“Where the soul is full of peace and joy, outward surrounding and circumstances are of comparatively little account.”~Hannah Whithall Smith.
Three days back, when I turned ON my Laptop after nearly 7 days…I did it more out of habit and less out of really wanting to. You’ll know I’ve been on my digital sabbatical: 10 days of being offline, as I had decided it was time to recuperate my mind, heart and soul. Alas, the 10 days have come to an end. But the immense happiness and peace I gained from this time away from all things digital is not going to end.
In my last post where I shared my plans on taking a Digital Sabbatical, my darling friend Sandra of ‘Always Well Within’ commented and asked : “…… I would like to find a way to take a digital sabatical periodically as you do every two weeks. Maybe you can tell us the secret of your secret mini-digital sabatical when you return! …..”
Its quite simple really.
So here are my “5 Secrets to having a Soul Nourishing Digital Sabbatical”:
Our souls are the very essence of who we are, therefore, they require nourishment just as our bodies do.
For some, soul nourishment comes in the form of prayer and faith-based rituals. While for another it can be found in moments of stillness and mediation. For continual soul growth and personal development a regular soul nourishing routine is reccomended.
“I find it refreshing to unplug from it for a while. You kind of forget how deeply you get embedded in it.” ~Will Wright
The most essential thing you have to do first to nourish your soul is UNPLUG from the mayhem. Now, many a times the mayhem is not only online but offline as well. If at any point I feel like I’m being overwhelmed by life…I do the simplest thing.. I stop DOING whats overwhelming me! In this case, it was being away from all things Digital. Making up your mind to stay completely away goes a long way. Then you decide on the time frame …it can be for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks. I decided on 10 days for myself for this major digital sabbatical…but I’m inching towards increasing the time frame next time I will completely Unplug everyday Sunday.
“I deepen my experience of God through prayer, meditation, and forgiveness.”~ Marianne Williamson
My days usually begin with prayer, meditation and Coffee . I can meditate in any position. My favorite way is to just lay down on the floor completely connected to the earth and meditate. The time to mediate and calm your mind can vary from 5 minutes to an hour. You can live in a continual state of meditation…but thats a post for another day While enjoying my digital sabbatical, I meditated for two hours everyday. Splitting the 2 hours into 4 mini meditative sessions, during which there were no calls attended nor outside chores done. Just me and the Divine connection. Bliss is right inside us should we choose to look within.
3) DO LESS:
“Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place.” - Lao Tzu
If youre anything like me…youll itch to get up and DO stuff, and sometimes you will even feel that you have to DO stuff eg. take care of the kids, the family, the business. A soul nourishing digital sabbatical can’t work if youre constantly on the phone taking care of everything around you. This is the time I use Positive Affirmations to reprogram my heart and mind. I continually tell myself ”Relax, youre fine. Breathe. This is your Soul time.” I do eventually get going and DO stuff, but I dont fret about it. The world will not come to an end if I decide to relax for a bit…right?
4) PLAY MORE:
“Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.”~ Mark Twain
In our normal day, how much to we really PLAY? And no, I dont mean the ‘angry birds’ session when the boss is away. I mean real physical play- running around giggling and laughing and playing like little kids. That play is often only activated with kids around. I am blessed with a super hyper little princess who is now 5 yrs old. I naturally fall into play time with her around. Whenever she sees me working too long on my computer she will come around and say, “please stop looking at the computer and look at me. Come have a tea party with me and my dollys.” And if I’m still too engrossed to go to her within 5 minutes…she will hold my hand, move me from my desk and shut down the laptop herself I think she was the happiest little girl when mommy didnt touch the laptop for 7 whole days
If you dont have kids, dont fret…there are always the neighbours kids or the community parks where kids usually hang out. Go there, and PLAY. I have a few friends too who I can just literally giggle the day away with. Friends and kids activate the play mode in you….keep them around for optimal soul nourishing benefits.
5) LOVE MORE:
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tzu
This digital sabbatical meant ‘happy days’ for my darling hubby too. We sat and talked like we used to when we were dating. You know those conversations that never end and you love to have with the love of your life…yeah those Ofcourse I had long, loving, soul nourishing conversations with my little girl too…but they were mostly over a cup of make believe tea, cookies and dolls With no digital interruptions during these times, these conversations were even more loving. Its these times, that we spend talking to each other, that revive the relationship and lovingly nurture our hearts and our souls. We even went out for movies, dinners and walks as a family. Another dimension of bliss for me.
To answer Sandra’s question…. the secret to my secret mini-digital sabbatical is first and foremost my own heart. When my heart, soul and mind feel all overwhelmed and muddled I take a mini sabbatical. I figured, that if what I DO online makes a difference in someones life, they would much rather have me a 100% rather than a tired, muddled version of me at a mere maybe 20%.
Another dear Friend Farnoosh of Prolific Living asked me on twitter: “Dear Zeenat, how is the digital sabbatical? Do you recommend it )?”…Yes! YES! and another YES! I would definitely recommend taking a Digital Sabbatical to everyone I know. Its the perfect way to chime in with your truest nature and bounce back from the mental fatigue with a nourished soul.
I initially started of wanting to take this Digital Sabbatical cause of the fatigue that was taking over my life…but now I realize, not only has this sabbatical helped me recuperate but it has also given me new insight on myself. And YOU dear darlings will be hearing about and soaking up these insights first hand….lots more positive love where I’m coming from
As for my 10 things to DO during this sabbatical…..
- Meditate and pray more-CHECK
- Read a new book-CHECK(review coming up soon)
- Write my new Book – “Blissfully Positive” - CHECK(partly)
- Spend quality time with my little girl – CHECK
- Decorate and Reorganize the physical around me- CHECK
- De-clutter my mind- CHECK
- Dabble my feet in nature by going to the park and beach- CHECK
- Restart my Yoga-CHECK
- Take care of ME- CHECK
- Relax and breathe- CHECK
Apart from all the above, I shifted to my new home and have settled in. So here I am typing this post for you from a new location, a new surrounding, a renewed sense of purpose and a completely refreshed Me
And last but not least…..I MISSED YOU!
Now its YOUR turn to join the conversations….What are YOUR thoughts on a taking a Digital Sabbatical to nourish your soul? Do you take these mini sabbaticals often? Do you plan on taking one soon? Share your thoughts, queries and questions in the comments below. I’d love love love to hear from you.
With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
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