A Sabbatical

Last year in October I took a personal Facebook break. It happened in a moment of frustration and a desire for a shift. I didn’t know what it would look like when I signed off but I knew I needed to give it a good chance, for the lessons to be realized. I ended up taking 5 weeks off. It was glorious. Simply glorious. I read a crazy amount of books, fluff and non-fluff. I got present with my kids and my life. Super crazy present. I found a deeper contentment and felt less distracted and restless. I’ve known that it was time to do this again for quite awhile. But resisted because while there’s always a pull to walk away for a bit, there are so many really enchantingly beautiful people in my feed. There are deep soul inspirations and mighty truths, there are music recommendations and reminders of what life is really about. It’s a kind of deep magic really.

Most of my connections are there, I have traveled so far and collected intensely loving friendships along the way. My people are scattered all across this world and I WANT to stay in tune with what they’re up to. And in the same sense, my writing has been stifled, I’m not creating the way my heart wants and I’m not finding it as a place of refreshment. I’m finding jealousy slipping in, I finding myself comparing my life, my home, my location, my hair. I read political posts with less loving kindness and more judgement. I am ready. I am so very ready.

In the last couple weeks I’ve gotten a ton of clarity around this and have been preparing myself for this break. Imagining a bit of what this time might look like, what my soul needs and what I could transform in my own life with a bit of focus and open heartedness.

If you have any desire at all to take a break but it makes you crazy anxious to think of life without social media here are a few things that I learned a long the way that may help.

1.  Prepare yourself. Get your head around why you’re doing this AND how you’ll handle the desire to check back in for “just a second”  Make a list of goals for the time off, projects you want to do, people you want to see, letters you want to write. 2.  Or not. Maybe you just need to do it now and not make a plan. Maybe you just need to sign out today and have no agenda for how long or what the time will look like. 3.  Get your info to the people that you want to stay in touch with, get email addresses and phone numbers from your friends so that you don’t get lonely or if you find yourself in a deep longing to check in with someone. 4.  Breathe deep. The first couple days are kind of like a cleanse. Stuff will come up and out, you’ll wonder what to do with your extra time, you might even feel a little nervous to “just be” with yourself. Breathe love. Stretch. Take an extra long bath. Drink an extra cup of tea. 5.  Try something new. If you add up the time that you normally spend checking in for a “quick catch-up” on facebook or answering messages or watching someone’s funny youtube video, it may add up to more than you think. Could you use that time to try something new? Take that dance class that you’ve been wanting to. See that CD on learning a second language? Why not? Or maybe you have several books that you started and want to finish. Or maybe there’s a conversation that needs to be wrapped up. 6.  Get still. Some of my best moments without facebook were simply sitting, getting curious with my eyes and just watching the things unfold around me. Soaking it up without posting photos to instagram or facebook and just watching, and slipping the images into the corner of my heart, to pull out when I need them. 7.  If taking a break from facebook or other social media causes you to feel a bit woozy, it might be good to look at what you’re using these things for. What purpose they serve. Are you numbing out? Avoiding something in your heart that needs your attention? Be willing to sit with a journal and pen and spill out what emotions come up around these things for you. Check in with your heart and your body temple and see if there’s something that needs spilling or healing or a big dose of extra loving. 8.  Before you sign back in get a little clarity on what it is you want from that space and what you want to contribute. Don’t feel any pressure to “catch up” or even to connect in the same ways or with the same people. It’s your facebook. You get to decide what it looks like. Look at this as a fresh start.

For me I’m making the commitment to sign out for the whole month of November. I’m going to spend the month writing. A lot. I’m going to try my hand at some new potions, tinctures and salves. I’m going to get my space to a place that makes me feel a bit like this is home and I’m going to read a ton of books. All of these things feel right for me and I’m excited to see what the month brings.

( I’ll still be posting on Milagro Girl’s facebook page from my hootsuite account. You can find Milagro Girl on facebook here.)