Simon Cowell - he, the “nasty” judge of the X-Factor TV talent show - is doing the complete opposite of my idea of what an entertainment busy bigwig does: He’s given up his mobile phone for the last 10 months, and all to try and do something to benefit his mental health.
Cool huh? Also cool that he’s so public with the fact that he suffers from stress and negativity and overwhelm, just like everyone else.
I did the same thing and gave up my phone - for 10 days.
It was while I was away on retreat in Patmos. I locked my phone in the hotel safe, and only brought it out for 15 minutes a day.
So basically I cheated, a little.
But I tell you, I learnt a lot. I could have better interactions with people, was more mindful and best of all - felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders, one that I didn't know was there.
It was spectacular to have huge chunks of my day where I just didn’t concern myself with anything to do with the world of the internet.
I found that large amounts of my “essential” must check this, “must find out that” flicking was a complete waste of time, and a weight on my shoulders.
The other thing -
I think I'm already pretty good at not using my phone when there are other people in the room. I think conversation and connection is an art and if you don’t practice it, you end up unable to.
Jumping on the phone when there are other people around - people that I want to have a great relationship with - just means they get ignored and the relationship suffers. It does. And the crazy thing is you don’t really realise it.
Without my phone being around I saw that even more so, and I was given the ability to truly be with someone and to connect with them. That's really important to me.
But most importantly I found on my phone I wasn’t so mindful. It’s hard to be present. And that is the most crucial thing to me - staying alive to the presence of Now.
This is the one moment I’m alive and losing it to trivia is not how I want to live. Wasting time on click bait and rubbish and gossip is not how I want to fill my days.
Don’t get me wrong - entertaining trivia is wonderful in small doses. I love that. But I realised I was getting to a point where trivia was taking over.
“Just 5 minutes” was turning into half an hour … you know? Staying on my phone for too long and I started drifting, drifting into unconscious dream land.
So … for your consideration.
Mobile phones are amazing. It’s just I would say, from personal experience, be careful you don’t fall into being a slave to them. You don’t want that.
Go well! Arjuna
PS. Meditation and mindfulness should be a very simple set of tools and techniques that align you with the Presence of Now - no matter where you are and what you are doing - making you come Alive to life and be able to drop negativity and overwhelm, any time you wish.
If you want to know how, I have a whole list of things that will help: