I love when my audience gives me ideas to research, think on, or write about. However, with a philosophy that this community is made of like minded people who support and encourage each other through their values of whole health, I like to encourage YOU to have a voice whenever I can. Today’s contributor gave me a great idea for a post, but given that she was so convicted and passionate about this habitude, I thought she would have beautiful thoughts and words to put around the topic! It is an honor to introduce today’s guest writer, Camille.
Camille Malecha (soon-to-be Williams) is currently working on planning her August 2015 wedding. She loves spending time with her fiance, family, friends, and of course Lyla (her puppy). Through running, yoga, and outdoor activities she has found her favorite ways to be active, get in some fun exercise, and connect with her true self. She is a licensed professional counselor and currently works with women who struggle with eating disorders. Helping others, being around loved ones, and finding pleasure in life are things that help her connect with her meaningful life.
With the start of the New Year I began thinking about how to create healthier habits in 2015. I recognized that my electronic devices were starting to take over my life. My morning: Wake up, look at phone, take out the dog, turn on TV, check e-mail on phone or computer, drink tea, play words with friends, and so on. I realized I wasn’t even watching TV; it was just noise in the background of my constant phone checking as I went through my morning routine getting ready for work. It is impossible to actually be present in life with all of that going on. I wanted a change and an intention around starting my day and my electronic use.
It had become a habit and completely mindless to constantly pick up my phone and find something to look at even if I didn’t have a new message or notification that it was my turn to play a game. I also had the TV on all the time watching the news in the morning or I would spend time looking for something, anything, to watch even shows I could care less about. As I began to notice these things and become aware, I realized this is probably the reason I haven’t been reading as much as I would like, and probably why I haven’t been giving my full attention to my fiancé or my puppy. I realized I needed a shift in my habits so that I was living according to what brings value and meaning in my life.
One of the most important things for me to remember as I create new habits is to be realistic. There is so much about my phone that I do love – connecting with my family through daily snapchats of my puppy, playing games with family, taking pictures to capture beauty in many forms, witnessing others’ beauty through users I follow on instagram. I will not give these things up and instead be more mindful about the time I spend on my phone. The same goes for the television because I have many shows that I love. So, it is not about limiting myself in terms of time spent watching TV, but making sure that I am watching shows that I care about and that entertain me such as Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, and Modern Family.
These shifts are a gradual and slow process of moving towards the new habits and away from the old ones. My mornings currently consist of having a cup of jasmine tea with music instead of TV because music brings me happiness and joy to the start of my day that the news does not. I will cherish walks with my puppy in the morning (once it is above 0 degrees) by having my phone only in the case of an emergency and not for constant use that denies me of the opportunity to really be present in my puppy’s walk and the beautiful experience of nature in the early morning and evening. I have been more engaged and present in my conversations with others by allowing outside distractions to be set aside (this is one goal that I need to continue to be mindful about because it can be challenging for me). Through reading more I am reminded of how fascinating books are and how much more I get from reading than from being sucked into my phone. And lastly, just being mindful about spending my day engaged in things that matter to me and make me feel authentic.
My intentions and shifts for 2015:
Less phone. Less TV. Less computer. Less mindless activities. Less worry.
More fun. More quality time in relationships. More music. More reading. More activity. More puppy time. More learning. More yoga. More intention.
I praise myself every time I choose to pick up my book over my phone. I am proud when my fiancé and I decide to listen to music and he teaches me about an artist during dinner rather than having the TV on. I look forward to continuing to notice the positive internal changes as I make these external shifts. Lastly and most importantly, my 2015 is about being present in the present, and recognizing the more that I am able to put aside the electronics the more I can actually be in my life.
I hope that you will also take time to consider your meaningful life and if you are living according to what you value. Maybe there is room for movement and shifting. Please know that change doesn’t have to happen all at once because to really create new habits it is about allowing that process to slowly develop into a new unknown.
Your Trainer and Friend,
Cassie and Camille