I didn't bring my computer or write in my journal on our mini-adventure. I just let go. I let work go. I let my worries about writing go. And slowly but surely Radio Station KFKD stopped streaming.
Usually on the weekends, I take a digital sabbatical. However, I still use my computer for writing. Last weekend, I desperately needed a few days off. I craved a break from the glow of my computer screen and the city.
I love what I do, but it's important to take time out to recharge the creative juices. Otherwise you start running dry. And last week, I felt like all my creative energy had been sucked out of my body.
And what's funny is, I almost stayed home because I felt like I "should" be writing and responding to the flood of emails I received last week. I almost missed out on my real life.
That made me wonder, how many of us are missing out on real life because we have our priorities misaligned?
By "real life", I mean living a conscious life. A life that is focused on connecting with others. Not a life that's focused on the "should's" or a life that's spent in front of the computer screen or with our own unrealistic expectations. Instead, real life is about spending quality time with others and being helpful. To do that you have to take risks and you have to be a little vulnerable.
For those of us who have introverted tendencies, that can be really hard. Sometimes it's easier to stay home and spend an hour (or more) on social networks, instead of engaging with friends. The problem is, real life doesn't happen on Twitter, Facebook, or blogs. Sure, they are fantastic tools to share stories, but you have to get out into the world and live your own story.
So what's real life?
- Real life is shivering by the campfire, eating marsh-mellows and drinking beer.
- Real life is saying thank you to your spouse for cooking up dinner on the camp stove.
- Real life is feeling your legs burn, as you pedal your bike slowly, up a very big hill.
- Real life is all about opening yourself up and being vulnerable.
Over the next year, I want to cultivate more of these experiences in my real life. I'll still be writing and blogging, but I'll probably be spending less time online.
Micro-action: Evaluate the amount of time you spend on screens, including your TV, cell-phone and the Internet. How can you cut back on your screen time and start connecting with friends, family, and community?