Meditation during self-isolation in Aotearoa New Zealand

It has been almost two weeks since the New Zealand government required all non-essential workers, students and others to self-isolate. My son and I have been home together for these two weeks. It has been a time when we have cooked meals together, gone for evening walks and otherwise enjoyed each other’s company. I have also been able to meditate like I am generally only able to during the end of year holidays. While there is concern about what is next, there is also a centering from meditation.

I have made some audio files and might share a few here.

Kia kaha, whānau!

App Development – 7 Days of Meditation Launch Icon

I have been working on this meditation app for the week since self-isolation started in Aotearoa New Zealand. I finally have the prototype on my phone for testing! There is still a lot to go, but I am making good progress while being at home with my son.

App Development - 7 Days of Meditation Launch Icon
App Development – 7 Days of Meditation Launch Icon

The screenshot from my phone shows the blue “7d meditation” launch icon for the coming “7 Days of Meditation” app and also shows my son. 🙂 I have a fair bit of the scaffold work done and am now working on the assets, including the audio files where I take app users through guided meditation exercises.

More to come here, as development progresses!

App Development for Meditation during COVID19

I was thinking of something to do to help, during the self-isolation, so I started on a mobile app to help those who are finding themselves confined to their homes during this pandemic. This app could be the first of a series dealing with mental health topics. I am imagining them as all working around this “7 Days” concept, with different topics.

I am working as quickly as possible, but it takes time to create these from scratch!

App Development for Mental Health
App Development for Mental Health

App Development for Meditation

This is only one screen of many that I have created the last days during self-isolation here in Aotearoa. Yes, I am still working on a mobile app for learning Te Reo Māori, but that will be on hold a few weeks. Back to this mobile app development for those wanting to learn meditation during this self-isolation!

Flutter Apps for Mobile and the Web

App Development Projects

Not so long ago, you would have to develop at least three separate code projects – one for iOS (Apple mobile), one for Android (Google mobile) and one for the web (or desktop applications). This generally meant three different programmers (at least) on three different projects. Delivery of the three projects was rarely simultaneous and maintenance and updates for all three code bases and projects was equally problematic.

Apps for Mobile and the Web (Desktop)

With Flutter, you develop in one environment (the Flutter SDK) and then export to all three environments – iOS, Android and the web. The image following is a screenshot of a Te Reo Māori language learning app that is in current development at Narratives Aotearoa. The app is being emulated (the laptop is mimicking what the app will look like on mobile – in this case an Android device) and behind that you can see the same app being shown for the web in a browser.

Te Reo Māori App for Mobile and Web
Te Reo Māori App for Mobile and Web

App Development Aotearoa New Zealand

What does all of this mean for your business? Apps can be developed quicker and released to all of your customers (mobile and web) at the same time. Updates are easier and costs are lower (one programming language and one project, rather than multiple projects).

App Dev Projects

Contact us before beginning your next project to see how we can help you deliver your mobile apps and to the web.

The Spirituality of Veganism

I am sitting at home with my son, who has been home from school for two days (so far) in anticipation of the Coronavirus working through his school. I am considering many things, as I do. I am thinking of the effects this pandemic will have on our cultures, but also considering causes, karma and many other things.

Experience as a Religionist

First, a bit about me. I am an Atheist (I don’t like this term as it suggests what I am not – not a “theist” – rather than defining what I am). I have been one since 1992. Before that, I was a Christian. My undergraduate degree was in theology and I was going to travel the world as a missionary for my denomination. That thought makes me cringe somewhat, but that was a long time ago. After I studied theology enough to realise that Xnty (Christianity) was nothing special, I became a free-thinker in 1992 and I never really looked back. Yes, I missed old friends. Yes, I felt there was a bit of a divide in my life between my past self and the awakened me. At no point would I have wanted to go back any more than any of us would want to go back to believing in Santa.

Becoming Vegetarian

From 1992 to 2014, I went on with life. In 2014, when I became single again, I remembered my interest in vegetarianism – something that started when I was eight and watching a pig being slaughtered. I decided that I was in the perfect situation to become a vegetarian. I made the transition to pescetarian first, as my son loved our Saturday Sci-Fi Night fish and chips. After awhile, I dropped fish. A voice inside me began to say things like, “What about leather things you have?” and “Can you be a feminist and allow females to suffer for your dairy?” While becoming vegetarian was quite easy, it didn’t seem to resolve issues, but actually created more things for me to consider. I slowly began to remove more animal suffering from my life.

Becoming Vegan

Then, at the start of December, 2018, I watched a video of cows who had been in a dairy walking across a road. They could barely walk. There were many in the video, but I remember one in particular who could only use three legs, with the fourth one not touching the ground. I watched the video and realised that I could never again be a part of this. I googled a few vegan recipes and made overnight oats for breakfast the next morning. I haven’t knowingly consumed anything from an animal since and I gave away leather coats, bags and similar.

Finally Knowing Peace

Something happened. I felt free. I felt honest and whole. I felt a burden lifted from me. Many talk of peace, kindness, compassion and similar, but don’t live it. From that first morning, I was living a life of peace.

The Spiritual Path

The world is now in mounting fear of a pandemic that started with the exploitation of other beings. So many diseases have crossed to humans from our exploitation of other life. Watching the suffering we bring to others come back to us makes me begin to realise that there is no spirituality but kindness, compassion, empathy and walking gently on this earth. If you want spirituality, cast aside the rules of those long dead and live a true spiritual life – committing yourself to (as much as possible) doing no harm.

Online Learning Projects

Replacing Learning Management Systems

I have been working on a number of online learning projects over the last weeks, including a mobile and web-based app for student assessment. As older technologies like LMSs (Learning Management Systems) show signs of age and becoming obsolete, the gaps will be filled by apps that connect directly to databases to record student activities and learning results.

App with Database Connectivity

I am currently creating a Flutter app for export to mobile platforms and the web which will allow students to complete online assessments, with student results and analytics available online. It will take a few years for organisations to get rid of legacy software like Moodle, but the future is one its way!

Mobile Applications and Web Apps by Flutter

Flutter Android Sample App
Flutter Android Sample App

Rapid Application Development

I have been developing in Flutter for about as long as it has been out of beta, but I have patiently waited for Flutter development that also included web (desktop) applications. Why?

One Code Base for Multiple Platforms

Being able to create an Apple iPhone/iPad app, an Android mobile app and a web-based app from the same code? It is a dream come truth for those of us developing e-learning materials across platforms. Some have skills with basic web tools for developing for Learning Management Systems (LMSs), but few of those people also have the skills to develop mobile apps. Likewise, those who develop mobile applications rarely venture into desktop (or web) application development.

Desktop and Web-Based Apps from Same Code as Mobile Apps

Google began by developing their own mobile apps for Android (currently in Android Studio). They eventually got into hybrid app development (Android and Apple). Now they have an early release of this same software, Flutter, that will export to web and desktop apps, too. So, develop one product (cade-base) and export to both major mobile platform and the web! Excellent!

Flutter Web Sample App
Flutter Web Sample App

Wellington Grief and Bereavement Counselling

Listening to my heart

My heart has been drawn to grief and bereavement work for a number of years. Counselling is my passion and within this I have felt the pull towards helping those suffering through the loss of loved ones. How does this look?

Grief and Bereavement Counselling

There are a number of counselling techniques and modalities that can help those learning to live with loss and one of the ones I have been recently exploring is “Re-membering” from Narrative Therapy. I will write a bit about this, but this approach allows individuals to focus on the memories of the lost loved one (or the person with whom the relationship was problematic). I will be working on this topic on this site a bit.

Wellington Counselling

If you have experienced a loss and are having difficulty coping, contact us to see how we might be able to help. You don’t need to suffer alone!

Family Therapy Wellington

What is a family?

The definition of family has changed significantly over the years. For my grandparents, extended family lived together, with grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren. For my parents, there was the nuclear family. Now, family can mean many things and in New Zealand includes whānau. Family can be couples without children, families can be same sex couples (with or without children), families can be those who choose to join together outside of traditional concepts (such as those in polyamorous relationships) – there are many possibilities. However you define your family, we are here in Wellington to help when times get tough.

What is therapy?

Therapy or counselling involves helping people with personal mental health issues and interpersonal (relationship) issues. Some counselling follows very strict outlines, assuming the therapist is the “expert” in counsellling. Other modalities, such as Narrative Therapy, assume the clients are the experts in their own lives. This shift can be dramatic, changing not only the dynamics with the therapist or counsellor and clients, but also (some might argue) more empowers the families being counselled to work through their own issues – both within therapy and in future experiences outside of the therapeutic environment. So, the definitions and practices of therapy can be very broad and have significant impact on the results of counselling.

Why Wellington?

If you are local to Wellington, you know why we chose this beautiful city for our services. If you are wondering if you want local counselling in Wellington, we are here for your family. If you find yourself unable to make it to the city, ask how we might be able to help you online.

Why Narratives Aotearoa?

Narratives Aotearoa Ltd has been established to help your family, including by emphasising a counselling and therapy approach that was developed right here in New Zealand and Australia – Narrative Therapy. The Australian and Kiwi therapists who started Narrative Therapy were working with families and realised that they could develop new ways to help their clients. We extend that tradition of service to families by offering Narrative Therapy to whānau in Wellington.

If you are looking for family therapy in Wellington, contact us to see how we can help!