What I Missed from Doing a Facebook Fasting and How to Do It

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I’m back, what did I miss? Maybe something important or maybe nothing at all.

For those who had birthdays  and I forgot because facebook didn’t notified me, happy belated birthday.

What did I miss from facebook?

I missed my facebook memories. I really enjoy going back in time, see how my children have grown, smile at the good memories shared with friends and family and more importantly seeing how far I have come to be the person I am today.

I missed posts from pages and people whom I value, whose posts inspired me with fresh ideas and motivates me to continue designing and living life exactly the way I want it. If you are reading this, you add value to my life.

It has taken me some time to organize facebook  in a way that brings value, without the drama and negative stuff that has no place in my life. It requires a major overhaul in the beginning but little maintenance afterwards.

If you’re interested, I have some suggestions that you can start doing to tailor facebook to your liking if facebook is something you want to keep your life.

You must decide first why are you doing it and what do you want to get out of it? No purpose equals no value. It will mean nothing if you don’t know why.

1. Go on a week-long Facebook fasting. This is no little task for the heavy user but it’s completely doable, trust me. Life will not end if you quit and your social life will continue with or without you. That is a fact .

2. Log off from Facebook and delete or uninstall the app. This is a must as Facebook will find a way to get back at you to tell you the wonderful things that you’re missing out and the hundred of notifications  you have pending to read from your friends and favorite pages.

3. Resist the urge to check facebook, period! First day is the worse as your natural habit of checking in kicks in, but as you find other things to do , it becomes a little easier to manage. It all depends the kind of stuff you’re hooked on.

By the time you finish your week long fasting you will realize where your time attention and priorities have gone and where are they now? What is important  to you now and how you will handle it should you decide to return to facebook?

One thing you learn for sure is that your time is much more valuable than you think it is.

Meditation Scripts | Mindfulness Hamilton

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Here is a good source of mindfulness scripts to help you practice mindfulness whether doing it for yourself or helping someone else.

Mindfulness can be challenging in the beginning but it doesn’t  have to be.  The key is not to have any expectations but to let it happen by practicing every day . Start with few minutes each morning  before even getting out of bed. Later you can add it to your daily schedule,  5 minutes at a time. Be consistent and soon you’ll realize that it has become part of you. This is a great habit to develop for overall wellbeing.

Rememeber….” if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”.

http://mindfulnesshamilton.ca/meditation-scripts

Rewiring The GMAN: How I Reprogrammed My Brain

brain_cell-200x151It takes only one person to change your life and that person is YOU. I knew that despite the people around me, the counseling, all the self-help material out there, I was the only one with the power of change my life by changing my thoughts. No one could have done that for me. Many people will open the doors for me, but I alone had to walk through the threshold towards the light. Sounds dramatic but it’s true in some sense. Recognizing this power to change my thinking was vital to my journey of self-improvement. Putting into practice, to change the negative thinking with the positive, I realized was the work I needed to do to make my life better. But how? The quick answer is brain training.

To understand what it took for me to make that change, we will have to sit down for several rounds of beer and perhaps shed a tear. There is a bit of the story here.

Anyways, my current brain training program consist of the following:

imagesThis is my daily breakfast for the brain. Designed by neuroscientists, the Lumosity brain training program is designed to challenge core cognitive functions in the areas of problem-solving, memory, attention, speed of processing and brain flexibility. It is based on extensive research in the field of neuroplasticity or the ability of the brain to adapt. Here is the Wiki on Brain Neuroplasticity. There is a free version and paid subscription. I opted for the paid family subscription. Everyone has fun playing the games.

The program is so easy to use. It only takes about 10 minutes to play and it reminds you when to play. Also, I can tailor the program to meet my  needs. I do this training at least 3-4 times a week!

images (1) Learning a second language can have positive effects to the brain and even change it. More of that here. I love Rosetta Stone for language learning. It is fun and challenging. The program is broken down into lessons and training segments. You can do it online on the go or using the CD’s of the target language of your choice at home. I usually do this right after my Lumosity session. It only takes about 10 minutes up to 30, depending on you.

download (6)Playing musical instruments, like language learning, keeps my mental monkeys tamed. I use Songsterr an online guitar, bass and drums tab player. I started playing bass guitar right away using this software. Very easy to use. It has a free version but the paid subscription has many more features.

 

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Neuro-Programmer 3. NP3 is a software application to stimulating the brainwaves. I use it with the Proteus Advance Light & Sound Stimulation System. More about Brainwaves here, here and here.  This is the crown of my personal self -programming tools. It is portable and so easy to use. I can customize my sessions and add my own personal affirmations. Adding my own personal affirmations has helped to anchor my new beliefs and agreements. This is very important for self-programming.

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The light and sound stimulation system helps deepen my meditation sessions. I put the glasses and headphones on and let the device do the rest. The only thing I have to do is empty my mind by focusing on my breathing. As I roll my eyes back a little, I can visualize the lights pulsating like neurons in my brain.

Once the affirmations start to play, I allow them to flood my brain. I visualize the words sinking into my sub-conscious becoming part of my new self.

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Books, Audiobooks and Positive thinking. Like I have said before, it is a constant and never-ending process and it is best if it is practiced daily.

I believe that if I have what I need readily available and in plain sight, it will be an easier transition into a positive, fulfilling life. Therefore, I made the effort to have positive visuals throughout my house so I can see them all the time. This exposure to positive things like phrases, quotes and notes encouraged positive thinking and since there were posted in every imaginable place, I had no other choice but to look at it and read it. The result was that it diffuses any attempt of negative thinking to enter  my mind.

One warning to this measure is getting used to it and overlooking it like you would with any picture frame around your house. I had to make an effort to remind myself why they were there in the first place.

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Since I drive a lot, I don’t have much time to read a good book. Audio-books are my road companions in every trip I have made. It makes the journey much more enjoyable plus I learn while on the road. The audio-book selection should include fiction and non-fiction alike, self-help, and biographies. Whatever I’m interested in as long it is of added value to my life. More about the choice of audiobooks.

download (5)Understanding how the brain works was critical in my brain rewiring program. I wanted to understand how the brain works down to the neuron level. I read this insightful e-book called Brain in Balance by Fred J. Von Stieff. It goes in-depth about neurotransmitters which made a lot of sense in understanding how my brain works. If you would like to understand  how neurotransmitters work and what causes a chemical imbalance in the brain, this is a great book.

download (1)Systema or Russian Martial Art is my way of life. It is not just for self-defense; it can be very effective in saving my life or the life of others in any dangerous situation but what I like about Systema the most is how it influences my life every day. It offers many health and fitness benefits which help improve my overall wellbeing mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually. It signifies a lifestyle that compliments and applies to everything I do. From the very essential like breathing, to keeping a good form, how to stay relaxed and move properly and with purpose. More about Systema here.

download (3) I use Evernote to record my daily events, ideas, pictures and videos. I don’t hold anything back. I write everything that comes to mind and at the end of the day before going to bed, I collect and review to make sure I have accounted for everything that went through my mind that day. This is a good investment to unload or dump whatever dwells in my mind into a digital format that is easily accessible from anywhere. Journalism is a great tool for me. I feel I have accomplished something at the end of the day.

This is what works for me. Brain training and self-programming is a work in progress, not a short-term try. Through repetition and some self-discipline, it will pay great dividends in the long term.

The Man Who Sold His Motorcycle….and Found Peace

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” you have to open your hands to let go what is holding you back so you can receive what is better for you”

It has been more than a month since I let you go. It was not an easy decision by any means. In fact,  one of the hardest things I had to do. More often than not, I can’t help to think about you; our times together, riding on the fast lane,  like there was no tomorrow. Time didn’t exist when we were together. It was pure joy, ecstasy like no other drug. I loved the way I rode you, like a wild horse. How the wind caressed my face , how your raw power vibrated my core. We spent some long years together and I enjoyed every second of them. Too much, I think.

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And like everything that is done in excess, it becomes, like an addiction too much to handle.

Like  a drug you were demanding more of me. More time to ride, more time away from home, more money to keep up with your high maintenance. I was blinded by your seductive attraction, by your speed by how happy I felt riding you. My world revolved around you and everything else or anyone who didn’t like how much I wanted you, I had no problem turning the other face like I didn’t care.

Everything comes to an end or a pause to take a broader view of the life I was leading and assess my priorities. In my case, it took a unfortunate yet inevitable event for the way I was handling things, to put the brakes on you.

I lost sight of what was important. The veil of freedom and self center righteousness obscured my vision. I didn’t want to hear the truth of reality despite of been ringing into my deaf ears for a long time. I neglected the most important thing in my life for going out with you…my family. By chasing my personal happiness, I was happy but the people most important to me were not happy. I broke the rule of happiness in my marriage: happiness must go both ways.

In retrospect, I could see it coming. From the moment I laid my eyes on you and brought you home you were not welcomed. You preferred to ride with me only and didn’t like her, my wife, to ride along and truth be told she didn’t like you either.

Every time I went out with you, there was always an issue day or night. I didn’t see it before because I was living the single man’s life, justifying my riding and time with you as a reward of my hard work. The bickering became upsetting and riding emotionally painful. It was not much fun anymore. I was not at peace and prefer not to ride anymore.

Only then I realized what needed to be done and took me more time to finally do it. I cried, like a little boy when I let go of you. Watching you being handle by others and away from me brought me to tears. Knowing it will be the last time together, I rode you like I stole you and still letting go was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced.

But like a friend of mine said ” you have to open your hands to let go what is holding you back so you can receive what is better for you”.
I did and by doing it  I grew up and found out what is really important in my life. By letting you go, I found peace.

So, so long my iron horse. I enjoyed the good times riding. Now it’s time for me to take care of the ranch until we get a  better horse that we both can ride and enjoy together….the way it should have been in the first place.

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Helping others without judging

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It was a beautiful afternoon and I was on my way back to the hotel when saw a man in a wheelchair coming out of the woods. As I passed by, saw that he was having trouble getting onto the sidewalk.  I turned around thinking that he will probably spend the rest of the day right there on that spot if no one helps him. It was all clear when I got to him. He was slumped  on the wheelchair head facing down like he couldn’t move. I asked him if he needed any help and he nodded his head slightly. Like a good Boy Scout, I identified myself and told him I was going to help him. I had to lean him almost flat on his back to get him out of that rut. He started to slur something I couldn’t understand. I though he said he needed help but almost toppled forward shaking his head when I told him I was going to call 911. He slurred he was drunk and opened one his palms. He was holding some change while gesturing me for something. I told him I had no change. He then slurred with great difficulty he wanted vodka while rotating his chair forward, pointing like a compass, across the road. There it was, the liquor store right across the road. All I could do was to laugh. We said God bless to each other and I walked away thinking that it is not right for me to judge anyone but to help them. God will take care of the rest. I’m glad that I stopped and helped…well, at least to get him back to where he was going.

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Era una tarde preciosa y estaba de regreso a mi hotel cuando observe un hombre en una silla de rueda saliendo de un area boscosa. Al pasar note que tenía dificultad para moverse. Pensé que si nadie lo ayuda, probablemente pasará el resto del dia exactamente donde esta. Di ka vuelta y me pare a ayudarlo. Cuando me le acerqué, confirmé lo que pensaba. El estaba tirado en su silla de ruedas su cabeza inclinada hacia abajo. Parecía que no se podía mover. Le pregunté si necesitaba ayuda y el movió su cabeza un poco.  Como un buen Boy Scout, me identifique y le dije que lo iba a ayudar. Para sacarlo de donde estaba tuve que inclinarlo hacia atras para empujar la silla hacia adelante. El comenzó a balbucear algo que no entendía. Supe luego que necesitaba ayuda pero el por poco se cae de frente negando su cabeza cuando le dine que iba a llamar a emergencias. Balbuceo de nuevo que estaba borracho y abrió una de sus palmas de la mano. En ella tenía poco cambio mientras trataba de decirme algo. Le dije que no tenía cambio. Fuen entonces cuando el me dijo que lo que quería era Vodka mientras rotaba su silla de ruedas hacia adelante, como una brújula, apuntandofb hacia la calle de frente.
Alli adelante, cruzando la calle se encontraba la tienda donde venden licor. En ese momento lo unico que pude hacer fue echarme a reír. Que Dios te bendiga, le dije y el me contestó de la misma forma. Regrese a mi carro pensando que no es mi derecho el juzgar a otros, solo me toca ayudarlos. Dios se encargará del resto. Me alegro que me pare y lo pude ayudar…bueno al menos a ayudarle a donde quería ir.

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