What are you devoted to? Where to you spend your energy, your time? Where do you return to again and again? Is your devotion serving you? Does it nurture you or others? Do you find yourself focused on a single devotion or scattered between many people, places, pets, causes or ideals?
Devotion is a precious gem. It requires our attention, time and energy. It requires diligence, sometimes duty. Sometimes our devotion is unconscious. Sometimes it's intentional. Sometimes we don't even know what we are devoted to...until we take time to notice.
I'm curious this month of February—a month where candy hearts and love-filled greeting cards are spread before us like a buffet of what our culture deems as love—about what I spend my time doing. About what I feel devoted to.
I think about my children, the studio, the practice of yoga, environmental work, cultivating deep connection with others. And those are all great. But where do I spend my time? How does my devotion play out in real life outside of my lofty ambitions?
These days, I spend a lot of time working. Some of it doesn't feel like work, some of it is a slog. I'm on my phone A LOT. I am looking at a screen of some sort for upwards of 7 hours a day (according to my iPhone stats). That's a lot of screen time! Yet, I don't feel DEVOTED to my phone. Let me take that back. If someone were to take my phone away I would have trouble with my composure...at first. But then there would be a freedom. Take away WiFi, take away Netflix, the NY Times Crossword online, podcasts, e-mail and texting! Can you even imagine?
It has happened to me. I have had my screens taken away for a time. And after the initial shock, I have felt the freedom that comes from going without. And I do recognize my DEVOTION to my phone. It's not a lofty, ambitious ideal. But it's where I spend my time.
This practice teaches us to slow down and examine our behavior, the way we interact with ourselves and the world around us. It asks us to pay attention and find meaning in awareness. It asks us to leave our distractions outside to wait, while we turn inward and find connection to ourselves. Our phones can't do that for us. Our screens will never be better at teaching us about the quality of our breath or where we might be holding tension. Our shows, apps and texts won't provide the satisfying feeling of laying in savasana, at rest and at peace with ourselves because we are in the moment.
So I hope this month, you can ask yourself this question: What am I DEVOTED to? And in your answer (or answers) may you find more awareness, more peace and more compassion for yourself.