But what if you can't sleep and your periods are out of whack, or you've got menopausal symptoms at age 35, or you're tired all day and wired all night? It might just be time to get off facebook and stop checking emails every five minutes.
I've spent the last week on a lush hill on a tropical island with no internet or mobile reception (aside from the odd walk into town), and I've noticed something astounding - life has become much simpler. I hadn't noticed it as much before but now it's obvious: our interfacing with screens of all kinds has upsurged in recent years, to a point that feels like we spend nearly as much time looking at an iphone or computer screen as we do soaking up natural sunlight and gazing at something other than pixels. We are living in the digital age and the social transformation it has brought about is astonishing.
Have you noticed that there’s a particular crowding going on right now? I'm referring to the mad communication in all its shapes and forms. Posted letters are now an antiquated thing. Pre-2000, it used to be that we might get a couple of letters in the mailbox each day and that was it. Today, if you go through your inbox there may be hundreds of emails! If you switch off your phone for half an hour, there are texts and voicemails waiting at the other side of short-lived tranquility. It’s disrespectful to us as human beings to be interfacing with that onslaught.
I understand most of us are incredibly busy - we all have a lot going on in our lives, and we find ourselves sending a lot of energy OUTWARDS. Given the amount of stuff we have going on, this outward draining of energy diminishes our ability to sustain equilibrium and create beautiful lives by constantly responding to those stimuli, sometimes out of a feeling of obligation, and often to unconsciously evoke a feeling of business and worthiness. There’s the casual stuff – social media, texting and calling friends. Then there’s the work stuff, and that can often be a case of people biting off more than they can chew or having too much required of them. It’s like it starts to crowd in and we feel like we need a year to catch up on all of it!
All this activity gives us an opportunity to practice standing in our truth, and resist being pulled into obligation. If we take this from a spiritual perspective, we are only obligated to our own spiritual unfoldment. We have all these people and activities we feel obligated to.
Part of the practice of nourishing ourselves fully is letting go, being ok with the fact that it might not be ok with the other person, which of course strikes at our fear of not being liked and accepted, which is connected to a primal fear of being abandoned and alone. Instead of jumping each time an invitation lands in our inbox, let’s peel it back and dissect our reactions – if we’re feeling all this pressure, what program is being activated? We’re NOT obligated to respond to an email within ten minutes.
In mindlessly responding to every email, text or facebook message, and in spending more and more time staring at screens we sabotage our body's natural cycles. Take for example our Circadian rhythms.
The 3 body clock cycles
Your circadian rhythm operates in 3 eight-hour cycles per day. This rhythm has been known for thousands of years within Ayurveda and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Understanding and applying these body clock principles will allow you to enjoy easy digestion, keep your weight from fluctuating, never experience fatigue and optimise metabolism.
These are the cycles:
There's a lot you can do to start honouring these cycles and in doing so, improve digestion, enjoy better quality sleep and boost immunity! Personally I feel the elimination cycle is possibly the most important of all to nourish in the digital age we live in, and its also the most neglected.
If we are using electronics beyond sunset, certain signals cannot be processed in the body in optimal ways. If you’re using screens anytime after 8pm – which is the time people often catch up on things - the artificial light not to mention the radiation will stimulate your various glands and has the potential to wreck havoc with hormones.
The hypothalamus gland sends messages to your pituitary gland to help put you to sleep when the sun goes down. This occurs sometime between 6 and 8pm to prepare you to be asleep before 10pm.
All internal cycles of rejuvenation happen between 8pm and 4am (or in other sources, between 10pm and 6am. It's probably safest to stay away from screens between 8 pm and 6am). During this time, the liver is detoxifying, matter is moving from the small intestine to the large intestine for morning elimination, blood is being cleansed by the kidneys, and so on.
We really need to tune into our inner cycles. One of the biggest preventers of this is radiation-emitting devices and a lot of exposure to screens. Add the crowding of digital media and our perceived responsibilities, and we can really have the s*** kicked out of our natural rhythms.
This is when immunity suffers and bad habits kick in with even more power. If our hormones are out of sync, our whole being out of sync. This is why it's SO important to build boundaries and watch where you’re opposing nature, since wherever you're disobeying natural law, you’re impeding every cycle in your body.
Know your boundaries, be self-referring for your own approval, and above all - if it's past 8pm, get off facebook! And switch your mobile and wifi off while you're at it. Give it a few weeks - you might be surprised at the positive response of your body.