What I didn’t do on my summer vacation

I spent most of the summer reading. Author/spiritual guru/King of Chilltown, Eckhart Tolle, has a simple message: Life is all about balance; there’s an intrinsic ebb and flow. You win some, you lose some. Things come and go. You try to do the tree pose to impress your kids, you fall onto the yoga mat and pull an ass muscle you didn’t know existed.

Eckhart’s Spiritual Truth #234: Give it up, girl. You’re a klutz.

This summer, I decided to balance my mental state by weeding out the soul-sucking nonsense in my life — social media. What was interesting in this experiment was how little I missed it after a few days. It was very difficult at first. I had the typical withdrawal symptoms: trembling fingers, twitchy eyes, bitchy mood.  I had to uninstall apps on my phone to resist the temptation.

Then I would reinstall them. Then uninstall them. Reinstall. Uninstall.

Balance, dear child.
Balance, dear child.

Then I muted almost everyone on Twitter. Then I unmuted some. Then muted them. Mute. Unmute. Mute. Unmute.

Balance, dear child.
Twitter isn’t real. Nothing is real. It’s all a figment of our collective consciousness. An illusion. Let it go.

Then I scrolled through my Facebook feed, cursing at myself for caving once again.

Facebook is merely a construct that serves the purpose of feeding the ego. We all project a false sense of self, a persona. This is not your authentic essence of your true being.
Facebook is merely a social construct that serves the sole purpose of feeding the ego. It’s a place where we all project a false sense of self; a persona. This is not the authentic essence of your true being. Release yourself from this manmade prison. And let it go, etc…. I mean, I think it really goes without saying…duh.

Finally, I threw my phone in the trash. Then retrieved it. Throw. Retrieve. Throw. Retrieve.

Ah! For the love of– YOU are an IDIOT! 

Man, that Eckhart Tolle sure gets on my last nerve. But the smug bastard speaks the truth. When you let go of things that don’t serve you well and life is in harmony, a whole new world opens up.

And yes, I’m an idiot.

After a week with less social media, colors seemed brighter, images sharper, my kids’ names clearer. Still, there were doubts. I did miss the social interaction on the interwebz.

How would I survive without knowing how outraged people were with the asinine thing Trump did this week? How would I go on without seeing in my Facebook feed 35 photos of my friend’s cat that all look the same? How would I cope not knowing how everyone else is having more fun and looks ridiculously more attractive than me this summer?

I’m happy to say I curbed my addiction. I stopped doing things I wasn’t truly enjoying anymore. I let negative stuff go. I didn’t blog for two months. (gasp) I didn’t go on Twitter. I came to the stark realization that no one really cares how tasty my omelet looks on Instagram. (For the record, it had feta cheese and spinach and it was AMAZEBALLS!) I discovered that people no longer say ‘amazeballs’. My Facebook page was (mostly) silent.

Guess what? I exist. I’M STILL ALIVE!!

(Barely, but I do feel a faint pulse…)

Thanks, Eckhart. You’ve changed my life, dude.

Huh? Did you say something? Sorry, (hehe) but I was watching a YouTube video of Chewbacca Mom wrestling Trump in a vat of pudding.  Hilarious! But (ahem) yes….uh….balance. It’s all about letting things go. All that matters is being fully engaged in the present moment. To find out more about how we hold onto material things that don’t matter, be sure to buy my book on Amazon, on sale for only 19.95 plus shipping and handling!

Gloating in my success at banning social media, I watched a YouTube video of Tolle talking about another addiction we all face (after I checked out that hysterical Chewbacca Mom clip). It’s an addiction that’s much larger in scope and more difficult to beat.

Our addiction to thinking. Specifically — overthinking. Or thinking about overthinking. Or thinking about not thinking about overthinking thinking.

I am so screwed. I love to think! It’s what I do best! Or worst. First step to get back on my road to Chilltown: Buy beige sweater vest.

The key to a calm mind? It's all about the vest.
Calm vest, calm mind.

Thankfully, I’ve practiced meditation for nearly 25 years, so I’ve got this nonthinking shit down. I just have to not think about it so much. Easy! I need to breathe in….and breathe out….just…..be….one with my true essence…ahhhhh…

I feel dizzy now, but it’s all good.

Because — like Eckhart has said many times in that soft, mesmerizing, endearing Yoda-like way — we are all simply forms of consciousness, always transforming, manifesting and dissolving into formlessness. This is the true reality of existence. Not worrying about how big my thighs look in my leggings or how in the hell I’m going to survive until our election is finally over.

You hear that, Trump?

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump stands during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
The Donald — fully basking in his true essence.

You are a temporary form of consciousness! Everything has its purpose! It’s OK! (deep inhale) You’re just manifesting! (long exhale)

Sigh. I think I need to meditate again. Om.


How was your summer?
How long have you gone with no social media?
Do you have any extra beige sweater vests lying around?
Is this election all just a crazy, mixed-up, endless, nightmarish trip I’m having due to that time I accidentally smoked the ganja?



65 thoughts on “What I didn’t do on my summer vacation

  1. 47 years without Facebook, Instagram or even Snapchat … I never had them 🙂
    Blogging? When I have something to write.
    Or when that blogparade I joined forces me to, but even then sometimes not.

    1. I think I’ve narrowed most of my online time to just writing here and there for this blog. The rest of stuff on the internet is boring. I guess I’ll just have to wait for a new Chewbacca mom youtube clip.

  2. These are two things I learned about at a yoga retreat. Yes, Danny and I went with Courtney to Whistler to have our minds blown. It blew my mind that Danny got into it! Filled his schedule. Carried his mat around town. Loved vinyasa yoga and meditation. What????
    Recently, I wrote about how our minds are filled with wasted old thoughts and there is little room for creativity. At least most of social media is new. Ha!
    I stopped by yesterday and knocked. You must have been in your bedroom writing this post.
    Welcome back!

    1. Thanks Susie! Sorry I wasn’t home before. I think I was napping.

      That’s great you guys enjoyed the yoga and meditation. I love to meditate, it helps with stress. Eckhart says that creativity is what happens when we finally silence the endless chatter in our minds and listen. It is when we’re fully present and aware that produces creativity.

  3. tamarasuz

    My summer was busy.
    Sleeping is the only time…is that bad?
    No beige sweater vests… but I have a beige sweater coat.
    Nope it is the nightmare that never ends… maybe smoking ganja will make it go away.

  4. More than anything I have realized this summer how much time I waste scrolling through my FB feed or constantly checking USA today online for latest Trump entertainment. I’ll stop doing it when I have more to keep me busy that doesn’t involve laundry, cooking or cleaning.

  5. Is summer over? It can’t be, it’s still 100 degrees here. I’ve just been sitting inside with the blinds closed waiting for daylight savings time to begin…or end, I can’t ever remember which one happens in the fall. I grudgingly created a FB account because it was necessary for my study abroad, and now I cannot stop checking it morning, noon, and night!

    1. Ugh, yeah it’s soooo humid and hot here today. Feels like a sauna constantly. My kids go back to school next week and this week we’re going camping for a few days so no FB for me this weekend. Will I survive? Maybe. I’m hoping Trump doesn’t exit the race while I’m not looking.

  6. Bex

    Spent this summer, so far, getting to know and love our “new” collie girl dog (she’s 9) (she was a rescue dog) (she came all the way, by car, from Iowa driving by her foster-mom) (she is amazeballs) (her name is Belle). Belle and I both hate this heat. Supposed to be 101 today? That’s insane. Almost as insane as the politics these days. BTW, nice to see you here.

  7. Summer has been weird. The election race is not just a figment of your imagination, although we wish it were. And I still fall asleep every time I try to meditate. Got a 2 hr nap out of it yesterday.

    1. Well, maybe not a figment of my imagination, but Deepak Chopra says it IS all just an illusion, everything in the universe is just a form of our collective consciousness and nothing is “real”. Or maybe Deepak just smoked too much ganja. Still, I’m hoping he’s right because then I might sleep better at night when I think about Trump.

  8. Cannot tell you how glad I am to be Canadian and not have to vote in your upcoming election. If I did I would write in Bernie’s name.
    This summer is too darn hot–nuff said there.
    I am curtailing my reliance on social media–sort of.
    You are one of the few I still follow religiously–so do not give up your blog totally.
    I think therefore I am. Ha!

    1. I have a couple of write-ins in mind: Stephen King, Alfred E. Neuman or Carrot Top.

      And thanks for still following me! I haven’t felt like writing much but I’m getting back into the swing of things again slowly. I have already written another post for tomorrow. It’s my exclusive interview with Trump.

  9. I hate social media! But I love it! And this is also true of beef jerky. Social media and beef jerky are similar. You win some, you lose some. You throw it away, you pick it out of the trash. You eat it. And you feel okay, but then you want more and you have to find a grocery store that’s open. And that never really works out, but tomorrow you’ll gorge.

    I don’t know what I just said, but your references to Mr. Trump in this post have made me angry all over again, and I’m not even American. Those many photos of Mr. Tolle against that ocean are going to follow me into a jerky-induced stupor this afternoon, I imagine. Thanks for that.

    1. I would pay big bucks to see Tolle and Trump in a debate. They can throw beef jerky at each other. Sorry to make you mad about Trump. I should warn you, I’m posting an interview I did with him tomorrow….BYOJ.

  10. Glad to see you back, Maineiac!
    Summer has been too long and hot. I stay holed up in the AC. No vacations, we do that in spring and fall when the weather is cooler and the kids are still in/back in school.
    I went without social media all my life, until all my buds got on the bandwagon. Although the posts are mostly useless and/or funny memes, it’s hard not to look. I wish I didn’t know which of my friends were Trump supporters, but now that I know, our relationship will never be the same.
    I don’t do sweater vests, sorry. With the onset of hot flashes, I don’t need sweaters anymore.
    I hope I will wake from this election nightmare soon, before I lose all faith in Democracy. 😦

  11. Sing it, Sister! My life is much cleaner and brighter without social media. Once in a while is okay, but I’m not interested in the constant checking.
    With all that extra time on my hands, I’ve been writing a short story set in Maine and the main character is a moose. 🙂

    1. Yep, the constant checking has gone away. It really was a true addiction for me. So sad, really. I spent a lot of time with my kids this summer and now we’re all sufficiently sick of each other. Are you really writing a short story? Can’t wait to read it, I love moose. Or mooses. Moosi.

  12. My bride gives up Facebook every year for Lent and every year she wonders why she bothers to go back. I don’t think I’m on social media. Does blogging count? Because I’m not on FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc., etc. Although I don’t blog much anymore either.

    What flavor of meditation? TM? Mindful? Minefield?

    It’s only mid-August. Get your ass back out there and make things HAPPEN. Trump said the President founded ISIS. You’re missing all the fun.

    What’s with the banner photo? Don’t tell?! You guys have sandy beaches? I’m misinformed.

    1. God, I hate Facebook! I really do! (checking Facebook app) It’s just so much vanity! (posting selfie).

      My flavor of meditation has no name. Names are too limiting. Too constricting. True essence of being has no words attached to it. Or something…. Blah, blah, blah, etc. Sometimes I do get to a point where I don’t have any thoughts, just silence. It’s nirvana. Pretty amazing stuff. Then my thoughts intrude again to tell me my butt’s asleep and I have to go buy more wine.

      That banner photo is a stock photo WordPress had in their “header” section. I suppose I should change it. Maybe a nice closeup of Trump smirking? Speaking of which, he had a few interesting things to say to me last week when I interviewed him at Starbucks. Post forthcoming…..

  13. Oh how I’ve missed you! Can’t wait for your interview. I’m thinking that perhaps you should photoshop Trump into a beige sweater vest and he will lose all appeal. You could save humanity, Darla!

  14. Great to see you back in whatever metaphysical form it takes in order to stay zen. Or zesty. Or simply showered with Zest soap. You are so right about striking a balance, Darla. I find myself getting sucked in from time to time and have to completely unplug to remind myself I can and should. Especially if I’m in the tub with a hair dryer.

    Your humor was missed, Darla. But it’s always worth waiting for 😉

  15. Margie

    Glad to see you are back! I’m still on my summer hiatus from blogging, don’t have a Twitter account, and only check Facebook about once a week – or less. I’m not checking the WordPress Reader either.
    I’ve moved all my favourite ‘reads’ into Feedly – nothing pushy about this product. Let’s me read what I want, when I want and if I don’t read anything for a week or a month – everyone and everything will still be there waiting for me! Very laid back and peaceful!

  16. I love how you announced your (former) social media abstinence on Twitter. I Also have no idea who Eckhardt Tolle is and why we should listen to him. But I know I missed you a ton while you were unplugged.

    And I must have that beige vest.

  17. Ah, Darla — I love your posts. While I fully support reducing/quitting social media, blogging is something I won’t give up. it’s so much more fulfilling than scrolling through Facebook or Twitter. Welcome back! 😃

    And as for summer? In the UK, it doesn’t even feel like we’ve had one. There hasn’t been enough sun, which helpfully contributes to the general doom and gloom about the world going to hell in a hand basket (Brexit, Trump etc).

    Oh well, if it’s all an illusion I guess that’s okay!

  18. caringsoul

    I loved the post. Yes, I have taken breaks. In fact I took a break from this site for a long while. It was needed. I enjoyed the read.

  19. Welcome back. You sound rather energized from balancing your mental state. I’ve had a pleasant summer, but in the fall I’ll be revisiting all seven circles of Hell when I gut renovate my bathroom. In the past year, Real Life has sucked much of the time I used to spend on social media if my blog can count as my main source of media socializing. I have a Twitter account where I rarely tweet. I utterly loathe Facebook, but I’m on it anemically (I don’t have the app on my phone). Your suffering withdrawal symptoms from it doesn’t surprise me and I imagine, you enjoy it before hating yourself for vegging out on 35 cat pictures that all look alike. To me, much of social media is like junk food for the brain. My friend, Milton, who can be wickedly critical, frequently steps on landmines on FB that gets him embroiled in nasty blowups. Often, he complains to me about these firestorms and I always say the same thing, “Milton, why do you argue with people on that site?” Most of the time, these are people he never associates with in Real Life. As for the election it seems to me that melt downing Donald is seeing daylight about his chances of succeeding in November now that he’s thinking aloud about “that very nice long vacation” post-election day. Even your senator felt compelled to disassociate from his brand of toxicity. I admire her for that.

    1. I also hate facebook. That’s the one site I’ve fallen out of love with. I refuse to install the app because I’m certain it allows Zuckerberg to listen in on my private convos. I’m also happy to see Collins not support Trump but I wonder who she’ll vote for–Stephen King?

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