Returning with Intention
I am just returning from a sweet, two week respite in Costa Rica. I am so grateful for the time away from routine, pattern and technology, and for the time with myself, family and nature. This post, though, is less about my time away and more about the return back to life here in Austin. It’s been an interesting few days. In Costa Rica, we were very much unplugged. I was hoping to carry that forward to some degree, but I found myself quickly seduced by the inundation of email, mail and all forms of electronic communication. I was already beginning to feel the drain of energy in the less real world of technology. Technology is wonderful and effective, however, only when used skillfully; when it is a choice, rather than an unconscious habit.
Upon returning, I also felt a bit of emptiness. The emptiness I realized was mostly due to missing more extensive amounts of time with my family. I found that it was almost appealing to fill the space with checking my email more often than I needed or considering skimming through Facebook one more time. Email and social media are really nice ways to stay connected, but they don’t replace the real life connections that we have.
This morning I took time to pause, meditate. Rather than taking my cup of coffee to my Mac screen, I took it outside to the vibrance around me. I didn’t have to be in Costa Rica to feel the richness of nature. It is right here, in this very moment actually. As I write, I hear and feel the rustling of the leaves in the wind, the life in the sounds of the birds. I can see the deep hues of green in the trees, the vastness of the sky. Yes, all this in my backyard. And sure, I still miss the time I had with my family, but I don’t need to cover it up with email, texting or social media. I can simply take time to feel the temporary emptiness and be grateful for it. It only points to the deep love I hold for them.
I don’t want to eliminate technology, but I do want to remember to use it skillfully. I want to be more present to the real living, breathing life around me. I want to take time for more face to face or even phone conversation than those over text. I want to remember to look to nature, often. I want to remember to sit and be, not only when I meditate, but in the small, ordinary moments through the day. I want to embrace the life that is here. I very likely will forget these intentions at times, but I trust that something deeper in me will remember to return.
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”