I'm back...:) I just returned from my five day break from technology / cleanse. My family and I are at our home in Romania for my sister inlaw's wedding and to enjoy Fall in the mountains here in Transylvania.
I decided to take a much-needed break from technology. No computer. No cell phone. Just me, my family, a good book, my pencil and paper, lots of fresh fruits and vegie's and the beautiful Fall weather.
I first want to send out a BIG thank you to my business manager Barry Day for supporting my decision to take this break and for holding down the fort here at Joanna International. I am so grateful to have you on my team!
The result of this mini-sabbatical was nothing short of Amazing... Revolutionary.
There is more to life than tweeting, playing new games and apps on my ipad. More than status updates and Google alerts.
There are picnics and delicious cheeses and good local wine and laughter around a table with friends. There are runs through the brisk morning air and time alone spent reflecting and dreaming.
There is love and life abundant.
And some of us need to remember that.
It took this break from technology for me to understand this, but I’m slowly learning the truth of this quote:
“Life is not a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”
So often, I think that my life exists to support my obsessions — my love affair with writing, speaking, creativity and being an entrepreneur. But this isn’t the case at all. Those are all means to an end.
When we treat our work as life — instead of a way to live — we fall out of balance and into unhealthy habits.
The only way out is to move in to something else. To step away and gain a new perspective. That’s what I did during this break. And there were three lessons I learned from my recent break from technology:
Lesson 1: Embrace your surroundings. I learned that the world is an even more beautiful place than I once thought.
Granted, I do live in some of the most beautiful places I've ever visit..Czech and Romania — Vibrant natural beauty and this just happened to be during my favorite season.
I realized that my time away from the laptop and iPad made this perspective possible.
And I’m grateful.
Lesson 2: Embrace your inner life. During my break, I had a lot of time to think, pray, and reflect. Much of this time was while surrounded by beautiful scenery or during extended time in the car (we drove from CZ to Ro).
During such times, I would normally pull out my ipad, smartphone and write something, plan ahead, play a game. But I wasn’t able to do that.
Instead, I was forced to ponder and dream. I was allowed to be creative again, no longer controlled by the urgency of the moment. I learned how to be proactive again, instead of merely reactive.
Lesson 3: Embrace inspiration from other sources. Oddly, this time wasn’t filled with much writing. Other than some scribbles in my notebook on the drive here to Romania, I didn’t write at all.
Instead of creating content, I consumed it. (This, admittedly, is something I have unfortunately been neglecting.)
I read books recommended to me by my dear friend (Michelle Young...thank you!) and listened to music and had life-giving conversations with friends that I'd been neglecting. I walked and ran more than I usually do and drank delicious juice and tea.
In fact, I learned that I don’t have to constantly be checking my online sites in order for it to still have an impact. But that’s a lesson for another post.
A final challenge
If you are going to do creative work that will change the world, then there is one ingredient necessary to your success: rest.
You must take time to take care of your soul, to check in with your emotional self and make sure all is well with your inner life. This is essential — more than with any other type of work, in my opinion.
Because your vocation requires you to pull from within, to consult the genius inside of you, to reach into the depths of your soul and share it with the world — to inspire, encourage, challenge, and change.
I will say it again: If you endeavor to create, you must rest.
Granted, my break from technology was a last minute decision, but given what I learned, I intend to make breaks like this more of a regular discipline.
Have you ever gone on a technology break? If so, what did you learn? Join the discussion in the comments.
Lots of Love,
Visits to this page: