Wouldn’t it feel good to start 2015 with a clean slate from the “extra” stuff in life that bogs you down instead of lifts you up?

I recently took a 30-day cleanse from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), after laying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning for five hours looking at acquaintances that are classified as “friends”, friends of friends, and then diving into “people you may know.” Really? Those five hours did nothing to serve me, make me feel purposeful, useful, or even happy. I was angrier with myself for wasting precious time instead of using it productively. With a lengthy to-do list awaiting me, I decided this was a habit I needed to confront and do something about!

If you’ve been caught in a trap where you find yourself doing anything that leaves you feeling empty, unfulfilled, or without joy, it is time to “pause” and discover what life can be without it for 30-days. This was an experiment for me with social media, but I challenge you to replace it with ANYthing that is a time sucker, energy waster, or emotional depleter. Keep your mind open to the new opportunities, possibilities, and self-discoveries that emerge from letting go.

Below are 10 elements captured by my D.E.T.O.X. experience:

1) No More Excuses

I make excuses: “I’m too tired, I don’t have enough energy, I don’t have time.” All are BULLSHIT! When using those excuses, I would migrate to filling that time with social media reads, posts, or catching up on the latest news. After a few days of life without it, I had no more excuses.

2) More Time

Time is always available, its HOW you choose to occupy it.

3) Better Sleep

No joke! My sleep is erratic regardless, but there is definite truth to the research studies that show turning off the computer, TV, and cell phone before bed improves sleep. I found myself wanting to get to bed earlier; in return was able to wake up with more energy.

4) Less Anxious

I didn’t realize how dependent I was upon social media to serve as a numbing mix. It is like getting a hit of mild anesthesia where the mind doesn’t have to think, but just function. I realized that feeling anxious is a trigger for me to numb out and social media is just one of my many “fix-its.” Releasing the need to use social media, I became aware, took pause, and asked, “is this serving me to learn and grow?” Since I committed to 30-days of this, I was determined to not fail.

5) New Meaning to Socialization and Actual Face Time

Authentic connections are felt when you can be in the physical presence of others. It’s an exchange of energy, facial expressions, body language, and vibration that leave a lasting impact and impression. I found myself wanting to engage with actual people, sharing stories and laughs, rather that texting shortcuts and emojicons.

6) Heightened Curiosity

I took several trips to the library and downloaded books on Kindle with a thirst for newfound knowledge. Went out of my way to seek out new places to visit, eat, and workout. I wasn’t growing from social media or being challenged by learning anything of extreme importance.

7) Improved Awareness

There is a constant internal dialogue in my mind that fails to cease on a daily basis. Many times this dialogue is filled with doubt, fears, and self-judgments that evoke feelings that I am not enough. Without the toxic feeds of social media, I became very aware of this dialogue, thoughts, and how impactful there were to my everyday living. Without relying upon looking into the lives of others to feel occupied, fueled, and validated, I was able to turn my outward gaze towards my inner self.

8) I Can Cook!

So domestication skills are not my forte, however, having more time, heightened energy, and curiosity under my belt, I tried a handful of recipes that intimidated the hell out of me.  Instead of not having time to cook, I buckled up the apron straps and enjoyed every minute of it. Some recipes turned out much better than others, but regardless, I took a chance to do something I was really afraid to do because I didn’t want to mess up or fail. Social media was a way for me to escape from tackling a fear of poor kitchen skills, when I discovered, I’ve had them all along.

9) Happier

By omitting the need to look and view into the lives, pictures, and captions of others, I felt less judgmental and more accepting of myself. Social media provides an abundance of positive aspects, however, happiness in life can resume without it. I lost sight of that. Happiness brings a shift of perspective, actions, and indulgences. This was a kind of happy where I didn’t look to something (or someone) else to bring it into my life. It was up to me to make myself happy and to let go of the reliance of extras.

10) Gratitude

I can honestly say after going through this experiment, having the experience of doing more with less has allowed me to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the “connected” people in my life that I’ve taken for granted. These are the relationships that have weathered the storm of time, indifference, and circumstance. By pulling away from a quick fix of gratification and fulfillment by numbing out to social media, I have learned the importance of true value of those that matter in my life.

Dealing with flaws, inconsistencies, and imbalances in life sucks. It’s hard. It can feel defeating. When urges arise of giving into habit without being conscious of the effect, it is a tough space to occupy. Life is not always happy. A lot of the time it can feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut, torn apart, and left to the unknown. But that is the piece when the magic happens because only you can do the work to create, allow, and be the catalyst for change and growth.

As mentioned before, if social media isn’t the root of a “quick fix”, then what is? Approach 2015 with a committed intention of taking a look at something in your life to discover your inner heartstrings. How can you let go in order to bring in and connect with the essence of who you truly are after 30 days with out it? Or, flip the perspective, what can you BRING IN to your life for the next 30 days? I would love to hear your discoveries of the D.E.T.O.X. Discovered Essence Through Omitting Xtras experiment!

~Shine on Friends