One remote island.
I went into this experience incredibly nervous and anxious. Never hosting ANYTHING before, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I simply knew how powerful leading people through five days of zero technology would be for them.
I knew that keeping the itinerary, location, meals and activities a surprise would force them to simply be in the moment. And not worry or think about what they are doing next. It removed surface level conversation about trivial topics and forced it a level deeper.
I knew how they would feel on days four and five.
A transformation from being stressed about giving up technology to actually being stressed about getting their technology BACK.
I knew how grounded and fully present they would feel by days two and three.
I knew how awkward it might feel on day one.
Conversation would slow. No one could fill that space by pulling out their phone.
Just sit. Be okay with the silence.
Let the conversation continue when it continues.
And conversations go interesting places when you can’t fact-check everything someone says. You can’t stop and look up the actor in that movie we can’t remember. The conversation is forced to continue. And forced to go deeper without stalling.
The most repeated comment on the last evening of this Blackout Trip was, “I don’t want to lose this feeling, and I feel like I’m going to be super overwhelmed when I return to daily life.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa :)
Let’s just relish this very moment we are in.
On this island.
With these people.
In this exact moment and time.
In absolute and utter presence.
Hearing the birds chirping.
The wind blowing through the palms and pines.
The current of the water lapping against the dock.
The campfire crackling.
Outside of feeling grounded and deeply connected to ourselves and the group, this experience is designed to create insights around how we are currently using technology in our daily lives.
When asked if the first thing they do in the morning is look at their phone, the entire group raised their hand. I asked them to keep their hands raised if that’s how they want to continue to live. All hands went down.
And there should be no judgement around this. It’s simply acknowledging that it’s what you are currently doing and having the awareness that it’s not how you want to live.
Awareness, intent and presence are the main objectives around Blackout Trips. It’s not to shame technology use, it’s to simply acknowledge how we are currently using technology and whether it’s a tool or a distraction. And understanding whether it’s leading to being fully present with what's in front of us, or taking us away from it.
It’s one of those things that once you see it and feel it, you can’t unsee it and unfeel it.
You’ll now notice every single time you are communicating with a distracted person.
Someone that is listening, but not listening.
Someone that is there, but not really there.
And first instinct is to rush and tell them what they are doing.
“Hey! You are distracted and not being fully present. You should put your phone down!”
It was the first approach I took with my wife, Jack. How do you think that turned out?
She didn't want to be told what to do.
So, instead of lecturing her about how she is using technology and not being present, why don’t I simply give her my undivided attention and presence?
And let her receive and feel the power of it.
Allowing her to feel my presence made her want to reciprocate the gift.
What can you do today to be more present?