As a mother and psychotherapist, I am acutely aware of the challenges involved in raising children in our fast-paced and highly competitive world. More than ever, children are experiencing the effects of stress, anxiety and an intensely dialed-in world.
Adults, teens and even young children seem to be living a constantly connected existence. These connections are not like the physical and social connections which I had the pleasure of enjoying during my own childhood. It wasn’t long ago that people had the luxury of thinking about events rather than feeling compelled to instantly message their innermost thoughts.
As kids, we sat for hours and talked about our lives with our “best friends”, rather than posting our life for all to see on Facebook. Sure, there were stressors but, for the most part, we didn’t broadcast them for all to see. Flash forward 20 years, and I see how my young child and his friends are already deluged by what society dictates they should become. What society demands of people to be part of the in-crowd seems to change on a whim; consequently, setting highly unattainable goals. The deluge of instant messages, be it in the form social media or texting, leaves little room to process our inner worlds.
As adults, we need to look at our own behaviour when it comes to how dialed-in we are. A quick Seabus ride, from North Vancouver to the city, proved to me that we are not doing very well. While the tourists and a few children who were not glued to their iPads enjoyed the view, commuters sat staring at their “smartphones” feverishly texting, rather than living in the present moment and allowing themselves a few decadent minutes to experience the beauty of the ride over. I wonder how much better they would have felt if they had taken that fifteen minutes for themselves and simply been present to process what they were living?
My wish for you is that you take 10 minutes and just sit and be alone with your thoughts, heart, spirit and soul. I bet you will feel more connected to your inner being and maybe even a little rested.