It’s no surprise to most of us, that we are suffering from some ‘dis-connect’. It’s everywhere in the news, but what are we actually doing to re-connect? As we spend hours staring at screens, scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, watching videos that have gone viral, reading articles on the latest food fad, comparing the hottest deals and reviews to get the perfect product, we forget the person opposite us; we are dis-connected. I’m as guilty as anyone. It isn’t just our loved ones that we dis-connect from, it’s where our food actually comes from, it’s our communities, it’s the way we live our lives; it’s the meaningful stuff.
Many of us work long hours, are under pressure to succeed and feel the need to earn money to pay for the house that we need to fill with stuff (the false solution to consume more) and don’t feel we have time to eat nutritious unprocessed food. We tend to live in nuclear separateness striving in our own little units rather than relying on community spirit. Our dis-connect is on a much deeper level than I think most of us are even aware.
Technology has played a big part in our disconnect and while technology is amazing and it gives us the opportunity to have a voice, to organise, to create things we have never dreamt of its also important to be mindful of when to disconnect and re-connect to yourself.
While I am certainly guilty of dis-connect, I am now far more aware of the times when I have disconnected, when I don’t even take a thought as to where my clothes were made or who might have picked the banana I’ve just eaten.
My mission for the last 2 years has essentially been to Re-Root and Re-connect and I have found that some things do really work and have found myself coming closer to a more meaningful life than ever before. Meaning doesn’t come from the modern world of consumption, careers, corporations and processed custard- that’s for sure! What I have found is that the mind, body and spirit truly are inextricably linked and we need real connection to the world around us.
Ways to Re-connect and Re-Root
While some of these things may seem obvious, how many of us actually take the time to do them?
Do what you truly love to do- get back doing the things you used to love doing or take up something new you’d love to do; bike rides, dancing, painting, seeing some old pals. Get in touch with the real you under the distractions and busyness of the modern world. Strip back to the core of what you’re really about and believe in.
Switch off for an hour- turn off your devices, your laptop, phone, the TV, get off Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and turn to the people around you. Remind them what it is to have a real face-to- face conversation. Don’t get lost in the endless stream of photos and live feeds. Home is where the heart is as they say. I have deleted Facebook from my phone recently to stop the endless scrolling. I just log on now and again. I have since realised that I wasted sooo much time doing this without even noticing. I still catch myself about to click onto Facebook when I have a spare moment – a day is made up of many moments and I’m not prepared to waste anymore more of mine.
‘The problem is, our need to feel constantly connected has taken the concept of “constant” to a whole new level. We attempt to replace our boredom in mundane situations (public transportation, the three minutes we spend on the toilet) with the entertainment that our screens provide’.
Get outdoors- go for a walk around the block, notice the little things you’ve walked straight past during the day. Be in nature and breathe in the goodness.
Light a candle– or get a fire going- there is nothing more therapeutic than watching flames.
Travel– go and see the world, be reminded that we don’t live in a bubble and that there are other people living entirely different lives to ourselves.
Read- take some quiet time, curled up on the sofa and soak up a novel or delve into something new you knew nothing about.
Make space- take some time to get rid of the excess, the stuff that you had to clean around, move around and make some space to breathe and feel calm.
Be-selective- when you need to be connected, be mindful and selective about what you actually engage with. Actively seek information rather than being bombarded with a passive stream of newsfeeds and emails.
Do nothing- I know scary right… I find this the hardest thing but just sitting with some music and maybe meditating or just watching the birds outside. The stillness…. Ahhh bliss.
Volunteer or see a neighbour- go and meet some locals, get re-connected with what it is to live in a community not just as a singular unit existing alongside others.
Cook a meal with the freshest ingredients you can find– avoid the synthetic chemical laden foods and choose simple, nutritious food and see what you can create.
The process of re-connecting with what is physically around us rather than focusing on the virtual world and the need to succeed can be a really grounding process and is something many of us are in need of without even knowing. Use your time intentionally; choosing carefully what to do with your precious time.