Technology and constant stimulation are a big part of most people's lives. I too am guilty. But as I get older I prefer more downtime. I prefer quietness. I value being alone. I would rather be outside in nature than bogged down by electronics. I like the simple things.

This morning I drove out to the gym only to quickly pull away and head to the park. Intuitively I felt drawn to being outdoors rather than being surrounded by strangers and equipment. I also decided to forgo strapping on my iPod and was glad I didn't have my GPS watch with me. This meant no distractions and no monitoring of time or distance. It was me and nature. It was without boundaries.

It felt incredible to be able to really marvel at the world around me, the trees, the flowers, the sound of birds chirping, the wind against my skin. So often these fade into the background and go by unnoticed and unappreciated. Today though these simple things were exponentially beautiful to me.

Admittedly I got lost in thought from time to time. Having no distractions affords a lot of time to think, to create and to connect. I was able to sift through ideas and situations without outside influence. I felt a bit more clarity afterward. I often felt a smile involuntarily spread across my face.

What I also enjoyed about my morning stroll was being able to feel a little more connected to the others who were walking in the park. Normally I would be running by and would give a brief smile and hello. But today I was able to offer a genuine smile, a more meaningful Hello, and in one case a very short interaction. I think we are so consumed with ourselves and what we are doing that we go through life with our heads down and eyes averted. I cannot explain how amazing and warm it feels to connect with a stranger even if it is for a brief moment.

And all of this happened by simply leaving the gadgets behind and going back to the basics. It's amazing what can happen and how you can feel when you slow down.

No comments: