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I asked Traver Boehm back as a guest on the podcast this week specifically to talk about the impact he’s felt from disconnecting from electronic media over the course of the past year. He’s taken multiple month-long breaks from any sort of online interaction, as well as recurring short breaks over the course of his daily routine.
This has all been part of his Year To Live Project — something he started at the beginning of 2016 when he asked himself the question, “What would you do if you knew you only had a year to live?”
One of the things he took on was a month in the wilderness with only a knife and compass (and the clothes on his back). He describes it as 28-days of shivering and dealing with extreme hunger, cold, and sleep deprivation. Fascinating as well was how he had to deal with the “not-knowingness” of what would happen tomorrow — or, as he called it, breaking his addiction to future knowledge.
Later in the year, he studied at the Esalen Institute, working on his spiritual practice while cleaning toilets (that work paid his room and board). The rule there at meal times? No electronics. This was enforced by a complete shut-off of the wi-fi system (and there’s no cell service there either).
If you missed Traver’s his first appearance as a guest on the show, I definitely recommend you go back and check it out here.
Here are some of the highlights of the podcast:
- How speaking at TEDx is like an MMA fight
- Learning how to survive for 28 days in the wilderness with nothing but a knife, water, first aid kit, a compass, the clothes on his back, and a five-foot-square sheet
- Dealing with extreme hunger and cold
- 28 days of shivering and sleep deprivation
- Gratitude in the face of misery — and how things could always be worse
- Surrendering to life the way it is without giving up
- Taking personal responsibility
- Breaking the addiction to future knowledge and living in the moment
- Translating ancient yogic philosophy into current-day leadership
- Moment-to-moment choices and consciousness
- Tips for disconnecting from the constant stream of information and communication
- Seeing family patterns and behaviors that you despise and thought weren’t in you and waking up to the fact they are
I got so much value from hearing about Traver’s experiences — living and learning through him. I know you’ll love it too.
P.S. If you only have five minutes, listen to the part at 1:02:28 where I ask Traver about his experience with avoiding distractions by eliminating electronics during mealtime, and how this practice was incorporated at the Esalen Institute.
Have a comment, thought, or question? Send me an email at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you and will do my best to address your comment or question on the podcast.
Follow Traver on his Instagram and check out his YouTube channel.
Traver Boehm — Traver’s website, where you can find his Cage to Stage story.
BOSS — Boulder Outdoor Survival School, where Traver spent 28 days in the wilderness.
Esalen Institute — Meditation workshops and retreats in Big Sur, California.
Coby Kozlowski — Last week’s podcast guest and a teacher at Esalen.
Google Cardboard — Simple DIY virtual reality headset made of cardboard.