What if you had NOTHING “to do”? What if you had extra time? What if you could just relax? The major power outages in my state recently got me thinking.
I arrived to a Meetup a half an hour early by accident. When I realized it, after having ordered tea and a bagel, I realized how nice it was to have time to actually sit and RELAX. I didn’t have to be anywhere except right where I wanted to be: in a cozy little cafe surrounded by books and beverages. Bookstore plus bar=brilliant!
Now if I went straight home after work, a few things would have happened. I would have been greeted by my boyfriend making dinner (hopefully), which is a wonderful scenario that doesn’t happen too often honestly. Dinner part yes, but him being home before me and having it already made is another thing entirely! (I’m also going under the assumption that this is a normal day and not one where the power is out at our apartment!) We would eat after what seemed like hours to make dinner and probably watch TV.
Scenario 2: my boyfriend works late, I clean whatever dishes are most likely in the sink, feed the dog, FEEL like I have so much to do and I’m tired and probably sit myself on the couch for some TV time.
When I normally come home, there’s a lot that I feel that I have to do when in reality, it’s not as much as thought.
Power outages (mobile chargers, flashlights, and candles oh my!) are actually a great way to get back to basics as it were.
We are forced to stop distracting ourselves by doing and can focus more on being present with others or ourselves. Sure, we can use data (gasp!) if we really need to connect ourselves and feed the addiction (I’m technically writing this on my phone Notes and not using data yay me!) but I am SO tempted to navigate towards social media.
If we didn’t have phones, we’d really be off the grid. Then again, I can’t just plug it in and recharge. Each minute the screen is on drains the battery. What’s more worth it: tuning myself in to the chatter or spending time doing something fun like play a board game and catch up on the day’s events with my boyfriend? (Side note: I’m actually kinda mad because I ordered a new game that I love and it arrived today but by the time I got home my boyfriend was too tired to play and was literally in bed at 8:20pm!)
This has happened before when the power went out. It’s dark at 5pm now and with the power out, I feel like our melatonin is on overdrive. Brain says, “well, there’s nothing to do without electricity so........ZZZZZZZ “. But it’s a lie our Ego tells us to stay small and busy. The truth is that we keep ourselves so distracted by technology that we forget to replenish our energy with the things that actually nourish us and fill us up.
When we have “nothing else to do” is when we read a book, write in a journal, play a game, or chat with a friend or partner (or at least that's the game I play with myself).
The other things (electronics) seem so important, especially when we lose access to them. (I must look at Facebook or else death will occur immediately) but that’s not the truth. Those things feel important because it feels like we are doing something when all we are really doing is distracting ourselves from our true reality, not the digital or virtual one the Ego tricks us into thinking is the only one that matters.
The first step to change our patterns is recognizing the behavior that we want to change; simply being aware of it is a great place to start.
Accidentally arriving early allowed me to slow down and realize that there wasn’t anything that I had to do at all; and that the pattern of behavior that I perpetuate is really not serving me.
So I allowed myself to sit in that moment and enjoy it. I didn’t even Facebook scroll as is my customary idle time habit (one that I’d like to significantly decrease). I took a photo, sipped my tea, took a bite of my bagel, and was inspired to write. It passed the time in a perfect way until the person I was meeting arrived. When we slow and and relax, it allows us to reconnect to our inner truth, our authentic selves. Connect, connect, connect. Had I been drawn to scrolling social media, I would not have been inspired to write this post.
Maybe I should go to Book + Bar more....or perhaps I can learn to cultivate those feelings in my own home. Turn down the lights, have a big cup of tea in a cute mug (I am now inspired to get rid of all my mugs and replace them with fun ones such as Elwood the Rainbow Unicorn - hint, hint, Christmas gifts!), tune out the world for a few minutes, be present, relax, and enjoy that I don’t have to do anything.
With an abundance blessings in this moment and every moment,