It’s Week 10. It’s part of a 12-week journey into creating an abundant life. We are challenged to dig deep into our beliefs and fears to a spiritual way of living a life in freedom of fear and want and to replace them with gratitude, generosity, and creativity.
During the process, if we are faithful in reading and completing the assigned tasks each week, we will come out with a new perception of prosperity. We will have discovered that God has created us to trust him, not the material world. And He has given us gifts to share with others–gifts that may have been stifled by the busyness of our lives and the never-ending quest for prosperity outside of ourselves.
It’s all good until Week 10. The week that brings out some serious negative reactions, even hostility! Anxiety is at its highest level. I hear all the protests and hey, I’m right there with them!
As the facilitator of the group I get to give the bad news. At Week 10 we come to an exercise that requires us to stop reading—magazines, books, e-mail, etc.—for one solid week. Then the author asks us also to turn off ALL devices—texting, Internet, radio, TV, iPad, Kindle, anything with an on/off switch. Yeah, no online shopping either.
WHAT DID SHE SAY? The shrieks, protests, and outright, “No, I’m not going to do that, no way!” Or, “But I have this job where I have to read text, e-mail, etc. I must be online!”
As the facilitator, I suggest, “First, read through the chapter. The author explains why this is so beneficial to getting to the life you are seeking. There is great reward.”
Then I explain that reading required by your job, as well as anything done on the computer, including reading e-mails would fall under the category of approved usage. If your job requires you to get on Pinterest or Snapchat (mine does not, unfortunately), well then, you would have to let your conscience be your guide.
I struggle during this week as well.
The basis of this request is probably what you would guess. We are constantly bombarded by interruptions, distractions, watching TV until we feel drugged and those games—addicting. And, let’s not even mention the talking heads on TV and radio news! By eliminating our time with Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, Candy Crush, TV and all of the other noise, we can take time to just be still and listen to the quiet.
After the anxiety subsides—and there is a lot of anxiety for me–it is amazing to discover how much the time I devote to social media impacts the life I miss out on daily. I finally have time for what I say is important but never get to: going to the gym, taking a walk, meditating, making a phone call, sending a card, cooking a great meal, cleaning (yeah, I know), and writing. Imagine!
Suddenly, my world opens up and I can actually participate in the important things in life. So…I am on the Week 10 task of turning off and tuning in. I am hoping to hear God’s voice more clearly, to be more at peace, to reach out to others in person, to discover more creative ideas, and increase my well-being physically and spiritually.
I don’t ever do this exercise in Week 10 perfectly. I wish I could say I do. The struggle is real! It’s day four so we’ll see what happens when the week is over.
I’ll keep you posted!