Hi folks. Our posts have gotten deep fast since I returned from my hiatus, so let’s cleanse the palate with some more normal, down-to-earth stuff. Here we go… So sometime last year, an old friend said he had recently caught himself reaching for his phone, opening it, looking at the screen, and then realizing he had no specific reason for doing so. And he was disgusted with himself! So awesome. So he proceeded to take whatever app or apps he was going for – you know, the main ones you go to when you’re bored – and move them off the home screen and onto the second screen. Well played, my friend. “Out of sight, out of mind” were his words. Boom!
He caught himself doing nothing more than what most of us do all the time these days… When we’re bored, we reach for our phone. Unconsciously. Asleep. Like a robot. He’s just not the “waste lots of time numbing out on my phone” kind of guy, though, so he decided to take action. I thought it was hilarious, by the way, and I pointed out how rare this was. And how awesome it was!
Now, did I go and make the same changes to my phone? No, I didn’t feel the need nor the desire to do so at the time. He did, though, and he said it totally cut down on his use of those apps. It could be social media apps, games, news, sports, shopping, “chat rooms” (that sounds so sketchy), or anything; whatever you unconsciously and robotically go to when you’re bored. That’s the key, “unconsciously and robotically.” If these are apps that you consciously and intentionally want to use at that time, then great. But if they’re ones that you might not use, or might not use nearly as much, if they weren’t always right there staring up at you, then you might want to consider moving them. Why? To take more control of your time. And to take more control of your life.
So fast forward to more recently, when I started noticing these “time killer” apps more, along with the effect they were having on me. I might be on my phone for something totally legit, like using the calendar to schedule a client. And when I’d finish up and close it out, there they would be, enticing me, mocking me, calling to me like some Sirens’ song. “Press me,” they would say. “Open me up.” And I’d do it. And I’d waste some time. Yay.
Note that I’m not a huge “phone time-waster guy” either. I mean, I do it, but it’s not too crazy or anything. And let’s face it, the modern day cell phone is freaking amazing! And it’s absolutely there for us to use and enjoy. But as we do the dance with our phones and all of its apps, the question is, “Who is leading the dance?” I love that. Also note something I mentioned in the recent post called “Spiritual Bypassing.” Sometimes when we’re having trouble letting go of the stickier things in our lives, it might be more so that they’re not yet ready to let go of us. And why? Because there must be some gold in them that we have not yet gleaned; there must be a lesson yet to be learned. And as I’ve said before, often it’s all about learning to love ourselves anyway, first, including the parts of ourselves that feel guilty or shameful or wrong or mad about it. “Why can’t I stop doing this?” Which too often leads to, “I suck. I must be a terrible person” (or some more subtle version of that).
So we learn to love those part of ourselves exactly as we’d love an innocent child that’s having a tough time, and after a while it all heals. We notice that we begin to feel less mad, guilty, shameful, and wrong about the numbing that we do, FIRST. And then after that, the outer shifts will begin to happen naturally. This is a different way to do it, very inside-out. And I think it’s absolutely the way to go. Also note that it’s much less masculine than the old “inner drill sergeant” way. I’ve done a TON of this newer type of healing myself, even recently. So my love and respect for myself didn’t waver as I noticed myself on these apps for no reason, even while simultaneously thinking, “I don’t even really want to be doing this right now!?” It was just a robotic habit. And I had zero problem with me while it was happening. And I think I had to get to that point before I was ready for the shift to happen of doing something about it.
NOTE: This is a simple example of phone apps, but it does have an effect on our daily lives. But here’s the thing, it’s the same exact concept with anything we use to numb out on or to waste time with. It’s “plug and play,” as the tech people used to say. Love the parts of yourself that feel mad, guilty, shameful, or judgy first. So now you’re loving yourself even as you do it. And then the shifts will happen naturally. Because it’s a new you, an up-leveled you, a shinier you, a more whole and complete you. And that version of YOU doesn’t have anything else to learn from those sticky habits anymore (i.e. unconditional self-love). Well done, you!
So what did I eventually do? I did what my friend did! I moved two of the apps, which were the main culprits, to the second screen. “Out of sight, out of mind.” Now I only use them intentionally, when I actually want to. And my time spent on them has been cut way down. I’m starting to lead the dance, and it feels great. So there you go! Again, we’d gotten a bit deep and heady here recently, so it felt like it was time for a more “down-to-earth” topic. Change your phone’s home screen, change your life. You got this. And if you don’t then that’s fine! But make sure to love and support yourself anyway; you must be going through a growth process, an up-leveling. And that’s a very, very good and amazing thing. So give yourself some love and respect. Now go play on your phone some more…