I started a blog in 2012, Facebook page in 2013 and Instagram account in 2014. I started with excitement, joy and the dream of sharing what I was learning. For the first six months, I sent my articles to my newsletter (a list of friends and family) and I received euphoric messages from .. my mother! And that was all. And it was great!
I was so happy at that time to have something to share and I took a lot of satisfaction in just doing it . A few months later I created a Facebook page for “Le Palais Savant” I had fun writing small texts, to make pretty pictures to accompany them. I remember that I published a text and then I put my phone and I went to do something else, I was not particularly obsessed with the returns I received. I’m probably doing it a bit, but it was light. Euphoric. I felt excited and grateful if there was a comment from a stranger – but often, I felt just grateful to write. Fast forward five after, all the little babies that I pampered and loved grew up, the blog is a crossroads of encounters, of souls who listen to me with kindness, of people who made me a place in their life and in their hearts (and it has been visited more than 4 million times!). Facebook and Instagram pages have become places to create a community, to support each other, to meet with love. All in all, there’s hardly a day going by without stopping in the middle of the day, to realize how much I love the life I’ve created and you, especially you, the people who have returned to it. But, there is something else I need to talk to you about. A few weeks ago, I felt a big piss. The place that my phone and social networks have taken in my life, no longer suits me. I participated in these social networks by mimicking what I saw in others: Publish a message every day, ok. Put pretty pictures, ok. Publish to multiple platforms, ok. And the hidden operation but we all experienced one day or another: Observe for the number of “likes” and “followers”, ok. Compare yourself to others, ok. Scroll through photos to infinity without feeling anything else at the end of this internet break that sadness, spite or emptiness. More ok you can buy instagram followers and facebook likes online.
IT’S NOT THE PAIN THAT PUTS US OFFSIDE, IT’S SHAME
The reason I share this with you is because I have often been ashamed of it. Moments I hid in the bathroom to go to my phone or the importance I gave to my digital life. But my experience has taught me that it’s not the pain of an experience that puts us offside, it’s shame . To think that we are the only one to experience this, to think that for others it is easier, that they are better at this game which is called life. Because that’s not the case. Nobody knows! And nobody lives this life better than you. Talking about what makes us feel ashamed, it frees us.
I sincerely believe that one day we will need to set rules in our relationship to social networks, to our smartphone. Apparently, ” millenials ” (people born after 1984) are the generation with the lowest self-esteem.Why ? According to Simon Sinek, because it does not help at all that we are very strong people to put filters on things, to show how much our life is MA-GNI-FIQUE, when in fact we feels depressed Studies show us that using our phone releases dopamine (the neurotransmitter of happiness) into our brain and makes it addictive. That’s why we count the likes, we come back 5 times on his phone to know if someone reacted to our status, we compare ourselves to others on the internet. We are addicted to this shot of dopamine (a molecule that, in addition, is numbing, hence the “prostrate like a zombie on my phone for thirty minutes”) and this is one of the reasons why we gradually lose foot in these social networks. To have our dose of love.
We have rules and access restrictions on alcohol, drugs, but nothing on phones. You may find that it’s exaggerated as a comparison, and if that means you’re not hooked on your phone, then congratulations! But that’s not my case, I felt the addiction to my phone set up.
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CHOOSE WHERE YOUR ENERGY GOES
I sat on the sofa, looking for my phone to make a moment of solitude, emptiness, boredom. I was disappointed because I had shared something and it had not received the attention I expected. I’ve been hesitating for months to write this article, being afraid of being judged, if I said loud and clear that YES, I have trouble moderating the use of my phone. Then I talked about it with other friends, and guess what, they too are worried about the effect that social networks have on their mood, their self-esteem, their confidence, their happiness. So for you, as for me, here is a series of rules that I have developed to help me give my phone the right place. I will not follow them to the letter (I am human!) But I will damn count on it.
- No emails or social networks before 10am. It’s the only “rule” I do not compromise on. I wake up in the morning, prepare a glass of hot water and bring it to my yoga mat. Then I move while being present at my breath for 5 minutes to 1h and during my menstrual cycle, I sit to meditate. I prepare my breakfast (for a good hormonal balance, breakfast should be taken preferably within 90 minutes after waking) and once I have eaten, breathed, had a practice of full presence, I turn on Wireless. Not before.
- I will not publish every day.I guess it all started with accounts that inspired us and published something EVERY DAY. Well, well it’s the rules of the game, we’ll do like that I told myself. I say shit to the rules of the game. I am a woman who works, shops, cooks, cares for her family, her students, her parents, her boyfriend and herself. . There are days when I have nothing to say! There are days when I do not have time because I’m too busy doing yoga workshops and loving people and hugging them and eating cookies to infinity! There are days when it’s refreshing to disconnect from my phone and reconnect to my surroundings. I promise you, everything I share with you will always come out of my heart.
- Observe the irrepressible urge to take his phone and sometimes, do not succumb to it. Oh, it’s like a mini personal victory!
- Go out to town or friends, and sometimes not take my phone with me . I have tried this for a few weeks and I love it! I’m used to taking my phone everywhere with me (as we all do I imagine?) And it was incredibly liberating to prepare myself to go to a girlfriend, or to walk my dog, and decide to leave my phone behind me . Just this thought: I’ll see beautiful things and I will not take pictures, I’ll just admire them. I will not be interrupted by vibrations or notifications, I can really be there with her, appreciate. It pushes me where I need to release control and that .. it makes me SO good.
- I will not be at the table with anyone looking at my phone. I had a real click this summer in Sri Lanka, I was traveling with my lover and sometimesoften at the table, while waiting for my plate, I was on my phone. One day, I did not take it and I saw other tables, with other couples or friends. It was hard to watch, one on his phone and the other, facing her, waiting. When I saw them, I saw myself. And now we made a joke with my boyfriend (he tells me where I tell him: right now, we are the couple who pities in this restaurant ) and we put our phone away!
- No phone on the table when we eat.
- Observe these three emotions if they come to the surface when you use social networks: jealousy, comparison, wanting to have or take what the other has. You are touching the roots of fear: the fear of not having enough, the fear that your needs are not fulfilled, that you are the last of the race, that you are rejected. The need to feel loved. Remember, we ALL have this fear. Asteya , non-lust, reminds us that we already have everything we need. Act from a feeling of abundance in your life and no shortage. As you see images or texts scrolling, if you feel one of these three emotions rise in you, put down your phone and count your blessings. You have so many.
- I will not take my phone to go to the bathroom anymore. Every little moment of emptiness in my life does not have to be filled with something!
- Ideas and creativity come during times of boredom, where we let our mind wander. If you use your social networks to develop your career, leave yourself empty moments to be, which will activate the good ideas you need to do exactly that too!
The things of life that are worth taking time. The relationships, the projects that make us blossom deeply are slow, uncomfortable, beautiful, full of ups and downs. Find a balance between immediate satisfaction tools (social networks!) And projects and meetings that are far from your phone. And for those moments when you can not get down, this mantra is for you:
You do not need to worry about what others are doing – your life is beautiful.
You do not have to become great – you already are.