come as you are
start small: simple body movements, ideas and ways to help you feel better on the regular
I moved from Boston to Rochester only four months ago. One of the best things about Rochester is how much less people use their smartphones compared to Bostonians. I have my thoughts as to why I think Boston is staring at their phones a lot more, but my conjecture is not the point of this blog post.
This past Labor Day weekend I went to the woods of Denmark, Maine near the White Mountains. Needless to say there wasn't much cell service. I opted to put my cellphone on airplane mode (as did most folks). I only checked it once to see if there were any "emergencies" (there rarely are, let's be honest), and to send a few "I'm alive" texts. The majority of my time was spent outside in the woods hiking, swimming, canoeing, doing yoga, eating really really good food with strangers and old friends - cellphone-free. I was being mindful and present this weekend without even trying to be.
The New York Times wrote an article about the overused buzzword last year entitled, "The Muddled Meaning of 'Mindfulness,'" In it, the article quotes Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Zen Buddhist who summarizes modern day mindfulness as “'The awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.'” This weekend was the first time since I moved back to Rochester that I forgot about the busy/distracting act of missing Boston. Instead, I was being with everything around me. It was because I was in nature sans phone.
My biggest challenge here in Rochester is my lack of connection to this lovely Flower (Flour) City. I want to get to know people, places, sites, the culture, etc. But I have been trapped in a cycle of desperately trying to stay attached to Boston via social media & texting. Using my smartphone as a security blanket, I am missing relationship opportunities and experiences here in Rochester.
So, how do we savor the nature-filled/mindfulness (fill in the blank) weekend and stay detached from the phone so we can relate to one another more (in person & in real life)? Below are a few (FREE!) things I try to do when I'm feeling distracted and want to refocus on the now:
Maine. The way life should be.
[Photo from this weekend]