In this digital age, we barely need to do anything. We don’t even need to reset our clocks to “spring ahead” anymore since it is already done for us via the internet (except for the coffeemaker or microwave, in most cases.) Emojis and gifs express our feelings. Texts replace talking and emails. TV replaces going to the movies (or even going anywhere at all). Basically our computers, TVs, & phones have replaced human connection. And forget about connecting with nature – our lives are so consumed by technology, we barely even go outdoors! Food and cars are easily ordered and paid for thru apps. No need to even get off the couch to cook a meal, or walk to the store.
I love technology. It’s mentioned often in my favorite things in 2017. It’s wildly convenient. But not only has technology destined the human race to be indoors & sedentary (and in turn less healthy) we have become increasingly disconnected – from nature AND each other. Of course, I am fully aware that I am sitting on an exercise ball in front of a computer typing this to you – not hanging out with you in my living room enjoying a matcha latte (yes, I am addicted to those things!) and your company. But this is what passes for human connection – posting things on the internet and hoping someone will see it, like it, share it, and/or comment on it. This is what human conversations look like now. And if no one likes or shares or comments on what we post, then what? Are we all just talking to ourselves? Those little “likes” are now the difference between feeling interesting and connected, or feeling isolated or rejected. It downright makes me pine for the days of all-nighters with my besties, or even hours-long telephone conversations with my boyfriend, or my mom. (Even my old mom is texting these days!) Seeing and touching each other, having experiences together, hearing the sound of each other’s voices, feeling each other’s energy – that was true connection. Now? We Skype or Face-Time instead of visit. Text instead of talk. Use emojis instead of using words. Use hashtags instead of sentences. Why? Because we’re “too busy”? Because it’s “easier”? Really? Seriously, think about that. What exactly are we all doing? Why are we choosing isolation over connection? Why are we choosing to be indoors instead of outside?
We learned to replace nature a long time ago when we chose to buy cars – and even treadmills – over walking/running outdoors. Our food is all hunted, gathered, packaged, and a lot of times already cooked for us. We don’t walk around town or the mall to go shopping for clothes or shoes – or anything – anymore. We have permanent shelter, electricity, indoor plumbing, heat and A/C. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ease of all these things. I even love texting. But we are evolving into a culture that rarely leaves the house, rarely cooks, rarely moves around, and rarely interacts with our environment or our community. Over the past year, the more I thought about all of this, the more it started to bug me. Is this how we all really want to live? Is this even good for us? Because no matter how comfortable I’ve been sitting around and staring at a screen, I feel like I’ve been missing something important. Something crucial. This feeling has been calling from deep inside me. What the heck was it?
Then one day, with a serendipitous click on Facebook, I discovered Katy Bowman. She is a Biomechanist and natural movement guru. Knowing as I do that movement is something most of us don’t get enough of these days, I chose her book Movement Matters for The Bedtime Betties Book Club. I was immediately intrigued by what she had to say about the human body and how our bodies are shaped by its environment. So then I read her book Move Your DNA, which goes into more detail about human movement, how our lifestyles affect the body and what to do about it. I became obsessed. Then I read her book Don’t Just Sit There to read about how office environments affect the body, and how to adapt our offices to create more options to move while we work. I was smitten! I am not going to sit here (no pun intended!) and write a book report, or dissect her thesis, or even quote her. I’m telling you straight up to just go read her books (or listen to the audiobooks), visit her website, and listen to her podcast. Katy Bowman is brilliant and inspiring and everything she talks about makes perfect goddam sense. It resonates deep into the heart of me. I have resumed walking daily in nature, her delightfully funny, informative and infectious podcast motivating me to go outside to get “nutritious movement” every day. I often walk alone since some of my friends don’t live nearby. And they often walk alone too. But nowadays instead of always walking alone, we try to set a schedule to talk on the phone as we are walking. This way we connect with each other and our environments at the same time. On days when I do walk alone, I allow the beauty of the woods and water near my home to spellbind me as I soak in all its beauty and secrets and life. I often take pictures at these times, and some are breathtaking – even with my crappy smartphone camera, even with no filters – because nature IS absolutely breathtaking. Whether I’m talking to my girlies or out there alone, this walking ritual is so richly energizing even though it is so very, very basic to human nature – a simple recipe of human connection with each other and the outside world. What else was I doing with my free time before? Texting emojis? Watching TV? Whatever it was, it wasn’t THIS. THIS is so much better. THIS is what humans were meant to do.
A couple of my walk pics (I share more on Facebook):
Thanks to Katy’s work and her sensible, yet ingenious beliefs and practices about movement, I move more all day. I stretch more all day. I work on many of the corrective exercises Katy illustrates in Move Your DNA – often while I’m working! – to start to fix some of the poor postures I’ve adapted to because of sitting and staring at a screen all day. I am adopting better, consistent movement by walking in nature. I am connecting with nature and connecting with my friends as I move. THIS. THIS is what I was missing that was calling to me.
Is this calling to you too?
If so, I encourage you to call your besties and take regular walks together – or over the phone together – and spend more time outdoors. Since technology is an undeniable part of life, while you are out there take pictures and share them to inspire others to get out there with you to move and connect. I have pinned a post on Facebook for you to add your walking pics in the comments – I would love to see them! I will definitely “like” them so you know that I am here supporting you AND so you are reminded that what you are doing is helping you be more connected just by moving your body the way it was meant to move – outside and with the company of your tribe. Post your pics and celebrate that!
Now get out there and get connected – and I don’t mean to wifi 🙄