It is almost summer time in Beijing and it is easily noticeable by the large volume of bikes for hire that have appeared again on the streets.
This year they seem more noticeable, possibly because they are being used less as there are less people about and also people maybe more cautious on renting something that is a close-contact item. Something that you sit on, hold onto and have that closer contact with might be considered a risk too far for some people during this COVID-19 period.
The alternative is the hire car, taxi, metro (which I would also avoid as it can be choc busy down there) or to walk. I have found myself becoming the walker. I have always enjoyed walking and now that I walk the 4k into work and back from work it has opened up a whole new world to me. Not the visual world around me as that has always been there, more the internal world. My internal monologue has been a good friend to me lately.
I have found the solitary walking around Beijing has given me great reflective moments and moments of insight which has been nurtured along by my active use of some meditation apps – yes, walking meditation is a thing for me at the moment, and getting into the newly found passion of listening to audio books. Both have supported some great moments of inner conversation and it was particularly supportive during the recent tumultuous months.
I was sharing with someone the other day on how much this simple process and habit has given me a lot of time to think and after drilling into it through the conversation it was clear to us that the main reason for the deeper reflective moments and times of clarity were because the walking was forcing me to stay away from the iPhone. The need to answer, read and text constantly, almost in an addictive way is all consuming but this isolation removed that. Increased us has also been draining and mood altering during this high news cycle time (has there been anything but this in the last 4 years)
Time for a rethink!
Having reviewed my habits and making a listening/reading journey through a couple of great books on habits…
I recommend: Atomic Habits by James Clear or picking through some key moments within the Tim Ferris books; Tools of Titans or Tribe of Mentors.
…I have decided to work on reducing my smart phone habits.
1. I will charge them overnight in another room, not in the Bedroom.
2. I wlll not look at the phone after 9pm or at the dinner table or when out at the restaurant with others.
3. At work, I will set allocated times to review the key messages & email
4. I will removing all but the essential Apps
5. I have removed the FaceTime and Twitter app – why them, because my phone told me I spend too much time on them.
It is always a journey when exploring new habits but I feel the need to get back the headspace.