I just got home after spending four days in San Diego at my Coaching Skills Intensive for the Breakthrough Shadow Coaching Program that I’m getting certified in through The Ford Institute founded by my dear friend and mentor, the late Debbie Ford. It’s been a very long time since I immersed myself in something, for this length of time, purely for me and my own excavation – digging deep to learn, unconceal, learn, practice and reclaim.
I went into the weekend with the expectation that we’d be asked to refrain from technology, since that’s how it was when I attended The Shadow Process – The Ford Institute’s signature transformational retreat that was the true catalyst giving me courage to walk through my fear and embrace change. So I was surprised to find out that no such deprivation was being asked of us. It was then that I realized how much I’d actually been looking forward to going off line for 72 hours. And then it dawned on me! I could create a technology fast for myself, on my own! I alerted the few people I felt needed to know that I’d be unavailable – to alleviate my own anxiety and theirs – and then I slid my phone onto airport mode and put my computer away.
It was such a relief to come back to my room at night and stay engaged in my process instead of jumping on my electronics to see what was happening with people, places and things. As Debbie used to say often, “There is no one else out there. The whole world is in you.” That’s the thing about the shadow, we can’t see anything in anyone else that doesn’t already exist inside of us as well – dark qualities, and light. So I resisted the habit to look to the external and after a short time, the temptation wasn’t even there anymore. In fact, I was more struck by how free I felt, and how much became available to me – time, energy, insight – by not getting caught up in emails, texts, calls and especially facebook – gasp, yes, I said it! And guess what? I survived! And so did everyone else in my life!
I’ve now made a commitment to put myself on techno fasts, even if just for 24 hours, here and there.
We can’t even imagine what will fill us, until we make the space to allow it in.
Are you game?