“There’s just no technological substitute for loving human magic!”
My daughter Shayna and I couldn’t decide. I wanted her to make the decision and she wanted me to. Should we stay home for New Year’s Eve or drive two hours to the Bay Area to be with family and friends?
I was tired from not having slept well the night before, so the thought of partying until midnight was not at all appealing. Even taking the time to pack for an overnight and drive two hours in traffic seemed like it would take more energy than I had. Besides, Christian still couldn’t travel with his back out, and I didn’t really want to be apart from him on New Year’s Eve.
Shayna still had homework for her first day back at school after the holiday, and wanted to go to the barn to ride her horse, so she was mixed about going too. It certainly would be cozier, and way the heck easier, to just stay home and maybe have a few of her friends over to celebrate the New Year.
After hours of debate and indecision, and even a Ro-Sham-Bo that told us to go, some small voice in me said, “Just do it!” So I asked my daughter, “Wanna just go for it?” and she said, “Sure!” Within an hour we were packed and saying goodbye to Christian, who was more than happy to support us to go enjoy ourselves.
We arrived at 5pm for the most nourishing New Year’s Eve party ever! My children and people that I have known for some 20 years were there. I felt such love and joy in their presence – my chosen family, truly. I had great conversations that opened up new thinking for me in several domains. We played games, piano and table tennis. One of the teens had written a comedic play that we read, acted out and laughed about together as a group.
We ate great food, danced and sang to Karaoke at the top of our lungs for hours. I had a sweet deep conversation with my son, and got to hold my daughter in my arms when the clock struck midnight. I finally fell asleep around 2 in the morning on a makeshift bed on the floor, feeling energized and grateful for having made the trip.
I was thinking about how my experience with New Year’s mirrors our human experience in this day and age. With phones, computers and TV’s bringing endless entertainment, news and distraction at our fingertips, it is harder and harder for people to feel motivated to get out of the house.
We watch movies without leaving our couch, have chats with friends without actually talking to them or seeing them; we have food delivered so we don’t need to dine out; and we take classes from home, without having to go sit next to someone, somewhere.
When I asked my house cleaner what she did with her free time, she said she goes home and watches TV. “If the phone rings during one of my shows, I don’t answer it. I don’t want to be interrupted.”
Another friend of mine, who is a spiritual coach, said that 75% of his clients, even if they live within half an hour of his office, prefer doing Zoom sessions to in-person meetings.
When Christian and I walk in our neighborhood, we are struck by how few people are ever out in their yards. My children and their friends are rarely seen without eyes glued to their phones. Even singles date people online that they never actually meet in person.
A lot of people who offer us business advice tell us to take our work online. “Online programs are the wave of the future. People don’t want to take workshops. They want to stay at home. Stay private. Comfortable.”
But we know real transformation is unlikely to happen from an online anything.
Some insights and new information, sure. But memorable transformations and breakthroughs are much more abundant and likely in a live interactive group environment.
For that reason, Christian and I will always offer live trainings.
It is in community, where people get to really be with each other, look into each other’s eyes, touch and talk and be held, that real and lasting healing and improvement happen.
There’s just no technological substitute for that kind of loving, relational human magic!
When we repeatedly take the easy way out and stay safe and comfortable at home, we don’t get to feel the soul nourishment that comes from genuine human interaction.
When we don’t take that new class or workshop or trip, we don’t get to grow and expand from exposure to newness. We stay comfortable – and bored!
When we text, we might think we’re connecting with our friends, but often, our hearts remain untouched.
I have three sentences that rattle around in my brain over and over again:
“Today is the youngest I will ever be!”
“Everything I really want is outside my comfort zone!”
“Trust, risk and keep a sense of humor!”
Those three sentences remind me to seize the moment of my life and go for it! They provide the fuel for me to break out of the limiting confines of my comfort zone.
I am reminded that the richness and expansiveness of my life has always come from taking risks, stepping out, and doing something new. My relationships and conversations with other people recurrently open up new possibilities for me that I never would have come to on my own.
As we enter the New Year, I personally have a desire to take more risks. Get out of the house more. Put down the phone and take a walk. Go visit a friend. Drive two hours to see people I haven’t seen for years. Put on music and dance like a wild woman. Go to, and host, more gatherings and workshops.
Watch less. Live more.
How about you? What will you decide?
When you find yourself going back and forth, when you just don’t have the energy to get up and go do something new, what will you choose?
I hope, at least some of the time that you will listen to that same small voice in you that says, “Just Do It!” I trust you will feel as expanded and enriched as I do when I jump into life full tilt boogie with both feet!
Happy New Out-of-the-Box Year to you!
🙂 Sonika & Christian
PS. If you would like to jump into one of our community love-and-relationship workshops, go to loveworksforyou.com/gytl