Colors, shapes and textures of Colonia del Sacramento

One more holiday season passed by being back home, my lifelong home, Uruguay. One month can seem like a long time but it goes super fast when you fill it up with family, friends, 80 degree weather, long lasting days, and countless reasons to celebrate once the sun goes down.

This year some of my good american friends flew to Uruguay for one week to join my crazy family and I for the new year. A day trip to Colonia del Sacramento was scheduled. Despite the car breaking down midway we made it in time to stroll through the old colony and even get wet in the “Rio de la Plata”.

Below you’ll find some of the pictures I took walking around the once Portuguese colony. Sorry, these are not necessarily photojournalistic, they wont really show you Colonia as it is. Before starting  to shoot I set an intention: I was going to focus on textures, colors and shapes and try to make a little set of images that would go well together. Now you can tell me what you think and if my intention shows.

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento

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Fellow retoucher, beware…

It started with a tingling sensation on the fingers of my right hand. After, I can’t remember how many weeks, there was a bothersome sensation on top of my wrist. Then the sensation took my forearm, and a little bump emerged on top of my hand. The doctor told me I had tendonitis and that the bump was a harmless cyst. Nothing that a gentle daily massage on the bump and conscious computer posture and use couldn’t solve.

With my denial and resistance to take action, a year passed by, the bump kept growing and so did the pain.

Now  the pain goes all the way up to my shoulder. A full day editing images makes my arm feel like it’s been lifting weights and my shoulders as if I did pushups all day long. Now that I can’t deny it anymore I finally started changing my habits.

Here are things I’m doing to improve my situation:

* Create a more ergonomic work environment: get a chair with arm rests, height adjustable and has wheels, position the keyboard and Wacom or mouse correctly, have the monitor at the right height. I’m by no means an expert so you can check out this article for more detailed information about creating a good environment.

* Allow yourself to take breaks, give your hands a rest and your back a good stretch! I’ve been using the “mindfulness bell app“. I have it set so that a bell rings every hour. That reminds me to take a five minute break, sometimes longer.

* Daily massages on the bump with an external analgesic oil.

* Be aware of the tension creeping. Try to relax once it’s there.

* Limit computer and phone time.This one is one of the hardest ones and also the most rewarding.

* Train your left hand. I’ve been switching my Wacom pad from right to left every hour or so. I’m also learning to write with my left and trying to do daily tasks that I usually do with my right with my left. Yes, it’s going to be tedious and frustrating but practice patience here!

* Switch between the Wacom pad and a mouse. The hand grip is different on the mouse and the Wacom. Tendonitis is caused by repetitive movements so changing the way you grip is a good way to go.

* Check out your posture while sitting. Make sure your back is straight and your elbows and knees rest at 90 degrees.

* Core strength exercises. You’d be surprised how much your sitting posture improves once you start doing this.

*Acupuncture.

Please know that everything stated here comes from my personal experience. I don’t intend to give medical advice, if you have any pain like mine you should probably see a doctor. I’m just sharing some habit changes I’m doing that are helping my condition and that might help you too.

Mucho amor,

signature Lu

 

Keep Practicing : Mindfulness Screensaver Reminder

Everything Started, two months ago in a room full of strangers with an invitation to cultivate some basic human qualities: calm, balance, care, love and compassion. These traits are inherent to us, but we need to bring some awareness upon them so that they can become stronger and more prevalent. This is part of what a mindfulness based stress reduction class is about. With the teacher’s guidance and our willingness to be there, the journey to self discovery begun. Our compass is mindfulness, meditation and the support of the group.

Everybody’s journey is different, but there is one thing in common: everybody is looking to relate to their life in a different way.

For me, the main reason was to explore my mindfulness practice and to not let it die. Over my years of practice (there aren’t that many!) it’s interacting with all of those strangers where I open up. It’s in listening to their joys and struggles when I tend to acknowledge my own. All their different ways of being and exploring becomes a source of inspiration.

Two months later, those strangers have names. A smile comes to my face when thinking of our time together.

Now our weekly time together is over. Now, we need to find new ways to keep the practice: keep sitting; keep showing up, moment to moment.

In the quest to find new ways of being present, and to bring awareness to the oh so mindless computer time, I created a mindfulness screensaver set. Let’s bring more presence to the computer time that is here to stay!

Pick and choose and change by the day, the season or the mood.

Cheers to our time together! let’s keep the practice alive!

Mucho Amor,

signature Lu

 

 

You can download them all as a .zip file here  . Or, you can do right click (ctrl+ click on mac) over the images and choose “save image as”. Hope you enjoy them!

Screen saver 1

It Is What It Is

Remember, You Are Breathing

Where Are You Now?