Do you ever feel like you have a hard time just being present in the moment? Do you feel like you have some sort of weird attachment to your phone, apple watch, iPad, or some other electronic device?
I’m asking because I am completely guilty of not being able to just be present and I’m completely guilty of having an addiction to my phone. Luckily I have a 10 year old daughter who is so good at helping me detach from my phone and become more present in my life. Let me explain.
I use my phone to check emails, stay updated on social media posts and to check in on the business when I’m not there. At least a couple of times a day. It used to be more times a day, I’m actually getting better. I will be with my daughter and she has to make a comment to me like, “Could you just quit looking at your phone?” or “Did you hear what I said or were you looking at your phone?” As soon as she says it my heart sinks and I’m embarrassed.
I read something somewhere that talked about how just having your device sitting out on the table if you are having dinner with someone is a clear signal to that person you are with that they are not that important. Just having the phone sitting there says to that person…I’m hanging out with you but if something like an email, a text or a social media notification comes through…that is more important and I’ll have to check it. I know more important then anything that could come through on my phone, my daughter holds my heart. I NEVER want her to think that anything that pops up on my phone could be more important than her and the time we spend together…yet I seem to keep having those moments.
I always make a point to put my phone away when she reminds me and thank her for reminding me. Even though those moments still happen, I can tell you they are a lot less frequent than they used to be. I feel like I am getting more practiced at learning to be present and I’m thankful that she helps to remind me to do it!
So why am I telling you all this? I’m telling you because I see the same lack of being present in many of my clients during their Pilates sessions and classes. I see clients checking their texts on their phones and watches, answering the occasional phone call, reading news notifications and just plain being distracted. I am not judging, because I know how hard it is to just be present.
I know that it is such a habit for us to be so connected to everything and everyone all the time that it seems impossible to just focus on one thing. As a teacher I don’t like to have “rules” about not having devices in the studio room because I know that every once in awhile you absolutely need to be able to be reached during your session for something in your life.
But my guess is that 95% of the time the texts, emails, calls and notifications are totally something that could wait without consequence until your 50 minute session is over. My guess is that you could silence your notifications or leave your device in the car or in your gym bag and all would be good!
I realize that you don’t even realize how often you are checking in and if I brought it up…you might have that heart sinking, embarrassed feeling that I have when my daughter reminds me.
I also think that if you committed to spending your entire 50 minute session or class focused on yourself and what you were doing….the effects would travel into the rest of your life. When we practice being present, we get better at it. When we practice spending almost an hour focused on our own health and well being (and the world does not fall apart in the meantime!) then we get better at listening and being present to our spouse, our kids and our friends.
The effect of being present in your important relationships in your life will surely trickle into more positive, less stressful moments in your life.
So maybe next time you have a session or class you’ll decide to silence your devices or even leave them in another room and dedicate yourself to just practicing being present.