After I posted part one of this journey, I received a lot of responses via all my social media platforms… looks like my blog resonated with a lot of my readers. Before I jump into sharing my practical steps of getting to a place of balance and truly living out a blessed life, I want to say this:
Dear reader, set your mindset right. Release any negative emotions, toxic thoughts, less than feelings, doubt, impossible thinking, stressors…and just breathe… Haaaaaa. Now let your imagination run free to that place where you see a huge smile on your face and your heart feels light filled with gratifying release of freedom.
By now you are wondering, ok Kate so you Soul Detoxed. What is it anyway and do share these practical steps. Well, ask no more. Soul detox is basically a practice of cleansing your soul of all the junks that can taint us from truly living a balanced life. We are on the go 24/7 throughout the year, some of you are reading this blog – you think you are reading – but what you are really doing is scrolling through picking up words that will stand out to you, then you feel accomplished that you read something. Some of you are racing through Instagram, Facebook timeline mindlessly scrolling through looking for pictures, videos, memes, virtual objects that will again stand out at you – you tap to like or love, or cry, or frown, or laugh then you move on. I don’t even want to mention commenting or taking the time let your brain process the information, so you find meaning and purpose.
That was me. I was all of this and more seeking to attend to each one from family, to friends in real life or friends in global village to work to colleagues to church to community to school to everything in between. Now that sounds and is way too much for any human being to handle in a twenty-four-hour period. Question I often got was what time to you sleep? What time do you wake up? These questions caused me to think a bit but not much. It wasn’t until my personal, professional and spiritual and mental processes came clashing that I knew something had to be done. To soul detox, I started from the place that I knew was the center of all this clash. Social media: I asked myself one question “what is the essence of this in my life?” I realized that I hadn’t thought about the role Instagram, Facebook and their cousins played in my life. Can you blame me? Smiling at you, oh yes you can! I am from the Gen Y era in layman’s terms ‘Millennial’ and so while I may come off as a ‘matured millennial’ as some would refer to me by, I still wanted to be up to date with all things my generation is about – touch all, do all, be super hyper informed! In other words, ‘be in the know’. Now that is a lot of work! Listen, I get it, we all can have FOMO (fear of missing out) so we just race through life trying to YOLO (you only live once). I went cold-turkey and shut all social media down – basically fasted, went on a sabbatical, took a break – whatever phrase you want to call it. I was just out. It was a struggle, but I knew I needed to do this to regain control of myself – my mind, my thoughts, my soul and really answer the question “what the essence of social media in my life is” Until I could answer this question, I wasn’t going back to Instagram, Facebook and their cousins. During this break, I didn’t sit idle. I realized a few things:
I spent a lot of time on social media
I multitasked everything, even my kids bath time
I compared my life with others (a very dangerous line to cross, leave that for another blog)
I wanted to try every idea, tip disguised as life hacks which let’s face it if I’ve been living my life all this while without these hacks, how come I suddenly think I need them now?
I woke up and went to bed consumed by what to post next, who will like my post, what’s the caption?
…and all this while, many interesting moments were happening around me that I was zombieing through. So, I realized that the essence of social media in my life was skewed and I needed to fix that permanently…and I did.
Use time conscious prioritization and practical steps such as login and logoff to develop boundaries around your access to social media. Did you know that even when you logoff, Instagram and Facebook will still send post notifications? I had to manually disable notifications on my phone’s settings. Ahhhh relief!
Assess your first act and thoughts upon waking up and your last act and thoughts before sleeping. Replace these with soul enriching actions such as meditation, devotion, reading, being still, praying. Use physical Bible – I use Bible app as reinforcement and to track chapters and verses I want to remember throughout my day.
Rearrange apps on your phone’s home screen. Might sound silly but if the access to the apps is a couple of steps, without thinking through it eventually it becomes a habit. I replaced my home screen apps with soul enriching apps – the Bible app, notepad (because I love writing), calorie counting app, alarm clock, podcast app to name a few.
Reconsider your restroom companions. Take a book instead or nothing. You will spend less time in there and you will be fully engaged with the whole hygiene process – wash hands, wipe hands…smile at your beautiful self.
Check your motives – it can wait. Instead of picking up your phone at every sound, count to ten and ask yourself, can it wait? Is it that urgent? Set times throughout the day when you want to check messages etc. For me they include, after working out (before I leave the gym so that is about 10 minutes because I take my gym workouts seriously), before I leave the house for the office (again a small window as I am on conference calls most mornings), lunch time, before I leave the office. What I have learned is that any behavior can change, you just must make the decision to be different.
Soul Detoxing is a habit-forming process that helps you develop best practices for any areas in your life that needs restructuring. In this new year 2019, everyone will be motivates and hopeful with new goals and resolutions. Don’t make them an event rather build a lifestyle. Soul detox first, assess areas in your life that need change and do the work of changing it. Making anything in life a lifestyle takes time, and patience, and perseverance and the right positive mindset. Let this be your goal in the new year – to move an inch each day from ‘I don’t think so to not yet to possibly to possible”.
Wishing you blessed 2019!