*Positive Provocations*

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5 Secrets to having a Soul Nourishing Digital Sabbatical

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“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.

1) UNPLUG:

“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.

2) MEDITATE&PRAY:

“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…..

  1. Meditate and pray more-CHECK
  2. Read a new book-CHECK(review coming up soon)
  3. Write my new Book – “Blissfully Positive” – CHECK(partly)
  4. Spend quality time with my little girl – CHECK
  5. Decorate and Reorganize the physical around me- CHECK
  6. De-clutter my mind- CHECK
  7. Dabble my feet in nature by going to the park and beach- CHECK
  8. Restart my Yoga-CHECK
  9. Take care of ME- CHECK
  10. 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,
~Zeenat~
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
Motivational Speaker/Naturopath
Holistic Healer/Writer


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Author: Zeenat {PositiveProvocations.com}

Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor/Motivational Speaker/Naturopath/Holistic Healer/Writer

33 thoughts on “5 Secrets to having a Soul Nourishing Digital Sabbatical

  1. Welcome back, Zeenat! It is great to see the “CHECK” in your list of ten to-dos. Glad also that you’re settled in your new home. 🙂 Wishing you joy and happy energy for the coming days! My digital mini-sabbaticals involved just unplugging and ditching all contact with an electronic screen. 🙂 and spending more time in the kitchen and with my family and friends. Most rejuvenating!

    • Hi Vidya!
      Ditching all things with an elecyronic screen sounds almost divine and the perfect solution to all the electronic mayhem. Other than set up my new home…I too spent time cooking 🙂 I do love my little kitchen time 😉 while the family enjoyed the meals, I enjoyed the calm in preparing them with love.
      So lovely that your comment is the first here.
      Much love~

  2. I aim to make Sundays a day where I don’t do anything digital, but becasuse I have elderly parents who may need to contact me at any time I can’t switch off my phone and that lets in emails and other calls and the habit of connecting with facebook and twitter etc. Disconnecting is much harder than it first appears…

    • Hi kim,
      Seems like we’re both aiming at digital free sundays 🙂 but I understand..when we have loved ones who might need our attention its difficult to be completely unplugged. I would have to say, that once you decide to disconnect and enjoy your offline time…the pull to come back onlinr reduces. Give it a try and let me know if you need any help.
      Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts here.
      Much love~

  3. Great idea Zeenat and I’m so glad it worked out wonderfully well. I think you’re absolutely right about unplugging…one day a week works for me…but now you’ve got me thinking about something longer hmmm. 🙂 So glad the move went well.

    Encourage one another.
    Love elle.

    • Dear Elle,
      I’m glad my sabbatical has inspired you to take a longer one now. You will love it for sure. I look forward to reading more about your Digital Sabbatical soon 😉
      Thank you fro your wonderful comment here.
      Much love~

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  5. Dear Zeenat…….So happy to learn that your digital sabbatical turned out to be such divine and blissful. Congrats darling! I think its really necessary to take digital sabbaticals every now and then coz I definitely can feel the refreshed ‘you’ in your post.

    And not to forget your 5 secrets of having a “soul nourishing digital sabbatical” are simply great. Loved to hear from you again Zeenat.
    Lots of love!

    • Darling Priyanka,
      Lovely to see you here!! I cant believe how well the sabbatical went myself…infact at one point I wanted to extend it..but there were too many online counseling sessions piling up and its not good to keep long breaks in between counseling sessions…hence had to be back….But now I do love being back too! Ironical..but true 😉
      So glad you loved the 5 secrets!
      Sending you lots of love and hugs~

  6. thanks Zeenat,

    It’s fun to hear more about your personal life, Congrats on your digital sabbatical. I’m going to try one on Sundays, then maybe longer. I’ve been feeling the call to play more too. Not having kids, I’ve learned to be a kid myself, when I can let go of “seriousity” as I call it.

    thanks for a look inside your life. I appreciate your well rounded perspective.
    brad

    • Oh Brad,
      Now being a kid yourself is the best way to Play 🙂 How super smart of thee 🙂
      And I love the word ‘seriousity’!! You could actually write a book with that title….seriously 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your awesome thoughts here.
      Much Love~

      • Thanks my friend.
        I feel supported & happy reading your comment with a tone of Dr. Seuss. I just had a smile moment about seriousity, books, and play. But in this moment it’s off to work I go!

  7. A couple months ago I turned Sunday’s into my unplugged day and it’s WONDERFUL! I don’t get cell service where I live so I’m blessed to not be distracted by smart phones. I’m also lucky to have my 3 little ones around to keep me in play mode (my 2 yr. old is sitting in my lap right now playing dinosaur & princess). An important part of my daily routine is to take the kids out to the playset in the morning and evening.

    I used to get annoyed when they wanted to play while I wanted to get something done on the computer. I’ve learned to give that up since it only ends in anger and frustration on everyone’s part. I get just as much done and we’re all happier when I stop (sometimes every 30 seconds) to pay attention to them. In the end, my kids are much more important to me than any ‘work’ that I feel that I need to get done.

    I’ve also learned how powerful it is to simply smile more every day.

    After reading this post, I’m considering expanding my unplugged time to two days each week. We all need the break so much more than we realize!

    Thanks for the inspiration Zeenat!

    • Sweet Paige,
      Youre lucky to get No cell service at home. I aint so lucky..so have to be super smart with my smart phone. The notifications pop up…but I dont keep checking. I wait till I’m actually free during my day to actually indulge in the smarty pants phone 😉
      So fun that you have more than one play modes running through your homes. Exhausting but fun eh 🙂
      I so agree…our family is so much more important than any work….at times we forget..but their love is a great reminder.
      Two days each week might be just what you need darling. I know I wanted to extend my break too…but had too many appointments piling up to ignore.
      Go for it girl! 🙂
      Glad to be a source of inspiration to you sweetie. Thank you for your loving comment here. Loved it!
      Much love~

  8. Zeenat, Thank you! It’s so wonderful to have my question answered and hear your secrets! Your advice: “I stop DOING what’s overwhelming me!” How common sense! But, how many of us have lost our common sense in these fast-paced crazy days? Taking a week long digital sabbatical last year was one of the best steps I’ve ever taken.

    Naturally though – because you are YOU – it all boils down to your HEART and listening to your heart. I tend to be structure oriented But really connecting within is really the most sensible way to go. I’ll be celebrating your Sundays unplugged. I have wild ideas like one week a month and taking a blogging break the whole month of July. But one day a week would be a good start and I’ve been slipping in that direction.

    It was so lovely to hear about your deep and sweet connections with your hubby! Looking forward to your insights in your coming posts.

    • Darling Sandra,
      Let’s be unplug sundays sisters 😉
      And hubby’s love attention…they are like big babies most of the time 🙂
      Loving your energy here. Thank you for all you do.
      Much love~

  9. In today’s fast paced world we’re constantly bombarded with information from all sides! Taking a digital sabbatical is so essential. Thanks for sharing the useful tips! I think I need to take one 🙂

    • Aha M! I don’t really see you online that much…but if you are as engrossed in the digital..then please DO take a break from it. Its fun and invigorating all at the same time.
      So glad you liked the tips. Thank you for your lovely comment here 🙂

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  12. Hi Zeenat! I’m so glad you were able to really unplug. I’m going to try this next week for almost a week. I won’t be bringing my computer with me, just a notebook to take down ideas. All my time will be spent with my husband and one of my kids (the other two are older and working all summer in their college town). I will take your 4 tips to heart. And I love your list of 10 things to do… my would/will be very similar.

    • Hi Betsy,
      A note book and your thoughts is all you need darling. Spending time with the family without the digital interruptions is such food for the heart. We create happier memories without interruptions too 🙂
      Thank you for your loving comment here.
      Much love~

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  14. Hi Zeenat ,

    “Digital sabbatical” is a ray of light in the darkness.

    I am a new reader to your articles , and i am glad to be a part of “POSITIVE PROVOCATION”.
    Your ideas answering to the main question of every situation in our life “HOW TO DEAL”— are amazing. We now-a-days become like a machine which is pre- programed to perform the task. We all know these things from inside to some extent but we usually forget by getting involved in our day to day activities.In the mean time . “YOU” come up as an life and happiness encouraging “ANGEL”. I read several of your articles within two days and i am feeling so light. I usually practice such kind of activities apart from meditation because in my mind there always present a continuous battle of thoughts. “UNPLUG” is an awesome idea.

    From now i will practice more of these. Again—glad to be a part of “POSITIVE PROVOCATION”.

    With Love ,
    Amy……

    • Dearest Amy, Welcome! So happy to see you here.
      You have completely floored me with your comment. Thank you for your kind words.
      As for you feeling lighter…oh that’s just the beginning to your emotional healing. May you happily heal and remail positive.
      Again really glad to have you be part on my humble mission.
      Much love~

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  16. Dear Zeenat,
    How quickly the time passed and how wonderful it is to have you back. I’m happy to here you are settled into your new home and very happy to know you had the opportunity to spend some quality time with your husband. My hubby and I have set a date every week when we are together but unavailable to all others and I’m so glad we did that. For me maintaining relationships family and close friends always trump all else in life. Spring has sprung and summer is on the way. I’m in my element when I’m in the sunshine and have been choosing to spend less time online and more time outdoors. One day every week of “unplugged time” sounds like a good starting point for me so I’ll mull it over until I’m committed to taking that first step. Welome back, dear one.
    Love always.
    TiTi

    • Darling TiTi,
      So good to be back! And how glorious that the summer sun is keeping you happy and healthy.
      I love the idea of one day of the week only for your hubby. I must try that too 🙂
      Thank you for being you.
      Lots of love~

  17. Ahhhh…What’s up Doc?

    I am so happy and excited to have you back!

    This evening I will be going out to dinner with my two daughters…I’ll make sure to only show them my new iPhone without turning it on 🙂

    ‘That’s all folks’

    • Aww…rand, now that sounds like a marvelous dinner.
      And iphone…lucky guy 😉 don’t get too iphoney on us ok 😉
      Thank you for your warm welcome back.
      Much love~

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