Social Media Detox Challenge: 2 Day Check-In and Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now

One day into no social media and it is clear to me that I never truly knew what it’s like to be alone.

I wrote that in a note in my phone last night.

Everything is so quiet. My brain is more quiet. The streets are more quiet.

From Monday night to now (I’m writing this on Wednesday evening) I have gone about 45 hours without social media and withdrawal is a REAL THING.

During the first day, I kept opening my phone to go to an app, disappointedly realizing that I couldn’t, and then putting it down. My email along with my blog and Medium page have become my sources for stimulation. For newness. Did someone send me an email?! Did someone new follow my blog or like my post?! What’s new? What’s new? What’s new? My brain is a hyper dog seeking something or someone to interact with.

Luckily, I’m not completely going about this detox alone. I went to the library yesterday and picked up Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now (along with Eat Pray Love and Americanah). Reading this book is an EXTREMELY powerful supplement to my social media detox. When I left the library I went around the corner to an adorable cafe to read and had a delicious and gorgeous dirty chai while doing so. I was soaking up the experience and wanted soooo desperately to share it with the world. I sent it to the group chat of my cousins and a couple of friends while lamenting “It’s so weird not being able to share pictures of pretty things I’m seeing!”

My book choice (which was actually optional reading for Jess Lively’s Flow With Intention course) turned out to be the perfect text for my “Being Present” practice. As early as page 12, I was slapped in the face with reinforcements for what a deeper part of me already knew to be true.

“Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.”
– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Do you see that first bold part? It’s almost exactly what I listed as my fears when giving up social media. It was such an easy resource for me to use to feel validated with likes and shallowly connected with others which acted as a form of love. Now that I’m without it, there has been an upheaval of sorts. I know that the transition from external validation and love to internal won’t be immediate but I look forward to its unfolding.

Now lets address the second bold part.

“a treasure within that is …infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.”

Have you ever felt scattered, out of sorts, and confused about your life? I believe that this sacred place within is the source that grounds us and gives us the ability to free ourselves from the noise and confusion around us and find peace. Tolle, along with countless other spiritual teachers, would agree.

“Not being able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction.”
“This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being.” (p. 15)

I have been meditating for about 2 years now but I’m still learning it’s ways. I know logically how important it is to separate myself from my thoughts and observe them objectively (as Headspace’s cute videos illustrate). But whether or not I reach the point of a still mind varies from day to day. Meditation and mindfulness go hand in hand and I plan on continuing my daily morning meditations in addition to catching myself throughout the day and noticing the subtle sensations in my body and the details of my surroundings.

Much to my delight, one of Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast from this week featured Amy Prudy. I didn’t know anything about Amy prior to the podcast but I listened to her bright and joyful voice as she shared her experience of dying and coming back to life, losing her legs to bacterial meningitis and still accomplishing the great feat of being able to snowboard and do many things that we believe require legs afterwards.

I listened while picking up groceries from Trader Joes this afternoon and smiled as she shared that Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now was pivotal for getting her through everything as she acclimated to life without her legs. Oprah agreed that it also got her through many tough times: “the way I got through it is just staying from this moment to that moment — I wasn’t going to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, not even what’s going to happen 2 hours from now. Just ‘what do I do now. What do i do now. What do I do now.’”

PAUSE: Can we just smile about the synchronicities and happy rendevous of life with this timing! What are the odds that I would be starting this book right as this podcast is released? What are the odds that I would choose to listen to this specific podcast as opposed to one of the many others I subscribe to on my phone? Oh, the magic of life. I love these kinds of reinforcements.

As I get further into the book, it’s principles just keep making more and more sense and I find that as I have less distractions, I keep attracting more ways to learn these truths that have always been around. (I sent this Help Me Be Me podcast episode to some family and friends and I suggest it for you to listen to as well for a little joy boost and some teachings about vibrational frequency.)

“Always say YES to the present.”

“Surrender to what is.”

“Realize that the present moment is all we ever have.”

“Don’t create inner resistance to something that ALREADY IS.”

We don’t have to have near death experiences to learn these truths. They’re already there waiting for us to realize them. Whenever we feel negative emotion. Whenever we’re dissatisfied. Whenever we’re upset with someone else or ourself. In that moment, we are telling ourselves a negative story or placing a negative judgement when the truth of the matter is that everything is happening as it should.

The present moment is always exactly as it should be. If we accept it and move with it rather than resist it, each following step we take can be a much smoother journey. (There’s so much more nuance to explore but I suggest that if you’re interested further to give the book a try!)

Here’s to more presence, more realizations, and a deeper internal connection.

Originally posted on my personal blog Brightly Illuminated, where I document my perspective as a millennial post-grad trying to make sense of the “real world” through a lens of positivity and self-development.