Do Not Disturb – A New Way Of Mindful Living
If you know me you know I often go full speed…non-stop…juggling and trying to “do it all”. That started shifting a few years ago when I worked with life coach Susan Hyatt. She pointed this little detail out to me and asked (begged) me to stop.
“Find time to rest and rejuvenate. One day a week.”
I called it being GROUNDED.
I felt like a 13-year old being forced to stay home from the party. Life’s ongoing party in this case. But, slowly (very slowly) it began to take hold. I started enjoying quiet nights or afternoons in. I became grateful for the silence of my apartment and the joyous feeling of being surrounded by my things and more recently cooking fresh and healthy meals for myself.
While I was giving in to the idea of rest, the reality of my career kept my mind always “on.” A career in Crisis Management does that. You never know when things will happen. You can’t watch the news without thinking of work. “Things” happen 24/7 and you never know when the next one might hit. So while I was beginning to understand rest…my mind never fully gave in.
My mobile was always nearby.
I quickly read every text or looked at every incoming call.
I slept with my mobile, OK 2 mobiles, by my bed every night.
I never left the house without one or both of them.
I was always connected.
I was always on
Fun check-ins on Facebook sometimes ended in turning on the laptop to see what was happening with a tornado, earthquake, or aviation accident. The job and the “on” really never went away. Some of that was my fault. Some of that was just reality of the career.
That “on” status took its toll. Even with my newly found acceptance for “grounding” myself (now seen as a gift, not a punishment).
I burned out.
Mentally and physically.
It wasn’t working for me, this “on” life. So I made a bold decision and I walked away from it.
I quit my job.
I accepted a new job: Chief Operating Officer, Saving ME
* gasp! *
* what? *
* how? *
* RIGHT ON, SISTER!! *
Whatever your reaction, I’m cool with it. I’ve heard them all. The only one that matters is mine.
I’m in that last line, screaming it loud! RIGHT ON, SISTER!!
I’ve been on the “downward” side for about a month now and am settling into a more mindful living routine. Let me tell you what my MOST favorite thing is today. THIS “button” right here:
You might recognize it. It’s the Do Not Disturb option on my iPhone. A feature I’d never used.
Last week I went to Semiahmoo Resort with my mom for her annual “Girls Visit” (More to come on that trip in a future post, but there’s a sneak preview image below). We were almost to Canada and the cell tower I was picking up was forcing me on international roaming. My mom called AT&T to block international signals. I just turned off my cellular function for the trip. After a day, I turned my Do Not Disturb on to limit Wi-Fi iMessage disruption because it felt good to be “off.” I was embracing this mindful living strategy wholeheartedly.
Semiahmoo sunset when the clouds parted after a long, rainy day. As peaceful and reflective as I was during the trip.
Guess what. Do Not Disturb is still on.
There was something so FREEING about not being disturbed that weekend with my mom. I had total control over when I chose to check in and see if anyone “needed” me (btw…I suffer from the “Importance” Epidemic so eloquently diagnosed by my friend Kristin on a recent LinkedIn post). Guess what else…
I didn’t melt.
I missed a few calls and texts from people who sorta “needed” something “in the moment”. The world didn’t shatter because I wasn’t there. They waited until I re-appeared to answer.
The planet is still spinning.
People who love me still love me (and are shocked and delighted when I tell them my “DND” status lifestyle choice).
And, my phone is still on Do Not Disturb.
I’m beginning to see the value in a life built around not being disturbed. A life of more mindful living. Engaging when I want to engage. Sleeping with my mobile (I’m now down to one…) in another room. Waking up to meditate with Vishen Lakhiani instead of the immediate email onslaught. Eating a home cooked, fresh breakfast with the Superhuman Breakfast program instead of a power bar on the bus or cereal at my desk.
Go Go Go
Do Not Disturb
This new perspective of mindful living feels like I’m walking on air. Trying to drive 70 mph on the highway this weekend, well, it just felt “too fast.” I’m not entirely sure who this person in my body is. But, I like her DND style quite a lot!
Do you rest? Does the idea of “DND” freak you out?
Try it, you might like it! And, if it freaks you out…You NEED it!
PS…I think my mom liked my Do Not Disturb style SO much she absconded with the Semiahmoo Resort Do Not Disturb door sign and snuck it into my journal. A nice surprise when I got home. It now hangs on the INSIDE of my front door to remind me to “Not Disturb”, rest, even birds rest their wings during the day…
Sorry Semiahmoo…I could send it back…but it might be bad luck and create some “disturbia” in my life…so I think I’ll keep it and my mindful living adventure.
Up Next On The Blog:
My month of ADVENTURE! Stay tuned to see how I’ve been using adventure to overcome “fears” and help define how I want my life to look and feel as I recreate my path.