Tag Archives: health

(1 of 5) -Monday’s Mini-Retreat (5 min or less)

Ed Cyzewski invited me to carrying on with his 5 minute Retreat series, “with my own spin”. So, for the next 5 days, I invite you to come here for a short and refreshing retreat in your day.

Let’s work through this and apprehend how God is with us. (Please feel free to comment anytime. Sharing your experience is valuable for all of us.) Blessings to you.

First, please be prepared to take a short rejuvenating break, and eliminate potential distractions. (Silence your phone, computer, shut your door, etc.)

Start off with five deep inhales and exhales.
— Be increasingly aware of yourself occupying a space, where you are. Feel the weight in your chest as you breathe, and let your air out slowly and calmly.

Cover your ears and breathe in and out five more times, listening to the sound of your breath.

Now-Be aware of God giving you life–the Breath of Life. His Spirit.

Spend a bit of time chewing on that theme.
–Allow yourself to make associations, dwell on an image or phrase about this topic which comes to mind, and how it relates to your life, today.

(If you get distracted, or your mind starts to wander, cover your ears again, and listen to your breathing.)

In this way-you try to “get out of your head” (a.k.a. to stop or dull, the chatter in your mind, and set your inner monologue aside.) Remember you are a spiritual being having a physical existence and tangible experience, right now in this moment. You live, you eat, you sleep, you think, and you breathe. Right now, you are here, breathing and living. Stay with that.

Briefly, talk to God (in some way) about your gift of life and Living breath. (Or, the associations, phrases, or images that have been on your mind.)

Now, realize you have God, with you, at hand (not far away), and you may keep this awareness to be revitalized and strengthened in your day.

One more deep breath, and stretch your arms, or whole body, a bit. Find relaxation in these few calm moments.

Here you are. You are yourself. Enjoy that.

And Enjoy your day.


Is technology changing YOUR brain? short fun test

Texting on a keyboard phone

Image via Wikipedia

 

10 Signs your brain is changing because of technology (computer, internet, twitter, facebook, texting, iPhone, iPad, DS, etc.)

The ones with “*” are  just made up for the sake of humor. (Let’s just say, I like to insert humor, and yet be an insightful resource for you. Your welcome people of earth.)

THE TEST

Answer yes or no:

1. You spend more than two hours a day interacting with/using technology.

2. You have extraordinarily strong thumbs compared to an Amish person.*

3. You have a short attention span, which has gotten shorter. (Finishing this self-test even seems like a challenge at this point.)

4. You have trouble sleeping at few times per week.

5. Your short term memory seems to be suffering. (Like right now, for instance, you might even have to concentrate to remember why you wanted to take this self-test in the first place).

6. You like to change channels on the tv a lot, and you bounce from thing to thing online, at work, and at home.

7. If you set out to do something, and get online, or start texting, you tend to get distracted from your original task or objective. (Maybe-just now-you were checking on the news, email, or something, and whoops here you are taking this test, ’cause, “heck, it’ll only take a minute!”)

8. You get more than 1 headache a week.

9. You’d contemplate enhancing your brain with extra RAM or flash memory, (if it were possible.)*

10. 48 hours with no technology seems quite unlikely, or basically a bad idea.

HOW DID YOU DO?

1 or more YES answers mean your thought patterns (and your actual physical grey matter) is being altered by the “cooperation with technology.”  So, basically you could be “less human” than you were just a short while ago. Okay, I just made all that up about the test answers. It’s not scientific. Nevertheless, beyond the silliness, the point stands: What we do and think thoroughly (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically) changes us. For real.

Please post your results, out of 10. Let’s see how we all stack up.

(My number is 10 of 10)

From studying the brain, scientists have found that repeated thoughts and mental or physcial actions (like texting, reading, speaking, running, etc.)  actually create physical grooves in the brain, not just faster neuron pathways. When we practice a skill, learn a sport, or study facts, a little trench is carved into our brain tissue. This is also another reason it is hard to break a habit. A habit is physical. One must make a new brain groove to break a habit. By 21 days, a habit is well-formed.

This natural condition of the function of the brain helps us to learn–in the best-case scenario. In a worst-case scenario these thoughts become ditches of obsessive thoughts, vices, bad habits, sin, and worse. We learn to be bad, better. And, with all the technological interaction, we become more ill-at-ease, tired, nervous, restless, and unhappy, in fact.  There is a physical change detectable on brain imaging equipment because of it. (So, you could say, it’s not just “in your head”. ha. groan. sorry.)

Food for thought? YES. Think about all the negative chatter that goes on in the mind, for instance, everyday, or even every hour. A person thinks about sixty thousand thoughts each day. Many are random thoughts and many are negative. Have you ever taken an hour and made a hatch mark for each non constructive or obsessive thought that comes to your mind? You could get a hand cramp!

There’s that song, “Be careful little eyes what you see…and little hands what you do…and little ears what you hear…” Well, yeah. Be careful. It matters.

We must watch our thoughts and actions, because they actually make up who we are.

Also if you feel a specific pattern occurring in your life, or notice habitual unhelpful thoughts afflicting you, you can know for certain they are creating an actual trench in your mind. So, take it as your own “red flag”.

See if you can “get a new groove” going. Consciously fasting from technology, even for a short bit, can give your groove-producing brain a well-needed break.

My friend Ed, recommends a needed 5 minute retreat, here. Good stuff!

The expression “a one track mind” is truer than we ever believed!

Any other ideas?

Man Cave: Of sanctuaries and retreats

(A Room Decoration and Demarcation)

It’s been said that the adult male human regularly needs some “down time” after a work day (a.k.a. Cave Time) to rejuvenate, find refreshment, recharge, gain clarity, and so on.

BUT-I doubt–a LOT–that “cave time” is truly a need reserved for the masculine of the species.

As many men will attest, females also enjoy and feel the need to retreat, and find refreshment. For some women it looks like taking a walk alone, reading a book while soaking in a bubble bath, or even not being alone–such as, sharing emotions with a trusted friend or ally.

Whatever this time looks like, it is a demarcated boundary of sanctuary, and vitally important to good mental health, and a balanced life–notwithstanding the spiritual benefits.

My husband doesn’t feel he needs a “den” or a man gym set up in the basement to get his man cave time in. He most enjoys a vigorous bike ride through the beautiful countryside on his road bike. I most like a variety of sanctuaries and refreshing conduits–both with others and without.

It’s not a weakness or a shame to realize you need space, and find your own space routinely (be it physical space, quite down time, mental respite, or beneficial time of social interaction). It is part of how we [all] live out our humanity fully, and how we are better able to best rejoin to loved ones, and others in our work or social lives in the most healthy way. If you don’t alreadly, encourage your loved ones to carve out demarcated time for this human need, as well as maintain your own. Seriously. Put in on the calendar or in your planner. It’s really that important. Be systematic so you stick with it, and keep your appointments with yourself. You will be surprised how much everyone will benefit.

Do you get the “cave time” you feel you need?

What does cave time look, or sound like for you?

Any body know Scripture that encourages ‘cave time’?

I look forward to your responses. Thanks.

Get God and Get Rich Quick

raining-money
Wouldn’t it be cool if God was a genie, and if you rubbed him the right way you could get your wildest dreams to come true?

Or maybe he could be like the Lotto, and you could hit the Jackpot with him, and a windfall of goodies could come your way, with no trouble at all.

Or God could be like a butler with supernatural body toning and skin enhancing skills to diminish the signs of aging and flabbiness.

Ah, God, the big vending machine in the sky…

Except-God asks us to be familiar in relationship to him like a spouse. He calls us his “Beloved.” Hum… conundrum…

Is the Get God-Get Rich idea perhaps a bit immature? Near-sighted?

Anyway, God is a Being described as a Person, right? 

A friend of mine, Jon Acuff, has a hilarious post called “Secretly Believing in the Prosperity Gospel.” You’ll laugh out loud if you read it. His book, “Stuff Christians Like” is a great commentary on Christian sub-culture that will have you laughing non stop! (Especially if you were ever a preacher’s kid!)