Using Technology to Remain Awake and What Happens When You Turn It Off

Over the past several months, I’ve been on one heckuva fun ride using a watch to beep every so often to serve as a reminder / wake-up call to bring me back into the present moment.  I started experimenting with the watch in the summer and have sporadically used it since then, only turning it off at the start of the New Year.  Now there is nothing to remind me to breathe, feel grateful, think about God, Peace, Joy, Love, Reverence, Compassion – all those good things.  And there’s nothing to remind me to laugh and dance.  Thankfully, this hasn’t resulted in catastrophe…yet.  Seven billion people seem to do pretty well in the world without having a watch beep at them, and recently I’ve been coping.

Not having the watch turned on presents an interesting challenge.  When it was turned on, especially in the month of December, my days were filled with abundant joy, as I would intentionally laugh and dance and feel grateful and breathe deeply every 7 minutes.  ‘Twas amazing!  Now I don’t have the watch to remind, yet I want to hold onto that wonderful experience and awareness.  The question is…how?

Words of wisdom I received 2-3 years ago and am still practicing and implementing into my life, “Breathe, smile, go slowly,”  said by the very-present Thich Nhat Hanh.  Without the watch to remind me to “be present to win,” I’m now called upon to cultivate that awareness myself, sans technology.  Going slowly, I find, is the key.  Particularly, when walking, to mindfully step allows me to be in a similar space as when the watch would remind me to be present.  However, it really is challenging.  It’s hard to go slowly and not want to get to where you going and instead be present each and every step of the way.  Currently, as I walk, as best I can, I think “God is Here,” and step again, ‘God is Now.’  Those two thoughts are powerful for appreciating what the present moment offers.  As my dad often reminds me, “I have everything I need to enjoy my Here & Now.”  Thanks be to God 🙂

For the month of January, I’ll have the watch turned off and be experimenting with building my awareness into the present moment, seizing opportunities like drinking water, eating food, beginning to write or read as opportunities to breathe deeply, express grateful, and connect in the present moment.  I’ve also heard that if you become conscious every time you walk through a doorway, that’s a very powerful practice.  Think…sacred space 🙂


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