Practicing a Healthy Use of Technology.
by Prana Regina Barrett
Over the past few months, I have explored the use of technology as a way to expand my services.
I remember over a year ago, I often sat in my living room with my husband relaxing for the evening, as he played dueling screens: television on and laptop open. Intuitively, I felt it was unhealthy. Not only was he working at night, during his only downtime, but he was also immersing himself in technology at all times—except when he was sleeping. It was a demanding period, but he grew used to it.
That winter my stepdaughter helped me start using Facebook. I saw her looking at all her friend’s pictures and we had a long discussion about its value. I had been contemplating it, but was trying to figure out, in my own head, whether it would serve me.
After that discussion, I opened an account and began my dance with social media. I am a social person, and rarely get my needs met in this busy culture.
Facebook was the answer. I use it as a marketing tool and as a way to stay in touch with friends long distance. I also have made wonderful new friends and colleagues. It has expanded my social and professional world globally. My big success story with Facebook is that last winter, I was hired by a colleague that I met on Facebook to help her open her yoga studio in Panama. A two month position that profoundly changed my life. I was sold, and began selling the use of Facebook to all my friends and colleagues.
Soon, I started using Twitter. Although I met a few good friends there, I didn’t get it. Twitter marketing has not been fruitful, and the layout seems too over-stimulating for me, so I link Facebook to Twitter. If people want to reach me, they reach me via Facebook.
So that is my social media story. Now I am on to thoughts about offering services online. “Hold on! Put on the brakes! What am I doing?,” my inner voice shouts. I began noticing that most evenings, my husband and I were both dual screening. We rarely spoke to each other at night while relaxing. My screen time doubled during the day, doing outreach on Facebook and email. Soon, I began to notice, my professional practice was not benefiting anymore. I needed to get out and do some face-to-face networking again. This was this past summer. It was such a joy to share my work at festivals and totally unplug. I began to feel my body again. My own natural rhythm.
This spring, I am offering a workshop called Law of Attraction and Marketing for Small Business, with marketing maven Kaitlin Maud. She says, aside from all the many ways to market, which are all valid and effective, that even in this technology age, word of mouth is the most effective way to market your work. Technology use is a great way to remind people of dates and times. It can supplement your outreach, as opposed to being your only source of outreach.
In my own exploration of technology use, experiencing the pull to offer healing services online, I have made a decision that a healthy moderate use of technology is best for me. I enjoy sitting at my altar meditating before a client comes. I enjoy helping my clients to learn to relax, heal and reach their intentions without the interference of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and the high pace that is a side effect of technology use. I enjoy offering “in person” workshops, where we create a healthy and spiritually conscious community, sharing healthy lifestyle practices that don’t involve use of technology.
Yes, we use an iPod for music and I do my marketing online. It’s about creating a healthy blend that works for your body and your needs.
- Magnet technology can assist in blocking the EMFs coming off your computer screen (and from T.V., if also on in room). I purchase my magnet technology from Colleen Myers, Nikken Wellness Consultant.
- Himalayan Salt Crystal products also dissipate EMFs when heated by candle or electric light bulb. I put them in my bath to clear energy. You can find them at health foods stores, New Age shops, and online.
- Before you automatically plop down in front of the computer each day, check in with yourself and ask these questions…
- Is this what my body needs right now?
- Can I connect with people in a more personal way?
- Can I accomplish this task in a more personal way via phone or setting up a meeting?
- Notice how you feel when you are on the computer for an extended period of time. Do you feel better or worse?
- If you feel worse, how can you monitor your own technology use?
- Only go online at certain times of the day.
- Choose a number of hours and keep track in your calendar, if need be.
- Physically separate from your technology. Store in cabinet or another room.
- While using the computer or handheld device, notice your breath. It is deep and steady or shallow and sporadic? Are you holding your breath?
- Also, slow your typing to your natural rhythm…the way you type when your breath is long and deep, with complete exhales.
- Check in and decide when you’ve had enough and it’s time to switch to non-tech activities, like walking, creating (art and music), spiritual practice, cooking, watering plants, cleaning tasks, visiting friends, playing with your pet and more. Notice how you feel when you do these types of activities.
- Alternate with handwriting. Everyone loves to receive a handwritten note or card. Also hand write some of your work. Use an idea journal. If you buy a journal with unlined paper, you can also draw in it.
- If you find you have spent too much time on the computer and need to ground, practice qi gong, restorative yoga, alternate nostril breathing, three part breathing, get a hot stone massage or tong ren treatment, take a hot bath, take a walk in nature or any other relaxation techniques that work for you.
I’m playing with all this myself. Let’s help each other to live richer healthier lives.
Here is a link to a very informative documentary called Digital Nation. Learn how the brain functions and is affected by technology use (multi-tasking) & how technology use has become an addiction for many of our youth.
Law of Attraction and Marketing for Small Businesses will be held Sunday April 25 (Portland, Maine) and Saturday May 1st (Boston, Mass.) For more information and to register, click the link above.
For more, click Prana Regina Barrett.