I have not written a blog in quite a while, as the last quarter of 2014 was so busy and full. Also because I wrote a book this year which was released in August, after which I took a break from writing to keep up with schedules that were “on hold” while I was writing in solitude.
On my recent trip to Kenya, I read a very resonant article in the in-flight SAA magazine, written by Dion Chang. The topic was on “digital burn-out.” This is not the traditional concept of burn-out, but an exponential build-up due to constantly being “connected”, which eventually leads to serious effects such as slipping into a dark hole of despair for long periods of time, as Chang puts it.
He also said that this year, we’ve reached a tipping point where the line between the virtual/online world and reality/offline is almost non-existent. Research has shown that we spend more time online via our devices than we do sleeping! Because of this, we are “working” or active twice the normal time that we are designed to handle, so in essentially at the end of the year, we would have worked for 24 months not 12 months because we are operating in two worlds simultaneously.
When I woke up this morning (in my own time and pace without an alarm clock), I found myself deeply enjoying the slowing down of my life. Usually, it takes me a few days to start to feel the holidays, and today was a significant marker, I feel myself unwinding in mind and body. I am enjoying the long, blank spaces in my day without schedules or appointments. I am not feeling an urge to follow up on phone calls or meetings, I take my time to decide on what I want to eat, and what I feel like doing. In essence, I have wrapped up my work for 2014 and I’m consciously giving myself the full permission to just be in the moment for the rest of this year.
At our year-end PIN Code party which was a few days ago, we gave out candles to everyone with a tag that says “Reactivate your Destiny”. We encouraged the PIN Code participants to take some time alone to reflect, light the candle and spend some time praying and re-activating their sense of purpose and destiny in this world, especially as the year comes to a close and the New Year drawing near. This same tip I’d like to share with you, take some time out to engage in some form of spiritual discipline such as prayer and meditation before the New Year.
For me personally, this time of the year is when I intentionally take on my reflective rituals which enable me to take stock of the year while clearing space for the New Year. It is my space to transition from one year to another. I just made an appointment to check myself into my yearly rehab, a secret place where David and I go (separately) for a “Silence and Solitude” Retreat.
I don’t know about you, but this year was intense on many levels. With all the bombardment from being online and our busy lives, to Ebola ravaging lives in West Africa, to suicide killings and activities by extremists on TV around the world, to several plane crashes, all playing out on international headlines…we all need a transition time.
Besides the media and digital bombardment, many people on a personal level have fought many battles this year. In the midst of all these, God has also moved tremendously in many ways with displays of miracles and breakthroughs. Many people I know have experienced tremendous joy and excruciating pain side by side this year, including myself.
With all these intense bombardments, I think we need time-out. We need time to disconnect, to rest, reflect and let go of 2014 in order to move on to the New Year with open arms and renewed strength.
What are your plans for relaxation, meditation, rest or rejuvenation this holiday?