After a most wonderful week exploring the beautiful landscape of Goshen, CT and the even more magnificent landscape of my heart I’m ready to blog it up. I thought I would talk a little bit about the idea of “unplugging” from technology because this was a huge part of my week.
For 7 days my cell phone was turned off (except one time every night when I would send an “I love you” text to my husband and children). I left my computer at home, no ipad, no ipod, or any other gadget to distract me. I sat in the woods, ate good food and had great conversations. I read and wrote and hiked and meditated. I was completely disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the world but so very connected to myself and everything around me. Now I know that this sounds romanticized. I know that you’re probably thinking, “Sure I can do that for 7 days, but what about everyday life?” Well it might not be possible to diconnect completely these days but we do have the choice to be mindful of moments when it is possible.
According to recent statistics 90% of American adults have a cell phone and 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. A 2008 study found that “people exposed to mobile radiation took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in deep sleep.” We’re gaming more, facebooking more, google-ing more and then craving even MORE! Just the fact that I can use Facebook and Google as a verb is crazy! I know that it is fantastic staying connected with friends and family. I love being able to pull up directions in a busy new city or find an eclectic restaurant on my travels but all-in-all it’s a little too much. Jon Kabat-Zinn shares a short insight on getting connected, putting the cell phone down and following our breath into awareness.
Take more moments to put technology aside . Have a conversation, connect, look around, listen, become still, and observe. Even if it’s just for one second, that’s one second more than yesterday that you were present and mindful. Making small changes in turn can create big results. Even if e-mailing or constant texting and phone calls are a part of your daily job recognize that you still have the opportunity to make space for mindfulness in the evening or even before your work day begins. Maybe you can take your very first awakened breath with mindfulness in the morning or create a space of gratitude before you pick up that cell phone. Technology can stress you out! Let's take a step back. There is so much connecting we can do without our phones or crafty contraptions, you just have to take the time to notice.