Michele Attias Life Coach

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Why A Digital Detox Might Be Just What You Need

I must confess that I have done something previously not even considered; I purposely left my mobile at home for a few hours whilst out walking my dog.

This device I use to make telephone calls, doubling up as a portable computer, scheduling all my events and keeps me in touch with the world, all under one tiny appliance. 

The question I asked myself was, how do I feel when stripped of this necessity?

Yet I spent the first 30 years of my life withoutit, so what is it about this tiny gadget that leaves me checking into it on a continuous basis.  

What is the attachment to this object which can leave us bereft when it leaves our hands?

My curiosity had originally been spurred by my last holiday where the hotel did not have any internet connection.

I went to every length possible to find a place to check e-mails as well as to link in to social media.

Could this not have waited a few days?

Surely it could have.

In addition to this, I watched as irritated husbands paced around the hotel pool checking their e-mails, and their wives checking their Facebook account, taking pictures and updating social media.  

In fact when observing the guests at breakfast I could confirm with certainty that at least one if not more guests sitting at the breakfast table were focused downwards and on their phones. Conversations were conducted with their eyes firmly down and in between posting tweets, Instagrams and Facebook pictures.

In essence, we have become a society where immediacy is the norm. 

There is no waiting or reflecting.

It's a society of Urgency.

We can have what we want when we want it.

Years ago, our businesses were conducted via fax, telex and letters had to be typed out and sent via post. This would mean we would have to wait arround for it to arrive.

We had to be patient and wait.

Interestingly enough, when working with clients, I find that they are somewhat reluctant to switch their phones off or onto silent mode when we first commence our sessions. It seems that disconnecting from the world for one hour seems an impossibility. 

There is a belief that we are indispensable and need to be available at all times. 

There is an attachment to being needed and being connected to something which makes us feel important.

Reflecting on all of this, I decided to attempt the walk in the park without my mobile phone. Surely I wouldn't need to go cold turkey over a piece of equipment? Essentially it prevents me from observing the colour of the trees change when the seasons do, talking to other dog walkers and ultimately being more present with life itself.

In leaving behind my connection to the world, you could say the walk in the park had a different flavour to it. A different texture.

I was present to my surroundings and within this I enjoyed watching the birds congregating on the grass in groups. I was aware of the beautiful coloured flowers which had blossomed to perfection The children shrieking with delight as they played in the play area. The dogs and their owners strolling through the park, interestingly a large percentage of the owners preoccupied in conversation on their mobiles whilst their dogs awkwardly tagged along. 

I was in the present moment, and I was loving every minute of it.

It actually felt good to detach from the world for a while.

More importantly, life can wait until I get home. I made the decision there and then that in future I will venture out without my phone when taking a walk since this had felt more relaxing. It also allowed for a number of creative thoughts and insights to flow through, as my thinking was on shutdown and undisturbed by phone calls, internet browsing and e-mails.

It reminds me that as we navigate life, our sense of inner peace depends on spending some of our energy in silence as a way of recharging our batteries, not that of our phones.

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