A Month Without the Internet

We are now seven weeks into the new year. How is your year going so far? Did you start your year off with new year’s resolutions or as I like to call them, practices?

 

I made a declaration on January 1st after a particularly indulgent holiday season. 🙂 Ok, time to get back to basics and sit with myself this month. The beginning of the year lends itself for reflection and to go inward. I wanted to regain my equilibrium and energy.

 

While pondering what I wanted to do differently this month, a random thought came to me, “I remember a time without the Internet.” So I decided on the following for January:

 

  • No alcohol
  • No Facebook
  • No T.V.
  • No Internet

 

I allowed myself certain exceptions: Instagram and intentional Internet use. It was the mindless surfing that I wanted to minimize. You know the one — you’re on FB, and then you click on an article your friend shared about the latest political hot button story, and then you click on a random link about Kylie Jenner – is she pregnant or not, and so on it goes.

 

I invite you to look at your internet history to see the number of websites you surfed and to note, did any of the info enrich your life? This is not a judgment, just an invitation to be in observation mode.

 

So how did I occupy myself with this time? I got bored, read books, listened to music and a few podcasts, journaled, sat in silence with my tea, cooked, watched a movie without distractions, and used my iPhone as an actual phone and talked to folks.

 

Now, did I abide by all these practices perfectly? No. I drank once last month when was in a celebratory mood, and I watched mindlessly a few times Youtube videos. The point is not perfection. If we strive for perfection, then we’ll fail.

 

I simply wanted to bring awareness with these practices.

 

If I noticed that I was wanting to lose time on the internet, I’d take a pause, breathe, and simply ask, “Is there something I’m trying to bypass? A negative emotion?” We so often want to bypass. My practices opened up time and space and notably discomfort. Our emotions are our guide, our inner knowing.

 

What was the discomfort telling me? For me, it was an acceptance that I needed to leave a beloved space because it no longer served me. This was a conclusion that I’d been resisting, but with the minimal distractions, it bubbled up to the surface and could no longer be ignored.

 

Will I continue these practices now that we are in February? Definitely a yes for certain ones as I want to deepen the benefits.

 

Last month, I noticed more creativity and ideas, more calm, more confidence in my path, eating when hungry, less compulsive email checking – these are just some of the benefits. So who knows what month two will bring?

 

Hope this resonates. Are there certain practices you want to try? Let me know.

 

Take care, Shalini

 

2 Comments

  1. Marci Simpkins on February 22, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Wow – this is a great post! Knowing myself too well, I only cut back on alcohol and sweets instead of a complete fast. Your post is kismet as I just finished reading “7” by Jen Hatmaker. She gave up one thing for a month for seven months. She is super Christian but I liked her take on spirituality and modern needs. She is also super funny.

  2. Sukhaja on April 16, 2020 at 12:07 am

    Enjoyed this piece! I feel like you’re so right about a negative emotion lurking behind the surge to mindlessly scroll through Facebook. It’s also procrastination in my case. Keep writing!

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