- Editor's Note -

Get Out, Tune In

Editor in chief Jamie Martin on how choosing to unplug has helped her to reconnect.

headshot of Jamie Martin

For years, my summer workout routine has been to get outside first thing in the morning. I lace up my shoes, pop in my earbuds, and hit the pavement. Sometimes I run, often I walk; my playlists keep me going as I wind through the streets of my neighborhood. It’s just me and my music before much of the world is awake.

Earlier this spring, however, I decided to switch things up. Life was pretty hectic with the transition to my new role, and my self-care regimen had taken a back seat. I was still working out, but it was rapid fire and intense (and in truth, probably not the best choice considering the stress I was feeling). I was skipping the yoga practice I had worked so hard to build. Instead of my morning meditation, I was editing first thing; at night, I was checking email until just before going to bed.

The free time I did have was devoted to my family, and I often found myself being impatient with them as I mindlessly checked my phone for emails and the latest social updates. I was spending too much time plugged in and missing out on too many important moments in my life. (Read all about the importance of unplugging at “You, Unplugged“.)

Fortunately, I realized pretty quickly that I was in desperate need of space — for quiet, uninterrupted time to think, to ideate, to connect. I needed to fill my tank and reincorporate more of the healthy-living practices we write about in every issue of Experience Life.

As I headed out for my walk one morning, it hit me: This was an opportunity to tune in. So rather that turning on the MapMyRun app and starting my “Run Jamie Run” playlist, I tucked my phone and earbuds in my pocket and went for a walk with me.

For the first time in a long time, I focused on where I was going. I watched the deeply angled light shift with the rising sun; I heard at least six different types of birds chirping and tried to figure out where they were coming from; I felt the cool air on my face and smelled what had to be pancakes coming from a house that had a garden I’d never noticed before. Who knew? (For helpful tips on how to more fully engage each of your senses, see “Come to Your Senses”.)

I tuned in to not only my surroundings, but also my physical and emotional states. I scanned my body for aches and pains, and adjusted my stride and speed accordingly. I focused on my breath, and when my mind began to wander, I paid attention: I thought about to-do lists, problems I’d been struggling with, ideas that had just started percolating.

As I made my way home, I was struck by the realization that I’d been missing out on a lot in my community by being plugged in all of these years. That walk was like its own form of meditation — I felt more alive and alert than I had in a long time.

Moving meditation is a regular part of my routine these days. Sure, I’m still plugged in quite a bit, but I’m finding my way back to an even healthier, happier place. I hope this issue helps you discover ways to reconnect with whatever it is you’ve been needing more of — and that you really listen to the call. Because you deserve that time and space for you.

P.S. Did you know this issue marks Experience Life’s 15-year anniversary? Don’t miss the timeline on page 16 in our print edition highlighting some of our key milestones along the way. Plus, we’ll be celebrating all summer at ExperienceLife.com — we hope you’ll join us!

Photography by Chad Holder

Jamie Martin is Experience Life’s editor in chief. Follow her on Instagram @jamiemartinel.

Photography by Sara Rubinstein

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