Don't unplug, plug IN.

Wait, what?

I'm usually all about UNplugging through stillness and slow living, now I'm asking you plug IN?

Hear me out...

~~~

For many years, I focused on unplugging from my 9-5 job at the end of the day, most of the time because I was frustrated. Today I like my job, but I still take it home with me most nights – mentally and sometimes physically. Sometimes it's harder to unplug now because I like what I'm doing and there's a lot of it to be done, which means I’m more likely to keep at it after hours.

But work is only one facet of my life. There are many others and it’s important for me to maintain a balance.

Here's where the plugging IN comes in.

 Spending time in nature is important to me. So is spending time with D., making art, making a home, eating good food, reading, learning, writing...

Spending time in nature is important to me. So is spending time with D., making art, making a home, eating good food, reading, learning, writing...

One fine evening a few weeks ago, my mind was spinning with work-related worries and to-dos when I had an epiphany:

I realized that by trying so hard to unplug from the situation I wanted to leave behind (work) I was keeping it at the forefront of my mind. It was a classic case of “Wherever you focus you will go…”

Then I asked myself what would happen if, instead of focusing on what I want to unplug from, I focused on what I would like to plug into?

Ruminating about work?

Plug into chopping those veggies for dinner.

Reliving a conversation I wish had gone differently?

Plug into dance. Crank those tunes and feel the music in my core.

Wondering how I’ll get it all done?

Plug into play with Cassie, our Golden Retriever. Get down on the floor with her and feel the love.

 Seriously, how could anyone resist that face? And those paws!

Seriously, how could anyone resist that face? And those paws!

Worried about tomorrow’s meeting?

Plug into the story that's unfolding in the novel I'm reading.

And if I’m still having trouble letting work go?

I plug into work, yes. I jot down the to-dos, send myself reminder emails or set a specific amount of time to move forward on a deliverable. Sometimes dedicating a few focused minutes on what’s lingering is all I need to move on.

~~~

The concept of plugging in isn’t new. Be here & now, live in the moment, stay present, back to the breath, focus on what you want to manifest – it’s all similar. What’s new to me is experimenting with it in the context of unplugging from work and shifting my focus to what I’d like to be doing instead, like making dinner or catching up with D. or writing or reading.

This shift in focus and language becomes a simple, but effective tool for living in the moment AND with intention, whether I’m unplugging from work, from worry or from social media.

In the context of my 9-5 job it helps me maintain the balance I seek between work and other facets of life.

~~~

Feel like giving it a try? The next time you feel a need to unplug from something, whether it’s work or anything else that’s taking up a lot of space and energy, what if you tried to focus on what you’d like to plug into instead?

Don’t unplug, plug in.

Try it. Experiment. Let me know how it goes.

In spirit of simplicity and discovery,

Stephanie

xo