#79 Go to the Library

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#79

Go to the Library

In this digital age of Kindle and e-readers and Amazon’s ability to deliver hard copy books to us in 48 hours or less, our jaunts to the library are far and few between for most of us. What was once a weekly trek to replace the books that I’d devoured in in short time has become a rare occurrence. Sadly, I must admit that it’s my loss – not taking the time to enjoy browsing the rows of hard bound books – running my fingers along the spines and choosing carefully, a new book to read.

Libraries appeal to our senses in a way the a laptop connected to the internet never can.

Aromas

There’s something whole-hearted about being in a library. That smell, the aroma of paper and glue, of dust and ink. If it was a glass of wine it may have hints of acidity and grass or vanilla and smoke. The old ones are my favorite as that old inviting scent seems to have permeated the walls.

Comfort

They seem to have more nooks and crannies that allow you to hide, or escape with a book. It’s one of my favorite places to go if I need to concentrate on a project as I hope that the collective wisdom, represented by the volumes of information will guide me.

Sounds

The hushed quiet is reassuring in some way. It’s as if we must be still in order to absorb what our eyes are experiencing. The complimentary noises of books opening and closing, of being moved around on the shelves, and of people searching connects to our brain in a way that may remind it to scour for its own collection of information. It’s as if sitting in a library reminds us to dig deeper into our own knowledge banks.

History

There’s a bit of history in libraries that has yet to be captured by the world wide web. Certainly, we’re not yet at the point where each and every book has been scanned electronically. There are historical collections of newspapers, magazines, and lessor known copy that exist in libraries – especially the larger ones – that can offer a historical perspective unavailable in our technology. There’s something magical about holding a book published in 1940 and understanding that it’s been moved around our culture and literally shared by thousands of people since. Touching it connects you to that history – joining your combined energy and adding your own historical fingerprint.

If we don’t make the effort to continue to support these institutions, they will disappear and the world will lose part of its vitality; an element of its heartbeat. So, the next time you pass by… make the effort and take some time to…

Go to the library.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#116 Give Someone a Back Rub

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#116

Give someone a back rub

Remember that saying “it’s better to give than to receive”? While most people I know enjoy receiving a back rub, it’s also quite nice to earnestly give one.

Aside from foreplay

Back in the day – before ‘hookups’ were a truly a casual thing, this is the ‘intimate gesture’ that often served as a ‘hint’ that more touching might be welcomed – at least in my experience – although the initiation of sex is NOT what this suggestion is really about.

Intimacy

When we gently and slowly massage the bare skin of another human that we feel connected to, it can be a very intimate experience. This exercise is encouraged as a way to build physical intimacy with someone without the expectation or culmination of sexual activity (although if you are moved… by all means).

How To

When I make this suggestion in couples therapy, I will sometimes hear resistance by an individuals declaration that they have weak hands and I send them directly to the internet to learn how to give a back rub. It turns out that strong hands are not a requirement for a relaxing, stress reducing, or even a seductive back rub. They may be if you are seeking sore muscle treatment in which case, see a trained massage therapist. Indeed, a good back rub is more about the caress of the skin, slight pressure moving in a particular direction, and the intention of the touch. Most anyone can give a good back rub with a bit of practice.

Benefits

At first glance, one might think that the receiver is the only one who tends to benefit from a back rub but for the giver – there’s opportunity as well. Making a connection with someone you care about may be the most obvious. Making the time for your friend or partner let’s them know you put them first from time to time and that gesture reinforces the relationship you are also a part of. Initiating a selfless gesture of providing pleasure to someone you care for keeps you grounded and focused beyond only your needs, encouraging a Eudamonic sense of well-being. The act of physically touching another person with compassion and gentleness can be physically (not sexual) pleasurable for you as well. Indeed, there’s hardly a downside when you make the effort to …

Give someone a back rub.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.