Let's face it: life is getting more hectic with less time to simply BE. We've lost the spaces in our day to ponder, pause and relax.
Can you relate?
You may not even realize that you've filled in all the spaces in your day and that you don't have a moment to spare.
So here's a simple quiz:
- Do you check your phone when you're on the toilet?
- Do you text on your phone when you're walking?
- Do you check your phone when stopped at traffic lights?
- Do you send a picture of every meal to Instagram?
- Do you snap photos of those moments on the beach or at the park and post them on Facebook?
- Do you check your phone in bed just before you go to sleep?
If you answered yes to a few of these questions, then maybe you've filled in all the spaces in your day with the distraction of your phone.
Without realizing it, you've taken away those moments of restfulness and simply Being. You know, those brief moments of just sitting, be it at a traffic light, in a park, on the train, or yes, even on the toilet!
There was a big shift on the planet in the year 2005. This was the year the iPhone was born. Prior to that, our lives were often filled with small gaps of emptiness. These were moments of respite to contemplate, ponder and just BE in a simple state of awareness.
Have you noticed that in your life, and the lives of those around you, that we have removed all those spaces in our day and we've filled them in with more and more data processing: Emails, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Kik, HeyTell, Instagram, newsfeeds, and Google.
Data, data data!
Some of our most creative impulses and intuition are born in those empty spaces. And now, we're relying on someone else's post of a Gandhi quote or a YouTube clip of a puppy dog playing with a kitten for our inspiration, rather than connecting with our own inner voice of wisdom.
So how do we create those spaces again? How do we regain those small daily moments of respite that are free of data?
Here are some ideas. Try these for a week and let me know how it goes.
1. When you arrive home at night, put your phone on silent and leave it in a drawer. Set a time to check your phone to see if you've missed any urgent calls. If there are none, then put it back in the draw.
2. If you're taking a toilet break at work, leave your phone at your desk.
3. When you get in your car, place your phone in the glove compartment and on silent mode.
4. When you're out walking, bring your attention to the world around you. Look at the sky, the trees, the sun, and feel the breeze. What do you smell, see, hear, taste, touch? Be conscious of not being distracted and pulling out your phone to text someone.
5. When you are on public transport, set aside moments that are purposely free of interaction with your phone, including music.
6. Implement Stillness Sessions into your day. These 20 minute sessions of mental quietness are a powerful way of structuring a break from data absorption and promote mental and physical rest.
Those little spaces in the day serve us a tremendous purpose. They are for rest, rebalancing and insights. Allow some space through your day and see what springs forth from those moments that aren't just photos of someone’s lunch or a Facebook rant about getting a parking ticket!
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