Do you feel the need to constantly check your phone, Facebook or Instagram? It makes it kind of hard to work toward creating mindfulness.
In my last post, I shared Secret #1 to put you on the path to freedom and mindfulness. Now get ready for Secret #2!
Technology today is one of the major influences in our daily lives. Unfortunately, it comes with a pretty heavy price tag that I’m not sure our society yet fully comprehends.
Our incessant use of technology comes at the expense of our own internal awareness, our surroundings, and our relationships with others. Sadly, our technological evolution has far surpassed our spiritual evolution. It indeed makes it difficult to work toward creating mindfulness.
The irony is that we think all of our tech usage connects us to one another. To some degree, it does. Alternatively, you might see that you are actually DISCONNECTED from people in your presence.
How many of us have become literally addicted to our phones? How many people do you see cross the street while looking down at their phones?
Or texting and driving?
Recording the live concert they are attending?
Just yesterday, I saw a cyclist pedaling down a street with a 50 mph speed limit while talking on his phone! Maybe they could use some help creating mindfulness.
Why is it that we feel the need to constantly check our phones, Facebook, and Instagram? Do we really need to share every moment of our lives with everyone around us?
At its core, it’s because we want to connect with one another. My belief is that most of us are running on empty and we have so little time for personal connection. In the end, we settle for digital connections.
We have forgotten how to just be in the presence of another because we are under unrelenting stress.
Ask yourself these questions about creating mindfulness:
Are you feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by the pace of your life and the sheer volume of what needs to be accomplished?
Do you feel almost like you’re hyperventilating through your day running from one thing to the next?
Has it been a while since you sat down for a beautiful meal with your family with the television off and the phone banned from the dinner table?
Do your kids go off to isolate in their rooms each day while you check your emails, Facebook or text messages on your phone?
For some of us, we’ve lost our ability to just be in the present moment enjoying our lives. The people around us, the walk to work, dinner with our family, or even our immediate physical surroundings. Half the time, we’re on our phones while in the checkout line of the grocery store ignoring the one person at that moment who is being of service to us.
We’re tethered to technology in one form or another all day long. We’ve truly become unconscious to the living world right in front of us as we instead live our lives on our phones.
The immediacy of information thrown at us all day long on top of the stress we already feel during each day keeps our physiology in a continuous state of fight and flight. It’s as if our bodies believe we are being physically threatened in some way all day long.
Are you starting to wonder if there’s just got to be a better way to live your life?
My guess is, like me, you have an inkling that things can be very different than the way you are currently living. But you might be feeling trapped and stuck in old ways of being and habits and unsure of what to do to make that shift you desperately want to make.
So here's Secret #2 - Daily Tech Timeout
Take a daily “timeout” from tech.
Allocate a minimum of one hour each day to turn your cell phone off completely.
I know what you’re saying right now … no, Maggie, I can’t!
Trust me, you can and I guarantee that you will notice a profound shift in your awareness within a short time if you make this your newest daily habit.
You could do it for the long drive home in traffic, from the minute you walk in the door from work, or you could shut your phone off (and your iPad, the radio, and your laptop) at 9:00 pm every night.
Buy an “old-fashioned” alarm clock and charge your phone in another room altogether. Resist the urge to pick up your phone at every turn to “check in” and turn the ringer off.
Better yet, shut it down completely.
Yes, television too!
Allow yourself to disconnect from technology and the barrage of information that comes at you each day. Notice if it makes a difference not only in your stress level but in how you begin to reconnect with the world around you.
Begin to ask yourself if there really is anything going on that needs your immediate attention at this moment that would prevent you from disconnecting for a short time.
Chances are, there’s not. The world will keep spinning, time will tick by, all will be well ... especially you. Not only that but if you’re watching, you will begin to experience a deep inner pause, a “restful awareness.” This is the beginning of reconnecting with your deeper self and with the silence within that we’ve long-since covered over with all of life’s noisy racket!
In these days where we can’t even ride an elevator or pump gas without something chatting at us or otherwise filling every quiet moment with noise, setting a tech boundary for yourself is vital to helping restore yourself to wholeness and wellbeing.
It’s a simple way to take a mini vacation without getting on an airplane.
The silence is ever-present, we are the ones who have disconnected from it.
I know this might be a super hard new habit to create but trust me on this one, if you do, you will begin to reconnect not only with the beauty of nature around you but with the people you meet all throughout your day.
You will also notice you don’t feel quite as stressed once you do! Most importantly, you’ll begin to reconnect to what you’re really here for and what you’re being called to do with your life.
Join us at Satsang House, San Diego’s premier meditation center, to learn how to set a solid foundation of mindfulness into your daily life. Or consider coming to one of our classes or signing up for an online course! Let us help you work toward creating mindfulness!