I found some space to be more mindful and intentional in the weirdest place. I found it in my cell phone. What was this magical elixir that freed up the time I usually spend responding to an ever present inanimate task master…notifications. I turned them off. I mean everything, except my phone and text because my phone is also used for work. Guess what? After the initial withdrawal, and checking my pulse to make sure I in fact did sill exist if a tiny red number failed to appear on my screen, I felt free. I mean truly free and peaceful. It was liberating and I could breathe deeper and easier.
I never realized how hard it is to fully engage in a conversation or activity when my pocket or purse are vibrating and moving slowly of their own power, like one of my cats’ toys. It is this constant roadblock to the mindful and meaningful connection I have been looking for. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a luddite. I still like technology. I still believe good use can come from my cell phone. I am typing this on my laptop not carving it on a stone tablet, that would greatly decrease the frequency of posts. The big difference is now I am in charge of what the benefits are. Incidentally, prior to this little experiment I thought I was in charge. Humbly, what I have come to realize is that little flat glowing screen was in charge.
As well as shutting off notifications I also removed some unnecessary apps. In fact I believe the app I use most now is Insight Timer, my meditation app, and the podcast app. Both of which help me learn and are consistent with other goals I have set. Before I could not imagine not knowing the moment someone wanted me or reacted to something I said or posted. You know what? It turns out it is even better when you are sitting across from that person fully engaged and you get to react right back. No thumbs up needed.