Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Are you really living your life ... or are you watching your life being lived?

Last night my husband told me he “likes me better the way I am right now.”

I’m at the beginning of an 8-week writing/creativity sabbatical and the ah-has are coming faster than I can catch them.

I’m really getting that in order to be the fully awakened, conscious parent and partner I want to be, I need to slow down, do less and let go even more than I can imagine (and to my credit, I already do quite a bit of this). I just don’t know what that looks like. Yet. (Here’s my recent post on A Different Way.)

I know I shouldn’t be surprised by all the gifts and revelations that have come from being unplugged (basically off email/social media except for the rare occasion—thanks to an amazing support team), but I am.

Since unplugging, I’ve observed:

-physically my body is so much more relaxed, my shoulders feel fluid and open; my heart rate is slower, I don’t feel that constant adrenaline surge
-my thinking has slowed down …there are more pauses, more space, I’m more reflective and more observant
-I’m more present and less reactive in my relationships (especially with my 9 year old and my husband)
-I’m more creative and more willing to try new things (I feel my perspective on life/work/family is more 360 than the 180 view I usually experience)
-I can sense I’m more tuned into nuances, the shades of grey in conversation and interactions
-it’s much easier to see what matters most (I still have a tall stack of “action items” sitting on my desk from May—interestingly, they seem a lot less urgent now)
-I’m more connected to my rhythms, my environment, nature, my home—things seem more colorful, more vibrant
-my tolerance for everyday stress, pushing and rushing has gone way down (and it was already pretty low)
-I’m beginning to question some of my old habitual behaviors that still re-surface (such as tying my sense of “worth” to my ability to be productive, serve others and experience success)

I’ve officially been “unplugged” for about two weeks now and plan to remain offline through the summer.

Yesterday, after taking a yummy salsa class at Esquina Tango, I headed to Blue Dahlia, a wonderful European bistro, to write.

Things weren't flowing, in fact there were at a dead standstill. I felt like a clunky 14-month old learning to walk--horizontal a lot more than I was vertical.

I grappled with this for a few minutes (feeling my precious summer writing window melting away and upcoming publishing deadlines reaching out to inquire, “So, how are things going?”) and then breathed out, ordered a delicious salad and decided to stop pushing. Instead, I got a massage, took a rest, cooked a wonderful summer vegetable dinner for my family, picked up some books to support my research/new writing project, called some friends for support and let go.

And today, my writing flowed like a stream.

Baby steps Renee, baby steps.

P.S. I’m Surveying the Emotional and Spiritual Health of Families for my new writing project. If you have 5 minutes to tell me about your family culture, I’d love to get your input (and feel free to share with friends/lists):

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Photo: horse and buggy. The ultimate in low-tech.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Hi Renee ~ I came across a website/movement today that seems in line with this post and your survey: basically, families are trying to unplug on Sundays to reconnect and rebalance, etc. It's a terrific idea and one that I hope to incorporate into my family life.