Losing My Phone, Gaining My Life


I lost my phone while on vacation recently. Somewhere on Heavenly Mountain in Lake Tahoe there’s a phone buried deep under the snow below the chair lift. Seems like bad news right? When I told people, many of them reached for their pockets and purses just to caress their own phones in an effort to reassure themselves that they didn’t lose their phone. Calm down people. Take some deep breathes. This is my story, not yours. And don’t worry, it has a happy ending.

It was time for the coach to do some self-coaching. I learned some pretty beautiful lessons by losing that device.

Here are three lessons I learned by losing my phone.

1. I’m not that important. This one was an uncomfortable pill to swallow at first. No one died because I didn’t have a phone. People went to work, remembered to eat,  and got out of bed even though they couldn’t call me. No one died, jump off a bridge, or forgot to breath. Life went on, people managed, and got along fine.

2. I am extremely important. Without my phone, there were no texts to check, no “likes” to seek, no pictures to take. My eyes went to what was before me in the present. The cool air, blue sky, looking across the mountain at my son skiing…..searching in the trees for a glimpse of my daughter tree skiing, pulling over to eat some snow with my youngest daughter. I wasn’t taking pictures with aphone in front of my face. I was capturing picture memories and fully engaged. I was an important participant in the making of memories, not an observer capturing proof of “good times”.

3. Gratitude. The connection to our tools, our equipment can put a barrier between us and gratitude. Always being available to others doesn’t leave room to be available to ourselves. I found myself watching the sunrise over Lake Tahoe at 5am on a shuttle to the airport. If I had my phone, I would have been checking emails, planning ahead. I would have missed that sunrise. How many sunrise moments have passed me by while I was “checking” planning ahead, responding to others?

You’ll be relieved to know I have a new phone. But I am different. I go out without it. I leave it at home. I do things, talk with people, spend time with myself unplugging. I don’t need to post, take pictures, or text in order to know something is happening. I desire to be connected with myself and others more than a device.

Sometimes you have to un-plug in order to plug in to your life.