A couple of weeks ago I went on a school camp with my class. We went to Sunday Creek Environmental Education Centre, a couple of hours North of Brisbane set in amongst the Conondale National Park. Their webpage states that they focus on community building, leadership, and personal development, using the stunning national park as our source of inspiration. The centre is also located on the old 'Jimna Diggings' where gold was first discovered in 1868. The centre is surrounded by open forests and wet sclerophyll forests. It has been the centre for extensive gold mining in the past and relics of this era abound. It truly is a beautiful location.
Before we left for camp, my other year five colleagues had mentioned not only the high quality of the camp but the fact that there is no reception out there. I was jokingly making comments like - "Oh no! How will I survive for 4 days without any technology/facebook?!" I admit that part of me wondered and the other part was really looking forward to being completely disconnected from technology. I can honestly say, I don't think I can recall a time that I have ever been completely disconnected from technology, with no access at all.
We live in a world where technology is literally at our fingertips. Access is available everywhere with wifi and networks reaching further and further afield. There are always lots of discussions about how much time we spend on our phones or computers and social media. I even have an app that tells me how much screen time I have used during the week. Some weeks it is not so bad but others I am sure it is over calculating somehow! :D And that is just on my phone, not including my computer.
When I first arrived at the camp, I was using my phone to take photos but my hand was in an automatic habit of swiping up to see what was happening on any social media platform, only to discover within a few seconds that I was not connected. It only happened a few times but it made me realise how automatic the action actually was.
By the end of the four days, I realised I didn't miss it as much as I had thought and the only thing I felt I wanted to do was to be able to share my adventures with friends and family back home. A landline phone was the only option available.
When we arrived back to school after an amazing four days with every kid having a fabulous time, I heard one of my students say to their parent - "I can't wait to go on my Xbox to play." To be honest, it took me by surprise. I get technology is part of our world and an important one.
But it made me curious -
What are we doing that we are modelling to our kids, that being on technology is the best thing in life?
What are we doing to model to our kids how to be connected with others and the world around us more than being connected to technology?
Sometimes we need to disconnect in order to reconnect with what matters.
How are we supposed to know ourselves if we are always distracting ourselves with technology? Disconnecting is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of the relationship with yourself. In a world where everything is so busy, disconnecting with outside factors in order to reconnect with ourselves is the most important thing we can do. It is absolutely essential for our growth and wisdom.
I will admit that I am not one to actively seek out bushwalking or nature but I love it when I am out there. It is important to get grounded. Be calm, strong, centred and peaceful. It is important to trust that you are eternally safe and worthy of all things beautiful. Sometimes you just have to take your shoes off and walk on the grass or the sand. It is important to find the place for you where you can just 'be'. We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. Sometimes when we say we have lost our connection from nature, what we are really saying is we have lost our connection from ourselves.
Know your heart
The goal of life is to listen to your heart and to live life allowing your heart to lead. It is your heart that knows the path for your journey, even if you don't always recognise it. The mind helps to organise the steps but the heart knows the path. So often in life, we get too busy and our mind takes over and we forget to pay attention to our heart.
Time is our greatest resource
Time isn't the main thing. It is the only thing. Time is our greatest resource and still, most people do not use it efficiently. During our camp, the kids had to sit for 15 - 20 mins and reflect. They could draw or journal in their art book but other than that, they just simply had to sit and listen. How often do we just take the time to be still in the quiet and reflect? I know it is not something I do often. I can easily chill out and watch Netflix but to actually take the time to sit still with no distractions and just be with your own thoughts is not something a lot of us do. Sometimes we just need to disconnect and enjoy your own company.
It has been a very long time since I was completely disconnected from any form of technology and this camp has made me a lot more aware of how much I am on it. Sometimes we need to be on technology - for work or business or connecting with friends across the other side of the world. Sometimes we want to be on it to use it as a good distraction or a break from what we are doing in our day.
I guess the important thing is to become more aware of how much we are using it and for what purpose and to remind ourselves that the world will keep on turning even if we decide to disconnect for a little while.
I am not suggesting go crazy and get rid of all technology! I am simply suggesting that every now then it is good to stop. Just stop and enjoy other aspects of life. To take a deep breath, relax and take in the abundance of life itself.
How each person does that will vary.
It could be reading, meditation, drawing, painting, going to the beach, going for a nature walk or something else. Whatever it is for you, remember to take the time to disconnect for a little while to connect with yourself, others and the world around you.
It could be as simple as not checking your phone every five minutes when you are spending time with those you love and simply be present.
Until next week....may you reconnect with yourself and others.
Lots of love,
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