Unplugging for a low-tech, high wonder 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.

Before the sun was completely up I set my intention to simply allow the day to unfold naturally.  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.  

But 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 the day and 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 my heart which was 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 being a middle aged woman, I usually did.

But by allowing my heart to lead I started really seeing 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.  That was followed by a large flock of geese flying above the valley looking for feeding grounds.  

As soon as the day warmed enough I walked up along the edge of my pond which was still ice-covered in the center, but along the edges the ice was giving way to liquid and I could see the tracks of various birds and animals that had shown up before me for a drink.  As I walked up the hill I noticed 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 tuned and tapped in myself. 

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 sink even more deeply into the heartbeat of the day.  The rock was warmed by the sunshine and I felt, without a doubt, completely in the right place at the right time.  Little did I know just how right it would be.  As I opened my eyes after my brief meditation, I 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!

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About louannthomas

Speaker & writer
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10 Responses to Unplugging for a low-tech, high wonder day

  1. Robin Hale says:

    Thank you for the exceptional reminder, so beautifully written and deeply felt.

  2. Kelley says:

    Love this, Lou Ann! Beautiful reminder to be present to our lives. Thank you!

  3. carynmirriamgoldberg says:

    wonderful!

  4. Marty says:

    I’m thoroughly with you there, Lou Ann… So thrilled that your home is your hallowed ground and that it is speaking to you!

  5. Charlene Schlotzhauer says:

    Thank you Lou Ann, You are a kindred spirit! After experiencing a number of years of life stresses that almost overwhelmed me, quiet time with nature has been my salvation. My favorite time is collecting rocks from the creek. So many messages from nature, history, spirits past are waiting for me as I pick & pack, trudge up the hill to its new home on my flower bed!

  6. Crystal Leaman says:

    What a profoundly lovely way to spend a day – and one you will remember apart from all the others. Thank you for sharing and describing it so beautifully.

  7. Phil W says:

    Other than reading this on my IPhone I was right there with you. Beautiful. One of those, in every little thing there is poetry moments and days. Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful.

  8. Larry says:

    What a refeshing sabbath the day must have been.

  9. Really lovely – I’ve been thinking about the same things lately – unplugging and sinking deeply into the day. I’ve set Sundays aside for rest and reflection – the “day of rest” as in days gone by. I’ve been partially successful reserving them for “doing nothing” but am sticking with it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  10. Barb Leeper says:

    I sit here with my laptop in hand watching the late spring snow fall. I have been plugged in for hours. It was so enlightening to read your blog about experiencing the out of doors and appreciating nature. Yep, I will sign off this high tech robber of time and head outside.

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