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I *almost* forgot about my follow-up post for my big decision to take a social media hiatus. It’s already been one month, which feels absolutely crazy to me. Crazy for multiple reasons. First of all, time is an interesting beast. Isn’t it? June was at once the fastest and the slowest month of my life. It just depends on what angle I look at it from. 

When I sit in the discomfort of my personal life then it has been a super long month. When I look at everything that the world (and America) is going through then it feels like we’ve covered decades of ground in only one month – woah! When I look down the barrel of this never-ending pandemic then it feels like the longest month ever (please be over now!). 

It’s a month in a month in a month. Like a twilight zone where you don’t quite know where you’re at. You think you’re one place but then you see what’s happening over there, so maybe you’re in another place. But wait, what’s that, oh shit, I’m not in either of those places. I’m somewhere completely different. Disorientation seems to be the nature of my life these days. Maybe you’re experiencing a similar effect?  

Nonetheless, it’s one month later, and I’ve successfully traversed life without Facebook or Instagram. And, no, I’m not missing it. I’ll give you a recap as to why I chose to leave social media. 

Why Dump Social Media When It’s All We Got These Days?

Leaving social media might seem like a ridiculous notion when we’re in the midst of the longest-running collective grounding we’ve ever received. But I’ve never been one to tolerate being grounded well. I usually rebel in some way, shape, or form.

Ultimately, post personal difficulties and in the midst of national upheaval over entrenched racism, I flocked to social media for connection. What I got was a crazy-making cycle of anxiety, self-doubt, and unhealthy comfort/numbing tactics. My vulnerable heart and mind were easily sucked into other people’s narratives. Soon I was taking actions from a purely reactionary place albeit super subtle and under a guise of personal and collective empowerment. I felt like I wasn’t in control of my own mind. It didn’t feel good. 

I felt the wobble in my body. When my mind wouldn’t quiet one night, keeping me up until almost two in the morning, leading me to take an action that broke an agreement I had made, I realized that something needed to change. What was occurring wasn’t healthy. I had lost my sovereignty. My mind and emotions were hijacked by this beast of collective upheaval. I couldn’t find my center. The only solution was to leave behind social media so I could reclaim the ground beneath me. 

It felt right, especially when I looked at where I was in my personal life. The deep transformation and transition I’ve been undergoing deserved greater attention and awareness than what I was giving to it at that point. Social media had stolen my attention. It had taken the spotlight of my awareness away from my internal process and directed it towards something else for its own agenda. An agenda out of alignment with my soul’s work at the moment.

What was difficult in coming to this understanding was having to face the scary criticism from the external world, the voices heard playing out over and over, that if I’m not on the frontlines doing anti-racism work, then I’m not a supporter for the cause and, therefore, must be against it. But this isn’t my truth. I knew in my heart that the most important thing I could be doing for myself, to serve my soul, was to be focused on my own personal work. Which ultimately serves the whole as well. 

Think about it… if I attended to other people’s agendas, what other people thought the right type of action looked and sounded like, when it didn’t feel aligned for me, then I’d be compromising my own sovereignty and freedom. I’d be compromising what I knew in my heart to be right for me at the time. At the core is the very thing those people are fighting for right now: loss of freedom. The freedom to be who we are. The freedom to follow our hearts and souls without punishment or discrimination or judgment or criticism based on looks and appearances.

So, to me, the best thing that I could do at this time to help the cause, to be a proponent of the greater movement, is to honor the underlying theme rising to the surface; that of sovereignty and freedom. And my personal sovereignty felt compromised being on social media. 

My soul called me into myself. She very clearly laid out the path forward. Time alone outside of the influence of this collective upheaval. Time to collect myself within my own personal sphere to claim my sovereignty and freedom. Time to anchor this energy within myself, knowing full well that when I do this it’s not just for myself. It’s for everyone. Reclaiming my sovereign space gives permission to each and everyone within the collective to do the same.    

And while there is certainly work to be done in the world in terms of systems to change and structures to re-do, I know that is not my place in all of this, at least not in any grand, overt way. My place is here, learning to anchor and ground in the very real reality of sovereign person-hood. 

My place is here choosing to honor my path and how it looks for me from a soul level perspective. And just because it doesn’t look like active anti-racism work doesn’t mean that it’s not. If I were to judge my soul’s path based on looks, then I’d be perpetuating the very system we are actively healing. In this knowing, I took heart and followed the path outlined for me by my soul. And it felt good and right.

What Am I Taking Away From My Time Off Social Media?

Let me start by saying that I’m in no hurry to get back to social media. I realize my life is quite fine without it. And I connect with people I love by texting them or talking to them over the phone. Aside from this, I can see clearly now the behemoth that is social media.

Social media has such a huge influence on us not unlike that of TV. Anything, really, that you spend too much time doing has the capacity to inform and influence you in ways that lead you away from your own soul-knowing. This can be dangerous, especially when cumulated over time. 

The only thing that allows you to truly be connected and in tune with your soul-knowing is quiet time alone. Period. Out of which you may be inspired to take actions that further solidify your soul-knowing and assist in the embodiment of your soul. But otherwise, most of the outer world seeks to make us more like it through influence, control, and manipulation rather than pointing us back to ourselves.  

I am no longer available for my exquisitely sensitive and tender attention and awareness to be hijacked, manipulated, and controlled by forces outside myself. Even when I think I’m the one controlling and curating my feed, how can I truly know that what I’m scrolling through hasn’t been influenced by outside forces? 

Yes, I can use soul-knowing to only friend and follow those that feel right, but still… how much time and attention am I giving to my soul each day versus the amount of time and attention given to what other people think and feel? And is it even their own thoughts or feelings? Perhaps it’s regurgitated. Surely, you, too, have seen how quickly thoughts and ideas spread across your social feeds.

It has become crystal clear to me through my time off of TV and now off of social media that the most valuable thing we have to offer this planet at this time is our attention and awareness. 

What we focus on matters. 

We are highly refined energetic systems built to conduct huge amounts of power. We are live power conductors. Hot, fiery, electric. The forces or powers that “be” know this. They know you are a magnificent creator and powerful force, and they seek to capture and control your primary means of directing your power – your attention and awareness.

We have reached a point in our human evolutionary pathway where it is time to wake up to the systems of control present all around us. Wake up to the fact that where you focus your attention and awareness matters. Focus it intentionally upon those things you want to grow, expand, and evolve. Direct your attention and awareness with strict clarity and understanding of the force and power you wield as a divine creator made manifest on this planet. 

You are a force to be reckoned with. Do not let anyone else tell you otherwise. You have the power to decide what you do with your time, energy, and attention despite appearances. You are a power conductor. Conduct wisely. Or someone else will do it for you.

What Does All of This Mean?

Now is the time to recapture what is rightly ours. Our personal sovereignty. It is no small task stepping up to the plate to claim this precious piece of real estate. It takes courage and an immense amount of responsibility. It also takes compassion, love, and tenderness. We can do it. Now is the time.

And by all means, I am not saying that social media and TV are bad. I do not believe this. What I believe is that if we let the world control our internal narratives and emotions and external actions – it will. 

We can be uninvolved in our lives, passively surrendering our power over to the outside world for use in ways that undermine our positions as sovereign beings. It’s easy to let it all go and forget about it. Yup, even bury our heads in the sand and hope it all goes away. We do have the right to choose this. But I don’t. I do not choose this.

I choose to consciously watch TV or use social media. And I choose to simultaneously be conscious and honest about its direct influence over my life. I am empowered through this awareness, and I direct my attention wisely.

Consider for yourself how much time you spend giving your precious attention and awareness to things outside yourself versus how much of it you give to your own heart and soul. Contemplate this for five, ten, or thirty minutes. See where it takes you.

I have now stepped into a more powerful relationship with myself and, therefore, with the tool that is social media. I want to encourage you to do the same. Where might you be compromising your personal sovereignty? Where are you unconsciously allowing outside forces to control your thoughts, emotions, and actions? 

Here’s a dollop of courage. 

May you be blessed with oodles and oodles of courage to do what it takes to claim your personal sovereignty. 

Now go take a look.

(And email me if you need help… writer@pauladjones.com)