My Digital Detox Experience

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
My Digital Detox Experience
As the founder of a company built on the concept that social media is the predominant — and most significant — communication medium in the world, the experience I had last weekend seems antithetical to everything I believe:

I unplugged myself from technology. I didn’t look at Facebook, I didn’t Tweet, I didn’t check-in anywhere or share a photo to Instagram. And on Monday, as I drove into the office, I could hardly believe what I was feeling. I was different. I was relaxed and calm. And, perhaps owing to my business as a communicator, I needed to share my revelation with everyone.

Perhaps it’s not a shocking discovery. Arianna Huffington, who started the website you’re reading, learned much the same thing and offered her thoughts in the book Thrive. The extraordinarily talented and influential Tiffany Shlain made a fantastic short film about taking a “technological Shabbat.”

All I know is that for the last few months, I’ve been exhausted, physically and especially mentally. My eyes hurt from doing nothing but staring at screen after screen all day — from my laptop to my desktop screen to my iPhone and my iPad, TV screens, movie screens, I realized I was always staring at something other than the world. I’ve been attached to a device that brings in hundreds of other people’s emotions, desires, and demands everyday… From the time I woke up to the time I went to bed — unwillingly setting my phone aside — I was connected to everything and everyone but actual life and the people around me. I had become dependent on one thing: knowing if I was missing something.

But here’s what I learned from breaking away from all those screens for one full day, from sunset on Friday to sunset on Sunday: If someone really needs to reach me, they’ll know how. And if I really, desperately need to connect with someone, for 24 hours I can make it the real, live person next to me, not the virtual person who’s also furiously tapping on a little glass screen.

That doesn’t mean I’m turning into a technophobe or a neo-Luddite. Quite the opposite: Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and on Monday I was curious to know what people had been up to over the weekend, to see who had tried to get in touch with me, and I had more headspace to actually connect with them in return. I now have a new value to add to the equation. The value I place on me.

What Makes Men (And Women) Happy? A 75-Year Study’s Revelation
What makes men happy? In 1938 Harvard University began a research study that followed 268 male undergraduate students and began the longest-running longitudinal study of human development in history. Now, George Vaillant, MD, who headed the study for more than 30 years, published the study’s findings in his book Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study.

After 75 years and twenty million dollars, Vaillant sums up the findings of what makes men happy in five words:

“Happiness is love. Full stop.”

Is this so shocking? Is the answer going to be different for women? At the core this is what we all want, but are too buried in our protective gear to receive it.

Love in an evolutionary impulse.

To be loved means we are safe, we are fully accepted and we belong. If we belong than we know that other people have our back and we’re going to be okay when danger lurks. We can relax, be vulnerable and open up to the good that life has to offer.

But we don’t live in an ancient culture anymore where we physically belong to a tribe or not. It’s not okay to be vulnerable, but vulnerability is where love lies. Nowadays we have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, socially contort ourselves a certain way to find acceptance. We engage life not from any authentic core, but from a series of sub personalities. As we do this we create different masks to wear within our families, work and even among friends.

It’s as if we’re living from a “continuous partial self” and not a whole self.

But, one of the most important things to grasp here is that it’s not our fault, we’re trained this way as we grow up. To us, we just think this is the way the world works.

But we’re living in the midst of an important time in evolution where we are empowered through neuroscientific discoveries that with our intention and actions we can actually change our brains. We now know that what happens in our life, for example trauma, gets imprinted in our genes and transferred on to the next generation. As generations repeatedly practice engaging a whole-hearted life we can create transgenerational effects where being loving and authentic is a strength and comes more naturally.

It all starts with us right now and one of the best practices I’ve found for priming the heart and expanding it is the lovingkindness practice.

If the longest running study has found that for men (and I’d argue women, too) “happiness is love,” then it’s worth generating more love in our lives. If you do anything this week, take a few minutes out, give yourself this gift and experiment with this practice.

See what you notice.

Adapted from Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.

Inspirational Quotes To Get You Through The Week (February 25, 2014)
It’s the start of a new week, which means it’s time to shake off your weekend, take a deep breath and try to think positive, energizing thoughts. We can help.

Click through the slideshow below for this week’s mood-boosting inspirational photo quotes. (And feel free to read, rinse and repeat as needed.)

What is your favorite inspirational quote? Share it with us by tweeting it to @HuffPostTeen and we might feature yours next week!

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