The Power of Unplugging
Shiva Rea Extolls The Virtues & Power of Unplugging
Sacred Activism is a term, teaching, and approach coined by Andrew Harvey and refers to how we can align our actions with our heart, particularly in addressing any issues of the times. Global warming is one issue that has no borders, as everyone is “downwind” from someone else and toxic energy affects the soil, water, air, and ozone layer of all beings on planet earth. Becoming conscious of your energy use so you can transform any toxic or unconscious energy usage in your home, workplace, and beyond is one of the simplest and most positive actions that everybody on the planet can take.
Energy Sabbath – Doing Nothing to Do Something
It is possible that our ancestors understood that “doing nothing can be doing something”—the universal teaching that being is a form of acting, that repose and reflection are often the best course of action.
The rhythm of retreat—referred to as the Sabbath in Western spiritual culture—offers a new form of sacred activism, a kind of energy activism that can be offered to the transformation of our energy future that must happen within our lifetime. It must happen now because today we are wasting more energy than we create, and the toxic forms of that energy are destroying our environment and hurling us into the throes of climate change. Even though our ancestors used carbon-releasing fuel to tend a living fire, it is nothing compared to the waste of energy we have today.
We are actually wasting 54 percent of the energy we create—throwing away more than we use. This is perhaps the price of the ease of electricity: we are no longer gathering wood and valuing our resources. We must stop wasting our outer energy just as we must learn to cultivate and honor our own life-energy. This loss is a disconnection from the rhythms of nature and a split between our brain and heart, our being and nature, that we can all feel and observe within ourselves and in the world.
The Power of Unplugging
Central to an energy Sabbath or energy activism is unplugging—turning off electronics for a set period to create a ritual container free of distractions. This is an offering not only to saving and being more conscious of our energy intake—in the way that fasting attunes us to being more conscious of our food choices—but also toward restoring our own inner energy, which is continually pulled in many ojas-depleting directions.
One can commit to taking an energy Sabbath for three to twenty-four hours (sundown to sunrise, sunrise to sunrise, or sundown to sundown), or longer periods any day, or in synch with the special retreat days already aligned with the solar/lunar rhythms that part 4 of this book honors. In addition, one can take care of one’s waste and be conscious of water use, not as an austerity but as a waking up and a reclaiming of our home as the foundation for our firekeeping—the essence of living our energetic heart by caring for the energy we circulate.
Here are some encouragements:
• Turn off and unplug all electronics and appliances (except the refrigerator)
• Take a technology fast—let your family and friends know in advance
• Take time for yourself or hang out with your loved ones, family, and friends in creative and rejuvenating ways.
• Use ghee lamps, soy or beeswax candles, or solar-charged lamps for necessary light—create light from natural sources
• Create meals that use less processing and fuel to cook
• Go for zero or as little waste as possible
• Reduce packaging—cook with whole, organic foods
• Keep your car parked—ride your bike or walk
• Reduce water consumption: flush one less time and/or cut two to six minutes off your shower
Yoga Energy Activism support Solar-Aid
One of three hundred billion stars of the Milky Way galaxy, the sun each and every second transforms four million tons of itself into light and emits energy that we receive some ninety-three million miles away—a continuous process of creation/dissolution. It would take one hundred trillion tons of detonated dynamite every second to match the energy produced by the sun. The sun’s radiant energy produces six thousand times the amount of energy used by all human beings worldwide, and it would take only 001 percent of its energy to power all of the world’s current energy needs for a day. Yoga Energy Activism’s supports Solar-Aid’s mission to eradicate toxic kerosene lamps in Africa in the next decade by creating a sustainable market for solar lights.
One small light, one big idea
A solar lamp does more than shine a light. A solar lamp protects the environment and transforms lives. 598 million off-grid Africans have no access to electricity and many rely on toxic kerosene for lighting. These brutal lamps emit noxious black smoke and burn up to 20% of the household income – locking millions into poverty. By contrast solar lights cost as little as $10, pay for themselves after 12 weeks and last for five years. Having free, clean light and not wasting money on kerosene transforms peoples’ chances in life. We have taken on the challenge of getting these lights to the people that need them most and aim to get a clean light into every home in Africa by the end of the decade.
~ Shiva Rea, prAna Ambassador
Learn more: YEA | Solar-Aid
Shiva Rea, M.A., RYT500 is a yogini fire keeper, sacred activist, global adventurer, and innovator in the evolution of vinyasa flow yoga. She has been teaching for more than 20 years.