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Disconnect to Reconnect with Your Real Life
Everywhere you turn people are connected to cell phones, tablets and other technology. People rarely look up even to cross the street. Family time is often spent texting, checking social media and answering emails. Take a look at people at a restaurant. Notice how many are connected to tech rather than each other. Even parents are giving cell phones and computer tablets to their infants and toddlers to appease them.
Every experience, thought and emotion leaves an imprint within our neural networks and biology. More and more we are imprinting with the digital online world. As time passes, real life drifts away.
Recent research shows that tweens (ages 8 – 12) spend at least six hours a day connected to some form of technology. For teens, it’s nine hours. For adults, it’s an average of eleven hours. Considering we need at least eight hours of sleep, that leaves little time for experiencing real life.
Moving away from the screen
While our society teaches us that to be happy we have to do more, have more and even be more, many of us are left feeling empty and disconnected from others. Anxiety and depression is on the rise. We constantly feel the pull to answer every beep and buzz on our phone and we are less able to merely enjoy time to reflect and experience real life in real time. Sacred time alone reflecting on life and experiences is supplemented by grasping for our cell phones.
Time has a way of showing us what really matters. Our life is filled with time and time is filled with moments. It may sound cliché but at the end of our life, people rarely say, I wish I spent more time on my cell phone or on the computer.
Beyond this demanding world, there is a place a time and a time to experience real life, the beauty in this world, inspiration and live connection with others. I call these our magical moments. They are all around us all the time.
When was the last time you laughed out loud instead of texting LOL?
How about the last time you felt real joy instead of texting a happy face?
Can you remember having a heartfelt moment and looking into the eyes of someone you love?
When do you pause and really experience gratitude?
How does the sun feel on your face?
When do you spend time with people you love disconnected from tech?
How can you start experiencing those magical moments right now?
First, realize that the magic in your life is available to you all the time.
Getting the magic back
Second, ask yourself, “What’s a magical moment in my life?” It could anything ~ time with a loved one, watching a sunset, remembering the sound of your baby’s laugh, or reflecting on wisdom someone once shared with you. Anything that creates the memories and stories of our lives can be a magical moment.
Third, ask people close to you, “What’s your magical moment?” You will be surprised how much you can find out about someone by just asking this simple question.
Austin, a basketball player who recently moved to our town shared his magical moment at our dinner table. He said “That’s easy. My magical moment was last week when I picked up my father from the airport after his tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is alive and that is all the magic I need.”
Another mom shared that her seven-year old daughter said her magical moment was not being bullied anymore at school. How much magic can you discover at your next meal with people you love?
Finding the magic even when it’s not easy
One important thing many of our readers have found is that you can find magical moments even in our most challenging times. Through our difficult times, our values, beliefs and resolve are built. Can you reflect on a time in your life now and look back and find the lesson, the gift and the inspiration that the experience has given you? Most of us can easily find what’s wrong in a situation, yet if we change our focus, we can also find what is right. Ask yourself now, how has a difficult experience in your life given you the motivation and strength to move forward in your life? What lessons have you learned? If you haven’t considered this, maybe now would be a good time to find those gifts, those magical moments that have shaped your life.
Paying closer attention
The stories of our lives are filled with magical moments. Know also that you can create these at any moment in any place. Just look up. Find the magic all around you and within you. It’s there waiting to be discovered.
With the holidays approaching, consider giving a magical moment to someone you love. We all have enough stuff. Avoid the shopping malls and endless online shopping by creating an experience to share with someone you love, a friend, a family member, and possibly someone in need. Things come and go but time together is a memory that can be forever imprinted into your history. You can even download a free magical moments gift certificate from my website ginakloes.com. Just fill it out and give it with love. I once gave my husband a picnic on beach and my daughter tickets to take her to her first concert. I took my son to a Lakers basketball game. I gave a friend an afternoon hike with tea and cookies. It can be simple. Know that nothing replaces time together in real life.
Right now, pause and ask yourself, “What’s a magical moment in my life?” The answer might surprise you.