An Open Letter to Phone-Addicted Friends and Family

I know we’ve talked about this casually before.

“Everyone’s addicted to devices these days.”

“The average human being now has the attention span of a goldfish”

But it’s more than that.

On the other side of every conversation we have is another human being with an experience as rich and complex as yours. Today I want to try to share with you what it’s like to be me, on the other end of things.

When your phone is out and you are impulsively reaching for it every few moments, it changes the conversation.

It become an arms race for the most interesting, most stimulating topic. I feel this weight, my mind urgently searching for something to keep your attention, otherwise I see your eyes start to wander. I see your hand reach for your phone, in the middle of my sentence. Like a child, I rush. I speed up.

There’s this feeling, like your self worth is only what you can come up with to entertain those in your presence, because you know they’ll turn away from you if you don’t… it’s one of the worst feelings in the world Disappointed Face on Google Android 7.1. To watch someone important in your life consciously or subconsciously – literally and physically – turn away from your face as you are talking…. Disappointed Face on Google Android 7.1… for this to happen again and again… all day long… in every moment we spend time together Disappointed Face on Google Android 7.1  Disappointed Face on Google Android 7.1

I know this might seem like a naggy pet-peeve, but for me, it’s as important as being kind to someone, being a good friend, being there for your people.

The alternative is actually hurtful. It’s the same feeling of worthlessness you might get if you asked a good friend for help in a moment of serious need, and you could feel their turning away from you when they text back, “nah, I’m busy.” Abandoned, simply because there’s something more interesting.

Being turned away from, big or small, is hurtful. And being turned away from as a matter of habit, well…

 

–  –  –

 

Maybe the next time we spend time together, we can silence our phones. Turn them off. Leave them in the other room.

What a relief it would be, just to be me, to have the space and time to really share who I am, instead of constantly trying to win the arms race for your affection attention.

-Taylor

P.S. – This is not just a think piece. Most of this was lifted verbatim from real emails and conversations.

How to Actually Make Meditation A Habit

meditation rocks

“This year I’m going to start meditating regularly.”

It sounds good, but in the real world we rarely follow through.

Maybe we meditate a few times and nothing exciting happens. Or we make some progress. But after a few days, a week, a month, we stop. It doesn’t become a regular part of our life.

It doesn’t become a habit.

If you want to get the benefits of meditation, talking about it with friends, reading about it on Facebook and Reddit, and meditating “every so often” is not going to cut it.

It’s time to start thinking about how to turn it into a habit, robust enough for the long run. We know meditation is a practice much like exercise (it only works if done consistently) – so treat it that way!

Today we’re going to abolish the casual: “ughh, I need to meditate more.” If you ever expected to evolve from a Facebook-addicted mind to a Zen master in a matter of weeks, this article is for you.

Meditation is amazing – it rewires our brain, literally building gray matter and undoing years of conditioning.

That’s why today I’m going to give you a blueprint to actually make meditation a part of your life.

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Why You Should Know the Difference Between Scribe Knowledge and Warrior Knowledge

Warrior Knowledge Vs Scribe Knowledge

Words often limit us in ways we don’t even know. That’s why I love words like schadenfreude – apart from just being plain fun to use, it helps illuminate the limitations of language itself.

The way we talk about things has a profound impact on the way we think about things – and ultimately – the decisions we make… even how we act without realizing it. Words are powerful, even when we don’t realize the power they have over us.

Today I want to talk about one instance where the power of words often secretly sabotages our mindfulness and meditation practice: the lack of a coherent way to distinguish between experiential knowledge, and intellectual knowledge

In the simplest terms, think of this as the difference between knowing what [the western version of] love is (scribe), understanding it through pop culture and worldy observations… and feeling love. Being in love (warrior).

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You are NOT your first thought: Understanding Your Dual Mind

thought light bulb

We usually think of ourselves as having one mind. You’re you. I’m me. We’re each one person.

But if you’ve ever set your keys down and realized you have NO idea where, weren’t sure if you left the iron/stove on, or skipped ahead and lost time because you went into “autopilot” mode during a commute, you should know your mind isn’t so simple.

Sometimes, our “observing” mind takes a back seat entirely. Othertimes, it’s there, but without any power:

  • You look back and get angry at yourself for watching TV instead of doing work. In fact, you feel guilty in the moment, but just keep going!
  • You rationally KNOW and WANT to exercise more or eat healthier, but when the time comes to make a healthy decision, you just can’t make it happen.
  • You know you need to start that big project, but… you will in an hour. Promise.

Most of us can intuitively conclude that something tricky is going on here.

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