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  • Ann-Sophie Hamilton

The art of disconnecting



Last Sunday, I traded my regular Sunday walk for something a little more adventurous and challenging. I decided to go discover this waterfall in the mountains, and after throwing the idea out there, I got 3 other friends to join me on this adventure. It started out with an hour drive to an area name KALBAS, where we parked the car to start walking. The first thing that captured my attention when getting out of the car was the scenery. The air was very fresh, almost cold and we were surrounded by giant mountains. It was the kind of moment where you felt so far away from everything, so small in the world, where your problems seem so insignificant next to the majesty of creation. I wanted to get a tent and rest there for 2 days.


We then met a local who guided us through the walk to the waterfall. His name was Jocelyn and he had a house near the fall and made a living off the starch and vegetables he got from the soil. He was so helpful and did everything with joy and patience. When we finally got there after about 45 minutes, we were surrounded by massive rocks and could see the different levels where the clear water was flowing effortlessly. We were one with nature and did not hesitate to jump in the cold yet refreshing water as soon as we had the chance. A moment f pure bliss as we let the water fall on our backs while letting our body get relaxed.


While I was there, I got such a deep moment of introspection. Not only because of the nature surrounding me or the beauty of it all, buy because I knew it was a moment where I was fully present and could truly just share with the people around me. I had decided a few days prior to take a social media break, something I now do any time my soul begs for it and I was living something I had been craving for a while: A wonderful moment that I could just share with the people who were there, or the people I chose to share it with.


See, we are part of a generation where so much can be shared. And while this can be so useful and inspiring, it can also keep us from staying grounded in the present. Not only this, but it also decreases the chance of having deeper and more meaningful conversations. While you might tell me ''But we still have conversations", allow me to go a little more in depth...

Because it is so easy to share what we are up to, we tend to get the illusion that we know what is going on in someone else's life based on a few pictures. When we think we know a good portion of the story based on a virtual/limited version of things, we ask less questions, we are becoming a little less curious when it comes to meaningful details, we listen a little bit less...because, well... we think we already know.


Think for a minute about middle school days. And I am talking to people who did not have smart phones or tablets in middle school. What a joy it was to come back to school and tell our friends about all of the exciting things that happened at camp or on vacation! And most importantly, what a joy it was to spend a whole summer simply living the moment with the people around us without having to share on our virtual platforms. This made us so much more grounded, so much more attentive to details, sounds and colors.


While I absolutely love the bonds social media can create, I also think we have reached a time when it is important to go back to having those moments when 'you just had to be there to know', when we need more meaningful connections, when we have to ask deeper questions because we do not have the illusion that we've already seen it on social media, when we need more disconnection from our screens and more human, emotional and spiritual connections. What if we spent more time with our eyes UP? Do you realize how much time we spend head down looking at a screen? How many details, smiles, colors we miss? If only we knew. There is a magic in moments where we are fully present: Mind, Body and Spirit.


It felt really good to live this moment and not sharing on the spot because even though I always try to keep a balance and not be glued to a screen, I have to admit it is harder to do it when that thing you are trying not to be too attached to is always around. I, for example, often find myself playing with my screen, just because I have my phone in hand and 'an empty moment'. But what would I have done instead if I had left my phone inside and went for a walk? I would, without a doubt, have had a much richer experience and connection with the world and nature around me. How many times have we spent time with someone while our minds were traveling elsewhere through our screen? How many details have we missed because we felt the impulse to take the picture?


Anyways, this post is not meant to bash social media. Not at all. I absolutely love social media and am so grateful for so many accounts that inspire me and give me great ideas. However, I am a big advocate that a big part of self-care is linked to learning to disconnect and BE. I intend on being more conscious of the time I spend away from my phone, without the impulse to look at my screen. And even though it brings me a lot of joy to share things that come so naturally to me, I am also planning on writing more here on the website so I can limit the use of my phone. There are so many shifts happening in my life and I am becoming so much more aware of the importance to keep my head up and my eyes fixed on what is tangible and real to me. I am not planing on disconnecting from social media... I do not want to do that, but I do want to change my use of it so I can be more present for the little things that have the power to make my life so wonderful.


So to all of you who will most likely see a little less of me on their social media, you can always come here to read some of my thoughts or just recipes other fun stuff.


I am going to leave you with a few tips that will help you disconnect more from the virtual world and be more grounded:

.When you go out or on adventures, take a camera with you for pictures instead of your phone. You will be more in the moment and won't feel the need to share right away.

.Set a specific time at night to turn off your data and wi-fi

.Take an hour or two in the morning tho set intentions for the day BEFORE you turn your wi-fi and data on

.Leave your phone inside from time to time

.Take more time to look through your window during car rides

.Look at the sky more

.Do not watch people's IG stories so much... it'll give you more to talk about or ask about when you see them. And trust me, the questions will be deeper and more meaningful

.Try to meet people you know NOTHING about. You could do so by traveling or trying new things. Magic happens when you haven't seen or assumed anything from Instagram yet ;)


With that being said, I am leaving you with some pictures from my adventure. Please let me know in the comment box what YOU do to stay grounded and present.

xx





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