Cyborgs Appreciate Nature

As techies we’re inclined to stay cooped up inside with our electronics, and our cozy homes. Cyborgs exist with and without tech but they should also strive to find the Balance of living with Nature. Humans in many fields have attempted to recognize the importance that nature, the outdoors and other living things have in our lives. Some say Nature Changes our Brain for the better, others claim that Nature Impacts Our Well-being,  and yet others would argue that Nature is Essential!

Make time this spring and summer to do some activities outdoors. Instead of going to the gym, maybe you walk outside on the bike trails. Maybe instead of having tea at a restaurant for brunch you invite everyone over for some patio time. There are a lot of budget friendly and Free Outdoor Activities that can keep you involved with nature. It will be easy to look up local events like outdoor concerts, fairs and farmer’s markets that can keep you active and getting your nature fill.

I plan on taking my own advice. My yard needs a great deal of work so I’m going to put some time in making it look spectacular this summer. Maybe you can garden your whole yard like I plan to. Maybe you can only have a hanging plant in your apartment. Maybe you can only go to the park downtown. No matter what style your life with nature takes, make sure it is Unique to You! Do so Mindfully and as Spontaneously and make sure to Bring Friends!

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(Re)finding your Groove as a Cyborg

Hello again everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful hiatus over the holidays, particularly with your tech. There’s no better time to shut off your devices than when you’re with friends and family! The holidays are also a good time to get new tech, and I’m sure many of you – like me – got some great new tech in your lives. I’m here to try to help you get back into your grove of Switching Off, Unplugging or finding your personal mix of being connected and living your life.

New tech is always exciting. My first point of advice is learn everything you can about it when you first get it. Read the manual, do all the set up. Don’t let it sit in it’s box, and don’t just jump right in. I want you to know everything there is about your new tech so you can avoid the frustration of it not working later in your life. There’s nothing more time consuming than malfunctioning tech, and I would wager (although I’m not a wagering Cyborg, generally) that most malfunctions are user errors. We can avoid these potentially time-consuming and emotionally hazardous black holes of tech if we know all there is to know about it!

Once you know your tech and have become familiar with it, don’t be afraid to use it. It has a purpose, and it was a gift for something you’ve worked hard to give yourself so don’t waste it! Get the most out of your new tech, but always remember to do so with moderation. Tech exists to alleviate our lives, and in some ways bring little lights into it by making things easier for us, or encouraging us to do and be better. Let the tech help, but do not rely on it for everything.

The example that I can offer up is of my use with my new fitbit. It was a gift to help watch my heart-rate and my daily steps, as well as to manage my calorie intake. This device has many purposes that I learned of the first day I got it, although I do not use all of it’s capabilities. Some people would argue that I am not using my device, my tech, to it’s potential. That may be true, but if I rely so heavily on something, I believe that I will not be doing myself any favors by not reaching my full potential. The fitbit is a step in the right direction of my health, not a crutch that I intend to use every day.

The most wonderful thing about our tech is that most of our devices are entirely customizeable. Keep yourself in mind when  you are adjusting to your life with your new tech. Keep your Balance, maintain your Mindfulness and above all Put YOU First! If a few months down the road you feel as if your tech is once again taking over your life, don’t be afraid to Rethink it!

A Cyborg lives for themselves.

Being connected is important. We want so desperately to be part of something, a family, a group of friends, an event. No matter the scale of our desire to be connected, it still exists. Robots live to work. They live to put one foot in-front of the other and accomplish their goals. It is all well and good to be a Robot sometimes. Sometimes it is the only way to get through busy, stressful or difficult times in our lives. I’m telling you that if you want to live a life in love, balance and mindfulness you need to do it for you.

Cyborgs live for themselves, they Break their Programming. While wild beasts and other creatures of our great earth live to survive, Robots live to  work and Cyborgs live for themselves. In this journey you should live for you! Start by being honest with yourself. What do you desire out of life? Be true to yourself! Tiny Buddha gives advice on other ways to be true to yourself, it may help you find what you’re looking for.

Once you are true to yourself by being honest with who you are and what you need, you can then make the changes in your life to fulfill those needs. Life Hack can guide you on strategies of being more honest with yourself. Create little goals for yourself if you think it will be too hard. You can start by dedicating 5 minutes a day to reading your favorite book. Or maybe you watch only one episode of your favorite show to write or research. No matter what is important to you, make sure that even for a few moments per day, that it comes first.

It may seem confusing to give up responsibilities or other hobbies that include being social and then dedicating them to you. The world expends a great deal of effort trying to tell us that we should give, give and give some more. It is good to give, but it is even better when you are able to give when your own cup is full. Find yourself and put yourself first in your life, and Switching off and Unplugging will become easier. You’ll flourish as a Cyborg living for yourself.

A Cyborg Lives for the Moment

Learning to Switch Off or Unplug is hard. I’m not going to tell you that living your life starts off easy. Like all new things it takes dedication, and the development of life-long habits. I can tell you however, that especially during this time of year one of the best things that can keep you on track for not living as a robot is to live for the moments. Living for the moment means that when you walk into a friend or family gathering you hug for a few more seconds, you take your coat off, kick your shoes to the corner and snuggle in. Make yourself at home wherever you go!

How do you live for the moment? Well it comes after Breaking your Programming. It means being prepared for Balance. It comes with being Mindful of the wonderful things that you have all around you. Don’t just start each day off thinking “What wonderful things will today bring?” think instead, “What wonderful things will this moment bring?”. Any day has the potential to be filled with insight, love, and comfort, and even the smallest things can show us this. A smile, a laugh, a hug can all bring tiny moments of understanding. Maybe we live for smiles, hugs and laughter.

Sometimes families are stressful. Sometimes you’re the one stuck cooking dinner, or cleaning up the dishes. Sometimes you’re the new one, or the old one and everyone around you is different. No matter what your situation is, there are special moments to be had. If you’re plugged in to work, or your phone or thinking of being somewhere else, those special moments are likely to be missed. Pay attention to yourself and how you feel, and pay attention to the people around you. Let the joy of fellowship fill you up, because humans are social creatures by nature and no matter what anxieties or fears or stressors you have, once you put yourself wholeheartedly into living, you’ll be surprised at how easy it becomes.

Juste Etre: Just Be suggests in “Just ‘Doing’ to Just ‘Being’” that we should look smaller. Pay attention to the little muscles in our bodies as we act or react. Focus. If living in the moment isn’t easy for you, let your focus take control. Focus on how the chair beneath you feels, or the smell of the house around you. In this you’ll find that living in the moment can be a spectacular thing. Living for the Moment may make you happier because you can take delight in smaller things. It may make you more grateful, because you can find joy in even the simplest of activities.

Switched Off – The Beginning

Hello Readers!

Although I’ve been very good at living my life as a Female Robot, I’ve decided to return to offer you new advice. As your Human-Cyborg Relations guide, I’m hoping to give you tips and tricks on how you too can live your life as a Functioning Cyborg in a busy world. The world is full of distraction. We can amuse ourselves with multiple social media accounts, blogs, videos and Buzzfeed is one of my favorites too – do you know which Disney Prince or Princess you are?

Anyway – I’m here to tell you that I get it. The world-wide web is a wonderful place. Many of us work there. Tech lets us be connected all of the time. Being connected all of the time for those of us that love to absorb the world around us is wonderful. All things wonderful though – aside from love – should be taken in moderation. Many of us struggle with the ability to be connected to those around us, even ourselves. For some, finding the ability to be connected isn’t just Unplugging, it is Switching Off.

The Difference Between Unplugged and Switched Off

The differences between Unplugging and Switching Off may be subtle, but the main factors here are those that Unplug do so knowing that they have the ability to plug back in at any time. Being unplugged means you’re mobile, your phone may not be at the dinner table with you, but it is somewhere in your purse or pocket. Unplugged gives a balance between our digital lives and our physical ones. Being Unplugged means you can multitask and still find alternatives to tech, or you set your tech aside a few minutes per day – you are a Cyborg, a functioning techie in a world that pulls you both ways. Being Unplugged is about relaxing and finding harmony; switching off is about being free.

Those that take the time to Switch Off are the ones that shut their digital lives off completely. Switching Off allows for many people to turn their physical lives back on. Cyborgs may find Switching Off to be particularly difficult – “How can I NOT have my phone for a day?” They may ask. Switching Off means that you’re admitting to not being connected. You will not be connected because the here and now is what is important. Instead of having their phones in their pockets, Switched Off Robots may go so far as to shut them off completely for a day, or not even bring them! Being Switched Off means that you don’t NEED the tech. You are enough. You are powerful, connected and part of the world as you are.

The benefits of each type of thinking are important. In the next few weeks, I’m hoping to explore Switching Off and how powerful being a Female Robot that takes a day off can be.

The Keys to Switching Off

The keys to being Unplugged as you may have guessed are Mindfulness and Balance. Shutting Off can be more powerful than that. Shutting Off can be an honest and open admission that being Unplugged is too difficult or it can be a way to empower yourself over your technology “I don’t need you today.” Switching Off is powerful because it requires not only the Mindfulness that being Unplugged requires, but it asks of you even more. It is asking you to put YOU first. The ability to stand free of the imaginary constraints we impose on ourselves because of technology. Being Unplugged is an active state of Mindfulness, Shutting Off lets you throw off that constant state of understanding for the one decision of saying “I matter more today”. The most important thing in Unplugged is Balance. The most important thing in Shutting off is YOU.

The Power to find You

Whichever way is best for you – being Unplugged or Switched Off – becoming more mindful and more connected to yourself is a journey worth taking. Do your best to not only take the advice of a Happy and Functioning Cyborg and Female Robot that takes great pleasure in Shutting Off, but be willing to find the way for yourself. I’m here for advice and guidance. You’re here for you. Making yourself a priority is the most important aspect of improving your life. If you take only one thing from this blog, I hope that it is the knowledge to know that more time spent on yourself is never wasted. Find the power to find YOU. Just Etre – Just Be.

Unplugged – The Beginning

Facebook is awesome. With photos, friends, events, places, games, and other endless possibilities how can I not spend all day there? It’s easy. Just don’t log in. A simple solution to a problematic lifestyle found here: uncheck that little box that says, keep me logged in.

I’m not saying that you have a problem, and I’m not saying that Facebook isn’t cool. What I am saying is that in today’s world it is hard enough to find time for ourselves. And no, Facebook stalking your “friends” isn’t alone time, let alone time devoted to yourself. I’m just telling you the truth, you need more time for you. Those of you who do this digital life as a means and a lifestyle, I’m especially talking to you.

Take those few precious moments, or hours in many cases, and just relax. What sort of life are you living when you are always checking the latest youtube videos, or Reddit updates and Facebook statuses or text messages? I’ll give you the answer, an un-enriched one. Why waste time talking about your hobbies and posting photos of your nights out, when you could be doing more and making more memories? I’m not asking you to neglect your internet and telephones and other electronic life sucking devices, I’m just asking you to take some more time for yourself. I’m looking out for the betterment of you.

You might not see the effects of being plugged in every day, but they are there. I’ve been there, obsessively checking my phone and email to see if anything has changed, but unless there is an emergency I don’t find either of those activities to be fulfilling or compelling. I’ve even found those behaviors to lead myself and others toward a decline in health and social life.

Our bodies weren’t made for this life of non-physical social interaction. And by that I mean is a non-responsive interaction. Our bodies and our minds crave social interaction, and we think to ourselves that text messages and IM’s are just as good, but our bodies and minds don’t react the same way when someone actually laughs at our comments or even cries when we tell them of our failures.

If you don’t believe me, check the facts. Many prestigious and enlightened schools of science have studied these things. Sure, they are generally the same scientists who promise us fat burning pills and whatnot but there is some truth to their science somewhere. Discover Magazine has done many articles on the studies of multimedia users and multitaskers and found, humiliating results. Our brains just can’t take the stress, literally. Be become dumber in these moments to compensate for our lack of ability to absorb them all at once.

So if you don’t like being dumb, you don’t like doing things less than your best, and you really just want to find some time to better yourself, get unplugged. Uncheck those pesky boxes of remembering your password and logging you in automatically. You’ll be surprised how just the step of having to type in your email address and password will remind you of how many times you’ve logged in today.

If you are doing tasks on the computer for work, school or even just for information searching be mindful of your current task. One of the ways that I personally avoid my email, facebook and other such deliciously addicting sites is to use two separate browsers. For example, use google chrome for youtube, and maybe Firefox for your email or internet explorer for Facebook. That too will help keep your work and play life separate from your digital worlds. That way, every time you open that different browser you will recognize what you usually do there; keep bookmarks and passwords relevant to that use separate. If you know that you are going to be distracted by the escapist all afternoon, don’t use that site in your favorite browser. That way your history will be separate and you can better stay on task.

 

Interested in researching more yourself? Check out these links that I have provided from reputable sources!

Discover magazine articles on Multitasking and Multimedia

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2009/08/24/infor…

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/08/25/multitaskers-a…

http://discovermagazine.com/2005/aug/email-make-you-dumber/?searcht…

 

NPR’s article on multitasking

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95256794

 

Study explained on multimedia multitasking at Boston College

http://www.bc.edu/schools/csom/graduate/news/2011/Multimedia_and_Mu…