I've written quite a bit about technology... but not much on the impact it's having on society.
We’re living in the most technologically advanced era, yet our population is the unhealthiest it’s ever been.
Obesity has tripled since 75', suicide rates are up 37% since 00', and just 38% of the Americans say they enjoy their life.
People feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless... and they're looking for something to bring them back to themselves.
I know, because I was that person. It's one of the primary reasons I got started in wellness over a decade ago too.
Tech and A.I. has shifted our focus towards automation and away from what makes us human.
We're told the answer to our sad state is in our phone... and conveniences make it possible to never leave home.
Thus removing all of the interpersonal connection necessary to sustain a fulfilling life.
Stanford University studied 5 regions of the planet where the life expectancy and reported life satisfaction are the highest. These regions are knowns as Blue Zones and the top 2 reasons they exist are community and gratitude.
So how do we increase life satisfaction, create stronger communities and expand our awareness?
Imagine if schools arranged international trips for students to learn new things, experienced new cultures, make new friends, and come home with unforgettable memories. How different our perception of life would be as an adult.
Just because it's not what you've had in the past, doesn't mean it's not something you can have now.
I've longed for an authentic and open community for most of my life, and when I couldn't find it... I created it.
It's why pre '2020' I was facilitating 8+ retreats per year and why I still facilitate 3+ personally.
When people attend a retreat, they share ideas, challenge each other, & create a network - a "system" of relationships.
Similar to our body's circulatory system, relationships bind us together and form community.
You're not just traveling; you're growing together, learning together, and forming memories that last a lifetime.
The Powerhouse of Awareness Expansion
Our mind is like a sponge... which is why you become like the people you spend the most time with.
When you stay in one place, have the same routine, and experience the same emotions, your life becomes patterned.
Instead, if you discover new places, create new connections, and see different cultures you begin to absorb new ideas.
Retreats are not vacations, they are immersive experiences.
They are a deep dive into what makes you, you... and in the same way a map shows you how big the world is, a retreat helps you expose the real and most authentic you.
The Catalyst for Memory Dividends
You may be curious how technology fits into this...
Imaging using a video game not just to play games, but to learn more about yourself and other cultures.
To connect in person, and then stay connected once the initial experience has become a memory.
As a society, we're taught to accumulate things, not experiences. To have materials to show, not stories to tell.
Yet the only things that leave with you when you pass are the memories that you had.
Memory Dividends - The Ultimate Reward:
In his book, "Die With Zero," Bill Perkins speaks about what he calls "memory dividends."
Similar to a tree that yields fruit every year, these are the returns that you get from your experiences over time.
Every time you recall a memory from a retreat, it's like receiving a "payment" in joy, learning, and personal growth.
Best of all, when you reminisce with your retreat participants year after year the memories only grow fonder.
The world is an incredible place, and the more you explore... the more treasures you'll be open to finding.