Have you said NO! to communication lately?

Text messaging, email, phone calls, Twitter, Facebook, chat programmes, Google+, YouTube, Flikr, Myspace, dating sites, blogging etc etc (there’s a long list of Social Media platforms in Wikapedia) argh! Today, the many places we can communicate from is astounding.  It’s all about getting people talking and this needs to be multitasked into our already busy lives. And now with the advent of smart phones and pads, we can really get into trouble. Trouble in terms of constantly removing ourselves from the NOW.

Last weekend I said NO!

Put the phone away

My father locks himself away in his house on occasion when he feels it’s all getting a bit much. So I decided to take a leaf out of his book. Who better to learn from than your parents.

Last Friday afternoon,  I changed my voice mail to say that I would only be returning calls on Monday and off went my phone. I won’t lie, it didn’t stay off all weekend. I needed to check text messages in case someone text to book a massage for the following week. Though I think I only turned it on twice and very briefly. There were no guests and no going  out. Except to feed my sister in laws cat. Closed doors! No phones! No computer! Bliss!

I have the amazing Galaxy SII. Wow, I love it! I used it a lot as a mini computer. Sometimes on a Saturday morning, I’ll sit on the sofa with my phone  and green tea and check out my email, facebook or youtube etc. I even pick it up a few times during the weekend to do that. Even while I’m watching an evening flick! I know I’m not the only one. And I wonder what the next generation will be like? Those who will never know a world without mobiles….or computers (for the record, I’m only 37!)

I can’t believe the amount of times I wanted to ‘share’ something or change my status, send a message or thought to call someone. Don’t get me wrong, I love to share! And not doing that gave me SO much more time in my weekend to relax, do household stuff, do the gardening,, take care of my indoor plants and cook…for the sake of cooking…not because it was for a meal. As an a side, I made Fratayas and Beetroot Mahamara. The delicious recipes (from a BBWA netwroking event) were compliments of the Vegetarian Cookery School in Bath run by Demuths Restaurant in Bath. Of course I had my phone off, so I don’t have any pictures to post. I forgot about the good old camera!

Emptying myself out
So, as I said, last weekend was bliss! I’ve had a busy start to the year in some respects and I really needed to empty out. When Monday arrived I felt fantastic and equipped to carry on. I can highly recommend doing this. So much so, that I have decided I am going to switch my phone of for intervals every weekend, to keep my self topped up with being emptied out :-)

Leave the phone at home. Stay present.
Then this week I went to yoga and I decided I’d leave my phone at home. Now, this is something I have done on occasion but have not made a habit of it. Well, now I am going to. When walking to class, it was lovely to look around instead of walking and texting that message ‘I just had to reply to now’. And on my way home, I could extend my yoga practice by staying connected to my body and breath instead of my mind getting distracted and wanting to check my phone, call someone or read a message.

And we went out for dinner mid week and I left my phone at home then too. All to often you see people in restaurants checking their phones. My guess is, most of that communication can be done when we are at home. After we have enjoyed taking time to be in the NOW, enjoying company and food.

Try if for yourself.
So, why don’t you try saying NO! to communication on occasion. Find those opportunities that you simply don’t need to be checking your phone, or even easier, turn it off off or leave it at home. Let me know when and how long you have managed to stay phone free.

Next time you see your phone flashing, or hear it beeping at you…as yourself this question: Do I really need to check that now?

And next time you come for a massage, leave your phone off for a few hours afterward and extend your bliss.