Wait, is my Fitness Tracker Stalking Me?

Image Credit: Михаил Шнейдер

OK, y’all I know this sounds rather freaky, but in talking to other users, they say the same thing happened to them when they went on a fast from their fitness trackers. A few weeks ago I wrote a post, I Filed for Separation  which was about separating from the control my fitness app had over my daily comings and goings. Well, now I noticed the app on my phone is somehow monitoring my calorie intake, and the other day I got an email that said, in the subject line, “Remember Me? You need to sync your tracker.” What the what? I am getting emails from my inactive fitness tracker?

I am completely done! I feel like I’ve fallen into a SCI-FY Twilight Zone episode, and Rod Serling is about to pop out smoking his cigarette and scare the living crap out of me with messages from beyond, courtesy of my fitness tracker. The whole point in the first place for connecting with this darn thing was to stay focused and remain disciplined in my health and wellness activity and regimen.

Has it gotten to the point where I need to get a restraining order for this doggone thing? I feel like I was in a toxic relationship, but it can’t let go and I may have to resort to extreme circumstances. UGH! 😝 But, my message to my ex-tracker is, “Back down before you get beat down!” And that’s all I have to say about that! (Channeling my inner Forrest Gump)

Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto

I Filed for Separation

Image Credit: James Orr

Don’t gasp. Separation happens to the best of us all the time. I just went through my 7-year itch with my partner who became increasingly domineering and controlling. I won’t divulge the name of my partner (and no, it is not my husband), but it is the long-term relationship I had with my fitness tracker.

In the beginning, it was wonderful. We got to know each other intimately, and it became a trainer that helped me to be better disciplined as I made my fitness goals to improve my health. But something got messed up along the way. I noticed it but didn’t pay attention to what was happening. It was dictating to me what I should be doing, and I found myself becoming a fitness-tracking zombie. I was roped into its clutches of control, and I didn’t realize I was in too deep.

Free Woman in White Shirt Wearing a Face Mask and Fitness Tracker Stock PhotoImage Credit: Polina Tankilevitch

It authoritatively suggested what my daily intake of drinking a certain amount of water should be, how many miles I should walk, how many calories to burn, how many hours I should sleep but wasn’t getting, and vibrated when I needed to get up each of the 9 hours of active minutes I had to get in each hour. I upgraded to a newer and improved model during our time together. What we had was wonderful, until it began to get dark, like it was angry because I wasn’t listening like I initially did.

Now grant it, this is not a fitness tracker bashing. But like a baby who no longer needs a walker, I am more disciplined, energized, and confident about thinking on my own without my wrist-wearing technology looking over my shoulders! My codependency became an obsession and an addiction. So now, I am kicking the habit, filing for separation, because I am strong enough to walk on with more confidence and greater discipline.

Am I tempted to pick up my tracker and strap it back on? At times I am, but not as often as I thought. Although it was a hard habit to break, I am liberated now, and oh what a feeling that is! Bye-bye birdie!

Crossing Enemy Lines

Image Credit: johnhain

Kingdoms, nations, countries, societies, communities, and houses divided against themselves shall fall and not stand but eventually be brought to desolation. You can’t cast out an enemy that invades from the outside when there’s already an enemy living within, eating away on the inside.

We have heard the adage “You can be your worst enemy.” Far too often, we are overly critical of ourselves which leads to self-sabotage, self-defeat, anxiety, self-destruction, and depression. I read an article found in Psychology Today, “Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?” about seven techniques to defeat this self-critical voice written by Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. Although this article was written in 2017, we still occasionally suffer from inner conflict right now which can be self-deprecating. 

While these seven tips make you shrug your shoulders because they are practical methods of advice, devoting time to addressing this internal conflict is necessary. These techniques may not be ironclad, but they are tips to think about and evaluate.

1. Identify your negative thoughts.
2. Define your terms.
3. What is the evidence for and against your self-criticism?
4. What is the advantage of criticizing yourself?
5. Replace self-criticism with self-reward.
6. Do you really need to evaluate yourself?
7. Replace evaluation with observing and accepting.

Now, there are tons of advice out here on what you should or shouldn’t do to keep from going down that rabbit hole of despair. Sometimes starting can be as simple as sitting down, detecting where that inner enemy is stirring up the division in your mind, body, and spirit, and tethering that infection. Such self-criticism can be influenced by outside forces, but once you allow it to enter your thoughts, it can snuff out your light propelling you into the ethos of darkness. The good thing is, there is a way to tackle those demons and send them skedaddling down the road. STOP – LOOK – LISTEN – ACT.

Image Credit: geralt

Are Birds Really an Asset to Mental Health? 🦜

My ears followed the sounds of tender singing, and my eyes were transfixed on the gleeful and astute playfulness of my flying feathered friends darting here and there. They surprisingly caught my attention early this morning. I wonder if they were even aware of my surveillance as their frolicking actually calmed my spirit?

It comes naturally, as I am blessed to watch these fine feathered creatures, whether I’m indoors or not, and be inspired to snap a photo or write a poem about them. I was delighted to come across an article the other day “Research says one of the best things for your mental health is … birds!” that brought the biggest smile to my face. I can’t say I was shocked, but it offered validation into what I was already experiencing. In part, the article mentioned: 

A 2017 study published in BioScience by scientists at England’s University of Exeter showed that when people witnessed more birds in their daily lives, they experienced reduced prevalence and severity of depression, stress, and anxiety.

Now, talk about music to my ears, and excitement for my spirit! Hello there, my mental health helpers! 🦜 What more can you ask for with free service, and a heaping serving of healing all in one.

Image Credit: Patrice Bouchard

Image Credit: Aaliya Wahab

Are We Too Busy Being Too Busy?

Image Credit: geralt

“Focus on being productive instead of being busy.” -Anonymous

The grind is real, or so they say. Oh, honey, don’t you know I have to frequently put myself in check when I am reminded of the above quote? Sometimes, I am supercharged and hyperactive when I am trying to fulfill my so-called time management schedule with my daily tasks. So when I question the quality of my busyness, the answer must meet the criteria of quality accomplishments beyond a reasonable doubt, or else I find myself depleted of energy, stressed out, and starting over again. I must be committed and make sure I am not entangled by my choices of mass societal influences with a flight crew of stress. 

Are we burning out so fast with overzealousness that we are creating a bomb of burnout? Are we swelling into a busyness trap from the vapors of energy? I know I don’t need to give you a step-by-step method or list about how to reduce our overwhelm resulting from busyness. We reflect on how we have been trained and conditioned to stay busy, thinking this would lead to productivity but does it? Do we gain any traction of productivity in response to our weaponry of busyness? Are we truly being efficient or merely becoming a representation of the concept of being busy just to stay busy? Well, if you are feeling worn out and tired, recheck your schedule and “busyness list” of things to do. Can you delegate some of the items on your busyness list to someone else? Or is there a need to delete or rearrange some items on that list to give you breathing room to make some quality accomplishments? Check yourself before you wreck yourself! (as rapper Ice Cube would say)

Image Credit: Markus Winkler

Today Is a New Day to Be Grateful Anyway

Image Credit: Gabrielle Henderson

Open your arms wide, and embrace the gift of thanksgiving today. Allow the vibrance of light to permeate your spirit, blossoming into a burst of energy that floods your being.

Now look, everyone is going through something that is challenging their mind, spirit, or body, be it great or small. We hold on to an ounce of courage to get through the day or through our night, even when restlessness disrupts our sleep. Gratitude has a way of puncturing the net of challenges, that tries to drown us in a sea of dread. We are more than conquerors. We simply have to come to terms with accepting our victory. Nobody told us the road would be easy. Those who said it would be easy were sadly misled.

But, we didn’t come this far to give up now. Be grateful because there is always someone else who is worse off than you, and would rather be in your shoes.

Image Credit: natalie_board

Take Time for These Things

Image Credit: Alex Perez

As I am preparing this post, it is 7:45 pm, and it is as dark as midnight outside. The moon is slowly rising, revealing the new phase of what was once a full stage just a few days ago. Suddenly, I hear what I think is someone making a noise outside my window, and I freeze. I continue to listen, only to learn that the noise is coming from one of the resident owls than hangs out in our trees. I took time to listen, and it connected me to the songs of night that lets me know life still continues its vibrancy, even when I don’t see it. Oh, what a treasure!

Take Time for 12 Things

Take time to Work –
It is the price of success.

Take time to Think –
It is the source of power.

Take time to Play –
It is the secret of youth.

Take time to Read –
It is the foundation of knowledge.

Take time to Worship –
It is the highway of reverence and washes the dust of earth from our eyes.

Take time to Help and Enjoy Friends –
It is the source of happiness.

Take time to Love –
It is the one sacrament of life.

Take time to Dream –
It hitches the soul to the stars.

Take time to Laugh –
It is the singing that helps with life’s loads.

Take time for Beauty –
It is everywhere in nature.

Take time for Health –
It is the true wealth and treasure of life.

Take time to Plan –
It is the secret of being able to have time to take time for the first eleven things.

-From The Bragg Blueprint to Vital Living

Hiatus: We Interrupt our Regularly Scheduled Program

Image Credit: Helena Lopes

Many of us are hitting the pause button for the next several days to take a hiatus from our regularly scheduled writing posts. Now, while this does not mean we have stopped writing by hibernating completely from our writing, art, crafting, or photography, we are simply stepping away to regroup, revamp, and revive.

As we pause from posting, we are taking a moment to heal from the hurts that herald open wounds of pain and focus on restoring our health and well-being. That is important to do year-round, and you don’t need an excuse to do it. So, whatever your reasons are for taking a brief or extended hiatus, relax from the stress, release those signs and chokehold of toxicity, and relate to that inner peace that surpasses all understanding.


your overall health depends on it! 🥳

Don’t Allow Stress to Snatch Your Fire and Passion from Your Spiritual Health

Image Credit: Anna Samoylova

There are so many people experiencing a spiritual recession right now. An economic recession is a significant decline in economic activity found in production, employment, and income. A recession begins when the economy reaches the pinnacle of economic activity and ends when the economy reaches its lowest point of activity. Yet, how does this affect our spiritual health? Does it send it spiraling into a spiritual recession? 

Indicators of a spiritual recession result in a decline in our groundedness, communion, and fellowship with God. Is our spiritual recession a result of us taking our attention off of God, but now we somehow find ourselves weak, weary, frustrated, depressed, and crying out to Him for help?

When experiencing a spiritual recession, you tend to lack hope, energy, purpose, connection, confidence, excitement, and faith. You lose your fire, and your passion is diluted by stress. For the moment, let’s focus on the 7 fundamental questions to ask yourself about where your spiritual health fits in the scope of the recession.

Where is:

  1. Your spiritual security (safety, refuge, sanctuary)

  2. Your spiritual trust (faith, hope, dependence)

  3. Your spiritual conviction (confidence, passion, belief)

  4. Your spiritual priorities (main concern, preference, dominance)

  5. Your spiritual maturity (development, responsibility, experience)

  6. Your spiritual zealousness (enthusiasm, eagerness, keenness)

  7. Your spiritual focus (heart, motivation, attention)

Whether it’s the economy or your spirit, the recession is like the aftermath of a tornado. A recession is the nemesis of progression. However, without a recession, we would not be able to recognize progression, no matter what it is that we are looking at or experiencing. You can escape this tug of war from attacks against your spiritual health.

Need Fixin’?

Image Credit: Peter Griffin

        To fix a broken system, elements of that system must be repaired or replaced in order to operate satisfactorily. Like a broken jar shattered on the floor, do you ever feel like you are broken to pieces you don’t recognize? Heck, who hasn’t? Whether we are cognizant of it or not, we need fixing and constant tweaking for the restoration of our mind, body, and spirit. Yet how do we conduct these repairs before we set sail for the day?

        There are simple and doable tools we can use before we begin sinking faster than the Titanic. These tools include exercise, good nutrition, relaxation, social connectedness, and sleep. When we are deprived of these elements, our system will flash a warning of impending danger that will indicate when something isn’t operating right, is terribly wrong, and needs to be fixed.

Image Credit: 12019 

        The hurriedness, the busyness, the stress widening the gap of absence, estrangement, and loneliness are fixable elements, as substantial as they sound. Just like checklists aid in preventing accidents on ships from unwanted incidents, we can benefit from a frequent self-checkup…a reconditioning…a refurbishing. Can we revive our sense of renewal, get supercharged, and get on the anointed path of where we should be headed? Yet, we must recognize we can hold on to things we don’t want to correct because it’s too comfortable to walk away from, and so we choose to remain where we are. Those things can drown us.

Image Credit: South_agency

         Pull out your toolkit, and every now and then, utilize your gadgets (Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Social, Spiritual, Environmental, and Occupational devices) to repair and strengthen those areas that feel like they are falling apart or disintegrating. These tools act as your lifejacket…your lifeline to survival. What would you store in your self-care toolkit? Is there a tool you feel you need to pull out today to fix a few issues?