Grit Blogs > A Well-Worn Path

Unplugging for a low-tech day

Last Sunday I unplugged. I didn’t check my email, update my status on Facebook, or post a single tweet. I didn’t turn on the computer or even answer the phone. It was a day of silence and low-tech living and I wondered if I would feel uncomfortably disconnected without a computer, smart phone, social media and all the technological tools with which I spend most of my time.

Before the sun was completely up I set my intention to simply allow the day to unfold naturally. My goal was to be conscious of and pay attention to whatever was going on around me, and soon I felt myself settling more deeply into myself.  As I sat and just allowed myself to be, feeling the perfection of the day, it felt as though I was sinking into my core.  There’s a Zen koan that asks “what was your face before your parents were born?” and allowing myself to move deeply into that part of me that always is, has always been and will always be, I felt I was beginning to understand the question, if not the answer.

Of course, without spending time in front of a computer screen, or constantly checking email on my phone, or habitually scanning the various social networking sites, I was awake, aware and more conscious of everything that was happening around me. Every time I strayed and began worrying about some upcoming deadline, to-do tasks still undone, or wondering what was happening in the cyber world in my absence, something inside would gently bring me back to my intention of allowing myself to feel whatever this day held for me.  Often that reminding came from heart asking questions like, “Where are you now?  What can you hear?  What can you see?  How are you feeling?”  Sometimes it was my bladder asking, “Do you have to pee?”  And as a middle aged woman, I usually did.

But by allowing my heart to lead I started really seeing a plethora of things that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.  A raccoon ran across the road and into the shed, where I had noticed his tracks but had yet to spot him.  As I looked out my north windows four deer trekked up over the hill presumably to their daytime hiding places. I walked up along the edge of my and saw four red-tailed hawks enjoying some time riding thermals in the bright blue sky above me and heard a woodpecker in the woods tap-tap-tapping.  I felt keenly aware of every sound and sight and felt tapped in, tuned in and rather than disconnected, totally connected.

But the most amazing part of my day occurred while I was sitting on one of the large red granite boulders that dot my pasture. I had stopped for a break and to tune in even more deeply to the heartbeat of the day. The rock was warmed by the sunshine and the day felt about as perfect as it could be. Little did I know it was about to get even better. I opened my eyes and looked up just as an eagle flew directly overhead. An eagle!

What a sight!  What a day!  And what a gift to disconnect from technology and feel so incredibly connected to everything else, including myself.  It was such a surprisingly good day that I’m hoping to treat myself to a day of Connected Disconnection every week!