September 14, 2012

My hAPPy place

Last night, a machine ate my tape, possibly destroying footage I won't be able to replace. My voice recorder failed to capture an interview, leaving me to struggle and scribble quotes from memory. My appointment for this morning cancelled, so I'll have to push plans back.

And I'm feeling groovy.

If this series of unfortunate events had happened on the same day last year, I don't think I would've held up so well. But the past few months have been filled with lessons of keeping perspective and mindfulness. I'm not claiming to be above stress or conflict (which may not even be a worthwhile goal), however, a number of activities have brought me to a place where I can maintain some amount of calm.

Perhaps it's no surprise, as I am a creative communications student, that these activities come with apps? Where once a guru, trainer or mentor guided you on a quest of personal growth, mobile applications now make it possible to carry around a pocket-sized coach who will encourage you to keep a level head.

Here are some of the apps (not miracle cure-alls) helping me find balance these days.


I'm a casual jogger with hopes of running a marathon one day. So... just like every other casual jogger. RunKeeper might make that happen, though. It's my coach, trainer, cheerleader and one of a host of running apps (do you have one you like?). Using GPS, it tracks my running, calling out directions if I'm using a preprogrammed route, letting me know how many kilometres I've gone, mapping my pace.

But it goes further, connecting me with other local runners so I can encourage them (and they can encourage me) when we complete activities. The Facebook integration is seamless. And it's free, unless you'd like to pay to take one of the classes devised by RunKeeper instructors (I haven't tried one yet, though I might in the new year as local marathons approach).

If you check it out, add me to your "Street Team" and we can go jogging together, even if we're miles apart.


This is the app used by the Winnipeg Public Library to download it's ebook collection - the rapidly growing future of libraries. By logging in to your online account, you can view the available titles and create a wishlist. Anytime a book/audiobook you want to enjoy becomes available, you download it and it's yours for a set number of days. No travelling to the library, no late fees, no problems.

I'd like to recommend Wherever you go, there you are by John Kabat-Zin et al. It's a discussion on mindfulness, as well as exercises to help you build meditation and awareness of the beauty of life into your daily routine. Ever take seven minutes to eat a raisin?

Are there any ebooks on Overdrive you'd recommend? I'm busy these days, but that's where the wishlist comes in handy.


Right, right — the app that makes everyone think they're a professional photographer. Why would you jump on the bandwagon of a sure-to-fade fad?

First, Instagram doesn't seem to be fading, growing at the rate of a user a second in the spring of 2012.

And while it certainly isn't guaranteed to make you a better photographer (though the practice it promotes can't hurt), it does offer you a chance to see the world around you in a new light — literally, with the use of filters. Three months after joining Instagram, I've found more beautiful sights in Winnipeg than I did after 12 years of living here.

A large part of mindfulness is slowing down to appreciate the wonder and beauty of the world around us. Instagram has helped me do that with a couple of clicks.

Are you on Instagram? Follow me (mtenbruggencate) and I'll follow you back.

1 comment:

  1. You might consider checking out the Nike+ app, too. :)