May 8, 2013

From Unplugged to Plugged

While on Nevis I was unplugged--no email, Internet, TV. I was also away from the daily to-dos of living (e.g., errands, appointments, bills). The magic of this: my days were expansive. So much space to read, write, cook, run, swim, meditate, photograph, take long walks, watch the birds, nap, have silly and philosophical conversations with Mark, gain new insights, and connect deeply with nature.

A hard truth: fear still accompanied me. Daily I worked with the inner-voice that said I was unworthy; that I should be doing and accomplishing more. (If only unplugging from that voice was as easy as shutting down a computer.) But fear will always walk beside me. And the more I understand it, see beneath it, and tend to my needs the less power fear has (and the more strongly I grow into myself). Being away from distractions meant I had regular space to work with fear and shame. It didn't overwhelm me; it's just part of being human. As are joy, contentment, wonder, gratitude, and connection--all of which I experienced daily on Nevis.

Upon my return from unplugged land, I've tried to stay curious--mindful to the multitude of ways in which I get swept back into the busyness. It feels groundless. How do I reconcile my life on Nevis with my life in Appleton? Yesterday I got hooked--completely hooked. I felt such a strong pull to process ALL my photos; to cross that off my to-do list; to receive external strokes for my work. (This is the unchecked fear of unworthiness.)  The good news: I noticed. And I smiled. Because this is how life works--we have periods of mindfulness and periods lost in trance; some moments we're completely present and others we're completely distracted. As I walk my path, I have more moments spent fully present with my experience--yay for that.

It's good to be back. Being plugged in allows for distraction, but more importantly it allows for connection. I look forward to reconnecting with people (while staying connected to myself).


  1. Welcome back! I can't wait to see more... =)

  2. Ah so nice to hear from you again. I've missed your insight. I've often wondered what unplugged conversations sound like, when most conversation in our society revolves around the busyness, the plugged-in-ness. Thank you for sending these beautiful colors along from your unplugged world.

  3. Great to have you back Joy! Looking forward to seeing you. Feel free to stop by for coffee (8:30) tomorrow or any other Friday morning.

  4. "Daily I worked with the inner-voice that said I was unworthy; that I should be doing and accomplishing more."

    Joy, do you have a cat? Can you borrow one? Explain to a cat what it means to feel "unworthy." I bet you can't. When we feel that way our unworthiness seems like a metaphysical fact, but in reality it is a social disease -- not something we are born with but rather acquire from the people around us when we are little. Some were up to no good. Others were just at their wits end trying to raise us;-) It's a means of control, but you're a big girl now and can follow your heart. So when you feel it, treat it like a cold you want to shake.

    1. I completely agree with you. And I love your description. This is a well-worn habit for me, so it's taken years of intentional work, meditation, and self-compassion to find the place of that cat. :)