We’ve all been there – you tell yourself tonight you’ll unwind by reading a chapter of the book you’ve been semi reading for the past few months. You settle into the armchair with aforementioned book, but your phone is resting beside you. Just a quick check of social media, it won’t hurt right? Next thing you know it’s time for bed and 0% of your book has been read, but hey you got a good look at your cousin’s best friend’s wedding from two years ago!
What happened to living a simple life? Technology has swept through our lives, taking with it the feeling of receiving a letter in the mail, or enjoying a moment outdoors rather than witnessing it through our screens. Each year yLead runs a three day conference called yConnect, bringing together our volunteers from across Australia and New Zealand. The theme for 2017 was ‘Back to Basics’ – reconnecting with ourselves, our environment, and the people around us.
Nestled on top of Mt Tamborine amongst the trees and mist were 30 of our volunteers ready to switch off. The tone was set early after having received all the necessary details for the weekend in a handwritten letter. Upon arrival the participants were challenged to re-pack their bags for the weekend, reflecting on what they NEED versus what they WANT. The room was decorated with the ‘Back to Basics’ theme in mind, with stations set up around the room such as:
- Before Google we used encyclopedias – Research a topic of interest
- Before Messenger we valued the art of great conversation – Pick a conversation starter and go chat!
- Before Facebook we engaged in healthy face-to-face debates – Pick a topic and go argue with someone
The participants looked at what they need to live a fulfilled and content life. This was done by spending time on:
- IDENTITY – values, beliefs, what does your ideal life look like?
- TOOLS – gratitude, mindfulness, relationship building, emotional control, time management, sleep patterns
- ACTIVITIES – Treetops rope course, creation of a Masterchef meal with 6 random items, dinner in silence
“Something I took away from this weekend is that I am in control of my relationship with myself. I choose who and what I surround myself with, I decide to slow down and clear my mind. It’s made me more accountable for what I allow myself to feel and think, and where I’m going in life.”