How Crowded is Your Power Strip?

Have you ever read an article about the importance of “unplugging?”  This idea that, if we turn off the electronic devices that connect us to the world for a while, we’ll start to get some of our Zen back?

Whenever I float this topic to one of my clients (or, well, any person, any place, at any time), I usually hear something like: “mmmm, that’d be so nice, but impossible with my life because ___________,” or “if I turn off the __________, I’ll miss something important.”

The truth is, while unplugging ourselves out of constant chaos can help us refill our inner peace tank, it’s hard for most of us to actually do. Sometimes it’s easier to reframe this thing away from how we connect to the outside world and, instead, invite in an internal shift toward what we’re plugging in to ourselves.

Visually, we’re like those power strips that we use around the house, maybe connected to the television or computer.  If that strip has 8 outlets, it can only supply energy for 8 recipients…and that’s if they’re created equal.  In reality, of course, some things get more outlets than others. We may give 3 to the kids, 2 to our partner and 2 to work, leaving 1 lonely spot left for our household tasks, errands, pet care, grocery shopping, transportation, vacation planning, bills, relationships with others… and then there’s that often-neglected relationship we have with ourselves and our own self-care.

Put simply, it’s a power supply-and-demand problem.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, of course, but to find a solution that works for you and your family, one smart start is getting crystal clear on exactly how you are spending your energy:

What and who are plugged into you, into your vital power source?  
How does that allocation line up with what you hold most dear in this life?  
What shifts can you consider to bring things a bit more into alignment?

When we ask these kinds of questions, we create more mindfulness.  When we create more mindfulness, we see that we also create and choose how to expend energy.  Shine the light of awareness onto where, and with whom, you’re sharing that power supply.  It’s precious, sometimes priceless, stuff.


This post also featured on DC Metro Mom, a free online guide to the best shops, services, activities, and everyday essentials for raising a family in the DC area.  Visit for more.

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