The jet lag had me up just as the first rays of sun were climbing above the horizon, so I poured myself a hot lemon drink, moved the chair to face the sea and settled in to watch mother nature in all her beauty perform for me.
I was in New Zealand for a whirlwind trip to attend a friends wedding. Yet with the added condition of no social media for the week (one of my 52 new experiences) I found myself easily connecting to the rhythm of life.
A week without really using my phone or my laptop made me realise how easily I pull out my phone to fill my time. It seems my “go to” default is to fill my time in front of a screen – checking email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram (and then rinse and repeat). I began to wonder how many magical moments I miss with my focus elsewhere.
Social media isn’t bad per se. I loved liking and commenting on the happenings of the week’s activities when I checked Facebook yesterday. But I was engaging with posts that interested me rather mindlessly scrolling through everything. It was a conscious and engaged process.
If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago I would have said making conscious choices was important to me. Yet what became clear to me last week was how much time I actually fill mindlessly and unconsciously. With only checking and responding to email once a day and without the distraction of other apps and websites I found myself fully present. I had to CHOOSE what I wanted to do rather than filling it with the easy, no-brainer option.
I watched the birds delight in the birdbath and followed them as they played and flitted from tree to tree.
I had an amazing meal where I really savoured the flavours of the food and the flavours of the tea. With no distraction of my phone I really engaged with the food and with the staff serving me.
And here I am on my first day back in London, writing my blog, drinking my lemon water and watching the birds fly across the clear blue sky. I haven’t checked email or social media and I feel so much more content and connected because of it. I know jet lag has taught me lessons of connection before, but even after the jet lag wears off I hope to still be witnessing the morning, being fully present in my choices.