Unplug… I used to say “disconnect” but let’s be real… Disconnect? How NOT nourishing does that sound?!
The whole point of the act of turning everything off is to refill my cup, to rejuvenate, to reconnect with myself, my voice, my body, my soul. And how can you do that if you’re labeling the experience something so cold in the first place?
No wonder it was never working… And I had been trying the “disconnect” method for MONTHS with no change… So, disconnect went out the door and UNPLUG came in.
The truth is, the act of turning everything off wasn’t really working because I wasn’t really turning everything off. I had convinced myself that I was. It looked like I was. My phone was off. My computer was put away. I was unplugged, right?
My mind was still on. I was making lists. I was planning posts in my head. I was planning coaching strategies. I was making notes. I was watching documentaries that invoked great and detailed thought for me. I was STILL ON. Like WAY on and I didn’t even know it.
You see for the past 10-13 years I’ve never really “stopped” working. Not very often at least and a lot of the times that I did, I wasn’t resting. I was sick or partying because I thought I needed to try and have a life or was dragging myself from one obligatory function to another. But for the majority of the time I was going from wearing 8 predominate hats at one business, to one of 3 other jobs every since day. I never stopped. All utterly exhausting and fun… but we’ll get to that part in a second.
When I started my own business 5 years old, it got deeper. The partying part stopped and I cut a couple of the promo gigs but I was still wearing 8 big hats roughly 70 hours a week AND building a business. Again, exhausting… and fun.
I had quit all of my side jobs about 6 months before I unexpectedly left my main job. At that time I committed to growing my business fully, while still trying to be everything to everyone, show up for every single function, and growing as a person. I trained myself to turn my life into my business. I trained myself to see no separation. I trained myself to look at things as part of my job. And while that is actually not, not the truth the mentality that I created within that 3-4 years ago was still hanging around today and was not at all serving me anymore.
What I mean by being “ON” all of the time is this:
I am always creating. Always writing or making notes about something I want to write later. Always reading about marketing or business development or human behavior or systems. Always reading about being a better human. Always learning something new. Always taking pictures, making instagram stories, going live, answering messages. All of the time. And when I wasn’t actually doing the act of those activities, I was thinking about them.
Now let me be really fucking clear about this, I’m not complaining. I’m also not saying that I didn’t enjoy existing that way because I absolutely did and in my path, it has ultimately served me in a beautiful and rewarding way. The foundation was built during that time of always-on. And the biggest point here is that I didn’t even realize I was doing it. This past year I’ve gotten really good at rarely actually being on my phone. I’d taken space. I’ve cut my hours. I’m more efficient than I’ve ever been and that’s saying a lot. The amount of time I have allowed myself to disconnect and HEAL is honestly impressive as fuck and I’m extremely grateful for that.
I also think everything I just said above is FUN. I enjoyed the 8 hats, the 70 hours, the problem solving, the putting out fires, the promotions, the content creating, the client calls, the brand building, the learning, the everything. I love it all. I love my job and my life, I promise you that I really do.
BUT and here is my point, I found myself constantly tired. Like really tired. Like, can’t focus on anything kind of tired.
First I thought it was my water intake, then fixed that… problem still there.
Then I thought it must be my nutrition, then my sleep patterns, then my morning routine, then the hours I was working, then the energy I was giving out, then more self-care had to be the answer. You name it, I labeled it the culprit of my exhaustion and went after it to “FIX” what had to be the problem.
Until I finally realized that while all of those things were amazing to clean up and get into a new, amazing groove with none of them where what was causing my exhaustion because well, I was still exhausted… even more so than ever actually.
Insert the journey of the unplug here.
And a journey it’s been. It’s not simple to do when you’re used to existing differently in every single way. It’s been a learning curve and one that I’m so grateful to have had my eyes opened to.
The first time I took a week to rest, I thought I did really well… Looking back after still being drained completely I realized that I had actually only allowed myself one full day to reset.
Newsflash: NOT enough.
So, two weeks later I did it again. And after 8 days unplugged with only a collective of 3 hours “online” over that time period I’m actually feeling better. Better than I have in years.
That means I wasn’t writing content. If I journaled it was to get a thought out, not to sort, not to dissect, not to affirm, or work. Just to flow. I wasn’t on my laptop except for one time to perform a call, my only phone call for the duration. I wasn’t texting or taking photos or searching or researching. I wasn’t talking to anyone really. Social media was removed. And I rested. I followed whatever I felt called to do, but really had to keep myself in check because like I said before, I ENJOY my work, I feel CALLED to do it but I knew that I needed this break. I had to give myself the time and space that I needed, that I am worthy of.
So I listened to my body above all else.
That is what was missing. My body and my mind we’re never really connecting in the divine way they are meant to. Not in the way that my soul needs them to. You see, I’ve turned up the dial on so many of gifts this past year and my old way of living wasn’t working anymore. I knew this, and I had been peeling off layers and layers and layers to adjust but this one, I think this one was the bones. It’s like I got through all of the fleshy layers and am now at the BONES. The beautiful structure where our body’s messages begin. My soul is connected there, it’s connected everywhere but I wasn’t listening to the bones and now I am.
I feel like I’m emerging from spending time in the air, perhaps in a beautiful nest or bubble that was created for me to nourish in a way I never knew I needed until now.
My soul was waiting there for the next levels. And now, the feeling behind my eyes will guide me. It will remind me when it’s time to turn it off. I will listen to my body so I can soar and serve and provide in the ways I’m called it, the ways I’m meant to.
So, don’t disconnect anymore… that’s not the answer and I don’t know about you but I don’t enjoy walking in circles. Try the unplug and in fact, CONNECT back to you. That’s where it all begins and ends, and that’s where the ultimate power resides.
I’ll continue to share from my realizations, I have so much to tell you about. And about how I’m now maintaining the new normal, the new existence, the new space.