The message from Verizon came just two days after arriving in India: “You’ve gone over your allotted data allowance.”
I’d purchased an International Calling Plan for the month of July, and a quick call brought me some great advice: stop using data when not connected to WiFi.
That meant while on the bus traveling to and from our destinations, I wouldn’t be posting pictures to Instagram of me doing a silly dance for an auditorium full of students and I couldn’t check WhatsApp to see what my group had been sharing.
But by not keeping my face in my phone, sharing my trip with the world, I was experiencing at an even deeper level the very things I wanted to learn and share about India.
I saw a cow prevent a car from backing up on a narrow city street. I noticed a billboard with the smiling face of the Deputy Chief Minister of Education in Delhi, whom I had just met the day before. I enjoyed the pure smiles of the women on balconies hanging their clothes out to dry.
It’s a start on the road to mindfulness: being fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing. It’s a concept that Delhi just introduced their students to last year, and one that is getting some traction back in the States. We need to focus on the things that matter; we need to stop emphasizing the negative and overlooking the positive.
I’m going to start disconnecting more often.