Weekly Practice: Breaking Technological Addictions

I was on a bus once, sitting next to a man and a woman texting away on their phones. I jokingly asked if they were texting each other. They were. Unreal.

When I wake up in the morning, the first impulse I have is to reach for my phone. It’s as though that little slide and click across that screen is actually part of the process of waking up. It certainly is part of the process of plugging in and connecting. But connecting to what?

This week’s practice is about noticing what we’re connected to and why, what we’re choosing intentionally, what’s merely habit, and what’s actually a compulsion.

So I offer you a challenge. This is for all of those whose cell phones are like another appendage, who start the day by checking in as soon as they’re out of bed, or while their heads are still nestled in their pillows.

Practice: Abstain from checking your phone for 30-60 minutes after you wake up. Wake instead with a ritual that connects you inward, with yourself. Here are some of my favourite ways to do this (but by all means, play with your own rhythms):

  • Take out a journal and free-write whatever thoughts are there for several pages (for those who’ve done The Artist’s Way- morning pages.)
  • Sit in silent meditation.
  • Make a cup of tea and then drink it, slowly and mindfully at each step and sip.
  • Lie on the floor, stretch about; slowly move into some breath work and yoga postures.
  • Walk outside, bare feet in the grass, water the garden if you’ve got one.

I don’t know about you, but this sounds heavenly to me. A spacious morning yet to be intruded upon by thoughts of this massive world and all the connections we hold and our commitments to them. But be forewarned, if first-thing-in-the-morning-phone-checking is a fierce habit for you, this practice will likely suck and create some form of anxiety. This is good news.

It’s a divinely devotional act to claim our own center, our own space, our own relationship to ourselves and our inner worlds before having our attention and energy extend outward.

But for many, plugging in to the online world is what we identify with, fill ourselves with and reinforce a sense of Self with. To stop doing this can bring you face to face with your own inner emptiness, fears and anxieties and restlessness. It’s not like plugging in actually makes these feelings go away, it just fills and distracts and dispels. When we take away the substance, we’re left with what’s beneath.

Here are some sentence stems you can use to reflect on what happens for you as you engage with this itty bit of technological abstinence.

When I don’t check my phone, I feel…

I am afraid that I am going to miss…

I feel most compelled toward or attached to checking…because…

My experience of inner emptiness evokes…

I feel most connected to my authentic self when…

Being online and engaging with social media and other forms of technological connection feeds…

I recognize myself the most when…

I recognize feelings of addiction and compulsion towards technology as…

What helps me to connect to myself and feel free choice about how online is…

May this practice serve to expand and deepen your connection with your truest and highest self.

 

I’m an Integral Master Coach™, Master Certified Coach, writer, mother & people lover. My gifts are centered around helping others to meet their calling and unleash their genius, on behalf of our shared world. Get to know me...

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