Retiring the Internet: How I Plan to Swerve my Internet Addiction

Yep, I said it. And I mean it, somehow.

I am giving up my dependency on the internet. Maybe not permanently but def temporarily for right now.

Life feels too swirly as of late. Life in the fast lane is already fast enough without the addiction of the internet. Which is clearly just a rabbit hole waiting to suck our attention and deplete us of energy. I am convinced. Basically because I hate being too dependent on anything. Too much of anything is a bad thing, not to mention what happens when we abuse it.

I abuse technology, the main target being the internet. I just hop on it whenever I please, for however long I like, doing God knows whatever it is that I happen to like at the time. And oh boy, there are so many dungeons and dark holes to fall into on the internet. I was living in a new, big, beautiful city but was not exploring any of it because I would never leave the comfort of my laptop screen. Busying myself with the claim that I was looking up places to meet people or trying to find ways to connect with people, I rarely ventured outside. Thirst trap if there ever was one.

My Master Plan:

  1. Destroy the mf’n wifi. You read that right. I plan to disable it when I am not using it. If it weren’t for marriage, it would be in the right bottom kitchen drawer collecting dust. But I can’t torture the man like that.
  2. Plan my internet use. Do I have an absolute, definite purpose for using the internet today? No. Good, no need to log on. Yes, I do need to use the web today? For what? I plan to write down my needs for internet the night before logging on the next day. No plan, no internet. (Planning to look at cat memes or ratchet youtube videos is allowed, just not too much.)
  3. Use the Internet outside the home. For some reason, devouring countless hours of internet use at home is much easier to do in lieu of going to the library and having whatshisface from the bus stop stare at you over his computer monitor. Nothing like a nice noisy mouth breather to hurry your work along 🙂 To that end, I will be forced to make monthly trips to the place I call my second home…the library.

 

Welp, here’s to the swerving. Hope you will continue to read my journey.

 

Breaking Up with Self-Hate

I loathe. I hate. I despise. I regret. I resent…..Myself.

I used to think that hating myself was what kept me humble but the more I live, the more I realize how muddy this water has become. I’ve managed to poison myself from the inside out, letting hate fester.

Self-hate feels like the blackest cloud or the darkest storm. Just like some storms, I enjoy the sound of the pounding rain. Sometimes I relish the steady stream of fresh tears that drip from my chin. Sometimes I enjoy this deep pit of despair I am in. It has become home for me. A place of familiarity that I can always return to.

The downside is that the more I come home and the longer I stay, the harder it gets for me to leave. Like an addiction, I feel myself craving it. I begin creating situations unconsciously that bring me back to it, swearing that I would never come back again. Yet I find myself here over and over again. Self-hate has become my friend.

Today I want to break up with my friend. I never want to see home again. Because this home is no longer my home. This place does not hold my heart. And that friend is really a foe bringing nothing but ill and woe. Today I break up with the past, with old habits and familiar routine. Today was the last time I ever go home again.

 

The Balm

Others all around me, passing by me, all seem to have it.
I ask to borrow it, most are willing to lend.
Just when I thought I have it, it slips through my fingers like water

No two days are the same.
I am never the same person

Tears won’t help;
Fighting does no good
It is always there like a sleeping giant.
Any little noise or trouble sets it off

Drained and annoyed
I resent the world for my being here
No purpose, no point.
This is pure misery. Why me?

But there is a balm.
Like the one in gilead.
It works like a charm

The Secret of Routine

The only time I can remember solid routine in my life was in grade school. After that, I saw no use for it. It was a mere hinderance to my day. So here I sit on a Saturday afternoon in a coffee shop sipping a spiced chai latte. My soul’s desire is to taste of the place where things were created. For instance, one day soon, I shall taste the warm dark spice of chai in the depths of a remote town in India where it is grown and harvested. I will have it prepared by local farmers who know all the secret things of the herb, it’s medicinal and recreational purposes. Here I will laugh with his wife as I bounce their baby on my lap recalling my first time tasting of it’s sweetness. They will laugh at at how I first attempted to prepare the herb with hot water and sugar. I will tell them how and who drink their teas in my country.
I dream of things such as this. I write them down eloquently, flourishing each sentence and daydream with my signature flare.
I am searching. For me to be searching, some may say that I am lost, or weeded. My mind sometimes adrift like loose leaves in a storm. Yet, I am here, as solid as a fortress nonetheless. I am right here. With you.
Routine, yes, routine. I have read in books how routine builds strength and enables you to replace and reshape the muscle of habit. This is all true but most important or most peril in this instance is what to build routine around, what to make a habit? From an early age, my life and routine was centered around work, either my parent’s work or soon after, my own, or the work of others. School generally started around the same time that parents went to work. Our times to arise from sleep were set to the time of not being late to work. Lunch breaks were timed and coordinated around work productivity. Dinner was coordinated around the end of the work day. Recreation, relaxation, and spiritual activities took place with whatever time was left over from our work day. What we were taught in school was in direct coordination of a work-centered curriculum aimed at shaping young minds into obedient future employees and acclimating them into the work culture.
Gaining entry into adulthood, I faced a crisis. To continue as I was taught or to answer another question that begged an answer or me: Can I do it another way? Is there another way? By another way, I mean, is this all that life is about or can I live it another way? I wished to read and pray in the early part of my day. I wanted to work but a few hours each day. To be honest, most of the 8 hours a day I put into a job, only half of that day was really productive. I wanted to drink tea, read, and sit in deep thought for several hours of my morning. I wanted to have breakfast and let it digest before moving onto other things in my day. I wanted time to write and to be.
I made it my mission to live the life I wanted to live. In books, we are told that we are habit forming creatures by nature. I can see the results and impact of a strong and deeply rooted routine. This is why we are here and have evolved into an universally accepted truth that the perfect work day is 8hr and the perfect work week is 40 hrs. We also accept all of these other truths that are encased in labor laws about work and our time. There is strength in habit and routine. Obviously. I soon learned a thing or two. If you don’t form new habits to replace your old habits, you will not win. I tried a few times unsuccessfully to check the work lifesytle at teh door but  found that the power of a routine was strong. I had to replace it, before completely destroying it.
This is where I am today. I am here, creating a routine to disrupt the alignment of fate the stars have bestowed upon me. To shake the bonds of routine. To be.  You too can change your life with a new routine.
My new routine involves taking care of me and my priorities first in my day. At first this seemed so backwards to me. I felt out of place. But I did it anyway. You would think that doing what you wanted when you wanted to do it would feel liberating. It did but worry would sometimes threaten to get the better of me.
Setting Your Intention
Intention is the power of your will. Setting your intention means stating, believing and affirming what you mean and want to do. I like to write so I always set my intentions in writing, meditating and verbally.
I took a hard look at my life and discovered that I had lost my curious zeal and appetite for life. I found that by asking myself what I really wanted, I did not know. So for now, I found a routine that sounded promising and went with that one while promising to myself that I would spend some time investigating what I wanted. Something gave me the inclination that I would soon find an answer to what it is that I truly wanted.
Routine:
Early rise with tea and meditation, writing, then work, home, relax, read, tea, meditation. I wanted the majority of my time to be spent working on myself vs working for someone else. This is not to say that I neglected my responsibilities of taking care of myself and my family. This is all I needed to know.
I found that there was a purpose and a mission beneath the madness. I was not a mental health case. I was a human. Being. Human. This was of little solace to me. But it gave me enough room to work. So I set to work. Each day I made it my mission to live as if I were already free. I set my intention as I knew I was able to bring it to fruition. I felt my the muscle of my will growing stronger. I knew I was close to that which had called me. A familiarity settled upon me. Like an old friend coming to visit, I felt a peaceful nostalgia.
This routine awakened and tuned me to postulate what I will write. This book was meant to be a guru. I came across a guru in a book. An omnipresence that existed everywhere and nowhere. I knew things that I could not prove but was content to know. The need to show and tell relaxed. I begin to drink from the fountain of knowledge, gaining real truth and power. I felt a dawning arise in me. I knew there was a common denominator of all things in this world. All we needed to do was awaken to it. To feel it. To experience it. To be one with it.
The secret is to wield the power within and act responsibility without.

Not There Yet

Our life is a journey. I learned to stop asking are we there yet and instead just sit back and enjoy the ride. At least that’s what my mommy told me. She also told me not to make her pull this car over. She told me that repeatedly. Did your mom tell you?
I like it better when I am just riding. No where to rush off to. No need to rush. No need to hurry. No need for the split second thinking involved in speeding up for a yellow light. Can you make it before it turns red? It was red when you looked up, wasn’t it? Did anybody see?
Today we are all steady rushing around. No time to smell the roses. No time to smell the coffee. It’s usually instant anyways. Straight into an insulated mug it goes. How do you drink your coffee?
I have a bedtime. I like going to bed early. I enjoy good sleep. Don’t you?
That was a nice little distraction. But I just gotta ask one last question…are we there yet?

Online Therapy Sessions for Social Media Addiction

Have you ever wanted to decrease the amount of time you spend on social media and being distracted by the internet? Was the task much more difficult than you imagined it would be? You are not alone.

I have been free of my social media addiction for several years now. I quit in 2013 and life has transformed in so many ways:

  • I have increased productivity and creativity;
  • I have more time for friends and family;
  • My mental health has improved greatly;
  • I am more aware and compassionate.

If you would like to live a more fulfilling life, you can start today. I offer therapy sessions via Skype, weChat, and Google Hangouts in several different timezones. No matter where you are connected in the world, help is here.

Please contact me today via email ingramr88@gmail.com to set up your first session and build a happier life.

Going Without a Mobile Phone in 2017

A few days into the New Year of 2017, I decided it was time to ditch my mobile phone device, my smartphone. This was not my first time thinking about the idea of being phoneless. For a while in 2015 and 2016, I played with the idea of going backwards in time and getting a flip-phone.
At any rate, I decided that today was good as good as any. I guess I did have some middle ground I could rest upon, Google Voice. Before totally giving up my mobile phone, I set up a google voice number for instances where it seemed almost dire. (Use your own discretion as to what is deemed dire. Dire in my case was needing a number for potential clients could call and leave messages for me. )
How to Go Without a Mobile Phone?
Step #1: Open up and Tell People
This step, especially as Step 1 may seem a bit weird. Let me assure you that you will want to be as prepared as possible when doing this. Doing this step first also strengthens your resolve for the time after you have stopped using your mobile phone. You will appreciate knowing possible objections to your decisions and criticisms from others as knowing them will help you come up with creative alternatives.
Step #2: Plan Your First 30 days
Having a plan for your first 30 days will help ease the transition for yourself. For just 30 days, try to calendar out for usual interactions you would have by phone. For example, make a plan weekly to communicate with your friends and family. Going mobile less, time can be your friend or your enemy. Trust me, you want time to be your friend. Having time as your friend means that you stay committed to time contraints as much as possible and you want others aware of your commitment. When events or such circumstances require that you be at a place at a certain time, being mobile less, you do not have the option to text or call to let someone know you will be late. Planning ahead is how you make time your friend.
Step #3: Know Your Limits
Knowing yourself and your limits is crucial. Know that sometimes, you will need to communicate with others that are not immediate to you. Let’s face it, in this day and age, you are probably never less than 10 feet away from a person with a mobile device or access to a telephone. Use your resources wisely. I do not advocate using unsafe measures but I have been know to walk up to a stranger or a store to ask someone to use their phone if I get lost. Know that there are limits. Know when you need to reach out for help or when you need access to a phone while you are out. Lastly, have confidence that you will be okay. Even in emergency situations, think clearly and act fast.
What have I learned since going mobile less?
I learned that there are not nearly as many emergencies that pop up that require me to have access to a phone. I also learned that I have to rely on my instinct and myself when faced with a problem or issue instead of relying on instant communication. I have learned a lot of random things going mobile less:
  • I learned how to navigate my surroundings better;
  • I learned that not everything is an emergency and that eventually everything works itself;
  • I learned that life is more interesting when you are looking up and not down at a phone;
  • I learned that I am much more resourceful than I ever could have imagined.
If you think going mobile less is for you, give it a try. Even if you don’t think it’s best for you, it won’t hurt to give it a try and see what you learn. Let me know if you have tried to go mobile less before or if you are going mobile less now.
Good luck!