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Pull the Plug and Boost Your Batteries

March 10, 2014

National Day of Unplugging 2014“Turn on, tune in, drop out.”

This philosophy, popularized by 1960′s counter-culture icon Timothy Leary, could nowadays be communicated as “turn off, unplug, get outside.”

Designed to help hyper-connected people celebrate the ancient ritual of a day of rest The National Day of Unplugging is a 24-hour period starting at sunset on the first Friday of March each year.

This year’s event took place this past weekend, beginning at sundown on Friday, March 7 and ending at sundown on Saturday, March 8. Of course you could theoretically have your own “Day of Unplugging” during any 24-hour period.

The project is an outgrowth of The Sabbath Manifesto, a creative project designed to encourage people to take one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, and reconnect with loved ones.

To help achieve that goal members of the organization abide by 10 principles:

  1. Avoid technology.
  2. Connect with loved ones.
  3. Nurture your health.
  4. Get outside.
  5. Avoid commerce.
  6. Light candles.
  7. Drink wine.
  8. Eat bread.
  9. Find silence.
  10. Give back.

I’m unsure how long I could embrace each of these principles, but I like the idea of giving it a try — it’s only 24 hours, right?

On a related note, The Sabbath Manifesto is involved with Connected, a film exploring what it means to be connected. Conversely, they also produced “Yelp” a short film that explores the experience of disconnecting.

So are you prepared to unplug?

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My 10-Year-Old Son’s 9 Rules for Life After 40

February 24, 2014

So this is 40.

This past Saturday my odometer clicked over from 39 to 40, changing my age and my paradigm for personal identity. At least it’s supposed to, right?

While 40 is the new 30 (or is it 50 is the new 40?), it remains a significant point in most people’s lives. According to Louis C.K.: “I’m 40. I’m half dead.”

Despite the truth in the clip above, I feel more positively about myself than ever before. While the past several years have been challenging personally and professionally, out of that adversity has arisen a greater sense of self.

Notably, Albert Einstein once said “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity,” (but check with Phil Davison about that).

Upon reaching 40 many people look back at what they accomplished, thinking their best days are behind them. I certainly take pride in my achievements, especially creating a new career as a teacher and trainer.

Yet I also chose to look forward to that which I have not yet achieved; I see many bright days and electric nights ahead. A big part of my future is a huge part of my present: my sons Jacob and Max.

Two years ago I celebrated my birthday teaching a class at UCSB; this year I got schooled by my kids in miniature golf and arcade games. And so the teacher becomes the student.

Taking that metaphor one step further, earlier this year Jacob wrote nine “rules” for life. I am unsure of their inspiration, but they are beautifully simple and remarkably poignant for a child of only 10 years old.

Jacob's 9 Rules for Life After 40Looking to my future after 40, Jacob’s list provides the perfect prescription for inspiration:

1. Always be kind.
2. Play fair.
3. Always avoid bad words.
4. Really work on good behavior.
5. Tell the truth.
6. Mean it if you’re good or bad.
7. Everyone makes mistakes.
8. Never tell a lie.
9. Try your best.

George Bernard Shaw might have been right when he proclaimed “youth is wasted on the young,” but perhaps my son is an old soul after all?

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Doctorious: 2013 In Review

December 31, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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