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I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
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Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
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For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
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I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman

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I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

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Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
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Live…Naturally: Less Technology, More Meaning

warm breeze girl in white sun hat

Original oil painting by Susan Roux

I now know what it feels like to live without a phone, internet or television.  I spent 48 hours without such technology. It felt like a warm breeze through a sundress.  I always say life is about relationships and experiences. A lack of buzzing, beeps, chimes and talking heads gently nudged my attention to family, physical labor, nature and being.

Headed for the Hills

After a weekend in the music-infused city of Nashville, I headed east in my rented Toyota Yaris (read: bare bones economy ride) to my dad and step-mom’s new place off the beaten track.  The location is so remote my parents had to meet me in the parking lot of a liquor store and guide me to their home.  I’m glad they did because I never would have found it.  I’d still be circling cow pastures and hoarder trailers.

Unplugged and Damn Happy About It

Before heading up the swerving and switchback road to my parents’ house I let everyone know I’d be offline and unplugged for a couple of days.  I didn’t know if my cell phone service would work out there. There was something satisfying  about knowing no one could get me.  Not only would the notifications stop but my responses would be unnecessary as well.  Freedom!  

Good or bad my cell service did work in the hills (small plug for Verizon Wireless).  I still got peppered with texts and emails.  I ignored all but those from my kids. It was a good opportunity to see who knows and listens to me and who doesn’t.

While existing in an environment without cyberspace and televised distractions I followed my parents’ example and worked with nature. The sun-baked our heads midday so we got up early and did work around the house in the morning.  My dad shored up the sagging porch roof. My step-mom helped him and prepared lunch. I washed windows in the back of the house in the shade and still required a shower before we ate.

Lunch is usually an afterthought at home but as I worked outside in the cicada-filled air, exuding sweat and elbow grease, the meal between breakfast and dinner became very important.  I imagined men and women working in the fields long ago, waiting for the meal-time bell.  I couldn’t wait to rinse off and grab some grub.;)

During and after lunch (lasagna, wow hearty!) we talked and relaxed.  Sort of like a Mexican siesta we lounged about, took short snoozes in chairs or on the couch, read or just listened to the radio (our main connection to the real world — consistently on, playing country music).

Sometimes Families Have to Clean Out Shit

Once the temperature dropped about ten degrees from the midday high, we went back to work.  This time we sweat as a team cleaning out the barn/outbuilding.  We were all given a pair of gloves to wear and a warning about the possibility of running across a brown recluse spider that likes to hide in untouched places. I was proud of myself for handling mouse poop, dog poop and potential spider bites with aplomb.  I breathed through my mouth to avoid the smell (got to taste it instead), wore shitty clothes and carried on.  My parents kept apologizing for having me work on my vacation but it felt good to be useful.  There have been plenty of times when my parents could have used help and I was unavailable. I liked being there this time.

Took my third shower of the day before dinner.

Cheap Entertainment

After a supper (seems more appropriate than dinner) of ribs, sweet corn, black-eyed peas and brown rice, we gathered our glasses of lemonade and went out on the porch to watch the lightning illuminate the distant sky.  The flashes of light entertained us like fireworks. The missing thunder let us know the storm was too far away to be a threat.  We could swing and talk (or not talk) on the porch for hours. The view from our twilight perch: Grey-green tree soaked hills and a glass-like lake.  My dad pointed out the changing of the colors in the clouds and the effect that had on the water’s reflections.  My step-mom and I coordinated our swinging rhythm like patient dance partners as we chatted in the two-person swing.

My dad told me about cars he owned, wrecked and loved.

He told me the song, All Alone Am I, by Brenda Lee was popular the summer he met my mother.

I learned how my stepmother announced that she was going to marry my father the day she met him.

I learned new things about my parents and myself on that Tennessee hill; meaningful things that technology would have only interrupted.

What do you learn when you give yourself space from technology? How do you feel? How do you connect with yourself? Nature? Family?

I would love it if you shared this post.:)

If you liked Live… Naturally then you may also like:

The Universe Provides: Treasure Found At a Flea Market: Space2live

How Quiet Places Could Save the World: Space2live

Surviving Without Elite Status:Introducing Mindfulness to Kids Used to Materialism and Competition: Space2live

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5 Comments

  1. […] Live…Naturally: Less Technology, More Meaning […]

  2. amy frillici July 23, 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

    loved this post, brenda!! are you parents down south for good now?? i haven’t seen them in the store much lately, now that I think about it…..

    • brennagee July 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      Thanks for reading Amy! No they’re not there permanently, just when they can at this point. 🙂

  3. brennagee July 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    I can only express my love for my daughter…Brenda…it was a fantastic experience to spend these special moments with her….what a wonderful person…a very special Mom….my family….and the kind of person that makes this country the place where YOU want to be…it’s very important to remember how much FREEDOM we have to express ourselves. Keep writing Bren….it’s what makes us all extremely valuable.

    • brennagee July 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Awww. Thanks Dad. Freedom to be who you are is an incredible gift we should never waste. If we can help others along the way, so much the better. Loved our time together. Perfect memories and a reminder of how good the simple life is.:) Love you.

      Not sure why your comment came through with my avatar but hey, I’m just grateful for you and your comment.;) WordPress actually teased me about liking my own post. Called me vain…he he.:)

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