I had an epiphany this past holiday season. I took a step back from the daily grind, client hunting and having my mind continuously think about the stories I would love to create.

I am living the overcrowded, hustle and bustle, traffic filled Southern California lifestyle. It gets mentally draining more than the rest of the country thinks.

What is the saying? “Beauty has a price?”

I took a trip up to Northern California to enjoy the Sierras highlighted by the glory of famous Lake Tahoe. My friends and I headed up there, for our first time and planned out 5 days to just enjoy nature, get a little snowboarding in, take in the fresh mountain air, the scenery — all in efforts to reset to hit the ground running for the new years.

We fought and went against our natural instincts and took our personal laptops, thinking we would need or want to get work done there. We could not resist, sadly. Of all weeks to work… on Christmas?

The closer we got to Tahoe, the more our phone signals began to fade. It was annoying at times, but we all thought it was temporary as we were driving through the mountainous terrain to get to Tahoe.

What was a bit annoying turned into outright frustration. We got to the hotel, and the hotel had Wi-Fi to connect to, but the second we walked around the villages outside to enjoy the scenery we had no connection whatsoever, unless we walked near and close to the resorts.

As the days wore on, the frustration turned into a sigh of relief, happiness and just pure bliss!

We ended up never logging in to our personal laptops — not even once! We thought it would be a mission to connect, so why bother. It was an usual feeling, yet somewhat a euphoric feeling.

It felt like…Freedom!

Emerald Bay State Park. Photo: My Own.

5 Beautiful Lessons From Tahoe?

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a topic of growing research in today’s world. Rightfully so, because the data to us living in the present (lack of) is disturbing. Disturbing enough for TIME Magazine to create an entire publication dedicated to the art of Mindfulness.

Not being connected in Lake Tahoe, allowed us to stray away from the worry of receiving rampant messages, or dealing with the constant barrage of information we face on a daily basis, such as annoying emails, 500 various modes of receiving text messages in today’s era, social media, etc.

But to enjoy the scenery now, focusing on that moment and that experience.

2. Senses

Talk about a place that heightens your senses? Lake Tahoe was definitely it.

Because we were disconnected from any internet activity and social media, we were not concerned with sharing this experience through the lens of our cameras, but rather the greatest camera of all — our eyes.

The air was so crisp, our sense of smell was heightened. The snow filled the ground and streets; the mountain caps covered with the bright white that captivated our eyes and heightened our sight.

The breeze so piercing to our bodies — a sensation honestly, we had rarely (if ever) experienced. Our minds slowly moving back and forth in a slower, meditative state rocking with the movement of the massive body of water that Lake Tahoe presents.

There was a sense of an appreciation feeling all of these things. It was surreal and something that is really taken for granted in our day to day lives.

Heavenly Mountain. Photo: My Own.

3. Connections

Because we were disconnected from our mobile computers and personal laptops, it forced us to really connect with people!

Can you believe it? Such a concept!

We were not consumed with our nonreciprocating screens, because we were forced to be consumed with each other. In some ways, force could be a great thing.

It reminds you of what was, and what is truly important.

4. Appreciation

I am always a believer in mindfulness breeding appreciation. Its fact. Appreciation, in turn, breeds gratitude. Gratitude, we truly take for granted:

  • The moments of us laughing
  • Eating together
  • Focusing on how incredible the food at Tahoe is
  • Appreciating our sense of taste!
  • Being on a mountainous slope, falling down and getting back up to snowboard
  • Being cold, shivering and seeing each other breathing

All of these moments were cherished and loved because we were not distracted.

Not for one second. I could not remember the last time, feeling so focused in each of the specific moments we experienced.

5. Reconnecting

When you are forced to deal with the cards you are dealt with, it could teach you a lot about yourself:

  • It could test your strength
  • Your fortitude
  • Your character to see how and whether you adapt to a situation or just fall apart.

Because we were used to being connected, checking our emails, messages, various modes of social media and communication, content, media publications; we truthfully did not know another world!

And each of us all once knew that another world, being a product of the ‘90s!

As the days wore on, we felt happy, energized, less anxious, rested and more importantly, at peace.

In our ever connected world, we need to know and give ourselves time to disconnect. Our bodies not only deserve it, but need it. Our minds need it.

You will be happier. You will be reset. Your senses will be reawakened and sense of connection will delve deeper.

What a euphoric feeling. So to this I say to Lake Tahoe:

“Thank You. I love you. Stay blue”

and remember:

Disconnect to Reconnect

Originally published at theascent.pub