I just got back from a truly magnificent vacation. I had a wonderful time, however my inability to turn off my mind, disconnect from my electronics, and escape my anxiety distracted me from being present, making it difficult for me to fully enjoy the experience.

I find that when I’m engaged in my favorite activity in the world, which is spending time with my grandchildren, I still find it difficult to stay and be present.

Meditation has helped me quite a bit and I’m much better at staying present than I once was, yet I ask myself what am I holding onto so hard? What am I so fearful of missing out on by turning off for a while? What do I think I’ll truly miss by just letting go?

I had a meeting with a prominent businessperson and I saw that he had a flip phone with no internet access. I asked him why he didn’t have a smartphone, to which he replied that he would be constantly distracted and unable to focus on the task at hand.

Just the thought of getting rid of my smartphone caused me anxiety, which gave me reason to pause and say maybe I need an electronic break, maybe I need a technology vacation.

Jewish tradition commands us to shut off our phone and electronics on the Sabbath, which is truly brilliant. If we don’t get rid of our distractions, how can we be present? And if we don’t set aside time to be present, how can we expect to connect with those we love?

My question is, what tools do you use to avoid distraction and create space for presence?

This week, I’m going to put down my phone more often. I’m not going to look at email or messages during meals. I’m committed to not only being more present, I’m also committed to removing the distractions that prevent me from being present.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love



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