Thursday, October 28, 2021

A Tap on the Wrist

Mind, Body and Spirit

“I follow three rules: do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.”

                          ~ Lou Holtz

Photos by Laurie Kasperbauer

I bought myself an Apple watch. The purchase was not done on impulse, in fact, I deliberated on the swanky accessory for a long time. Would I wear it every day? I think so. Would I be afraid of breaking it? Probably. Do I need all the gadgetry? Doubt it. I’d be more “connected,” but is that something I really want? Not sure. So, I went online and read some reviews and learned a bit about what the watch can do and I admit, I was impressed. Then I viewed a video about how a man was saved from being lost at sea by his Apple watch. And a teenage boy was alerted to a life-threatening heart condition, because he was wearing his Apple watch. And a young woman and her child were saved from a devastating car crash because she called for emergency help from her watch. Great marketing, I decided. Then I asked my husband what he thought. He said, when he sees an Apple watch on the wrist of a woman, he finds it kind of sexy. What??? I went out and bought one the next day.

I’ve had my watch now for a few weeks and I’m just going to admit that I really, really like it. I confess I am a little afraid I might drop it on the tile floor or smash it under a 15-pound dumbbell, but that hasn’t stopped me from wearing it every day because I love how it not only tells the time, forecasts the weather, gives me news updates, let’s me know when I’m getting a phone call or text (that I can actually answer from my watch), and records the steps I take each day; it also monitors my heart rate and my activity level. My watch encourages me to move and to breathe and to stand up and walk, if I’ve been sitting too long. On my first day wearing the watch, I was at my desk, embedded in office work. With eyes dialed in to the computer screen, and rear-end nested in my faux leather chair, I was startled by a tap on the wrist. I looked down at my watch where a message told me I should breathe. Great advice from an accessory. So, I stopped what I was doing, corrected my seated posture, closed my eyes and meditated for exactly one minute. “Congratulations!” praised my device. And I thought to myself, I am a yoga instructor who encourages movement and mindful breathing to others, and I just took instruction from a watch.

I’m not too proud to admit that reminders to do the right thing are sometimes necessary for me. Obviously. And my watch has become a gentle task-master and motivator to work a little harder to do what’s best for my personal health and well-being. Now if only my fancy time-keeper could sense the action of me raising a handful of M&M’s to my mouth and give me a jarring, cattle-prod ZAP before I dumped the sugar down my throat, it would be perfect. Actually, I think it needs one more thing…

How about a slap to the wrist when I’m about to say something unkind or hurtful? Maybe there should be a goal for daily acts of kindness or generosity. What if every time I expressed gratitude or compassion it could be registered and recorded? Would I then be roused to be more appreciative or considerate? Can a tech device encourage humanity in a population suffering from personal disconnect? Could the disciplines of tolerance and acceptance be garnered through an electronic appliance?

Our country spends more than three trillion dollars a year on health care. That’s more than $10,000 per person. Imagine using a small fraction of that money to give every person a device to wear on their wrist, with direct contact to their pulse? Preposterous, right? Absolutely ridiculous, for sure. But our pulse is representative of our heart, the epi-center of our personal health and well-being, and our heart has a direct line to our brain which guides our actions. What if a gentle tap to the wrist reminds us to move our bodies, to breathe in peacefulness, or to smile at a stranger? What if we were more motivated to share and to care and to give thanks and to spread kindness? What if we became a healthier nation? Just suppose that a tap on the wrist, a few times a day, helped foster acceptance and drive out hate. Preposterous, yes, but it has to start somewhere…

Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.

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