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Disconnect to Connect. Wednesday May 21, 2014

I find Moodscope an invaluable tool in tracking my ups and downs. It helps keep track and put things into perspective. Lately, for example, I've had a lot on my plate, travelling a lot, socialising and indulging in the less healthy pleasures of life slightly more than my fair share and have returned from my travels quite exhausted.

It would have been easy to just think about that and get down about it. Moodscope, my daily moment of reflection and mindfulness of self, allowed me to remember that despite feeling physically less than great, I'm richer by a whole lot of amazing experiences. I have spent a great and exciting time with friends and loved ones, and despite feeling quite beat on one level, I have lots to be grateful for and happy about.

In the days of travelling and people-meeting out there in the hilly landscape of Czech-Moravian border, I barely thought about being online and managed to stay offline most days and even when I did got on the net, it was just to briefly check for important e-mails and messages. A success for, I must shamefully admit, a typical twenty first century internet addict and a master procrastinator (feel free to laugh, most of us have been there, right?).

It was upon my return, and finding my mailbox flooded with, amongst other things, my Moodscope reminders and a mild chastising for being offline for a whole week, that I realised the dual nature of the problem, one of the many pairs of seemingly contradictory truths that one has to juggle in the right way if you are to become and stay happy.

Yes. Any kind of treatment and helping tool performs best when used regularly. But it is also true that some of our happiest, most lasting memories happen offline, off-grid, perhaps when our mobile phones have no signal, or, when we simply dare to turn them off. The 'dare' in the previous sentence is very deliberate. The expectation of being constantly available is one of the darker sides of being so well connected thanks to modern technologies. It can make it harder to relax, to let go, to properly rest. It can invade attempts to be mindful and fully present. Things so precious these days and things that make and keep us well, too.

And so, when you are online do your Moodscope test. But don't beat yourself up if you're NOT online at all. Create such moments. And relish in them. Bask in the sun and in the real, physical presence of others, face to face, sun-lit and candle-lit without the bluish glow of our many pocket-sized devices reflected in our eyes. Enjoy the good moments for what they are and when they are happening. If they are worth remembering, you can always remember and share them on Facebook later!

With bright wishes to you all,

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 5:05am

You are right!

Anonymous Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 7:08am

A beautiful and perceptive post Eurik. Thanks.

Lex McKee Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 8:14am

Dear Eurik, what sensory rich language - to capture the imagination and then make the point so eloquently.

Julia Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 8:56am

You are so right Eurik. I too have been away somewhere with limited internet access. But just back and I am sitting in front of my screen for too long again. On holiday I ate lovely food but didn't put on weight because I was walking so much instead of what I am doing now which is starting the day sitting at the computer. Being away from constant internet access is an eye opener. I am not confident that I have the will to limit the time I spend on it now that I am back. I suppose knowing there will be times in my life when I can again enjoy an internet free time, makes me more relaxed when I use it so much at home. But if I never had that opportunity and really in fact it's not many times a year (probably not enough) even now, I would have to create artificial devices to make me "stand back from that computer!" A great blog Eurik. More should be written about this subject in the balanced way you have today.

Diana Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 9:56am

Hoping you can catch-up on your sleep quickly Eurik...lovely, lovely message !

loser! Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 1:09pm

I don't do the moodscope any more, as l was getting consistently low scores. I got no response from my buddy, so l deleted her. It was making me feel worse about myself. But l do feel encouraged reading the blogs, and really look forward to my daily meeting with the community, even though l don't often join in.

swimmer Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 1:11pm

Sorry, was meant to be published under swimmer!

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 1:53pm

Great post Eurik. Wise words, beautifully written. I look forward to reading more from you.

Lostinspace Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 2:06pm

I must be careful here as I feel very strongly about these machines, large and small, that human beings (large and small) are having such a lot of trouble controlling. Of course it is the human being who mistakenly thinks that the machine is controlling him. I think I prefer to call them machines rather than devices so as to keep them in their proper place. I fear a generation is growing up which will soon be unable to sustain a complete conversation or produce coherent sentences. Joking here. In the modern world "connectivity"undermines confidence - the most successful people seem to fear being "forgotten"if they are not online. Technology needs to be put in its place, something is seriously out of whack. I cannot write any more because a friend has communicated with me on my landline and I have to be ready in half an hour. At our weekly quilting meeting our conversation will be frequently interrupted by a phone ringing and abandoned by someone attending to her smartphone and texting a reply which just cannot wait. Most of these women do not realise that they are only attending about 50% of the meeting. The exception is myself of course! They are mostly shocked at my cavalier attitude to my phone. Good news can wait and bad news will always reach you in the end, so why not turn it off? All the preceding should be ignored as I no longer work outside the home for money and have not included the major aspect of this which is for people in the workplace but I have enjoyed this small rant!

Julia Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 4:09pm

There was an interesting article by Justin Webb in yesterday's Times newspaper about the internet and one of the surprising (negative) effects it is having on young people in America. Here is the link.
If you can't open it, I can copy the text into a comment box here.

Anonymous Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 5:02pm

I don't do Moodscope when I'm low. Who would want consistently low scores anyway? I like the blogs too. Useful. Have set myself a challenge (it relieves boredom). I'm working at getting fit, mostly by swimming nearly every day, to challenge what the 'experts' say about exercise increasing endorphine levels increasing. Makes a nice mix with a bit of anger thrown in for seasoning. Hope you swim too xx

Anonymous Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 5:12pm

read in a computer mag that dopermine levels are affected being at screen too much. Apparently they go in some sort of whizzing loop, so b's and s's don't stay on line too long or toolate

Eurik Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 6:04pm

Thank you.

Eurik Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 6:05pm

Thank you. I was a bit afraid to send it, glad that I did now, seems like the message got across.

Eurik Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 6:13pm

It is a big issue these days, I'm not surprised it may stir up some emotions... Especially since it can get so frustrating and annoying!

I try to avoid doing things like that as best as I can. I find it rude, but unfortunately all too commonplace these days that when people are with you, they are, as you describe with your group, only half there, or only there half the time, however you wish to describe it.

It's taken conscious effort on my part, and sometimes really means I turn my ringing off not just in a cinema, during a movie, but also on other occasions where I simply want to be fully there and not disrupting the flow of the situation. Some people still find it weird that I don't answer all calls and sometimes take hours to respond to a text, but heck; I don't recall that while getting a smartphone, I made some sort of a pledge to always be immediately available to the world! Luckily, most close friends and my partner by now got used to this and respect it.

Eurik Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 6:17pm

Thank you Julia (and ALL of you for your lovely feedback, I don't want to spam every comment here with a message of my own though I'm tempted to...)

I also have to make myself stay away from computer; it can be such an addictive, time consuming and energy draining way of spending, or rather wasting time. I became more acutely aware of it after reading stuff about mindfulness and nourishing things in life, realising how much time I spent daily doing things that were not nourishing me at all!

Lex McKee Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 8:20pm
I share this cautiously, since it moved me to tears... but I think it compatible with today's key message from Eurik.
Such an important message.

Julia Wed, May 21st 2014 @ 9:21pm

I will look at this tomorrow Lex. I don't want to be crying just before I go to bed. I am sure it will be worth watching if you have suggested it and am "looking forward" to it.

Anonymous Thu, May 29th 2014 @ 6:40pm

Eurik, Thank you. I don't spend a huge amount of time on here, so I don't know how often you write. Know this, this post you wrote is an important one. Helpful for those of us struggling for mindfulness and a realignment of where we are seeking mental health and emotional happiness.

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