It’s early morning; I’m sitting on my balcony and all hear is the chirping of the birds. I breathe a deep sigh of relief and connectedness. An image of me sitting in the middle of a forest on a cold crisp morning pops into my head.
This is why I’m so addicted to traveling. It becomes a space of just me and the birds. Myself and life. Relaxed, Carefree and unplugged.
When I say unplugged, I don’t necessarily mean from devices as you may visualise. Unplugging is often isolated to something you do in the wilderness away from smartphones and tablets.
Unplugging goes deeper than that.
Unplugging is a disconnection from the chaos of life, which comes in multiple forms, one being an over-reliance on social media. It’s not the devices fault, but the choice of the user who feels somehow living plugged into someone’s else’s life gives them satisfaction.
Unplugging is an act of separating ourselves from what doesn’t align with our values and our heart-centred desires.
It’s unplugging from
- society’s expectations
- schedules and demands
- over commitment to tasks and people that don’t matter
- overconsumption and materialism
- the habit of competing, comparing, criticising
- a life of shoulds
- a traditional path that does not make you feel alive (traditional is okay IF it is your mojo).
- relationships that don’t serve you.
- devices that steal your time with meaningless crap, memes, bullshit, and other people’s drama.
This is the chaos that controls your life and causes it to lose its meaning slowly.
To plug back into
- life in its pure form, not through a lens
- connecting to those who matter
- your culture, traditions, and stories
- nature – listening to the birds, feeling the breeze across your cheek, delighting into squirrels collecting acorns, and hugging the occasional tree.
- your values and living by them.
- what you desire and love doing – remember how you played when you were a child and what you loved to do? Reconnect to it.
Unplugging from life’s chaos
Unplugging from the chaos is a theme of our travel blog – accumulating memories and moments, not just possessions. It’s why we travel so much and encourage you to do the same.
Travel helps me stay connected to within, despite being plugged into my devices. I use it for its purpose – a communication tool – not as a means to turn me away from what’s important because I don’t know what that is, or I’m too afraid to join it.
I love going into the Wilderness to digitally unplug (and am this weekend), but it’s not what my soul and body craves for well-being. Unplugging from life’s chaos is what it craves more.
I don’t want my life to feel like I’m constantly jammed into a power point – an energy that’s so wired and buzzing as it tries to cope with the chaos of life, not devices, but outside demands and dissatisfied daily steps.
I want plug in to peace, joy, and Zen. That comes when you live in alignment with your truth and close connection to the sound of the birds and the joy in your heart.
We created the tagline for our American Unplugged journey to reflect this unplugged lifestyle.
We want you to strip back America and show us it’s unplugged secrets. But, at the same time, it’s about our journey of unplugging from the chaos. Saying no to the fears and the things that don’t serve us, and saying yes to our dreams, and to the life connection we crave.
Through our America Unplugged journey, we want to show you how to unplug from the all-consuming chaos to follow your heart more.
Embrace travel. Say no to the demands. Have adventures. Live moments. Experience deeper connections.
The key to Unplugging
Unplugging from the chaos for me means a life of constant travel. That might not be your unplugging.
The key to unplugging is tuning into YOU. What does an unplugged life look and feel like to you.
It might be going off the grid, pursuing your creative passions more, spending more time laughing with friends, releasing a few of those extra-curricular activities you felt you HAD to do, a weekend retreat, or an extended holiday once or twice a year where you don’t have to budget or plan too much.
We believe travel is one of the best ways to unplug to reconnect, which is why we have this blog, and I guess why you read it!
We’re going to be helping you more to find ways to unplug from the chaos in your everyday life more, whether it’s through travel or not.
9 easy ways to start unplugging
Learning to unplug takes time – we’re all so freaking hardwired into those power points. Start the gradual entangling. A few things each day to gently unwind. Here are a few things I embraced that helped me eventually adopt a more unplugged lifestyle.
1. Start the day with yourself
There’s going to come a time, not long after you arise when the world starts pulling at you – whether it’s a hungry child, a spouse that needs help, your scheduled train departure, or an email from your boss or client asking where the completed project is.
When that first pull begins I can guarantee your day will become a domino effect of endless pulls. Before you know it, it’s 9 pm and you’re collapsing in bed with eyes already closed.
Where’s the time for you?
It’s essential to slot time in for yourself the minute you wake up. If that means you wake a little earlier, than wake. You’ll soon discover the benefits of starting your day with you.
Even, if you can only manage five minutes, then do it.
I gift almost an hour to myself of a morning. If for some reason, the chaos takes control back and I miss it, I notice the discontent and grumblings within.
If you can’t do this, ask yourself why?
What are you fearing? Why would you avoid giving yourself some quiet serenity and time just to listen to the birds and the beating of your heart?
I promise you, you deserve it.
If you persist in not doing it, then I beg you to do one thing:
NEVER make social media the first thing you bring into your world of a morning.
You may think it’s super cool to show your Snapchat followers your just-woke-up tousled hair and sleepy eyes, but in doing so, you are giving away the chance to start the day with peace, clarity, and your own visions and dreams.
You open social media you get pulled into other people’s dramas and demands, and you lose control.
Nobody else is more important than you. Give yourself space to breathe and connect with YOU. What’s important to your day today?
Five minutes to breathe, contemplate, and feel grateful for breathing is the perfect start.
An insight into my morning routine
- Quiet time to watch the sunrise and listen to the birds.
- Read a chapter of an empowering book.
- Journal – usually my money cleanse tasks
- Hug my girls.
- Have a morning tonic tea. (1/2 teaspoon turmeric, dash cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp lemon juice, minced ginger boiled for 30 seconds)
- Start my day.
You can see I’ve targeted my personal growth, spiritual connectedness, physical health, and mental/emotional balance.
Now the chaos starts, and it becomes about everyone else, but at least I’ve given me and my life a sense of purpose and importance.
2. Turn off the news
If you’re a long time follower of ours, you know I talk about media fasts a lot. The world’s a chaotic mess. It’s a given. Turn off the news and you’ll have an entirely different perspective.
You create your reality. Feed it with the things you want to be your reality.
Turn off the news for at least a week. Then watch it again and pay careful attention to how it makes you feel. I never watch it or read it or listen to it. If it infiltrates my space, I feel sick, a little dead inside, and unplugged from what’s so pure and lovable about life.
I start hating people. I start hating life. I feel so jammed into the powerpoint. Instantaneously.
3. Add in one new super food into your diet
Unplugging from the chaos also includes reconnecting to a healthier inside! It can be a chaotic exercise in itself to transform your diet. So start slow. Introduce one new super food into your diet (a week if you can).
I started my transformation with green smoothies.
Now my diet is gluten-free, almost dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and a low meat diet. You will not find any refined sugar in our house, yet I make delicious cakes and sweets every week. If you follow us on SnapChat, you’ll see a lot of me cooking these with the girls and my green smoothie infatuation.
My fave morning smoothie: coconut water, orange, banana, acai, blueberries, chia seeds, spinach, avocado, maca powder, hemp powder, green powder, raw honey, and raw cacao.
I promise you if you start your day with my cleansing morning tonic above, followed by this smoothie, you will not need coffee and will be full until lunch. (Hot tip: It will clear your hangover away too.)
I can highly recommend the following:
Simple Green Smoothies – Jadah and Jen helped me start a love for smoothies. They’ve been hugely influential in changing my diet. I LOVE the recipes they produce – full of flavour, so healthy and make you feel so energised and good. I buy everything they produce now without even reading what it’s about as I trust everything they create. Their recipes and cleanses make it easy and delicious.
4. Read an empowering book
As mentioned, I start my day by reading a chapter a day of an empowering book. I only want to put uplifting, positive, empowering thoughts and ideas into my head.
I understand the power of our subconscious mind. It creates your reality. Feed your mind with the world you want to create.
I talk about this in my 30 Day Money Cleanse, and we spend 30 days retraining our subconscious mind. It’s why participants, myself included, have such great success with it.
Wayne Dyer is my favourite. I read his words every day without fail. I also love Marianne Williamson.
A couple of book recommendations of theirs:
5. Explore a new part of your neighbourhood or the one next door
You don’t have to jump on a plane to travel. Embrace the spirit of it by venturing into a new area close to home. Pop on your travel glasses and enjoy the freedom and adventure of it.
It may even be something as simple as trying a new exotic restaurant, learning to salsa dance, or taking up language classes. There are so many ways you can travel at home.
It’s better out than in. That’s why we journal. The chaos of life causes us to stuff down many of the pressures, anxieties, disgruntlement, frustrations and dissatisfactions of the day. Soon you’re overstuffed, and there is only one way for them to come out – in a dysfunctional way.
Take 10 minutes of every evening to write about what you’re stuffing. Let it come out. Nobody is going to read it. Once you clear the junk, clarity has space to speak its wisdom to you.
Finish your journaling with three things you’re grateful for each day.
7. Watch something you love
We’ve recently sat down together as a family to watch House Hunters every evening and Fixer upper on a Sunday. It’s an evening ritual we love. We cuddle as a family on the couch, kick back and dream big. We get to travel to the different places people are house hunting, we dream about having our home one day and how we want it to look, and we gain lots of creative ideas from it.
The girls now design their homes using Lego, and Kalyra loves to put each house through her rating system she created. It’s helped me get into a better routine to serve dinner early so we can watch it after dinner. Then the girls go straight to bed after with little fuss.
A very simple unplugging from the previous unorganised chaos that brings joy, connectedness and creative dreaming to our family.
8. Set clear boundaries with your time and communication
Setting boundaries may be something you find difficult to do.
By boundaries, I mean definite “No. Stop encroaching on my time and stealing my energy.”
Start small. Once you do and you notice the freedom and control you’ll feel, the more you’ll extend those boundaries.
It took me ages (and I still work on it) to feel comfortable with possibly upsetting people and putting myself first. You cannot be everything to everyone. Be strict with your time and spend it on what is important to you.
I have strict policies in place with email and phone. The only thing I can’t control is switching off Facebook messages (notifications are off) After I received 20 Facebook messages in the space of three hours one day asking me for something, I frantically searched on the web for “How do I bloody turn off Facebook messages. I want to police my energy and time better. “
You can’t do it. But, at least start with notifications. Especially Facebook. It’s designed to trap you into that blue world and never leave.
I have very clear guidelines in place on our contact us page. I’ve created it that way to give myself permission to delete. I’ve set the boundaries, if people overstep them, then I don’t feel bad about removing.
You can train people how to treat you.
I now delete over half my emails daily without even opening them because I don’t care to read another bloody press release or Kickstarter funder request. I used to feel obligated to read these – I was so plugged into how others wanted me to act and felt so nervous to say no. Now I am very clear about what is of interest to me, and if it does not serve my goals and values, it’s out.
I have a system for tagging and filing my emails, so I deal with them on a priority basis. I’m clear in my welcome email newsletter to new subscribers that I read every email (truth) but may not be able to reply. Again, giving myself that permission not to if my time is too overburdened.
But, I do love this part of my business so much, and I get so much joy out of subscriber emails that I reply to almost all of them. I tag them and attempt to sit down one night a week with a cup of chamomile tea and a bowl of chocolate avocado mousse to reply. It reconnects me to my purpose so is a worthy task to do.
It is rare for me to talk on the phone. Craig often speaks of my poor phone skills, which is why I often pass phone calls over to him. Phones are a disconnected form of communication for me. I’ll be short and sweet and often won’t say much. I feel uncomfortable with them, sometimes to the point of disservice to myself through my procrastination in picking up the phone. I’d rather email or text.
I get multiple requests daily to jump on a call and discuss the latest and greatest invention, product and way of making money. My canned response, “I vet everything via email first. I only jump on a call if we feel this is something worth pursuing.”
Protect your time. Never jump on a call to discuss business unless you know for sure it’s something you want to continue.
What about when telemarketers call? Do you feel obligated to listen? That was me. Shocking. I felt rude to interject. Now I’m straight to the point, yet polite. They’ll talk their incessant stream of words so you’re forced to listen.
I simply talk over the top, “Excuse me. I’m going to stop you right there as I don’t want to waste any of your time or mine. I appreciate your service, but it’s not of interest to me. If that changes I’ll let you know. Could you please take me off the call list? Thank you and have a great day.”
Unplugging and taking back control. Do it.
Technology does leave a greater door open for people to place their expectations upon you. It’s an incredible way to communicate and get things done, but it’s so important YOU create the rules.
Google and Zuberkerberg might rule the internet world, but you rule how you engage with it.
9. How do you want to feel?
Focus less on what you want to do and achieve and more on how you want to feel. Pursue those things that make you feel that way. Any opportunity or demand that enters your life that does not make you feel that way, you have permission to say no.
Say no more the jammed up plugged in lifestyle, and yes more to deeper connections to yourself, to mother nature and to those you love.
We’re putting together a free eBook – 100 ways to unplug (which will go well with our new unplugging theme. We’ll be writing more content to help you with this as well.)
Leave your best tips in the comments below. Remember it doesn’t always relate to unplugging from electrical devices. And also leave any questions or topic ideas you may want us to write about which aligns with living an unplugged life.
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