How My Oversized Smartphone Reminded Me How to Live In the Moment

Modern Day Healthcare, Week 5 (Sunshine & Fresh Air)

A funny thing happened to me this week. I was overjoyed to receive my brand new iPhone 6 Plus to replace my “tiny” and outdated iPhone4. As a tech lover, it has always been tricky to balance the desire to be plugged in to the world as it relates to all the things that interest me with the actual “doing” of the all those same things. I thought I had found the solution as I would go on walks, runs, social events, etc. with my small little smartphone in tow…ready to report on the latest “experience”, return a quick email, listening to my favorite music, or to take a quick glance at what others in my online Pilates community were doing. It seemed like the perfect balance…I could be outside and “connected” at the same time.   As much as “unplugging” seems like an obvious piece of advice, it’s not always the easiest thing to do when the convenience factor of whipping the smartphone out of your pocket exists.

Joseph Pilates stated that in order to attain full body health, we needed to have plenty of fresh air and sunshine with a balance in life, work, and play. Wasn’t I getting that? Well, technically I could be outside in the sunshine and getting physical activity, but I would not always be completely present to experience it. So how does this relate to my new ginormous, thin, and dare I say slippery new phone?

I typically make it a point to walk to work most mornings, but this particular morning I didn’t do it the usual way, which usually included taking care of emails and catching up on social media while on the walk. No, this morning was different. This morning, I was terrified that if I removed my shiny new phone from my pocket, I would surely drop it as its larger size made it more awkward to manage while moving. So, I made the decision to keep it tucked away, and this is where Joseph’s wisdom really hit me.

With my head up, I was in awe of this amazing panoramic view that my eyes and brain had gifted me with. The colors were brighter, the depth of perception was richer, and the light of the morning sunshine danced on everything it hit.   With my head up and arms able to swing freely, I was more aware of how wonderful my body felt just to move and feeling the earth beneath my feet, and I had this enormous sense of gratitude that I could do just that.   With my upright posture, I breathed in deeper and with greater ease which allowed me to taste the sweetness of the air following our recent rain. My breath became more deliberate as though I wanted to cherish each long wonderful breath. A small smile passed through my lips as I felt the cool air moving past them and the breeze against my skin.  With my head up, I was sensitive to all the beautiful sounds of the water, birds, and tiny critters without my earphones blocking their entry into my ears.   In 20 minutes, I arrived at my office with a smile on my face, relaxed yet energized, and feeling alive. My intentions were clearer and my direction more focused throughout the day, and my energy was contagious as my patients and clients seemed to sense a difference. My cues were richer and more effective, as if my own increased awareness of my own body allowed for a greater awareness and intention in theirs.

I was reminded of the power of the earth’s energy and how we can use it to recharge ourselves and others. However, to truly harness it, we need to allow ourselves to be present in the moment to appreciate the effect it has on every system of our bodies, and then, we have the greater ability to pass that energy and intention onto others.   While I’m happy to own my new technology, it is a reminder that some things are best enjoyed separately.

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Morning Reflection: Here’s what I noticed when I let the technology stay in my pocket

Ada Wells, MPT, PMA®–CPT
POLESTAR® Educator

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Ada Wells, MPT, PMA®-CPT, owner of ProBalance, brings nearly 20 years of Physical Therapy, Pilates, and sports performance expertise to her clients in rehabilitation, fitness, and educational settings.  Ada is a Level 3 Certified Golf Medical Professional through the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) and is a PMA Certified Pilates Teacher and Polestar Pilates Educator. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), PMA, and IDEA Health and Fitness Association.Ada received a B.S. in Physiology with honors from the University of California at Davis and graduated at the top of her class at Chapman University with a Masters of Physical Therapy. 

In addition to her continuous development of specialized sports rehabilitation and performance programs, Ada is a Pilates Educator for Polestar PIlates, teaching the craft to future Pilates instructors.  She provides lectures on rehabilitation and fitness for golf, sailing, and other sports. She presents seminars based on her DVD, “The Cruising Boater’s Workout” for Strictly Sail Pacific and other sailing organizations and events.For the past ten years, Ada has provided her services to celebrity golfers at the American Century Golf Championship nationally televised on NBC. She has appeared in a variety of publications including: Cruising World, ESPN Magazine, Pilates Style, Dance Teacher, Rehab Management, Health Club Management, and Physical Therapy Products Magazine.  She is also a guest instructor on the Athletic Training Channel of Balanced Body® Podcasts and for Pilates on Tour®.

This is part of a 12-week series about Modern Healthcare. To see previous posts, click here.