tech edit

Why the switch?

This blog uses Jekyll, a static website generator framework, to generate the necessary files which are hosted in GitHub Pages. This post explains the reasons that made me switch from Github pages’ default building mechanism to Github Actions.

While I was trying to resolve a few dependabot security issues which were about a few gems that I was using, I decided to move this blog to the latest jekyll version which is 4.2.0 at the time of this post. Github, for security reasons, doesn’t allow you to move to any jekyll version and will only allow you to use whitelisted ruby gems/plugins.

I am not upgrading the blog site very often, you can probably tell as I am not blogging quite often either. Hence, I wanted to upgrade to the latest and forget about it for a while. Thankfully, the process of achieving this is documented quite well on Jekyll’s website.

The switch and upgrade was quite straightforward. It also works with the latest/stable Ruby (3.0) which is quite cool as I always had some issues with gem incompatibilities. Github needs a yaml file in a specific directory in order to setup your action. Other than that, a GitHub token is needed to be registered in your repository settings. This gives it permissions for public repositories that you own(specifically to update the gh-pages branch).

It’s a great time to be a developer when your CI/CD pipeline for a blog looks as simple as that:

name: Build and deploy Jekyll site to GitHub Pages

on:
  push:
    branches:
      - master

jobs:
  github-pages:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2
      - uses: helaili/jekyll-action@2.0.5
        env:
          JEKYLL_PAT: $

self-improve, anxiety edit

My experience

Two years ago, I decided to try meditation as a way to reduce my anxiety. Eventhough I tried to look into it by myself, the Headspace application helped me ease into it much better. I realized after following Andy’s(The founder) guidance that Mindfulness and meditation has many more benefits rather than just anxiety-reducing ones.

About 2 months in, with daily 10 minute sessions I saw my first results. A noticeable reduction in anxiety. A year later, a much bigger improvement. Nowadays, I am basically a different person than the one from mid-2017. Stress and anxiety is managed better. Anger is noticed way in advance and I decide whether or not to vent/release it. My focus and my ability to “get in the zone” has also become better.

There are a number of ways to perceive Meditation as. Personally, I see it as my mind’s workout and hygiene sessions. If my fitness needs time to keep up then why not my mind?

"My initial aim was to meditate daily for a year non-stop"

If you haven’t heard of meditation before, don’t be intimidated by it. You just sit still for at least 10 minutes and be mindful of certain things such as your breath(in a nutshell). Andy will give you advice in the form of “homework” that you need to follow on each day depending on the pack that you are completing. Each pack deals with a different area eg anxiety, stress, grief, focus etc. You need to meditate at least 3 times per week to get the benefits though.

If you happen to try it let me know of your experience with it. Finally, if you have any questions just message me and I am happy to help.