Tips for Moving Well Through Life - Tech Edition
By Sarah Kaufman
The tips below, adapted from my book “The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life,” offer ways to bring ease and grace into your life and that of others. They work equally well in the technology sphere.
Begin with this simple point in mind: slowing down. That can mean taking time to compose your thoughts in a productive way before responding to that email, or before posting comments on social media. Tip No. 3 on the list, 'Make room for others,' can mean putting devices away while commuting to work or traveling, so you’re more inclined to notice the folks around you and perhaps spark a conversation or offer assistance.
Taking walks without looking down at your phone is also an excellent way to get away from the always-on pressures of tech, to take care of your body and avoid the dreaded “tech neck.” (Light, lifted and elegant posture from head to toes is super important for proper breathing, blood circulation and just feeling great.) But there are also plenty of ways that technology can help us with our self-care: meditation apps, fitness trackers, motivational podcasts, sites for uploading workouts, etc.
In fact, every element of the graceful life is transferable to our tech activities. In whatever space we inhabit, we can take our values with us.
TIPS FOR MOVING WELL THROUGH LIFE
At the heart of grace is ease. Defying gravity, smoothing your actions, reducing friction. Releasing your gifts to the world. Lightening the burdens of others.
Ease, however, is not always easy to master. It is a dynamic practice. With that in mind, consider these points:
Slow down and plan. There’s no way to be graceful when you’re rushing around haphazardly.
Practice tolerance and compassion. This goes along with slowing down. Take time to listen and understand.
Make room for others—on the sidewalk, at the bus stop, in a coffee shop, during a business meeting, and in your life.
Strive to make things easy for other people, even in small ways.
Make things easy for yourself. Be easily pleased. Accept compliments, take a seat on the bus if someone offers it to you, embrace any kindness that comes your way. This is graciousness, and it is a gift for someone else. You are giving another person the gift of being graceful.
Lighten your load. Shed painful shoes, disencumber yourself of heavy purses, backpacks, and briefcases. Let the bad stuff go, physically and emotionally.
Take care of your body. The more you move, the better you’ll move. And the better you’ll feel.
Practice extreme noticing. Look for grace where you least expect it.
Be generous. It’s a lovely thing to anticipate and fulfill someone’s hopes.
Enjoy. Raise a glass, as Lionel Barrymore did in the movie Grand Hotel, “to our magnificent, brief, dangerous life—and the courage to live it!”