Hi beautiful! Welcome back to Boldly Courageous, a podcast created for you — the ambitious woman who is ready to step into the life she’s always dreamed of. Thank you for joining me today!
Today, we’re going to talk about what it means to live life “unplugged.” During COVID-19 quarantine, most of us have spent more time on media since we’ve had more time at home. Maybe you watch the news constantly, keeping tabs on what’s happening with this virus. Perhaps you prefer to avoid the news, and social media is your go-to distraction.
Have you ever done a media cleanse? When you put your phone away for the day, or you limit the time you spend scrolling? It can be difficult at first because we don’t realize how attached we really are to our phones.
Don’t get me wrong — media isn’t a bad thing! Social media can connect us to people around the world and help us keep loved ones in the loop. But too much media time can make us anxious, uncentered, and distracted from what we should actually be plugging into: our purpose. In this episode of Boldly Courageous, I sit down (virtually) with the amazing Lauren Schwab to talk about what living an “unplugged” life looks like and how we can better plug into ourselves.
Who Is Lauren Schwab?
Lauren is an expert in health, wellness, and mind-body connection. As the creator of Unplugged Mornings, Lauren created a 9-step process to help individuals disconnect to reconnect back to their true selves! In connection to that effort, Lauren has hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, spent almost 60 days living in a cave, and competed with more than 1 million people to win one of 50 coveted spots in a competition reality TV show held on NBC.
Lauren has also opened and sold two fitness studios, is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and fitness model in addition to leading online workouts that reach hundreds of thousands of men & women focused on changing their lives through fitness and mindfulness and has been featured in USA Today Sports, Marie Claire Magazine and Mind Body Green. Lauren has been seen on Good Day LA Fox 11, FOX, ABC, NBC Universal, GSN, E! Entertainment, CBS, and Syfy.
Lauren currently hosts wholeness retreats all over the U.S. and recently launched her online coaching business, Retreat Launch Formula, where she helps aspiring retreat leaders plan and launch their first retreat! She also recently partnered with Samantha Kozuch to launch a six-month transformational leadership program called TLP, which is a unique mastermind that combines deep self-development with sales, strategy, and systems for the ultimate life and business transformation!
Lauren travels and speaks all around the country to provide hope to the hopeless, facilitate connection to the lonely, and share the message that every life matters. With tens of thousands of online followers, Lauren was recently identified as a woman of influence in the Los Angeles area and was invited to the mayor’s home to help lead and inspire young women across California.
Lauren and I met at an event back in January, and what struck me the most about her was the radiant, confident, and dynamic light she carries within herself. When I got to know her better and heard her story, I was literally blown away by just who she is as a person. Having her on Boldly Courageous was so refreshing, and what she had to say about living an unplugged life truly inspired me — I know it’ll inspire you too!
What Does Living an Unplugged Life Look Like?
The first question I ask every guest on the show is, “what is something boldly courageous you’ve done lately?”. Lauren’s answer was simple but so profound and relatable at the same time:
“Oh lately, it’s just staying home, right? Um, I’m a big traveler, and I’m gone a lot. So to just be here in my home and then also my body in my home and just to really be with myself and slow down … sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is literally just be in your own body.”Lauren Schwab
We recorded this episode going into week 3 of quarantine, and I noticed that I was becoming a bit uncomfortable with solitude. I wasn’t necessarily alone because I have people I live with, but I was finding myself numbing out more than usual. Like, I’d be on Tik Tok for two hours straight. Silence and alone time allows us to have conversations with ourselves, conversations about what we value, what we want, what we’re afraid of — the list goes on. Sometimes, these convos are hard, so we subconsciously fill up the silence with noise or we compare ourselves to others who seem to have it more together than we do.
“So I find this a time where you would think there’d be less distractions and there’s more distractions. And we actually are reaching for our devices even more now than ever … And the moment we start comparing is the moment that we don’t feel good enough, that we feel like somebody else did something before we did. They’re going to be successful. We’re not, I’m a failure … And that’s, that’s where unplugged really comes in. And before all of this happened, unplugging was important, but now I think even more so than ever, unplugging is important, and it’s going to take more willpower because it’s at your disposal.”Lauren Schwab
Whether you’re reading this in quarantine or not, I challenge you to create distance between yourself and your media. Instead of plugging into someone else’s “perfect” Instagram page, plug into your purpose. When you plug into your purpose, the possibilities for you are endless. You are so unique, and you can serve others with your gifts.
See if you can go without turning your phone on for a day. Ask yourself questions – why are you here? What is your purpose? What are your gifts? Embrace the solitude, even if it’s uncomfortable at first because before long, it will become your happy place.
Why Transitions and Life Pauses Are the Perfect Times for Personal Growth
Unplugging is a form of self-care and self-love. Quarantine has put a pause on life at the moment, and with this pause comes the opportunity to examine whether we’re practicing self-care. Transitions like these create the best spaces for personal growth.
“If we ask our body what our body needs, our body will tell us. Does it need more rest? Does it need more sleep? Does it need more community? Does it need more connection? It will tell you if you just take that pause … [if] you get quiet and you just listen for the answer, your body will give it to you.”Lauren Schwab
I couldn’t agree with this more. The power of pause has helped me so much during quarantine because there have definitely been moments when I felt myself spiraling. But when I pause, put my hand on my chest, and take a deep breath, I can literally feel my body and spirit recentering. Quarantine is an opportunity for all of us to reevaluate our values and remember what is important.
I really believe that transitions and life pauses, such as this one, make so much space for innovation. But I’m sure that there are a lot of people who are sitting a place of uncertainty of what’s next. But here’s the thing about life — you never know what’s next. If you can get out of living in fear of the future and anchor yourself in the abundant present, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude.
“We don’t know what the next minute holds. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. We could get a text right now that could flip our world upside down. That has nothing to do with the coronavirus or anything … So we can really lean into that and know that we don’t know anything, we don’t know what’s coming … we actually don’t own anything in this life at all. It’s all borrowed. Our friends, our family, our apartments — everything’s borrowed. And so if we can be so grateful for every second and every moment that we have with those people in our life, then we can sit into a totally different space.”Lauren Schwab
Lauren sums it up perfectly: we never honestly know what life holds for us, but if we look at everything in our life as a gift, then we live lives of abundance and not fear. The question now is, how can we practically implement that abundant lifestyle into our daily lives?
Self-Care Practices: Reflection, Faith, and Gratitude
I asked Lauren about her daily rituals which allow her to anchor into her purpose and thrive in an abundant mindset. She starts by asking herself a simple but loaded question:
“Is what you’re consuming actually consuming you? … Is it owning me? Cause we think we own something, [and] it takes control over us, and it has power over us that it doesn’t deserve. And so I really [start] thinking about what I am consuming. What am I watching? … I want to be very intentional about what I’m consuming and what I’m putting in my mind, my body, my heart, my soul, and what I’m allowing in my home.”Lauren Schwab
That’s such a powerful wake-up call. When we take the time to think and reflect, we can identify all the different outlets we’re plugged into and see that not all of these are healthy. In fact, a lot of them are draining and toxic.
Lauren also plugs into her faith as a way to cleanse from distraction and focus on what really matters. She reads her Bible, does her devotional in the morning, and writes down all the things she’s grateful for. I’m not a person who follows organized religion, but I am a spiritual person, and what Lauren said resonated deeply with me.
We all have a higher power that we can tap into, and when we do that, our intuition becomes so loud. It’s undeniable. And when we take the time to be thankful for what we have, we become even more centered in our present.
“If we shift into gratitude and focus on what we do have versus what we don’t have, we’re going to stay in abundance. And that’s the way to do it is just to write everything – from your pillows and your toothbrush and all these things that we totally take for granted.”Lauren Schwab
Lauren Schwab on Living in a Cave for 60 Days and How it Changed Her Life
Lauren Schwab was anonymously submitted for a show where she lived in a cave for 60 days with a group of strangers. After being quarantined in a hotel for 15 days, she was blindfolded and lost all her possessions, including her phone. At this point, she didn’t even know the name of the show. All she knew was she was going to be surviving in a cave for the next 60 days.
“I don’t have food. I don’t get to brush my teeth. I don’t sleep much at night. I’m sleeping on the ground in the dirt, and I have no choice … but it [was] going to be okay, as long as we work together … we realized how important human connection was, without distractions … We actually just had real conversations with these people who became our best friends.”Lauren Schwab
While we can definitely use media to connect with others, there is something to be said about in-person, human connection. Like, having a real conversation with someone without your phone buzzing on your hip.
Another thing that Lauren learned was that we really don’t own anything. We don’t need a lot to survive — food, water, shelter, and human connection. That’s really it. Lauren’s cave experience put a lot of things in perspective for her, and she came out of that as a more resilient and thankful person.
“We called ourselves the Wolf Pack [and] we moved together. We all would like eat together and sleep together and go to the bathroom together. We just moved together, and it was this really cool opportunity to truly connect … I love the old school part. I remember when I got out of there, I would just go to dinners, and I would go to things without my phone. I didn’t take my phone with me.”Lauren Schwab
I know that for many of us, going somewhere without our phones is like a code red disaster, and it’s just because we’ve gotten so used to having immediate distraction. We don’t all have the opportunity to go live in a cave for a couple months, but we all can take steps to unplug from the constant media and invest more in the people around us.
In the cave, there were no outlets. A couple of years later, Lauren was doing an energy healing when she saw herself floating upward, looking at the outlets around her, and hearing the words “Unplug from those external outlets and plug into yourself.” When she did this, she said it was like her entire life suddenly made sense. Anything bad that had ever happened to her suddenly happened for her. For Lauren, every present moment is happier than the one before it, and if that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is!
Be Boldly Courageous with Lauren Schwab
If you’re inspired by Lauren and want to learn how you can live an unplugged life, I strongly encourage you to check out her Recalibrate Summit series! It will include a membership, weekly Saturday summits with guest speakers and trainers, live workouts, and a Facebook community group. Her mission behind the summit is to bring successful entrepreneurs with different gifts into one space where they can pour into a community of people who want to plug into their passion.
You can also connect with Lauren on Instagram @_laurenschwab and her website, where she shares daily encouragement and tips on living an unplugged life. And if you enjoyed the episode, go ahead and tag Lauren and me (@themelissamartin) and share your favorite takeaway from this amazing interview!
I am obsessed with this conversation, and the woman that Lauren is. She’s given me so much perspective and permission to detach from external outlets and other sources that might be unhealthy. She embodies what it means to live in an abundant mindset and accept that uncertainty is part of life.
Babe, this week I challenge you to be extra intentional about what you’re consuming and make sure that it’s not consuming you. I encourage you to sit in the silence and reflect on the things that you have and what your body is telling you.
There is always a reason to be grateful, and that gratitude will propel you into a life of abundance.