Sprucing + Juicing. An ode to The Hiatus, and why I'm taking one (and you should too.)
I’m taking a digital hiatus for a few weeks. No: publishing online, tweets, facebook, instagram, Pinterest. And everyone else at Team D will have a “juicing + sprucing” auto-responder on. We’re not going on vacation. We’re swabbing the decks and polishing our telescopes. And hanging new twinkly lights for you.
Why is this newsworthy? It isn’t, it’s just a very big deal to me — the me who uses pixels and links to minister and monetize. Why am I telling you this? Well it’s not because I think anyone is pacing for my articles and Facebook messages. (Part of me is still amazed that in the din of internet noise and the lushness of life, anyone anywhere pauses to read my stuff.)
I’m “announcing” my digital publishing hiatus because I think I’ve pieced together the premises of peaceful digital co-existence and requisites for art-making that might be positively Nobel Peace Prize worthy. (Or maybe it’ll just get a lotta LIKES on Facebook. Either way…)
Pro-hiatus practices and theories:
Batteries. You extend the life re-chargeable batteries if you let the battery drain completely before you re-charge it.
Burritos. Every summer, my favourite neighbourhood burrito joint — which has a line up every night to get in — puts a sign on it’s door: “Gone Camping. Back in two weeks.” I used to think it was lame (especially when I was craving a veggie burrito with hibiscus lemonade.) But I noticed something when they came back: a cleaner space, new menu items, happier staff. Hmmmm.
Buddhists. Globally beloved and highly-in demand Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron is in a ten month retreat this year. THAT’S unplugged.
Cosmos. Everything is energy. I could write this a thousand times a day. Preach it with me, people: Everything is energy. Everything is energy. Everything is energy. This space, which I think of as my digital temple/laboratory, has its own energy and vibration. And all life-force needs to wax and wane.I could write a bunch of articles and messages and pre-load them, but that would be a faux hiatus. I’d be in park with the engine still running. The engine needs to cool.
When to Take A Hiatus and How to Make A Hiatus Extra Useful and Holy
Burn out is an obvious time to hiatus. But there’s a difference between taking time to recover, and making space in which to prepare for The New — stopping vs. closing the doors so you can create. Culturally — especially for entrepreneurs, we tend to stop only when we’re too beat to take another step. The hiatus I’m interested in is for sprucing and juicing. After my book launch hoopla I ate cake, slept, shopped for sweat pants, and slept. Oh and then I slept. When I woke up, I went to Hollyhock to contemplate life. I’m deeply rested. You don’t have to be depleted to warrant stopping.
Eager to bust out with ideas? Then be still for just a beat longer. I’ve got so many ideas these days, I could burst like a field of VanGogh sunflowers. I want to run toward them to see which ideas reciprocate with synchronicity and signs of good timing — or clear signs of not now. I’m going into a new creative phase — more art, less crankin’ — and it will call for deeper contemplation and bigger risks. Being super ready to create is a fabulous time to stay in that eager place and just vibrate for a bit — then when you come out, you slingshot to the next level.
When it’s time to create new creative habits, go cold turkey on your old habits. This is where hiatuses are really handy. I’ll probably have the shakes after Day 1 of no Facebook. But habit withdrawal burns off the dross. This Hiatus is as much of an experiment in creative processes as it is a time for sprucing and juicing.
Prepare for your hiatus. Don’t just shut it down on short notice. Set a start and end date, get things in order, line up your supplies and sundries so that you can make the most of every day you have with you and the company of your intentions.
Hiatuses are scary because you’re stepping back from what’s been substantially feeding you. (Give me a stadium of people to talk to and I’ll run to the mic. But unplug? Um. It makes my palms sweat. Awkward exhilaration. Bring it on! Nothing like a detox to call forth your faculties.
Hiate. (I made that word up.) Hiate when you’re pumped to jump. Let the pause be punctuated by excitement. Cleansing! Creating! Music always follows silence.
See you in a few weeks! (Eeep! I miss you already. Hope you’ll be here when I get back.) And you gotta know, I’ll be returning with prezzies. Oh yes.