Disconnecting to Connect

By Jennifer Gebhart

“Your children need your presence more than your presents.” ~Jesse Jackson

It is etiquette to turn off your cell phone upon entering a yoga studio. This practice helps us to drop into the present moment and tune into our breath, sensations and the community in the room. I’ve taken this practice off the mat and into my life. This summer I’ve dedicated Tuesdays to spending time with both my kids. During this time, I’m not checking email or Instagram, I’m present to my kids and our experiences together. Our connections have strengthened from this practice of disconnecting from the digital world and connecting to each other. We laugh and “play” together. I get to really listen to my children and bear witness to their hopes, dreams and thoughts on life. I’ve noticed how my teenage daughter is also able to stay present to us and, not check her phone every time she hears a chime signaling a new text. I notice I feel less stressed and therefore, my family is less stressed. I know this time with my kids is so precious and fleeting. I want them to know that I’m really there for them. I also want to instill a practice/habit in them that they learn to stay connected to those in front of them instead of the virtual world. I can’t help but wonder, what message are we sending our loved ones when they are trying to talk to us and, we are so focused on our phone.

“We’re living in an era where capturing moments using our phones is more important than actually living these moments with whoever is beside us.” ~Unknown

This blog post was originally published by Jennifer Gebhart on the blog Yoga and Inspiration on June 19, 2014.

Featured image: A Heart of Love made by Gail Spirit Sky.