Two Small Shifts to Use Social Media For Good

Oh the joy to be able to see your long distance friends and families on Facebook, follow the stars on Instagram, Twitter and make funny faces on Snapchat.

We have the opportunity to engage with our favorite stars now more than ever before. We get to see the excitement of the birth of a new song or new child. We get to see the rise of stardom. We get to see in real time the lessons of young football players. We get to see it all by looking at the screen of our phone or computer.

The joys of technology… or is it really?

The social media era is one that my children have the opportunity to be a part of more than I ever was.  I have even joked to say if social media was around when I was younger, oh how different life would be. My consistent lesson to my sons and all that engage in social media: Tread Carefully. You can use the opportunity to engage to land a job or lose a job. You can meet a friend and also lose a friend.

It is important that we remember that we are all more than our screen name, or our posts. We can see how others are going on vacation, getting married, eating yummy meals, and enjoying life.  I am a firm believer that less is best, it is nice to be able to share, but not at the expense of you being your authentic self. Don’t post things based on need to be seen.

We have to remember that we are all on journey. Things may appear so glamorous that you sigh, “I wish that was me”. Then, on the other end of the connection, they are looking at you with the same wistful eye wishing it was them!

Why? Because we are not grateful for NOW.

That is the misconception and the danger of social media. It can be a tool that festers envy and jealousy to grow like bacteria. It would be great if the outlets were used to support each other, uplift each other through quotes of positive encouragement and sincere admiration. Could you imagine how little the news will be littered with reports of headlines “Started with Facebook dispute” instead it would read “Started with Facebook Likes and love”?  How nice if we can consistently use media in a way that allows us to be a better person each and every day.

Here are two ways I strive to do use social media for good in life:

  1. I start each week with a podcast through motivational speaker, Dr. Eric Thomas,TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday) segment that is used to invoke messages of encouragement to motivate you to accomplish all that you can through the day and the upcoming week. His message is powerful: you may have Average Skill but you have Phenomenal Will. This podcast, his voice, his passion is so strong that it makes you feel like you can achieve every goal you set your mind to. This gives me a start to tackle what so many refer to as the “Dreaded Monday”.

What can you tune into to start your week or day off the way you WANT to live and love?

  1. I try to limit my own intake of social media as much as possible, but if I am on social media my list of “friends” includes those that want to make a change through their words or their actions. I have made a decision many times to disengage with those that choose to see the world through a clouded lenses of negativity and disgust. Even though you are not there with them, if you continue to read and engage with that vibration, you will tune to it.

Instead, focus on quotes and stories that are uplifting, watch a video of the dog and the baby playing, or the story of the cop helping a homeless man giving the shirt off his back. I believe there are more people in the world that want to help than hurt. Let’s start showing this in our everyday posts, have the intention of showing love to your fellow followers and not disgust. Make the choice to engage in those things that will only energize you and not drain you.

Where do you need to detox your intake on social media?

Most importantly remember who you are authentically and the blessings that you see. What one person may celebrate, you may have an alternate celebratory act. Be grateful for who you are and not what you think you should be based on the social media posts and surveys. Be YOU unapologetically you and do not define you by who someone else is or has.

 

eilynnEilynn Dixon is a life coach on the No Limits Life team.  Her focus is supporting people wanting to make big change through small actionable steps every day.  With her contagious smile, infectious enthusiasm and pure joy for life, she motivates, inspires and shows you how to love YOU through your biggest changes! Learn more at www.nolimitslife.guru

 

 

Spiritual Lessons from Screenworld

I’m a hopeless romantic.

There!  I said it!

I dream of having a life in which the hustle and bustle of modern life is brought to a screeching halt, in favor of a simpler, quieter, slower lifestyle.  So, whenever there is a discussion about computers, technology, phones, or other tech-related subjects, I easily move into my grumpy mode.  I am not a fan of technology, and try to use it as sparingly as possible.

And I’m writing this on a computer!  (Okay…so I’m not a consistent hopeless romantic.)

Back in my monk days, I was taught that everything is useful, if used in moderation.  From pens and paper to books and computers, I was encouraged to discover the meaning of moderation and how it translated into daily life with anything and everything.  This approach startles me out of my grumpy mode to shake me out of a false idealism, and engage everything around me with moderation and wisdom.

I firmly believe that technology has lessons for us with regard to the spiritual path, if only we stop, attentively observe, and uncover those nuggets of wisdom.  Below are a few of the lessons I have gleaned from the “screen world.”

  1. The world – the universe – is HUGE! Yes, this is a “no-duh” thing to say, but technology has really made this a tangible reality.  The sheer amount of information, data and people we can access and influence is truly incredible.  Nearly anything can be understood or studied in depth, with very little time or effort.

The spiritual value of this is sheer awareness; we are part of an immense reality that we are barely conscious of.  If we allow our conscious awareness to expand through mindfulness and meditation, we can begin to see how the immense complexity of life knits itself together into a profound simplicity.

2. We are capable of miracles, once we focus and set our mind to it. I was watching a TV show that first aired when I was a kid, and realized that everyone on the show had corded phones and no privacy.  What a difference a few years made!  Now you can talk, text, email, you-name-it, from anywhere.

 And all of this was possible because of people who dedicated their mental, physical and spiritual energies toward solving problems, and helping the human community become more informed and connected.  If you sit and think about it, these devices we take for granted are truly the stuff of miracles.

 Our own lives are also capable of miracles.  Every time we decide to serve the needs of others; when we choose to change our career path because we desire lives of meaning and value; when we finally leave a toxic friendship or close relationship, in favor of life-giving interactions, we are making a miracle happen.

 3. Comparison kills. Social media is a wonderful way to stay connected to others, and it also contains a potential trap in the mind of the user.  One can compare oneself to others, noting weaknesses and shortcomings in themselves, or in the person they are focusing on at the time.  The result is either a much lower self-esteem, or an elevated, exalted ego trip.

 Regardless of the direction, the ego becomes the primary focus.  Rather than focusing on letting our own heartsong be a guiding force our life, we suddenly become slaves to public opinion and popular trends.

 Rather than spend endless hours in the comparison game (and yes, it does add up to hours!), we can choose to use social media as a tool of connection rather than comparison, and let our heartsong be the driving fire in our lives.

 4. Have quiet spaces, mystery places and eyes for living beings. The technology we have today is wonderful, but it does have its limits.  There is no substitute for silence; not just physical silence, but visual and mental silence as well.  Making time to simply be quiet and alone, unable to be found through the phone or computer, can help us reconnect with our core values, beliefs and attitudes that tend to fall by the wayside in the din of modern life.  We can become fully present to ourselves.

 Make time for other people, too.  When we choose to mute or turn off the phone, decide not to multitask on email while we’re on the phone or talking to someone in front of us, we are making a decision to be fully present to others.  This sheer presence is deeper than any words, and lasts forever.

 5. Tech is a tool, not a life. I can’t tell you how many stories I hear from people who have either lost their phone, or had their phone go berserk, only to discover that they go crazy without the tech with them.  They literally go through withdrawal symptoms!

If you want to lose the “tech DT’s”, choose to look at all of your tech as tools.  They are essentially tools for your self-expression and connection; not internal organs.  Make time every day to simply fast from any technology.  Write a letter.  Go for a run.  Do some yoga.  Meditate.  Be proactive and take charge of your life, rather than be a slave to checking emails and texts every time the phone dings, squawks or plays your favorite music.

You have a life.  Live it to the fullest!

Don Marlette the “Metro Monk” is a medium, coach and teacher on the No Limits Life Staff. You can Learn more about Don, his services and more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

 

Facebook & Your Feelings

Oh Facebook, you allow us the opportunity to connect with people we otherwise wouldn’t connect to. You expose us to all types of perspectives and some of the most amazing recipes known to man. You also provide a home to the dreaded over sharers and complainers of the world that annoy the crap out of us! We ALL have that Facebook friend that drives us mad while we lecture them in our heads, we’ll never understand why they air their dirty laundry publicly or become a politician every time an election comes around.

facebook and friends

These people are draining us energetically, intentional or not.

Have you ever walked away from Facebook feeling more frustrated than before you checked it? If the answer is yes, you might want to rethink how you use it. Why? Because those feelings are in fact tuning your vibrational point of attraction whether you realize it or not. How you feel is your guidance system to know if you are attracting the people and circumstances you want or don’t want. It’s simple, if you’re feeling good you are on the right track to what you want and if you aren’t feeling good you are headed the wrong direction.

Do not despair, you can still use Facebook and keep your vibration on the right side of the tracks.

Consider these things when using Facebook:

Timing: 80% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. Most of us haven’t even brushed our teeth and we are opening ourselves up to a world of images and opinions that invoke feelings within us and start our day tuning to a less than ideal frequency. Consider when you check in – I suggest getting intentional with your vibration and getting your feet under you each day before you check in (literally and figuratively). It might mean that you don’t check in until after breakfast or after you’ve started your workday. Try tweaking your timing and see if you notice a difference.

Your friends list: How many friends do you have that you would actually speak to if you saw them in public? How many friends do you have that are negative and self-sabotaging? How many friends do you have that you can count on to provide positive quotes and articles that lift you up? Spend some time going through that friends list and get rid of the ones that don’t make you feel good. If you’re worried about hurt feelings or don’t want to cut the cord completely go to their page and unfollow them. Like magic you’ll no longer have to see them pop up in your feed and you’re still friends. Best of all they’ll never know!

The good stuff: Consider intentionally following pages that provide uplifting content, motivate you to reach your goals and make you feel good. Be intentional about what you’re exposing yourself to and control how you feel when using it. Here’s one of my personal favorites: https://www.facebook.com/NoLimitsLifeCoachingLlc/?fref=ts

At the end of the day you can be drained emotionally and energetically when you check in with the Facebook or you can be uplifted – what are you going to choose?

Abby

Abby Wickersheim is a life coach on the No Limits Life Team.  Her specialty is helping you tune your energies to what you want most in life and taking action to get it.  You can learn more about Abby and her programs at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

My Pal Technology

We complain about technology, yet many of us use it – quite a bit.  For example: If you are reading this, you are using technology. It begs the question, why are we using it if we dislike it so much? And what if we shifted our perspective a bit to stop complaining about it and start embracing it?

That is the focus this month – Technology as our friend, helper and connector. 

A few incidents over the last few weeks have highlighted this point for me in unique ways:

Incident 1.  In a large retailer, I wrote a check. I don’t write many checks, finding them cumbersome, preferring the simpler path of a debit card swipe. When the cashier tried to process the check in his system, there was an error. I watched him struggle, confounded by the system, growing more agitated as time he spent trying to solve it increased.  He finally resolved it with managerial assistance and handed me my receipt with the words “technology sure doesn’t make anything easier!”

Really?  Doesn’t it though?  I mean he just scanned my items and all the prices popped up, calculated the total with tax for him; I handed him my phone with customer loyalty bar code open and he scanned it – no looking up for my account (pat on the back).  All of that could have taken MUCH longer and been much tougher right? But yes, let’s focus on the one part that was hard.

Incident 2. In a college course I teach I lead a segment on generations in the workplace: each of the generations respond based on their experience.  We had one segment with a very derisive attitude toward it “kids don’t know how to play outside anymore” and another generational segment who couldn’t imagine not being connected and could list all the benefits.

Is either wrong?  Isn’t it situational rather than widespread?  Yes, there are kids not getting enough exercise and depending too much time playing games.  But there are also a lot of kids exercising, playing sports and using technology as wind down AND for school (gasp!).  Teachers are referring parents to websites for extra work, homework is being submitted online, e-learning modules are increasing in use and on and on. If we are using it as a tool instead of an escape from life, is it really all that bad?   

Incident 3.  A couple of weeks ago I hosted a webinar called Everyday Spirituality Toolkit – I had teachers dial in from multiple locations, recorded it for replay and have been able to send out implementation support emails to anyone who attend or downloads the replay (go here if you are interested).

This kind of technology allows us to learn from a broader base of people, from across the globe and with amazing perspectives.  And then – if you miss it – you can listen anyway!

The interwoven message for me was that technology is in the very fabric of our lives anymore and we can live in constant conflict with it, we can allow it to teach us or we can get as conscious in our employment of it as we are of the food we put in our body and be in the driver’s seat.  We have a choice.

Technology is like anything, we can let it dominate us, or we can choose to use it as a tool.  I can obsess about anything I want: food, fitness, reading, taking classes; really anything can become binge worthy.  Anyone ever binge watched a Netflix show? I am raising my hand! You can lose yourself to many things, or you can chose to find yourself as you discover new experiences.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather become more centered in myself than spending time giving my power to something outside of me. Just sayin’

So if you have lost hours on social media – feel disconnected if you haven’t judged someone’s overly personal share on Instagram or snorted in derision at a tweet or snapchat or whatever your online viewer of choice is, then I need you to remember you made that decision.  It isn’t the creator of any of those tools’ fault.  It isn’t whoever showed you how to use it, it’s you.  You have decided to let it in to your life, you can decide how big of a role it plays.

Technology isn’t bad.  We can use it to connect: it is how I watch my nephew’s progress from 2000 miles away and how I got to see my niece’s reaction to a surprise Disney trip last week.  We can use it to stay informed: to catch the latest headlines, research information and perspectives, and learn something new.  We can also use it to entertain: jokes, movies, stories and more.

How we use technology isn’t always ideal.  When we shame, bully, attack, overshare or pollute the atmosphere in some other way – yeah it can be ugly.  The unpleasantness can be detached from though.  We dictate our own behavior and choose it and we choose how we engage with others and how much space they get in our feeds and our lives.  Just because they are family, doesn’t mean they are friend material.

Let’s Try it:

  1. Spend some time this week considering how you feel when you are using technology of any kind. Note the kind you use and how it makes you feel.
  2. Where you have a “negative” feeling about a technology, consider what you might change: who, how, frequency, etc.
  3. Make one change. I have spent the last few days spending very little time on social media – only about 15 minutes perhaps. Why?  Because I was tired and the last thing I needed was to tune into drama.  When I did scroll through, I actually unfollowed a few people because what they posted was the final straw in a series of “oh please” reactions I had experienced.
  4. Note how you feel after at least a week of operating differently. Keep what is working, and let go of what isn’t.
  5. Share with me what you learned!

Technology isn’t inherently bad.  How we use it sometimes can be, but that is us – not technology.  We decide.  What decision do you need to make about technology?

Jennifer Murphy is an integrative life coach and founder of No Limits Life.  She loves partnering with successful professionals who are ready to expand that feeling of success to all areas of their life.  Learn more about events, programs and services at www.nolimitslife.guru