“Listen to your life…” – Frederick Buechner
No matter your age or stage or location in life, there is one school we all attend daily, and that is the school of life. Outside of buildings, classrooms, podcasts, books…our daily lives have MUCH to teach us if we pay attention and embrace the lessons.
The ocean is a significant part of my life, and is therefore a place that has taught me many things over the years. I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned with you in a new 5-part post series called “Life Lessons from the Ocean”. For me, the ocean and surfing has been a teacher in my life, but I encourage you to “listen to your life,” and pay attention to your rhythms and routines and places of joys and challenges to see what your life is trying to teach you. When you are in tune with yourself, those around you, and the life you’re living you can better adapt, overcome and love others well.
Lesson 1: Be Present.
The ocean has taught me to slow down and let go of noise…the noise of the news, social media, texts, the to-do list, and the constant noise of the world. Being in the ocean allows me to quiet the things that can feel overbearing and “too much” so I am able to think freely and be creative. I believe we all need to strive to find places to be free and fully present, otherwise our brains can get stuck in overdrive and the overwhelm and stress can get the best of us.
It’s easy to be tech free in the ocean because it’s really not even an option to bring your phone with you – ha! Over the last 5 or so years I’ve aimed to keep tabs on the tech side of the noise out of the water too. It’s sometimes referred to as digital minimalism. It feels SO good when the tech is minimal! Are y’all feeling more distant from loved ones, missing the eye contact of your kids or family, feeling brain-fried and unproductive at times? I think these are signs of an overly busy mind and a consequence of a tech-filled life.
I CHALLENGE you all to try to find your quiet and to keep tabs on your tech. Experiment with minimizing it and see how you feel. Fill that time with more meaningful living: go on a walk with a loved one, or a solo walk with space for reflection, watch the sunset, bust out cards or games, do something that’s peaceful and rejuvenating.
Flip the switch on being overly busy, and too tied to tech and instead live life with more meaning, boundaries, and intention. For me, the ocean provides that space, but you can find your own places that allow for more beauty, healthy unplugging, and peace. The ocean helps me be present and I encourage you to search out and find the place that helps you be still and more present in your life too!
For more practical suggestions on boundaries and benefits of reducing tech in your life check out these recent posts: Why I Removed Social From My Phone…Life is More Beautiful When We Are Present…Made For More…Healthy Phone Habits: Own it, Don’t let it own you.
Or treat yourself to my Be Present Course that will encourage and equip you to take steps and feel the freedom that comes with living more present.
Check out the podcast conversation I had with Dr Barbara that inspired this blog series.