This is an awesome video. It reminds all of us to Look Up. To see that which is all around us. In plain sight. I have watched this video several times, and I continue to marvel at the bare simplicity of the message. Look up. Look around. Look at the people around me. Be mindful. Cultivate mindfulness. Pay attention. Look for the signs that guide and bless.
These amazing electronic devices are spectacularly connective. They allow for instant communication that creates bonds that help me to hold near to those who are dear in my life. They grow my relationships through the instant exchange of shared laughter and goofy voice mails and funny emails and inspiring posts. They allow me to be available and to express myself in immediate ways that would not have been possible otherwise. They allow me to be impulsive, and they allow me to edit and to draft and to pause before sending. They are a blessing.
And these devices “of delusion” can be an isolating master that dominates without any awareness or permission on my part. “I have 422 friends. Yes, I am lonely. . .” As this video illustrates, they provide a culture of being alone together. I look at my plugged-in life now and marvel that I did not have a telephone for almost 18 years. I look back on that time and wonder how.
How? In a world of high-speed communication, how did I function by sending letters and receiving replies only once a week. I had to learn how to be very careful with how I worded questions in a letter so that the recipient would not have to fill in any blanks and guess at my meaning — thus possibly adding another two weeks to the communication — one week for my added clarification and another for the end reply. I lived in a different world and moved to a different rhythm. There were moments at the beginning of this phone-less time in my life when it was incredibly frustrating, but I learned to adapt. The planet kept spinning. The moon rose each night. The horses wanted to be fed. I had to learn patience. And how to mentally set aside anticipated outcomes. It took a lot of discipline to wait.
As a result of this waiting, I sometimes had to mentally transfer my wonder or my worry or my curiosity to the wonders around me. I had to learn how to see what was in the moment there before me and not what might be somewhere out in the ether. I would like to say that I became a Master at Waiting — that I grew a strong sense of discipline — but there were times when this wasn’t true.
Then . . . this past weekend . . . I lost my cell phone. This was a first, and I wasn’t happy about it. Ultimately, the ripple effect of this event is too convoluted, fantastic, and detailed to convey in word — as there were many events that linked one to the other in magical ways. But the overall experience commanded me to Look Up. To look back to that time when I did not have instant communication. To pay attention to the signs guiding and leading me. To be willing to extend my self into new territories of belief and appreciation. To have the opportunity to Just Believe and celebrate.
But when my phone disappeared, it became quite the wide journey between the discovery of lost and and the magic of found. And when it was found, I discovered many things about my self and about other and about my universe that I now value in significant ways that transcend ordinary awareness. I am definitely looking up. Whoa. Am I ever.
All of this to say . . . I do very much like being connected. I value the ease and the opportunity to be available. But I want to be present when being present counts. To cultivate mindfulness and be ready for those unanticipated moments of being blessed.
Look up. It is sometimes very difficult to be mindful of being mindful. Meta-mindfulness. Yowza. It can be quite the trick. When I am mindful, life has a different feel to it. Being mindful allows for flow. Not paying attention breaks up the flow; still, there are lessons to be learned when not in flow . . . lessons that re-direct me to a renewed state of mindfulness . . . of Look Up.