The Ten Foot Circle

Before I left for California, I was all concerned about how I was going to keep up with my posting streak here; how I was going to check email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  I knew I was going to be out of range of Wifi, and maybe even cell phone service, and it was more of a concern than I felt happy with.

I only took my Ipod Touch with me, and that post I wrote in JFK?  The one with all the typos?

Yeah, the whole writing on a little touch pad thing?  So did not work for me!

Once we got into the majestic environment of the Yosemite National Park, I turned my phone off, my Touch too, and abandoned all attempts to connect.  For 5 days, I let it go.  And friends, I love you, but I have to tell you, it was gooooood.  Really, really good.

Yeah, I paid for it when I got back.  I had tons of stuff to catch up on, but it was so worth it.

Today I was talking to Stephanie about the Vision Quests she leads.  People submit to sitting in a 10 foot circle, out in nature, for 4 days, with no food– only water.  She said when they go in they look like crap, but when they come out they look beatific.

I kinda felt that way when I hung up the phone and the internet for 5 days. I felt like I was going into a 10 foot circle with no food, but surprisingly, within that 10 foot circle, the whole universe opened up.

I felt beatific coming out.

I don’t know what this will mean for me, and my relationship with the internet going forward.  I am back to posting here, obviously, and I’ve caught up on all my email and voice mail, so I’m clearly not swearing off technology, but I feel a sea-change coming.  New weather is approaching.

I need to find a new way of being both connected and not connected at the same time.  It’s not really a question of how to limit my internet use, so much as how much of it to let in.  It’s more about boundaries than anything else.  I need some version of that 10 foot circle with no food.

Tell me: How do you keep the internet from eating you alive (if you do)?  How do you set boundaries?  What makes it work?  How do you keep your 10 foot circle clear?