July 6, 2016
I just returned from spending 3 days at an amazing health and wellness resort called Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. My intention was to get to know the place and the culture as I will be a specialty presenter at the ‘Ranch’ July 1-8, 2017. I had heard about this place over the years since I lived in San Diego but really didn’t know what to expect.
In three short days, I could see why people from all over the world choose this as a destination for their vacation year after year. In addition, to the feeling that the Ranch is a family and culture of health and wellness, the beautiful mountain hikes each morning, the incredible vegetarian food, the wonderful fitness classes, massages and meditation gardens, there is one more thing that made this place the ultimate paradise.
What was that ‘one thing’ that made all the difference?
No cell phone use for 3 days.
I’m serious. At Rancho La Puerta, they even give you a mini sleeping bag to put your phone in, so it gets a vacation. Yes, there are places where you can speak on the phone in case you need to in the form of phone booths, but overall there are no beeps or buzzes allowed on the premises.
To those of us who remember the ‘good old days’, this is a lot like our childhood reality which has faded into a distant background. The days when you were not looking down at a device and actually present in each moment instead of checking your facebook status or whatapp messages for what seems like every waking moment of the day.
I’m not going to lie. I caved in once and went to the internet access center to check my messages, struggling with the anxiety that I was going to miss something important. And do you know what I realized? That I am actually not as important as I think I am. That most messages can wait while I take a swim or walk through the meadows. That just the anticipation of checking my messages caused an increase in my heart rate that was oddly familiar.
After 3 days of (almost) no cell coverage, I realized that I felt more restored than ever. My mind had time to clear and new ideas and new friendships formed organically. I spent time getting to know myself and felt the anxiety of unanswered messages melt away. There was nowhere else to be but Here. Now.
As I crossed the border and entered into the U.S. once again, I began to feel this sense of urgency to get back to work but this time instead of responding to it, I just sat with it and noticed. I noticed the sensations in my body and the voices in my head that come along with the need to check my devices. And I am wondering if there is a way to find some balance with technology so that I don’t let it take control of my inner peace.
Perhaps I can try to take a break once a week, or even an hour a day from the endless contact with the cyber world? Or maybe I set aside specific times of the day when I check my email or social media? Let’s be real. As a business owner, I need to stay connected, but I bet there is a way to do it that doesn’t squash the passion in my soul and allows me to lift my head up off a screen long enough to see the hummingbird in my path.