#acceptance #mindfulness Jul 25, 2021

We are on our first family vacation since December 2019. We had plans to go to New Zealand for the Spring break in 2020. I remember cancelling our trip just in time. Had we kept our original schedule, we would have landed at the airport and had to quarantine for 14 days. Glad that did not happen.

We have been staying continuously in Hawaii for the past 1.5 years now. It is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. But I miss my extended family very much. My sister and I are best of friends and have been seeing each other almost every other month no matter where I have lived for the past 30 years. So as soon as we had plans for a vacation, we knew it would have to be to visit her and her family in the Pacific Northwest.

They have a lake house in Northern Idaho. The most beautiful spot with unbelievable views and unlimited s’mores and kayaking by the moonlight.

Before we packed up to come here I made one good decision.

I left my phone at home.

Who needs to get a hold of me? What kind of emergency do I have to respond to? As long as I have my immediate family and my sister next to me, there is no reason to have a phone. I did pack my laptop since I am seeing my clients on zoom for our weekly meeting and wanted my own computer for this purpose. I also packed 4 books. Have read 2 so far.

Let me ask you this question:

How much time are you spending on your phone?

Now that you answered it: Do you want to spend less time?

I am guessing judging by what I hear from everyone around me your answer is yes.

Waking up in the morning and reaching out for your phone. Checking your email. Responding to texts. Hopping on social media. Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. All of it. We do it in an attempt to feel connected.

I worry that it has the opposite effect. It is awfully isolating. I will explain how.

Since the 2016 elections, we have started falling farther apart from each other. I have had friends that are so ideologically different from me that our phone calls have become fewer and shorter. We still check in for birthdays and anniversaries, but I cannot tell you that the depth of our friendship has not been affected.

While we reach out to connect, we are choosing to only connect with like minded people. Creating a bubble of an echo chamber, curating a life that is surrounded by mirror images of ourselves. How is that human connection?

Staying at my sister’s lake house in Northern Idaho I am very aware of how things are very different here. People do not wear masks. So much so that we feel strange wearing them. I am fully aware of the politics of the majority of voters living here. It is not aligned with my line of thinking. But kayaking next to people who smile and wave back at me has got me thinking.

We are falling away from what it means to connect with each other from a purely humanistic way. We seek out who is like and avoid who is unlike us and tend to draw a line as to who to invite into our lives. We have created a sterile environment that does not foster growth and togetherness.

It’s hard to dislike people close up.

Try it.

When you meet people face to face, no matter what they believe or who they voted for, you can find something to love about them. Something so deeply human that you cannot deny.

You have to lean in with love.

I am thinking that putting my phone away has got me thinking deep thoughts: that all the ‘social media’ is mostly ‘antisocial media’. It is filling my bucket with judgement and separation.

This is not the world I want to live in. The world of ‘liking’ comments that echo my own thinking and ‘unfriending and unfollowing’ people who believe something different from me.

It’s time to step back and question what it is we want more in our lives.


And S’Mores.

We always need more S’Mores.

With so much love to you all.

*For those of you who are not from the US, S'Mores is a brilliant camp inspired dessert. It is made by putting one big marshmallow on a skewer, roasting it to golden perfection over an open fire, then putting it between two Graham crackers and a piece of chocolate. The melted treat will make all the kids jump with joy. It's called S'Mores because you always want 'some more'!

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