Week #3: Transform Your Life Through Digital Detoxing & Calendar Cleansing
A good friend recently gave me an hourglass as part of a belated Christmas present. The gift came with a hand-written note that included a profound Shakespearean quote about time. As I flipped my unique treasure upside-down and examined the fine gray granules flowing through its narrow neck, I was struck by the humbling thought that my time on earth is not limitless. Talk about getting REAL.
The REAL tea is that we simply don’t know how much time we have left on our journeys. All we can be sure of is that we have this moment. This is precisely why we are being constantly encouraged to live in the now and seize the day! Time is of the essence.
Time demands respect. It desires to be slowly savored. It asks only to be recognized and managed with care and gratitude.
Each of us has a limited amount of time to enjoy life and leave our mark (at least as it pertains to the role we were born to play in this particular time and place). Faced with such uncertain circumstances, we must embrace life and do everything within our power to experience it fully, with joy and peace saturating every second.
We can’t mess around here, friends. We can go big, or we can go home. Time demands that we live for REAL.
Honoring Time through the Ritual of REAL Space Clearing
Having a keen sense of our impermanence does not have to be a downer. REAL awareness about the precious and fleeting qualities of time can empower us to appreciate and spend it wisely and with authentic intention.
We have taken the last few weeks to clear, clean, and open up our space to make room for the REAL ways we want to use our time as we move forward. In organizing and refreshing the physical areas in which we live and breathe, we have structured those environments in ways that allow us to make the most of our time.
The work we have done to deliberately transform our physical worlds into places that better support our REAL dreams and visions has equipped us with new perspectives and fresh insights. We are not the same people we were at the turn of the year. We are awake, for REAL.
With rekindled clarity and wide-open eyes, we march into the final stage of our REAL space detox prepared to cleanse and clear our digital real estate. Together, let us scrub up our cyber and cellular spaces. In doing so, we will create bridges to our inner worlds, setting the stage to deeply examine and cleanse our minds and hearts in the coming months.
Day-Timer Detox 101
One of the finest ways to honor your time and create a REAL life is to make room in your moments and days for activities, experiences, and interactions that support the energy, vibe, and vision you are cultivating. It can be challenging to turn in our “busy” badges and “champion doer” superhero capes, especially in a society where an over-booked itinerary has sadly become a sought-after status symbol.
At the end of the day, however, cleaning and clearing our physical spaces won’t do any good if we have no time to spend enjoying and relaxing in them. We must deeply examine our schedules and deliberately create the time we require to do the work that will bring our visions and intentions to life.
Start to craft the time you need to live your best REAL life, and use the following suggestions as your guide.
- Make it a point to begin mastering the art of saying no more often. Let someone else be the organizer and ring leader every now and then. This ties into family, friend, and community requests and expectations – there are enough of us to share the load on all fronts, you don’t have to do it all!
- If an activity is not crucial to your livelihood, family function, or health, take it off the calendar and place it on a to-be-categorized list (we will get back to it, no worries!).
- Save a slot each week/weekend to try something new (either by yourself or with others). Make it a fun game of discovery and set aside some time to find out what interests you. Don’t limit the list to things only tied to spiritual or mental growth, or to activities that are expensive or need to be done outside of the home. Dabble in a variety of endeavors and think outside of your box. You will organically receive the internal benefits whether visiting the trending ax throwing club or painting by number at your kitchen table.
- Carve out (I mean literally schedule) daily time for breathing, gentle pauses, & mindful moments. Start with three 5-minute mini-breaks per day… one for morning, one for mid-day, one for evening….we are only talking about 15 minutes here!
- Block off (I mean literally schedule) daily time for silence, solitude, & activities that soothe you. Start with two 10-minute mini-breaks per day…one in the first part of the day and one in the later part of the day…we are talking about 20 minutes total!
- After you have allotted time for all of the above, revisit your to-be-categorized list. Examine each item and do some raw and honest self-assessment. Highlight all activities/events/tasks that you do not prefer, enjoy, or gain any positive benefits from, and brainstorm ways you can begin to gradually remove these from your docket and/or minimize their frequency and length.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable with the strange responses and quiet resistance you will experience as you make these tweaks (both within yourself and from others). Change can be trying for everyone, but it can be conquered with consistency and commitment.
Foster REAL Productivity
Block time to devote for actions that move you closer to your dreams, visions, and desires. Replace TV viewing and social media scrolling time with activities that inspire, motivate, and energize you. Recognize that getting up earlier may be required in order to fit more of these new and positive activities into your daily experience (rest need not be sacrificed: go to bed earlier, and this will balance out!!).
Assess if the hours you are working in your job are REALly necessary. Are you working more than you need to? Some of the most productive people I know get an 8-10 hour “to do” list completed in 5-6 hours. Get open to changing your thought patterns and approaches when it comes to defining and achieving a “good day’s work.” Are you working 40+ hour weeks out of need or out of habit?
Optimize the times of day in which you tend to be more productive. If you are a morning person, for instance, structure your day so you can complete the bulk of your more intense work tasks by lunch time, which will leave the afternoon open for less complex tasks (and some fun and relaxation!).
Is there time allotted for self-care each day? If you are depleted, you will have nothing to give (to anyone). Self-love and self-care are restorative and necessary. Increase your productivity by allowing yourself time to recharge.
Make REAL Play Dates
Remember the scene in the movie The Shining, when we realize that Jack Nicholson’s insane character has spent months typing an entire manuscript filled with pages that repeat the sentence, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy?” We all know what happened after that. Yikes!
We may not necessarily go completely psycho from a lack of playtime, but life is certainly way less REAL and happy without regular doses of fun.
REAL balance is key, and integrating an element of playfulness into our daily lives is crucial if we want to stay centered.
The REAL tea is that you can’t afford NOT to have fun and be playful. We need to stop saying (and thinking) that fun is a luxury. It is a necessity! Fun leads to laughter. Laughter leads to relaxation. Relaxation leads to flow and good energy. Good energy attracts more good energy, and so on.
Build fun into your days, and you will see your life magically transform in very REAL ways.
REAL Computer Cleansing
The REAL tea is that most of us don’t manage our lives on paper anymore. We keep ourselves digitally organized, tracking finances, events, and communications within the cyber spaces we inhabit. Our faces are in our screens more than we would likely care to admit, so it is imperative that what we are perpetually viewing and clicking through is organized in a way that reflects the REAL peace and simplicity we are working to manifest in our worlds. Chaos within file folders and inboxes creates chaos in your energy field and life experience.
- Delete unnecessary files and folders. Transfer them to a flash drive if you just can’t bare to trash them completely.
- Clean out and organize all of your inboxes. Delete anything more than one month old, or place it in a sub-folder for easy access.
- Unsubscribe to all of those shops and organizations that you don’t care about. Take the lead on reducing the junk mail!!
- Does receiving regular email make you feel loved? Then sign up to receive positive and inspirational email blurbs. Subscribe to a few selected sites that will send you wisdom, messages, & info designed to infuse peace, awareness, and happy elements into your daily experience. Check out my REAL resources page for some suggestions, and make sure to subscribe to my site asap!!
REAL Cellular Sanitation
Let’s face it – the cell phone has essentially morphed into the newest human appendage. Our phones have evolved into so much more than a means to make a call. They act as our cameras, our watches, our alarm clocks, our address books, our radios, our news sources, our encyclopedias…the list seems endless. Literally and figuratively, your cell phone is an extension of you. Just as your digital and electronic spaces carry energies that express and impact you, your phone holds the same power.
- Remove apps and games that you either no longer use, no longer serve a positive purpose, or no longer represent the REAL you and the life you are intentionally creating. Add some new ones that support your authentic vision, goals, and vibe (try the apps for GNN, Shine, or Headspace).
- Clean out your contact list. Who is in there that you either already removed or should remove from your social network? Is there anyone whose info you are holding onto because of old emotional baggage and attachments? Why let the wrong people take up space in your phone?
- Cleanse your camera roll. Store the keepers on a flash drive, cloud, or disc. Delete the images that are attached to negative memories, people, or vibes. Keep images on the roll that bring you joy, make you laugh and smile, make you feel happy. Make room so that you can add to the collection that brings you contentment and peace (whether they are of people you love, quotes that speak to you, or objects and places that represent your vision and interests).
REAL Social Media Scrub Down
Our media walls are the places where we pin up our values, opinions, thoughts, and ideas for all the world to see. These amazingly innovative outlets can be used to show the world what and who we care about and what we celebrate and are grateful for. They allow us to connect with others at a quite extensive level, providing us with the means to transcend the barriers of distance. They offer us a way to share ourselves at a global level. This is REAL powerful stuff.
Recognize the power of collective consciousness. Acknowledge and appreciate the energy that your words and pictures send out to everyone who is exposed to them, and to the universe at large. Reflect on this as you refresh your social media platforms, and make the decision to use them only to reinforce your authentic vibe and vision.
If politics and religion are dear to you, for example, post only messages that represent religious and political aspects that you would like to see more of (as opposed to broadcasting examples of the negativity we all wish – in our own way – to see disappear).
Take down and remove pictures and posts that no longer express the REAL you and your present vision and vibe.
Take down and remove posts and pics that represent negativity, judgement, or other fear-based emotions. The world has enough of that floating around without you adding to the mix.
There are deep-seeded reasons why we continue to overpack our calendars, phones, computers, and social media pages. We tell ourselves that we have no choice in the matter, but the REAL truth is that we do decide.
The REAL tea is that we are afraid to make these changes and try a new approach. The specific things we fear vary from person to person, yet they are well worth uncovering and processing.
Do you fear what may surface if you removed the busyness barrier and sat still for REAL?
Do you fear the guilt that might result from prioritizing self-care time, setting firmer boundaries, and saying no?
Do you fear that deleting contacts and pictures would be a dishonor to your past, or to the people that were part of it?
As you move through your digital territories and devices, make some time for reflection and journaling. Use these questions to prompt your self-examination.
The REAL Time for REAL Love is Upon Us
As January comes to a close and February begins, we celebrate our efforts around the REAL space detox ritual that we have taken the last few weeks to pursue together.
Through the intentional detoxification, clearing, and renewal of our physical and digital spaces, we have participated in a symbolic rite of passage. We have carved a path for the next journey.
In preparing our outer environments for the new and refined external experiences we are creating and calling in, we have empowered ourselves to successfully conquer and cleanse our internal landscapes.
Armed with mindfulness, awareness, and authentic ambition, we now pass over the threshold and enter our inner houses, prepared to clean and clear our sacred spaces and make room for the REAL love that will transform them into our REAL homes.
The time for self-exploration and self-love is now, because now is all we have. The path has been cleared.
And that, my friends, is the REAL tea.