Whenever you’re out and about in the real world you will notice that pretty much everyone around you is using their smart phone. Holding it in one hand. Absorbed looking down at something online. Or listening to something on their headphones. Narrowly avoiding banging into other people. And totally not present with where they actually are. We are all doing it.
One of the area’s I have been keen to explore more of, learn and practice is being mindful. And this includes being more socially mindful. I am noticing how often I grab my phone and start mindlessly drifting on social media whenever I’ve got five minutes.
As much as I love being online it’s a pesky habit I would like to rein in, as these handy little magic portable devices mean there is always something to look at and get distracted by when I could be doing other more important things or simply being present.
So during the summer I was invited to go along to a Street Wisdom session in London. I was curious to find out more and went along with my friend Lesley. It’s a simple concept in that if you are fully present and mindfully alert the streets are paved with wisdom just for you. If you are seeking answers to life questions you will find them.
It was a busy Friday afternoon in Notting Hill and we spent a couple of hours individually wondering the streets and were set tasks to get our minds alert and present.
Usually when I am out and about I love snapping away and take images to upload to my Instagram. I enjoy doing this and am not going to stop anytime soon. However for this session I left my phone in my bag and started walking.
Keeping an open mind
My question to myself was “Am I on the right path?” As life has been pretty stressful and topsy turvy for me these last couple of years and I often feel overwhelmed trying to juggle renovating our house, settling into our new area, focusing on my petite business and my creativity, let alone any me time or finding a new yoga class to join.
Of course it is essential to keep an open mind and our little group all had different intentions and expectations for the afternoon.
But it was clearly the streets talking to me when I stumbled upon the shop “One Small Step One Giant Leap”. Yep this was the answer I was seeking.
Then loads of postcards for sale with “Believe in Your Selfie” slap bang in the middle of my path and another shop called “One of a Kind” then “Goode and Wright”. And then finally another shop called, wait for it…. “Destiny”. A pretty remarkable afternoon eh?!
And of course then I had to get my phone out of my bag, take my shots and upload these to my Instagram as little reminders.
Learning to become a Street Wizard
Now I find I am leaving my phone in my bag more often and simply learning to be a Street Wizard where I am. I even forgot to take my phone out and about with me last week and it was one whole day out without my trusty companion. (I survived and Mr Scarletta had his on him so we were going to be OK!)
We’ve just come back from holidays in France and yet again the streets were offering their wisdom in Bordeaux when I saw another shop called “One Step” and a huge replica tortoise. I have received my wisdom messages loud and clear and now taking one step at a time has become my daily mantra.
Set some boundaries to help balance the online and real world
The online world doesn’t have to dominate your real world and I believe you can embrace the two side by side, but it is healthy to set some boundaries that work for you.
Try leaving your phone in your bag whilst out and about for starters, as after all things are going on around us all the time if only we’d stop for a moment to notice. Interested in Street Wisdom find out all about it here?