In Michigan, Spring Break, occurring in late March or early April is a phenomenon. Around the time of the Spring Equinox mass amounts of humanity vacate the northern world in pursuit of warmer temperatures, beaches, and spring flowers. Traveling via car or plane can take you to sunny destinations within hours or days. As a youth, the family spring break adventure was thrilling, as we traversed through mountainous landscapes and green hillsides, admiring the red dirt. I wanted my children to have this same experience.
Times have changed. We live in an era of technology, with access to any and all information within seconds. Gone are the days of staring out the window admiring the unique landscapes and grazing cows. I still do this, because I am unable to read or view anything in a car, except the road ahead. Yet, my two teenage daughters are heads down in movie players, iPads, iPhones, and DS3’s. What are they missing as the miles roll forward? What are we all missing as we become more and more engrossed in our devices and less and less aware of our surroundings both human and non-human?
Vacationing near the beach off the Florida Panhandle, gave me the time to think and contemplate the state of my world. I sat on the porch off the master bedroom. In a cozy rocking chair, I was mindful of the gecko, which was hanging out under the cushion. Spending most of my week “device free” left me time to finish a book, draw a picture, take walks, and enjoy time with family. I stopped reading and watching videos from the inspirational sites I frequent. Checking Facebook or emails only a couple times of day left me less stressed and anxious.
How could I incorporate this behavior into my life at home? Could I give up knowing what everyone is doing? Could I give up the fear of not being connected? Could I live without the latest news on the presidential election? The answer is a resounding “yes”! My meditation this week was on “routines” and which ones need adjusting? This is definitely one that can be reviewed and reduced. As I mindfully navigate myself back from Florida to Michigan, I’ll bring this new routine with me.
Susan J. McFarland
Thanks to Susan J. McFarland for permission to use this from her personal writer blog!
Susan J. McFarland has been a student of spirituality and health for over
three decades. She loves writing, hiking, and traveling. She resides in Michigan with her husband and two growing daughters. Susan offers talks, workshops, and consultations on
living a balanced life.
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