! I was in awe as I observed seven golden eagles soaring over us, and my granddaughter’s awareness stating that there were seven eagles because they were wishing her a happy 7th birthday. Straight from the mouths of babes!!!
All from being in nature! Wow! Being unplugged was remarkable!
There were no screens for three days. I was happier (and I’m already so happy). I felt wiser, as I was filled with all the new ideas that were pouring into me and through me without any distractions. I was drenched in activities that were healthy; physically, mentally and spiritually.
Since the beginning of COVID, I have been spending more time inside watching a screen and I have neglected to get outside and “play”! Being away this weekend allowed me to remember to be in the moment and appreciate the great beauty of nature.
I re-discovered that spending time away from my gadgets, and that being in an outdoor setting is a quick way to recalibrate my brain. I encourage you to take part in something for you that works as an excellent stress buster.
Time To Be
At home, oftentimes, my meditation, mindfulness, prayer work is supported by something on a screen. Electronics, screens and telephones play such a huge role in staying connected to each other, especially during the past months. And I am truly grateful for the ability and availability of technology for that reason. I recognize that we are working or chatting online doing important work, building vital memories and connections, enhancing one’s sense of support and belonging. However, this weekend, I was reminded that balance is key.
Do you know that even when I’m not officially on the Internet connecting and working, that my down time can consist of online researching consuming online content during my free time? I’m sure you can relate.
A Sense Of Connection
The best thing about unplugging is that it prompted me to find new ways to fill in free time. And trust me, I was full out with endless opportunities of joy and creating new memories. I literally had no concept of the time of day.
And the intimacy that I felt with the One was palpable! In every raindrop, the blessings were clear. With every new adventure, with every smile and memory created, I was one with The One! It was so easy, simple and pure.
I am aware there could be a lot said about how our communication with classes, meetings and Froggy Friday services, we could say we often get “unplugged” because of weather and Internet challenges. I’m talking intentional, purposeful, meaningful choice of unplugging.
For months, I’ve been hearing Spirit gently saying, “Hey Barbara, put down your phone and look around. Nature wants to have a talk with you!
I encourage you to step out and unplug. When you do come back, before you get back to the busy-ness of your life; the screens, the messages, the texts, the meetings that are all on your devices, write down your experiences while away from distractions. What came to you, and through you, to be revealed without the background noise of a typical day. I invite you to journal, remember and celebrate. Then…make another date with yourself – while the joy is fresh. Make another date with yourself to experience that freedom again and again.
Part of my success of this time away was that on the days that I decided to disconnect from it all, I made sure I spent my sacred time with the people whom I love. When you like the people you associate with and hang out with, life becomes easy.
Here is the icing in the cake to this weekend in nature, I had the incredible discovery that when I disconnected, it was the most connected I have felt in a very long time.
George Washington Carver said; “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”
Even though I was electronically unplugged, I was tapped into The Universal power source in a magnificent way. I was able to increase love’s wattage and recognize the powerful reminder to stop and pray AND play.
As Karen Drucker wrote, “God is my source. God is my power. God gives me everything I need!”
Abundant blessings, joy, love, ease and grace your way today and every day.
Rev. Barb Samuel