How I Learnt The Power Of ‘Slowing Down’ After Six Days Of No Electricity And Wi-FiLuke Coutinho
I always take pride in the way I live my life. With over a thousand patients at any given time on my programs, and daily consultations with clients across the globe, I rarely feel rushed and wish for more hours in my day. Who doesn’t want more hours in their day, but for me it is this way. Why? Twenty four hours is beautiful if used the right way. Nature follows a twenty four hour circadian rhythm and it aligns so beautifully with nature. So, why not humans who are products and creations of nature.
My time on social media is calculated and adhered to strictly. I’m on social media to post, educate and learn where I can, and then I’m off it. I clearly remind myself everyday through my meditation practice that social media is not a tool to validate yourself or compare your life and what you do with others. A clear vision and intention is set every day of what I want to share, learn, etc. and then I’m on and off it once the task is done. Mindless scrolling is something that has always turned me off from the beginning and I don’t do it because it adds no value to me or how I feel.
Most of my work used to be face to face with my clients across the world, but then Covid stopped all of that and now all my consults are online and so are most of my daily interactions with my team of doctors, nutritionists, lifestyle coaches, yoga therapists and my patients. Yes, screen time has gone up, but its managed into my schedule and is ‘shut’ usually two hours before bed, except in case of emergencies, and a ‘switch on’ time, two hours post wake up.
I felt pretty proud of all that, the ability to achieve all and sometimes more in my twenty four hours until……the cyclone passed close to the coast of Goa, knocking down poles, trees, shutting down electricity, Wi-Fi and life for six days and nights! We got electricity early on the seventh day, but no Wi-Fi. I would have to drive for 30 mins or more to find one bar of the network to make calls to my teams and parents, check if all was well and give instructions of my non availability, cancel appointments, events, etc and then head back home when done. There was no way to access TV or social media. (it’s great that my social media team always makes me shoot several videos, posts etc. to create a library to use if in case I’m not free on a particular day due to back to back patients, or when I used to be on long flights/travel, so they continued to post from their respective locations.)
With so much time on hand, no screen time except the occasional glances at the phone with hope to see the network come back, out came the books to read. After getting saturated with all my anatomy, health books, I switched to fiction. There was lots of family time to talk, play, enjoy nature from our garden and balcony, witness thunderstorms, heavy rains and lighting – something I thoroughly love.
The way I feel without screen time is a feeling I cannot describe. I usually do a social media detox every weekend and feel recharged, powerful and full of energy on Monday morning, but these last few days with no screen time and social media, is a feeling I cannot describe.
Maybe it’s actually what normal should feel like? There was clarity of thought, my brain buzzing with energy, a feeling of lightness, creativity flowing, sharpness, a feeling of well-being, a rested, thoroughly rested feeling, which I haven’t even felt on all of my last holidays where I thought I felt relaxed. My eyes used to feel heavy by 7:30 pm and I used to call it a day by 9:pm or max 9:30 pm, and then I used to be up by 5am on the dot without an alarm, full of energy and time to do 90 mins of yoga and meditation. Despite the discomforts that the cyclone brought our way, it felt like a retreat.
The last night I began to dread getting back to the grind. After experiencing all of this over the last week for six days, it did make me think how I was living before that, even though I thought I did pretty well with my life.
In many ways, I am thankful for this experience to show me what normal actually is, at least to me. Yes, I am waiting for the lockdown to end. I am waiting to travel, see my friends, meet and hug my team and my clients. I’m all for a life of wonder, curiosity, awe and adventure, but I’m hoping to do it with some sense of peace and tranquility that I experienced with less screen time and virtual world. Will it be possible? Of course, it is if we believe it can be. Some more fine tuning of my time table will surely make it happen, and if not then definitely taking a week off once every three months or more with zero phone and social media time should do.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Always. We have the power to choose and make it happen. We are too ‘plugged in‘ and only we can unplug ourselves to discover what normal is. I will be making lifestyle changes. Sometimes more than books, life and experiences are our biggest teachers.
- Luke Coutinho
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