I’m sitting in the living room enjoying a cup of coffee. It’s quiet. It’s early. While I relish this peacefulness, in the next room my son is sleeping and from the kitchen I can hear a gentle whooshing sound coming from the dishwasher. It’s really quiet. Usually by this time most of the day has been planned. A box that needs to be packed (we’re moving) or lights that need to be replaced 22 feet in the air, a room that needs cleaning or a car that needs a good wash. Hang on let me pause to get back to the quiet. Okay. That’s good. I almost got a little worked up there. Breathe in. Breathe out. There. Where was I? Ah yes, I can hear birds chirping outside. My coffee is perfect. The dog is sleeping on the couch beside me. There are no plans for the day. Bliss. But I have a guilty feeling engulfing my thoughts.
Why can’t we find time to sit in the quiet without feeling guilty? Is it some perceived expectation someone has of us? Is success only achieved by those who work non stop? I’m certainly not suggesting that hard work doesn’t pay off. It usually does. But what I’m suggesting is that hard work requires moments of rest too. I find when I’m working without much rest my creativeness comes to a standstill. I lose the desire to think beyond the mundane. But here surrounded by the silence there is a strength found in the calm. Don’t believe me? Try it sometime. It may take you a few times before you recognize the importance of your mind and especially your body unplugging. The first time you will probably get up after 5 minutes because you’ll feel uncomfortable in a space you aren’t used to. The first time I tried unplugging I lasted all of 10 minutes before running to my phone to see what this craziness had caused me to miss. Nothing but a few tweets, a few emails and one missed phone call. All I missed that day was the opportunity to learn how important unplugging really is.
Many of you reading this may start your morning late which shifts into overdrive because now you’re hurrying to work or a meeting or getting the kids off to school. The tweets have to be checked. Facebook messages have to be read. Now you’re in the car with music and advertisements coming your way one after the other and then you’re at the office and before you know it you’re back home to start all over again.Some won’t make it this far in this blog because they couldn’t imagine trying to unplug anything. For those of you still here we’re almost there. I dare you to try this. Take one morning each week for one month and don’t check email, phone, Twitter or Facebook until after lunch. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll enjoy your lunch without your flipping phone. During your unplugged morning find a place to take a blank agenda and be alone in the quiet. You may enjoy it so much you’ll add more unplugged days to your week. I’d love to hear how your mornings go.