Week 16 – The Practice

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    I’ve been trying to write this weeks post for five days. 

    Originally I wanted to share about my Ayurvedic studies. While sitting down to write about the crazy cool things I’m learning about herbs and clinical assessment, our provincial government announced a briefing with regards to the impacts of the global pandemic in our region. It was set for later that day. Anxiously waiting, too distracted and unfocused to write, I vacuumed my house instead. When the announcement finally happened a few hours later, a very immature Michelle erupted in angry frustration, spewed up curses while while stomping around and smacking the wall.

    Mandatory lockdown again. 

    My palms stung well into the evening and I had a full conversation, and apology, with my 7 years old for the expletives he’d heard streaming from his mothers mouth like the father on the beloved Christmas Story.

    The next morning, I once again sat down to write. This time I wanted to write about how much I despise the virtual world and how I feel forced into adapting to use it. I tried reflecting on the positives of technology reminiscing about my youth and our first computer of the late ’80s. I wanted to write about the excited and bewildered emotions I felt as a kid giddy to type on the keyboard or play with the Nintendo remote controller. But the more I tried to write about that, the more frustrated and irritated I got.

    So I took the weekend to let it go, to get out in the woods with my family, and to clear my head. Now, I sit down to write, holding space for the potential of what might manifest as my fingers dance across my laptop keyboard.

    This is what I’ve come up with:

    • In elementary school, I remember when one of the classrooms was transformed into a computer room with 20+ Commodore computers if I’m not mistaken. They had small black screens and fluorescent green block letter in which I now know I was learning elemental coding. 
    • I remember using a floppy disk, bought at the local stationary and electronic store in the basement of the 5050 Mini Mall, to save my progress and work. 
    • I remember when my parents brought our first desktop computer for home, a Macintosh Plus that my father purchased through a program at his work in the late 80’s. 
    • I remember loving my Nintendo gaming system and calling my mom, an ER clerk at the time, to tell her I beat Bowser.
    • I remember getting my first phone number and buying my first wireless telephone.
    • I remember signing up for first email address in college.

    And so much more.

    Fast forward two decades, I now have access to two landlines, three computers, two tablets and a dozen other digital devices, one of which I carry around in my back pocket almost everywhere I go. Technology is an absolutely amazing and incredible feat of ingenuity and inventiveness. It literally brings the world to my finger tips. In an instant, I can find the answer to almost any question I can possibly imagine. I can say ‘hi’ to old friends, connect with clients and acquaintances, and even look out over the Yellowknife Bay webcam where I grew up skating, sliding, fishing and adventuring from over 6200kms away. WOW!

    Regardless, much as technology has me connected to the world of information, I feel it has equally created a dis-connect. With COVID-19 lurking around every corner, the virtual world has very much become a virtual reality. Now, schools are closed in this area, and children must learn to adapt once again to learning off of a screen. I don’t believe humans were meant for long term dis-connect. But opportunity exists in all of life’s experiences. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it has taught me about how much I rely on and need human contact. It has taught me how much I thrive on connecting and working with people, not screens. And more than that, I’m realizing how important it is that I regularly and genuinely connect with the people and places that fill me up. 

    I cannot wait to share space with hundreds of people again, crammed in somewhere to watch a spectacle or event, and even shake hands, or hug, a new friend.