Unplugging by Degrees
Guest Blogger – Nancy Wesson
Yes – I am unplugging – choosing to experience life in a different way and that is still unfolding. At the very least it will mean reducing life to the basics and exploring who I am and what I have to offer in that context. For me, it represents a need to contribute to a global community in an organic way (yet to be defined), the need for adventure that moves me WAAAAY out of my comfort zone, and a spiritual quest. At best, I will have running water and electricity, but it’s entirely possible that neither of those will be part of my daily life. These challenges alone should offer plenty of fodder for discovery!
Learning of my decision to actually CHOOSE such a life for 27 months, some people ask if I’ve seen a psychiatrist lately… Others confess they’d also like to unplug – though perhaps not so radically. Most are just wanting to simplify life – weed out the non-essentials and somehow get back to what matters most. That’s different for each of us and – like religion and politics – it’s a private issue. But there are ways to simplify without selling a house, closing down business and going to Africa. Since this seems to be a common theme here are some musings from which to pick and choose, if you too, are wanting to separate the wheat from the chaff:
- Dare to let the phone go to voicemail! We do NOT have be available 24/7.
- Make a list of what you love in your life and what annoys you. See how many of those annoyances you can jettison. (Be prepared for some resistance from plugged-in others.)
- Limit watching and listening to the steady stream of news available. We can be informed without being inundated.
- Be fully PRESENT with family/friends at least part of the time: avoid texting, tweeting, checking e-mails, answering the phone, etc. Watch the impact this has on your relationships.
- Decide what pieces of your lifestyle truly support you and what you want to continue to manage.
- To improve sleep patterns, cease computer activity two hours before the time you want to go to bed. Back-lighted devices can interfere with Melatonin production and play havoc with sleep.
- Use the library instead of buying/accumulating books.
- Meditate: it shrinks the part of the brain related to stress and increases activity in the areas that produces feel-good hormones. It also lengthens telomeres which contribute to improved immunity and longevity.
In the words from Daniel Pink, Author, A Whole New Brain:
The best prescription for these modern maladies may be to approach one’s own life in a contextual big-picture fashion – to distinguish what really matters and what merely annoys.”
About the Author
Nancy Wesson, currently in the process of unplugging, is the owner of Focus On Space, an Award Winning Author, International Speaker, and Trainer specializing in creating mental, physical and emotional spaces to nourish the soul and feed the spirit, allowing clients to discover their personal best. With the goal of empowering her clients in their desire to live integrative and purpose driven lives, her work focuses on expanding awareness and consciousness using the experiences and tools of everyday life: time, space and relationships.
Nancy has lectured on a broad range of topics at the University of Texas, U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Justice, Shenandoah University, and the Texas Real Estate Commission as well as numerous seminars in both public and business venues. She has made guest appearances on KLRU public television in Austin, Texas and Virginia’s Shenandoah University Television. Her syndicated articles for the Austin Homesteader now appear on her website www.FocusOnSpace.com She is the author of the award winning book, Moving Your Aging Parents: Fulfilling Their Needs and Yours Before, During and After the Move, now in its second edition.
Nancy has accepted the invitation to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, departing in August for Uganda, where she will work in the area of Economic Development. An adventurer at heart, Nancy has unplugged before, but never to this degree. She turned 30 living aboard a 29 foot sail boat while cruising the Gulf of Mexico and northern Bahamas for 9 months. In her mid twenties, she quite her executive job to travel in North Africa. She’s looking forward to the discoveries ahead.