February 23, 2013

The Gift of An Internet Fast.

Yesterday, I didn’t go online all day long.

I call it my new nine-to-five day with my daughter. It came about because I’m reading a book called 29 Gifts. The idea is to give 29 gifts for 29 days and chronicle your giving in a journal. If you miss a day, you must start over because the energy of this ritual is supposed to build.

Yesterday was my “Day One.”

Just like this book suggests, when we give gifts to others from our hearts—gifts we enjoy giving rather than ones that deplete our energy—we often receive even more back. (Although the true idea is to give and not expect to receive.)

When I decided to give my toddler an entire day with only the two of us and absolutely no distractions, I ultimately gave myself the most glorious gift imaginable—an awesome day with my tiny lady and a lot accomplished along with plenty of good ol’ fashioned fun.

Really, how pathetic is it that to not go online or be near my computer (and also to have as little contact with my phone as necessary, which isn’t a smartphone but still manages to eat up time) is something that’s a gift?

Back when I grew up, I’m sure there were other things to fiddle around with but not going online was clearly not an issue. Yet, today it is.

The internet can be something we use to find and share information, a place to connect with friends, and for people like me, a place to work. However, it can also become an obsession that takes away from life rather than adding to it.

As a blogger, I do spend time on my computer writing and reading feedback. I write almost obsessively and it’s a huge part of who I am. Part of the reason I don’t yet own a smartphone is that I’m afraid of abusing it and being one of those people with their heads constantly bowed over a few-inches-long piece of technology—and I don’t want to be.

Let me tell you what we did yesterday, during my gift of internet fasting.

My daughter and I went to the yoga studio (which is a typical Friday) and then we ate lunch at the big girl table (with my toddler sitting next to me in a regular chair rather than her high chair). We played and went to Earth Fare, our local health food store. After that, we even went shoe shopping (for her). She very happily tromped out in one of her two new pairs of kicks (that she admired wholeheartedly in the store window while trying on). My little girl then fell asleep in the car on the way home, and I took time while parked in the driveway to chronicle my first day of giving—and it was barely three pm.

I felt so accomplished that it felt like five o’clock.

So will I be internet fasting every day? No, but I definitely will be at least a couple days a week from now on.

My life is well-served by writing and sharing it with you. I don’t want to take that away from myself or my family; but I learned that sometimes, the time I spend online doesn’t serve anyone, including me.

Check out 29 Gifts and do read the book with me—I guarantee I’ll be blogging again about my 29 days of giving, as today is only “Day Two.”

In the meantime, think about what you have to offer the world, and what you have to offer yourself—and then give it.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Rather ask—what makes you come alive? Then go and do it! Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

~ Howard Thurman


Like elephant I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.


Ed: Bryonie Wise


(Source: paisleyprintshoes.com via Janice on Pinterest)


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