How do you digitally detox?
I'm still in the process of responding to the awesome and thoughtful suggestions I got after sending last week's letter that asked for your input on next steps for All Hands. I'm eager to implement many of the ideas over time as the capacity of the business grows.
Lately I've been reflecting on how to proactively reclaim the time that I squander on digital distractions. An exercise that has helped tremendously in making me aware of the impact of information overload on my well-being is a seven day media fast that Julia Cameron calls 'reading deprivation' in her book The Artist's Way. During the fourth week in the 12 week course, she encourages you to entirely forgo reading books and magazines and binge watching TV. The thing is, The Artist's Way was written in the early 90s, so there's no mention of social media. Despite that fact, most everyone in the groups I've facilitated realize that Instagram and Facebook are their go-to adult pacifiers and/or their favorite "creative blocks" as Julia would dub them, so we strive to cut these out as well during that week.
Going cold turkey from our media drugs of choice takes a lot of will power, but I experience very swift mental health benefits from doing even a brief digital detox every so often. My days feel less hurried and more spacious. Instead of scrolling on my phone, I complete unfinished projects and am more present with my family. And as an entrepreneur, I get proof that my business won't cease to exist if I post less.
One of my ultimate takeaways from the exercise of reading/social media deprivation is not that I want to eliminate these things all together, but rather that I want to maintain a balance of input and output of creative energy in my life. Problems creep in when I consume more of what other people are putting out into the world than what I myself am producing. It's ironically all too easy to continually watch videos of other people's artistic adventures without going on any of our own. If you don't know what I mean, ask yourself this: Have you ever watched someone creating something online and thought to yourself 'I want to do that!' but then never have? If so, do you know what's holding you back?
I'd love to hear how you digitally detox, Seraj, because I'm still very much on this journey and would appreciate any new insights you'd have to offer. One way, of course, is to commit yourself to a creative practice and then honor your commitment by regularly giving yourself time and space to create. Which leads me to the announcement of this month's winner of an All Hands annual membership! (🥁...drumroll...🥁)
🎉Congratulations, Emily Lauri!!!🎉
To fewer distractions and more adventures,
PS. The image above is from the Collagraph Printmaking workshop Joan Bogart led last weekend! 💗
PPS. I hope you'll come get your creative juices flowing at the studio soon:
Macrame Wall Hangings - Sat Jul 27th 1-3pm (3 spots left)
Brass Wall Hangings - Sun Jul 28th 1-3:30pm
Hammered Brass and Crystal Earrings - Sun Jul 28th 4-6pm
Hammered Brass and Tassel Earrings - Fri Aug 2 6-8pm
Shibori Indigo Dyeing - Sat Aug 3 12-2ppm
Driftwood Decor - Sat Aug 3 3-5pm
Resin Ocean Waves - Sun Aug 4 1-3pm
Exploring Watercolor: Basics for Beginners - Tues Aug 6 1-3:30pm (4 week class!)
Leather Sandal Making - Sat Aug 10 1-6pm
PPPS. The fall cohort of The Artist's Way at All Hands begins Saturday, September 21st and half the spots have already been reserved. It's not on the website just yet, so please email me if you'd like to reserve a spot or if you have any questions.