We teach others how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves. We are the best examples of how we must be treated. If we treat ourselves with respect and kindness, others will know to treat us with respect and kindness...and certainly we will not allow any other kind of behavior. If we treat ourselves with patience, love and acceptance......others will treat us with patience, love and acceptance, because they will see that we will not settle for anything less...(more)
There are seasons in life that come and go. Sometimes it feels like things will never change, or that we will never get through a certain time in our life -- but we always do, don't we? We always got through everything we ever got through -- there was always enough, somehow things always fell together, and everything we needed always showed up from somewhere -- sometimes just at the nick of time...(more)
This will be the hardest, most humiliating part of sharing my whole 90 day Facebook-free journey....documenting my admission of just how yucky and bad my Facebook addiction was....but, I am gonna plow through it so I can answer your questions...and maybe help a few of you out who might somehow feel the way I used to feel.
It is going to be long and I apologize for that. I’m gonna write the article about Facebook that I wish I could have found when I was feeling the way I was feeling.
This pretty picture is where I was last week when my 90 day Facebook break was over....in the middle of a quiet lake that no one else seemed to know about, on a houseboat, sleeping under the stars in a sleeping bag....where I had no cell service, no internet....and where I was having a fabulous week with a group of some of the dearest, most fun people in my life.
Facebook is something that 90 days ago, I didn’t think I could ever live without...the constant connection to everyone and everything....documenting and sharing every single little thing I was doing or thinking or seeing....and then waiting for feedback.
I spent the entire summer without it......
On this trip in these photos, no one with knew where I was...no one knew what I was doing. No one knew who I was with...or what we were eating...or what we were wearing....or how cool the wakeboard tricks were. No one could LIKE or COMMENT on any of it (except the precious, incredible, amazing people I was actually with, face to face)
It just so happens that when I started my break 90 days ago, I was on a dreamy quiet sleepy beach on the Oregon Coast...the sun was just rising it’s misty rise, and again, I was with a group of my dearest, most trusted girlfriends...different friends this time, all women, but the same kind of friends.... the peaceful people who make life beautiful. Again, we were unplugged....no internet....no social media. Essentially, those very friends are the friends who gave me the idea, then gave me the courage to spend the summer completely off of social media.............
....and that morning in May, on the beach in these photos.......I proclaimed my commitment in front of all of them and deleted Facebook from my phone....I called home and had some of my dearies change my password so I couldn’t log on again until it was time.
WHY, you ask???
Why did I decide to quit in the first place if it made me cry to do it?
Geez, this sounds so dramatic.
For me, it was dramatic...I do not like talking about this part very much because it sounds so dramatic, but I have to just own that it was a very very very huge dramatic deal for me...and after finishing up my 90 days off...I also have to admit that yes, I was very addicted to Facebook.....actually addicted to FEEDBACK to be exact....and that it got to the point in my life where I was choosing a virtual life over a real life. I was choosing pixels over people. I was choosing the number of LIKE’s I ‘earned’ over my husband’s opinion of me, or my children’s opinion....or God’s opinion. I was choosing hours in front of the computer over all of the beauty that life has to offer. Most days I was very aware that this was NOT how I wanted to spend my time, but somehow, I just couldn’t really make myself stop.
That is very humiliating to admit.
I really couldn’t make myself stop spending so much time doing it.
As I have thought about how I would share this journey with you...this image keeps coming to mind. I actually think about this little TRUTH CARD that I made all the time...it is one of the first I made when I started teaching my SOUL RESTORATION curriculum...and when I found this little vintage image of this little girl.....it spoke to me in such enormous ways...and it still does.
...that little girl looking over at all of the big girls is me.
....it is not just me when I was a little girl...it is me now.
When I was little, I always thought that when I was finally a grown up, I would stop feeling like everyone else had everything figured out....while I don’t yet. I always thought that I would stop feeling like a little girl dressed up in big girl clothes, doing big girl things.....and that I wouldn’t be scared anymore....because I would know exactly what to do and how to do it............
I was sure that when you are a grown up, you have it all figured out and you don’t have to be scared of anything in life anymore....you don’t have to be scared of trying things, of dreaming things, of doing things...you don’t have to be scared that you won’t fit in, or that your clothes and hair are not just right....you won’t have to be scared of mean girls...you don’t have to be scared of being left behind or of not knowing enough or doing enough or being enough....because after all, YOU ARE A GROWN UP AND GROWN UPS KNOW EVERYTHING.
What does this have to do with my Facebook Addiction? Well........first of all, it has nothing to do with Facebook and it has everything to do with me, I know that. Like I said in part 1, I don’t think Facebook is a bad thing at all...it is SO WONDERFUL if you use it to just communicate....
...it is when you start using it as a scale or a ruler to measure yourself by that it can start to control your life, destroy your spirit and steal your minutes, hours and days away from the beautiful, unique miracle that is you....and the beautiful, limitless, important and valuable life that is yours.
...that is what I learned....but it’s too soon to talk about that, I will talk about that later, in another post.....I want to share more with you about how I was feeling when I finally decided to try to live without any outside feedback for an entire summer.
I started to list out incessant, relentless questions, worries and thoughts that ran through my head once I deleted Facebook and stopped obsessively reading what everyone else was doing that I was NOT doing....what all of the big girls were doing....and what I need to do if I ever want to be a big girl....while I was watching life through a screen instead of living a life. Maybe some of these questions and worries will be familiar to you...I am guessing they will from the countless letters I have gotten about this subject.....nevertheless...here are mine.....
these are the things that ran over and over in my mind for at least the first few weeks after I quit....
holy moley this is so humiliating...here goes....
IF I QUIT FACEBOOK.........
* what if I get left behind........?
* who am I if I am not doing anything awesome every day?
* who will like me if I am not doing anything awesome?
* what will everyone think about me when they see that I am just a simple, ordinary girl?
* what if I LIKE being a simple, ordinary girl and I am tired of trying to be awesome?
* WHAT IF it turns out I don’t even want to do anything awesome ever again?
* what IF I really am just a girl who wants to walk in the forest in her bare feet?
* what IF I am really just a girl who will never be able to keep up with everyone else?
* what if I find out I don’t really even WANT to keep up with everyone else?
* what if everyone thinks I am a freak for doing this?
* am I a freak?
* what are people going to say about me?
* am I going to ruin everything if I do this?
* does this mean I am a coward?
* am I just hiding out and running away?
* what does all of this mean about me?
* what if I am just too tired and I can’t perform anymore? * what if I just want to rest?
* what am I going to miss out on?
* what if I am not valuable as a person anymore if I do this?
* would anyone remember me if I needed to rest and then came back later?
* will anyone even care?
* does anyone really even care about me right now?
* what will it mean about me if everyone is having fun on facebook together and I am here by myself * not joining in the fun?
*what if everyone forgets about me?
*do I even exist if I am not on Facebook?
Gosh those are yucky memories...but I sure remember feeling like that....sometimes those questions still creep up...but I know what to do to feel better now...and I will tell you about that later, too.
So anyway... I STOPPED and got QUIET. (in the next part of this “series” I will tell you about the conversations I had with my soulsisterfriends that led to this decision) When I STOPPED and decided to listen to my own self....my own breath...my own truth... Something pretty incredible happened. When you finally stop all of the noise and ask the quiet for answers....the answers come....and they don’t just come from your deepest wisdom, they come from the source of everything good and true....from your own Truthteller....mine came straight from a very loving God who I believe with everything in me loves all of us more than we can imagine, wants us to be happy and successful....and wants us to LIVE a real life, not a virtual one.
I promise not to get preachy where it concerns my relationship with God......but I will tell you that my life has been changed because of this time I spent in quiet.....and it is because I made sure things got quiet enough to hear Him and that I worked very very very hard to shut out every other voice, opinion, comment, concern or rating that was directed at me.....
....for me, that is what Facebook and other social media had become....a barometer, a meter, a scale, a contest, a judge...........by my own actions and choices, I let it become the place that decided who I was, how I was, what I was and what I had the potential to become.
this sounds so dumb now....seriously, this is so embarrassing....but, it’s real.
So back to this image..........
and about being a “young spirit” ..... I know for sure that I am not the only girl in the world who feels like everyone else is a grown up......wanting desperately to finally know what everyone else knows...
So when you are a young spirit trying to finally be grown up....you do what you think you are supposed to do...and sometimes you are wrong....right? Then you learn better things, so then you do better things...and that is the beauty of life.
My big wrong thing was that I was constantly indulging in information that did nothing to nourish my soul. 90 days ago I was sick sick sick sick sick and emotionally and spiritually malnourished because all I ate was the equivalent of eating a diet of only COOL WHIP.....as you see in the video I posted in PART ONE.
(by the way, I really did not eat ANY CoolWhip....and again, I don’t hate CoolWhip...I just think you gotta limit how much of it you eat...that it is meant to enhance REAL food, and that you can not live on it....it is a perfect analogy for living your life virtually instead of for real....watch the video if you want to see what I mean...)
I know not everyone has a problem with getting addicted to things they shouldn’t get addicted to......there are lots of people who don’t get addicted to stuff and just have totally fabulous discipline and perspective where all of this is concerned...I am envious of you!!!........I had to learn it.....
I also know there are lots of you who ARE addicted to Facebook, to reading blogs, to comparing your life with every other ‘virtual’ life out there......it doesn’t feel good, does it?
Facebook didn’t start out as anything but wonderful for me....it just grew to this crazy, confusing addiction somehow....an addiction to watching what everyone is doing and then feeling bad that I will never be able to do all of those things....an addiction to saying HERE I AM, PLEASE DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME!!!! or LOOK, I CAN BE A BIG COOL GIRL LIKE YOU, PLEASE LIKE ME!!!!! (again...the dorky, awkward little girl in a room full of big girls)
So.....after many long discussions with loving friends and family who were watching my light get dimmer and dimmer and dimmer every day because I felt so inadequate, so confused and so YUCK.....................
....and seeing that I was wasting many hours a day eating COOL WHIP that could be spent doing nourishing things that I love like painting, writing, resting, reading, playing my guitar, hanging out with friends, thinking, being alone, praying, taking photos, going on drives, helping others, walking in the forest, going to the bookstore, thrifting, calling friends, decorating my house, going on road trips, going to the lake, having art parties, sewing clothes, learning to play tennis, learning to longboard, learning to surf, going to Zumba, writing my dreams and goals, cleaning my house, spending time with my children, writing love notes to my husband, visiting my parents..............................after talking about how I didn’t have time anymore for the people and the activities that I love....
I knew that quitting Facebook for a while might just help.
...and it did.
...I can’t wait to tell you in another post just how I spent my summer. I did all of the things listed above plus a whole lot more. I had forgotten how I really wanted to spend my time, and how fulfilling life can feel when you do take back control of your time.
Well, my friends.... there’s SO MUCH MORE TO SAY...but today I just wanted to tell you WHY I did it...and that is enough for today.
NEXT I will tell you about the conversations with my friends, with my husband, with my kids and with my sisters that led to all of this.
Hope this helps someone somewhere, because I sure just bore my soul and a lot of this is pretty raw and humiliating to me....but I am owning it, baby! I want you to know that I have learned what is true now, that I am still learning, but that I have learned so much...that this whole thing was REALLY HARD hard first but once I decided to do it, it got really easy within a few weeks. I want you to know too, that I feel so healed from the crazy mixed up feelings I had...but I also know I gotta be careful not to get sucked back in....and that’s why I am limited to only Facebook Friday now........I will make sure and tell you how that is going....there’s lots more to come about my 90 day journey though.
This is the bracelet I made when I started really living my life..........I love that I mean this, I believe this, and I work EVERY day to make sure it stays true:
Sending lots of love....if you are where I was........just keep reading, friend. It can all get better, I promise. If you wanna take a break, you can....and it will be ok....it really will.
More to come...thanks for stickin’ with me.
BEING BRAVE does not mean that you do not sometimes feel scared, weak and lost....it just means you keep going anyway.....(more)
So...it's over. I went 90 whole days.
I am addicted to Facebook....I am owning it.
I owned it and I faced it and I decided to do something REALLY HARD...and quit cold turkey for 90 days...and I did it. I did not slip even once. I made it to the finish line and TODAY IS DAY 1.
I know this might seem silly to some people, but it was a big huge giant deal for me.....it was scary and awful at first, and I was brave and kept going. I had a million fears about doing it but the biggest one was that if you are not on Facebook you do not exist...and that somehow, I would be left behind, forgotten and invisible. Isn't that silly? Well, it was a very real fear to me........
I learned SO MUCH and SO MUCH happened over the last 90 days that I am gonna have to break this whole thing up into several parts. This summer turned out to be a defining time in my life....like, my entire life. It's probably gonna take me the whole next week, and you are absolutely invited to read it all...but I will also understand if you think this is lame and boring. (there's a fun little movie at the end if you make it though this post!) I gotta write this all out, though.....too much happened to not share....and I got too many letters from people who asked how I did it....and from so many people who want desperately to step away for a bit, but are too afraid. WHAT ARE WE AFRAID OF?
Last night I got my facebook password back from it's keeper after staying completely off for 90 whole days, and I logged on. My hands were shaking with a combination of excitement and nervous dread. THere are so many people I have missed and I seriously couldn't wait to catch up....but I also terrified that I am going to slip back into my old patterns. Today I thought a lot about how much my days have changed. How much how I feel every day has changed...how much my priorities have changed...how great I feel...how relaxed and happy I feel.......how different things are since I took a little break. After spending a bit of time on Facebook this morning, I drove to my studio and painted.....and I thought a lot about what i want to tell you about all of this first....the first thing is that I am really really really happy that I did this....
I am really really really happy for lots of reasons....because I got to make a TON of art all summer, because I fell in love with my family all over again, because I was alone with my thoughts for so many months, because I was so enveloped in friendship from the most incredibly supportive, kind and loving friends who were on my right side and on my left......because I learned to make rules....and....did I tell you I painted and painted and painted ALL SUMMER?
I GUESS THE THING I WANT YOU TO KNOW most about FACEBOOK iin part 1 of my recap is that I do not hate Facebook, I am not anti-Facebook and I do not even think Facebook is a bad thing.....Facebook has been a wonderful tool for keeping in contact with so many people I love....I was the biggest recruiter for Facebook that you could imagine in the beginning....begging all of my family and friends to join in......
....little by little.................it seriously started to control me...my life...my moods....my day. I have an incredibly addictive personality....I'm a "just one more minute...." "just one more time..." kinda person......I obsess about things...I have a hard time stopping things once I start......just one of my trillions of weaknesses. I was spending an alarming and embarassing and disturbing amount of time on Facebook. This sounds so funny and dramatic and mostly humiliating now that I am on the other side of it.....but it is the absolute truth and I'm just coming clean here, folks. I was letting Facebook completely mess with my soul....and again, this all sounds dramatic and stuff.....but for reals, I was letting a virtual world keep score of my real world in so many ways. I know that not everyone does this....but that is what I was doing. Quitting was honestly one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I did it...and I learned a whole lot.
I mostly learned how to really really really love my life. I remembered who I am and what I want out of life. I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have ever been in all of my life, but it was a lot of work getting here...lots of honesty with myself. Lots of hard days and doing hard things and making hard decisions. All because I quit Facebook? YEH...but it could have been ANYTHING that was completely distracting me from doing hard things, being honest with myself and really really really listening to my own breath and my own gut.........for me it was Facebook....
Yep...I took some pictures today because I wanted to remember this day. I was all alone in my studio...and I love how happy I look...see that? I LOVE THAT. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THAT REAL SMILE AND THE SPARKLE in those 40 year old eyes.
So am I going to go back to Facebook???....yes, I am. WIth VERY STRICT RULES and guidelines for myself. I will talk more about that later....but what I have decided is that after this week is over... I am going to have Facebook Friday....once a week.....for an hour. Like I said, that will be in another post....and if you are interested...I'm gonna share my whole plan with you...the why's the how's and everything....
As I started to write out what I wanted to say.........I realized that this is going to have to be in parts. I learned SO MUCH over the last 3 months....so much that has to do with all of this, and then so much that just has to do with life......that there's no way I could write it in just one post.
AND....the reason I am even writing all of this out is because of the hundreds of emails I have gotten from people who are having struggles with living in a virtual world more than living in the real world...and people who want to take a break for a while, but are too scared to......I'm writing this for YOU.....and I'm writing this stuff out so I don't forget it.....cuz I am forgetter too. And seriously, I can already tell that it is going to be hard to keep the new rules I have set for myself. But one of the GREATEST THINGS I learned this summer is how valuable personal rules and boundaries are and that we MUST keep them.
So....I'm starting this little "FACEBOOK ADDICTION" series with a movie I made in the middle of it all for Soul Restoration 2.......it describes exactly what it was that prompted me to quit......how I felt at that time, and the analogy that I used all along the way to measure how I wanted to spend my time to live the life I really want to live.
SO MUCH MORE TO COME.
FOR NOW...I will tell you how I got a little bit skinny on the NO MORE COOL WHIP DIET.....
I LOVE YOU ALL DEARLY!!!
It's ok to want things that don't make sense to others, dear friend. It's ok to be content with a simple life, to pass up on things that others find tempting, to walk a path that is not often traveled...maybe even a path that has never been traveled before....(more)
It is absolutely amazing to me all of the beautiful little suprises that have come along with working so hard to build the dream of Brave Girls Club. One thing I never expected was to end up making so many soul friends.....the kinds of friends that you end of loving like family......people who you wonder how you ever lived without. When women come to camp with us...that is what happens...and so very very often, they end up coming back, or meeting up somewhere else for a little reunion.....Dr. Shamanie Haneca was at one of our first camps ever...and she has pretty much become part of the family. She came to camp at the recommendation of our dear friend, Jeanne Oliver.....someone else we don't know how we ever lived without!
Anyway...about Shamanie......she is a healer...the kind of doctor that everyone deserves and the kind of doctor I wish everyone had. She has been kind of a miracle in our family and helped us out with lots of ailments.....but she especially changed my daughter's life...and brought her back to full vitality and health...
and for close to 2 years now...they have been wonderful friends because of that.....another incredible wonderful amazing thing that I was not expecting is that my children would make such lifelong beautiful relationships with amazing women from all over the world....women who have tremendous influence on them and who care about them....what a miracle. Shamanie helped my daughter in tremendous ways that I will thank her for forever...
I love that Shamanie also came this summer to our first ever Mother/Daughter camp with HER beautiful daughter. Magic was made there......memories that we will never forget. INcreidble things happened between the mothers and daughters that will never be forgotten.......
She was an awesome addition to camp as a staffer, too....she has a beautiful heart she loved taking care of the women and girls who spent a summer week with us. She is a keeper, that Shamanie! Soon you will hear from Shamanie and her daughter about their experience at Mother/Daughter camp in a sweet video we are working on...but for now.......I want to tell you....
that we are sooooo lucky, all of us...that Shamanie has partnered with the fabulous Crescendoh.com to create an incredible online class where she walks all of us creative types through the process of taking the best care of our bodies, in creative beautiful ways that will make sense to us. I am telling you about this because her work has been such a blessing in our family. Just this summer, I have trimmed down a WHOLE LOT and I am fitting into my skinny jeans..........but even better, I am feeling so fabulous. She taught us what to eat and how to eat. When we follow these guidelines...we feel so great. I am taking her online course and I wanted to tell you about it too. I just really think that this is stuff that we all should know.........she is a fabulous teacher and she has created an incredible class!!! Check out all of the details below...
click HERE to learn more...
I promise it will change your life!!! I have seen it work for so many people!
p.s. tomorrow is all about what I learned during 90 days off of facebook!
There are many things that spread and spread and spread...far and wide and deep. There are good things, and there are not so good things. You could be THE ONE who makes a huge difference in not just spreading wonderful things, but in making sure that not so good things don’t spread so much.
One of the best ways you can do this, beautiful soul, is to stop the gossip when it gets to you. One of the fastest moving and most destructive forces around is gossip...and it not only hurts the person(s) who is the subject of the conversation, but it hurts the souls of anyone hearing it or spreading it...(more)
Try to live this day as though it is the first time you have ever seen your child, or the love of your life, or your parents...or your beautiful friends. Look at them from head to toe...see them for what they are and who they are...look around at all that they are doing, and who they have become......work hard to make sure they know exactly how you feel about them. Work hard to be someone that they might want to have in their life....(more)