The Revolution Starts When You Turn Off Your Phone 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Greg Rakozy Graphic created by Live In Color Blog

I did it, y’all. I stood in line for nearly twenty minutes, surrounded by the chaotic noise in a Chipotle on Saturday night, and I refused to scan my phone – no emailing, IG posts, tweeting or Facebook. Nope. I chose mind REST. I am escaping the land of overwhelm and productivity one bar at a time. Who’s with me?!?!

Is it easy? Heck NO! I felt myself fidget nervously, but then I looked at folks around me, heads buried in the captivating luminosity of their iPhones and Androids, and thought, if I don’t continue this mindful practice, I’m loosing thousands of hours of life to a device. Who has that kind of time?

Waking Up    

“A conditioned mind is not free because it can never go beyond its own borders, beyond the barriers it has built around itself; that is obvious. And it is very difficult for such a mind to free itself from its conditioning and go beyond, because this conditioning is imposed upon it, not only by society, but by itself. You like your conditioning because you dare not go beyond.

You are frightened of what your father and mother would say, of what society and the priest would say; therefore you help to create the barriers which hold you. This is the prison in which most of us are caught, and that is why your parents are always telling you – as you in turn will tell your children – to do this and not do that.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti

A few months ago, my Dad hung out with us, and we were eating. He looked over at me, sort of befuddled, as I sat, chewing bites of food, pausing to post on Instagram and said: “Do you ever put that thing down?”

I brushed it off, mumbling something about a deadline but his sentence took root in my spirit,  becoming the catalyst for a kind of subtle inner revolution. No viral videos or Twitter hashtag announcing this cause, just a girl who is stepping into mindfulness anew.

How did I become a woman who jerks away from silence, choosing, instead to run headfirst into a suffocating busyness? Me. The little girl who dramatically announced to her family that she needed “quiet time to write.” Where is she in this era of constant communication, but dwindling connection? I am bringing her back to life, one mindful moment at a time.

Why Leaving Our Cell Phones Home Some Days is a Good Thing

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Greg Rakozy

“I imagine a world where we smile when we have low batteries, cause that will mean we’ll be one bar closer to humanity.”
– Prince EA, “Can We Autocorrect Humanity?”

The other day I left my house in a flurry, chasing a luxury which eludes me mostly (and many other women) –  a few hours for myself. Then I did something which is rare for this organized Mama – I left my cell phone home.

I panicked, y’all. You know the tense feeling that floods your gut, nearly overtaking you. Yep, there I sat, in rush hour traffic, praying for a red light so I could continue digging for my phone.

I remembered packing my Kindle, but soon discovered that battery was nearly dead, too. I know. I am an addict. Did I just type those words?

Finally, I made peace with the silence, and became present. No checking my apps or scanning for music. I simply sat, surrending to contemplation.

Funny thing happened along the drive to the salon… I noticed buildings previously ignored, rolled down my window and heard  the natural rhythmic movement of city life anew. Ideas for blog posts filtered in one after another – and all because I allowed my mind to rest.

Perhaps we should all leave our cell phones and mobile devices home more often; digital fatigue is real. And in many ways, friends, this push and pull to stay connected is changing us. Rest is becoming a mirage in a world obsessed with productivity and multitasking.

We fill our moments with checking emails and social media, jumping to answer text messages, and apologizing for late responses. Is it really that awful if we take a few days to reply to someone?

Spoken word artist Prince EA has a line from his song “Can we Auto Correct Humanity?” that comes to mind in this moment: “Did you know the average person spends four years of their life looking at a cell phone?”

Let’s take our years back now.