I recently bought myself a new computer and became so caught up in the frustration of trying to transfer information from the old to the new that I almost found myself in tears. I am mostly a calm and balanced person, who does lots of yoga and uses breathe to get through life’s tougher times and yet when a little piece of technology doesn’t play according to plan, all that practice seemed to go out the window.
Feelings of frustration and lack of control ruled as I did what the manual said to do, waited hours, and the desired effect never came. What did come, was clenched fists, shoulders around my ears, a sore jaw from clenching, back stiffness from sitting too long and a very agitated mind and mood. I felt jumpy as I lost connection with my breathe. I then got annoyed when I tried to breathe perspective back in and moments later lost the awareness. Does this sound familiar to any of you, when technology seems not to work how we want it to?
I was so far from the grateful girl I try to be. Hours spent scratching my head from my computer malfunctioning, certainly was not going along with the idealistic plan that I had created of my perceived future. Rather than being present, letting go of the ideals and attachments and accepting the truth of the situation, I was going into a tailspin of frustration.
Then, I started to see things began to work technologically, and I started to have lightbulb moments about what computers can teach us as humans.
Similar to computers, we don't always work optimally, but there are always simple things we can do to function better. Hitting buttons in frustration does not make us or computers function better and get us what we want.
I ran a computer clean up on my old laptop and was in the process of virus scans, duplicate file finders, uninstallers and more. It was then that I had an epihany about life. In the simple press of a button and a moment of time, your computer is analyzed, problems are identified, rectified, deleted and restored.
What if you could do the same in your life?
What if in the moment of highest agitation at my tech problems (which let’s be honest are first world problems and so insignificant in the scheme of life and love and world peace), I could have pressed a button, waited all but a minute, completely let it go and return to the task at hand with higher efficiency?
Then I started to think of more unique functions of computers, and how they can symbolize actions we can take as humans, to function better and thrive more.
What if the things that stress us out the most and make our blood boil, could be deleted with the press of a button? The good news is we can do this. While these are metaphorical, these lessons I learned from my computer reboot, are lessons on how we can re-program ourselves and our lives to live optimally.
We all possess an in built virus scan called awareness.
Negativity can have a detrimental effect and corrupt our highest efficiency, but awareness allows us to scan ourselves, find these pockets (or thought patterns) of negativity, and clear them out.
The practice of meditation or yoga, is simple and similar to the way your computer does it. Technological devices close all other applications and then look at every file to identify any that are affecting the optimum performance of the machine.
Likewise, sit in stillness and look at every cell to recognize anywhere that is hindering your performance. Notice tight and tender areas and offer expansive space on your breathe. Use your exhale like the trash bin on your computer and move any unhelpful stored data out with your breath.
The duplicate finder, is another computer function I appreciate. If my laptop finds any files that in my laziness or haste, have been saved more than once, it can delete them to stop taking up unnecessary space. Do you have old tendencies, repeating behaviours, repititive habits that are chewing up storage in you? Grudges and anger can actually be erased in an instant if we want them to be.
Another favorite feature of the computer clean up is the archive feature, in putting things behind us, from the past, that don't need to take up space as we move forward. Rather than being tainted by the past, we could live with more connection to the moment. Old experiences shape our perception, and are valuable, but they don't need to weigh us down, and it's more important to stay open to the present and future.
In yoga, the direction of your gaze represents your viewpoint and where you are going. Taking your drishti to aim behind you like in Half Lord of the Fishes pose (Matseyendrasana) is gazing into your past. When you look forward like in Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) you address your future. To archive your attachments, before you release a twist, bid the past farewell, redirect your drishti and gaze bravely forward. Take a fresh new breathe here and then release the twist.
The memory booster feature on a computer scan manually improves the systems memory. What a lucky computer! As humans we scatter our attention on multiple tasks, sometimes failling to truly concentrate on the present. To boost your memory, fuel your body well with thoughts, experiences and people that nourish you and be right there in every moment.
Removing junk files optimizes your systems speed and is so simple to do the same for yourself. One can easily fill up on junk food, but does it actually nourish and nurture your body? For the same amount of calories, you can consume whole foods with real nutritional benefit to maximize your potential.
Finally, the crash log can help troubleshoot performance and stability problems. From this the inference is that stability is more efficient than highs and lows, mood swings, tantrums and energy crashes. Pay attention, maybe even keep a journal of situations, people and foods that trigger a metaphoric crash in your life, minimizing exposure to these spikes, to improve balance and stability.
While technology doesn't always work how we want it to, if we learn how to use devices for our favor, they are more fun, effective, and efficient to work on. Same goes with our thoughts, habits, and emotions.
If we can adjust and fine tune certain reactions, we can live as happier, more free and grateful people. Sure, we are not as simple as computers and much more complex beings with more of an array of emotions. However, if we're able to see ourselves and our struggles as simply as possible, it can give us a clearer path forward in how to thrive.
By Amy Booth
Amy is a yoga and pilates teacher and personal trainer in Brisbane, Australia, where she runs a cute riverside studio and a personal training business. In addition each year she runs a yoga retreat (Bali, August 2018) and hiking retreat (Australia, 2018).
To find out more:
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