This is a very special week for me because this is my 26th week of Celestial Goodness. This moment marks half a year since I launched my blog and channel. Thank you for tuning in/for reading and for being on this journey with me. I appreciate you! Click here for this week’s video: https://youtu.be/Nv7DwmYntp4
Admittedly, this past week was not an easy one for me. After my elation last Saturday, Sunday and Monday brought with it news of multiple deaths of people that I knew—including the unexpected death of a dear soul, amazing person, and my friend. I think that as humans there is a part of us that always thinks that we will have time… time to say a proper goodbye, time to do the things that we want to do, and time to live more fully. Yet life is always saying to us—do it now, do it before you do not get the chance to. I desire and work towards living my life in a way that the people in my world know just how much I love them. I also feel daily, an abundance of love, so there is no question for me of am I giving love, or am I receiving love?. Does it matter if we know that or not? I think it does. And I hope that wherever you are watching this, that you feel love—from your own self, and from the people in your world. A few years ago, I actually had to do a purge of people from my real life because I realized that they were not good people for me to have in my life. That is, however, a topic for another time.
Because of the unexpected news this weekend, I felt myself slipping off into grief. I wanted to believe that the death of my friend was not real, that I could pick up my phone and send a message, and that they would respond, but that reality is different. Therefore, I was left rereading old messages, and remembering those good times. If you have never thought about your own grief process, it is important to know for yourself when you feel it coming on. In my case, I felt unable to smile, and I felt the need to be alone with my emotions. My friends Z and Natalie have a great podcast “Nat and Z sippin’ tea,” and one episode is about dealing with Grief and Loss. https://anchor.fm/sippint-nat–z/episodes/The-Gravity-of-Grief-eijlmt/a-a31d0o4
Of course because I still have responsibilities, it was a situation where I had to make time for my emotions, and then forge ahead with the other things that I needed to do.
When I grieve, I often turn to the words of Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Swiss-American psychiatrist, who is famous for her work on death and dying, and the proponent of the five stages of grief. She said, “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not “get over” the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” I don’t think that we are ever the same after meeting and knowing certain people. Their legacy will forever be etched into our hearts. In Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief, we go through a series of five emotions: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Depending on the situation, it can take any amount of time to go through these stages.
Because I am aware when I am entering into the stages of grieve, I had to do some decompression and disconnecting this week. I got up each day, and did my work, but I also had to spend some time off social media, and I had to spend some time out in nature. Most of all, I spent some time with my love. He was very supportive, and not only gave me the space to grieve, but also lots of hugs when I needed them.
One day while I was out for my evening walk, I put away my phone, and just listened to the sounds of nature. Close to where I have been walking is a small river, and I like to look over the side of the bridge and hear the river. Some days it comes rushing down with its full force—those are the days after it has rained. Some days, it looks like it will dry up if it doesn’t rain soon. This week I felt that the river was a perfect parallel to how I felt. Emotions can rush down so quickly—and we should not push them aside, but let them come. Let them inform us of how we are really feeling.
Anyway, as I was walking, I noticed that nearly everyone who ran or walked past me was on their phone or device. Maybe they were listening to music, talking, or they stopped in the middle of the road or sideway to text.
I also noticed an older couple, holding hands, and observing everything. Often times one of them would stop and point to a beautiful bird, or flower, or to the amazing colors of the trees right now. Maybe because I was being low-key creepy and observing everything (appropriately social distanced of course), I too also noticed so much more. The colors were magnificent, the way the sunlight streamed through the trees, and the way I noticed how in one place there are two trees that seem to be hugging each other. I noticed things that I had not noticed having taken this same walk hundreds of times.
And it felt in that moment as if nature said, “Just keep going.” We have been around for an eternity, and even when you are gone, these trees will probably still be here, this river will be here, the sky and the birds, will be here… and for at least one moment, a lot of things made sense. We are here for this moment in time, and while we are here, we are everything, and yet we are also just a small blip in the grand scheme of things. This moment of decompressing, and of disconnecting from technology was so comforting, that I forgot for a moment about everything else going on in the world. In that moment, it really was just me, a child of the universe, nature, wild and free, and a reminder that life is both fleeting and beautiful.
There is a poem that was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann that I love. It is a poem that always brings me peace; and I felt that I understood it so well in this moment. That poem is Desiderata.
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
So, this week, I am encouraging everyone to take a moment to decompress in some way from everything going on. I also encourage taking a few moments to disconnect from technology. I took some time away from social media, and I dropped the ball about replying to messages—my apologies if you tried to get ahold of me. However, in that time, I was grieving, healing, and remembering some of life’s most beautiful lessons. I did a google search, “How much time do people spend on their phones?” and the top result said that Americans spend an average of 5 hours per day on their phones. I suspect that when you include computer time, television, and other devices, that we are spending a majority of our day getting an overload of information. What is the time that you spend in the day where you let your own mind create? Think freely? Rest? Do you have that time?
So here are just a few tips this week to decompress and disconnect from technology for a bit. (After you read my blog/watch my video lol).
1) Make some time: Whether it is 15 minutes or an hours—having some downtime to decompress from technology can help your mind get some of the rest that it needs from the daily overload of information. This “information overload” can cause anxiety, stress, and depression. Write it on your calendar if you need to!
2) Start your day off with something other than technology. Most people reach immediately for their phones to see what they missed while they were sleeping. Sometimes the best thing that you can do for your day is to start with prayer, meditation, and a cup of tea. Allow yourself to set an intention for a good day because the news of the world bombards your life. I actually love the wee hours of the morning right before the sun comes up. I like to stand with my tea, warm in my hand, and see the first light of the day coming in… that is my sacred time.
3) Realize that “free time” and down time are sacred. Sometimes we feel bad when we are not doing anything. We feel the need to be constantly productive…but playtime is also valuable. Throughout history there are people, I have mentioned Albert Einstein before, who found great solutions to the problems of the world when they were daydreaming. Some of these people were intentional about their free time and their down time. The world considers Einstein a genius… I am just saying!
4) Set technological boundaries. Let the people in your life know that there are times when you will be “offline.” That time is valuable to you, and you are asking them to respect that. I would also include here, that if you are using social media, it is ok to unfollow pages and people that just don’t vibe with your values. Would you be friends with these people in real life? Would you allow them into your home in real life? If not, why are you allowing that through technology? This also helps cure doom scrolling. LOL
5) Find a hobby. There are many amazing things to do in this world and this life that do not involve technology. I know that sometimes after working an entire day looking at the screen, I want to do something that does not involve looking at another screen. It has been a bit hard to read the last few weeks, but sometimes I write, color, or literally just sit for a bit and let my mind wander. I also complain about cooking sometimes lol, but really, that is also therapeutic in some sense.
6) Initiate a no phone policy at dinner time. Make your meal times sacred. No scrolling, just enjoying your meal. If you live with someone, this is a good time to have a real conversation with them, where you are both focused on what the other person is saying. I hear this helps with digestion.
7) Spend some time out in nature. Whether you are the glamping type, or the hard core I am going to get out there and hike ten thousand miles today type, I think that even a few minutes in nature is helpful to overall well-being. Turn your phone on silent, observe how the light hits the leaves of the trees, or how the river, sea, ocean, creek sounds…. Or just how amazing it is the way that things keep the cycle going—things grow, they live, they die, they go back to the earth, and they grow again….amazing.
These are just a few ways to spend some time decompressing and disconnecting for a bit from technology. I enjoy using my social media, but I also enjoy living and participating in my real life. The spectrum of experiences in life are so varied…we will experience loss, but we will also experience love and everything in between. What kind of life are you trying to live? That is my question to you….and if you aren’t living it, then why? Why not live it? Why not you? Why not today?
Kubler-Ross also said, “It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth—and we have no way of knowing when our time is up—that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” Please live your life to the fullest…and that does include making some of your time sacred. It means carving out space for you—to process, decompress, daydream, and allow yourself to be here now—present and fully aware that life is yet a beautiful, mysterious, amazing unfolding…May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a beautiful one indeed filled with moments of serenity.