In the Spring of 2017, I had a profound revelation. For nearly a decade, I found myself increasingly engrossed in my phone, believing it kept me connected and informed. However, in truth, it was disconnecting me from my family, my friends, and my tangible presence in the "real world". What troubled me most was the example I was setting for my children, Orion and GG (almost 9 and 7 at the time).
Desperate for a digital detox, in that very moment, I made a crucial decision:
I turned off my phone. The effects were immediate; I felt connected and alive. It was as if a light was turned on in my mind and a spark had been ignited in my soul. I had clarity. And with this new vision, came a burning desire to inspire others, who like me, needed to break free from the digital grip and embrace the "real world" with their eyes open.
This idea needed a name, something that would resonate, like a mantra. I was drawn to the sound of "log off," but I wanted it to be more abstract, intriguing and, hopefully, inspiring.
With these thoughts in my mind, I quickly jotted down 'Laug Auf'. As synchronicity
always seems to strike at the most amazing moments,
"laug" means "eyelids" in Estonian and "auf" translates to "open" in German.
Together, they formed the compelling phrase that i was seeking: "eyes open."
Laug Auf is a reminder for my family and friends to manage our screen time, reduce digital distractions and truly be present with each other. But more profoundly, it encourages us to live with our "eyes open". Particularly, our mind's eye, the one that empowers us to craft our unique realities, visualize our future and ignite our lives.
The essence of our message was beautifully articulated by Dr. Howard Thurman in his powerful quote, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
That's our mission at Laug Auf: to inspire and empower kids of all ages to come alive;
to live with eyes open.
(Laug Auf. Life On.),
Axel "Akke" Yberg