Mindful Media: Is social media friend or foe?

Social media is like our mind and mindfulness is the key to making it a friend

My family and I recently spent a beautiful summer evening on the lakefront in a nearby town. We had a picnic and took a stroll along the water, enjoying the warm weather and lovely sunset. I took some social media worthy shots. They depicted a happy family along with colourful scenic views. But they didn’t show the whole picture.

What they didn’t show was the unhappiness that came towards the end of the evening as the boys were getting tired and their mom was trying to eke out every last bit of relaxation and enjoyment on the last few days of her summer vacation. I love walks, nature and quiet evenings, however my thirteen and eleven year old boys don’t appreciate it quite as much. They’d much rather be playing video games with their friends or working on YouTube projects. While I don’t want to detract from the family bonding time and good parts of the day, the reality is there were tears, frustration and unhappiness towards the end of the evening as our interests and energy levels were at odds.

I’m fairly sure we are a typical family, going through natural challenges as we navigate our different interests and try to find balance. Oftentimes we don’t get the balance just right. In this case, we stayed up too late. I’ve learned over the years that tiredness is a big culprit of negative emotions that are hard to control.

My pictures didn’t capture this part of the evening.

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My Hidden Self

When I stopped hiding parts of myself I found freedom and true happiness.

When I was a child I was on the shy side. There were moments when I distinctly remember wishing I could be invisible and not have any eyes or attention on me. I just wanted to blend in, shrink back, whatever it took to ensure no one would look at me. I didn’t feel like this all the time, just in certain moments.

There were also certain parts of me that made me feel different. I spent a lot of time in my adolescent years trying to hide these parts.

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What to get the most important person in your life

Are you done your Christmas shopping yet? Me neither. (And for those who said yes, well done! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, this post really isn’t about the holiday anyway, it’s about much more, so please keep reading!).

I was thinking about my gift list this morning and realized that there was one important name that was left off the list. How on Earth could I forget to include the most important person in my life? Unfortunately it can happen a lot. And not just during the holidays. Sometimes it’s in the middle of a busy week. After a morning of helping to get my two boys out the door for school, followed by a nonstop day in virtual meetings at my home office, some days I barely break to use the washroom, let alone have lunch. My mind skips busily along and forgets to pause on this important person. I’m more worried about meeting deadlines, expectations and needs of others at the time.

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