The internet is a transient place, and sometimes the things that are truly worthy of our time get buried underneath the mediocre. Loves is a collection of the things I have found that continually inspire and transform my life.
Joy and Wonder
With so much pain throughout the world, sometimes you need to see some unquenchable joy. Watch this video through to the end:
Freedom in Mind
The media drenches us in repetitive stories that inspire fear. Andrew Johnson is a therapist who has created a series of apps and recordings that help you create positive thought patterns, foster more positive emotions and habits, and also just to relax. I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve been unable to sleep, turned on one of Andrew Johnson’s programs on my phone, and then within minutes been sleeping soundly. There’s even a session to induce lucid dreaming!
Freedom in body
I always struggled to swim, despite taking swimming lessons as a child: after twenty metres I was always breathless. The Total Immersion approach was my key to finding ease in the water. Through three months studying Total Immersion videos and doing drills in the local pool, I was able to swim my first kilometre, and soon after that I was swimming open water with my brother in southern Thailand.
Like many people, I thought that running was something that sooner or later would lead to injuries. I never stopped to think why the human body, the result of either millions of years of evolution or the pinacle of intelligent design, would have such a major design flaw. According to Born to Run, this flaw doesn’t exist, but is the result of bad running form which is encouraged by wearing running shoes. The answer: back to basics, with no or minimal footwear.
After learning the technique and running for years without injury, I can attest to the truth of the book. Poor posture and spinal issues run in my family, and I’ve found that barefoot running is one of the best things I can do for my back.
Gym Ball Office Chair
Sitting on a chair in front of my computer for a whole day will, without fail, make me feel tense and tight. Like so many people with spinal issues, I’ve tried so many different chairs trying to find the perfect one that will make all that tension go away. And then I found it. A 75cm gym ball.
There is no back support whatever, so your body finds its own natural upright form.
It’s a ball, and so you can’t help but rock around and gently bounce.
Since switching to this ball I’ve found that sitting actually makes me feel better, rather than so much worse like it used to.
Since I spend so much of my life in front of a monitor, it makes sense to pay for quality software that makes the job easier. Here are a few of my absolute favourites:
1Password. Like so many people, I thought the idea of a password manager was stupid until I tried it. To put it briefly, a password manager will encourage you to follow good security practice as you use your computer. It almost makes it fun.
Beyond Compare. I first got this for syncing ftp directories, but it is also brilliant for comparing files and directories to discover and merge differences. That doesn’t sound like much, but it is such a versatile tool that I find myself using at least once a week.
Fastmail. Gmail is a fantastic service, but I don’t like the idea of Google knowing more about me than my wife. I’ve been using fastmail since 2006 and the small annual fee I pay is well worth it for fast, powerful email.
I love all kinds of whisky, and I like beer, but the drink that makes me feel most alive is Kombucha. I’ve been brewing this stuff at home for years, and it never fails to make me feel better.