My Digital Detox

Memorial weekend has arrived and I made plans to venture to the beach, but outside my window the day looked gloomy and windy. It took me a bit to peel out of bed, so I reached over and began to "scroll" through IG, before I knew it an hour had easily gone by. I managed to get out of bed and onto my mat.  I moved slowly...I stretched feeling every fiber within extend and listening to my inhales and exhales.  Even as a yoga teacher, self-discipline is still a challenge in my own practice, hence the reason they call it a "practice". I headed to the coffee shop and as I waited in line, grabbed my phone to bypass time and do that thing again "scroll". I got home packed my beach bag and walked down to the beach, the day was gloomy but I was seeking being outside. As soon as I got settled, I grabbed my phone to "scroll", then something shook me, like physically. It was like an out of body experience. I noticed my body was reaching out to this physical object "my phone" out of habit. Like a drink at a party, like a cigarette during a work break, like [insert any poor habitual act here].  I heard a voice inside me say "I do not want to spend my time seeing what others are doing or how others are spending their weekend"  A voice that sounded familiar, but its tone was quite tame before. You remember a few sentences above I mentioned "practice", here it was again. Another reminder to myself the act of practice and bringing mindfulness to my day. I wanted to truly be here on the beach, so I deleted both my IG and FB apps from my phone. As soon as I did this, my mind was uneasy, even my body seemed restless. How can I lay just lay here?  I even avoided my headphones, to truly listen to the oceans crash and the laughter of the guys throwing the football around. I will admit, it was a bit uncomfortable for a few minutes. I sat there read, listened, observed, felt and smelled. I was there, in body and mind. My deep observations noticed a mom on her phone as her daughter tried getting her attention, another girl from afar, seemed to be taking a selfie. A large group of guys were just throwing around a football, people running and biking on the boardwalk. After a few hours spent there, you know Me and Beach, I packed up my stuff and headed to the sandwich shop without placing my ear buds in. I walked around my own beach town with heightened sense. While I waited for my sandwich I observed a group of college kids laughing and each scrolling through their phones, one showed the group her phone and said "why is she wearing that shirt?". An older couple in front me sat across from each other and the man flipped his phone to her, I recognized the infamous blue borders of FB and there was a picture of a couple on it and they laughed. I began to notice my judgement towards these people. Why? Not only were they spending their "quality" time together scrolling through their phones, but judging other peoples pictures. Ironically, the sandwich shop has a huge black and white photography canvas captured probably in the early 1960 or 1970s of California beaches, with the old school life guard car, women wearing their high waisted bathing suits and all that I can see in the picture were people laying on the beach, laughing and playing. No sight of cell phones anywhere, perhaps the only electronic device was the camera being used by the photographer who captured the image. As I left there I began to question my judgement and notice my reaction and observation. I began to reflect on my own patterns. Why is it that every so often, more often then not, I seek to go climb a mountain, go camping, set off on a road trip, or go off grid? Well, because it is easier to disconnect myself there to reconnect with myself. 

I remember the feeling I had when I returned from my Bali trip In Jan the day after I flew in I went to Starbucks with my boyfriend, and within 5min of being in line and observing people on their phones, peoples superficial conversations about their weekend, the way the cashier did not engage with the customer or even say good morning. A feeling took over my body, I can probably associate it to a form of "anxiety", not something I can relate too, but I felt this physical despair and sensitivity towards my environment. I looked over at my boyfriend with watery eyes and asked if we could go  and stay home. I had just been to a country where locals were not snapping pictures of themselves tending to their rice paddies, kids ran barefoot outside, where the smiles I received from every person was heartfelt and genuine with their sun wrinkled faces and missing teeth. It was pure and genuine and it made my heart smile right back.

I am guilty myself of falling into the trends and fads of our society.  Trust me I embrace how amazing technology is and what accessibility it offers. We have come a long way from pen pals letters, beepers and pay phones. Its amazing how much more "practice" and "self discipline" I need to engage in to avoid running on auto-pilot in this one dimensional world. There is this fine line of staying true and authentic to myself and not getting caught up on the judgement of others or consuming my precious time "scrolling", being mindful on who I choose to follow and how much to share, especially when one of dreams is to write a book, to inspire and remind people to live life to the fullest. 

I took a day escape into the San Jacinto mountains in Idyllwild to go hiking. Nature never fails me. It is a constant reminder of the beauty that surrounds me in "real time", it keeps me grounded, it humbles me and tunes me into every step I take and when I arrive at the peak, there is a feeling of joy that fills me up. Love and nurture, strength and vulnerability, gratitude and simplicity, patience and beauty. Funny thing about escaping into nature is not so much accomplishing the peak, but rather the side affects. It is after we notice the layers from within shed, you shine light into your authentic being, you breathe in life and a reminder to trust your path. 

Our world is ever so changing at the speed of high electronic magnetic fields, make an effort to connect with nature's natural energetic frequency. 

Remember disconnect to reconnect

Gypsy Nai