7 Things I Gained by Leaving Facebook
I recently decided to take a hiatus from Facebook. I realized I was addicted, and the information overload started to overwhelm me. When my friends ask me why I deactivated my Facebook account, I smile and say that I needed a break from being continuously inundated with status updates.
A few months earlier when the idea first cropped up to deactivate my account, I resisted it for fear of being left out. I thought I’d miss out on important information; now I realize I could do without it completely. I decided to take more control of what I see or read.
Instead of being flooded with unwanted information, I now filter what I read. I only read columns in the newspaper on topics which I need for my teaching, like economics and finance.
Here are the seven things I gained from breaking free from the grips of Facebook:
- I spend more meaningful time with my family and friends instead of constantly checking updates.
- I get to do the things I’ve always put off because I “didn’t have time.” The time I used scrolling through Facebook is now better used for things I enjoy doing like writing, meditation and yoga.
- I feel calmer, more centered and peaceful. The information overload was affecting me at a subconscious level.
- I have control over my time now. As a result, I feel more empowered, energized and responsible. Every moment counts.
- When I find myself with nothing to do, I sit in silence and take a moment for contemplative reflection. This gives me a fresh perspective.
- I’m more mindful. Breaking free from a digital addiction made me more aware of my mindless actions that don’t serve any real purpose. Every time the urge of checking Facebook arises, I simply watch the thought and let it go. On a few occasions, I’ve given in to that urge and the feeling isn’t great. I know the power is within me to make a lasting change that will aid me in living the life I want to live.
- I experienced a sense of liberation. It’s as if the dark clouds lifted and the mental noise went silent. I dance and laugh more now. I get to stop and marvel at nature’s work. I started noticing the beauty around me instead of looking down at my phone. Inspiration comes to me in ways I’ve never imagined.
How Practicing Gratitude Increases Our Abundance
Both gratitude and abundance are states of mind. They are not dependent on the actual outer provisions or circumstances we have at any given moment. It is our belief in abundance or the lack thereof that creates our experience of it. And our ability to be grateful for what is present that brings more goodness to us. The Yoga Sutra that addresses this says:
“Acknowledging abundance (aparigraha) we recognize the blessings in everything and gain insights into the purpose for our worldly existence.”
Sutra 2.39 translation by Nischala Joy Devi, The Secret Power of Yoga
The first key word to note from this sutra is “acknowledging.” Abundance exists all around us all the time. The Universe is an ever renewing, incredibly infinite source of potential. Yet we often keep our vision so trained on the tiniest little speck of reality, that we block the flow of this infinite potential into our minds, hearts, and lives. We focus on what we don’t have instead of giving gratitude for all that we do have. And we suffer because of our limiting beliefs and limited perceptions. When we remember that the truest source of all resources is inexhaustible, and we place ourselves into the stream of infinite potential, we open into all the goodness, joy, beauty, love, opportunities, support, guidance, and creativity that life has to offer. Spirit is our constant storehouse of abundance.
Recognize the Blessings in Everything
The other essential teaching in this sutra is to “recognize the blessings in everything.” That means that even when we hurt or struggle, even when we are frustrated or feel tremendous lack, that we see the inherent opportunity to “acknowledge abundance.” We may not love the process of personal growth that comes through suffering, yet we can be grateful for its value in the long run. If we could really accept that every situation, every experience, every encounter holds a blessing for us, what a difference we would feel when faced with challenge. Instead of being afraid or pushing it away, we could embrace it as a gift of abundance from the Universe.
This is a paradigm shift much like the old question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” By choosing to acknowledge abundance and blessings even when things aren’t exactly as we would like them to be, an amazing thing happens. We open ourselves to the flow of infinite Universal energy. If we hold on or hold back, we impede this flow. ‘Holding’ often comes in the form of believing that we don’t or won’t have “enough.” And this leads to mental restriction, lack of generosity, and availability to life. The energy of abundance requires the ebb and the flow, the receiving and the giving.
Perceiving Our Purpose
The last aspect to consider in this sutra has to do with perceiving our “purpose.” It promises that as we develop an abundance consciousness, we begin to see more clearly the meaning and purpose of our lives. The beautiful thing about abundance is that when we start looking for it, it appears everywhere. Although outwardly we may feel we have little to spare or share, by seeing the ‘glass half full’ we bypass the perceived lack, and find the ways in which we do have abundance. To share the love in our hearts, to offer time for service or a listening ear to someone who needs support gives purpose to anyone’s life. As we magnify the love in our hearts through the glass of abundance, giving freely, we receive even more in return.
So don’t wait for Thanksgiving to express gratitude or to experience abundance. Take some silent moments to open up to and feel the infinite blessings that surround you. Immerse yourself in the flow of Divine abundance now.