I am straight ripping this off and reblogging this from Wilbur Hot Springs, a historic hotel and hot springs that I work with here in Northern California.  It’s epic information, and is so vital I don’t mind spreading chunks of pasted text around.  If you have seen the intriguing and engaging mini doc “The Story of Stuff”, or recently heard about the “100 thing challenge”…. this will be vital for you.  SO.. here you go.  Learning how to be happier, buck consumerism, live simply, and recenter our humanity around what matters… each other.  Don’t live an emotional life through the surrogate of connecting to “things” rather than “people”.  It’s not healthy, it doesn’t make you happy, and as you will all see…. it’s simply perpetuates the chain of mindless consumption and blathering mediocrity.  So enjoy!


———————–via Wilbur Hot Springs and their new blog on Tumblr.——————————


Our first post on Tumblr! I like it so far! We are still learning some things, but be sure to click the underlined links… those are the stories this whole post is about! =)

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This stuff is vital to think about, and we are thrilled to see the NY Times & Economist reporting on these oft overlooked impacts of modern living.  What’s more, this is just beginning, and to all our fans who tire of the madness and pace of this modern world… it will subside.  At least, the conversation that is being had will lead to more of us connecting, sharing, and living… without the drone of tiring tech.

This is relevant to you – to us – and to everyone else….. Please share this with your friends, family, people you love, and… especially… the people who need it. The problem is that the people who need it most will take the least amount of time to read and understand it.  So the duality of human condition marches on.

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1) Studying attention & memory as it is effected by the technology & pace of modern culture. Being off-grid & in nature repairs our tech-hysteria & dependence:

“But the trip’s organizer, David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, says that studying what happens when we step away from our devices and rest our brains — in particular, how attention, memory and learning are affected — is important science.

‘Attention is the holy grail,’ Mr. Strayer says.

‘Everything that you’re conscious of, everything you let in, everything you remember and you forget, depends on it.’”


2) Being over-attached to tech is harmful — and we pay a price.  It is changing the way we behave, interact, and exist within a moment.

“Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.”

“These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.”

“The resulting distractions can have deadly consequences, as when cellphone-wielding drivers and train engineers cause wrecks. And for millions of people like Mr. Campbell, these urges can inflict nicks and cuts on creativity and deep thought, interrupting work and family life.”

“Mr. Nass at Stanford thinks the ultimate risk of heavy technology use is that it diminishes empathy by limiting how much people engage with one another, even in the same room.”

“‘The way we become more human is by paying attention to each other,’ he said. ‘It shows how much you care.’”

That empathy, Mr. Nass said, is essential to the human condition. ‘We are at an inflection point,’ he said. ‘A significant fraction of people’s experiences are now fragmented.’”

3) “Stuff” doesn’t make people happy, while experiences create a long lasting, woven tapestry of happiness– more and more people are asking the simple question, “But will it make me happy?”  We often mindlessly do what the rest of the crowds are doing…. But is it fulfilling?

“S. STROBEL — our heroine who moved into the 400-square foot apartment — is now an advocate of simple living, writing in her spare time about her own life choices at Rowdykittens.com.”

“’My lifestyle now would not be possible if I still had a huge two-bedroom apartment filled to the gills with stuff, two cars, and 30 grand in debt,’ she says.”

“’Give away some of your stuff,’” she advises. “’See how it feels.’”


4) The final thought, from the Economist, is going to hit everyone a little close to home.

Why Americans cannot enjoy their holidays - and how we don’t *really* get away anymore. Not only do we give back nearly five hundred million vacation days back each year… when we are on vacation, we aren’t really on vacation.

“Even when Americans do take time off, they find it hard to relax. Having holidayed for many years with the family of a Wall Street lawyer, your columnist’s slumber has all too often been disturbed in the early hours by the murmur of writs, affidavits and threatening letters being dictated by phone to New York from Provence, Tuscany and other otherwise tranquil locations. It may be that without this unremitting industry the lawyer and his family could not have afforded quite so many hops across the Atlantic. But it seems pretty clear that something cultural—that famous Puritan fear of idle hands and easeful nights—is at work as well.”


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These are profound thoughts, and shatter many a world view.  This is a much more grounded, yet holistic, approach for understanding how we exist within our moments, our families, our communities, and more.  Not unlike the subtle commentary of The Tao Te Ching (that link leads to the *ENTIRE* Stephen Mitchell Tao translation) to walk the centered path….

We need to re-center, and reconnect with what is truly important…

No, not our phones. Our – selves, our loves, our lives.


…. And maybe multi-tasking and constant professional vigilance isn’t proving anything to anyone, except that we silently suffer in unknown, embarrassed, agreement.

Admittedly, it’s refreshing to know that our way of life hasn’t been too far off… and while I just realized Burning Man has a cell phone signal available on the playa,Wilbur Hot Springs is still the same off-grid, unplugged, 100% solar, pure escape. Your phone wouldn’t work even if you wanted it to.

We are quickly becoming one of the only places you can truly reconnect with your hidden human without the external noise (be it yours, or someone else’s) that confounds the intimacy needed for self-actualization. 

It’s exciting to know that more people are going to look for the experience we have always provided… but it should also assure those of you concerned about our future that it provides every reason to stay precisely as we have for the last 30 years.

The future is what you know… to shed the complexities of earthly possessions, and flow like the springs into connecting with every corner of your mind, body, and soul!

Please share if you think these values are vital… or if you know people who simply need to step back once in awhile.  I sure do.

Thanks for listening. =) Be healthy, at peace, and well!

About Uncle Fishbits

I'm.. just this guy, you know?

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