I woke up really early yesterday, made coffee, and walked to the end of the pier. As I stared at the stillness of the lake I took in the tranquility that’s nearly impossible to find anywhere but nature. My phone rested next to me, its service spotty enough for me to remain uninterested.
I’m actually glad there is no service or WiFi for backup there. It’s forced detox from the never-ending stimuli of a smartphone. They’re definitely convenient, and I can’t imagine working or communicating without one, but this is a sanctuary from the endless notifications, messages, calls, and information.
I heard something move behind me and looked to see a tiny turtle joining me to welcome the day. A heron swooped in and perched on the pier opposite of me. The breeze blew, and I had yet to feel the heat that’s sure to come later in the day. The morning still had enough chill to periodically bring bumps to the back of my arm.
I tried to let my mind go blank, to not think about anything specific, to simply be present. I was reminded how incredibly hard that actually is. Most days require my mind to be like a web browser with 36 tabs open.
To sit and just be aware, without an inner dialogue, with no self-talk, no scripts, no worries, no quiet insecurities, nothing to be anxious about, not wanting, nothing—it’s really challenging.
It is absolutely necessary, though. It’s like starting a diet or a workout routine and not realizing how terrible you actually felt before you did it. In the same fashion, finding true quiet is not easy to start or sustain but reaps huge benefits once the discipline sets in.
I have nothing monumental, existential, or world shattering to offer this week, other than a brief testimony and encouragement to get outside and get off your phone. I actually feel great today, and that wouldn’t be so had I not hit the reset button. Now, back to those 36 tabs I had open...