With all the convenience that technology brings, it seems harder than ever to really connect with ourselves and each other… Here are a few ways you can practice the art of reconnecting.
This post comes from our friend, yogi Nina Endrst.
Some of my first and favorite memories are as a child running wildly with friends through the grass — dirty, barefoot and breathless from playing, laughing, living. My heart was so full during those days, at times I felt like it would burst out of my chest.
Close your eyes.
Try and remember the last time you felt truly connected to yourself, like you were living directly from your heart space surrounded by family, friends or your partner, having an amazing time without a device of some sort present. This is not a new conversation. We all know that technology has changed the way we interact, think, work, play, date… live. And don’t get me wrong, I am grateful the internet is bringing us together right now and that we can “see” and “connect” with people from all over the world living interesting, dynamic lives. But with all its conveniences it seems harder than ever for us to really connect with ourselves and each other.
What to do?
I’m not suggesting that you or I ditch our devices and run swiftly back to a simpler time. But surely, with some practice we can find a comfortable middle ground.
Practice: Go outside in nature by yourself if possible without any distractions (try to stay for a minimum of 30 minutes) — walk, run, or just sit and breathe. Connect in a quiet place. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Together but alone – breaking through the technological barriers.
Real and long-term relationships take work, (whether new or established) and often ask us to step outside our comfort zone and allow ourselves to be seen when we are vulnerable. This is no easy task for anyone and these days, we have our devices to turn to if and when we want to retreat or disappear. It may seem harmless when we reach for them momentarily, but avoidance seems to have become second nature. How often have you seen a group of people together – Every. Single. One, staring at their phones, mindlessly scrolling, together but completely alone.
Practice: Connect with your people! Try leaving the phone at home one night when going out or dare I suggest an entire day?! Spend time hanging out with your family or friends and ask them to do the same. See what happens. When you get home, take a piece of paper and write down how you felt, what you talked about, etc.
Photo by Emily Sellers.
Let’s get real.
Everyone’s family looks different — some of us are born into our tribe and expand from there, and some us create our family unit, complete with a supportive and loving circle of friends, partners, pets, you name it! What’s important is not what our circle looks like, but rather how we make each other feel. We all deserve the realest, truest love. Take a look around you and check in: are you surrounding yourself with people who support you? And you them? Can you talk about what’s bothering you, what makes you feel full and what depletes you – can you be your most authentic, sometimes flawed self in their presence? Heart-centered relationships are not about surface interactions and perfection but mutual respect and acceptance – we all need a hand or a shoulder from time to time.
Practice: Go a little deeper. Try writing an honest list of questions/answers you ask yourself or would like someone to ask you. Invite someone close to you to do the same. Get together and share your experiences with each other. I really believe it’s crucial that we challenge one another. Of course we always want to be respectful of each others’ boundaries and limitations, but don’t be afraid to share something real about yourself. It’s likely they will want to do the same.
Lead image by Dru Nadler Photography.