Ned the Phone Monster

I spent most of last week at camp in the woods. I needed it so much more than I could ever admit to myself. Technically, it was a business conference/retreat, but it was fun and camp and marshmallow fights and paint twister and dance parties and AMAZINGLY soul-feeding all wrapped up with hearing and meeting so many incredible people.

You know how in any sort of retreat/conference/intense setting, the best bits and pieces always happen when you least expect it? One of my favorite bits was a small time-frame when we just got to fire away with questions for Josh and Jenny Solar and Michelle Waters. They were open books on business and life and family and balancing it all and making decisions and as I sat there I could feel myself breathing more deeply.

You know how most of you reading this have some sort of idea in the back of your head of how life COULD be if there weren't all of the things we "have" to do? How we'd quit jobs, be able to spend more time with kids, have a business doing something we love and maybe even just move to a farm in the middle of nowhere?

Jenny and Josh Solar really are doing this. (Minus the farm part that's my dream and currently exists only in mini form in my backyard!) Because it's one thing to read blogs and sit by yourself at home behind a computer screen, or your phone, nodding your head as you read because things resonate deeply with you. It's another thing to actually BE with people who are making choices like choices you've made in life, or that you're scared to make, that seem crazy or out-of-the-norm or risky or just too much like jumping off a cliff to actually do. To know that there are other families making choices like yours who have similar values that don't involve acquiring more, bigger, better stuff and relate more to spending time together as a goal in life, who want to create joyful spaces for their kids to be themselves, who don't think you're crazy to believe that life really CAN be this way that you want it to be --- well, honestly, I was kind of just sitting there blinking back tears at a few points.

And today, they're putting their baby bird, Ned the Phone Monster, out into the world. I launched my own baby bird not too long ago. I know how it feels exciting and TERRIFYING all at once to let it fly in the world. And it was just a tiny one! 

 This is big, you guys. Really big.  This matters. I NEEDED to share it with all of you. These connections and the time getting lost to the distracted world are eating us alive! It's so easy to say, "Oh, I should put my phone away...I need to stop texting...I need to not get sucked into Facebook updates/Instagram/checking one more email..." But when do we ever actually follow through?? 

Jenny and Josh want to change that and help you to have a fun, tangible reminder right in front of you so that you can "Put down your phone, Pick up your life!"  Meet Ned (you need him in your life!):

"I dreamed up this crazy idea over two years ago, after one too many times of looking up from my phone and seeing little faces waiting patiently for me to SEE them. Ned the Phone Monster has become a part of our family... a constant reminder for us that when it's family time, we should put our phones away and be present.  
Ned is a landing place for smartphones... a visual reminder to be present. He's a hungry blue monster who loves impromptu dance parties, family dinners, and has an amazing sense of adventure... a tangible tool to help us all create good habits around phone usage and social media. I created him for our family and now I want to share that love with YOUR family!" -Jenny Solar

Head over to the Kickstarter page to find out more and back the campaign and help to bring Ned to life!  There's a great video that you don't want to miss, especially to find out why Ned is a monster and not a Ninja:) 

If you love Ned and want to help other families who believe in disconnecting to be more present together, too, you can help by spreading the word!  

:Follow along and share with friends and family on Facebook!
:Tag your photos with #feedthephonemonster and #nedshungry  
:Follow Phone Monsters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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