Disconnect to Reconnect

Today’s society is constantly connected. Technology is moving so fast, that we simply cannot keep up with the changes.

Our bodies are already thousands of years out of dates, from modern diets. So to are many others aspects of our lives.

Technology is destroying our relationships, our cultures and even our very own beliefs systems.
Humans all suffer from one aspect of the human condition, and that is our need for connection.

But to connect, we first must learn to disconnect, and today I will talk about why this is so important.

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Transcript:

Andrew Hackett: Technology only gets us so far. Technology does not help us connect to the soul base level, does not help us become one in a part with someone else. Don't forget, we still need to get out into nature. We still need to go for walks. We still need to have dinners and have a laugh. We need to socialize with people. We need to make an effort with that sort of stuff. It's too easy to go week to week and just go home where it's comfortable and safe, and even not that, when we really should get out and try, and do what we want to do, particularly from a social perspective as well.

Good day and welcome to Illimitable Living. I'm Andrew Hackett and I'm here to talk about living a life free from fears, restrictive boundaries, so that you can not only live a limitless life but so that you can become truly illimitable. I'm here in sunny Australia talking with my remarkable co-host, Patricia Morris, as we take you on a journey delving deep into the mysteries of the universe and how we live within it. Join me on a journey towards living a truly limitless life on the Illimitable Living podcast. 

Good day everyone, you're listening to Illimitable Living and I'm here with the wonderful Patricia Morris. Good day Patricia, how are you doing today? 

Patricia M.: I'm doing wonderful. Thank you for asking Andrew. 

Andrew Hackett: It's good to be back this week again, and I'm really interested. What did you want to talk about today? 

Patricia M.: Well, this is something that I've noticed even in my own life that, if I'm not careful with it, I fall into this way of living and that is being permanently connected to our devices, whatever those may be, whether that's a smart phone, whether that's some kind of mobile device, a tablet, computer, whatever it may be. Sometimes I find myself just wasting tons of time on social media being connected that way, thinking that I'm having real relationships with some of these people I've never met. And it doesn't mean that is not a relationship that doesn't exist, but it's not the same as a physical relationship. 

And I see this also when we had our foreign exchange student here, it's very prevalent amongst the teenagers out there as well. They don't know how to live life without their devices. What I've noticed is when I go camping, because camping is a huge passion of ours in the summertime here in the United States, we go places where there aren't any cell phone signals or any kind of WI-FI, and so we-

Andrew Hackett: Good.

Patricia M.: ... literally have to disconnect. I find that is so refreshing in so many ways. 

That's the topic I wanted to talk about today, ways in which we could possibly start disconnecting if we find ourselves going down that road of being permanently attached to our devices. 

Andrew Hackett: Look, that's a really, really good topic too. Thanks for raising this. This has been on my mind for quite a bit, not only because of my own use, but also in helping others as well. As you probably know... Guys, you know I've got quite an active Facebook page with a growing number of followers, and a very engaged number of followers as well, which I really love, as well as my Instagram. I've got my YouTube channel, I've got all the usual stuff that everybody else has got. 

But the interesting thing is I have to be very, very careful about how I let it [inaudible 00:03:33] my time. For two reasons, one, it is too easy to spend three or four hours a day on social media responding to people, getting back to people, that sort of stuff. It is something I'm very proactive about and very conscious about, the need to, because I think the big issue we have in today's society is this disconnection with each other and it's getting worse. There's no question about it. It's part of this big epidemic that is happening. This search for [inaudible 00:04:04] epidemic that I would say is so prevalent in today's world.

We've replaced normal social mechanisms like talking to someone, touching someone, shaking hands with someone, meeting with someone in person, with a digital overlay that often removes a whole range of different things that we intuitively need and desire as part of our communication channel. Now, it's one reason why even though I have to work in an internet based way, all the coaching calls I do is actually done via video. Because I want to be able to see a person, I want to be able to react with a person. I'm a very visual person by nature, so I need to be able to read the cues. It's just also something that I've done professionally for some decades as a commercial negotiator, for instance. You learn to read people quite intuitively. 

Now, my preference would be to work one on one with people face to face. In fact, later in the year, early next year, I'm going to start launching what I call my personal retreats, which will be a retreat in a beautiful luxury place around the world, where we'll just get five or 10 people together and we'll literally spend a week together hanging out and really getting to know each other at quite an intimate level and then in quite a beautiful way, so that we can really connect the souls together. Now, of course, souls can connect anywhere. Anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Souls can do that because they're omnipresent and they don't necessarily need to be, or nor can they be, in any way contained by the physical world mechanisms. 

The problem I've got though is, and the reason why this is such a good subject as well is, for us to be able to reconnect with people, we need to disconnect from the things that we think are helping us connect with people. We don't need things. We don't need mobile phones. We don't need social media. 

Now, let me just clarify that for a little bit. Social media has helped me and my business grow exponentially and it has helped me connect with people all over the world. In fact, a lot of you may be surprised by the fact my following in the US, up until about a couple of months ago, was growing at three times the rate than any following I have in Australia, for instance. 

Patricia M.: Wow.

Andrew Hackett: A lot of that's due to a number of factors. One, Americans are definitely much more open to personal development, growth and all that and the spiritual aspect of things than Australia are. Plus, Australians are cynics at best. We're skeptics and we generally don't like to be told by our own. We only like to be told by people that are exotic from across the ocean. In fact, I think that can also be something that happens in a lot of cultures. 

So, the Americans, as a general rule, find us Aussies to be very down to earth and-

Patricia M.: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: ... very real and very authentic and I really appreciate that in a lot of Australians. And I appreciate that viewpoint, as well, because it certainly helps me connect. But, social media has also helped me connect with some places I honestly would not have previously thought of as being interested. First of all, Western Europe. Western Europe and even Eastern Europe for that matter. But Western Europe's just gone absolutely bananas about my books and about my teachings and about my videos and my posts and all that sort of stuff. In fact, they are the largest purchasers of my masterclass. The other one was South Africa. 

Patricia M.: Wow. 

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, I know. I have a larger following in South Africa than I do the rest of the world combined. 

Patricia M.: Wow, that's interesting. 

Andrew Hackett: I know.

Patricia M.: I wonder what the demographics are as far as that goes. Why it would-

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, look, I'm very curious about that too. I haven't been able to figure it out. But the interesting thing is that has happened in the last six weeks. 

Patricia M.: That's beautiful.

Andrew Hackett: So, I didn't have any followers in South Africa six weeks ago, now, I have more in South Africa than I do anywhere else in the world. 

Patricia M.: Like the word has gotten out in South Africa. 

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, that's right. I'm not too sure whether to be afraid of that or not but... It just goes to show there's a lot of good souls in South Africa that really need a lot of help and I think that's fabulous. I'm looking forward to holding an event there sometime soon. 

So, social media can definitely have its advantages. Problem is, is it's disconnecting us from the people around us. If we're not careful it will disconnect us from our children, it will disconnect us from our lovers, it will disconnect us from our friends, from our family. And that, I believe, is absolutely an emergency, a worldwide emergency that we need to deal with. We need to more proactively make choices that things... For instance, we don't have mobile phones at dinner tables. When I go out for walks with Michelle, which is very often. In fact, we spend half a day, each day on the weekend going for very large walks, 10, 12, 15 kilometer walks. We don't have phones with us when we do that for obvious reasons, because we talk and we communicate and we conspire and all these other beautiful stuff. 

But it's all about connection. If we're watching telly as a family, watching a movie or something cool and stuff on a Friday night, we don't have phones with us. If we're playing board games, we don't have phones with us, all this sort of stuff. It's a really important thing to think about. When I'm working and everything like that, I try not to have my phone with me at all, because I get so many messages and so many phone calls and that sort of stuff. You just have to disconnect, so that you can reconnect. And I don't mean just reconnect with others, I also mean reconnect back to yourself and what's important for you. 

Ultimately what is important for us, is what we came here to do, is what we came here to experience. All the souls have access to all the other souls in the metaphysical world. We can connect to anybody at any time and understand and know anything and all things, but we came to this physical world to understand physical connection. We came here to hug and to hold and to make love and to shake hands and pat each other on the back and to work with each other and to conspire with each other and to laugh and have a great time. This is what living is all about. 

There's so many people I get messages from each and every day saying, "I am so lonely. I don't know how to break myself out of this cycle." And it's a fascinating thing, because they're the ones that need my services the most, but they're also the hardest ones for me to get over the line to say, "This is what you really need to do." Partly it's because they have no hope. They feel depressed and they feel like there is no hope. As much as I try to try, and reconnect with that to say, "Actually, there is hope. There is in fact something you can do to get yourself out of this situation. Let me help you do that." 

Patricia M.: Do you find a lot of them are addicted to their devices? Do you find that that contributes to the loneliness and make it worse? 

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, device addiction is a really big deal. Look, I've even had to, quite consciously, monitor my own thing. Not only because of customer demands, and I like to give back to everybody, I like to acknowledge every comment that's been added and so far so good. It's really working because everybody who is commenting feels like they are being heard, because they are being heard. I am hearing them, I am reading every single comment and I respond to everybody. 

Patricia M.: That's a delicate balance to strike, for sure. 

Andrew Hackett: It is and that's what it is for me. Sometimes I have to respond with just a love heart or a smiley face or an emoji. Because one, what they've said is actually quite simple and doesn't really warrant much more than that, but it's more to the point... I'm also busy and when you've got five, six, 700, sometimes a thousand comments a day to get back to, you need to learn and understand some efficiencies to that. 

But, the interesting thing is, is... The addiction thing is a big issue and there's a lot of studies going along and a lot of stuff that's already come out about particularly the way that mobile phone use is impacting teenagers in a way and in fact, almost rewiring their brains. I saw an article the other day that was talking about the skeletal structure of younger people is changing because they're spending so much time with their head down, pointed towards their laps. 

Patricia M.: Yep. 

Andrew Hackett: Because they're on their devices so much and it's actually changing the bone structure through the necks. 

Patricia M.: Is that the one where it said they had horns? 

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. Yep. 

Patricia M.: Yeah, that one. I saw that one too. It's funny because I belong to... I'm a licensed massage therapist and that appeared on several of my Facebook groups that I belong to. We've actually been seeing this show up in our younger clients, so it is a real thing. 

Andrew Hackett: And just for everybody... Just to clarify, we're not talking horns like devil horns out of the forehead, right. We're actually talking- 

Patricia M.: Right. 

Andrew Hackett: We're talking more like a bone spur or something happening on the back of the neck or base of the skull there. Yes.

Patricia M.: But they're calling it horns, which implies devil horns or something crazy like that.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's exactly right. So, look, it's an interesting... In our household as well, we have set time frames in which the kids can access their technology. It's very deliberately done that way because otherwise they'd be on it all the time. The behavior that sometimes we get out of them when we try to take the technology off them, is standard now across family groups. I see a real tragedy. 

Fortunately my kids were too young for iPads and iPhones at a young age. They didn't really start accessing them until they were about 10, just with the way technology works and me purchasing them, that sort of technology. But the interesting thing is, is that a lot of younger kids nowadays are actually growing up permanently glued to iPhones and stuff, because it's actually the only way they know how to entertain themselves. 

I say all of the time, "Put your phone down and go outside and find something to do," and they just look at me like, "What else can we do? There's nothing else to do," I go, "Actually no, there is. You've got games. You've got... Look, as in board games. You can go and grab your rubber swords and go and belt each other with it. Go outside and wrestle or something in the grass. I don't care, but just go and figure out something other than just staring at a screen." 

Look, I can understand why a lot of parents do entertain their children with screens, because as parents we're increasingly busy. We go from work... We go to work at eight o'clock in the morning, we come back from work at six o'clock at night, and then we've got organize dinner, we've got to wash clothes, we've got to do all these other sorts of things. What time do we have to actually then entertain children? The problem though is, it's creating a level of disconnection amongst us. We just [crosstalk 00:14:56] aren't connecting any more to each other and it's a real problem. 

Patricia M.: Yeah and not just disconnection. I read something so alarming the other day, and it was... I forget what news source this came from, but it was one of the credible news sources out there. I mean, if you can call them credible, some of them are on their own agenda done but... 

Andrew Hackett: [inaudible 00:15:15].

Patricia M.: Exactly. Exactly. But it wasn't just some offshoot website. It was one of the more mainstream media sources out there said basically... And I've seen this play out even in my own niece's life, where it... Being connected to their devices so much like that causes a lot of stress. It causes depression and anxiety. It actually has gotten to a point where teenagers... Of course, they get the bullying from social media and from classmates, things like that, that occur over social media and devices that we didn't have growing up as children. At least we had an escape. When we'd go home at night or go home from school every day, we would at least escape that for a little while. 

Our kids are not able to escape that because they have these devices that connect them to everybody and everything. It's just causing an epidemic of our teenagers who are cutting themselves. I have a niece who does that. This study has proven that teenagers who are depressed, who have anxiety, who start cutting themselves and doing all these things, it's all because of pressure from being-

Andrew Hackett: Addicted.

Patricia M.: ... addicted, right, the social anxiety and everything that they get from being connected to their devices all the time. So my sister's actually resorted to taking my niece's device away, and she sees a dramatic improvement in her behavior when she does that. So this is actually a real thing, a study was proven on this end. I've also seen it in my niece's life as well. 

So, how do your parents do it? That's what I want to know because I am not raising children. We did have a teenager in the home for a while from a different culture and he was absolutely glued to his device too. It was just insane and I didn't feel that I had the right to tell him to not be, because I'm not his parent but...

Andrew Hackett: Yes. 

Patricia M.: Anyway, how do you parents do it? Because in today's world it seems like that is the norm, almost like you're punishing your child if you don't give them a device. So, is it Andrew, something that you just establish rules from the get-go? 

Andrew Hackett: Yes. To answer your question, absolutely, that's exactly what I would suggest. And you know what, there's a fabulous podcast between Russell Brand and Brene Brown, which I listened to just a couple of days ago, so it's just been released. I love Brene Brown's work, a remarkable lady. What she was saying was that... And I fully concur with this because I've seen this in my own practice is, we need to be consistent in our application and we need to be dedicated to that consistency. 

Yes, we need to create a set of rules and we need to keep them. Kids actually enjoy boundaries. They feel safer with boundaries. Kids want us adults to take those things off them, because they know that they're not being themselves while they're connected with it, but they can't. They're extremely addictive. The apps that are used on it, the way the phones are structured... There to actually trigger poking machine-like adrenaline responses. The addiction aspect of about scrolling screen and all that sort of stuff, and the movements of left and right and swiping and everything like that, and the tactile aspect of it, are all very deliberately designed to create addiction use, unless you physically remove the per the child from that device and you stand by your guns and distract them with more connections. So for many, many years I would say to the boys, "Right. Leave your phones at home. We're going to go for a big walk and we'd drive around to one of the local coastline points that are nearby and we'd go for a big walk for an hour and a half.

Patricia M.: I love it.

Andrew Hackett: They always grumbled beforehand. It was like taking them to the beach to go for a surf and stuff, always grumbled beforehand, as soon as they were in the water, as soon as they were walking, they felt free again and they would thank me for it at the end of the walk. 

These things are really, really important. This is why I say it's so important. We need to disconnect from our devices. We need to disconnect from our technology and we need to walk up to the nearest person we love and just give them a really big hug and I promise you it will feel a million times better than whatever that technology can bring us. The addiction issues with this are really important. 

So, we have a set of rules in this house, ultimately speaking, that the kids... They get home from school, they have a little bit of computer time, so they can play the computer games and unwind from their day and disconnect. Three boys, you can't just thrust them in the deep end of the day. There's a lot of science that talk about, "Don't even try, and engage in a conversation with boys as soon as they get off the school bus or as soon as I get home about what the day was like, you just won't get a response because they've been so overloaded and overwhelmed throughout the day. They just want to switch off." So we allow them that tech time to switch off, and then come five o'clock and stuff like that, all phones get benched. And we use that term benched because we've got a kitchen bench with charges on it and that's where they go.

Patricia M.: Nice

Andrew Hackett: And then they can get on with homework, they can play, they can do whatever they want to do, but they don't see that technology. Our oldest son gets a bit of time later in the evening, and stuff like that, to reconnect with friends for half an hour. But that's it, and we stand our guns with that. Big periods of time for computer time, we allow them to have a bit of a computer time binge on Saturday mornings, again, as a bit of an unwind, so they can get out there and they can play the computer games with their mates and stuff for a few hours. 

Michelle and I use that as a great opportunity to go for a big walk and grab a nice breakfast as a couple and to do something nice for ourselves, for each other. That works quite well. But then come 11 o'clock in a Saturday morning, devices all get put away again, computers get switched off. We get a board game out, if it's winter and we play Monopoly or Risk or Caucus on, or a whole range of different of games. Cupboard's full of board games, or we go for a big walk, or we get them out... Summertime, we'll always go for a big swim or we go out for lunch together and [inaudible 00:20:59] and stuff. 

This sort of stuff is really, really important. It's what we're made of. It's what we desire as part of our everyday existence, is to connect with people. I say in my interview documentary that I've filmed in Poland earlier this year, we're just not connecting anymore. We're not listening. When someone's talking to you, the vast majority of people are not even listening to them. They're trying to think ahead about what their response is going to be. Because we live in a culture where we've got to outdo every discussion and everything all the time and it's wrong. What we need to do is, is we need to look at people, we need to connect with them. We need to give them time to talk to us and to actually hear them, because all the soul wants is to be seen and heard. And all anybody wants is to be seen and heard. 

This is why I say to people, "Switch off the television in the evenings." I talk to people quite a lot about, "Don't listen to news reports. Don't watch the news. Don't... all this stuff. It's all fear based. It's all..." 

Patricia M.: It's all depressing anyway. 

Andrew Hackett: Correct. That's right. They figured out that the more fear and trauma and terrorism and all that related stuff that they put on television, the more they can keep you hooked and keep you going. 

Patricia M.: Oh yeah, absolutely. 

Andrew Hackett: The big issue with the technology and televisions where the start of it, smartphones are now the start of it and tablets and computers and all the rest of it, is it creates a hormonal response within us. It creates a trigger within us, so increases our levels of dopamine and increases our levels of things that get us excited. The problem is, is increasing periods like that is no wonder why we're constantly living in this low level fight or flight state, which is actually a state of being constantly stressed. That starts triggering certain things like adrenal fatigue, which then heavily impacts the immune system, which then means we're more prone to being ill and sick, which then triggers off a whole range of things like auto-immune and neurological diseases because of the toxins that build up in the body. 

Now these things are reversible if you've got the right type of help and the right type of care, but you need to be very careful with that as well, making sure it's a natural approach and not a chemical based approach because that's only going to add more toxins into the system.

Patricia M.: Exactly.

Andrew Hackett: But ultimately speaking with kids, so we've realized with one of my children that too much technology can lead to them having migraines, really, really bad headaches where it triggers a loss of eyesight for a period of time and then a period of nausea and then the splitting headache for many hours, if not days. So, by cutting back on that technology and stuff like that, we've noticed a drastic reduction, as well, as treating it through other natural means and stuff like that and avoiding known triggers for things like migraines and stuff as well. 

We've actually managed to remove his migraines all together, which is interesting because I suffered from migraines as a teenager as well, and it was all stress-related for me too, in exactly same way my father did. These devices, we think that they're helping us, but they're really not, because they're actually impacting the one thing that we were born to do and that is to connect with others, to touch others, to hear others, to see others, to talk with others, to conspire with others, to laugh with others. We're just not doing that online. 

And look, I'm as guilty as the next person. 

Patricia M.: Yeah, I've seen it too. 

Andrew Hackett: I see it all the time. If I have to pick someone up for a doctor's surgery, and I have to wait, for instance, I can sit there and answer emails and messages to people and everything like that from my phone but I'm also the first person to lie in bed at night and go, "Oh, I'll just check a few messages before I go to sleep," and then wonder why I'm there two and a half hours later. 

Patricia M.: It's so true. That's so true. 

Andrew Hackett: Yeah. Yeah. So look, these things are really, really important for us to pay attention to. The answer to itself is actually really, really simple. We often think, "Oh no, that can't possibly be the solution," but I'm telling you it is. Because I do it with my family, I do it with my friends. I've helped... Excuse me, I've helped other people do it as well. Just leave your phone behind. If you're anybody, anywhere over the age of 35 or 40, you grew up in a world, as a child, without mobile phone contact. 

Patricia M.: Yup. 

Andrew Hackett: Which means you managed to survive the first 10, 15, 20 years of your developmental cycle without having contact with the outside world. 

Patricia M.: That's very true. We've survived without it and a millennium without it, so we can survive without it for a few hours every day. 

Andrew Hackett: Correct. That's exactly right. So, leave it at home, put it on the bench, put it on the charger, go outside into the beautiful weather. Go for a walk, go for a swim, get some exercise, go and visit a friend. And when you visit a friend, don't take your mobile phone out and put it on the bench in front of you where you can be distracted with it, leave it in your handbag or leave it in your car. If anybody's calling you and stuff like that... You know what? It can wait. 

Patricia M.: Yup. Unless the house is burning down, don't call me when I'm with my friends. That's what I say 

Andrew Hackett: Absolutely. That's exactly right. I totally get it and that's the way it should be because we need time. We need this social interaction. We need this connection with people. It is so important to who we are. We live in this epidemic of loneliness and depression and it's caused by the fact that we are spending too much time on our technology and not enough time connecting with people. It's a simple fact and I would challenge anybody to prove me wrong. 

Patricia M.: It is hard, Andrew. It really, really is. I'm as guilty as the next person like you were saying. To limit that screen time usage, if you have to go to a place for a little while, where there is no mobile service, so that you can completely disconnect. Not only just connect to your loved ones, but also to connect with nature. That's what's very healing for me anyway, is going to a place where... Usually when there is no cell service, it's out in the middle of nowhere and you're out in nature and you're able to connect with your loved ones, you're able to connect with nature, All that is. There's just something inherently healing in all of that, to be able to reconnect because you're disconnected. 

Andrew Hackett: Absolutely... And do you know what? There is a booming tourist industry coming from the fact that people are choosing holidays deliberately where they don't have mobile phone contact. 

Patricia M.: Oh, it's so liberating. It really is.

Andrew Hackett: It's remarkable. Michelle and I, we've got ourselves booked in for a two week self-guided walking tour of the mountains of Japan. It's 150 kilometers round trip. Two weeks of walking, anywhere from seven kilometers a day to 25 kilometers a day, and our luggage gets taken forward with us by courier and we just walk in the mountains. We're going during the cherry blossom festival. So that-

Patricia M.: Oh wow. 

Andrew Hackett: The exciting thing, we end up at the mountaintop temple. I believe it's a Buddhist mountaintop temple and stuff like that in the South Western aspect of Japan and stuff. We spend a couple of nights in the temple just mellowing out and I just can't wait. I just can't wait to leave that phone at home. 

Patricia M.: That sounds divine. Oh, I wish you two the best. That sounds divine. Okay. I think I've added something to my bucket list after you just recommended that. 

Andrew Hackett: I'll have to send you the list. They're incredible, and they're all... They're actually surprisingly cheap as well. They're just all organized for you and everything like that, which means you can't get lost. 

Patricia M.: Oh, no kidding. Yes, I definitely would love that. Thank you. 

Andrew Hackett: Very good. 

So, everybody look... Just have a think about this. There's no judgment from me, your choices are your choices. Just understand that for every choice that you make, there's a consequence to that choice. It's universal law. You can't avoid it. You can't change it. Every choice has a consequence. If you are spending too much time on your phone, you're not spending anywhere near enough time connecting with others. If you are using technology all the time and stuff like that, you've got to get away from that technology as well. I fully agree and respect that technology can help us connect with people as well. But is it really a true connection that you're experiencing? I now get a real connection with a lot of my Facebook followers, but that has taken us six months, 12 months to build up and connect with. We now feel that, which is really, really beautiful. I love that. 

I love all the people that are on my page, commenting and adding value and connecting with the work that I do. But nothing replaces face to face, physical contact. Nothing replaces that. 

Patricia M.: Yup.

Andrew Hackett: This is one reason why I prefer to do events than online coaching, because with events and stuff you get to see people and feel them and... You feel the energy in the room, particularly when it's a few hundred people in the room and there are all buzzing because of what's going on. It's also the reason why I like to do these, what I call my intimate luxury retreats, where we disappear somewhere fabulous to a nice luxury resort in Bali or to the Maldives or something like that and there's just a very small group of us and we get to really get personal throughout the week and delve really deep into what we need to do to make the changes that we need to make in our life and all the thoughts and reasons and everything like that behind it. 

And they are beautiful times, because those people meet other people that are on the same journey and lifelong relationships are formed as a result of that. There's nothing more rewarding than helping people make that connection, but we can only do that if we leave our tech behind. 

Patricia M.: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: It's really, really important. We lived life. We grew up without needing technology in our pocket all the time, to know what the temperature was going to be 14 times a day. No, we laugh, but how often do we check the weather? Some of us are a bit weather crazy. When I had the farm, I used to check it probably about 14 times a day... Maybe not that often but you know what I mean. 

Patricia M.: Oh, yes. Especially here where our weather is crazy from hour to hour. We definitely do that here. 

Andrew Hackett: There was once a Crowded House song called Four Seasons In One Day, and a beautiful song at that. But you're right, we're constantly searching for information because we can, when in fact there's this old spiritual belief that everything you possibly need in any given day is immediately around you already. What that means is, even if it's not there now, it will be when you need it, someone will arrive with a story or some news or something like that. This is how small communities and villages thrived for so many, many years, is people shared information, they shared goods, they bartered, they traded vegetables for vegetables or meat for vegetables or this and that and herbs and spices and things like that. Everything we needed from our day-to-day was immediately around us. 

When you disconnect from your technology, when you disconnect from the news and the carry-on and the internet and you start reconnecting back to your true sense of who you are, and the environment around you, you'll realize how true that statement is. You'll realize how every day passes and you suddenly realize, "I never needed the news. I don't need to know what's going on in Baghdad. How's that helping me in today's day and age. Really my life is my life. Look, if you want to help people change the water lines and stuff, that's fine. I fully respect that. I do too. I do it every single day and I use technology to help me do that. 

All I'm saying is I also actively monitor my use. I switch off from it as well. I use that time and that opportunity to connect with others in a really beautiful [inaudible 00:32:42] way, particularly my friends and family. Also, my customers, because that's ultimately what they're after. My clients, they're searching for that real genuine connection and as I also said in my interview documentary that I filmed, some people who connect with me to try, and make the change in their life, I'm the first person they've truly connected with in 10 years, if not longer. 

Patricia M.: Oh wow. 

Andrew Hackett: Now, you got to understand the great personal tragedy that, that actually is.

Patricia M.: It is. 

Andrew Hackett: It makes me-

Patricia M.: Oh, that breaks my heart, 

Andrew Hackett: I know. I don't mean to and it makes my eyes just well up thinking about it. 

Patricia M.: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: And ultimately it's because we've forgotten how to connect. It comes down to just stopping and looking into someone's eyes and saying, "Hello, how are you? Are you okay?" 

Patricia M.: Yeah. 

Andrew Hackett: It can be as simple as that. I love two things. I'm crazy about people's smiles. I love making people smile. I love making people laugh. I should have been a standup comedian, if I wasn't actually as really shit comedian. 

Patricia M.: Sorry. You surprise me all the time. I love it. 

Andrew Hackett: I love people's smiles, because when someone smiles at you, and I'm talking a genuine smile, they are 100% present with you. You were there, you connected. And that's why I love giving people random compliments because I love seeing them smile and through that smile we can connect. 

Patricia M.: Absolutely.

Andrew Hackett: And in the same way I'm crazy about hugs. I love hugging people because when you're hugging someone, they're there as well, whether they want to be or not. It can be a little awkward sometimes [crosstalk 00:34:19] but they're there nonetheless. I've had a lot of compliments for the hugs that I give people, particularly when I'm at a group event and stuff and people wonder in and I say, "Hi, I'm Andrew," and I give them a big hug and stuff like that. I'm not sure whether they don't know who I am or whether they just didn't expect the person who'd be up on stage, and stuff, running around to be hugging people, and everything like that as well, but I love hugging people because I think-

Patricia M.: A little bit of both.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, that's right. I also love... There's a lot of the islands in the Pacific, but also in New Zealand and stuff like that, where they greet each other by touching foreheads. 

Patricia M.: Oh no, [inaudible 00:35:00].

Andrew Hackett: I think even the nose touches as well. I just find that such a beautiful present gesture. 

Patricia M.: That is. That is beautiful. I've heard of that too. That is... Yeah. I love it. 

One thing I wanted to just put out there a little bit too. We did touch upon the need to disconnect, to reconnect, but the other angle too, at least... I know a lot of people who are drawn to this type of work or what you would call highly sensitive or empaths... I don't know if you're familiar with the empath term.

Andrew Hackett: Yes, I am.

Patricia M.: But I identify as an empath, and so for me that means when... I can be having the best day ever, and then if I go on social media and just start scrolling all of the negativity that's out there and the hate and vitriol that people do put on social media, I end up absorbing all of that if I'm not careful. I've learned to be what's called a highly skilled empath, where I don't take on that as much, but even sometimes it's... When you just see your loved ones arguing on social media and throwing hate, and all this stuff around, or that kind of thing and I think for those of us who are more in the highly sensitive group or empathic group have to be even more careful than the average person to balance that out because we can easily fall into that trap of not even realizing that we are taking on other people's negativity or letting it affect us at a very deep level if we're not careful. 

So, I just wanted to put that out there as well that that can also harm those of us who identify as a highly sensitive or empathic type of person, that we have to manage our energy a lot more strictly than others do regarding that. 

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, absolutely and I couldn't agree more. Empathic traits are actually a core part of the humanistic personality. The humanistic personality is all about connection and about helping others and putting others first. The challenge with empathy, as well, is the way that they absorb energy off other people. You're right, if you've got a lot of people running around throwing a lot of negative energy and everything like that, it can be quite catastrophic to the experience of your day. There are definitely some techniques that can be learned to try, and protect yourself using some ancient geometry and things like that-

Patricia M.: That's another topic we can talk about. 

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, absolutely. It's not one I'm terribly well versed on. I've done a few courses of it in the past, and I learned it can be very valuable. Ultimately speaking, it's... There are things you can do to protect yourself from those negative energies. Look, as far as social media concern, I'm actually a big fan of... There's a function in Facebook where you can snooze someone for 30 days. 

Patricia M.: Yes. So that the best, 

Andrew Hackett: If I come across someone who is consistently just trashing people and being really nasty, I just unfriend them. It's as simple as that. 

Patricia M.: Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Andrew Hackett: I'm not interested in that. If I know that there's someone there that I know and love and trust and they're having a really bad day and they're having a massive vent at someone, sometimes I'll just send them an email or a message and just say, "Hey, listen, that Facebook post, it's really not helping you. I understand you want to vent but doing it publicly in that type of format, and stuff like that, is not going to win you any friends, so to speak. And certainly it's not going to help them even really move forward, but the other thing is you can snooze them. Sometimes I just snooze someone, I'll go, "I'll just give them some space for 30 days," and if I come back on and I see them doing it again, I'll then go to their profile and see if they're doing it all of the time and I'll just unfriend them. 

Patricia M.: Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew Hackett: If I know them intimately, in other words I've had a lot of engagement or interaction, I'll message them and say, "Look, what's going on with you. I've noticed this change with you, blah blah blah." Because often there's something going on like their partner has left them or they've had a death in the family or something is triggering or they've been bullied at work and I just say, "Right, I think we need to work on this and talk through this because I really want to help you resolve that so you can get back to your normal light and loving self.

Patricia M.: That's beautiful. Do they receive that pretty well or do they get kind of defensive and say this is none of your business? You know how some people can be sometimes when they're in a space not ready to hear that.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, look, it's the reason why I only take that approach with people I know-

Patricia M.: Got you.

Andrew Hackett: ... and I've interacted with quite a lot because then they know who I am. They know that I'm all love and light and fairy bubbles and all the rest of it. They know that I mean well and that I'm genuinely just interested in helping them move forward. 

Patricia M.: Excellent.

Andrew Hackett: I have done it by mistake with a couple of people who I obviously didn't know well enough or they didn't know well me enough... And yes, you're right, they bite back.

Patricia M.: Yes, they do.

Andrew Hackett: I've said, "Look, that's fine. You're entitled to experience life however you choose to experience life, just remember every choice you make has a consequence and if that consequences is coming back and biting you on the ass, you probably need to think about the choices that you're making."

Patricia M.: Yes. Yep. Very well said. 

Andrew Hackett: And look, just a quick thing. I would just want to apologize if sometimes my language is a little abrupt, or my use of curse words is not pleasant for you. I do try to limit it a little bit and every now, and then. The reason why I use them every now, and then is because, to me, curse words are just curse words. There are some curse words you won't ever hear come out of my mouth. Because I find them absolutely abhorrent. 

But, a part of the Australian culture is also... We lighten curse words a little bit and we tend to overuse them a little bit as well. Ultimately speaking, they can sometimes be a very powerful use of the word to get a message across. That is the only context of which I'm trying to use. I'm not trying to, in any way, offend anybody or anything like that, but I do catch myself every now, and then thinking, "Oh, you know what? I probably could have chosen a better word at that time." So, I apologize if that worries or bothers anybody. I definitely want you to have as best an experience with these podcasts as you possibly can. 

Patricia M.: That makes complete sense. Even Tony Robbins says the same thing. I was very surprised one day to hear F-bombs being dropped left and right. 

Andrew Hackett: Yeah. Yeah.

Patricia M.: I wasn't judging him, or anything like that, I was just surprised to hear it. And he explained, "Sometimes I have 30 seconds to get through to somebody and unfortunately sometimes it takes curse words to get them to really listen to what you're saying," and so I understand exactly what you're saying. I believe it's the intention behind the curse that you're speaking that makes all the difference. In fact, as far as Tony Robinson is concerned, his intention is to get through and to help people not to offend or really actually curse that person. So, it's the intention behind the curse that makes all the difference. 

Andrew Hackett: I completely agree. Absolutely. Thank you for clarifying that. 

Patricia M.: Yeah. Yeah but yeah, Tony Robbins does it too. I think we all do because it's just sometimes needed. 

Andrew Hackett: I think we all do-

Patricia M.: It's needed.

Andrew Hackett: ... certainly behind closed doors.

Publicly it's probably not necessary. I once had a curse word in my first book and my author said... my author, I'm the author. The editor who would go through and stuff, he just made a comment with this one curse word and said, "Andrew you're more intelligent than needing to use curse words in your books." And I stepped back and said, "That was a really beautiful way of putting it." And he was right not. He was absolutely right. [crosstalk 00:42:21]. And not that I have an issue with that, I've read some great books that are actually based around curse words and stuff like that, but they so beautifully used in regards to getting the message across.

Patricia M.: Exactly.

Andrew Hackett: That to me... There's every bit of value in them.

Patricia M.: Yeah, the intention and energy behind it makes all the difference. That is very true. 

Andrew Hackett: So, before we sign off everybody, I just wanted to reiterate what I'm saying about disconnect to reconnect. I love this subject choice, Patricia, this week. Ultimately speaking, technology can help us, it can help us move forward and help us connect. I use technology all the time, in fact to save me hundreds of hours every single week to try, and do things in an automated way. However, my person to person contact is always human. I never use bots. I never use automated systems and everything like that to deliver a personal word. If I'm commenting on Facebook, that is me commenting on Facebook. If I'm replying to your emails, that's me replying to your emails. Yes, I have a couple of automated emails to help with the marketing perspective, to get you the information that you need, particularly across the thousands of peoples and everything like that, that's on my mailing list.  And having learned that, that's on my mailing list, but ultimately speaking, everything that is a reply or is a comment on Facebook is actually truly me. 

But remember, technology only gets us so far. Technology does not help us connect to the soul based level, does not help us become one in a path with someone else. Don't forget, we still need to get out into nature. We still need to go for walks. We still need to have dinners and have a laugh. We need to socialize with people. We need to make an effort with that sort of stuff. It's too easy to go week to week and just go home where it's comfortable and safe, and even not that, when we really should get out and try, and do what we want to do, particularly from a social perspective as well. 

So, I just wanted to reinforce that. Technology is there to help you and give you more time to socially and intimately connect with people, not to replace it in any way, shape or form. If you feel like it is, put it down and leave it behind and go and do. Leave your phone behind. Leave your technology behind and go and actually just reach out and try, and connect with someone more genuinely, because I promise you it'll help you get back to who you truly are and why you truly came here to do. 

Patricia M.: Yes, very, very true. 

Andrew Hackett: So thank you very much for joining us, Patricia. I really appreciate the way you were choosing these subjects. They're just perfect at every single moment and I'm really loving your beautiful energy with all of these podcasts as well. It really makes it a real joy to produce for everybody. 

Patricia M.: Well, thank you Andrew. The feeling is likewise on that. I feel exactly the same towards you and I think the team we make is beautiful. Yep, 

Andrew Hackett: Absolutely, it is. Absolutely, and thank you everybody for this week. If you want to connect with me, please reach out and connect with me. Otherwise, have an absolute super week and I look forward to you seeing Patricia and I next week with our next podcast. 

Patricia M.: Goodbye everyone. Take care and have a wonderful week. 

Andrew Hackett: Thank you for listening to Illimitable Living today. If you want to find out more about living a truly limitless life, then go to Andrewhackett.com.au. If you want to connect with me, search for Andrew Hackett Australia on Facebook and like my page, or search for Andrew S Hackett on Instagram and follow me for daily inspirations. I look forward to connecting with you so that we can start you on your own journey towards illimitable living.