I struggle as much as the next person to be present in THE moment. Mindful of the Here and Now. I get it! It’s tough with the advancement of technology, and the ever-present cell phone glued to our hips. The laptops, book readers, gaming devices, notebooks, I-Pads… You get the picture.
Have you ever mistakenly forgotten your cell phone and then half way to the office you had to drive back home? It is that sudden, heart racing, gut wrenching feeling that you may miss something really important (the latest social media update- kidding of course!) client call or even that emergency phone call from your child’s school? I know, I have been there more times than I can count.
What surprises me the most is the vast number of people who have a digital device plastered to their face while driving, walking, sitting, eating and YES even hiking. I am often blown away with the lack of authentic human connection that we all seem to have, even when another person is looking at us from across the counter or sitting beside us at the same table at lunch.
Earlier in my week I decided to detach from my many tech devices so I could get moving outdoors! My goal was to take a scenic nature hike close to home, so that I could “UN-plug” from the world over my lunch break. My intent was to leave my cell phone in the car, but to my surprise I couldn’t bring myself to do it, in fear that there would be an emergency and I would need it. I decided to keep it in my backpack so I could focus on the mountains, wild life and any beauty that I stumbled upon.
To my amazement I could not find ONE single person that did not have a cell phone in hand or were not glued to their mobile device while hiking (I must have come across over 75-100 people during my observation). One person almost walked off the side of the mountain because they were not focusing on the path directly in front of them. How often do we do this in life? Could it be forgetting to be “in the moment” at the checkout counter and not acknowledging the cashier in front of us with a simple hello, or by failing to unplug when your spouse or child needs you in some way? Guilty as charged for me too! Instead of saying, ” just a minute” to my child when I am busy on my device, I want to be more present to provide that instant human connection so that he knows he IS valued and what he says IS important to me. I am a constant work in progress.
My observation taught me that I want to be more aware of the precious human connections around me, and to strive to live “in the present moment” more each day. I discovered I want to take steps to be more mindful by making eye contact with strangers, giving more smiles, offering kind gestures and providing more genuine compliments. Kindness if free people!
How can we all be more present in our daily lives? I would love to hear your suggestions.