THE BLOG
17/10/2013 09:31 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

The Alternative Meditation

At a restaurant the other night I noticed as normal, side by side to the cutlery, the obligatory smartphone. Mine was in my bag, not that I want to be smug about it. As soon as one diner of two got up to go the bathroom, the smart phone was picked up.

I mean you couldn't possibly sit on your own and soak up the ambiance, ponder on your date and the food? Or, simply sit and be comfortable with just you? The trusted Smartphone - so you look busy, important and not alone. Even with no WIFI or data roaming, simply refreshing a page that will never load is better than being in your own company.

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It's not just dinner, it's drinks, it's trains, while watching TV, in bed, in the bath, on holiday even. What do you mean the rainforest has intermittent WIFI and if and when it works it is only by that one spot near the lagoon by the outdoor reception desk?

How very dare they make you unplug, what will you do?

What happens if you can't post on FB?

What about a potential business tweet you don't reply to immediately, will it self-destruct?

What about the client who might email you and you don't reply for a few days, is that your reputation in tatters?

What about your team, you promised you would Skype into the department meeting?

What happens if your friends forget you and you can't show off where you are by giving up-to-the-minute updates?

What will you do?

Being connected online has myriad advantages but for me it has a shadow which is the disconnection with self. Everything has a shadow when it is out of balance. We belong to the cult of the virtual. We have become the unpluggable. It's a ritualistic approach to life with a sinister rationale. It is a meditation of sorts - a trance that leads us in to an inauthentic dance with those we are virtually connected to.

We are losing our sense of self - collectively, we use distraction as a means to not be alone with ourselves. We want to be amused virtually; we want to share every details of our life online. It's a mask and cover for confidence. Being on Twitter doesn't mean that socially or in business we are 'out there...!' In fact, hiding in full sight is the best hiding place and the worst of it is that by feeding this addiction, we are not consciously aware of the shadow growing darker.

Real meditation was and has always been about connection to self. Funny how the meditation in the virtual world is about the opposite!

Without your own self-connection you cannot be authentic and therefore in service to your purpose and potential. When you are not truly connected to your own self, you are living an illusion. An irony really when you remember the virtual world is just that. It has no soul!

Without self-connection - we are not giving ourselves the gift of processing our thoughts internally and with not being able to switch off, it is incongruous to our wellbeing.

Without self-connection, spiritually speaking, we have a loss of power, lessening our impact in our own life and the world and losing our connection to abundance.

The social media ritual or meditation is not a good place to start and end our day or spend most of it there. Social media may have its highs but the addiction is damaging and takes us away from what we love and what we are truly persevering to establish, maintain and transform in our lives.

Time for a new mediation

Start your day with concerns of self-connection, plug in to you first! Meditate even if it is for a few minutes; just breathe life into your energy and day. Send out positive thoughts for the day that is about to be. There is no drama in that - just power and simplicity. Visualise your dream, your success and your joy and allow it to become you as the energy you put out infuses within you.

Then each time you fancy checking in to see how many 'retweets' or replies or likes you have had, take a deep breath connect to your belly and be comfortable being you. Each time you want to reply to an email, take a deep breath and connect to the power of you first as you will find that you are quite comfortable walking away for now and letting 'you' be happy in the real world. That is where joy and abundance are after all.

About the author

Sarupa Shah is an award-winning entrepreneur and mentor. She is the founder of The Soul Agency, working with entrepreneurs and leaders to instigate real change in our approach to modern life; putting consciousness back on the agenda. Sarupa speaks, coaches and runs workshops and study programmes across the globe which inspire people to tap into their own inner power. Sarupa is a published author of the no.1 best seller - The Art of Affirmations and The Heart Centred Entrepreneur (both available on Kindle via Amazon)

sarupashah.com and thesoulagentblog.com