new devices

It’s funny, I was watching the release of the new fandangled iPhone X and Apple Watch 3 along with everything else. I thought for a minute, well I wouldn’t mind the watch, it has some pretty cool features. In that, it can receive calls without needing to take my phone. I could now leave my phone and wallet at home, welcome to the future! Continue reading “new devices”

Beginning a journey of mindfulness

Sometimes when you put of things, they catch up to you. I have realised over the last few weeks some things need to change.

  • I need to start becoming more aware of what’s around me & enjoying what I am doing in that moment. Rather than thinking about past events or future ones
  • I need to start taking care of myself mentally, so that I don’t let bumps in the road knock me down too much.
    • These little bumps in the road would often cause larger chain events and became a self-perpetuating downward spiral that didn’t lead to anywhere happy
  • I need to take care of myself physically. I am quite an active person, I play sports 4-5 times a week and tend to do lots of walking during the day. I don’t eat junk food, however I do enjoy the occasional (or not so occasional sometimes) chocolate. However I have put on too much weight, which needs to get moved. The overeating isn’t due to being hungry, I have come to realise its triggered by stressful situations, which maybe uncertainty, time limitations, isolation or just being on the road.

To work through these I’m doing small bits at a time, I’ve already started adjusting my exercise to activities that I will enjoy more such as Yoga, dodgeball, hockey & I have recently started running again.

To work through stress and focussing on what is happening at the moment I have begun a program called Headspace, which is an online program where there are meditation sessions for 10+ minutes that are very simple to follow. The part I like is that they are guided. Even if you have never done it before all you need is 10 minutes and some device to play it on (Laptop, iPhone, iPad).

Taken on Hawai'i Big Island
Taken on Hawaii’s Big Island

Meditation has been shown in studies to help with depression, anxiety and stress , and if done in conjunction with a health professional it has allowed some people to come of medication in shorter periods of time than the would have otherwise done. The best part is, you can do it anywhere. No special clothes or equipment to buy, just sit in your pyjamas in the lounge if you want.

I have certainly begun noticing the benefits in the short time I have been doing it (just over a week now). My sleep is a lot better as I am not as restless during the night and I now can fall asleep very quickly. Previously it would often take me 20-30 minutes to fall asleep.

There are different short series of mediation available for when you are cooking, walking, cycling, eating or even getting to sleep (which is my favourite). Its something I recommend everybody should at least try, and they offer 10 days free anyway. Check it out https://www.headspace.com .

I will post more about my journey as time goes on 🙂

Have you used Headspace? How has it helped you?

Edu-TED

TedTalks

I have always been a big fan of TedTalks , I love the volume of incredible information as one of the most positive things that technology has brought to the world.

Ted-Ed

It turns out that a year or two ago Ted Talks expanded this to Ted-Ed, these talks are based for teachers and students in putting across information for many topics in your class. The list is fairly limited at the moment. However like anything the more we talk about it the more people with publish to it.

The content is for primary through to tertiary students and features animations in addition to talks (normal TED videos aren’t animations).

Another little perk of TED-Ed is that you can create lesson plans including quizzes and notes from any content on YouTube, TED Talks and TED ed. This is a really nice way of creating basic interactive lessons.

How does this differ from YouTube?

Many of the videos are hosted through YouTube, however many of the videos are done by leaders in certain fields any have to be recommended and go through a panel before they can talk. We all know the quality ‘control’ on YouTube, with that said there is a lot of amazing information on YouTube. Ted talks is also what peer-reviewed journals are to Wikipedia.

I hope at a minimum this gives you another source for information and maybe inspiration when you’re looking for big ideas, you may just stumble across someone who shares your vision.

 

Things to never do

I did an activity with some of my students in the year 3/4 class about things never to do, it was based on the book Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan.

The book is thought-provoking and allows your mind to wander. In any case, here are a list of 10 things that I think you should never do:

  1. Never let a good strawberry go to waste, or any other berry for that matter
  2. Never listen to others when they tell you that you can’t do something
  3. Never let a day go without laughing
  4. Never go to bed angry
  5. Never live beyond your means
  6. Never give 99%
  7. Never lose faith
  8. Never stop listening to your heart
  9. Never let anyone make you feel alone
  10. Never lose that Spark

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The people you meet

I was recently on a flight to Perth, myself I am not normally one to talk to strangers, even on flights I am usually that person who plugs in their headphones and stares out the window. I guess somewhat in a conversation avoidance stance.
This time was different, I was lucky enough to get an exit row seat, as soon as I sat down I was greeted by an older gentleman seated next to me.

We struck up a conversation about the plane and some of the quirks of travel such as missing flights, not speaking English in foreign countries. This man seemed well versed in this almost art of travel and there was seemingly something else there. Upon delving a bit further, it turns out this man had travelled to a lot of countries far off the beaten track, many Arab countries I cannot even spell and  travels to the southern states in the USA very regularly.

It turns out this man, was a missionary from the Christian churches, he had begun his line of work when he was 20 as it was his calling to help and inspire others. He mentioned that he received inspiration one night, almost a gift from god, in the way of lyrics for a song. Not being a musical man he started writing the lyrics on a page based in the bible. It turns out this song became one of the top 50 Christian songs of all time and has featured in many movies. This is the only song he has written and has paid for much of his recent work.

Now by no stretch am I am religious person, for that point I am not even quite sure what I believe or even if what I do aligns with any major religion. The man was not a bible basher that I had begun to naively stereotype, but quite the opposite. He made no reference to his religion apart from the fact it was a Christian song and his work is based from churches.

This experience makes me wonder about my own beliefs and whether they have been shaped by my naivety towards religion and it’s followers.

But more to the point you can often achieve something which you didn’t think you were made for. In this mans 30’s would he ever of beloved he could write one song and become a top 50 of all time? If not then would it have happened? I am not even sure this is about optimism as much as being about open to new experiences and telling yourself what you can and can’t do. This man was truly an inspiration to me for the work he does with help other people selflessly.

 

EDIT: The gentleman’s name is Les Garrett, additionally he is a published author and many of his songs are on YouTube – Les Garrett – This is the Day.

 

 

Dare to Dream

What makes you imagine and wonder?

So often we are told to take a break and just dare to dream a bit, whether it is to escape our busy lives, busy work or study. But as much as it is nice to stop, what happens when we do stop?

I often still find myself thinking about the things that I am not trying to think of, funny how the mind operates isn’t it. But from time to time you find something that just intrigues you or allows you to dream. Even without you realising it.

What is that thing for you? For me it is nature and the little intricacies that are in it. Like the picture below, I love looking at how the light falls of the leaves of the large tree on to the leaves of the little sprouting branch that is just starting to find its way up into the world. What defines when a branch will start going?

I believe this branch is a lot like parts out our lives. what makes you decide when to break off from the rest and do your own thing?

Dare to dream.

Cruden Farm, Victoria, Australia
Cruden Farm, Victoria, Australia