We all have incredible intentions to be mindful throughout the day, but then life happens and we get distracted, and can easily loose our momentum. Emergencies pop up, kids get sick, the sink leaks, the dog needs to go to the vet, and all of a sudden we are back to rushing through the day.
Even though my job is to teach others about mindfulness, even I need daily reminders! Contrary to what some people think, my life isn’t zen 24/7. My kids fight, I forget things on my list at the grocery store, and I procrastinate by skimming my Facebook feed just like anyone else. Because of these and many other of life’s unpredictable moments I know what I need to do in order to be successful in my mindfulness and self-care practice, and I have set up my environment for success.
I consider technology a blessing and a curse in my life. I adore how it allows me to connect with others in my business and personal life, and I am always inspired by quotes and posts online. Technology is also one of my biggest time sucks, and I have to be really careful to monitor my time online. But when my phone is used for good, such as helping me to be more mindful, I am glad it is more or less an additional appendage.
Here are five ways that I use my phone as a mindfulness tool:
1. I use the reminder feature to flash an affirmation on my screen every hour, such as, “ I speak my truth always in all ways” or “Something amazing is going to happen today.” These offer me a moment of pause and contemplation even in the midst of a busy day.
2. I live and die by my online calendar, and as a working mom I couldn’t survive without it. There are days that my schedule can feel overwhelming, but I have programmed mindfulness breaks in to help create space between appointments with clients and chauffeuring my kids. Every single day at 3:00 pm an alert goes off on my calendar that says “Gratitude is my Attitude.” No matter what I am doing when it goes off, I pause, and after three deep breaths think of something I am grateful for.
3. The convenience of having my pictures, calendar, email and even my music all in one place and the ease this affords me is something that I appreciate on a daily basis. The playlist that gets the most attention on my phone is my meditation music. I occasionally do play music when I meditate, or during a class, but I find that this is the music I want to listen to whenever I am alone because it allows me to go within and connect with my soul during quiet times like driving or cooking. Music from Jai-Jadeesh, Snatam Kaur and Deva Premal are among my absolute favorites.
4. I enjoy journaling but don’t always have my journal on me when inspiration strikes and I want to record an important thought. The notes section on my phone is an excellent stand-in when needed.
5. My smartphone allows me to use mindfulness apps with the touch of my finger and I am truly grateful for them daily, especially Insight Timer which I use to time all my meditations. It is the one app that I don’t think I could survive without.
See, technology isn’t all bad, as long as we become mindful enough to realize when we need to take a break and head offline! I suggest removing the phone from your vicinity when eating, and choosing a few hours every weekend to completely unplug.