Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hello, September!


Day 1 social media free

After I spent the whole day saving all my photos off of instagram and Facebook the time had come to fully delete everything. Right before I hit the "DELETE ACCOUNT" button on my instagram I felt my heart literally pounding in my chest so fast. I got cold feet, but kept hearing something tell me that I need to let go of what is no longer serving me. So, I quickly read some of these quotes below I had saved  which truly gave me the urge I needed to hit that "DELETE ACCOUNT" button. 

"Its so empowering to say "this isn't serving me" and walk away in peace."

"Where you are a year from now is a reflection of the choices you choose to make right now." 

"Become more aware of what's really worth your energy."

"If you know you can do better, then do better."

"Instead of looking at your phone you should make some art, kiss someone, read a book, cup up old magazines, see a friend, wake up for the sunrise, write down your dreams, swim in the ocean, make coffee, do something you're bad at or tell some-one you love them."

 I want to record what my first day off instagram and Facebook felt like because I had a lot of pretty rad realizations which made me really happy to make that leap yesterday to delete my accounts.

First of all, I was pretty shocked by how often my thoughts were consumed by remembering photographs and posts from others. I am pretty stoked to start replacing all the spaces in my mind that used to be consumed by others posts with my own ideas and memories. Not how influencers try to influence me!

Who will I become once I sit quietly and don't have the images from social media swirling in my head? I am so excited to replace others photos in my mind's eye with my own memories, the faces of my sweet little family, nature...

Even the healthy and spiritual people I followed always had an agenda. In the process of posting yourself and your life for others to witness and be impressed by, humans begin to lose who they really are. It becomes more about impressing others so they will like you, and less about knowing yourself for the fact of liking yourself and enjoying what you are doing. 

This morning I had a deeper connection to nature as I thought about these things. I started trying to really listen to nature and I can see already that this is going to be a huge blessing that comes from my getting off of social media. I would freaking love if I replaced my addiction to social media with time OUTSIDE. I want to get addicted to nature. 

The big push for me to take a drastic leap to delete my accounts was after watching "The Social Dilemma" and realizing that the computer, or AI, had begun to outsmart my own brain. The fact that I could have the exact same Facebook as another person but our home screen would be different because the computer on the other side of the screen knew exactly what to show me to get me hooked, was creepy! Plus it doesn't care at all about my well being, they are all just trying to make money off of me. The developers, the social media influencers - it is all just about money! Everyone walks around so incredibly addicted it is insane! 

One scene that truly impacted me was the one where the mom put the phones into the locked box for dinner. I could see how easy that family could become mine. I decided I wanted to take a stand for not only my family, but for myself. It isn't about controlling others but controlling my own addictions and choosing to focus on those around me instead of staring at a screen or trying to impress others by my online persona! It doesn't have to just be at the dinner table that my attention is split. It is all day and night. There were so many parts of the documentary that just hit me hard. Another scene was the one where the boy fell asleep on his phone. The documentary made it feel like it was crazy because IT IS but EVERYONE IS DOING IT. It is CRAZY the way the world is so quickly going! 

I also thought the comment about the fact that now AI is beginning to over power humans will power is the first step to AI taking over completely. First, we have to allow it to take over our will power. I also was shook by the fact that fake news spreads so much faster than real news and the comments about how we are only shown people like us on Facebook which makes us feel like everyone should think like we do and those who don't are wrong and insane to think the way they do. 

I don't want this choice to be all about Esme because I honestly did it for so many reasons but of course the fact that she is going to have a mother who isn't being influenced herself by unrealistic beauty standards and a mother who is going to truly get to know herself on a deep level really is exciting and motivating to me. I am going to be able to look at my daughter in the eye from a new me, a me I honestly don't even know yet. I want to be so focused on her and making sure I am the best mother I can be for her. I knew in the bottom of my heart that if roles were reversed, and I was Esme, I wouldn't want my mommy on the phone all the time looking at other peoples photos. If I was Esme, I would want my mom to make sure I felt more loved than her little screen in her hand.

I am a part of group of parents who have NO CLUE the impact our constant addiction to our devices will have on our babies and young kids, but there is no way the outcome is going to be positive one. Any time our babies and children feel less important or have to share their mom with a screen is without a doubt going to be detrimental. I want to be as present and loving to my child as I can be. So many adults are screwed up by what happened to them in childhood. I want to raise a kid who doesn't have to spend years fixing broken parts of themselves because her mommy didn't take her young years seriously. These first years, they matter. A lot. Her little brain is developing at lighting bolt speeds. I don't want to be unconscious about the fact I can easily put my own neurosis until her unless I am careful. It is bound to happen, of course, to some degree, but I want to be aware of the massive impact I have on her by the way I live my day to day life around her. They pick up everything like a sponge, the good and the bad! If I am so hooked to my phone that I choose to go on social media instead of doing things that actually make me happy and feel good, that is for sure going to be passed onto her. 

So much of what I buy, what I do, how I do my makeup and hair has been influenced by what I see people I honestly think are cool online. It is crazy to admit it, but we all do it to some degree. I have bought certain things because I want to appear a certain way. I am so excited now to get to know who I am without these random humans who post photos with captions. I truly desire to get to know myself and what I like, what I want to wear. 

Yes, one day she will be able to choose what technology she wants to use and I know that instagram may even be something of the past the way Myspace is now. However, she will have gotten to live a golden childhood that is going to be extremely rare. In todays world, or America at least, I would say most parents use social media. I think the numbers will only continue to rise and it will get more and more addicting. So, I am very happy to give Esme a glimpse of life during her childhood of what it means to connect to other people in a true, deep and meaningful way. Not because it will look cool in photos and make other people jealous or impress them that you are worthy. 

I want to spend time in nature, learn what I like because I like it and not because some one tells me I should. I want to see what I think about when my mind is uncluttered by random peoples thoughts and photos. I want to learn to truly connect on such a crazy deep level with all my loved ones. I want to be truly thoughtful. I want to become the self I have always envisioned I could become. Today, a shift certainly happened. I kept thinking that the only person holding me back from my highest self is me. I want to get serious about my life and the choices I am making and the thoughts I am having. I feel my highest self finally screaming at me that it is time to continue to jump into that person I have dreamt of becoming but always put off. I can be her. I see myself rapidly making so many realizations to become her now that I have made a huge leap to cut ties with the old me.

I like this, a lot. This feels good and right and I know that life is going to start feeling much more REAL as I seek deeper and deeper connection with myself and those around me.

This morning at the ocean I had a thought after I did yoga, meditated and read. I thought as I got up to leave how if I didn't have Dave, Esme and Arlo or our beautiful home a short bike ride home from the beach I would seriously wish with every ounce of my being to have what I have. If I wasn't given all these countless blessings I am surrounded by right now as I type, I would wish I had them. I love realizing how good life is and really feeling the gratitude in my soul. I am so freaking lucky, I have no idea how I got here but I want to become the best version of myself because I have been given the opportunity to bloom and bring so much light to everyone in my life. 

 I know I am not the type of girl who is good at moderation. I knew I had to go all in and delete them all because I had already tried to limit my addiction/the negative impact social media had on me living my best life in other ways. One of those ways was that I had already limited the people I followed to about 40 on instagram - 20 people I knew and 20 influencers, many just vegans or people in the yoga community. I realized this fact perhaps made my particular instagram feed have a bigger impact on me than others feed did since I truly respected and looked up to each influencer I followed! They weren't just makeup or fashion accounts. 

Anyways, I can see how this is really moving me to finally cut ties with my past self once and for all. I no longer want to make any excuses that keep me down from becoming the best version of myself. Now that I cut ties with the past me in this way, it is helping me to have such clearer thoughts about my wonderful life and how much responsibility I have to live it well. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Plaza Catalunya was my home.

I just found this expert I wrote during or shortly after my adventure living in Spain one summer with no money. It was the most amazing adventure! I am also sharing photos that are raw and real during that time of my life to preserve them in the best way possible.

Looking out from the treehouse I called home over looking the most famous plaza in Barcelona, Spain, Plaza Catalunya, I observed all the tourists observing me overhead. They looked at me with wide eyes as if I was a rare animal at the zoo. They took pictures and marveled at not only me, but all of what we had created on Plaza Catalunya. It was all a beautiful, wild sight to behold unlike anything anyone could have even dreamed up. I was used to the tourists and journalists snapping pictures of me and didn't even notice anymore. I didn't blame them because if the roles were reversed, I would have probably taken a picture of myself too. A strange girl with hair made light from living under the sun and skin as tan as it could possibly be resting comfortably in a make shift treehouse big enough to hold 20 individuals. I'm sure no one would have guessed I was just an American college student who originally came to Spain to be a nanny just a couple months earlier. Wearing an outfit constructed of piecies put together from the joint clothing tent, I'm sure I looked as hippie and foreign as they come.

The treehouse was made of mattresses tied together with ropes and netting which made enormous hammocks from the branches. A ladder up the side of the tree trunk served as steps. It was a magical tree house, filled with free spirits from all around the globe who came to the revolution in Barcelona to live together and make a public display for peace. Resting in the treehouse, it dawned on me what a sight I must have been. It was almost impossible to believe that just 3 short months earlier I had been living in San Francisco renting an apartment. Yet at this time in the tree house I didn't have a cent to my name and that was more than alright by me. This is my true story of the events which led up to living in a tree house in Spain with the Spanish revolution as well as the events which took place following the revolution. It is a story of losing literally all of my belongings and having no money or home for 8 months in 2 countries whose language I did not speak and the incredible lessons I learned in the process about what truly makes a soul feel happy to be alive.