Our inner-voice is speaking but can’t get a word in edgewise with the constant connection to technology. I guiltily admit to my habit of filling every free moment with technology check-ins. On my phone, I tap into the world through online news, text, email, Facebook, Twitter and play Words with Friends. It’s habitual, comforting and addictive. Drinking my morning coffee, I check my phone. Waiting in line at the grocery store, I check my phone. Decompressing at the end of the day, I play games on my iPad or iPhone. All of the moments when I used to pause and really listen to myself, are being filled with mental activity through technology attachment.
Last week when I sat in meditation to just listen, no question, no agenda, I felt uncomfortable. I set my phone on airplane mode so I wouldn’t get interrupted, then set the iPhone timer for fifteen-minutes hoping I could make it through the seemingly grueling long nothingness. Sitting still isn’t my forte. I walk meditation and journal daily as ways to center and connect with my inner truth. I quickly was reminded, that thoughtlessness was nourishing. It refreshed my mind like a cool washcloth on a fevered forehead.
At fifteen-minutes when the iPhone marimba sounded, I turned it off and stayed floating in mediation for a full 45 minutes. At times I received clarity about something in my life unresolved, other moments just silence. The mediation erased the sense that there was too much to do, too much information to keep up with. It returned me to feeling “All is well.”
There is a stress inherent in the information age, the stress of keeping up and the stress of processing the constant stream of input. Ongoing technology connection keeps that stress active, even in down times. We have become conditioned to constant mental stimulation. We don’t even notice our minds are tired. The stress relief and nourishment that comes from quiet time is as important as getting a good night’s sleep.
The next time you have to wait, instead of turning to fill the time with the constant stream of information served up with ease from your phone, just sit there, wait. Let your mind be still. It’s very relaxing once you get past the discomfort. It will release tension you don’t even know you are carrying. Listening to our inner-voice takes discipline. We have to turn off distractions and give ourselves permission to take the time to do nothing.