I was chatting with a friend recently, and the subject turned to technology. She’s a yoga teacher and a bodyworker and was expressing her concerns about humans and technology. She knew she had to start developing an “online presence” but was resistant to the constant use of technology. I could relate.
My use of technology has skyrocketed since the pandemic- as I’m sure is the case with most people in the mainstream. Staring at a computer screen for hours has already affected my eyesight, my posture, and my mind. I can feel the effects of the electromagnetic frequencies of my phone and computer on my physical body and it often leaves me feeling a little scrambled. The same technology has also allowed me to have a job doing what I truly love, to attend classes I would have never been able to attend in person, and has enabled me to help friends and connect with loved ones who are thousands of miles away.
While we were talking my friend asked me how I managed to spend so much time on the computer and still stay grounded and embodied. I thought about it for a moment, and realized that the things that are occupying my time on the computer (for the most part) are projects that are aligned with and serving my deepest values. This is the purpose of technology at its best.
In the same moment, I realized that the potential future of technology was very bright.
Imagine: technology that is sustainably resourced. That, instead of being harmful to living organisms, “leaves no trace” on the planet or the ethers. Technology that serves the Earth and her inhabitants. Just think about it. It’s not only possible, it’s really the only way we can continue.
I also spend time in nature every day. And this has become even more important as my screen time has increased. I go to the river and sit in the sand and let the sun wash over me as I listen to the song of the surrounding forest. It’s a sacred act and a silent prayer. And it restores my body’s coherence and rhythm better than anything else I’ve ever found.
So that’s my formula. Use the technology you have to serve your highest calling, and when you’ve finished your work- get the hell away from the computer and go outside.
Technology is dangerous to us when we get lost in it. Like anything that provides a temporary escape route from our discomfort or boredom or loneliness, our devices can become addictions.
The day after I had this conversation, I went walking down by the river as usual. Before leaving home I debated whether or not to bring my phone with me. The calm wise voice within told me not to worry about it, and then a small fear intervened and showed me scenarios of being stranded without (gasp!) my phone, so I pocketed it and headed out the door.
Halfway through my walk, I realized the phone had fallen out of my pocket.
Instantly, I forgot about all of the beauty around me, and the serenity of the present moment gave way to panic.
Inwardly frantic, I started racing around- retracing my steps. I quickly went through the stages of grief and finally, laughing at myself a bit, I let it go. I accepted that my phone was gone and may never return. And then I remembered the offering I had brought for the river and had forgotten about. I reached in my pocket and felt for the small bag of ceremonial ash taken from my daily fire ceremonies. Bending down to the water’s edge, I offered the ash to the river with a prayer.
“Thank you Mother-Father God, thank you planet Earth. Please help me find my phone.”
Laughing at myself again for making such a silly prayer, I stood up and began walking further. Within three steps, I spotted my phone. Black and glistening in the sand at my feet.
Inwardly elated, and aware that I had just been given a clear message, I bowed to the river, to the Earth, to the Creator from which all things emerge and into which all things return. Including cell phones.