15 September 2013

My 24-hour Tech Detox

On the 6th day of my Yoga Journal Fall Detox (a Saturday), the only obligation I had was to teach a 30-minute yoga class at Breathe Wellness' open house. Fortunately I realized this early in the morning (before 8 am). With other plans cancelled, I decided that starting right then, I was going to try a true technology detox--meaning the iPhone, iPad, and laptop would stay completely OFF until 8 am the following morning (which is when I'm writing this).

I journaled pretty extensively throughout the day, and thought I would share some things that happened to me in case anyone who has a gadget addiction might want to try it.

Here are some highlights from the first half of my day:
  • What am I going to do? My first instinct is to make a list of all the things I could do that are "non-tech" (e.g. read a book). I realize (again) how much I fill my life with "to do" items I can cross off. I have a hard time just being.
  • Does [insert thing here] "count"? No TV? Really? (I haven't honestly watched TV in months, so what do I care?) What if so-and-so needs to contact me? Will they worry? Several times I really want to check my phone, all in the name of sparing someone else.
  • How will I know where to go? If I want to go for a walk, I can't look up a pretty place! What about the weather?? Oh no! Why can't I just look outside and go walk, wherever?
  • OMG, the emotions -- several times when I am just still, all I want to do is cry. Then my mind starts worrying at things I am concerned about, and it's clear this is a distraction from feeling the need to cry. I talk back at myself in my journal.
  • And the judgments -- "How would I ever do a 10-day silent vipassana meditation retreat? I can't sit still for longer than 3 minutes!" (I notice as I'm trying to sit down while eating my kitchari.) "Why is this little kitchen table so important to me? I should be able to let it go." Sigh.
Then 3:30 pm hits, and something clicks. I feel happy that I decided to do this. (The fact that I had a chair massage with Kristen and a polarity therapy session with Allison at the open house after teaching probably didn't hurt. During the polarity therapy session in particular, I felt my right hip and my heart ache, feel held, and open up, and Allison told me I had "beautiful energy".)

My afternoon was totally different than the morning. So much less of a struggle, and much  more intrinsic listening to my body and my inner wisdom:
  • On my long drive home I make many somewhat random stops, doing little chores (but not feeling obligated to do anything). I even stop at a little bookshop, Bearly Read Books, and putter around for awhile. When I get home I slowly and mindfully make another batch of kitchari, and astound myself by my lack of restraint over a yummy papaya. 
  • I feel tired, so I lay on my massage table, music playing, water fountain going, scented candle lit, bolstered and covered with blanket and eye pillow. No alarm. I stay awake but in a beautifully relaxed state. (Hours later I wonder whether the CD player "counted", but I hadn't thought of it at the time and it was such a positive experience I decide to let that slide. :-) ) More thoughts of "what counts".
  • Later I do a facial mask for the heck of it. As I wipe off the white gunk with a damp washcloth, slowly, I look at myself in the mirror and finally think I'm a beautiful woman. I notice how much I've been hunching over again lately--a self-protection mechanism. I stand up straighter.
  • While chopping carrots for more kitchari I realize why I can't stay focused and quiet. Childhood stuff: can't let my guard down. Something terrible could be happening when it's quiet. Ah...and then in my relationships too. Of course. I struggle a bit, wanting to eat some unapproved foods.
  • I make a list of things to do tomorrow (today) after my "techdox" is over. I look at the list and don't want to come out of it. I start to think more carefully about how to do it. I also think more carefully about how to reintroduce foods and exercise, something I didn't do that first time of the YJ Detox two years ago.
  • I have a fantastic restorative yoga session. I read a lot before bed, getting fully immersed in my book. 
This morning, as the time got near for me to "power up", I felt anxiousness in my body. My breathing got shallow, my chest felt tight. So folks, this is it for now. I need to ease back in.

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