Posts tagged as:


A reader just wrote and told me that he was trying my focusing/relaxing exercise for his shoulders–but he suspected that his own tension was from hunching over his laptop.  I wrote back with what I’ve done myself about the laptop-in-lap problem.  At some point in the ensuing interaction I realized that this might be helpful to others, so here ’tis:

Start with a compact, lightweight laptop-sized USB keyboard.  Mine’s a Datavision with super-easy key action–I can type on this thing for hours without wearing out my fingers.

Next add a good solid music stand that will let you adjust its height.  Mine is made by Proline and is stable, portable, and highly adjustable.    Since it’s made from aluminum, it also keeps the laptop cool.   Adjust the height of the music stand so that when you put your laptop on it, your eyes are at the same height as the screen when you are sitting comfortably.

Plug the keyboard into your USB port, put it in your lap, sit back, and enjoy.

There’s one last important detail: taking good care of your eyes.  It works wonders to look away from the screen every 20 or 30 minutes.   But it can be hard to remember to do that.  Easy solution: a desktop timer/reminder.  I’ve been using OneAlert.  Besides guarding my eyes, it helps me remember to take out the recycling and water the plants, too. :)

Total cost?  Just over $100.

If you have other good tips which can make using a laptop more ergonomic, please share them in a comment below.


[Yesterday in my post about restorative walking, I mentioned ‘emptying the shoulders’ in passing.  A reader picked up on the phrase and commented on it, which prompted me to write more about it today.]

Notice how your shoulders feel right now.

If you’re really lucky, they may feel like you haven’t got a care in the world.  But for most of us, there will be tension.

Exactly what that tension feels like, will be different for each person, different even day to day.  The imagery that goes with emptying your shoulders of tension will be different too.

For some people the experience of tension in the shoulders might feel like a hot fullness.  For others it might be a feeling of heaviness.  For someone else, the shoulders might feel frozen.  Another might experience it as a tight pain.

My reader from yesterday had a lovely image of letting the tension drain out like a hot liquid.

For someone who experiences it as heaviness, it might feel good to visualize removing a heavy backpack.

For someone whose shoulders feel really frozen and tight, emptying the shoulders might feel like letting them melt and become fluid.

If you start by feeling how it is in your shoulders right now, then you can invite the right way of emptying them to come to you.  Don’t think it out.  Just let your curiosity play a little: ‘I wonder how…’.  Leave a little open space for the question while you stay with the feeling as it is.

I’m paying attention to my own shoulders right now.  The feeling is a little prickly.  I see an image of a burr.

I wait for a moment with that image and the sensation that goes with it…

I see myself picking burrs out of a sweater.  A grey sweater.  (The imagery can be vey specific and the little details can be oddly powerful.  Something about it being a sweater, and grey, is right for this moment so I take it in just like that.)

The image comes of someone sitting behind me, picking burrs out of the grey sweater across my shoulders.  Lots of little burrs.  It feels great!

I’m stretchng, and yawning.


restorative walking 101

October 25, 2009

This past week, I was dealing with a difficult, time-consuming situation.  By the time I could step back a little I was drained of energy.  My body was tense and tight.  I needed a restorative walk. I just got back from that walk feeling balanced, relaxed, and at peace.  I’d like to share with you […]

Read the rest →