2/28/20 Update: The first 40 days were so amazing that I am in my 2nd 40 day set which will end on March 20, 2020. I have had even more amazing transformations during the 2nd 40 days 🙂 I will post about the 2nd set in March 🙂 I have also created a how to facebook fast guide which is at the bottom of this article.
Like many people today, I have created unhealthy habits/practices when it comes to interacting with Social Media. It is undisputed that social media is incredibly addictive much like gambling or other self-abuse habits. Well, in December I went through a few life challenges which pushed me into letting go of Facebook on December 31st. I was thinking initially that I would just turn it off for a few days but then a few days passed and the funny thing was, I did not miss it. Yes, on my home screen there was a hole where the big F used to be but that was it. After a week I stopped pawing at my phone when I was out with others as much and I became less and less concerned with the F world.
So where does this unhealthy concern about others come from? I wish I knew. Our society has become so out of balance and unhealthy. that it is too complex of an issue to address here. I crave true connection and Facebook never provides this. It is a soulless entity and in many ways it does more harm than good because of how it is used. Over the past few years I have experienced multiple attacks against my character with Facebook as the weapon these people used to get their message out. I can only imagine how much easier and more put together my life may be if I had never used social media in the first place, but I am getting off topic. My goal was to share all the wonderful things that transpired in my detox time.
Note: I did not plan or have any goals for this journey. Everything just naturally occurred when I gave space, a lot of space, in my life. Social media honestly commonly took up to 5 hours of my time each day. That is a lot of hours. Here is the short list of things I gained during this month:
- 2+ hours of meditation daily plus 2x week meditation in groups.
- This was completely accidental, even though there are no accidents in the universe. On new years I was feeling major loss and so I started my day with Meditation which I had not done in years. After about an hour I went to my day for a few hours. Then my good friend Andrea told me about her experience at the symphony the night before. They preformed Beethoven’s 9th symphony. I had never heard it in its entirety so I decided to jump in and WOW!!! It is an amazing movement to meditate to. After that I shared with her how great it was and she asked me if I would like to join her 30 day meditation challenge for January. I agreed and have not stopped. Each day I start with about 1 hour of meditation and about 1 hour before bed. Some days have been elongated into 3-4 hours but without Facebook, I have the time.
- Yoga Practice – 2 yoga sessions or other group workouts each week. I got to check out Yoga at the Cathederial and wow! such an incredible experience. I highly recommend if you live in the Spokane region, it happens once a month at St. Johns Cathederial. Check their calendar here.
- Organizing the entire house and keeping it in order. This was a wild one, I did not have any intention but the lady I was seeing made a simple comment about the messy spices on my counter and I cleaned them and then I cleaned the entire kitchen, then organized the cookbooks and on it went. Over 2 weeks I cleaned and organized every room in the house. The big change in my life is I leave nothing to be done later. My bad habit from childhood was setting things at the top or bottoms of the stairs to put away later. Well later would never come and there would be huge piles of crap sitting there. This lead me to be very disorganized in many spaces around the house. Since the switch was flipped, I have done everything in the moment instead of putting things off until later. It really makes life so much easier to live! I highly recommend it. Living in order helps everything else. It also allowed me to let go of about 200lbs of stuff, 9 bags and a bunch of other large things I no longer use.
- Weight loss & body reshaping – Around Christmas I felt a shift. I was dealing with heartbreak and the universe directed me to make some changes without my notice. On the 5th of January, I jumped on the scale and realized I lost 10lbs since Christmas. I was now 176 for the first time in a while. I had really gotten used to sticking in the 180s and eating a lot more garbage than my body needed. Well, this miraculous weight loss gave me the inspiration to really amp up my game in my gym with a goal to finally create the body I have desired since childhood. I had begun to work out around the middle of December again and so I dedicated myself to getting in my gym every other day and begin a true reshaping of my body. Now in mid February I am down a total of 15 lbs to 171lbs and my body is really completely redefining. On top of these bi-daily workouts I have added the following practices to my life:
- Deeper into my intermittent fasting practice – Starting break-fast between 4-6pm and stopping around 10pm each night. This 18-20 hour daily fast has been really powerful at removing excess body weight and helping me reshape my body. My entire journey to health is outlined here if you are curious.
- Rollerblading – 1-2x week rollerblading at local roller rinks: This has been such a beautiful experience. As winter started I knew I needed to ramp up so I would not experience seasonal depression and rollerblading, yoga, meditation and D3 has been the cure. I have had many friends join. I learned that we have a thriving skating community in my hometown who love to get together and skate a few times a week. Some do it 3+. I do look forward to the warmer weather so I can get back to the streets. If you have never Rollerbladed, I highly recommend it. It is almost identical to the movement of skiing but you can do it year around. 🙂 I got a lot of blading in on my trip to Cali for Central Coast VegFest in mid February.
- Vitamin D3 daily. This has completely cured my normal seasonal depression. You can check out the brand I bought, it is amazing!!!
- Reading! – I have read The Untethered Soul 2 more times during this fasting time, then I jumped into The Empath’s Survival Guide and then I picked up Prescence. The Empath’s Survival guide is a must read for any sensitive people. It teaches us so much about how to deal with life. Reading is a great meditation practice.
The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer
Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff
- Less Netflix shows before bed. When I am hurting or stuck in life I often turn to distractions such as TV shows on Netflix. I noticed that I was watching much more than I should be and topics that are not conducive for good sleep like murder mystery shows before bed. I have cut this back and started reading more before bed.
- WRITING!!! I finally started writing my book. For 4.5 years I have had people ask me about if I was going to write up my personal experiences. Well when we distract ourselves from our real lives, we never make time for living. I have gotten an outline for the book and I have been writing much more including this post, the first one in over 2 years. 🙂
- Journaling – I have gotten really good at regularly writing in my journal again.
- Gratitude – Working on more gratitude for how amazing my life is. We live in a wondrous world and the only real challenge I have experienced is people and heart breaks. Letting go of social media has given me a lot of freedom.
- Forgiveness time. This is a constant but I have done deep forgiveness work during this time.
- Standing Up!!! Deciding to finally stand up for myself. I have never been good at this one and this time has given me so much pain that I am finally deciding to stand up for myself and share my experiences. I had hoped that the challenges from my past would just disappear but it does not happen that way. We have to face our challenges, no matter how much we want to just hide from them.
- Building a new non-profit. Framing the new non-profit which focuses on healing from trauma. I spent a lot of time during these months getting the new non-profit organization structured. It is an ongoing project but I am excited to help others heal.
- Legally free. One hooray for the month of January is that the judge agreed that my marriage from 2018 was fraudulent due to her not disclosing her mental health disorder before we got married and I was granted an annulment. This means that my marriage was completely wiped off my record and I get to start life again with a clean slate. This was a huge sigh of relief. This is going to help me be able to feel safe standing up for myself now. I am no longer going to be a doormat!!!
January and into February has been a deep healing time for me. The universe has given me a lot of growing over the past 4 years and it has not been fun or comfortable but it has been good. I now see winter as the perfect time for this to happen. We need to include self care tools like I have mentioned( Meditation, eating well, physical activities and any other things that helps your soul sing), but we do need to recharge during the winter. It is a natural time to slow down and accept. I have now grown to love the season I have disliked my whole life. I love how much slower paced winter is and I am truly grateful for what it gives to us each year.
I never intended to do any of these things but each of them just sort of fell into my lap and I accepted the challenge. I am not planning on staying off of Social Media forever but I have chosen to not use it as I used to. For me, having my profile active is like having an open bottle of alcohol for an alcoholic. I need to learn to be able to have the bottle out without a need to touch it. This comes to self boundaries, a word that has been a focus for my past 2 years of living. Be sure to regularly evaluate your boundaries and make sure you are taking care of yourself. Eckhart Tolle recently shared a video and in it he spoke a quote we all know so well. “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. Loving others has always been simple for me but treating others better than I treat myself has been my downfall. We are required to love ourselves AS MUCH as we love others. That blew my mind and I have not been able to get it out of my mind since hearing it again in that context. Life is a practice, every day we get to choose what we add to it. I urge you to embrace life and go live it to the fullest!
How to “Facebook Fast”?
First step with any addiction is abstinence. I highly recommend deactivation of your page for a week or more. I went about 50 days the initial time. I noticed no need to grab my phone after a few weeks. Also, if you are addicted to another social media platform such as Reddit or Instagram, these options work the same way. Once the withdrawals are over you have 3 choices:
- Facebook Sobriety – Deactivating. Many choose this path for months, years or life. Most feel so much more free after they release Facebook from their life. I have so many friends who have been Facebook sober for years and are so happy with their decision.
- Activate in a Fasting State – This is what I chose to do starting on 2/20/20. You simply do not use facebook and check in but you have your page active. Many are able to do this and I am giving this a whirl. I created a set of “Facebook Frames” that you can use to let people know you are Facebook Fasting. Check out a few of the examples. Just do a search on facebook in the frame catalog for “Facebook fast” and you will see a few options designed by Kindly Thrive.
- Back on the Sauce – You may feel that a short break has re-framed your experience with Facebook and you are ready to go all the way back in. Make sure to stay present and notice if it is getting out of hand again and restart your process of healing from Facebook again.