Digital doors and the importance of being physically present

Physical pilgrimages are important. I used to think that viewing something digitally was enough and that being there physically didn’t matter, but I’ve learned through traveling that being there physically can accelerate a connection to people and places.

Smells, sounds, people and places all trigger feelings that should be acknowledged and processed. There are places where the energy is palpable like airport arrival halls, Yosemite National Park or returning to the town I was born. In other places the energy needs to be stewarded, nurtured or repaired..maybe it’s been drained or sucked on by too many people or it’s been a place of suffering or pain. It’s hard to feel it without physically being there.

It can’t be experienced remotely via digital doors like Facebook, FaceTime and Skype. Digital connections build relationships and we are more compassionate and connected because of them, but physically being in the place is a different level. It’s about resonating with the frequency of the place and in turn having it resonate with you.

Carve out the time and travel. It stimulates growth in you, and in the people and places you visit.

None of us get out of here alive…

Acceptance of our mortality sharpens our focus on being present and enjoying every day. We secretly think we will live forever and bow out when it suits us. That’s the ego telling us we are in control.

We have a limited time in our body. We are all going die. Let that sink in.

Taste the coffee, smell the air, breath deeply and savor every day as it were your last. The acceptance of death increases our day to day joy. What a paradox!

Springboks

Have you ever seen a Springbok in the wild?

They live in the now. Alert, guard never down. The routine is the same. Eat grass, freeze, flare nostrils, smell wind, look around, go back to eating. Keep moving, no time for zoning out. 

They stay with the herd. The herd is a connected force shield. When the energy in the bush changes they feel it. A startled bird or a quick movement in the peripheral sends a lightning fast energy ripple through the herd. The herd body is one – muscles tighten, ready to explode in different directions in a split second. 

Stay fit, stay connected and smell the wind. 

Uvivi

Uvivi is a Zulu word which means the darkness before the dawn. It’s true. It’s more so in the bush, but I sometimes get the same experience in the city. 

My son woke me up this morning at 4am. After I had tucked him back into bed and coaxed him back to sleep, I paused for a second and looked out of the upstairs window. It was pitch black outside, the city was quiet…a rare moment in a busy and growing city like San Francisco. The moment felt like no mans land – a shift between midnight and dawn. 

There are gateway places out there with thin membranes. Places like Point Reyes, north of San Francisco and Big Sur, south of Monterey. Places with thin membranes, where it’s a lot easier to feel connected to something greater than yourself and ‘tap in’. I felt a similar connection at 4am this morning. The moment passed and the next thing I knew I was crawling back into bed as the first hints of sunlight started to appear. The moment had passed but the impression remained. 

Sometimes a connection to something bigger isn’t about being in a place it’s about being in a state of mind.  

yt?

Turn off notifications and alerts on your phone and control when you interact with people. This includes all text messages and social media. Take back control your schedule and don’t let other people control your day.

Imagine if people felt it was okay to bang on your door at any time of the day or night with the expectation that you answer and be present with them. That’s not sustainable. Why should it be acceptable on your phone?

Today

If Winnie the Pooh could tweet then this would be his version of Kalidasa’s Look To This Day…all tidely packaged within the 140 character limit:

“What day is it?”

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. 

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

Now here is Kalidasa’s non tweetable version. Same message just as beautiful. 

“For it is life, the very life of life.

In its brief course

Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.

The bliss of growth,

The glory of action,

The splendour of achievement

Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow is only a vision;

And today well-lived, makes

Yesterday a dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well therefore to this day;

Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!”

– Kalidasa