Don’t Give Yourself an Option
I’ve found a ritual lately that I love. I’ll take forty-five minutes to an hour, drive up into the mountains, hike a few minutes, and just enjoy the freedom of being disconnected from everything. Sometimes I meditate, oftentimes I’ll just sit and enjoy nature.
The key to this is that I go out far enough that my phone is out of cell range. It’s a different feeling than just turning off your phone or having it on airplane mode. If that’s the case, I can always choose to turn my phone back on and check for notifications, browse the web, whatever it may be.
Going out of range takes away all those options. It leaves me powerless to be in the moment. And you’d be surprised what can happen when you do nothing.
We can be productivity-obsessed sometimes, always looking for things to do, but a lot of the time the things we use to fill our time can just be distractions. I’m all about being productive, but when it turns into a compulsive need for distraction and a fear of being bored, then there’s a problem.
When I sit in nature, the fact that I’m doing nothing but being, and listening to the sounds immediately around me, distills on me. I realize that I’m content in that moment, that I genuinely love my life. I still have goals, there are still things I want to achieve and I won’t stop working hard for those things, but realizing that I can still have happiness and peace in the moment has helped me to stay grounded.
Our devices remind us of things we need to do, they tell us to check what so-and-so is doing, pulling our attention to anything but the present moment. On the surface, this isn’t menacing or anything to be worried about, it’s a part of the modern world we live in.
Behind the Scenes
The constant barrage of information, news feeds, and status updates creates an inner dissatisfaction without those things. Without realizing it, we feel uneasy and on-edge without something to check, without something to hold our attention.
Disconnecting has taught me that there’s an inherent happiness already there that doesn’t need any stimulation. When you take the time to do nothing, to just sit and befor a little bit, you realize that.
It’s not anything you have to work for, it’s just there. But it can be hard to notice with all the stimuli around us. Everyone and everything around you is vying for your attention, so give a little to yourself.