10.17.18

WHAT 10 MONTHS OFF INSTAGRAM FELT LIKE + WHY I DID IT

Today is a perfect day to go to the pumpkin patch with your kids and leave the phone in the car.  Take them out for lunch, and never take that phone out of your bag.  Book a trip and leave your phone off the entire time. You’ll understand what I mean by saying I didn’t miss social media at all when you do it and experience it yourself. I told my self one week and ended up taking 10 months off. 

I never knew if I’d ever want to post again, or scroll again.  The grass looked greener everywhere I looked, the leaves smelt richer than ever before.  The fact we have to be challenged to be offline speaks volumes in itself. What is it that keeps us logging in for more? It never made me feel any better once I logged on, so why was I doing it? Fear of missing out? Perhaps. It was my source of income? Partly. Because everyone else was doing it? Surely. 

 
As always let me disclose this is my own personal experience. I am not judging anyone for how they choose to live or what they choose to do or say. I’m just sharing my own personal experience and what my plan is from here on out. To those of you who have stuck around even when I wasn’t here thank you so much.  To those of you who have just landed recently, I can’t express how grateful I am to have you here.  My point is to share how important it is to step away from time to time.
 
If there’s one thing I hope you take from this post, I hope you understand the importance of living with intention. Appreciating moments as they happen instead of creating them. Valuing the wealth of sincere relationships that continue to inspire and challenge us daily. Living your life to it’s fullest instead of watching other people live theirs.
 
After infertility, there was nothing I wanted more in this whole entire world than to become a mother. I wanted to experience that unconditional love that everyone else raved about. The sleepless nights. I longed for that connection, to understand what motherhood really was. The second I become a mother, everything changed. How cliche Eleni—but honestly, it’s true. The moment they laid her in my arms my sense of purpose changed entirely. Or should I say realigned to what I felt I always believed my purpose was.
 
Immediately I wanted to protect her. Make sure she was  the happiest she could ever be. I wanted to teach her all about this world. I wanted her to want to explore nature every chance she got. To understand the importance of meaningful relationships. To look up to me and want to learn from me. To always want less and to live more. To capture memories—not create them. This was huge for me, how can I teach something I’m not living.
 
I took a second and looked back at my “feed” and questioned how many moments had been captured vs created. This is where it all began–My desire to log out.
 
I wanted my daughter to look back on the photos I had taken of her life and childhood and have them reflect all the experiences we had not ones that I created  because it was my “job” to do so. The messy ones. The not so perfect ones. I wanted her to remember her mom being present in everything we did. I wanted to look her in the eyes more than she saw me looking into my phone. I wanted her to always remember me as a confident, healthy, happy being that obviously struggled and faced challenges but chose to honour them and share them whenever I felt compelled to. Not create unrealistic expectations that made others feel less than. 
 
There is absolutely nothing wrong with beautiful photos, and creative staged shots and people sharing their highlights but there is something that needs to be addressed when it starts to effect the way you feel negatively. The way you mother your children. The way you project into the universe. 
 
I’m brave enough to admit I would sometimes take experiences as opportunities to share and create content surrounding our life.  I wanted to appreciate the ocean waves without checking my phone.  I wanted to be close to and serve others and animals without being distracted by my phone. I wanted to eat good nourishing food and not have to worry about taking a picture on my phone.  I just needed to be completely present in EVERY moment. It was soul serving. It literally was in one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  Something as simple as putting my phone away.  I don’t condone taking photos and posting them but there is something powerful about choosing not to as well.
 
Here’s where I struggled the most; my values were no longer my values. I found my self fighting things that were so far from who I wanted to be. I’m going to break them down because this is what brought me clarity and hopefully the same can surface for some of you and help reevaluate some goals or the amount of the time you spend online.
 
1. Feelings of needing more. More things. More possessions. More time so I can create more. This one was so far from my normal it honestly makes me sick to even reflect on it.  I believe if I can make a positive difference in one person’s life me sharing my stories and struggles then I’ve succeeded, so why the sudden shift in goals?
 
2. Insecurities. We all have them which I believe is entirely normal and can be healthy yet I found my self fighting thoughts I just wasn’t comfortable with.
 

3.  Feelings of inadequacy. How could I possibly be a mother/wife, work, cook, clean, keep my house perfect, my dogs happy, have the best things and everything while still being human if I’m busy comparing my life to everyone else’s highlights?  

4. Unrealistic expectations of my self / family. I began feeling like I was the only mom on earth who had a challenging baby. Or that I was the only one who ever had baby weight to lose, or who got stretch marks during pregnancy, or even actually gained any weight during pregnancy. It sounds outrageous but it’s completely true.    

 
5.  Wasted time.  It honestly became a habit for me.  To login, refresh my feed, scroll my feed, check my messages etc.  
 
6.  I wasn’t proud of what I was doing or projecting. 
 

I love that we are all different.  Some moms lose all the weight the minute they leave the hospital and they deserve all the love in the world but it’s also okay for all the moms who don’t to know that is normal too. Some parents/spouses make it a priority to have a delicious home cooked meal sitting on the table at the end of everyday, others prefer to order takeout, no one is better than the other.  I think my hope is to normalize that not being societies “perfect” is okay.

There are so many reasons on why I would love to challenge you to do try unplugging for however long you feel compelled to.  It doesn’t have to be for 10 months and I feel only you can determine what you need.  Maybe social media doesn’t affect you the way it did me and if not, you’re lucky.  But if there’s any chance it does I would love for you to just try it.  Even just for a day.  Delete all the apps. The time you will gain, the ability to live with intention and do more for yourself and those around you will honestly serve your soul.

 
Whenever I eat something that tastes really good, I want everyone else around me to taste how amazing it was too.  Or when I found my husband and fell madly in love, I wanted everyone in the world to experience that. Or when I became a mother, same exact feelings, I needed everyone to experience that at some point.  Being off of instagram has made me want everyone in this world to experience those exact feelings.  To live how we lived when we were children.  Completely and utterly present in the moment. With intention.  Purpose.   
 
I can’t even begin to tell you all the times I’ve often wondered how I’m the only one who has a laundry pile as tall as myself, a toddler who throws her boots at the doctors office door because she doesn’t want to be there or who actually gained any weight during her pregnancy. Sounds ridiculous but I’m not going to lie, it’s true. How on earth is everyone else so perfect and I’m here living this disastrous, imperfect yet beautiful (in my eyes) life. 
 
So If it was so good, why are you back!? 
 

Haha, I asked myself this same question which is why I came to you! I believe I have been granted some clarity. Here are some of my intentions with this blog/instagram:

 

1. To have something for my self.  Before I am a mother, wife, dog mom, daughter and sister I am me.  I need to do something for me that drives me, challenges me and keeps me, me.  
 
2. To share my passions with others in hopes to uplift them and encourage them.  Whether that be my connection with yoga, my vegan lifestyle, my vegan babies (and yorkies), my personal sense of style or our home.
 

3. Create an income for my family. As I’ve always disclosed I do make money from my blog and I’m grateful I am able to do so.

4. Educate about plant based foods in a non-judgemental, supportive way.

5. Provide a space for support and encouragement through community.  We currently run two online support groups which have a non-judgemental, supportive tone established which is amazing. (1 vegan/plant based and one motherhood).  If you’re interested in joining either please request to join. We are just switching the Motherhood one over so it would be a wonderful time to join. 

6. Friends + Community.  You people are amazing and a number of my real life friends have been relationships I’ve established online so I am grateful for that.

IF you’re still reading–thank you for being here. 

Go out, live, love, eat good food without regret and hold those around you so close. Take beautiful photos, share beautiful photos, but also take time away, you’ll never regret it.

Let me know if any of this resonates with you in the comments below!

Biggest hugs, Eleni

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