The Freedom That Comes with Disengagement

I’ve been listening to a lot of Alice Coltrane lately; freeing my mind from perceptions, self-doubt and what other people think. To say the least, I’ve been engaging with the act of radical self-care. I took a long social media break with the intention of getting my shit together.

Here’s what I’ve learned and accomplished from taking an intentional break from social media:

  1. Deactivating your instagram is the quickest way to remove evil eye and rid yourself of constant projections. There’s a lot of subconscious hate and intentional hate that flows easily and aggressively on Instagram. For example, JT’s birthday pics garnering unwanted attention due to blatant colorism. Aside from that though, on a personal level you’ll notice who reaches out / contacts you when you do this. Use discernment when this happens and ask yourself, “does this person have my best intentions in mind or are they worried about themselves?” When you deactivate any account, you are firmly setting boundaries with yourself and others. Be mindful of the reactions you receive.

  2. Creating and implementing digital boundaries is just as important as any other boundary. The reality is, people that we barely know should not have access to us on a regular basis. I learned that the hard way being a vulnerable, spiritualist, queer, pro Blacktivist, baddie openly. I learned that privacy is something I value.

  3. You will get a lot done for yourself by taking a break. I learned the importance of advocating for my well-being for myself. That meant, reflecting, goal setting and being real about the life I want to create for myself. During my time off from social media, I was awarded a digital marketing apprenticeship, published in an all-Black anthology, my digital art poems were chosen to be a part of the UC Berkeley gallery, I got invited to a gallery opening at SOMA arts center, I got a job judging an international writing competition, also became a hot yoga studio manager and acquired an independent contracting job where I built the team. This is huge for me because I was dealing with unemployment basically all of last year. It’s no coincidence that my blessings started coming in quick. They came as soon as I let go of my social media presence and trusted that it was time to refocus 🧿

  4. Constant comparing and thinking about what other people are doing AND engaging with social media 24/7 is giving your power away to the machine. That machine being capitalism, and the cost? Our minds and our money. I noticed how disengaged I became from my physical reality the more I kept scrolling. I also noticed how I stopped caring about myself because I started caring more about who was watching me and what they would think. Honestly, I’ve had a toxic relationship with social media since I was 14 years old. This is the first year I’ve admitted to and decided that I will no longer have a toxic relationship with social media.

  5. I don’t really have the aspiration of becoming a model. My main goal and intention with social media is to share my art. Ask yourself, “What am I using this for? What do I want to gain from being on here? Am I a creator, consumer or watcher?” Not everyone is meant to be an artist or an influencer. I had to get real with myself and let myself know that I am an artist so I’m going to be using my instagram to share my art. With that being said, the structure had to change. I asked myself, “How can I position my art at the center of this platform and how can I reimagine my experience of using social media?” Creating a new route within an old route is a lot of work – but it’s refreshing and full of intention.

The new moon preceding the lunar new year is intentional. With that being said, I’m reminded to call upon Solange when I need that motivation of internal knowing and to ask Curtis Mayfield to sing me his famous hymn, “Move on up” from the stars to shift my focus when it comes to change. Changing how you position yourself in different worlds should be important and intentional.

The digital age, apocalyptic age, recession age, every-body-dying age and the but-i-still-have-to-exist-in-my-body-and-am-deciding-to-heal age, is in full swing. Caring about how you show up in the world and how you show up for yourself is just one minuscule piece of a much larger puzzle. I say all this to say, trust your intentions. Trust your gut. Trust how you feel when you engage with media and never stop learning about who you are. There’s a whole lot of freedom that comes with privacy and the simple act of knowing yourself.


Your Angel Ash 💌

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