We’ve all heard the phrase “plugging
off”, and we know what it means – taking time off from our gadgets and
electronics; turning off our televisions, iPads, laptops, and smartphones;
being more aware of our surroundings and feeling present in the moment. But
there’s one other thing that needs to be switched off before we can truly feel
a sense of connection with the world, and that is our mind. Our minds are
always on and running at hyper speed, tackling a myriad of issues, all at the
same time, imagining future scenarios, both frightening and fanciful, and
reliving past moments with all their associated pain. Our minds are incredible.
They set us apart from being just another species of animal on this earth. But
just like too much of anything can be bad for you, overthinking can turn our
minds from marvels into monsters. We get stressed out, on edge, anxious and
depressed. We’re unable to sleep or eat or function. Every so often, the mind
needs to be turned off, so that we can connect with another part of our beings –
The soul is probably the most
neglected part of us, perhaps because it’s invisible, unlike the mind and body,
and so, easy to forget about. But when depression strikes or we feel a general
sense of despair, it’s not the mind or body that comes to the rescue (at least,
not on their own). Often times, the mind IS at the root of our problems, and
needs to be turned off. So where, then, is the off switch?
Everyone has a different off
switch or way of zoning out. Some like to meditate or pray, others exercise or
simply daydream. You must find the method that works for you. The point is to
stop thinking and start feeling. For
a lot of people, the easiest way to do this is to focus on your breath. When you
focus on your breath, all your other thoughts disappear and you become more
aware of your actual Being. If you do it often enough, it will turn into a habit,
one you can do for five minutes or fifty. When you “plug off” like this, it
feels kind of like waking up from a dream to a beautiful reality. The more you
connect with your Being, the more your world, as you know it, starts to feel
less important, less stressful. Because at the end of the day, your long-term happiness
doesn’t come from completing all the tasks on your To Do list. It comes from
feeling fully connected to yourself and the world around you. It comes from the
realization that you are a small part of a greater whole, and being 20 minutes
late to work, or winning the temporary adoration of your fans, will not change
I’m not saying you should quit your day job or stop caring about your responsibilities. I’m saying, take some of the pressure off yourself. You’re not meant to be the perfect man or woman. You’re meant to be flawed and incomplete. You’re a work-in-progress, but each brushstroke you make adds beauty to the bigger picture every time you make the effort to “connect”.
What do I mean when I say “connect”? I mean getting back in touch with your true self, your soul, your intuition. Call it what you want. It’s the inner voice that guides you every time you make a decision. Not all the other voices that you hear on a daily basis telling you that you’re falling behind or you’re not good enough. Those are the very voices that are drowning out your true self. By shutting off our mind, we are telling those negative voices to take a hike, so we can do our best to hear what our inner self is saying. You might not hear it at first, but if you keep trying to make that connection, you will hear it. Your inner self will only ever tell you the truth. The truth about who you are, why you exist, and what you should be doing during your time on Earth. I believe the more we keep striving to listen to our inner voice, the more we will learn about ourselves, and the more at peace we will feel.
Focus on your breath right
now. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and focus. Do it for three minutes,
or five, or ten. See what happens. Switch your mind off and let yourself go.
Then tell me what you felt. I’d love to know. If your experience is anything
like mine, you may feel a tingling sensation in your body, or the sense that
you’re being lifted into the air. It’s hard to shut the mind off, I know, but
please try. You might be pleasantly surprised.