“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.” ― Anne Lamott
The other day, I was visiting with someone I knew from decades ago (let’s call the person Kai). I did not know Kai well then, but I remember these were the qualities of Kai’s: willing to help, friendly (always smiling), eager to learn, and curious about things (in a good way). Let’s-explore-it type of attitude. That was the memory I had about Kai. Yet I noticed something did not live up to it during our recent visit. The conversation reached a point when I asked, “What would you love to experience in your life? What would you love being, creating, and sharing with the world if you’re guaranteed to have it?” Happiness was the answer, which made me happy to hear. I then inquired a little more, inviting Kai to describe what he would love doing to bring happiness into his day. I detected a defensive tone, wrapped in frustration, then I heard, “I don’t need much in life, I am a simple person. The happiness I am looking for is in heaven,” Kai added.
What had happened in Kai’s life that took away the qualities this person had? I knew they existed back then. Who took them away? I could feel the uneasiness floating in the air, smoke was lingering from a cigarette between Kai’s fingers. That last sentence stopped me in my tracks, not as an answer to my question, but as a statement to life. The next question I raised was, “What would you be willing to do, from where you are with what you have, while you are waiting to reach heaven?” This follow-up question was only humming in my mind, I did not voice it.
I used to be in that same state of mind. The one I detected in Kai. I was discontented, angry, and restlessly unhappy. I know it now because I am now here, in a new place. I was swimming in the feelings of uneasiness, discontent, and discomfort in my own being back then. I could not describe or express it properly. What others detected was described (by those who were close to me) as being tense and uptight. I could find anything, anywhere, anytime to complain and be critical about. That was easy for me to do. I could feel it, but I could not shake it out. Can you relate to this?
On Saturday morning, I often join a virtual community meditation. I was in a bit of a rush this morning coming home from the grocery store. After I turned on my laptop, put on the headset, connected to the site, I could not hear a sound. I saw the community leader was talking but I could not hear her. I saw people’s name showing up, one by one, tension started creeping up. I could feel I was frantic, not wanting to miss it (I had been off the last two weeks). The leader was trying to assist me by suggesting that I use my phone to connect to the sound. I was reluctant to do so because in the past, incoming calls disrupted my meditation. My husband was trying to help me, and I was snappy at him. Finally, I texted the leader to go ahead and start while I was doing some tweaking on my end. I stepped back and took a few deep breaths. Seconds later, I decided to reboot my laptop, and voila … connection resumed and I was able to slide into the meditation. It was a great one.
Tension can rise in my day when things are not aligned with my expectation. Trying harder is not the answer, especially after a few unsuccessful attempts. Temporary disconnection may help. Just like boiling water, when it reaches the point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit, hot water starts splattering erratically unless I move the pan off the heat. The solution may be simple yet invisible to recognize when I am in a high-voltage environment. Dr. Joe Dispenza explains it as such; when the tension lingers on through the hours, then gets carried away into days, I can become moody. When is stays on high for a few months, I become temperamental. When it stays on for years, people see it as my personality. It made sense to me when I first learned about it.
Stepping away, taking a break, deciding to unplug is a healthy thing to do. Disconnecting from the current will lower the heat, the tension. Only then will the solution become visible. And everything can become easy and quick. Holding on to something is not healthy, my grandmother once said. I did not embody the wisdom until much later in life. “Let it flow,” she said, “Let good things move on in their journey to make others happy.” I was a hoarder then, especially emotionally. It created congestion in my life. I was squeezed in my own thinking and being. It was suffocating. That was what I noticed with Kai. It looked and felt familiar. I was there before.
What can you unplug from, at this moment, to make welcome all the wonderful things this weekend brings to you? Notice what you are noticing. Be curious, experiment with it.
Reach out to me for a chat — https://ingemaskun.com/contact/ — I’d love to share some tips to unplug joyfully.