flexing non-physical muscles

I've been on a kick lately.  I'm actually on a number of "kicks".  there's a lot of transition happening in life at this time.  while i'm not ready to write about these changes, i'm ready to share the personal changes I've made in my life as a response to all the transition.  

i made a conscious decision a few months back - when i turned a corner and life knocked me to my knees - that i was going to not check out through distractions.  i spent a while not drinking, not smoking, and most of all - not watching tv.  i didn't grow up watching tv (*thank goodness*) and i don't find it to be very satisfying at the end of the day.  (granted, there are amazing documentaries and educational ways to utilize our screens, but my heart belongs between the pages of books most often.)

when we yearn for connection, it's easy for tv or texting to temporarily satisfy that void.  a friend once told me that technology brings those who are far apart closer together... but those who are close together farther apart.  i began HONESTLY observing the number of times per day i picked up my phone mindlessly.  the answer?  too many.  as a society we are breeding a distractibility that i believe to be very unhealthy for our creativity and imagination.  (how normal is it to be typing an email only to pause midway through to change the music you have playing in the background?  or to be on the phone and simultaneously filling your amazon cart?  to be driving and scrolling aimlessly through your music? or to be texting while doing something that once upon a time, received our full attention?  for me at least, the answer was TOO many.)

our minds justify our distractedness in a multitude of ways.  we tell ourselves we NEED to respond to that email asap or that we have to text our friend back right now.  the truth, beneath the messages we're fed and societal expectations, is that we DON'T.  we don't, we don't, we don't!  (there are exceptions with work and family of course.)

our ability to focus is a muscle we've forgotten how to use.  my response to what I've observed is what i refer to as forced change.  i don't take my phone on long walks.  i put my phone on airplane mode for the hour before i go to sleep, and i don't check it in the morning until I've been present in the world and made coffee, pet theo, etc. i don't stay logged into Instagram, because the "ding" every time someone "likes" a picture we've posted is straight up addictive and unnecessary.

I've been studying my mind through the lens of addictive behavior.  again, our minds are incredibly powerful tools and will go to great lengths to say - what's the big deal if you check Instagram while you're writing?  it's just one small moment of switching gears...  but i don't think that's true.  in order to affect change in big ways in my mind, i have to start with the small details of day to day life. 

and you know what?  i FEEL better.  i take theo on walks and listen to birds and observe the colors of the light as the sun rises against the mountains (cheesy and true).  i don't know a single person who has intentionally decided to be more present who misses their screens and social media more than they enjoy being connected to the MAGIC of life.  

i had a wonderful conversation with a girlfriend yesterday where we talked about receiving messages from the universe.  i had a wonderful, surprise gift from life recently.  this gift was a reminder that life delivers us the magic we need when we declutter and clean the dusty corners of our past.  when we make room for what we need, life brings it to us.  when we do the work, we find ourselves open and available to the magic of the universe.  a few years back, a seed was planted: the idea that coincidences aren't real.  that when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and present, life unfolds exactly as it should.  i remember this now.  but just as our focus is a muscle we must build up, so is this belief (if we choose to incorporate it into our perspective).  the more disconnected we are from ourselves and our surroundings, the less available we are to receive signs from the universe.  the more present we are in our bodies, in our relationships, and in our surroundings, the more space we have to BELIEVE. 

so unbelievably grateful that i remember how to believe on this sunny morning.

so grateful to this world and all of its hardships and messages and magic.

Hermosa valley (Durango), colorado

Hermosa valley (Durango), colorado

Hannah Smith