Two-Tip Tuesday: Digital Detox Challenge



iphone Glued to HandLast week I accepted the challenge of a digital detox. Inspired by an article written by Aarona Ganesan, my favorite coach, Jill Keuth started a group on Facebook to support brave souls taking this plunge. The concept is taking a break from your digital addictions. It started as not touching your phone for the first hour of the day upon awaking, but also addresses wherever you have electronic addictions throughout your day-to-day routines.

This past week, I have made some pretty big behavior shifts, ranging from not checking email in bed, to looking at Facebook during mealtime, to canceling cable. Note: this is not a requirement, just something I have been pondering for a while, and finally did it! And let’s face it, no one should start checking email before their first cup of coffee, just sayin.So, here is my challenge to you: Explore where you can add stillness and quiet to your day. Only you know your issues in the digital wasteland. So, try to eliminate something. Today’s tips will help you with a little digital detox of your own, and add to the challenge.

Relax Melodies AppRelax_Melodies

Sometimes it is challenging to sit in complete silence. As I’ve been playing around with different meditation techniques, I’ve noticed that it is much easier for me to sit in stillness with a little background noise.

Relax Melodies (free app for Android and Apple), is a fantastic way to create a variety of sounds ranging from basic white noise, to a babbling brooke, to a roaring rain storm.

You can compile multiple sounds on top of each other and control the volume of each. There is way to save them into your favorites, allowing you to keep track of your favorite renditions.

In addition, there is a timer setting, allowing for you to time your meditations, go to sleep listening to ocean wave bliss, or even set an alarm for the morning.

Warning: Creating sound combinations can add to your digital addiction. So, try to keep it simple in the beginning, and even consider using the pre-composed melodies.

Eliminate Notifications iphone Notification Hell

Having email, Facebook, Twitter, and any other notification on my phone is a huge challenge for me. Part of it is my OCD to keep my screen clear of blaring red numbers begging to be opened, but it is also a constant distraction. I constantly feel compelled to open an app the second a new notification pops up.

The simple solution?

TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS!

It sounds so easy, but it is slightly painful to do. Just remind yourself that there is a pretty good chance you will be receiving emails and social media updates all day.

Set a specific time aside to check all of your email, etc. at once. This will not only help with efficiency, but can aid in removing some of the glue attached between your phone and your hip.

If this isn’t a big enough challenge, try taking social media apps off of your phone all together. See what it is like to eat a meal without looking at your phone.

Try it for a week…I dare you!!

As always, I want to hear from you! Hit REPLY and let me know what you are cutting out and how it is going!

A Lesson in Self-Love



Woman_Enjoying_CoffeeThe other day my 12 year old daughter asked me who I love more: Her and her sister, or myself.

I had to pause for a minute, with the millions of appropriate responses running through my brain.

Is this a trick question?

If I say I love myself more, will she be offended? But if I say them, what lesson am I instilling? That we should always put ourselves second to others?  I took a deep breath and answered truthfully, “Of course, you two.” My daughter gave me a look of slight disappointment. “You know mommy,” she scolded, “You should really love yourself the most.” 

Deep sigh.

Indeed, she had been listening to the lesson I had been trying to impart, but I apparently I had not. It was true, I always put them first, followed by me, as a close second. 

As a woman, this is definitely a challenge, and as a parent, even more so. We know we would give the moon to our children if we could, or take a bullet, etc. [insert your favorite cliché here]. Many marriages and relationships suffer because children are placed first, sacrificing important intimacy with our spouses or significant others.

lovely_flowersThe truth is self-love is the ultimate first. If you can’t learn to love yourself the most, how can you expect your children to love themselves first? I’ve told myself this truth over and over again, but never truly let the fullness of in sink in, until now.

Raising daughters is challenging on so many levels, especially in the sense that I don’t want my girls to make the same mistakes I did, or suffer any self-esteem issues that so many young girls face.

I finally had to face the reality that no matter how hard I may try, I cannot protect them from the world. In fact, I would be doing them a disservice, and at the same time shielding them from developing their own strengths.

So many adults, myself included, deal with self-judgment, negative self-talk and doubt on a daily bases. If we want our children to learn to love themselves, then we must model it for them first and foremost. I truly love the beautiful lessons my children teach me. We no longer live in a world where the parents always are right even when they are wrong. It’s ok to be called on our shit by our kids from time to time, even if they don’t realize how profound their words can be.

Pastel HeartThe lesson in all of this is simply: learn to love yourself. I know it sounds like a broken record (or as my youngest calls it, an old-timey CD player), but learning to love and honor yourself is the only thing you can do before you can truly love others, even your children.

My 12 year old wrote this poem for a school project, but her ulterior motive was to give encouragement to her little sister, who was feeling down about herself at the time. I wanted to honor my lovely and wise tween and share her poem here:

 

You Are Wonderful

by Isabelle Atha

Life is full of ups and downs.
It’s like a rollercoaster.
But, no matter how much life shoots you down, just stay positive.
People will say “you can’t” or “you won’t”
Well, you are full of potential and you can.
In your lifetime, people will deny your ideas, call you names, and make fun of you.
Those people are just jealous of you.
If you let these mean and hurtful comments get to you, you’ll start to think “I can’t or “I’m dumb.”
You are extremely capable and smart.
However, here are some things you aren’t:
You aren’t worthless, you aren’t the worst person in the world, and you aren’t hated.
You are an amazingly talented and kind human being.

                         

There is no time like the present to start this work. With the full moon approaching tomorrow (July 1st), check out this great blog from the gifted astrologist, Cindy Morris, on how to use this energy to tap into loving yourself.

And finally, my last words on the matter (as I often need to hear them myself): Be ever so kind, gentle and compassionate with yourself.

 

Two-Tip Tuesday: Travel Edition



Ka'anapali, MauiAs I began to pack for my annual family vacation a few weeks ago, I realized the ridiculousness of the multiple lists and stray papers strewn around the house when getting ready. Every year we take the same trip and essentially bring the same things, with a few modifications.

As much as the loving list maker that I am, I figured it was probably time to get a new system.

Are you a seasoned traveler, or do you get pains in your stomach and night sweats the week before a trip at the thought of getting your family packed and shipped off to your destination?

This weeks’ tips are a few simple ways to help the panicky sort bring some semblance of balance and order into your packing regiment.

 

Packing List Apps packing list app

Packing lists are a given so why reinvent the wheel every time you take an excursion?

Of course certain items change depending on the type of trip you take and the time of year, yet there are basic necessities to always pack, regardless of your destination.

Try managing your lists on an app like Evernote, which allows you to create and store lists, notes and travel documents that can be accessed from all your devices. This solves the challenge of thinking of something while away from your handwritten list, so you can add to it while you’re mobile.

There are some great apps out there designed specifically for packing, as well. Check out Suitcases for $0.99. Another great one, PackPoint, is free (and for both Android and iPhone).

Of course there are many more like these. As always, please let me know your favorites!

 

Packing Cubes EagleCreek Packing Cubes

I learned my lesson the hard way this time. I usually try to pack my kids in their own suitcase and a separate one just for me. But since one bag didn’t make it onto the plane last year, I decided to try spreading everyone’s clothes between the two bags, just in case.

The result? Utter chaos and clothing mess when we reached our destination. Although we stayed just a few days on the first leg of our trip, I destroyed both bags searching for certain underwear and the “right” beach cover-up.

The solution? These handy-dandy packing cubes! I’m sure you’ve seen them before, and quite frankly, in the past I mocked their over anal-ness.

But now I see the light.

The cubes save you from unpacking and repacking several times—or from making a mess while digging. These particular ones from the Container Store come in different colors. You can find different shapes and sizes, in different brands, anywhere.

Have you tried them before? I’d love to get your opinion!

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