How Unplugging Can Fuel Your Creativity and Forward Movement

Happy March!

I wish you all a joyful new month as we transition from the dark of winter to the season of growth and possibilities.

Did you know the month of March is named after the Roman god of war, Martius? In ancient Rome, this was the time of year to resume the military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter. For us, in the Northern Hemisphere, March is the month of new growth and fertility. It brings the vernal equinox and the return of Daylight Saving Time!

The other day, I was having lunch with a friend who mentioned that March 1st is designated as the Global Day of Unplugging; a day to unwind, relax, and connect with others away from our electronic devices. Invariably, this led to a conversation on how we got to this point of needing to designate a Global Day for Unplugging.

We live in a digital age. Our computers and cell phones have become a big part of our lives. While there are many benefits to the advances of technology, we cannot ignore the negative impact technology has on our mental and physical health and our relationships. Research shows that taking breaks from our devices allows us to disconnect from the constant demands of work and social media. Doing so regularly helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

The fact that the month representing new growth also begins with a day dedicated to unplugging, relaxing, and becoming grounded within ourselves got me thinking …

How can unplugging fuel and support our forward movement?

When our attention, energy, and focus are constantly directed outwardly, we lose sight of what truly matters to us and what makes us happy. We become vulnerable to messages, trends, and ideas that may not serve us that well.

There is a beautiful complexity of growth within the human soul. In order to glimpse this, it is helpful to visualize the mind as a tower of windows. Sadly, many people remain trapped at the one window, looking out every day at the same scene in the same way.

Real growth is experienced when you draw back from that one window, turn, and walk around the inner tower of the soul and see all the different windows that await your gaze. Through these different windows, you can see new vistas of possibility, presence, and creativity. Complacency, habit, and blindness often prevent you from feeling your life. So much depends on the frame of vision — the window through which you look.

John O’Donohue – Excerpt from Anam Cara

In stillness, our imagination and creativity can take flight. As we begin transitioning from the darkness of winter to the light and possibilities of spring, what better time to give ourselves the gift of time and space and look up to “see all the different windows that await our gaze?”

When we discover our creativity, we begin to attend to this constant emergence of who we are. Our creativity is excited by what is new, different, and concealed within us.

John O’Donohue from Beauty; The Invisible Embrace

We are all bound to our schedules, workload, habits, behaviors, and routines. It may be unrealistic to expect that we can completely unplug for a whole day. Often, the smallest changes can lead to significant breakthroughs. Instead of giving up altogether, be creative and incorporate small breaks away from your devices throughout your day or weekend.

What would you like to do during those breaks? What do you enjoy doing that you haven’t done lately?

  • Is there time with yourself that you crave? Do you miss being outside?
  • Do you want to take this opportunity to reconnect with a good friend and sit down for a meal and a lively conversation?
  • Is there a creative project that you would like to start or continue? What about that book you have been meaning to read for a while now?

In her latest blog post, How 3 Useful Changes Can Make Positive Differences in Your Life, my friend Linda Samuels referred to micro-changes as the smallest possible changes we can make to motivate action.

As I read her blog and reflected on this idea, I realized this is something I tend to do often. When I am working on a project, trying to look at things from a different point of view, I tend to …

  • Buy a new notebook to write down my thoughts and ideas
  • Change where I sit to work
  • Take a break to do something unrelated to the project I am working on. Doing so tends to stimulate my creativity and problem-solving ability.
  • Pick up one of my favorite books and open it to a random page
  • Go for a walk outside to clear my mind
  • Buy flowers and place them where I can see them
  • Make changes in my daily routine and rituals

A couple of weeks ago, it snowed hard. We haven’t had that much snow in a while. It got cold; the snow lingered. These last few days, it got warmer, and yesterday it rained.

Today, I looked out the window and saw that the snow had melted. I could see the bare landscape and the parts of the yard that may need extra attention and care. Just looking out the window for a few minutes got my mind going in a different direction. I began to think about how I would like the yard and the garden to look this spring and summer. I started to feel excited about what is to come. I could feel the warmth of the sun waiting for me.

For now, I don’t need to commit to anything. I can just let my imagination go. Pretty soon, I will have to decide, plan, and begin to take steps toward making my vision come alive.

What about you? What if you gave yourself some time to unplug and let your mind go? What new “vistas of possibility, presence, and creativity” would open up for you, I wonder?

I hope you give unpIugging a try. I would love to hear about your experience and insights.

If you find comfort and inspiration in the company of like-minded women, read about the monthly gatherings and join us for one.

Is there an area in your life that you would like to gain more clarity in? Reach out and let’s talk about how I can best support you.

As always, thank you for being here and reading along.

2 Comments

  • Linda Samuels

    Dear Yota-

    I feel calm and hopeful after reading your post. Thinking about the months ahead as the “season of growth and possibilities,” embracing the difference unplugging or inviting micro-changes can bring, and knowing that the blooming season is on its way makes ‘next’ feel positive.

    So often we dread ‘next.’ Or we aren’t sure what we want to do next. I love how you offer space here and also during your wonderful monthly retreats to explore now AND next. You provide a safe space to allow things to simmer, bubble up, and invite.

    Thank you, dear friend, for sharing the link to my ‘3 Useful Changes’ post. I love how you regularly engage with micro-changes. Your idea of picking up a favorite book and opening it to a random page is wonderful. I know it’s not the same, but imagining you doing that makes me think of the thrill I get when I crack open a fortune cookie and read the message. Sometimes it resonates, sometimes not. But it’s exciting to see what the universe offers. There are always messages to be seen, heard, read, and discovered. How beautiful it is when the message that finds us is the one we need to hear in that moment.

    The irony isn’t lost on me that today is Global Day for Unplugging and I’m knee-deep (or eyeball deep) in digital engagement. My entire day won’t be spent in engaging in my devices, but here I am now with my computer as I write these comments. I will most definitely have a portion of my day away from the screens. As a matter of fact, I’m about to take a quick screen break to get some fresh air, fold some laundry, and run a few errands. That’s next for today.

    As far as March and the arrival of spring, I’m excited for all the things that will grow, bubble up, and draw me forward.

    Love and hugs, dear friend.
    Linda

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Linda,

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts and insights. I hope you enjoyed your screen breaks today. You are very good at finding balance and engaging in rituals that bring you delight and comfort. Getting some fresh air, folding laundry, and running errands can be soothing activities when done with intention. They take us out of our heads and place us into our bodies and present moment.

      I loved your post on “3 Useful Changes!” Actually, I find your posts inspiring, thoughtful, and incredibly helpful. I am glad that you enjoyed reading about my habit of opening my favorite books to random pages and look for helpful messages. I have found this practice very helpful when I get stuck. As you said, there are always messages coming our way.

      I hope this new month points the way through open doors and infinite possibilities for you.

      Love and hugs right back at you, my friend 💖🌷

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