Off the Grid

Getting off the grid for two glorious weeks (almost turning into three weeks!) has been a real blessing. There is so much less to worry about, especially when you don’t have a clue that it is happening. For example, I had completely forgotten that ESF school started today; and if I hadn’t checked my email welcoming us back to school, we would have waited until Monday. This reconnection to the present moment is a result of my detachment from all electronic communication devices for two weeks. The first eight days involved travelling through Sabah, Malaysia: in the jungles of Borneo. Being with my kids for eight days without any electronic distractions was fabulous. My husband remained slightly attached to the electronic work world, however, by the second week he was completely detached as well.

As a part of the detox programme that I prescribe to clients, I recommend turning off the media: electronic, written, watched. Now I am realizing how important it is to include detaching from “E-Time” (electronic time) as well. The lure of the Facebook update, the continuous emails, and ding-ing SMS messages is merely a distraction from the life that we should be living: the life that is right in front of us. Our family spent two days at Kopel Homestay and a night at the nearby Eco-Camp. These are people who really experience life: time is spent sitting on the floor playing with children, bathing children, nursing children. Meals are prepared. A collective kitchen prepares food for overseas volunteers – from GVI – are fed by a communal kitchen. The entire village is related to one another and plays with one another. What more is there really?

Returning to the big Urban Jungle has been overwhelming. From the Jungles of Sabah to the jungles of the malls of HONG KONG. Creating a balance between the constant E-updates and being completely detached is a challenge. However, we need to re-think why we are addicted to our electronic communications. I wouldn’t give up the ability to stay in touch with friends all over the world. Yet, I need to remember the priorities of my own life. In a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, studies have shown people sleep better and feel more calm without the distraction of electronic gadgets. Now all we need to do is stop drinking coffee…


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