Two-Tip Tuesday: Digital Detox Challenge



iphone Glued to HandLast week I accepted the challenge of a digital detox. Inspired by an article written by Aarona Ganesan, my favorite coach, Jill Keuth started a group on Facebook to support brave souls taking this plunge. The concept is taking a break from your digital addictions. It started as not touching your phone for the first hour of the day upon awaking, but also addresses wherever you have electronic addictions throughout your day-to-day routines.

This past week, I have made some pretty big behavior shifts, ranging from not checking email in bed, to looking at Facebook during mealtime, to canceling cable. Note: this is not a requirement, just something I have been pondering for a while, and finally did it! And let’s face it, no one should start checking email before their first cup of coffee, just sayin.So, here is my challenge to you: Explore where you can add stillness and quiet to your day. Only you know your issues in the digital wasteland. So, try to eliminate something. Today’s tips will help you with a little digital detox of your own, and add to the challenge.

Relax Melodies AppRelax_Melodies

Sometimes it is challenging to sit in complete silence. As I’ve been playing around with different meditation techniques, I’ve noticed that it is much easier for me to sit in stillness with a little background noise.

Relax Melodies (free app for Android and Apple), is a fantastic way to create a variety of sounds ranging from basic white noise, to a babbling brooke, to a roaring rain storm.

You can compile multiple sounds on top of each other and control the volume of each. There is way to save them into your favorites, allowing you to keep track of your favorite renditions.

In addition, there is a timer setting, allowing for you to time your meditations, go to sleep listening to ocean wave bliss, or even set an alarm for the morning.

Warning: Creating sound combinations can add to your digital addiction. So, try to keep it simple in the beginning, and even consider using the pre-composed melodies.

Eliminate Notifications iphone Notification Hell

Having email, Facebook, Twitter, and any other notification on my phone is a huge challenge for me. Part of it is my OCD to keep my screen clear of blaring red numbers begging to be opened, but it is also a constant distraction. I constantly feel compelled to open an app the second a new notification pops up.

The simple solution?

TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS!

It sounds so easy, but it is slightly painful to do. Just remind yourself that there is a pretty good chance you will be receiving emails and social media updates all day.

Set a specific time aside to check all of your email, etc. at once. This will not only help with efficiency, but can aid in removing some of the glue attached between your phone and your hip.

If this isn’t a big enough challenge, try taking social media apps off of your phone all together. See what it is like to eat a meal without looking at your phone.

Try it for a week…I dare you!!

As always, I want to hear from you! Hit REPLY and let me know what you are cutting out and how it is going!

A Lesson in Self-Love



Woman_Enjoying_CoffeeThe other day my 12 year old daughter asked me who I love more: Her and her sister, or myself.

I had to pause for a minute, with the millions of appropriate responses running through my brain.

Is this a trick question?

If I say I love myself more, will she be offended? But if I say them, what lesson am I instilling? That we should always put ourselves second to others?  I took a deep breath and answered truthfully, “Of course, you two.” My daughter gave me a look of slight disappointment. “You know mommy,” she scolded, “You should really love yourself the most.” 

Deep sigh.

Indeed, she had been listening to the lesson I had been trying to impart, but I apparently I had not. It was true, I always put them first, followed by me, as a close second. 

As a woman, this is definitely a challenge, and as a parent, even more so. We know we would give the moon to our children if we could, or take a bullet, etc. [insert your favorite cliché here]. Many marriages and relationships suffer because children are placed first, sacrificing important intimacy with our spouses or significant others.

lovely_flowersThe truth is self-love is the ultimate first. If you can’t learn to love yourself the most, how can you expect your children to love themselves first? I’ve told myself this truth over and over again, but never truly let the fullness of in sink in, until now.

Raising daughters is challenging on so many levels, especially in the sense that I don’t want my girls to make the same mistakes I did, or suffer any self-esteem issues that so many young girls face.

I finally had to face the reality that no matter how hard I may try, I cannot protect them from the world. In fact, I would be doing them a disservice, and at the same time shielding them from developing their own strengths.

So many adults, myself included, deal with self-judgment, negative self-talk and doubt on a daily bases. If we want our children to learn to love themselves, then we must model it for them first and foremost. I truly love the beautiful lessons my children teach me. We no longer live in a world where the parents always are right even when they are wrong. It’s ok to be called on our shit by our kids from time to time, even if they don’t realize how profound their words can be.

Pastel HeartThe lesson in all of this is simply: learn to love yourself. I know it sounds like a broken record (or as my youngest calls it, an old-timey CD player), but learning to love and honor yourself is the only thing you can do before you can truly love others, even your children.

My 12 year old wrote this poem for a school project, but her ulterior motive was to give encouragement to her little sister, who was feeling down about herself at the time. I wanted to honor my lovely and wise tween and share her poem here:

 

You Are Wonderful

by Isabelle Atha

Life is full of ups and downs.
It’s like a rollercoaster.
But, no matter how much life shoots you down, just stay positive.
People will say “you can’t” or “you won’t”
Well, you are full of potential and you can.
In your lifetime, people will deny your ideas, call you names, and make fun of you.
Those people are just jealous of you.
If you let these mean and hurtful comments get to you, you’ll start to think “I can’t or “I’m dumb.”
You are extremely capable and smart.
However, here are some things you aren’t:
You aren’t worthless, you aren’t the worst person in the world, and you aren’t hated.
You are an amazingly talented and kind human being.

                         

There is no time like the present to start this work. With the full moon approaching tomorrow (July 1st), check out this great blog from the gifted astrologist, Cindy Morris, on how to use this energy to tap into loving yourself.

And finally, my last words on the matter (as I often need to hear them myself): Be ever so kind, gentle and compassionate with yourself.

 

Feng Shui for Break-Ups



Chocolate Therapy For Break-Ups
The end of a relationship, whether it was a short romantic fling, a long deeper connection, or even a close friendship, can feel like a divorce of some sort.

It doesn’t need to be a legal battle or an actual end of a marriage to carry the energy of divorce. Albeit, adding a legal aspect can bring much more dragged out misery and despair, all ending relationships carry grief and loss to some degree.

If you’re sensitive like me, then you not only carry your own sorry and loss, but that of your friend and/or partner’s as well. Even many years after the end of a relationship, we may still feel the loss now and again.

So, when you are in the rut of emotional despair and nothing makes you feel better, try adding a little feng shui to your space to get the positive energy moving again. Energizing your space can aid the healing process not only on a physical, but an emotional level as well.

Here are some of my favorite feng shui tips to get you started.

Fresh Bedding

If the relationship was romantic, and you lived together, getting a new bed or mattress is most ideal. This is especially helpful if you were married or in a long term relationship. If this isn’t financially possibly, a new bedding set is a great alternative; at the very least new sheets.

Think about how much time you spend in bed and as a couple.

This is a great place to remove old stale energy and invite in new energy that is yours alone.

Get rid of pictures

Is it really necessary to keep all the old photos of your ex or old friend out on display?

Holding onto pictures (even if buried in your basement) can still keep the energy of the relationship lingering. Think for a moment about the symbolism of buried in the basement.

Your basement represents the foundation of your home; YOUR foundation.

Do you need that energy lingering there?

Whether it is in your desk, in a picture frame, or in your basement, it’s time to let go. It will be challenging to attract a new relationship when you are holding onto the old one.

Get rid of gifts or items purchased togetherJewelry

This can be as simple as getting rid of some touristy junk you bought together on a trip, or as complex as the jewelry gifts, or furniture purchased together.

When I went through my divorce, I wanted all-new everything. I wanted items that fit my style and were my own. It was my dream to be able to have a gift registry, just to start over.

Again, it’s not always feasible to re-furnish your entire home, but you can attack in baby steps, adding small items here and there; a set of dishes, new art work, etc.

Jewelry is one of those hard to let go of gifts, but every time you wear something given to you from a friend or ex, you will be thinking of that person, either consciously or subconsciously. You don’t need that extra energy lingering, I promise.

So, donate to someone who would love it, or sell it on craigslist, and treat yourself to something new.

Unfriend on social media

Yes, yes, I know, it is quite the ego blow to let your Facebook friends drop down by one.

But really, what is the purpose of keeping that person on your radar?

Trust me, I completely understand the need to cyber-stalk and see what that person is “up to,” but this usually leads to feelings of resentment and more heartbreak. You may see a picture you don’t like (i.e. that person has found someone else), or it can just rehash old feelings of loss and grief, setting your healing process back even further.

The truth is, even if that person has given the illusion of moving on or he/she actually has, YOU can’t move on until you truly let go. I understand the complexity of having children and wanting to spy, but that just opens up a whole new can of worms and there are much more deeper issues to work through (maybe a future blog).

Spruce up your love and relationship corner in your home and/or bedroom

Feng Shui BedroomThis is the area that is in the far back, right corner of your home or any room as you are standing in the doorway, looking into the room. Take a peak at this area.

Is it cluttered?

Is there a bathroom?

Are there missing areas in the architecture?

Is there some amazing art, but when you look at it, you feel a little sad an lonely?

These are all major issues, some of which can be addressed quite simply, and some may that require specific feng shui cures, or remedies. For some quick fixes to the area, check out last year’s blog on Feng Shui for Love and Romance.

 

While these are just a few suggestions to get the energy moving, there are so many more little things you can do energetically and physically in your space.

We feel pain from all types of loss, no matter the size. Using feng shui in your space can help create shifts, ranging from lifting your vibration slightly, to moving out of depression.

Only you know how you feel, and it’s ok if it seems irrational at times. I want to remind you to be gentle on yourself, and make time your friend. Even with the slightest energy shift, you can start to heal and move on from any form of grief, large or small.

Please share your stories or comment on other ideas you have tried. I would love to hear from you!

Warmest blessings!

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