Month: August 2021

Clean Up Your Side of the Street


When I was a yoga teacher, one of the questions I was most often asked by students sounded something like, “How do I convince my husband to start doing yoga? I know he needs it!”

The answer is deceptively simple and yet not what people want to hear:

“You don’t.”

They would then ask my how I convinced my own partner to start doing yoga.

They were stunned when I’d say simple, “I didn’t. He doesn’t practice.”

I taught yoga for a living, and my own partner didn’t practice?! If I couldn’t convince him, what hope was there for anyone else? But the missing piece was this: I never tried to convince him.

I did my practice, taught my classes, and left him alone about it.

I understand the impulse. It comes from a heartfelt place most of the time. And yet,

You experienced something that created a positive impact in your life. Once you experience these benefits, you want to share the cause of those benefits with someone else.

This could go for anything. Whether it’s starting a journaling practice, drinking green juice, meditating, decluttering, a particular piece of home-cycling equipment—whatever it is that’s lighting you up these days, my advice is to go out of your way not to convince other people to try it.

In fact, my even better advice is not to talk about it for longer than three sentences.

Why?

Because convincing other people of anything usually doesn’t work.

If you’ve been on the Internet lately, you may have seen that usually political arguments end with both parties digging their heels in even deeper. If you’re stuck in a space of trying to convince someone that they need to be doing something (like yoga, but it could be anything), you’re trying to change them.

Which means that they’re likely not to feel loved or accepted in that moment. It leads to defensiveness, no matter how well-meaning your argument or how sure you are their life would be better.

Most people believe that they’re fine. And if they believe that they’re fine, they aren’t looking for the thing that you went looking for. It sound callous, but they may need to have a real problem before they’re ready to seek a solution.

The best thing to do is clean up your side of the street.

I’m pretty sure none of us is perfect (I’m certainly not!), so it’s unlikely that there’s no more work for us to on our journeys.

Recently, I’ve been on a laser-focused decluttering mission in my house. I’ve given away more than a hundred kitchen items, dozens of books, and piles of clothes that I hadn’t worn in ages. My spare moments have been filled with trips to donate or sell things, and to organize the rest.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and books about minimalism and a similar question pops up a lot there as well. “How do I convince my partner or family to try minimalism or declutter?” And the answer there is the same: you don’t.

Clean up your side of the bedroom. Tidy up your side of the closet. Declutter your things from the living room and dining room. And then let others see how much less stressed you are or how you spend less time looking for your things.

You don’t have to go door to door with your latest obsession.

Like a lighthouse, the light that your new practice brings to your life will shine without you having to do a thing. People will notice. And if your loved ones want more information, they’ll ask you.

A couple of years ago, after more than a decade of partnership, more than five years of marriage, and a child together, my husband surprised me. After breakfast one morning, he asked: “Could you lead me through some yoga this morning? I think it might help my lower back.”

I didn’t say anything except, “Sure!” and we’ve now been doing yoga together almost every morning for more than three years. I’m certain that if I’d set my mind to it, I could have gotten him on his mat earlier than that, but it was so much more pleasant accepting him as he was—and then realizing I’d been playing the long game. I didn’t roll my eyes and say, “Finally!” I just led us both through some poses.

I had realized years earlier that what was important to me was not that he does—or doesn’t—do yoga. It doesn’t actually impact my life at all. I love and accept who he is completely. But the whole time, he’d been watching me. And when the time was right, he knew where to turn for help.

At the end of the day, my very best advice is to simply keep doing whatever it is that’s creating enormous benefit for you. And then let the results speak for themselves.


Christy Tending is an activist, educator, and writer. She teaches online courses about sustainable self-care to students all over the world, and hosts the podcast Tending Your Life. She lives on occupied Ohlone territory (Oakland, CA) with her family. You can learn more about her work at www.christytending.com.

Image courtesy of Karolina Grabowska.

How to Manifest – Insightful Articles on Manifestation

Articles on Manifesting

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  • How to manifest something in your life?
  • How to manifest love?
  • Is it possible to manifest money?

Manifestation, the law of attraction, and the power of creative visualization have something in common. They are tools for attracting to you the things and situations you want. They are your inner tools for manifesting success.

The mind is a powerful tool, possessing powerful skills, which when used correctly, can attract to you almost anything you want.

What Is Manifestation?

What does manifesting mean?

It is a technique that uses the powers of the mind, the imagination, and the law of attraction, to attract and manifest in your life the things you want.

You can manifest, love, friends, money, possessions and almost anything you want.

Manifesting your desires through the practice of manifestation is within your reach!

  • Always focus on positive thoughts and avoid negative thoughts.
  • In the beginning, do not attempt to manifest big goals. Start small to gain confidence.
  • You do not need to change your belief systems to make manifesting work. However, you need to stay away from limiting beliefs and limiting thoughts.
  • To manifest something, you can just use your imagination, or also use affirmations or vision boards.
  • Manifestation works, if you follow the rules correctly and persevere in your efforts, even if achieving your goals takes time.

In my book, Manifest and Achieve Whatever You Want, I have explained how to use this power, with examples, instructions and advice.

I have also written article on manifesting, which you can find here, at this website.

To make it easier for you, I have compiled here a list of some of the articles on manifestation.

Click on the links below, read the articles, and use the information and advice they offer.

Articles on Manifestation with Guidance and Advice

Manifesting Success with Success Consciousness
Focusing your mind on success, and filling your consciousness, your awareness, with the feeling of success, make good things start happening.

When the certainty of success is saturated into your consciousness, into your mind, your mind becomes a powerful tool for success.

10 Ways to Manifest Your Dreams
Expectation propels your desire and opens the runway for your dreams to land quickly, easily and gently. Additionally, with expectation as your fire, you will be less likely to run out of ‘desire fuel’.

What Is Manifestation and How to Manifest Anything
Manifestation is the act of bringing into real life the things you want. It is act of turning your thoughts, desires and dreams into reality.

The manifestation process can help you achieve your dreams and desires, manifest money, manifest love, improve health, and manifest the life you want.

12 Steps to Manifest Something You Want
Why some people succeed with manifesting and others don’t? Very simple. Most people are not familiar with the steps they need to follow, in order to manifest love, money, a job, a house, or anything else.

Three of Neville Goddard’s Most Powerful Manifestation Techniques
When it comes to manifesting your desires, Neville has one primary requirement: you must think and feel as though your wish has been fulfilled. That said, here are three of the most powerful manifestation techniques Neville swears by.

The Law of Opulence – Meaning and How to Use It
The law of opulence is the mental law of success. Through this law you can attract things, people and events into your life.

This law is now known as “The law of Attraction”, and the technique that uses it is called creative visualization.

Are You Unintentionally Manifesting Lack Due to a Scarcity Mindset?
A state of mind can be changed. It is not something fixed. It is like clearing old furniture and buying new ones. You need to clear from your mind from the thoughts about scarcity and replace them with thoughts about success.

How to Use the 55×5 Manifestation Method to Manifest Your Dream Life
In the 55×5 Manifesting Formula, you decide on a goal or your dream and write it down 55 times for 5 days consecutively.

The 55×5 ritual works by affecting your subconscious mind and re-programs it for your goals. Once you are done with the ritual, you will start to notice a change in your mindset as well.

What You Should Do to Manifest Your Dreams and Goals
People get excited when they come to know about the wonders of the power of manifesting. They begin to visualize enthusiastically, hoping to get quick results. Sometimes, they get results, at other times, nothing seems to happens.

Why does this happen? Continue reading to find out.

How to Manifest Money Through Visualization
Miracles can happen, but often, you arrive to your goals gradually, one thing leading to another. Opportunities might pop up, helpful might people appear in your life, or you might find a new job to get the money.

Visualization can either attract the money, bring an opportunity to gain it, or open a door for acquiring it.

Your Mind Is a Magnet of Success
The power of the mind is like a magnet, it can draw certain events, circumstances and people into our life and repel others.

Your mind can be a magnet of success, and it can be a magnet of failure. This depends on how you use it and upon the kind of thoughts you think.

Discover How Your Thoughts Create Your Reality
Visualization is a mental technique that uses the powers of the mind and the imagination to create what we want in our life.

With the help of this technique, we can shape our life, character and circumstances, and attract opportunities, people and the things we desire.

This technique is similar to daydreaming. In both of them, we create imaginary mental scenarios of events and situations, just like a movie.

Find more articles on manifesting on our blog.

Related: 52 Manifestation Quotes to Inspire You to Get What You Want

“Thoughts become things. If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand.”
– Bob Proctor

“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”
– Napoleon Hill

Going the Extra Mile: How a T46 Paralympian Marathon Runner Prepares

Going the Extra Mile: How a T46 Paralympian Marathon Runner Prepares

Running ain’t easy.

It’s arguably the most excruciating sport there is, and one of the few people have mastered.

Nevertheless, it’s one of the world’s most popular forms of exercise… and it’s no secret why.

The convenience and comradery running brings, combined with individually challenging your own body (both mentally and physically), draws more people to choose it as their preferred physical activity.

Despite the growing number of people beginning to take on running seriously (especially since COVID-19 landed), many are hesitant to test how far they can really push themselves. Most aren’t willing to compete against other runners for whatever reason, or truly test how far they can push themselves.

Yes, running is a recreational activity for most, but those who run consistently always dream of finishing a marathon – even if they won’t admit it.

Runners are a particular breed of people – tough, resilient, and patient. You not only have to be physically ready to push your body, but mentally. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t go ahead with their goal to compete in a marathon race. A lot comes down to self-doubt on whether they can endure the mammoth 42km distance.

A lot of doubt stems from not even knowing where to start or how to train for one. Running as much as possible, for as long as possible, isn’t necessarily the best way to train for a marathon either – despite what a lot of people believe.

As we welcome the 2021 Paralympic Games with open arms over the next fortnight, the nations eyes will be on the Australian track team.

The lineup of brilliant runners is made up with not only Australia’s best athletes, but the world’s.

Australia is about to watch on as our star athletes take on the world’s greatest, so Exercise Right thought we’d shed light on how some of T46 athletes prepare for such big tournaments.

the T46 classification

T45-47 categories consist of upper limb/s affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power, or impaired passive range of movement.

The T46 disability sport classification is a group for track and field athletes missing their arm from near the top of their arm.

People in this class have a single below or above the elbow amputation.

We spoke with the Australian Paralympic coach

Exercise Right had the opportunity to talk with Philo Saunders, AIS Senior Physiologist and Australian Paralympian coach.

Philo is a guru within the long-distance running world. He juggles an impressive list of athletes under his wing which includes T46 Marathon World Record Holder, Michael Roeger.

Breaking his own ambulant World Record last year in Houston, Michael accredits a lot of his success to his training with Philo – who runs by his side.

So, you want to know what it takes to be an elite marathon runner? Listen to what one of the top coaches in the country has to say.

How a t46 marathon runner prepares:

What should athletes and coaches consider first before training for a marathon?

It’s important to have a good background of run training and allow sufficient time to prepare for a marathon.

Set a realistic goal to complete the marathon and structure training around completing that goal.

How does an athlete prepare their bodies for such an endurance event? Is it really about running for as long as possible, as much as possible?

A structured approach, based on what the runner’s training history, is important when training for a marathon.

There is no point overdoing the amount of training if the body is not ready to cope with it as this will just result in injury. The longer you give yourself to build up training, the better.

Important aspects of marathon training that I look to get into a training week are:

1. 1 x good long run.

This should be built up as the body becomes stronger and doesn’t need to be a full marathon in distance. Usually my top marathon runners will do 30-35km in the long run but might have started at 20km at the start of their preparation.

2. A longer duration session.

This is where the runners are running at their goal marathon pace. This can be done in intervals or straight running. Sessions should have somewhere between 10-20km of intervals at marathon pace.

3. 1 x faster interval-based session per week.

This is to get the body used to running faster in order to make marathon pace feel comfortable. Sessions such as 1km reps with 1-2min recoveries, 400m intervals with 1min recoveries, 800m intervals with 1-2 min recoveries.

4. Extra running.

It’s essential to get enough extra jogging to build fitness and strengthen the body to cope with running 42.2km.

5. Strength training is key.

Strength training is very important to get the right muscles strong and working, build symmetry of the body and improve running efficiency, and build resilience to injury.

Many athletes compete in other events, how hard is it to balance training to cover all events (short/long)?

A well-balanced program with a mix of more aerobic-based training and some faster interval training is the key to running across the range of distances. Many marathon runners come from a middle distance background and the only real change is a bit of extra running, a longer long run, and some marathon-based sessions. A good example of this is Michael Roeger (T46 athlete) who ran 14:00.25 for a 5000m recently in the middle of a marathon build up phase of training.

What does a training week look like for someone like Michael Roeger to, let’s say, an amateur?

Michael is doing 150-170km per week when training for a marathon. This includes a long run of up to 40km, a marathon-based session usually 30-35km and doing 15-25km at or just above goal marathon pace, a 6-8km track session with the middle distance group to maintain speed, 2-3 gym sessions per week and a total of 8-10 running sessions per week.

An amateur marathon runner might only be able to do 5-6 running sessions per week and only do 80-100km per week but should still try to hit the 3 key sessions of a long run, marathon-based session and faster interval session.


What are your top 3 tips for amateurs looking to take their running to the next level?
    • Give yourself enough time to prepare and build up volume gradually.
    • Listen to your body and give yourself rest days when needed to avoid injury.
    • Set a realistic goal and make training enjoyable. Train with others, change up sessions.

Speak with a professional

Everyone has individual traits and abilities and if you’re new to exercise and sport it can be tough to know where to start safely.

Accredited exercise professionals are university-qualified who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to improve health, fitness, well-being, performance, and assist in the prevention of chronic conditions.

To find an accredited exercise professional near you, click here.

The Nike Run Club gives you the guidance, inspiration and innovation you need to become a better athlete. Join Nike Run Club to reach your goals and have fun along the way. Download to get started.

Written by Exercise Right. We have partnered with Nike Australia Pty Ltd for this article series. The views expressed in this article, unless otherwise cited, are exclusively those of the author, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). ESSA is a professional organisation committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

Nike had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data or research or the writing of this article.

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Why and How to Get High Quality Sleep Every Night

High-Quality Sleep

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I shouldn’t need to remind you this, but sleep is crucial for our well-being. However, many people don’t realize that getting high-quality sleep is just as important as getting enough sleep.

Sleep quality is often determined by how restful and restorative your sleep is, and getting eight hours’ worth of sleep doesn’t mean much if you keep waking up in the middle of the night!

High-quality sleep is linked to improved cognitive function.

An individual goes through five stages of sleep in a typical night’s slumber. While all stages are important, scientists believe that the second and third sleep is what helps with mental recovery and learning.

Quality sleep is also needed for muscle recovery and strengthening your immune response!

If you’re trying to make progress in your studies, career, or entrepreneurial ventures, it’s crucial that you strive for quality sleep. In this article, we’ll take a look at how one can improve their sleep quality.

Pay Attention to Your Lights

Artificial lights can interfere with your sleep pattern.

In our most primitive form, our body responds and adjusts to the amount of light and darkness we are exposed to. This is called the circadian rhythm and makes up our body’s internal clock.

Blue light is especially harmful in the sense that it suppresses melatonin – a hormone that prepares your body for sleep.

This means that you have to be mindful of the lights in your room. A circadian LED bulb can imitate the seasonal day/night changes in our rooms and prep our body to how it’s supposed to naturally function.

Since most of our digital devices such as smartphones and laptops emit blue light, you should have a blue light filter or night mode on.

Experiment

I hate to break it to you, but the 8-hour rule for a good night’s sleep is a myth. The truth is that everyone is biologically unique. While some people can function well during the day on just five hours, some may require nine.

It’s a matter of trial and error, and a good way to figure out how much you need is to take note of how you feel on an afternoon during the regular working day. If you’re tired and constantly need a caffeine boost, you are probably lacking in sleep and need to adjust it.

Personally, I found that sleeping without an alarm and letting my body wake up when it wants to really improve my energy levels during the day. This is especially true when I meditate before sleeping. After two weeks of practicing this, I learned that I worked optimally on 7.5 hours of sleep!

Optimize Your Bedroom for Sleep

Don’t undermine your body’s ability to take cues from your environment.

If light from the streetlamp is penetrating your curtains at night, invest in blackout blinds.

Cool your room to 60-67 degrees F (15-19 degrees Celsius) before you sleep, as this temperature range is shown to be best for deep sleep.

If you want to take it a step further, make sure your room smells just as good too. The smell of lavender has been shown to have a relaxing effect on people and help them sleep.

I take it to the extremes of not going anywhere near my bed during the day, so when I do at night, I’m encouraging my body for deep sleep. And honestly, it works!

Do More During the Day

If none of the above steps work, then you’re probably not tired enough. Try getting more physical activity during the day. Go for jogs, hit the gym, and do whatever you can to push yourself to your limits.

If you’re physically active but not mentally engaged, find a passion project that makes your mind absorb new things like a sponge such as learning how to code, playing a new instrument, or even just reading a new book!

About the Author
Sarilaya Cada is a freelance content writer. She is interested in a wide range of fields, from project management, to education, to engineering.

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3 Problems with Too Much Screen Time and Solutions to Find Balance


I feel myself coming to a tipping point about the invasion of screen time in my life. I have to remind myself that I do have control over this, and it’s time to switch gears towards better habits, so I can have better relationships, focus and quality of life.

In my book What Waits Ahead is Way Better and Way Worse than You Imagined, in one of the chapters, I write about how I walked away from social media for four months and then went back to it. During the four months, my twitch and growing involuntary checking of my phone cleared up and my brain felt more intact.

When I went back to it, I told myself I would check it only once a day, but, as I suspected, I check social media several times a day now, as it once again creeps its way back into my life and my knee-jerk habitual reactions to it have resurfaced.

And it’s not just social media. It’s my phone in general. It’s with me almost everywhere I go. I was raised in the 80s and 90s, a time when people would leave messages and you would call them back when you got home. Now we convince ourselves we have to have a phone on us at all times, and we have to reply to people immediately to match the world’s new invasive speed of living.

If it’s not my phone, it’s my television. When I was in my 20s I lived in a tiny apartment in Chicago alone and decided not to get a television. My brain was full and vibrant as I replaced TV time with writing, reading, and listening to music. Now I have more streaming subscriptions than I care to admit, and winding down to a good show at night has snowballed into being the thing I look forward to more than spending quality time with others.

Can you relate?

I want to have less screen time, but it feels like an uphill battle in self-control since I’m surrounded by screens and constant talk of what great shows are streaming. So I’ve surrendered, but I’ve recently begun to realize how screens have been gradually making me feel like I’ve become someone I didn’t want to be when I’m not careful about moderating my usage.

I have a different energy when I’m looking at screens a lot. There’s less peace and more itching, twitching and instinctively reaching for my phone, hoping for that dopamine hit that comes with a text message or a comment on social media. 

Turning on the television is harmless, but with so many choices, I find myself not always having the self-discipline to stop at one episode. In the same way I cannot buy croissants because I’ll eat the whole batch, I also find it difficult to watch just one episode when television nowadays is set up to be consumed addictively.

So what to do about this frustration with the screens invasion on our society? I stand up. I swim upstream against the noise, and I put some rules in place to save myself from my own bad habits. I create boundaries that will take me away from this deluge that feels forced and remind myself I have a say in how much of it I let into my fortress.

Although I see a lot of value in technology and entertainment, there are three substantial ways I’ve noticed screens are changing my family and me. They all work in concert on a daily basis to squander value from my life when I don’t keep my usage in check, but I’ve also created three ways to counteract them because I can’t sit back and act like a victim. I call them solutions “soul”-utions because my soul needs a little rescuing.

Problem #1: Texting has turned me into a Jumpy Person Who is Tied to Her Phone and Has Forgotten How to Have a Phone Conversation

My phone is next to me almost every moment of every day. I tell myself I need to keep it on me in case my kids need me, which makes sense, but why do I have it next to me when my kids are in the same room as me? I’m calling my own bluff, here, and it’s time to keep myself in check.

Whenever I hear the notification sound of a text, I quickly go to my phone and check it because I’ve been conditioned to jump when my phone says jump, and I’m starting to resent this control. Do you feel this, too?

I text so much that I have to talk myself into making an actual phone call to people now because talking seems like a chore compared to a heartless, quick text I can hide behind.

For being connected nonstop, I feel I am utterly disconnected. I want to change this before I go any further down the robotic path I’m already treading on.

“Soul”-ution #1:

You probably have already figured this out, so I’m not dishing out any sage wisdom here, but I’ve put a specific sound for notifications from people I know who might need me like my family. If I hear that sound, I check my phone only then. I’ve started to keep my phone in my purse at work instead of right next to me. I need some detachment to reign the squirrels back in my brain.

I will start calling people. This one is extremely hard for me, and I have no idea how to change it. I texted my best friend the other day and said, “Hey, we haven’t spoken on the phone since like the Reagan Administration. We should probably do it sometime, but I don’t know if I know how.” She didn’t reply because I’m sure I scared her, but I need to take back control and call people to hear their voices instead of communicating in caveman fragments and emojis and fooling myself into thinking that is enough to call a relationship.

Problem #2: Too Much Screen Time Steals My Focus, Drive and Creativity

Screen time, whether on my phone or staring at a television, sets me up to passively ingest the world. That is, the world comes to me, and I do nothing but slip into a trance as it pours over me. As a creative person, it is an escape from the hard work of creating by letting my brain get mushy and wrapped up in stories that will do nothing to enrich my life. My creativity gets numbed because why would I feel like creating new things when it’s so fun to sit there and let creative things come to me instead?

The challenge here comes in that I love spending time with my husband at night watching a show here and there. There IS value in enjoying utter relaxation without thinking, but when it becomes THE thing I turn to on a daily basis, I get pulled into bad habits where I start to look to screens more and more as a way to procrastinate and get sidetracked by things that are entertaining but add no value.

The bottom line is too much screen time starts to push me towards being lazier than I typically am. I go down rabbit holes online or click “Watch next episode” and before I know it, I don’t have the restraint to limit myself. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I don’t want it ever happening anymore. 

I want more joy over screen time. And, for me, joy means being an active participant in life and letting my soul light up with accomplishments and dreams, not seeing which contestant the Bachelorette will choose (but dangit, it’s so entertaining still…).

“Soul”-ution #2:

Like most things in my life, I’ve found I’m most productive when I have self-induced tangible goals and deadlines instead of ambiguous ideas of things I’d like to do “one day.” Lately, I’ve been setting a timer to help push me to accomplish things with the confines of a deadline fueling me. This way, I do not let myself stray away from the work I’m doing to look at social media or television. When the work is done, I allow myself to enjoy a show, but only when the work is done.

I installed an app on my phone that tracks my usage. I get 15 minutes on social media because that is all I’m willing to give to it. These guidelines are like bumpers on a kiddie bowling alley–they push me back on track to do better in life by reclaiming my focus.

I have created something I call “TikTok Detox — 21 Days to Get Your Brain Back” for my kids. I have a parental control app on their phones, so there’s no way they can access it. As I type this, we are on day #2. They complained about the idea, but at the same time, I feel they need me to save them from themselves and their bad habits. 

One of my step-daughter’s friends said, “Not look at TikTok for one day? I have no idea how to do that.” When I heard that, I decided then to step in for my own family since it is now glaringly obvious to me screen time can take over if we’re not careful. And I get grumpy when I start to feel the world has more pull on my children than I do, you know?

Cutting back on screen time is not enough. I need to replace it with better options that have more depth. I put an Alexa in our kitchen to have music and podcasts fill the space while we cook and hang out together instead of falling into the rituals of everyone going to their rooms to unwind alone on their phones after school and work. 

I put reminders on my phone to play board games, exercise and get outside with my family. I love all those things, so it’s not hard to make that shift back, but it does take a step off the busy conveyor belt to make an adjustment sometimes, and I’m not afraid to admit we are in need of that to have a louder voice than the screens do.

An important side note I’ve stumbled upon is that I now use technology to save me from using too much technology. I use apps and Alexa to help me stay on the healthy side of technology. The benefits and middle ground of screen time is where I want to spend more of my time instead of teetering over into too much of it pulling me down.

Problem #3: I Have Less Tolerance of Being Bored and Want Instant Gratification

Today I drove past an adorable old man sitting on his porch. Guess what else he was doing. Nothing. He was sitting and looking at the world and just being. As I looked at him, it occurred to me, I don’t see people being still anymore. If we’re still for a moment, we pull out our phone. We don’t sit and breathe and look. We hate being bored and get itchy in our own skin, don’t we?

We’re setting up the next generation to one day be elderly folks on their porches who swipe on screens instead of looking up and saying hello to people, and it makes me sad. We’re getting so absorbed into our screens, we’re losing the ability to find beauty in ordinary life right before our eyes.

We crave constant entertainment, and that is one slippery slope. Since my phone is on me, I tend to reach for it when I have downtime to catch up on texts, emails or to scroll through social media to avoid silence to avoid “boredom.” Taking time to sit in silence and just breathe is exactly what I need sometimes instead of bombarding my mind with a constant stream of information that will not land most times.

I’ve had talks with my kids about what addiction feels like and have been very blunt about how their screens are going to start stealing their focus, peace, social skills and intelligence. It’s difficult to pull them away from something the whole world seems to be on board with, but I’m willing to fight against the current to get them back on track. So to do that, I need to pull away from mine as well.

“Soul”-ution #3:  

I purposely have limited data on my phone, so if I’m at my kids’ sports practices, I won’t get on my phone at all. I carry a book at all times and keep it in my purse to read if I ever have to wait anywhere.  Lately since I’ve pushed myself to just read while my kids are at their practices, I’ve noticed how much better I feel. I’m feeding my brain in a way that screens can’t. Sitting in silence is not boring and I want to convey to my kids that this is not something to avoid.

I have been meditating for several years now, and I’ve made sure to put this back into my daily practice. For just ten minutes every morning, I sit with a cup of coffee, light a candle and breathe, thinking about how I can make this day the best it can be. Along with that, I do not check my phone when I wake up because nothing is so important that I need to start my day staring at a screen. When I do that, I feel my whole day is on a trajectory I don’t like. A walk outside under the stars feeds me much more.

All this is not to say technology or screens in general are ruining my life. The key in finding joy with screen time is to make sure it’s in the background, not the foreground. It should complement my actual life and not take the place of it. 

Screen time has not encroached on my life to make the situation dire, but I want to avoid that  by taking back control now. I want to look back on my life one day and remember the time–the actual time together–with others, and when I’m on my screen too much, it dulls the edges of the actual world around me.

I challenge you to take a look at your screen habits. You might be devoting more time than you realize to mindless scrolling, viewing and texting. And although all these activities can bring joy and relaxation, if we don’t make time for things that ground us and help us grow, we’re planting a life on shallow ground.

I want more. Are you in?


Rebecca Rine is a writer and speaker at RebeccaRine.com where she writes with raw honesty about the joys and challenges of an ordinary life, feeling it all and living simply and deeply while not being a bag of turds to others. Readers say her writing connects with them because she openly writes about her life and shortcomings regarding marriage, parenting, spirituality, and aging with a goal of embracing your imperfect, authentic self. She is an opinion contributor to Dayton Daily News and public radio, and has been published in places such as: Scary Mommy, Blunt Moms, Fatherly, and The Write Life. Her podcast “Real Life out Loud” can be heard on various platforms, and her short videos about “one thing to think about” can be found on YouTube. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Subscribe to her website and to purchase her book, “What Waits Ahead is Way Better and Way Worse Than You Imagined: True Stories of Balancing Joy and Poo in Life”.

Image courtesy of mikoto.raw Photographer.