Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Retreating from Being Too Connected

According to the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine, I am a pitta dosha. My constitution is all about fire and water, so when I am out of balance, it's because the fire has taken over. Water cools me down.

We live on Lake Erie. A Great lake. A lake that looks like an ocean. Other lakes are just ponds to us.

I love this body of water.

I do not spend nearly enough time with her and why? It often comes down to anxiety about being disconnected. What will happen if someone emails something important and I'm not there? What might I miss?!

Admit it. Many of us are struggling with this very issue.

What do you give up in favor of the computer or social networking or gaming or any kind of technology?


Eco Yogini said...

hmmm, the other day I said to Andrew- we stare at our computers all evening. we may not have TVs, but we have computers. I felt like we weren't really CONNECTING as much (not that our relationship was in trouble, just that we were staring at our computers).

so we made cookies and played crib. :)

Linnea said...

When you have finished with your retreat, let me know and I'll email you the dream I had about you last night. It was, amazingly, very much along the lines of what you've said here.

I need to do this, too, and while I have cut back a lot (to wit: I'm rarely on Twitter anymore), I'm using the screen as a shield. Now to nail down what shield.

Marika utomjording(extraterrestre, alien) said...

was just thinking how I will do in Sweden this summer. My parents are the antique sort of people that use their computer only as a typewriting machine or to play solitaire. No connection to internet...

svasti said...

Hmmm, I would actually say (from your photos) that you're a combo dosha - pitta-vata. Have you been to see an Ayurvedic doctor at all?

While pitta is all about fire, vata is more windy/rajasic. And that kind of whirlwind activity has been clear in your blog posts of late, too.

And yes, you need grounding. The water and also spend as much time as you can playing around in your lovely garden. As my teacher once said - if you really need grounding, stick your hands in the earth!

I think I give up reading as many books as I'd like to, and definitely spending more time in nature walking or riding my bike. We all need to remember to get back to nature, because it's a part of us as much as anything else in our lives.

Hope you're feeling better soon xo

Tess said...

Having a clean house.

Emma said...

The computer has been my go-to place to hide from everything you can think of. My excessive use of it has restricted me in just about every area of life at some point.

It's something I became aware of years ago and have worked to manage. I've made a lot of progress!

In times of stress, it is very, very easy to spend way too much time numbing myself in front of that glowing screen. Add that to the fact that I spend all day, every workday in front of a computer and...uh-oh.

After all the trauma of our recent life changes, I have (we both have) been on the computer way too much. Time to stop that. Actually, we just talked about that fact this morning.

There is a lot of good, interesting, fun, useful stuff to do on computers, but in excess it is poisonous. It makes me depressed and zaps my energy.

Time to take serious steps to LIVE more and COMPUTE less. Sounds like you need more time away from the screen, too. I want to encourage you heartily in this!!

Emma said...

I also wanted to share this, which I read a while back. It seems kind of wrong to add a link to yet another "connected" thing, if you want me to print it and mail it, let me know. ;)

Worth reading and pondering...and turning off the computer about:

Linda-Sama said...

I LOVE being disconnected -- no tv, no phone, no internet. that's why I love silent retreats, the longer the better. I stopped reading newspapers 5 years ago on my first trip to India. I did not even know Katrina happened until my friends emailed me about it.

like everything else, it is a choice. our lives are created by our choices not necessarily our circumstances.

it amazes me how many yoga students AND teachers tell me that they could never go on a 3, 5, or 10 day silent retreat, cut off from the world. frankly, I don't understand it. I would think in this day and age of instant gratification and entertainment, people would relish it. if I had my own teacher training, a 10 day silent vipassana would be a requirement to get the piece of paper.

between india and africa this year I spent 5 days on zanzibar with no tv, no phone, no internet, and the electricity being shut off twice a day. I did not miss electronics one iota.

by the way, I know people who do not own and do not want cell phones. so there are still a few luddites out there.

claire said...

What do I give up? Great question, Christine. Time with my partner, probably.
But the garden makes a wonderful pull away from the computer.
Thank you.

Susann said...

Great post, as always. I gave up cable more or less by accident 10 years ago & still haven't signed back up. Use my TV to watch DVDs & the one channel I get via rabbit ears (sorry, Zoe!!!). No twitter, Facebook or other social networking. No cell phone (probably the only person on the continent w/out one). Dial-up internet only (geography, not choice, I'll admit -- I can't watch bunny movies, alas). Keep my phone on voice mail & have been known to ignore the doorbell. I'm not a Luddite or even a hermit, I just value my time with myself, family & friends.
Lake Erie: I used to spend a couple of weeks every summer on its shores, but on the Ontario side--we probably could have waved at each other . All the Great Lakes are spectacular & have an incredible energy; I live beside the ocean now but still think you're lucky to be where you are.

Linda-Sama said...

p.s. I agree with svasti...pitta + vata.

hey, don't feel bad...I've been called "vata deranged" by a well-known show biz yogi whose name shall remain unspoken.

I get in too much trouble naming names....;)

Christine Claire Reed said...

Okay...obviously I am not 100% off line this week...just trying to be a LOT less.

Have to confirm that, yes, Svasti AND Linda both have GREAT powers of observation.

I was attempting to simplify my post and they CAUGHT ME!

I am TOTALLY Pitta-Vata! Please...WHAT gives that away?! (Totally curious.)

And Linda -- total TEASE about the celebrity. And what the heck did they mean anyway!?!?

svasti said...

If you study Ayurveda enough, it becomes relatively easy to spot people's doshas. Also, most people are combo doshas. I'm pitta-kapha myself. I have one friend who is tri-doshic but that's pretty rare.

There's your base or natural dosha, and then there's the imbalances you can have as a result of not treating yourself well.

Each dosha has qualities that express in our emotions, actions, thoughts and physicality. Sometimes physical doshas can be so out of balance that someone looks like a certain dosha but is actually something else - although that's rare.

I simply observed from your photos that you have the bright burning pitta physicality, but also there's something about how you look AND the actions you take (your million, zillion ideas is one of the clues) that suggests vata.

And yes, I do believe there's some vata derangement going on for you right now (it's not a bad thing at all!). If you can find an Ayurvedic doctor who can prescribe you with some herbs, that'd be a good thing for you right now.

Because it's part of your nature (based on your doshas) to be ultra-busy and whirlwind-ish, although too much of that is bound to leave you feeling off-center.

I'd suggest taking some regular meditation time, best thing to resolve excess vata in my books :)

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

I hate facebook, hate twitter, have only a pay-as-you-go cell phone that is not "online" all of the time, and do not have cable (use "rabbit ears" instead). I'm also totally NOT into gaming. And I do not read the newspapers (save for the free community newspapers). I like this level of disconnectedness ~ it helps me remain balanced. I still write long hand letters, in fact! And I have piles of books that look more like pillars thruout the flat ~ a pillar of books = a pillar of strength. I am so fortunate to live a mere short commute from the pacific ocean, and I do not visit her as often as I should. But I do spend time with my best friends ~ flowers, plants and trees ~ everyday. My camera keeps me grounded and connected to mother earth.

tamihackbarth said...

a few months ago during my yoga teacher training, our teacher asked us to fast from an area in our lives we were feeling an overwhelm.

i immediately knew i needed to unplug for a day.

throughout that day - one of my most productive i might add - i kept thinking i "need" to check this or that online. i resisted, but i was stunned how teathered i've become to my online life.

i partially disconnected yesterday in an attempt to rest and reconnect with my home base. i also really needed to deep spring clean my bedroom.

(i just sighed).... it felt so good to clean out the old and i felt so much lighter, like a weight had been lifted.