Last Sunday I unplugged. I didn’t check my email, update my status on Facebook, or post a single tweet. I didn’t turn on the computer or even answer the phone. It was a day of silence and low-tech living.
Before the sun was completely up I set my intention to simply allow the day to unfold naturally. I wondered if I would feel uncomfortably disconnected without a computer, smart phone, social media and all the technological tools with which I spend most of my time.
But my goal was to be conscious of and pay attention to whatever was going on around me, and soon I felt myself settling more deeply into the day and myself. As I sat and just allowed myself to be, feeling the perfection of the day, it felt as though I was sinking into my core. There’s a Zen koan that asks “what was your face before your parents were born?” and allowing myself to move deeply into that part of me that always is, has always been and will always be, I felt I was beginning to understand the question, if not the answer.
Of course, without spending time in front of a computer screen, or constantly checking email on my phone, or habitually scanning the various social networking sites, I was awake, aware and more conscious of everything that was happening around me. Every time I strayed and began worrying about some upcoming deadline, to-do tasks still undone, or wondering what was happening in the cyber world in my absence, something inside would gently bring me back to my intention of allowing myself to feel whatever this day held for me. Often that reminding came from my heart which was asking questions like, “Where are you now? What can you hear? What can you see? How are you feeling?” Sometimes it was my bladder asking, “Do you have to pee?” And being a middle aged woman, I usually did.
But by allowing my heart to lead I started really seeing things that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. A raccoon ran across the road and into the shed, where I had noticed his tracks but had yet to spot him. As I looked out my north windows four deer trekked up over the hill presumably to their daytime hiding places. That was followed by a large flock of geese flying above the valley looking for feeding grounds.
As soon as the day warmed enough I walked up along the edge of my pond which was still ice-covered in the center, but along the edges the ice was giving way to liquid and I could see the tracks of various birds and animals that had shown up before me for a drink. As I walked up the hill I noticed four red-tailed hawks enjoying some time riding thermals in the bright blue sky above me and heard a woodpecker in the woods tap-tap-tapping. I felt keenly aware of every sound and sight and felt tuned and tapped in myself.
But the most amazing part of my day occurred while I was sitting on one of the large red granite boulders that dot my pasture. I had stopped for a break and to sink even more deeply into the heartbeat of the day. The rock was warmed by the sunshine and I felt, without a doubt, completely in the right place at the right time. Little did I know just how right it would be. As I opened my eyes after my brief meditation, I looked up just as an eagle flew directly overhead. An eagle!
What a sight! What a day! And what a gift to disconnect from technology and feel so incredibly connected to everything else, including myself. It was such a surprisingly good day that I’m hoping to treat myself to a day of Connected Disconnection every week!