Put yourself back in the picture

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

You might be forgiven for thinking I've had a quiet weekend. If you looked at my socials, there isn't any evidence of me having a life this last weekend. There are no posts of what I've been doing, no images, no tagging people and places and no social stories.

The truth is - I've had an amazing weekend. Not just full of activities , friends and lots of fun but also picture-perfect. So why aren't there any pictures? Truth is - I was so busy enjoying it, I decided for a change NOT to grab my phone and capture it.

Someone sent me a video of my daughter's race at athletics, for which I am very grateful. I honestly didn't think to video it because I was so busy standing alongside the track cheering. Dinner out with friends one night was delightful. Such a lovely meal and engaging chat that I decided not to alter the dynamic by grabbing a selfie with them and tagging the restaurant. Relax time on the sun-lounger in my beautiful garden reading a book with tea in hand- now, that would've made a great instagram pic, but I was so lost in my book I didn't stop to gather proof of it. Later, my hands and feet were too deliciously dirty with soil from gardening to go inside and find my phone to snap my veggie patch transforming with spring warmth. A day out with friends, face-painting, pony rides, bungee trampolining... it all went undocumented because I was just busy having fun and connecting with my family. Sunday night I made a beautiful, colourful and clearly pintrest-worthy meal for the family but we were all so keen to dive in and devour that no one paused to capture it. All of these moments, memories, experiences happened with no absolutely no evidence.

So you would be forgiven for thinking that because there is no social proof of these things happening, it's like they never did. But in my reality, this weekend seems more memorable than most. Because I was fully engaged and present in every aspect of it. You see, every time I reach for my phone to capture a moment- I actually stop being in it. I remove myself from the energy and connectivity of an experience by searching for my device. My world starts being viewed through a lens. The pure joy is diminished as I momentarily disengage to find the perfect filter and angle to preserve the moment. My kids no longer see me looking directly at them but looking at my phone looking at them.

When you grab your phone to capture a moment- you actually remove yourself from it.

Now, that is not to say there is no value in capturing some moments. I love being able to look back at events, funny moments and recount memories, all triggered by an image or several images. I love that photos have the ability to almost instantly transport us to that time and location. But so often, more than I'd care to count, the image is of my kids or my friends or my husband enjoying the moment, it is of my food, my setting, my outlook but missing one thing- me. I rarely appear in the image. That's because I am so often stepping out of the moment to capture it. I know many many Mums who feel the same. In our attempt to preserve these special moments of our children, we remove ourselves from them, again and again and for what? To show people via social media, many who we've never met, what our life looks like. I think I'd rather save the everyday moments in my mind and the mind of my children with me fully present and IN them rather than have photographic proof of those moments with me OUT of them.

Brand managers and marketing guru's would say that I really need to capture and market my lifestyle to be able to connect with people and show them what I'm selling as a life-coach. But I call BS on that! The message I try to give people and work so hard on with my clients is that life is there to be lived, to be loved and thoroughly enjoyed. I tell them that it is critical to find what is really important to them, what nourishes them and teach them how to create space for that and make it sacred. It seems insanely hypocritical to say all that and then continue to always remove myself from the moments that are really important to me, just to be able to share it on socials.

This weekend taught me that a break in my social feed doesn't indicate a lack of a life but rather an abundance of it. It taught me that I don't need external social validation to prove that my weekend was full of genuine, heartfelt connection with people and the earth, full of joy and laughter and special moments. That suff all exists in my heart and head, and the same goes for my family. They don't need everyday proof that they were loved, experiencing moments of joy or well-connected with others because they feel it, they were there and for a change - so was I. I found a way to put myself back in the picture and that is by not taking one at all.

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