Off the Grid | The Importance of Being Unplugged

photo from http://sueneal.blogspot.com/

I recently returned from a 10-day trip to New Mexico. I was invited to join a gathering of good people, mostly queer women of color, who meet annually for Sun Dance Ceremony.  For eight days we camped and I was off the grid. Meaning, I had no access to Internet, emails, voicemails, twitters, facebook, blogs, project management software, task lists, traffic, noise pollution, etc.  There were no toilets nor any running water.  No television, no computers.

Instead, I woke up to the sound of the drum, just before dawn.  Instead, I fell asleep to crickets and laughter around a crackling fire. Instead, I participated in sweat lodge ceremony, sometimes twice a day, for the purpose of spiritual purification. Instead, I helped in the adobe kitchen preparing meals for the people. Instead, I stacked firewood, waist high for the fire keepers.

I rested when I was tired.  I ate when I was hungry. I drank when I was thirsty.  I worked every day, and I played every day.  I shared stories with good people. And, I laughed and laughed. I wasn’t constantly checking a clock. I didn’t have a sense of dread or anxiety about missed or approaching deadlines.

This kind of life, this way of life, makes sense to me.  It felt meaningful and connected. I could understand the relationship of all the moving parts. I could clearly see cause and effect. I could see my part in the whole. I could see that the whole was much bigger than the sum of its parts.

Now, I’m not sure if it was the amazing company I kept or being in Nature or the shared Ceremonial purpose that made this time so precious.  I suspect it was a combination of it all (and then some.)

I am reminded of the importance of spending time in Nature.  I am reminded of the wisdom of my body, feelings, and intuitions.  I am reminded about the importance of Community and the people with whom I choose to spend my time.

I’ve been back for a couple of weeks now, and I am slowly plugging back in.

I am integrating all of the teachings and learnings from this trip into my everyday life.

Wish me luck.

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