Mindful Applications

Day 9 of ‘No Facebook February’. (If you’re reading this on Facebook, I posted it directly from WordPress.)

Do I miss it? For the first two days I found myself mindlessly tapping on my phone to wake it up, ready to habitually open the app. But then I remembered that I had deleted it. So on day 3 I stopped doing that.

I think I felt a bit dopamine deprived. I didn’t have the validation drip I was used to. I missed the hearts and thumbs ups and goofy smiley faces. I needed to have my reward center stimulated.

So instead, I tapped the email icon. But I have no emails. Why does no one email anymore!? Notifications! I needed some comments and notifications!

There have been a few times when I wanted to post things. The sunrise on February 1st was inspiring. I saw an actual real live bald eagle sitting in a tree on Sunday. I watched the most incredibly screwed up documentary ever. My little yogis made up a new pose called Dab-asana. I’ve had an annoying four day earworm. I saw two huge bucks lounging in a cemetery. These are some of the things I would have shared. But instead I was much more present in those moments. I still have them all in my head (especially the earworm) I resisted the urge to share them (until now, hmm).

I figured withdrawal symptoms would start on day 2, so it was serendipitous that it was monthly silent meditation day. I once again found myself sitting quiet and still in a room full of people; walking slowly in a circle and pacing in short lines; focused on my breath, or my feet; unplugged and undistracted.

As I was walking around the room, paying attention to my feet and my breath, I thought, as I have done previously, what the heck am I doing here? Waking in circles and lines with a bunch of strangers?

Then I looked around and I realized that everyone was present. Pacing in the sunroom. Walking in a circle. Standing in front of a painting. Moving up and down stairs. Making a cup of tea. Everyone was in the moment. No one was wanting to be anywhere else. No one was turning their heads, speeding up their stride, shaking their legs, sighing deep sighs. No one was waiting for 5:00. Or Friday. Or spring. Or vacation. No one was wishing the moments away. Everyone was fully and completely there, in mind, in body, and in spirit, in the moment.

And I realized why I was there, to feel this shared mindfulness, in order to fuel my own.

This shared presence of mind, body and spirit happens in yoga classes too. And on hikes. While out dancing. Or running. Laughing around a table. Watching a movie. It can happen anywhere and anytime we truly relax and release into the moment.

The more we practice this the more we can tap into it. The more we practice it the more we can let go of mindless habits, and become more mindful of ourselves and the others around us. One moment at a time.

As I drove home the most amazing sunset unfolded in my rear view mirror. I thought it would be nice to pull over and photograph it and share it with the world. But I thought it would be nicer to allow it to enter my eyes and swirl around my heart like a secret.

Now, on Day Nine, I am feeling good about this trial separation. The lack of stimulation is altogether stimulating. The lack of negativity is positively… positive. And just as it happened in Februarys past, I’m thinking I might never go back.


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