Tag Archive - Health

How Late Do Our Computers Stay Up?!

If you’d like to waste two or three hours feeling busy, but doing nothing, get a computer and an internet connection!

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Well, you might watch some informative videos and read some interesting news. The question is: How do you feel once you disconnect? Do you feel full of the energy of knowledge, and fulfilled? Or do you feel exausted and put your computer away with a headache? The latter state is a sign that your computer time is draining energy rather than energizing your mind. Not good!

How much of our computer (now that really or mostly means: internet) time is really useful to our physical and spiritual well-being? We need to step back and think about that.

Do we really know how much time we spend online? If we  know, we might be surprised!

I come back from work, have my dinner, and connect to the world! Or so I think!

Is the world really contained online? Aren’t we just selecting very small and limited views or pieces of the world when we choose one web site or one news story over all (millions) the others?

Do we connect to the Internet to disconnect from ourselves? Our heart and our intellect? Reading an external story is always much easier than reading the real, internal stories! Language has some words for it: Introspection. Meditation. Prayer. Thinking!

As I put my laptop away at the end of the day, I feel exhausted. Time passes by so quickly online. I move from one blog to the other, I try to look at the videos titles on Youtube and select a few. I don’t have time to watch all those stories and documentaries that will reveal to me some more pieces of our World truths! I feel exausted by what I didn’t have time to read and watch!

We have to come to clear terms with our human limitations. We will NEVER be able to be gods, able to take, read, know, see everything that is out there. We have to be selective. We have to understand that all the world happens within!

So I decided to tame my Internet time. The way we try to discipline a child. Time for bed baby! I now try to put my computer/Internet to sleep at a particular time. 9:30 PM? Time to disconnect!

This way I actually get to sleep earlier, wake up for work naturally, without turning off the persistent alarm 3 times before I can make it out of bed!

Tame your Internet time. Don’t let it stay up too late. When Internet bed time comes, put it to sleep!

We Should, But We Don’t Like To!

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We usually know what we should do. Many things that we’re not doing, or not consistently. If exercise is good, exercising once every two or three months will not be of any real benefit. If we exercise once a week, every week, then we’re up to something. We increase it to twice a week, every week, that’s really good for us. If we eat healthy once a month, our health will not change much. If we have one healthy meal every day, we’re on the road to real change.

We should do many things, but we don’t. There is only one problem with all of them: We just don’t like to do any of them! As long as we don’t like to do something, we will struggle with it. We will do it, then quit, and feel bad because we quit so fast, and blame our fragile willpower.

Our willpower is not to blame.  We’re humans, we need to understand how we work. We’re not a machine with an on and off button! Our “power switch” is more subtle than a simple, visible button.

I tried to run many times. It was the “once every 3 or 4 months” thing. It never lasted. I just didn’t like running! Last Sunday I tried something different: speed walking. I like walking, so I decided to try and walk as fast as I could, but without running. When I tried to run, I’d get tired one or two minutes into the run. If I pushed myself, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in my chest. With speed walking, nothing of that happened. I could sustain a fast pace for a much longer time, and it was enjoyable. Eureka!

Whatever habit we see benefit in introducing into our life, we won’t be able to sustain it if we don’t like it. Our chance is to find ways or variations of the action to make it enjoyable, and therefore consistent.

If I Was Free, I Would…

What if I didn’t have to work? What if I had enough money right now to quit my job and do what I want? That’s fun to imagine :) So I though I should enjoy some fun written visualization!

I sometimes wonder how we made life so complicated! Our society is designed in a way to make sure many people will be stuck doing things they hate in order to survive!

Our needs are really simple. We need food, cloths and shelter. Once we have them, we’re good to go, and good to live!

“If you wake up free of illness, safe in your community, with enough food for the day ahead, then you can say good buy to any other needs from this World!” Prophet Muhammad

Why in the world did food become hard to find for millions of people?!

Why, when land is immensly vast, did it become expensive to get a piece of land and have your home in it? Why build those crazy skyscrapers, they’re complicated and maintaining them requires much more work and resources than a normal building! Did we already use every piece of land that we have to build up and high?!

Why would a house cost hundreds of thousands after all? It really doesn’t have to be this way.

People designed a labyrinth and they got lost in it. Then they designed tools and maps and jobs to try to make life easier inside the labyrinth! How about we just get out of the labyrinth?!!!

Well, most people are already stuck in it! We have governments designing our lives, we can’t just go out there and redesign our life. It’s not even about redesigning life, it’s about getting out of the sophisticated traps and get back to normal!

We even have countries, boundaries, visas, citizenships! Someone living in a poor country has to use tunnels to come into a richer one, they wouldn’t be granted a visa anyway!

Oh, politics! Politics is the proof that we gave up our life to the greedy, the heartless, the self-centered to take care of our needs and communities! Let’s get out of there or frustration will knock down my mind!

See where my though chain took me, I started by a fun idea and ended up into a depressing look at reality!

Back to my fun visualization :)

Now if I had enough money to pay off all my debt – car loan and some other debt :( – and be free from the need to work for money, what would I do?

I will not quit my job on the spot. I hope I can give a one month notice and make sure I hand my duties over smoothly, while working on the transition:

1. I would donate/give away all the stuff that I don’t need and don’t use. I’ll go through my cloths (which I’ve been already doing, slowly) and keep only the pieces that I really love. Dealing with my books will be harder! I won’t rush into giving them away (I’m already working on a plan to deal with my bigger-than-I-need library).

2. I will get a storage in Chicago where I will keep all the stuff that I didn’t give away, end my rent, get in the car and go on a road trip! The point is to visit the places that I think I want to move to.

3. Now I need to move somewhere warm and sunny. Lots of greenery and nature required! Ideally somewhere in or close to the mountains. I will look for an apartment with a balcony, looking to an open horizon!

Once I moved into my new place. How would I spend my all-free time?

- Lots of walking, hiking and biking!

- Now that I’m relaxed, no energy wasted in going to and back from work, no energy drained sitting in a dark room staring at the computer, I can engage in the kind of slow, focused writing that I really like. This type of writing is more of an introspection. No rush to finish anything. Just listening to my inner self and bringing it out in words. The kind of writing that is like taking a bath in the light of Spirit!

- I can also breath the fresh intellectual air of focused reading! I want to read about religions, history, get back to reading great fiction (haven’t done it in almost a decade!), philosophy, biographies, and the subjects relating to our present day problems and challenges, especially poverty and the environmental crisis. I’d like to gain a deeper understanding and make my own conclusions of what we can REALLY do to REALLY make a difference. It doesn’t matter how much we will change history. What matters is do what we have to, what we really can do to end the shameful injustice and humiliation that tens of millions of our brothers and sisters in humanity are enduring this very same moment! :(

- I will read and write out in nature.

- A great lifestyle change that I will now introduce is waking up early enough, every day, to witness the powerful everyday re-begining that is Sunrise!

 

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- Now I can also feed my body the things that I love most in nature: green and sunlight! You must already know how connected these two are, no mystery here! I have time to actually touch my vegetables, cut and prepare them slowly and mindfully, and smell them in the process! :)

Now, wouldn’t you love to do the same?!

Ok, and once you do it like I just did, what’s the point? Are we then to get depressed to the immense gap between hope and reality?

The point is to look at this vision, and start doing what can be done already. No waiting intended! Surely some, if not  many, of its components can already be started today.

I can, and already started to, exercise getting rid of unnecessary stuff and spending, in order to lose all the heavy weight that’s holding me down!

I can plan more walking and hiking during the week-end, during the summer. Indeed, the freezing northern winters have nothing to do with this vision. The trees take off their greenery. Being outdoors when it’s 15 F and colder is not too much fun! But while doing more of it in the summer, I can bring the vision to the center of my plans, instead of burying it under depression and hopelessness. With the vision energizing the hope, I can make a long-term plan for moving to the Sun!

I used to post in this blog once a month. Now I’m writing more even though I have more blogs in English and Arabic. I’m also trying to improve my reading. Both will not be as focused as the above vision would like to, but they can be gradually improved and increased.

Why don’t you write down your own vision? Why don’t you start today, little by little, to introduce pieces of it into your life NOW? I just wrote a draft of my own vision. I will build on it. That’s the way out of frustration into inspiration, from surviving into meaning.

Meaning is the food of the soul. We can’t be happy carrying around a soul in a coma in a polluted vehicle – the junk food bodies of modern times!

Why we should thank the bus!

Many American cities are not car-free-friendly. If you don’t have a car, you’re stuck. Buses are far between, if you rely on them to get to work or school, you can waste hours trying to get to the nearest stop, on time.

But buses are great! I moved to Chicago in 2008, got a job downtown, which makes it impossible to drive to work, unless I’m willing to pay half my salary or so to enrich the parking garages.

The other day I was on my way to the bus stop when I saw the bus, too far to catch it if I keep walking, but close enough to get to it if I ran! So that’s what I did. I said to myself, me who don’t really exercise, that at least the bus forced me into a brief run! That’s something to thank Buses for. So I thought of listing all the good things about using the bus in cities where they are available and reliable.

So here is some of the reasons why we should thank the Bus:
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1. An occasional run!

As I mentioned above, the bus will force us to run every once in a while. May be this occasional run will give us a taste for running and introduce us to this type of exercise!

2. Even if you don’t run, you will definitely walk.

Compare the amount of exercise that those who rely on their cars to get around actually get to someone who uses the bus daily, or 5 days a week. You will rarely live as close to the bus stop as to your garage-kept car. If you take the bus to work or school, you might be getting somewhere around 30 minutes of walking per day, if not more, which is the recommended minimum amount of exercise we should get. Well, it’s nice to be forced to do what’s good for us! We might just need that or we will not do it, if left to our will power and ever procrastinated new habits!

3. When we have enough looking at the same streets every day, we can read a book.

The Bus can add many more pages to our reading life. If we take a book on board, we can easily add 30 or 40 minutes to our reading every day. The Bus can give us 5 or 6 books per year that otherwise we wouldn’t make time to read. And guess what, this one book, one idea might change our life forever.

4. thirty people in one big vehicle produce less pollution that thirty people in thirty small cars!

You know this one already. I think we can safely say that most cars running daily on our roads carry one person each!

But no matter how good the Bus is, it will remain unpractical for many of us until many of our American cities and small towns are re-designed to make them bus friendly!

The importance of staring at computer screens!

A lot of today’s work is done in front of a computer. I spend most of my working day staring at a computer screen. We know it’s no good for the eyes. Is what we do important enough to risk the comfort of our eyesight for it? That must be a good question!

Before computers, work was being done too. People used different tools. Phones and faxes. Faxes must have been revolutionary enough when they came out. How miraculous was puting in a piece of paper here and have it come out thousands of miles away!
 
At the time of faxes, no one would have imagined something like email. The future might very well be hiding some other tools that we can’t now imagine. Those who dream those tools will make the strange realities of tomorrow. But that’s how it’s always been. Dreamers create the future. They know that things can be better. Conventional thinkers are slaves of the past and the status quo.
 
But I didn’t answer the question about our eyesight, the computer screen, and the importance of our work! Well, we can just accept the status quo. Think that there is just no other or better way of doing things.
 
But I rather be a dreamer. That’s why I know that we can do important and meaningful work, with the most effeicient, eyesight-friendly tools!
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