We have all entered the brave new world. Our collective consciousness has gone through a paradigm shift over the past few years. Everyone’s life has been affected in one way or another due to you-know-what-19. For some people, this has been a monumental challenge. For others, it revealed an opportunity for personal growth and change. No matter where you stand on the subject, we can all agree that the last couple years have been a wild ride. As we approach 2022, I am searching for some clarity in my personal life, and I have come to a bold conclusion. Nothing is important.

When I say nothing is important, this is not a nihilist perspective. No; in fact, it is quite the opposite. In this case we can view ‘nothing’ as that state of bliss when we accept the present moment and surrender to it fully.

Here are three concepts I am working on in my personal life to help connect with that important nothingness!

Let your phone die!

On one hand, our technology is a genuine modern miracle. The fact that we all carry around a device that connects us to the world and helps us solve our problems is a brilliant concept. Thanks to technology, humans are innovating in ways our forefathers would have never dreamed of.

With that being said, these days it is nearly impossible to avoid the 24-hour buffet of never-ending digital media. Technology has progressed much faster than our brains have evolved. It is now public knowledge that social media companies have a profound understanding of this concept and use it to exploit their users for profit. The goal of these companies is to get you to spend as much time on their platforms as possible so they can bombard you with ads every chance they get. Objectively speaking, there is nothing wrong with advertising to people. However, it is important to call out these platforms for what they are: soulless algorithms that exploit human data for profit.

In conclusion, the best way to combat these social media companies is to let your phone die. Just simply shutting off your phone every once in a while will give you the opportunity to cleanse your mind of the digital realm. The next time you notice your phone is at 5%, try not rushing for the charger right away. Perhaps you should give yourself that opportunity to truly disconnect and bask in the nothingness!

To learn more about our evolving relationship to technology check out the documentary: The Social Dilemma.

Find Your Zen!

Zen comes in all different shapes and sizes. For some people, it might be yoga or meditation. These eastern spiritual practices have fully crossed over to the western world and can have profound benefits! Mediation is a powerful tool that can help with finding focus and peace. Yoga is a practice that involves connecting your mind and body through movement and breathwork.

For other people, Zen can look completely different! Maybe it's the time you spend reading a book in a bubble bath. Perhaps, your Zen is catching that cotton candy sunset on your drive home from work. Some people might find this state of mind when they are working out. Others might find it spending time with their children.

Regardless of what your Zen is, it provides us with one common thing: a moment when you are single minded and nothing else matters. Remember, it's nothing that’s important.

To learn more about mediation, check out Dan Harris’s book: 10% Happier.

Ease up on the caffeine!

This is going to be a controversial topic. For years, I have been hopelessly addicted to caffeine. A typical day for me included drinking forty fluid ounces of jet-black java before 10am. That powerful morning buzz would carry me through lunch. After lunch, I would choke down another full cup of joe for an afternoon pick-me-up. The daily dance with caffeine led me to feel like I was skating on a half-pipe at the X-Games. Needless to say, this is a painful topic to write about.

In this attempt to quit, I am hoping to tap into a more authentic source of energy. I want to turn my daily half pipe ride into a gentle, sustainable row down the Columbia River. As much as I love my morning coffee, I owe it to myself to get off the roller coaster ride for a while.

It has now been three days without caffeine, and I am already starting to notice some interesting changes. I am feeling significantly less frantic and calmer. My sleep patterns have also been improving. However, I am also feeling uninspired and deflated at times. It feels like I am walking around with sandbags on my shoulders. Hopefully in time, this new approach will lead to a healthier daily routine. The goal is to replace caffeine with nothing! Perhaps nothing will lead to healthier, more sustainable energy.

To learn more about human’s evolving relationship with caffeine, check out Michael Pollan’s book: This Is Your Mind on Plants.

Images courtesy of Luc Gensler