Disconnect to reconnect, sometimes we have to sever the ties to see what it was we were actually holding onto to. I have been on silent retreats where communication at any level is forbidden. No speaking, no eye contact, no gesturing. Twenty people all in the same area with no communication yet our bond grows stronger?
We all went through our personal journeys alone in our own heads, in our own space, yet we knew that we were all supporting each other, a feeling of trust and companionship ran through the retreat like an overflowing river. It was through this ability to disconnect from my normal way of living and communication that I found we have an unspoken energy to us in which we can communicate and still find connection through disconnection.
In 1992, 18-year-old Damien Echols was wrongfully convicted of murder, he was put on death row for almost two decades before being finally released in 2011 after some high profile characters created a documentary and new evidence was discovered. Spending 19 years in prison in near-complete isolation, you would think it turn anyone crazy but Damien grew. He used his time in solitude to reconnect with himself, he found Buddhism and was ordained into the Rinzai Zen Buddhist tradition. He is now out and continuing his journey and on tour teaching people of what he had learnt in isolation. Although forced isolation can be something damaging, self- Isolation (disconnection) can be an overwhelmingly beneficial experience, intention is everything.
Disconnect, when we find ourselves with extra time, don’t waste it, seek growth. To disconnect doesnt mean to fully detach from reality, there is time and place for most things but it is important we learn the ability to disconnect to listen to what our mind is saying to us, what our body is saying to us. If we are constantly finding ways to keep our mind active in times of peace then we become over-stimulated, highly stressed and can lead to health problems. So we ask you next time you find yourself with time what are you going to do?
Pick up your phone or pick up a book? Watch TV or go for a walk? Options are endless but our time isn’t. Find time to disconnect, find time just be.