I missed you guys. No really, I did. In fact, c’mon, group hug!! Everyone, just bring it in…
…ahh… there you go. That’s better. 🙂 Now, back to business…
It’s strange having a week off from the internet. To begin with you don’t know what to do with yourself. Normally I’d get up, check my e-mails, make some moves on itsyourturn, check flickr for new comments, see what activity there’s been on my blog, and then round it all off by catching up on any new posts on the many blogs I follow around the world.
But with no internet, no TV, and no music (I relaxed this rule on and off as the week went by), everything suddenly becomes very quiet and expansive. You end up with a lot of time on your hands. Admittedly, a lot of that I filled with reading, but there’s only so much book you can handle.
My first morning (relax, I’m not going to do a full blow by blow of the week) I managed to shower, do a good yoga session, make food for the day (which involved cooking pasta and the sauce to go with it), cook a full English breakfast, AND wash the dishes, and I still left early for work. With all of the above internet activity I barely had time to shower and knock out a few sun salutations before I was scrambling for the door. I even had time to bake cookies on the last two mornings, ready for my Brighton photo shoot the next day (more about that in the next post).
And work was different too. Avoiding watching movies and not going on the internet freed up my brain to connect with the people around me. I was a lot less uncommunicative and monosyllabic, as I tend to be when I’m half watching something and someone asks me a question (I can only do one thing at a time well, and TV tends to really suck me in if it’s on – that’s why I avoid it).
And it made me go out more. On the two days I did have off work I went out one day to help at the Sivananda Centre building bunk beds for their upcoming teacher training course, and the other I spent out meeting friends and enjoying the glorious sunshine.
All in all we’re talking about Mindfulness. The act of being where you are, being aware of where you are, of what you’re doing, and being conscious of yourself as you go through life. (NB: If anyone’s interested, I thoroughly recommend reading Mindfulness In Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana for some simple yet fascinating insights into how the mind works.) I was more concentrated, more focussed on what I was doing at any one time, and a heck of a lot calmer (in my mind) as I went about my day. It really was a most peaceful and positive experience which I’d recommend everyone try at least once.
Upon my return I found I had over 100 e-mails. 75 were porn spam, 20 were unsolicited marketing messages, 8 were solicited but general communications, and 3 were for me personally. Kind of says it all really. I don’t think I’ll be putting my computer on as much anymore. It certainly won’t be my default position from crawling out of bed first thing in the morning. I’ll be using it at my convenience, and not just to fill time. And when it’s not in use it’ll be off, and I’ll be doing something else. Life’s too short to spend it all in front of a computer screen.