Get Unplugged Go Offline – Disconnect To Reconnect

Last Friday, 1st March, was a national day of unplugging.  Well at least it was in the US.  In the 1990’s getting unplugged meant rock stars like Eric Clapton moved away from the embellishment of their electrical set-up and returned to acoustic guitars with a stripped back, purer sound, and made some stunning music. 

While some of today’s music stars do perform unplugged, in the 21st century going unplugged has different connotations.  It’s about disconnecting to reconnect.  Going offline, taking some time away from the ubiquitous screens that have insinuated themselves into our lives. Returning our attention to, arguably, fundamentally more important things.

I was unaware of this national day of unplugging because, the irony is that I already was.   I’d spent the week at Graig Ddu, also known as the cottage in the forest, just being – completely unplugged.  No mobile reception, no television, no WiFi.  Part of me wished that there was still no electricity.  I was cocooned in the complete stillness of the place.  In spite of that week being the warmest winter week ever recorded and there was not a breath of wind to stir the tops of the trees, the stillness was much deeper than that.  There is always a tangible, unpolluted purity at the cottage regardless of the weather.

I spent the week with the privilege of living to my own rhythm, time passing as it chose.  I was ensconced in my own world and thoughts with nothing and no-one to distract me from whatever I chose to do.  The luxury of pleasing myself.

Unplugging from tech isn’t new or news anymore.  Just plug in and go online to discover the plethora of studies about the damage that EMF (electrical magnetic frequencies) could be doing to us all and the multitude of benefits of stepping away into solitude – or ‘scrolitude’ (my word for solitude from screens).

According to one researcher, today’s technology could be compared to the arrival of the cigarette centuries ago.  We won’t know for many years the cumulative damage that it may be doing.  The difficulty is that we can’t do without this technology, whereas cigarettes, though they are addictive, they aren’t a necessity.

Being At The Cottage – No Information Overload

While we’ve all heard the headline by now, that unplugging and going offline is good for us. It’s certainly not time to be using it for wrapping our chips in.  Like the marketing messages that bombard and overload us on a daily basis, most of us do need to hear some things many times before the message begins to sink in and we give it a higher value.  

Like with so many things, we don’t know what we don’t know until we’ve tried it.

Part 2 – 6 Shortcuts To Insights And Inspiration

What Makes A Unique Business Retreat?  Packing your vision, leaving the rest behind and spending time alone.  These are elements 3 and 4 of what makes a unique business retreat.

In all, there are 6 fundamental elements that make Graig Ddu – The Cottage In The Forest a unique business retreat. Three are synonymous with many beautiful places to stay, but three elements are game-changers which elevate the experience at the cottage into something unique, and the combination of these elements make up more than the sum of their parts.  You can read Part 1 here: https://tinyurl.com/yy3rbymx

What may be one person’s nemesis is someone else’s bliss.

Spending time alone is an overlooked and under-rated element on the road to succeeding. Having only your vision to mull over is a luxury, while spending time alone is an inspiring leveller.

Being At The Cottage - Notice The Small Stuff

Notice The Small Stuff 

When you leave behind the thrum of city life and all the stuff that’s competing for your attention, you have time to stand and stare.   Time to notice the small stuff.  Being able to choose the rhythm of your day will help you condense and distil your thoughts.  You can empty your head, stop the mind chatter, and then wait and see what fills the space.

Packing your vision and leaving the rest behind means going offline, unplugging, disconnecting from habitual distractions and reconnecting with yourself.   There is richness in being rooted in the present moment, and you’ll find that you’re able to evoke your most inspired ideas when you settle in to being by yourself for an extended period of time.

Muse

Spending Time Alone

The extended period of time matters.   David Strayer, cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah who specializes in attention and is researching the psychological benefits of being in nature, says there is a 3 day effect.  â€œIf you can have the experience of being in the moment for two or three days, we don’t only feel restored, it seems to produce a difference in qualitative thinking and mental performance.”  Through EEG scans of his students while out backpacking in the wilderness, he has now been able to show this.

When you give your brain the chance to adjust into relaxation, then you begin to connect to your hidden seams of inspiration.

When you’re immersed in your vision, there’s a sense of anticipation and completeness. A blending of you with it and it with you.  Spending time alone with your vision allows you to re-calibrate, re-evaluate and re-group.

Earl Nightingale said that success is the realisation of a worthy ideal.   Sometimes to have success you need to get away for a while.