I spend too much time online.
And yes, I get the irony that I'm talking about it ... online.
I adore looking at pretty photos, clicking and saving to my Pinterest account or scrolling through my endless Facebook feed. But too much of a good thing often turns out to be ... too much.
My best days include some time in the real world. This morning I'm writing this in a coffee shop. I'm sitting near a window with the sun shining in and sipping a hot vanilla latte. The corner of the table feels a bit rough where the wood finish chipped off. There's some kind of wailing chorus of music in the background that's being dimmed by the whir of the coffee grinder. A young girl in shorts and flip-flops comes in and I can hear the snick, snick sound as her shoes slap against the tile floor. At the table next to me the tanned college student in a striped tank top swipes at a stack of paper with her squeaky yellow highlighter. Her hair is piled on top of her head in a messy knot and I detect a faint scent of coconut ...
In my short piece "A Sensible Soul" (Issue 8 of Bella Grace), I talk about how important it is to step away from the visual world of social media and fully experience your other senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing.
Bella Grace's Instagram Photo Contest
I'm delighted that Bella Grace is hosting a U.S. Instagram challenge inspired by my piece. (I'm not hosting or judging this contest; it's all done by the magazine.) Here's the official post from the @bellagracemagazine Instagram account:
For this week's theme “A sensible soul,” let’s reacquaint ourselves with the senses.
In Issue 8, @michelle.mach shares how in a highly visual world, she strives to reconnect to life by using all her senses. Reflect on your other four senses ― taste, smell, touch, and hearing ― and find a way to visually represent one of the senses, besides sight, that allows you to embrace the magic found in simple moments. Be creative and be sure to use the hashtags #DearBellaGrace and #bellagracemagazine for a chance to win a free copy of Bella Grace and be featured on our Instagram.
You now have two weeks to submit your work so be creative and add your own special spark of magic to inspire and delight. If you have friends you’d like to see participate, tag them below. We can’t wait to see your images! #DearBellaGrace #BellaGraceMagazine #photocontest #contest #asensiblesoul #fivesenses #livefullyalive #livewholeheartedly #momentslikethese #seekthesimplicity
Enter by Friday July 1st , at 9am PST to be considered for this week’s prizes. Contest open to U.S. residents only. Photos must be your own in order to claim the prize. Although we encourage multiple entries and there is no limit to the number of times you can enter per week, please post your entries from the same account/handle.
I hope you'll consider entering, but even if you don't, please take some time this week to step away from the online world. I promise it will be worth it.