Are You in Tune With Nature?
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Are You in Tune With Nature?Lessons from a Lakota on our kinship with Mother Earth.
The evening was cool and crisp, with a light easterly breeze. Tree limbs moved lazily with the wind, swaying with a hypnotic, almost spiritual motion that brought peace of heart and mind to those in tune with nature. The moon had risen high in the sky and was perched behind a thick, gray rain cloud that changed shapes as it gradually made its way across the evening sky. The moonbeams, the clouds, and the wind all worked together to create dancing shadows that leaped and flickered across the valley below. The gentle chirping of crickets and songs of the cicadas were the only sounds that broke the silence at Paha Sapa. It was at times like these that you knew why these hills were sacred and were called the heart of everything that is.
David and the Man sat beneath the giant oak where David had learned the secret of happiness. The Man chanted softly, and his tone mixed with the sounds of nature in perfect harmony. They had not spoken for many hours. Together they had watched the sun sink below the horizon and had greeted the night with silence. In his heart, David felt peace. He looked to the stars and saw their mystery; he felt the strength of the wind on his face and heard Wakantanka in the creatures of the night. He was awed by this place, yet he felt as if he belonged here.
Finally, as the evening drew on, David spoke. “I have a question.”
“I was wondering how much everything has changed since you were a young boy.”
The Man sighed and looked at the ground. He seemed almost saddened by his answer. “They have changed very much.”
“In many ways.”
“Tell me, what were our people like many years ago?”
The Man thought for a long while. “We were much closer to Mother Earth in the past. Our ways have been slowly forgotten or neglected. There are too many who feel they do not have a place in the world of today.”
In his heart, David knew the words were true. People do not feel a kinship with the world. What was it his father said? A man’s heart becomes hard when it’s taken from nature. It changes him forever. It creates a lack of respect for the earth and all growing, living things, and in the end, leads to a lack of respect for humans, too.
David felt sorrow for the Man. The world could still learn from him, but would the world ever give him the chance? It should. In the ever-changing world of today, the Man’s teachings could bring stability and peace of heart to all those in need.|1|inspiration,happiness,native american,nicholas sparks,billy mills|_none|1|billy_mills The Day Your Thoughts Stood Still|Lessons on spiritual renewal.|2009-08-31 17:00:00||0||
When I was ten years old, I saw the sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still. It’s about a man who comes to Earth in a space ship to tell the warring governments of Earth not to bring their conflicts out into space. Like a Gnostic messenger, he travels here to warn human beings to change their way of life.
This movie version of what was a short story consciously draws parallels to the story of Jesus. I have always been inspired by the movie, but I would rather bring its spirit of renewal to our understanding of Jesus than see Christ themes in the film. The point of Jesus’ mission is not to draw attention to himself but to transform the way human beings live.
Breaking free of reasonable, standard, but unconscious patterns of thought is what Jesus was about. It’s as though he descended from another planet to tell us where we are going wrong and how our basic assumptions are off base. That is why we are so caught up in wars and injustice and inequalities. We assume that these gaps in human intelligence are natural and inevitable. Jesus talks as a visitor unfamiliar with this reasoning and offers a way out of our stupidity. He assumes that we don’t have to live with wary paranoia, demonic violence, and self-destructive narcissism—three kinds of personal and cultural neurosis that threaten our existence.
In an often-quoted Sufi story, a holy man is found crawling on the ground at night under a beam of light. “Are you looking for something?” someone asks. “Yes,” he says, “a key.” “Where did you lose it?” He points into the darkness. “Over there.” “Then why are you looking here?” “Because this is where the light is.”
I used to think of this story as a joke about how we tend to avoid the darkness and stay in the light of understanding. Now, after studying many Sufi stories, I think differently. The holy man was breaking free of the reasoning that says you should look for what is lost where you think you lost it—especially the key to your existence. He wasn’t foolish at all. He was simply free of the conventional and the obvious.
And when we break free of our thought patterns, we’ll be able to see Jesus’ purpose as not to form a religion but to transform the world, not to exploit this life for a heavenly reward but to establish heaven on earth.|1|religion,heaven,jesus,thomas moore,inspiration|_none|1|thomas_moore Return to Sawyerton Springs...|...where romance still blooms.|2009-09-03 17:00:00|public://imports/899.jpg|0|public://imports/899.jpg|
Ginny Williams was mad. In fact, she couldn’t remember being quite so mad. It was just after eight o’clock in the morning, and she already had a headache. Sitting at the breakfast table in her pink bathrobe, she held her coffee cup with both hands to avoid spilling the hot liquid. Ginny was shaking. Ginny was mad.
Billy Pat, Ginny’s husband, had pulled out of the driveway only moments before. “Don’t forget my white shirt,” he said as he walked out the door. “I’ll need it tomorrow. And I can’t meet you for lunch today—got a meeting with Mike Wooley. Anything you need me to do?” She shook her head. “Okay then,” he said, oblivious to her growing anger, “I love ya.” He got in his car and drove away.
Ginny didn’t answer until Billy Pat was around the corner.
“Yeah, right,” she said. Pouring coffee into her cup and all over the table, she replayed in her mind exactly what Billy Pat had said.
“Don’t forget my white shirt.” How can I forget it, Ginny thought, you leave it in the middle of the bedroom floor. If I forgot it, I’d trip and break my neck. That’s what I should have said. That would’ve been good. And why can’t you meet me for lunch is what you ought to have told him. Thursday is supposed to be our day for lunch. Is meat loaf at the café once a week too much to ask? Yeah, well, you always have a meeting with Mike Wooley. I don’t care if you have a meeting with the president of the United States, I’m your wife. That’s supposed to count for something.
“Boy oh boy,” Ginny said out loud, “if he were here, I’d tell him what he could do with that meeting. And the shirt!” She pushed her chair back and stood up to begin cleaning away the breakfast dishes. As she balanced the cereal bowls for the move toward the sink, the top one fell, sending a shower of milk and glass all over the kitchen.
The word Ginny selected at that moment was not one with which she was totally unfamiliar. In fact, she had grounded her youngest daughter for saying the same thing just last week. But somehow when Ginny said the word, it was satisfying—rolling, as it did, crisp and clean from her lips. The word also perfectly described her mood.
As Ginny showered and dressed, she knew that what made her most angry was the fact that at that very moment, wherever Billy Pat was, he had no idea that she was even upset!
Ginny decided to lunch alone. Thursday was her day for eating out, and she was determined not to miss it. She did, however, go to Norman’s Groceteria in order to avoid Billy Pat at the café.
She sat at the corner table and ate macaroni and cheese with a salad. For dessert, she had lime Jell-O. Ginny had spoken to Norman when she arrived, but the place was relatively empty, so there was plenty of time to sit and think.
Why do I have to eat alone? she wondered. It’s not fair. He’s always working—or says he is. Is one lunch a week too much to ask? He doesn’t seem to care. Heck, he doesn’t even know I’m mad.
Ginny thought back to the night 21 years earlier when Billy Pat had proposed. He had been 40 minutes late picking her up at her house, and she was furious. She didn’t even speak to him until they were in the car. “I have been waiting forever,” she had said.
“I’m sorry,” he replied. “Work, y’know.”
“Yeah, I know,” she said, “all you think about is work. Ever since you got this new job, you live and breathe work. It’s gotten to be the most important thing in your life.” Suddenly, she remembered, Billy Pat had swerved the car to the side of the road and stopped. Now he was mad. “Look here,” he had told her, “it’s not the most important thing in my life, but it’ll allow me to do the most important thing in my life. This afternoon, when I asked your dad if I could marry you, I told him I would take care of you. I don’t have a desire to work hard, I have a responsibility. That’s different. I love you. This ring is for you.”
Ginny had listened to him with her mouth open, tears rolling down her cheeks. “I love you too” was all she could say. “I love you too.”
Sitting there in Norman’s, Ginny wiped her eyes and blew her nose. It’s different now, she reasoned. We aren’t kids anymore. Billy Pat owns his own business, a very successful one, and he doesn’t need to spend the time with it that he does. It is different, isn’t it?
Ginny paid her check and left. She didn’t talk to Norman on the way out. He had seemed kind of touchy earlier when she made a joke about the “luxury toaster” she had loaned to Elaine. He didn’t even smile. I’m glad Billy Pat can take a joke, she thought.
Ginny was about to start planning supper when Bonnie Pat, Janine, and Janelle burst through the door. The three teenagers kissed their mother and introduced her to a friend of theirs from school. Ginny recognized the girl as Robert and Cindy Wainright’s daughter. Robert, her father, spent all his time hunting and fishing. Ginny had never seen him with his daughter. I hope our girls know how lucky they are, Ginny thought. Billy Pat’s a great dad.
Billy Pat had never seemed disappointed that he had no sons. He coached his daughters’ softball teams, chaperoned their classes on field trips, and as they each turned fifteen, he insisted on being their first date.
Ginny puttered around the kitchen as she remembered Billy Pat giving the girls a corsage and taking them all the way past Foley to Elberta for dinner. He held the doors as they entered and even ordered for them at Wolf Bay Lodge, the nicest restaurant in town.
He wanted the girls to expect the best from the boys they would be dating, and Billy Pat wanted to be the standard by which those boys were measured.
Lost in her thoughts, Ginny jumped when the doorbell rang. Opening the front door, she saw the florist truck drive away. There, on the porch, were a dozen red roses. They must be for Bonnie Pat, she thought. The Henley boy had been sending flowers a lot lately.
Bending down to pick up the vase, she saw an envelope attached to the roses. The envelope had her name on it.
She brought the roses inside and sat down on the floor next to the couch. With the vase between her knees, Ginny opened the envelope and pulled out the card. In Billy Pat’s handwriting, it read: “Lunch today was no fun. Mike is not nearly as pretty as you. I’m lucky to have a wife who is so understanding. I can’t wait to see you tonight. I miss you. I love you. Billy Pat.”
I was right, Ginny thought, as she put the flowers in their bedroom.
He didn’t even know I was angry.
And she was glad.|1|compassion,principles,relationships,andy andrews|_none|1|andy_andrews Your Sacred Garden|There’s a place where your dreams come alive.|2009-09-05 17:00:00||0||
All of us have fond memories of places that we’ve visited in life, places with which we feel a strong connection. Often these are localities in nature where we’ve felt complete somehow or at peace in ways that are hard to define, yet easy to feel. In our meditations or in our daydreaming, we often spontaneously reconnect with these places by simply remembering them, and by bringing up the feeling that we felt when we were there.
Those who have read my books know of my heartfelt connection with Hawaii, and of how I learned to visit the Big Island by bringing up the memory of a beach at Kealakekua Bay where I used to swim every day with my wife and children. Over the years that I lived in the islands, I came to know every tree, plant, and stone of this locality, and when I returned to California, it was as though this place was inside me somehow. Through my shamanic journeywork, I discovered that I could go there in my dreaming-while-awake. My feeling for this place was my connection with it.
Accordingly, the dreaming of the beach at Kealakekua Bay came to serve as my Sacred Garden in my inner world, and through my visioning, I found, much to my amazement, that I could talk to the animals and the rocks in this place, as well as to the trees and the plants, the ocean and the wind. And they would respond, most often with non-verbal communication. But somehow, I could always understand what was “said” to me in ways that were elusive and mysterious, yet quite clear.
I discovered that I could do “gardenwork” in my garden, changing or altering the place according to how I wanted it to be. If I wished to have a bed of roses, a grove of mango trees, or a standing stone there, I just imagined them into existence, and they’d appear. If I wanted a waterfall to sit beside and rainbows to delight the eye, I dreamed them into existence. I even built a house in my garden and invited a caretaker to live in it when I wasn’t there. Conversely, if I found something in my garden that I didn’t want there, thorny vines growing all over everything, for example, or a swamp near my house, I could remove the vines or drain the swamp, even inviting in dream gardeners to help me do so.
And this is when I discovered something really interesting. When I changed my garden, something in my outer life would shift in response. It was almost as though everything in my garden was symbolic of some aspect of myself or my life experiences, and when I changed the symbols within my inner reality, something in my outer world changed, too. I have since come to accept that the ability to do this is magic—real magic.|5|dreams,sacred garden,hawaii,hank wesselman,inspiration,spirituality|_none|1|hank_wesselman_phd Wonder Why Certain People Are In Your Life?|Relationships and The Law of Attraction.|2009-09-01 17:00:00||0||
All of us have questions about the relationships in our lives—those we have, those we long for, and those we are still trying to figure out years later. In the latest of our series of books about the Law of Attraction, we present wisdom from the Non-Physical teachers known as Abraham to help us understand every relationship we are currently involved in, as well as every one we have ever experienced.
In The Vortex: Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships, Abraham describes the powerful spiraling energy center, our Vortex, that contains all of the relationship requests that have emanated from us and all of the components called forth by the Law of Attraction to meet our requests. Who feeds the creative Vortex that spins out our life experience? We do. As Abraham reminds us, “All things that happen in your experience come because of the requests that you are sending out with your thoughts.” Fortunately, Abraham doesn’t leave us with the sobering news that we ourselves have created all our relationships, even the seemingly impossible ones. The Vortex offers a wealth of information about healing the past and making future relationships happy and satisfying. For example, ask yourself what you are expecting from a relationship and consider Abraham’s words:
You have the power to evoke from others the relationships that you desire. But you cannot get to a new-and-improved situation by giving your attention to the current situation. The Universe, and all physical and Non-Physical players in it, is responding to the Vibrations that you are offering; and there is no distinction made between the Vibrations that you offer as you observe, and the Vibrations that you offer as you imagine….If you simply imagine your life as you want it to be, all cooperative components will be summoned. And even more important, all components that are summoned will cooperate. It is Law.
|1|the law of attraction,relationships,the vortex,abraham,esther and jerry hicks,inspiration,spirituality|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Contact Celebrities in the Spirit World!|Did Elvis coach the latest American Idol?|2009-09-04 17:00:00|public://imports/828.jpg|0|public://imports/828.jpg|
You have the power to evoke from others a relationship that is in harmony with the freedom, and the growth, and the joy that you seek, because within each of the others are those probabilities. Within each of them is the probability of someone being very understanding—or not. Of someone being very pleasant—or not. Of someone being very open-minded—or not. Of someone being very positive—or negative. The experience that you have with others is about what you evoke from them.
Have you had the experience of behaving with someone in a way that you had not intended? It just sort of came out of you suddenly. That was you experiencing the power of influence from another’s expectation. Have you noticed the personality of a child changing depending on which adult it is interacting with? Cooperative and pleasant with one person, and obstinate and cranky with another? You were witnessing the power of influence from another’s expectation.
When you train yourself into steady alignment with your own Broader Perspective, you will tap into the Energy that creates worlds, and you will be pleased by the positive response that you receive from those around you. No longer blame others with whom you share relationships; and instead, acknowledge that you are the attractor of your experience. True freedom comes from that understanding.
As you tend to your relationship between you (in your physical focus) and the Broader Perspective of your Inner Being, as you train yourself into the good-feeling thoughts of your Source, as you come into alignment with who-you-really-are, as you learn to love yourself—the others with whom you interact will not be able to buck that current of Well-Being. They will either love you back—or they will gravitate out of your experience.
The most interesting helpers from the Spirit World tend to be deceased famous people. And if you wish, you can actually invoke such past masters to help you. For example, I often call on the famous medium and spiritualist Edgar Cayce to help me with my work as a psychic, especially on issues of health and past lives. In many cases, he’s helped me understand these issues better than any other guide.
My friend Julia Cameron, the well-known writer and playwright, invokes Rodgers and Hammerstein to help on her musicals; and John Newland, the famous director, to help her with her plays. Similarly, a client of mine who’s a young female doctor regularly invokes research chemist Marie Curie to help her with proper diagnosis.
Celebrity helper guides are wonderful for aiding with creativity, as evidenced by my friend, rock star Billy Corgan. Billy once told me that, while working on his first solo album, The Future Embrace, he felt as though he were being fed specific musical compositions from masterful musicians in the heavens. And after hearing his music, I was sure that he was helped, as it carried a beautiful celestial energy.
I know of another young songwriter who invokes the spirit of John Lennon to help him write songs; and just look at all the people who have invoked Elvis Presley—obviously he’s helping or there wouldn’t be an entire industry of people perpetuating his great music, making a living at it, and having a blast doing so!
My mother began studying painting by taking correspondence classes when I was a young girl. She was so intent on becoming proficient at it that she progressed rapidly, and before long she started entering contests. Whenever she got stuck on a project, she sat down and prayed for help. In response, a Renaissance painter named Fra Angelico showed up in her dream state to give her specific tips on how to improve her work. He guided her through one particularly difficult painting, and did such a good job at instructing her that she won a national contest with it!
Invoking famous people to help you may seem like a bold or outrageous idea, but why not? These souls took their talents to a masterful level and are more than willing to share what they’ve learned from the Other Side. After all, Hillary Clinton invoked Eleanor Roosevelt to help her when she was First Lady. At the time, people laughed, but I thought it was brilliant. . . . And considering all that occurred while Mrs. Clinton was in that position—and where she is today—I’d say that she was definitely helped.
Even my daughter, who’s challenged by math and science, has no inhibitions about asking for the very best tutors to aid her, including Einstein (whom she calls on a regular basis). Does he answer? Well, she passes her classes—and even got A’s this year—so I think he definitely does.
If you need assistance in a special area and can call to mind a famous person who’s crossed over into spirit, simply identify them and invoke their support. To do this, get a picture of them if you can; if not, write down their name, meditate on their spirit, and then request that they come forward to help you. There’s no need to beg since they’re in spirit and don’t have egos anymore—just ask for help, plain and simple, and be as specific as you can.
And here’s a word to the wise: Sometimes people tend to act a little silly around famous people and make themselves small in their presence . . . even dead ones, believe it or not. Just remember that on a soul level, we’re all part of one spirit and one family that simply resonates at different levels—but there’s no separation. So when asking, remember that their role is to support your creativity and not to simply give you their ideas. Helpers (even famous ones) don’t see you as small: You’re magnificent, and they know this and want to help you discover it, too.
To invoke your helper guides—famous or familiar, friends or family, personally known or otherwise—focus on which areas you’d like help in and then ask for the highest level of expertise to assist you. It’s wonderful to call in past family members or friends, but be careful—just because they’re out of body doesn’t necessarily make them instantly enlightened.
If they were talented in a certain area when they were alive, your loved ones can be helpful from the spirit plane in that area as well. But if your mother was a hopeless gambler, for example, don’t seek her help on debt. By contrast, if your grandmother was happily married to the same man for 60 years before she died, she might be a great resource to help you with your marriage difficulties or relationship challenges.
Just remember to use common sense when asking for help, just as you would when asking people for help on this plane. Open your heart, quiet your mind, and listen for their guidance . . . it will come.|5|afterlife,elvis presley,celebrities,spirit guide,sonia choquette,spirituality,self improvement,empowerment|_none|1|sonia_choquette Put Past Mistakes Behind You|Forgiving yourself is one of the keys to a new life.|2010-03-12 17:00:00|public://imports/1232.jpg|0|public://imports/1232.jpg|
The power to create the best you and the best life possible for tomorrow is in this moment. You can find the strength within to use the key of forgiveness to let go of the past and move into the future with a new perspective and an abundant appreciation for this fresh start. You have the opportunity to create an outcome for your life that’s of your choosing.
This is true no matter what your current situation. Say, for instance, you’re aware that you’re an alcoholic, a drug addict, a compulsive gambler, or an abusive person, but you’ve decided that you don’t want that. Forgive yourself by accepting that you’re capable of making changes, and then take control. Use the power of your mind to say:
I’m strong. I do deserve a new start. It’s okay to be me. It’s okay to have had my experiences. I accept that this is how I’ve lived, and I’m aware of how it has affected me. I forgive myself now for living that life, and I choose to never go back to it. I will break the patterns and cycles of the past.
You’re not letting yourself off the hook and telling yourself that it’s okay to be an alcoholic, a drug addict, a compulsive gambler, or an abusive person. You’re not giving yourself permission to do any of that again, believing it doesn’t matter. What you are doing is letting yourself know that the past is over and it’s okay for you to have experienced what you did because you learned your lesson. Now that it’s completely understood, you’re never going back there again. You’re not going to repeat these patterns. You’ve changed, and it’s okay to move on.
You can be happy with yourself. You can enjoy peace because you choose to no longer be controlled by your ego. It’s okay to be you. It’s good to love and forgive yourself for everything that was and start living for tomorrow. Create the destiny that you truly know you’re capable of.
You can become the person you want to be. You can change—if you do the work. Even if you’ve been very negative and hurtful, you can choose to transform and not be like that any longer. You can become a committed, honest, loving, compassionate individual; you never have to go back and re-create negativity in your life or the lives of others. Tell yourself:
I no longer live in that mind-set. I no longer think those thoughts. I’m no longer controlled by my ego’s presence. I forgive myself for negative choices of the past by living in honesty today. I now choose to live in truth.
What does it mean to live in truth? It means to live honestly at all levels. It’s not just about what you say; it’s about thoughts, actions, and the way you live. This involves authenticity—to live in alignment with who you know your true self to be. What you’ll receive is very empowering. You become free to live and explore the truth of who you really are as you move toward the future. You’re at liberty to change, develop, and go further in you own life within your own true spirit and mind.|23|empowerment,inspiration,self,forgiveness,sharon quirt,denise marek|_none|1|denise_marek Are You a Writer, Actor or Dancer?|Archangel Gabriel can help you!|2009-09-09 17:00:00||0||
Gabriel’s name means “God is my strength.” Gabriel (who is female) is the famous angel who told Elizabeth and Mary of the impending births of their sons, John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth, respectively. The Archangel Gabriel also dictated the spiritual text of Islam, The Koran, to Mohammed. As a result, Gabriel became known as the “Messenger” angel. Gabriel’s role continues in the world, helping both parents and human messengers.
In the first role, Gabriel guides hopeful parents toward child conception or through the process of adopting a child. Gabriel gives strength and courage to these parents, and helps moms-to-be stay centered in blissful faith to create the best atmosphere for their baby.
In the second role, the archangel helps anyone whose life purpose involves art or communication. Call upon Gabriel for help, guidance, and agenting if you’re an actor, artist, author, dancer, journalist, model, musician, reporter, singer, songwriter, teacher, or do anything involving delivering spiritual messages. Gabriel will open doors to help you express your talent in a big way. The archangel also acts as a coach, inspiring and motivating artists and communicators, and helping them to overcome fear and procrastination.
Gabriel has long been known as a powerful and strong archangel, and those who call upon her will find themselves pushed into action that leads to beneficial results. Gabriel is definitely an archangel of action! She says, “I’m here to manage those who speak up and speak out on behalf of societal needs. This process of advocacy is an ancient one, and few things have changed over the course of time, save for some technological advances. In other arenas, though, art and speech have maintained a constant and steady force, lending power to people who desire change and helpfulness. Allow me to open the doors of opportunity for those among you hearing your heart’s call to perform, play, and create on a wider scale.”
Archangel Gabriel helps with:
- Adopting a child
- Artists and art-related projects
- Child conception and fertility
- Journalism and writing
- Television and radio work
Before beginning any artistic or communication project, ask Gabriel to guide and oversee your activities by saying aloud or mentally:
“Archangel Gabriel, I ask for your presence as I [describe the project]. Please open my creative channels so that I may be truly inspired. Help me open my mind so that I may give birth to unique ideas. And please help me sustain the energy and motivation to follow through on this inspiration. Thank you, Gabriel.”|5|angels,archangel gabriel,archangels,doreen virtue,spirituality|_none|1|doreen_virtue The Power of Your Words|Say it with encouragement.|2009-09-12 17:00:00||0||
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, which is a great social and spiritual organization, was confronted with a serious financial crisis. He was urged by those closest to him to write a letter to his previous supporters.
He might have been pressured to write a compelling letter about how much money was needed in order to make ends meet. He could have gone on and on about the good they were doing. Like many organizations today, he could have filled the letter with the stories of desperation or of people whose lives were changed because of the Salvation Army.
Booth, however, took a totally different approach to asking his constituency for help. He took up his pen and boldly wrote only one word: others. He sent the letter out, and the organization was generously supported through this very difficult time.
Your words are one of the most powerful forces you possess. The spoken word has the power to build people up and give them pleasure, as well as to destroy them and zap their pleasure. Just look at the following list, and I think that you’ll get the point:
You can easily feel the strength of the words in the left column, along with the pain of those in the right column—especially if you’ve heard them before.
I want you to take a moment and consider how you use the power of your words. Think first in terms of your primary relationship with yourself and your spouse or significant other, parents, children, and deity. Are your words mostly encouraging; or are they rough, critical and sarcastic? For an illustration, here’s a way to look at it: If your words were fruit, what would others taste from you? You can pause and think about this, but it’s critical in a pleasure lifestyle to give good fruit to all people and especially to those closest to you.
Then journey down and examine your secondary relationships: that is, your friends, co-workers, and neighbors. What kind of fruit are they getting from you? Then look at the acquaintances and strangers you meet—what about them?
If you question how you’re doing, keep track for fun sometime. Take a piece of paper and record the negative words you’re speaking on one side and the encouraging words on the other. You might be surprised by how the experiment turns out. Either way, you do have the power to positively impact others, so I encourage you to use words regularly as a part of your lifestyle of pleasure.|1|encouragement,words,pleasure,douglas weiss,relationships,self improvement|_none|1|douglas_weiss_phd Are You Leaving Me?|What to do when your lover leaves you.|2009-09-10 17:00:00|public://imports/1015.jpg|0|public://imports/1015.jpg|
Most people who want a relationship believe that a mediocre relationship is better than no relationship at all, but we do not agree with that. In other words, since the potential for a glorious relationship always exists—we never encourage settling for less.
Remember that you feel the way you do because of the mix of vibrations within you, and that no two people feel exactly the same way about anything. It is possible for two people to be sharing what appears to be an identical experience, but one person is enjoying it while the other is not because their individual mixture of vibrations varies.
Rather than trying to figure out what another person wants and then putting your efforts toward satisfying his or her desires, it is much more productive and satisfying for you to be directing your thoughts toward the things that you desire.
Whatever you are living is causing you to make regular deposits into your Vibrational Escrow account, so anytime something happens that you do not want, you send out a request for what you prefer instead. So, for example, now that your lover has left your experience, your request for someone who wants to be with you has been submitted in a strong, clearer way than ever before.
Many of your experiences throughout this lifetime have caused you to make requests, and so you have created a magnificent relationship that waits for you in Vibrational Escrow and calls you toward the fulfillment of it. And as you find more downstream thoughts, you get closer to the realization of these desires. But today, while your heart is breaking, you are going again the Current, and you are not allowing yourself to get closer to the relationship that waits for you.
People are often amazed when we tell them that every bad thing that has ever happened to them in a relationship is part of the reason why such a magnificent relationship now waits for them. However, if they continue to beat the drum of those bad things that have happened, they will continue to deprive themselves of the discovery of that wonderful creation.|5|relationships,law of attraction,vibrational escrow,abraham,esther and jerry hicks,spirituality|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Coincidence or Faith? |How a genocide survivor’s story reached the world.|2009-09-17 17:00:00|public://imports/853.jpg|0|public://imports/853.jpg|
As I walked through the hotel lobby, I noticed a very happy-looking man sitting at a table signing books. He had a warm, open face and such a sincere smile that I was drawn to him immediately. I’d seen him a few times over the course of the conference weekend, but I didn’t know his name. I assumed he was one of the speakers and probably a writer, which explained the signing.
I watched him for a few minutes, noting that he’d occasionally put down his pen and hug the person whose book he’d autographed. The positive energy around him reminded me of what I’d just experienced in a vision of my father—whoever this man was, I wanted to meet him. So I bought a copy of The Power of Intention and joined the long line to wait my turn.
When Dr. Wayne Dyer took my book to sign, he gave me a big smile and asked, “How are you doing, sweetheart?”
“Oh, I’m doing very well, Dr. Wayne. I’m so happy to meet you.”
“Wow, what kind of accent is that? Where are you from?”
“I am from Rwanda.”
“Rwanda? No, really?”
I smiled. He seemed so eager to meet me and so genuinely interested in my country that I felt special.
“Have you heard about the genocide?” he continued.
“Oh, I’ve heard all about it,” I assured him.
“What happened was just terrible. Did you see the movie Hotel Rwanda?”
“Yes, I’ve seen it. It served a good purpose; it made people more aware of what we went through.”
“So, you were there?”
“Yes.” I had to laugh—even though we were discussing the holocaust, I loved this man’s enthusiasm.
“Are you Hutu or Tutsi?”
“Oh…but how did you survive?”
I began telling Wayne what happened to me during the genocide, but people in the line were getting impatient. I told him I didn’t want to hold him up.
“Wait!” he said as I started to leave. “You’re laughing and smiling, but you went through such a horrible time. What’s your secret?”
“Oh, it’s no secret: God taught me how to forgive. It’s hard not to have love in your heart when God takes away all the hatred.”
“Wow,” he repeated. After a moment he excitedly asked,” Have you ever thought about writing a book about this?”
“I, um…I’ve written a few things down….” I didn’t want to tell him I’d just finished my manuscript in case he thought I’d come looking for a favor.
“You absolutely must tell your story—you have to tell people what you’ve been through. If you write a manuscript, I’ll make sure it gets published.”
I think I gulped, but I know I couldn’t think of anything to say. Our conversation had lasted only a minute or two, and this stranger was offering to help publish the manuscript he didn’t even know was sitting at home beside my Bible. Was God teasing me? My mind was buzzing.|1|inspiration,rwanda,left to tell foundation,wayne w. dyer,immaculee ilibagiza,immaculée ilibagiza|_none|1|immacule_ilibagiza Wake Up and Live!|Stirring up the power within.|2009-09-07 17:00:00||0||
One day a lion cub was playing alone in the wilderness while his mother slept. The baby lion decided that he’d explore a bit and see what the great world beyond his home was like. Before he realized it, he’d wandered so far that he couldn’t find his way back. He was lost.
Very frightened, the cub ran frantically in every direction calling piteously for his mom, but she didn’t hear him. Weary from searching, he didn’t know what else to do. Then a sheep, whose offspring had been taken from her, heard his cries and adopted him.
The sheep became very fond of her foundling, who in a short while grew so large that at times she was almost afraid of him. Often she’d detect a strange, far-off look in his eyes that she couldn’t understand.
Nonetheless, the foster mother and her adopted cub lived very happily together until one day when a magnificent lion appeared, sharply outlined against the sky on the top of a nearby hill. He shook his tawny mane and uttered a terrific roar, which echoed through the countryside. The mother sheep stood paralyzed with fear, but the cub listened as though spellbound.
The lion’s roar had touched a chord in his nature that he’d never felt before. New desires and a consciousness of his power possessed him. Instinctively he answered the lion’s call with a corresponding roar.
Trembling with mingled fear, surprise, and bewilderment at the feelings aroused within him, the awakened animal gave his foster mother a last look and then, with a tremendous leap, started toward the lion on the hill.
The lost cub had found himself. Until then he’d gamboled around his sheep mother just as though he were a lamb, never dreaming that he could do anything different from the ordinary sheep around him. He hadn’t imagined that he had within him a power that could strike terror in the other beasts of the jungle. Whereas he used to tremble at the mere howl of a wolf, he was now amazed to find that the animals that had terrified him before now fled from him.
As long as the baby lion thought he was a sheep, he was as timid and retiring as one. He had only a sheep’s strength and courage and could never have exerted the command of a lion. If someone had suggested that he could, he would have asked, “How could I be so powerful? I’m only a sheep.”
But when the lion was awakened in him, he instantly became a new creature, the king of beasts. The roar he heard hadn’t given him any new abilities; it had merely brought forth what was already within him, revealing what he’d always possessed. Never again could this young animal be satisfied to act like a sheep. From then on he’d live as a lion.
There is in every human being a sleeping lion. It’s just a question of rousing it... of finding something that will stir the depths of our being and awaken the powers within. Just like the cub, when we at last discover that we’re more than mere clay and have the Divine Spirit within us, we shall never again be satisfied to live like a common clod of earth. We’ll feel a new sense of strength welling up that we didn’t know we possessed, and we’ll no longer be content with low-flying ideals and cheap success. Instead, we’ll seek higher and higher planes.
In a Nutshell
Let go of everything else if you must but never lose your own esteem. This is a priceless pearl and is dearer to you than your breath. Protect it with all your might.
Perhaps the past has been a bitter disappointment for you. In reviewing it, you may feel that you’ve been a failure or at best have been plodding along in mediocrity. Yet in spite of any setbacks, if you refuse to be conquered, victory is awaiting you farther down the road.
Try to bring forth your enormous potential. You know that it’s there and can instinctively feel it. Your intuition and ambition tell you that there’s much more in you than you’ve ever discovered or used. Why don’t you stir it up and call it out?|1|success,ambition,intuition,divine spirit,self-esteem,joseph murphy,inspiration,relationships|_none|1|dr_joseph_murphy Here a Penny There a Penny|Consistency makes cents.|2009-09-02 17:00:00|public://imports/1868.jpg|0|public://imports/1868.jpg|
I believe that it’s important to accept all the money that comes your way. That means that you can’t see a penny on the sidewalk and walk past it. You’ll have to be consistent in your affirmation, and pick up each and every penny you find—even the horrible ones that are stuck to the pavement with chewing gum. The reason for this is that the collective unconscious, or Universal Law, as I like to call it, isn’t aware of value. If you affirm, “I am abundant; money comes to me,” and then see a penny in the street and can’t be bothered to pick it up, the message you put out by your action is not in sync with your affirmation; thus, you disempower your abundance consciousness.
Now, sometimes picking up a penny, especially when you’re with other people, can be embarrassing, for they don’t do things like that. They’re much too important to accept something for nothing. But the fact that it’s embarrassing is excellent training, for you have to go past that idea and act for yourself, not in accordance with what others might think.
Some years ago in London, I was entertaining a group of very important business folk from the U.S. I’d decided to take them to the ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. I thought that this would be a nice, swanky way of showing them the top of the line. Now in those days, I’d been banned from driving for having too much blood in my alcohol stream, so I’d bought a Rolls and hired a chauffeur to get around the transport problem.
I had arranged for the driver, Slick Vic, I called him, to wait at the curb directly outside the Opera House so that at the end of the performance I could whisk my guests off to a late-night dinner.
Well, as we came out of the Opera House, I began to cross the sidewalk to the car. There to my left was a penny. It had been raining that evening, so the penny shone, reflecting the streetlights and the shadows of those lights. I hesitated, wondering what everyone would think as I groped around at their feet. Then I decided that an affirmation is an affirmation, so I went for the penny.
What should have been a graceful scoop turned into a fiasco. I hit the penny with my knuckles, and it began a long, loping run across the sidewalk, snaking gracefully in and around many an expensive shoe. At that point, I should have left well enough alone. But determined as I was, I refused to give up. I lunged at the itinerant coin and missed, winding up on all fours.
That night I’d chosen to wear a white satin suit, God knows why. But by the time I finally had the penny in hand, I had acquired most of the muddy water on that particular sidewalk. Meanwhile, Slick Vic had ushered my guests into the car, and they relaxed to watch my pantomime with restrained astonishment.
I was really embarrassed. And once in the car, I felt I had to offer an explanation. So I told my American friends that the penny routine was an ancient British custom that brought untold amounts of good fortune. They were fascinated to learn the ins and outs of the British culture, and one of them even began taking a few notes.
All was well until one of the blokes started to pin me down as to exactly how the “penny in the gutter” routine entered British folklore. At that point, I went completely over the top. I told them that it was a custom handed down from Elizabethan times. To make it real, I created a whole fantastic scenario with Elizabeth, Lord Dudley and even Walter Raleigh out of politeness, thinking that perhaps my guests were none too familiar with Dudley’s exploits. It wasn’t long before I had all three crawling across the floor of Hampton Court in chase of the Royal Penny.
Everyone was duly impressed with my knowledge of the more obscure parts of English history, as was I. I somehow felt that I had created a historic moment returning the “penny in the gutter” to its rightful place among the glories of the English-speaking people.
Notes taken, events chronicled, the conversation drifted to silence. As the Rolls glided silently through the night, taking us to our rendezvous with fettuccine, linguine, and Chianti Classico, I thought about the events of the evening. I must say that secretly, I felt proud of myself, damn proud. From time to time, I surreptitiously opened my hand to glimpse the great but muddy prize, while I mused that there’s no limit to abundance when you’re committed to going for it.|5|prosperity,money,affirmations,abundance,stuart wilde|_none|1|stuart_wilde Legends and Gifts of African Americans|From Martin Luther King to Michael Jackson and beyond.|2009-09-11 17:00:00|public://imports/847.jpg|0|public://imports/847.jpg|
Just over 100 years ago, visionary African American scholar, W.E.B. Du Bois asked, “Would America have been America without her Negro people?” In love and gratitude to Dr. Du Bois for his thought-provoking question, we set out to bring together an unprecedented collection of artifacts, pictures, words and voices that celebrate the African American contribution to our national story in a striking new way. The result is a remarkable traveling exhibit and a stunning new companion book. I hope everyone will have an opportunity to visit America I AM: The African American Imprint exhibit as it travels to ten cities across the country in the next few years.
The exhibit features more than 300 rare and original objects from the 1600s to 2009 and illustrates the profound ways in which African Americans have impacted and forever changed our country’s history. It’s a wide-ranging collection of objects, maps, documents, prints, and other historical items that cover a vast legacy from slavery and politics to music, literature and sports. Debuting in Philadelphia on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday in January 2009, the show moved to Atlanta in June. A smaller, more mobile taste of the exhibit will be touring around the country via the America I AM “SuperTruck.” We hope to see you.
W.E.B. Du Bois published his groundbreaking book, The Souls of Black Folk in 1903, and fittingly he appears as the opening photograph in the book America I AM Legends: Rare Moments and Inspiring Words. An oversized volume of photographs and quotations, the book accompanies, extends, and celebrates the spirit of the America I AM exhibit. Through exceptional photographs and penetrating words, the book captures the unique aspect of each of the seventy-eight legendary African American individuals and institutions, and their vision and contribution to the United States and the world. Nothing is more inspiring than individual stories of those who struggled head-on against the problems of the twentieth century—and succeeded. From Louis Armstrong to Tiger Woods, these legends are not the alabaster busts of long-forgotten heroes. They are the living, breathing embodiment of the purpose and power of love.
America I AM Legends is, first and foremost, a celebration. You’ll see the musical genius of Marian Anderson, Chuck Berry, and Prince—musicians who shake the very foundation of American culture. They sit beside the noble work of the NAACP, Ralph Bunche, and Rosa Parks, as they struggle to make the world more just and tolerant. Add the unparalleled literary genius of Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison. Dr. Du Bois issued a challenge at the turn of the twentieth century and the response shines through the past 100 years.
The final photograph in America I AM Legends depicts the first African American President of the United States—Barack Obama. And so we hope to inspire a new generation to continue forward into the ever-changing, always developing story that is America. The individual genius and collective resilience of African American people have shaped and nurtured American democracy, ensuring a more diverse, successful, creative society. Their contributions will remain with us always.|1|african american history,tavis smiley,inspiration,empowerment|_none|1|tavis_smiley How Happy Are You?|Defining your personal happiness.|2009-09-14 17:00:00||0||
I was 21 years old, and it was the summer of ’86, when I first visited New York City. I had been offered a short contract with Bear Stearns, the investment bank, courtesy of my cousin Juliet and her banker husband, Christopher. Only twice before had I traveled outside of England, once to stay in a small tent in France and once to visit the little island of Madeira. And now I was living in the Big Apple. What an education. So many life lessons.
I was so English. New York was so American. I was so young. New York was so awesome. When I say “awesome,” I don’t mean like, “Wow, this hamburger is so awesome.” I mean more like, “Wow, this city, this architecture, the energy, Manhattan, the theater, Greenwich Village, the museums, the whole shebang, is so awe-some.” I was so excited—and intimidated.
Day one at Bear Stearns: I was shown to “my desk,” which I shared with 20 other people, who were busily looking into a bank of computer screens and shouting into telephones. We shared our office with at least 200 more people. A sea of cashmere suits. Suspenders and cigars. Shouts of “Sell!” No one talked. Everyone yelled. It was the only way you could make yourself heard. “The guys” gave me a friendly welcome. “We’ll do lunch, Bob,” they said. I had never been called Bob before.
My induction for my new job was short. “Here, do this,” the man said. My first assignment was to check a spreadsheet and to make sure the decimal point was in the right place in a long row of zeroes. The deadline was “30 minutes ago.” I had to work fast. I decided to use a pencil, not a pen. Just in case I made a mistake, “I mustn’t make a mistake,” I told myself. And so, I made a mistake.
I needed to correct my mistake, so I looked around for a rubber. I couldn’t find a rubber. So I asked the guy next to me if he has a spare rubber. “A what?” he asked. “Can I borrow your rubber?” I asked. “I don’t bring rubbers to work with me,” he said. I asked him if Bear Stearns supplied rubbers. “A corporate rubber, with a logo on,” I explained. He said, “No.” I was on a deadline, time was tight, and so I stood up and yelled at the top of my voice, “I need a rubber. Has anyone got a rubber?”
I never expected such an enthusiastic response. People started cheering, and clapping, and whooping, and yelling “Way to go” and “Fast work, Bob” and “Who are you taking out to lunch?” I was quickly informed that the word rubber has a different meaning in America than in England. I didn’t mean “condom.” I meant “eraser.” It wasn’t my fault. The cause of my embarrassment lies solely in the changeable nature of language and the different meaning we give to words.
Different words mean different things to different people. That’s the challenge with words like “rubber,” and also with words like “happiness,” and “satisfaction,” and “contentment,” and “joy,” and “ecstasy,” and “bliss.”
If I were to ask you what the word happiness means to you, what would you say? I invite you, right now, to pause for a moment and to reflect on the meaning of happiness for you. Everyone wants more tips, techniques, and tools for the how of happiness, but very few people have ever stopped to think about the meaning of happiness.
How you define happiness is vital because your definition of happiness influences every other significant decision in your life.|1|joy,bliss,happiness,robert holden,inspiration|_none|1|robert_holden_phd How To Stay Sane In An Insane World|our reality is an illusion held in place by our beliefs.|2013-11-01 17:00:00|public://imports/832.jpg|0|public://imports/832.jpg|
The key to maintaining sanity in an insane world is to understand and maintain our relationship with reality. The reality we are talking about is not the diversionary reality of Reality TV but the real reality that connects everyone with everything. As humans, we are not all-powerful, but we are all powerful. Understanding both the vastness and the limitations of that power, then acting accordingly, is the key to having our individual sanity contribute to the manifestation of a saner world.
We are neither subjects of a vengeful God nor victims of a random Universe. Just as every cell in our body holds all our genetic information, each of us holds a key to collective humanity. The program for a loving future is here; it only needs to be engaged through our awareness and our conscious actions. Those so-called sins we lamented about are nothing but mistakes—mutations if you will. Like bacteria facing the life-or-death issue of mutate or die, we humans can no longer sustain ourselves with the current form of insanity.
We have the power to choose new responses. While some of those responses could be viewed as mistakes or dead ends, eventually they will all collectively lead us in the direction of our emergent selves.
As adults of God, we now understand that healing the world comes from the inside out. Everything we do individually to become more coherent and compassionate will reverberate in the field like ripples on a pond. Like begets like. As you sow, so shall you reap.
Coherent and compassionate people have no need to dominate others, rather, they seek to empower cooperation rather than competition in everyone. Why? Because a coherent, harmonious world would be in everyone’s best self-interest. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant by “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
For those already involved with personal and spiritual growth, holistic health, and new thought, it is now time to apply that knowledge and wisdom to the world at large. It’s time to move past the limitations of seeking our personal good fortune in isolation. It makes no sense to have a congruent life but not a congruent world. In fact, it’s time for the self-empowerment movement to take an emergent leap front and center to test spiritual principles in collective reality.
Choosing Science Over Suicide
Some 80 years ago, a 32-year-old would-be businessman stood ready to end his life. He had gone bankrupt, had failed at every venture, and had come to believe that his wife and family—and the world—would be better off without him. As he contemplated throwing himself into Lake Michigan, a wild thought crossed his mind. It seemed like a waste to throw away his life. Because he was about to discard it anyway, why not donate his life to science? Why not give his life to the world and live it as a scientific experiment?
That young man was Buckminster Fuller, and he lived another 55 years after that epiphany. He became a noted inventor and philosopher who gave the world the geodesic dome and the concept of Spaceship Earth. Perhaps in his life there is a cue for the rest of us. Maybe we are given our lives not just to live them, but to donate them to the world in a grand experiment to see if, together, we can achieve thrival (much better than survival). Like the bacteria’s race against time, the human race is racing, too. The question is, “Will we achieve critical mass before we reach critical massacre?”
If the physicists are right, the only thing we can be certain of is uncertainty. Reality doesn’t happen until we decide to make it happen through our collective beliefs. But we can be certain of our own loving intention. Our grand experiment involves applying that loving intention in our lives and our world. Put another way, the best way to accept the uncertainty in the world is with certainty in our hearts. We cannot be certain about the results, but we can be certain about our intentions, which in turn will affect the results. As Descartes didn’t say, “I love, therefore I am.”
As ancient spiritual traditions, from the Vedas to the cabala, reveal, the everyday world we think we see is an illusion. And as quantum physicists are coming to realize, there is, indeed, a field that projects what we call reality onto matter. The separation between us and them or between us and Nature that we so vividly experience in our reality is an illusion held in place by our beliefs.
Going sane means withdrawing our participation from this collectively created illusion. Going sane means that we stop enabling insanity with rationalizations, denials, wishful thinking, and misplaced hopes in someone or something outside ourselves.
Going sane is a choice. The good news is: there is a way to get there. All we need to provide is the will.|1|empowerment,inspiration,self improvement,quantum physics,reality,buckminster fuller,steve bhaerman,bruce lipton|_none|1|bruce_h_lipton_phd Happy Earth Day!|Healthier choices for you and your world.|2010-04-22 17:00:00|public://imports/833.jpg|0|public://imports/833.jpg|
From actors to oil companies, everyone is jumping on the green bandwagon. Green has emerged as the new buzzword for hip, cool, and socially responsible. It is also an unstoppable movement toward an elevated consciousness and a different way of living.
We’re discovering that going green makes sense for the environment and improves our health and well-being. We’re discovering that as we evolve spiritually, our preferences also evolve. And we’re discovering new and better methods for providing for our needs, along with rediscovering ancient principles that our ancestors developed and refined over centuries. Surprisingly, many are realizing that going green in their lifestyle is also making them greener financially . . . .
Here’s my simple take on what the green movement is:
Going green is about making different choices—choices that are healthier and create greater joy for every living being, and that will sustain a better planet for generations to come.
Now, more than ever before, it’s imperative for us to experience and express gratitude for the abundance and life-giving nurturing that our planet provides us each day. We must awaken to a deeper understanding that each of us influences and adds to the design and tapestry of our life. We have a window of opportunity to be important agents for change.
Over the years, I’ve heard many individuals complain that going green is too expensive or that recycling doesn’t help. And I’ve heard many other green myths that just aren’t true. So, here are a few green myths debunked to clear up any misconceptions you may have about all this green stuff.
Myth #1: Going Green Will Be Expensive
Busted. This is true for some things but totally false for others. Eating better with organic produce might cost more. Using green alternatives, such as coconut oil for shaving cream, usually costs less than store-bought products. Other green steps might require more cash up front, but they’ll save you money for years to come. Installing a water filter at home and using a refillable water bottle can save you thousands of dollars over buying bottled water.
Myth #2: I’ll Never Be “Real” Green Because I Can’t Afford a Hybrid Car
Busted. With a few small lifestyle changes, you can make more of an eco-wallop than buying a hybrid car ever could. For example, cutting back on how many steaks and burgers you eat can save more energy, water, and greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a hybrid.
With the energy needed to produce a single hamburger, you could drive a small car 20 miles and save about 1,500 gallons of water.¹ Also, just by switching to locally grown produce—instead of buying food that has been trucked or shipped from thousands of miles away—you can cut your carbon footprint way down. (A carbon footprint refers to the measure of the impact humans have on the environment in terms of greenhouse gases produced.²)
Myth #3: Small Changes Don’t Matter
Busted. Millions of people making small changes create a huge impact. According to Jennifer Powers, spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, “If everyone in the country elected to buy one package of 100 percent recycled napkins instead of the non-recycled variety, that act alone would save one million trees.”|1|inspiration,global warming,earth,going green,chris prelitz|_none|1|chris_prelitz Is Your Television Making You Sick?|How to dial in healthier programming.|2009-09-08 17:00:00||0||
Children’s entertainment, ranging from television to computer games, can have far-reaching consequences. Research reveals that children not yet in school are watching TV approximately 60 hours a week, while those attending school typically view 25 to 30 hours per week. When you crunch the numbers, this translates to some 20,000 commercials viewed per year. By their mid-teens, some 200,000 commercials have been stored in their minds. In addition, they’ve seen an estimated 33,000 murders!
There are many known effects associated with this intense television intake by children, to say nothing of the impact on their self-image and expectations. Here’s a quick rundown of the possible negative effects: TV can impact sensory development in a negative manner, increase aggression and hostility, and diminish the development of hearing in young children. It displaces physical activity and thereby impacts health negatively. It overdoses kids with artificial light and can cause sleep deprivation. It’s implicated in poor cognitive and intellectual development, can slow language acquisition, and is associated with poor reading abilities. Television also negatively impacts social development and perceptions of reality.
Everything a very young child sees is perceived as real. Adults know that they can play peek-a-boo by simply hiding behind a sheet of paper and then popping out from behind it, to the total amazement of a young child. To the child, the face (person) has disappeared and reappeared magically. It’s reasonable to believe that to this same child, everything on television is also real. This includes the violence, monsters and depravity that so many programs contain. To the thinking person, television should be as tightly controlled for children’s interests as one might control access to the Internet.
Indeed, TV is a powerful tool when used correctly. The opportunity to enhance learning, to explore the fine arts and to enrich education is absolutely awesome. Given the choice, why would people choose to watch some nasty reality show or violent movie when they could take in an opera, view a nature channel, see the latest in astronomical discoveries or even watch a historical undertaking such as an ongoing archeological dig?
The next time you sit down and tune into your television, ask yourself, What do I choose to watch and why? Are you addicted to a particular form of entertainment, or do you use TV for some purpose like assuaging anxiety? Is it the family gathering place for food, film and more food? Do you gather around the TV instead of the fire and let others tell you stories? And finally, are they the tales you truly want to fill your mind?|1|brainwashing,children,entertainment,television,eldon taylor,inspiration|_none|1|eldon_taylor 2012: Peril or Promise?|The real truth about the future of the world.|2009-09-18 17:00:00|public://imports/850.jpg|0|public://imports/850.jpg|
We’re living the end of time.
Not the end of the world, but the end of a world age—a 5,125-year cycle of time—and the way we’ve known the world throughout that time. The present world age began in 3114 B.C. and will end in A.D. 2012. Because the end of anything also marks the beginning of what comes next, we’re also living the start of what follows the end of time: the next world age, which ancient traditions called the great cycle.
From the epic poems of India’s Mahabharata to the oral traditions of indigenous Americans and the biblical story of Revelation, those who have come before us knew that the end of time was coming. They knew, because it always does. Every 5,125 years, the earth and our solar system reach a place in their journey through the heavens that marks the end of precisely such a cycle. With that end, a new world age begins. Apparently it’s always been this way.
For at least four such cycles (or five, according to the Mesoamerican traditions of the Aztec and the Maya peoples), our ancestors endured the changes in global magnetic fields, climate, diminishing resources, and rising sea levels that come with the end of time. They did so without satellites and the Internet or computer models to help them prepare for such a radical shift.
The fact that they lived to tell the story stands as a powerful testament to an undeniable truth: it tells us beyond any reasonable doubt that the inhabitants of our planet have survived the end of world ages in the past. Beyond simply surviving, our ancestors learned from the difficulties that can accompany the change. In the words of their day, they did their best to tell us what it means to live such a rare moment in history. It’s a good thing they did, because such events are few and far between. Only five generations in the last 26,000 years have experienced the shift of world ages. We will be the sixth.
The present world age isn’t something that will simply fade away into the sunset of a time that seems to perpetually linger somewhere “out there” in our future. Just the opposite: our world age has an expiration date. It ends at a specific time, with a specific event, on a day that was marked on a calendar more than 2,000 years ago. There is no secret about that date. The Maya who calculated it also inscribed it as a permanent record for future generations. The date is etched into stone monuments that were built to last until the end of time.
When the date is translated to our familiar system of time, the message becomes clear. It tells us that our present world cycle will conclude with the winter solstice that takes place on December 21 in the year 2012. It’s on this date that the mysterious Maya identified the astonishing astronomical events that will mark the end of our age . . . and they did so more than two millennia ago.
To put into perspective just how rare the ending of such a cycle really is, consider that the last humans to witness the shift from one world age to the next lived in the year 3114 B.C., approximately 1,800 years before the time of Moses and the biblical Exodus.
The Maya viewed our emergence into a post-2012 world as the beginning of a new cycle of history. From this perspective, the solstice on December 21, 2012, becomes a powerful window for our collective emergence into our greatest potential. Such a moment is so rare that we have been preparing for it since the end of the last world age, and it will be another 26,000 years before the same opportunity cycles around again for our descendants.
The possibilities of such an emergence bring to mind the ancient accounts of the Garden of Eden, a place that once held all of the possibilities of our greatest joys and heartfelt desires. If we’re to believe the calendars, myths, and prophecies, it is just such a potential that awaits us following 2012. We could create a second Eden that picks up where the first one left off.
Biblical correlations do suggest, in fact, that the last time an Eden appeared upon the earth was about 5,000 years ago, at the end of the last Great Cycle. During that time, the planet’s inhabitants had everything they needed to live in balance with the earth, enjoying vital, healthy lives. As the choices of our post-Eden ancestors planted the seed events for everything that would unfold as the cycle that followed, they set into motion the patterns that define our world today. Some, such as forgiveness and peace, serve as powerful reminders of what is possible in our lives; while others, such as betrayal and war, have become the great challenges that divide us as people, families, and nations.
From cycles of weather to the balance of carbon dioxide between the oceans and the atmosphere, nature shows us that a pattern will repeat until something new replaces it. The change that accompanies the 2012 convergence of cycles is a rare opportunity to wipe away the patterns that we’ve outgrown from the past. At the same time, it’s also a precious choice point to set healthy, new patterns in place for our future and the future that belongs to our children . . . and to theirs.|1|great cycle,patterns,mayan calendar,2012,gregg braden|_none|1|gregg_braden Can We Be as Giving as Mother Teresa?|Discovering a Divine path through selfless compassion.|2010-11-23 17:00:00|public://imports/855.jpg|0|public://imports/855.jpg|
A plump Indian businessman, dripping with gold and diamonds, came one day to visit Mother Teresa, fell at her feet, and proclaimed, “Oh my God, you are the holiest of the Holy! You are the super-holy one! You have given up everything! I cannot even give up one samosa for breakfast! Not one single chapati for lunch can I give up!”
Mother Teresa started to laugh so hard her attendant nuns grew scared (she was in her mid 80s and frail from two recent heart attacks). Eventually, she stopped laughing and, wiping her eyes with one hand, she leaned forward to help her adorer to his knees.
She said to him quietly, “So you say I have given up everything?” The businessman nodded enthusiastically. Mother Teresa smiled. “Oh, my dear man,” she said, “you are so wrong. It isn’t I who have given up everything; it is you. You have given up the supreme sacred joy of life, the source of all lasting happiness, the joy of giving your life away to other beings, to serve the Divine in them with compassion. It is you who are the great renunciate!” To the Indian businessman’s total bewilderment, Mother Teresa got down on her knees and bowed to him. Flinging up his hands, he ran out of the room.
The tremendous and simple secret that Mother Teresa was trying to communicate to the businessman is the message at the core of all the world’s spiritual revelations—that lasting happiness springs only from true love of the Divine, the world, and others, a true love that expresses itself tirelessly in wise and compassionate action. The other side of this tremendous secret—also proclaimed by the world’s spiritual traditions—is that this true love of the Divine and others, when expressed in wise, compassionate action, can lead not only to lasting inner joy but also to profound transformation of outer reality. As Robert Kennedy said in 1966 so eloquently and accurately, “Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
When the inner joy Mother Teresa spoke of, the joy of compassionate service, is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing economic, social, and political institutions, a radical and potentially all-transforming holy force is born. The radical holy force I call Sacred Activism.
A Sacred Activist is someone who is starting to experience the inner joy and outer effectiveness of this force, who knows that the profound crisis the world is in is challenging everyone to act from our deepest compassion and wisdom, and who is committed to being, in the face of growing chaos, suffering, and violence, what Robert Kennedy called “a tiny ripple of hope” and a “center of energy and daring.”
Millions of people all over the world are now waking up to the need to become Sacred Activists. What we are being asked to do is not to “fix” the existing system but to radically transform it so we no longer, by our choices, threaten our lives and the lives of millions of species. And we can only do this by radically transforming ourselves.
A Brief List of Eleven Things You Can Do Today to Begin Aligning Yourself with the Power and Hope of Sacred Activism:
- Write down one thing that has made you grateful to be alive today.
- Write down “off the top of your heart” ten things you would say are sacred to you.
- Think of someone who has hurt or betrayed you and make a commitment to work on forgiving him or her.
- Read a short text from any of the world’s spiritual traditions that inspires you with the love-wisdom of the prophets and mystics who know God directly.
- When the text that you have chosen starts to light up your spirit, pray a short prayer that aligns you with the pure deep love that is longing to use you as its instrument in the world.
- Make a real commitment to spiritual practice. If you do not yet have a practice, start now with a simple meditation.
- Now turn to your life and the people in it. Call up a friend who is grieving, ill, or looking for a job, and ask what you can do to make the burden easier.
- Make a commitment to skip one meal in the coming 24 hours and send a check for the money you would have spent on it to a reputable organization dealing with world hunger.
- Make a commitment to find out which people around you are in distress and invite six of your friends to help find out what is needed to help them.
- Make a commitment today, even if you are having financial difficulties, to tithe between five and ten percent of what you earn to a cause of your choice.
- And finally, make a commitment to keep some small change in your pocket so you can always give something to one of the growing thousands of homeless in our streets.
I feel optimistic about the future. Some recent trends portend our great potential for a better world. As late as the ’50s and ’60s, people believed that war was an inevitable condition of mankind. The Cold War, in particular, reinforced the notion that opposing political systems could only clash, not compete or even collaborate. Few now hold this view. Today, people all over the planet are genuinely concerned about world peace. They are far less interested in propounding ideology and far more committed to coexistence. These are very positive developments.
Also, for thousands of years people believed that only an authoritarian organization employing rigid disciplinary methods could govern human society. However, people have an innate desire for freedom and democracy, and these two forces have been in conflict. Today, it is clear which has won. The emergence of nonviolent “people’s power” movements has shown indisputably that the human race can neither tolerate nor function properly under the rule of tyranny. This recognition represents remarkable progress.
Another hopeful development is the growing compatibility between science and religion. Throughout the 19th century and for much of the 20th, people have been profoundly confused by the conflict between these apparently contradictory worldviews. Today, physics, biology, and psychology have reached such sophisticated levels that many researchers are starting to ask the most profound questions about the ultimate nature of the universe and life, the same questions that are of prime interest to religions.
Thus, there is real potential for a more unified view. In particular, it seems that a new concept of mind and matter is emerging. The East has been more concerned with understanding the mind, the West with understanding matter. Now that the two have met, these spiritual and material views of life may become more harmonized.
The rapid changes in our attitude toward the earth are also a source of hope. As recently as 10 or 15 years ago, we thoughtlessly consumed its resources, as if there was no end to them. Now, not only individuals, but governments as well, are seeking a new ecological order. I often joke that the moon and stars look beautiful, but if any of us tried to live on them, we would be miserable. This blue planet of ours is the most delightful habitat we know. Its life is our life; its future, our future. And although I do not believe that the earth itself is a sentient being, it does indeed act as our mother; and, like children, we are dependent upon her.
Now Mother Nature is telling us to cooperate. In the face of such global problems as the greenhouse effect and the deterioration of the ozone layer, individual organizations and single nations are helpless. Unless we all work together, no solution will be found. Our mother is teaching us a lesson in universal responsibility.
I think we can say that, because of the lessons we have begun to learn, this century will be friendlier, more harmonious, and less harmful. Compassion, the seed of peace, will be able to flourish. I am very hopeful. At the same time, I believe that every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes alone are not enough; we have to assume responsibility. Large human movements spring from individual human initiatives. If you feel that you cannot have much of an effect, the next person may also become discouraged, and a great opportunity will have been lost. On the other hand, each of us can inspire others simply by working to develop our own altruistic motivation.
I am sure that many honest, sincere people all over the world already hold the views that I have mentioned here. Unfortunately, nobody listens to them. Although my voice may go unheeded as well, I thought that I should try to speak on their behalf. Of course, some people may feel that it is very presumptuous for the Dalai Lama to write in this way. But, since I received the Nobel Peace Prize, I feel I have a responsibility to do so. If I just took the Nobel money and spent it however I liked, it would look as if the only reason I had spoken all those nice words in the past was to get this prize! However, now that I have received it, I must repay the honor by continuing to advocate the views that I have always expressed.
I, for one, truly believe that individuals can make a difference in society. Since periods of great change such as the present one come so rarely in human history, it is up to each of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier world.|1|earth,nobel peace prize,world peace,universal responsibility,dalai lama,inspiration,his holiness the dalai lama|_none|1|dalai_lama Are You Being Chased in Your Dreams?|What is it you’re trying to avoid?|2009-09-23 17:00:00||0||
It’s wonderful being chased if you’re looking forward to being caught! But in a dream, this is usually not the case. More often than not, the dreamer is running from something they don’t wish to face. In your dream, are you running from an aspect of yourself, something that you’re afraid of becoming, or something that you used to be that you no longer want to be?
If you can’t identify who or what is chasing you as an aspect of you, what or who is it that you’re afraid of? What do you feel will happen if you’re caught? Are you strong enough not to be overtaken? What will happen if you stand and fight?
How you react to being chased is just as important as how you feel about it. Do you stop and confront the assailant, and face the situation? Or do you keep running, confident that you won’t be caught?
The primary objective when you’re being chased is to escape the person chasing you. Who is it that you want to escape from? Have you planned an escape strategy?
One more thing worth exploring: Being chased in your dream may be a roundabout way of telling yourself to be virtuous and chaste!|5|confidence,dream interpretation,dreams,leon nacson,intuition|_none|1|leon_nacson What’s My Life Purpose?|The answer lies in service to others.|2013-04-28 17:00:00|public://imports/854.jpg|0|public://imports/854.jpg|
A sense of purpose is at the very top of the pyramid of self-actualization created by Abraham Maslow more than 50 years ago. Through his research, Dr. Maslow discovered that those who feel purposeful are living the highest qualities that humanity has to offer. During the many years I’ve been in the fields of human development, motivation, and spiritual awareness, this is the topic that more people inquire about than anything else. I’m repeatedly asked questions such as: How do I find my purpose? Does such a thing really exist? Why don’t I know my purpose in life? Being on purpose is what the most self-actualized people accomplish on their life journeys. But many individuals feel little sense of purpose, and may even doubt that they have a purpose in life.
The very fact of your existence indicates that you have a purpose. The key question for most of us is: “What is my purpose?” And I hear that question in as many forms as there are people wondering about it: What am I supposed to be doing? Should I be an architect, a florist, or a veterinarian? Should I help people or fix automobiles? Am I supposed to have a family or be in the jungle saving the chimpanzee? We’re befuddled by the endless number of options available to us, and wonder whether we’re doing the right thing. I urge you to forget these questions. Move instead to a place of faith and trust in the universal mind, remembering that you emanated from this mind and that you’re a piece of it at all times.
In response to the question What should I do with my life?, I suggest that there’s only one thing you can do with it, since you came into this life with nothing and you’ll leave with nothing: You can give it away. You’ll feel most on purpose when you’re giving your life away by serving others. When you’re giving to others, to your planet, and to your Source, you’re being purposeful. Whatever it is that you choose to do, if you’re motivated to be of service to others while being authentically detached from the outcome, you’ll feel on purpose, regardless of how much abundance flows back to you.
Allow yourself to be in the feeling place within you that’s unconcerned with such things as vocational choices or doing the things you were destined to do. When you’re in the service of others, or extend kindness beyond your own boundaries, you’ll feel connected to your Source. You’ll feel happy and content, knowing that you’re doing the right thing.
I get that feeling of inner completion and contentment that lets me know that I’m on purpose by reading my mail or hearing the comments I so frequently hear when I’m walking through airports or eating at restaurants: You changed my life, Wayne Dyer. You were there for me when I felt lost. This is different from receiving a royalty payment or a great review, which I also enjoy. The personal expressions of gratitude are what sustain me in knowing that I’m on purpose.
Outside of my chosen occupation, I feel purposeful in a myriad of ways virtually every single day. When I extend assistance to someone in need, when I take a moment to cheer up a disgruntled employee in a restaurant or store, when I make a child laugh who sits otherwise ignored in a stroller, or even when I pick up a piece of litter and place it in a trash can, I feel that I’m giving myself away and, as such, feel purposeful. Stay focused on giving and your purpose will find you.|1|self improvement,inspiration,giving,purpose,wayne w. dyer|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer Transform Relationships Overnight|Tune in to pleasant thoughts before you sleep.|2009-09-25 17:00:00||0||
As you lie in bed before sleeping, if you will think of good-feeling things from your past or present, or even speculate into your future, you will set the tone of the Vibration in which you will awaken in the morning. In the morning, when you first return to Consciousness, try to remember what you were thinking about in the evening, and make an effort to reestablish that positive trend of thought. This one small exercise will change the way everyone you meet responds to you in the new day. And as you do that—night after night, and then morning after morning—new patterns will emerge, and your relationships will transform.|1|sleep,relationships,abraham,esther and jerry hicks|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Are You Too Emotional?|Embracing your sensitive side.|2013-09-06 17:00:00|public://imports/848.jpg|0|public://imports/848.jpg|
When I was a little girl, my dad used to call me “Sarah Heartburn”—a funny twist on the name of French movie actress Sarah Bernhardt—because I had a tendency to be a bit dramatic when things didn’t go my way. The truth was that I was a highly sensitive child. I cried easily, felt deeply hurt when kids called me names or made fun of me, and was prone to bouts of loneliness and a kind of sadness that I didn’t understand.
For years I used to beat myself up for being sensitive. Like the little girl who felt too much, as a grown woman I still cried easily, felt bowled over by too much stimulation (the kind that came from big crowds, bright lights, and loud noises), and was deeply hurt by criticism and mean-spirited remarks. I hated being sensitive—loathed it, in fact—until a conversation with my first personal coach Thomas Leonard shifted my perspective.
I had delivered one of my first speeches on coaching and had received criticism from an angry audience member who didn’t like the way I presented my ideas. The review was harsh, and the pain of it stayed with me for days. During a call to Thomas, I described the feedback and admitted, “I hate that I’m so affected by this stuff. You can’t believe what’s gone on in my head since I read that review: I suck as a speaker; Forget about doing this for a living; Stick to being a coach, kid. I’m just too sensitive, and I hate it!”
Thomas listened thoughtfully as I continued on about how upset I was, and when I finished, he delivered one of his classic one-liners: “You know, Cheryl, the way I see it, your sensitivity is your greatest gift.” After taking a moment to allow his statement to sink in, he continued, “This gift has gotten you to where you are today, and it’s what makes you a great coach. If I were you, I’d protect your sensitivity rather than hate it.”
Protect my sensitivity? Now there was a concept I’d never considered before. The idea that my sensitivity might be a blessing rather than a curse was a surprising revelation. Like so many men and women, I believed that being vulnerable and expressing it was akin to admitting defeat or appearing weak. For example, it wasn’t okay to get emotional about a boss’s inappropriate behavior; I needed to suck it up and get the job done anyway. Now Thomas was challenging me to reconsider those beliefs.
As I thought about the benefits of my sensitivity, I realized that it had always led me to feel deeply connected to nature, animals, birds, music, and art. But it had also translated into a keenly perceptive ability to read people. With a tilt of the head, a blink of an eye, or a slight shift in tone of voice, I often could tell what someone was thinking or feeling. This ability developed over time into a finely tuned intuitive knowing that allowed me to be quite effective as a coach and teacher. I could anticipate people’s needs. Many times I knew what my students wanted before they knew themselves.
I suddenly understood that there are all kinds of gifts we experience when we open to, and then embrace, our sensitive side. All human beings possess a level of sensitivity that, when taken seriously and protected, can open us to a rich and satisfying experience of life. When we give presence to our sensitivity, we’re better able to see beauty everywhere and in everything from flowers to weeds, in joyous experiences and in the poignantly sad ones as well. We tend to be empathetic—kind and compassionate people who can easily put ourselves in the shoes of another. These are wonderful gifts indeed.|23|self improvement,inspiration,depression,loneliness,self esteem,coaching,self-care,cheryl richardson|_none|1|cheryl_richardson Oh, Mom, You Just Don’t Get It!|What to do when your teen girl thinks you were born yesterday?|2009-10-22 17:00:00|public://imports/849.jpg|0|public://imports/849.jpg|
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the fact is if you’re parenting a teenage girl you will one day be conscripted to the ranks of the least appealing, least smart, least funny, least interesting, and definitely the least cool person who ever lived. Prepare yourself. This will last for several years. In one of my own trying moments as a parent, when my daughter was 17, I was so incredibly uncool and lacking in intelligence that she told me she couldn’t understand how I managed to stay employed! It was one of those moments in my daughter’s adolescence that I will never forget. The comment was hurtful yet so utterly preposterous that laughter was the only reasonable response. Laughter is really your best defense, and in battles like these, humor should always win out. In our case it did, and she and I still joke about that ridiculous moment now.
Being cool is a huge part of the teen experience, and it starts long before adolescence. What drives it is the desire to feel accepted as a member of an identifiable community. Enter teen peer group, exit parents, especially mothers. For teenage girls, mothers are often particularly uncool while fathers run a close second. No doubt this is connected to the drive to individuate and ensure that you’re anything but your mother.
Family life and its participants at this phase of development should ideally provide a backdrop for community, a safety net of sorts. Teens need to know their families are there should they require something that the peer group can’t provide. And, more important, family life, at its best, maintains a scaffold of civility and social organization so that when teenagers get a little wild, parents can step in and corral the beast. However, teens’ peers remain in the foreground of their social lives. And, as a bonus, the families of their friends give your girls an opportunity to observe how other families operate, and to decide what they like about their own family and what they don’t.
The offense that many parents take when their girls decide not to participate in their own family’s activities often elicits a disproportionately negative response, especially from mothers. This is unreasonable, and, to be frank, as far as your daughter is concerned, a big part of what makes you so incredibly uncool. This is a time when we mothers simply have to step aside and tough it out. Your girl is already very familiar with her own family’s traditions and ideas of having fun. What she’s looking for is new data and a real break from all she knows best. So give it to her.
Moreover, when she does have this information, don’t be surprised when she reports it back to you and her stories include editorial comments about how cool it is in comparison to what her own family does. Ouch! At these stinging moments, it’s helpful to remember that this is a necessary phase in her journey toward independence. Our responsibility is to simply endure it, knowing it will eventually pass and assume a more normal place in her social interactions. But for now, you must be resigned to being closed out of your daughter’s culture of cool, until such time as she is ready to let you back in.|6|relationships,womens issues,parenting,adolescence,teenage girls,evelyn resh|_none|1|evelyn_resh Striving for Your Personal Best?|First discover who you really are.|2009-10-08 17:00:00|public://imports/851.jpg|0|public://imports/851.jpg|
Too often in life, we fail to become the person we were meant to be because we’re focused on the person we’re supposed to be. Today, I see scores of people riding on the same merry-go-round. It’s not surprising. Most people are conditioned from birth to be the person someone else has told them they should become. This can be both positive and negative. I know a young boy demonized by his single mother for no other reason than because the little boy reminds her of the man who left her. The son is destined to carry the weight of a man he may have never known. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the boy whose father is a business mogul, a man who has ripped through corporate America to amass great wealth. The son finds himself trapped when he’s forced to major in business despite his love of music because so many folks expect him to be his father. He, like many of us, has been encouraged or forced to take a journey that was never his to begin with. The problem is that this reality also makes taking his own journey very difficult.
Often people are incapable of taking a trip because they’re weighed down by too much baggage. Similarly, it can be daunting to strike out on one’s own, particularly when a family business or profession beckons with its safety, familiarity, and security. (Trust me. I know all too well what this is like.) Throughout your journey, you’ll face hard questions, questions you must answer for yourself, about yourself.
You are not your parents. You don’t have to go into the family business to succeed—or become a doctor or lawyer just because your parents want “the best” for you. It’s okay to pursue your best on your own terms. It’s even possible to do it without burning family bridges in the process. Just remember, on the road to your personal best, you can’t be successful if you’re living out other people’s expectations and continually trying to become their best instead of your best.
It’s time to declare your own personal independence. Consider it your own personal Bill of Rights. That’s right. I’m granting you permission not just to break out of the prison you’ve created for yourself, but also the prison your family and friends might have unintentionally created for you.
Before you can declare your independence and achieve your personal best, you must first go through the process of realizing everything that you’re not. Only then can you become everything you are. To do this you must make three major (emancipation) proclamations.
I Am Not My Parents.
I Am Not My Friends.
I Am Not My Past.
It seems obvious: you can’t be who your parents, family, and friends think you should be. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. As you recite these proclamations to declare your independence, it’s essential that you begin to consider carefully the false identity that has you struggling to reach someone else’s best instead of your own.|23|self improvement,empowerment,success,family,personal best,jeff johnson|_none|1|jeff_johnson Can You Lose Weight for Good?|Take The Core Balance Diet Quiz!|2010-03-27 17:00:00||0||
Think back to the last time you felt good from the moment you opened your eyes in the morning to the minute you closed them to sleep. This doesn’t mean no aches and pains and hassles, but the feeling that life is good, that you can cope, that you have the energy, stamina, and resilience to deal with whatever the day—or the future—has in store. You feel content with the way you look. Even your hair looks great. You’re on top of the world.
I sincerely hope that you have experienced this at some point in your life. If so, you have an idea of your potential. If not, you have a lot to look forward to.
When your biochemistry and your metabolism are in good working order and your core physiology and emotional health are balanced, your body has a natural optimal weight and biomass that is self-sustaining and incredibly efficient. You feel energized, clear, and fit. Your mood is great and you easily shake off viruses. Your appetite is regular, without cravings or binges, and you feel great inside your skin (and your clothes). You have a sense of lightness that persists no matter how much you actually weigh.
This is the goal of the Core Balance Diet. My weight loss plan is actually a plan to create physical and emotional wellness, from the inside out. By wellness, I mean feeling great—in body, mind, and spirit. Real, permanent weight loss can only be achieved if you are well. Period. And being well is the sum of many parts that overlap and interact with one another in a balanced and healthy fashion—or the reverse. It’s a puzzle made up of all the pieces of your own personal history, both physiological and emotional, that make you the person you are. You may be able to trick your body (and your mind) into losing weight for a little while by starving it or following some fad diet, but until you restore your Core Balance, the weight will not stay off.
The Core Balance Diet is a program that targets wellness as its goal and weight loss as a happy side effect. I can help you achieve it, no matter what the scale says or how you feel right now. I can say with confidence that you will achieve this goal because I’ve seen it happen over and over again with my patients. And it will happen for you.
Anyone can benefit from the Core Balance Diet. Any woman who is struggling to lose weight will find in The Core Balance Diet the solution that—finally!—takes the pounds off and keeps them off. And there are many ways a woman can benefit from the Core Balance Diet even if excess weight isn’t her main complaint. If you’re wondering whether it will work for you, take a minute to listen to your body, read the following statements, and answer yes or no:
- I’m unhappy with the way I look or feel.
- I’m on a diet and not losing weight.
- I lose weight, only to gain it back.
- I can’t lose my pregnancy (or menopausal) weight.
- I often have strong food cravings.
- I often feel sick after I eat and I don’t know why.
- I’m prone to colds/flu/viruses/injury.
- All my fat is moving to my middle.
- I feel forgetful and foggy most of the time.
- I’m having a lot of health issues or chronic pain.
- Being overweight is normal in my family.
- I’m exhausted, irritable, and/or miserable most of the time.
If you answered yes to any of the above, the Core Balance Diet will help you.
And the first thing we are going to do together is congratulate you for being honest about the way you really feel. The women I see in my practice put on a brave face a lot of the time, as we all do so that we can do what needs to be done. We power through our days and ignore what our bodies are desperately trying to tell us. The cost of this performance is high, and all too often it comes out of our long-term health and our daily sense of well-being. So many accomplished, apparently cheerful and confident women sit in my office and fall apart after they do what you’ve just done—answer these questions honestly. They crumble under the relief of finally being able to confess that they feel anxious, ill, fat, hormonal, depressed, exhausted, fuzzy, aching, angry, or all of the above most of the time! But I know—and my patients quickly learn—that you don’t have to feel that way anymore.|6|weight loss,metabolism,health,diet,marcelle pick|_none|1|marcelle_pick Got Chronic Pain?|Is your body saying ‘slow down’?|2009-10-20 17:00:00|public://imports/901.jpg|0|public://imports/901.jpg|
Women have a fascinating relationship with pain. Studies show that there are twice as many women than men with Pain Disorder—a diagnostic term used to describe an individual who suffers from chronic pain in one or more anatomical sites that results in significant distress or impairment in relationships and vocation. Women have more sensory receptors for pain in both their brains and their bodies than men do. As a result, women are more apt to suffer from pain syndromes. But this doesn’t mean that women are destined to suffer.
Neuropsychiatrist and medical intuitive, Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D., teaches that the key to breaking the cycle of chronic pain is by understanding what chronic pain is and by learning how your perception of pain can keep it from going away. Pain can be divided into two varieties: acute and chronic. Acute pain can be severe yet brief, and present for less than six months. Frequently, this type of pain results from tissue damage and inflammation secondary to injury. Acute pain isn’t necessarily bad. It often indicates that a change in behavior is needed: Take your hand away from the stove; it’s time to stop and rest. Not always the result of injury, acute pain can be associated with normal body processes, e.g. “growing pains,” muscle soreness after weight strengthening exercises, or labor. Here, acute pain indicates positive change.
On the other hand, chronic pain is either the result of persistent tissue injury (present for more than six months) or the ongoing activation of pain receptors. This can lead to changes in our brain that result in increased nerve sensitivity. Over time, this depletes the neurotransmitters in the brain, especially serotonin, which may explain why people with chronic pain are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. Similarly, people with chronic depression and anxiety are more likely to develop a pain disorder due to concomitant changes in their brain’s neurotransmitters.
When it comes to pain, it’s nearly impossible to separate the mind and the body. Emotional pain can intensify physical pain, and vice versa. Stress and pain medication also deplete the body of magnesium. Many people with chronic pain syndromes are also deficient in this important mineral. Among other things, magnesium is essential for maintaining healthy serotonin levels in the brain.
Acute pain sends a message: Slow down and wait for your body to heal. It’s important to listen to this message. Chronic pain carries the opposite message. According to Chinese medicine, chronic pain is caused by stuck energy (called chi). To free the “stuckness,” you have to get moving! Far too many women remain on pain medication that dulls their memory and also prevents them from doing the very thing that will end the pain—getting up and moving forward in their lives.
Pain can become a vicious cycle in a woman’s life. Let me break it down:
Believing that one’s chronic pain is due to an unhealed injury leads to more pain.
- The perception of pain leads to the use of pain medications.
- Chronic use of pain medications dulls the ability to move forward in life.
- Not being able to move forward in life leads to the additional pain of feeling stuck and hopeless.
As long as a woman believes that her degree of pain is related only to an unhealed back, or neck, etc., she’s not likely to feel relief. In addition, when someone lives on disability and no longer has a vocation or avocation, the chances for pain improvement are very slim.
Exercise (and movement in general) increases endorphins, which make you feel better both physically and emotionally. Experiment with different forms of exercise and reposition your body throughout the day. This causes blood to flow to the tissues, bringing oxygen and nutrients, essential to the healing process. The objective is to keep your joints and spine as fluid as possible and tissue inflammation to a minimum. Ultimately, this will help get rid of your pain and help you stay pain free. Start slowly, enlisting the help of a physical therapist, neuromuscular therapist, or professional trainer.
The “keys to the kingdom” of recovery from chronic pain are available to anyone willing to change their perception of the sensations in their body. But you must engage your will in order to get better. The brain can be trained to turn down the volume on pain perception. Any well-trained athlete will tell you that focus, intention, and rhythmic aerobic movement can change your perception of pain. So does getting engrossed in a good movie or book!
The very act of deciding to move forward in your life engages your will. This releases pain-relieving opiates and moves chi. On the other hand, looking for evidence of disability increases the pain response in your body. Know this: regardless of what has happened in your life, you have the ability to engage your will and move forward in your life. When you do this, you will begin the process that reprograms your mind and body toward health, resilience, and a pain-free life.|6|fitness,womens issues,pain medications,exercise,pain disorder,chronic pain,christiane northrup|_none|0|dr_christiane_northrup Build Your Own Cathedral|What makes a worthy occupation?|2009-10-17 17:00:00|public://imports/895.jpg|0|public://imports/895.jpg|
I have two pictures on the wall of my office. One is a reproduction of the hand of God giving the spark of life to Adam, an enlarged close-up based on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; the other is a cartoon Scooby Doo poster signed by the original voice cast as well as the actors who voice SpongeBob SquarePants, Johnny Bravo, and Samurai Jack. (Check out Scooby-Doo and The Legend of the Vampire at your local video shop to hear my contribution to the madness!)
As it happens, one of my absolute favorite things in the world to do is to voice cartoons. The problem is that for years I didn't feel it was a 'worthy' profession, and I constantly threatened myself, my wife, my agent, and anyone else who would listen that at any moment I was going to go off, quit the business, and do something worthwhile with my life.
The situation came to a head about a year ago when I was on the phone with a friend in the UK. I was telling him about a fantastic audition I had just been on to play a cartoon mouse in the Clifford the Big Red Dog series when he asked me if I wanted to leave immediately to join him in a risky but potentially groundbreaking peace mission to the Middle East. When I brought the dilemma to my coach, he suggested I vividly imagine pursuing both life choices to the fullest before making a decision.
I began by imagining myself staying in Hollywood and pursuing my voice-over career with renewed vigor. In my mind, it was only a matter of time before I would be starring in an amusing Disney series about a gopher named “Sven” who spoke with a lisp, and children across America would be imitating my comic delivery of Sven's controversial catch-phrase, “How ‘bout those crazy Yankees!”
I then imagined myself going to the Middle East and getting actively involved in the peace process. I met more people than I could ever remember by name, saw more pain and suffering each year than I would otherwise have encountered in a lifetime, and experienced a depth of love and connection that brought tears to my eyes.
And yet... all I could think about was that maybe after it was all over, I would be able to come back to Hollywood and do Clifford the Big Red Dog!
My coach then told me a story which although I had heard it many times before, had never struck me as to just how relevant it was to my own life:
Michelangelo was on his way to visit the Pope when he came across three stonemasons at work on the foundations of the Sistine Chapel. When he saw the first, a somewhat dour fellow repetitively chipping away at a huge slab of rock, he asked him what he was doing.
“What does it look like I'm doing?” the surly laborer replied. “I'm chipping away at a huge slab of rock.”
A bit further along, he saw another workman doing a similar job, but with a bit more focus and intent.
When asked what he was doing, the workman scarcely looked up.
“What does it look like I'm doing?” he said. “I'm supporting a home for the woman and children I love.”
Before he could go any further, Michelangelo noticed that the third stonemason was working as if possessed by joy.
“What are you doing?” asked a curious Michelangelo.
The man stopped for a moment and his smile broadened.
“What does it look like I'm doing?” he replied peacefully. “I'm building a cathedral to God.”
Here's what I learned:
How meaningful your life is has nothing to do with what you do, and everything to do with why and how you choose to do it. You can exercise to punish your body or to celebrate it. You can become a millionaire to keep yourself out of the poor house or as part of your contribution to the well-being of the planet. And in a way that I may never be able to explain fully, the joy I feel in my heart when I do silly voices in front of a microphone is the one of the most powerful prayers for peace that I know.|23|prosperity,inspiration,career,joy,peace,michael neill|_none|1|michael_neill Treat Your Genes Well|Or they’ll make you age faster!|2009-10-10 17:00:00||0||
We are born with a set of genes that give us inherent strengths and weaknesses which we can’t change, but how those genes are expressed can be changed. That means you may have the genes for and be susceptible to heart disease or diabetes or arthritis, but you don’t have to get those diseases. There are multiple factors, environmental and lifestyle, that affect your genes and how you age, many of which are in your control. This means that to a large extent, the expression of disease and disability is determined by the way you live your life.
We assume age related diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, adult onset diabetes, stroke, cancer, etc. are the inevitable consequences of aging, but this is not true. Healthy aging is mainly controlled by how we communicate with our genes through diet, lifestyle and the environment we bathe them in. You have a lot more control than you think.
How you treat your genes will determine if those susceptible genes are expressed as disease or not. Like a car, if it is well looked after, it will run smoothly for much longer. You get the most from the genes you are born with by adapting to your specific needs which are genetically determined.
It is important to understand that there are different types of genes. There are certain genes that if you are born with, you will unfortunately be left retarded or have some serious childhood disease and die early. I am not talking about those genes. I am talking about the thousands of genes that render you susceptible to the many chronic diseases so many people are experiencing today. That is, these genes do not cause disease per se unless they are thrust into a detrimental environment that is conducive to expressing them as chronic disease.
So chronic disease is determined by how you have treated your genes throughout your life, what foods you eat, what you drink, what environment you have surrounded yourself with, what stresses you have tolerated, injuries and infections you have endured, how much love and support you have been blessed with.
In other words you can have an affect on how you age. There are many potential versions of you or how your genes are expressed, your genes are pluripotential. Don't use the idea that a disease is genetic and there is nothing you can do as an excuse to be lazy about your health. You can start reversing the expression of known and as yet unknown age-related genes right away. Don't wait until it is too late.|6|health,aging,lifestyle,disease,genes,frank lipman,alternative medicine|_none|1|frank_lipman What Are You Really Eating?|Getting label savvy and reading the fine print.|2009-10-24 17:00:00||0||
I’ve always thought that labels are a bit like clothes and cosmetics. We buy outfits that suit us and enhance our appearance in ways that bring out our good points. In other words, if you have Julia Roberts-type legs or a nipped-in waist like Jennifer Lopez, it makes sense to show off these assets. Similarly, if the makers of certain cookies, for example, know that the product is high in fiber, they’ll want to tell you about it on the label.
They’d be a bit crazy, however, to draw your attention to the fact that the cookies are also packed with fat, sugar, and salt. Not highlighting these points (which are obviously going to deter many customers from buying the snack) is like not wearing something that you know is going to accentuate those parts of your body that you’d rather play down. That is, just as most of us know how to dress to hide our flaws, manufacturers know how to disguise the worst features of their products in order to show the item in the most appealing light.
When you’re looking at a carton covered in pictures of fruit, you could be forgiven for thinking that the drink inside of it contains significant amounts of juice from that fruit. Not necessarily. In reality, “fruit drinks” are often no more than flavored water that’s artificially colored, packed with added sugars, and consisting of no more than 5 percent juice. The moral is not be seduced by what you see at first glance, but to instead read the fine print.|6|diet,health,fruit drinks,eating,labels,low sugar,high fiber,amanda ursell|_none|1|amanda_ursell Aiming to be #1|Putting a leash on the top dogs.|2009-09-22 17:00:00||0||
Years ago I remember watching heavyweight-boxing champion Muhammad Ali on television before a fight, exclaiming, “I’m the greatest!” It was his signature line. Some people felt he was being conceited, but I understood that when he was entering a competition, he needed to truly believe that he was the greatest boxer in the ring. What he believed, he achieved.
Creating an emotional state in which you feel that you are “the greatest” will allow you to meet any goal and reach your personal best. However, it’s important not to be too literal in aiming to become number one. There are few things in life where there’s a clear top dog or number one achiever. To be a champion in life, be the best that you can be. There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition, but to be your best, you don’t necessarily have to “best” anyone. It’s not always true that someone has to lose for you to win—that’s only the case in a sports competition or most types of games. When Muhammad Ali was declared the winner of a title, his opponent definitely lost and had to turn over the championship belt. But the belief I have to be number one is often rooted in feelings of scarcity—that if you don’t come out on top, ahead of everyone else, you won’t reap any rewards. There can only be one heavyweight champion of the world at a time, but there can be many top real-estate agents in your area, thousands of best-selling authors, and millions of top-notch parents. By discovering what you uniquely have to offer, you can be the best at what you do and achieve the results you desire.
A while back, I had a client who wanted to become highly successful at selling books and giving seminars. He worked very hard, believed in his message, and put in the extra work needed to market himself—he had his own Internet-radio program and newsletter and was continually looking for ways to advertise his products and services. However, he had a very strong competitive streak: whenever he looked around at his peers or at others who were doing similar work but achieving greater financial success, he’d come to me and complain, “I’m better than they are, so why are they doing so well?” It was as if he had his foot on the gas but his ego kept hitting the brakes. In fact, he even developed a stress-related illness that sidetracked him for many months. By constantly braking and accelerating, he was wasting fuel and burning out his engine. What he didn’t understand was that if he’d been able to get excited about other people’s success, his own would increase.
If we can be genuine about generating the emotions of joy, enthusiasm, and abundance within ourselves, the universe will work with us to bring about situations that match these feelings. Letting go of the destructive belief: I can’t reach my goal if someone else reaches his opens us up to the more positive thought: There’s enough abundance in the world for everyone to share in it!|23|prosperity,abundance,achievements,personal best,success,peggy mccoll|_none|1|peggy_mccoll Keep Your Thoughts Healthy|Know your inner messengers.|2009-10-27 17:00:00||0||
There’s really no point in living longer if we don’t learn to accept that we’re responsible for our health or lack of it. The foods we eat, the exercises we do, and most important, the thoughts we think—our mental atmosphere—all contribute to our state of health.
I’d like us all to bring the word neuropeptides into our vocabulary. This is the word that describes the different chemical messengers that travel throughout our bodies every time we think a thought or say a word. Every time we think or speak, we produce chemicals that travel all through our bodies, touching every cell and depositing a bit of that chemical in it. (Dr. Candace Pert is the scientist who discovered this. For more information on her research, pick up a copy of her book Everything You Need to Feel Go(o)d. Fascinating reading!)
If our thoughts are fearful, angry, or in any way negative, then the chemicals that these messengers deposit depress our immune systems. If our thoughts are loving, optimistic, and positive, then the different chemicals that these messengers—or neuropeptides—deposit will enhance our immune system.
Moment by moment, we’re consciously or unconsciously choosing healthy thoughts or unhealthy thoughts. These thoughts affect our bodies. One thought by itself doesn’t have much influence over us. However, we all think more than 60,000 thoughts a day, and the effect on our thoughts is cumulative. Poisonous thoughts poison our bodies. Science is now confirming that we can’t allow ourselves to indulge in negative thinking. It’s making us sick and it’s killing us.
So, what kind of neuropeptides are traveling through your body right now?|6|self improvement,inspiration,health,cells,immune system,healthy thoughts,neuropeptides,candace pert,louise l. hay,alternative medicine,healing|_none|1|louise_l_hay Have You Seen Your Spirit Guide?|2 exercises to try to sharpen your inner eye.|2009-09-27 17:00:00|public://imports/3608.jpg|0|public://imports/3608.jpg|
Seeing your guideS is perhaps the most challenging way of connecting with them, since they exist on an entirely different, nonphysical vibrational plane, and it takes a tremendous amount of effort for them to modify their frequency so that you can see them. At the same time, your own frequency must rise to a certain level in order to activate what is known as your “third eye” (the inner eye you imagine with), which you use to see your guides.
People who have a very active and developed inner eye are most likely to see their spirit guides quickly. If you aren’t a person who finds it easy to visualize in pictures, don’t worry. We all have an inner eye, and it worked quite well when we were young—in fact, it’s the reason why so many children are able to see guides and angels . . . although they’re usually referred to as “imaginary friends.” Sadly, when we begin to attend school, we’re conditioned to stop using our inner eye; instead, we’re encouraged to turn our focus outward for direction, which gradually disconnects us from our ability to see the spirit world.
The good news is that with a little effort and some good old-fashioned patience and practice, you can reactivate this natural channel to the spirit world and begin to actually “see” your guides. In preparation for contacting your spirit guides, try the following exercises to help you reopen your inner eye:
Exercise #1: Learn to Be in the Here-and-Now
First, look closely at your surroundings and notice every detail you can about what’s right in front of your face. Why concentrate on physical reality when you’re trying to see the spirit plane? Well, most people are so caught up with replays of the past or imaginings of the future that they don’t focus on the present; consequently, they end up missing out on the here-and-now.
To develop this ability, you need to practice seeing everything around you, which will stimulate your dormant inner eye and get it working again.
Exercise #2: Take the Time to Daydream
As children, we all participated in “woolgathering,” and in doing so, we often left our bodies and connected to (and even played with) our spirit guides. The most debilitating instruction we ever received as children was to “stop daydreaming!” And when we did, we disconnected from the healers, angels, and spirit friends who were helping us.
Letting your mind wander frees up your focus from the linear, physical plane and expands and trains your inner eye to see beyond it. When I was being taught by my teacher Charlie to see guides, he continually told me that physical appearance is the least accurate representation of any being, and he encouraged me to look past it and deeper into people and things. Once you train yourself to do so, and to look into the essence of things—including yourself—it only takes a small leap to begin seeing your guides directly.
When you’re ready to see your guides, sit in a relaxing chair or lie down on your bed, close your physical eyes, and imagine an interior movie screen lighting up in your mind. Ask your spirit to project itself onto the screen, and then relax and get ready to enjoy the show. If your mind has a hard time settling down, or your body feels restless, imagine your spirits sitting down next to you, as if you were in a movie theater and you invited them to watch the screen with you.
Next, ask your spirit to project the most beautiful place in the world onto the screen—a place where you can connect with your guides anytime you wish. Then, breathing comfortably in through your nose and out through your mouth, allow whatever pops up to appear on the screen. Try to be patient and accept whatever appears without resistance.
Perhaps what you see in your mind’s eye will be familiar—it may be a favorite spot from childhood, or a place you traveled to in the past and enjoyed—yet it could also be a place you’ve never seen before. Even if it makes no sense, your guides choose the way they want to appear and will select the images that work best for your connection.
Be patient, as you may need to do this several times before you have success—however, if you persist, your guides will appear. Accept what comes when they do, and remember that guides don’t necessarily take a human form. They may come as symbols, and don’t be surprised if they also appear in different forms at different times.
Remember, spirit does have a way of revealing itself to you—it’s up to you to learn to see it.|5|third eye,intuition,spirit guides,spirit guide,sonia choquette|_none|1|sonia_choquette Is That Hummingbird Your Spirit Guide?|What your ancestors are saying to you.|2009-09-28 17:00:00|public://imports/862.jpg|0|public://imports/862.jpg|
From the Rainbow Serpent of the Aborigines of Australia that birthed the land and its inhabitants, to the “Cowardly” Lion that accompanied Dorothy to Oz, to the tale you tell of the hummingbird that hovered for several seconds two feet from your nose, cultural and personal stories and mythologies (or mythos) are rampant with animals and spirit animals. These stories and experiences resonate with our instinctual connection to the animal kingdom, as well as conveying an innate kinship with this vast realm of beings we share our planet with. We owe a great deal of thanks to our animal brothers and sisters who give so much to us humans, such as companionship, warmth and food. In some traditions it’s even told that humans descended from the animals.
As for animal spirit guides, the awareness that Spirit sometimes shows up in animal form was inherent in the cultural beliefs of indigenous peoples. These traditions all have some variations depending on the mythos of the particular culture, but the common thread is the unquestionable acceptance of animals as spirit guides. Even some creation myths credit spirit animals with the birth of the world, such as the Rainbow Serpent mentioned above. As human consciousness continues to evolve during this present era, we look with greater interest and curiosity at what these ancient peoples can teach us, and some of the greatest lessons are what we can learn from the animals, whether in the flesh or in spirit.
When an animal makes an appearance (whether physically or symbolically) in an unusual way or repeatedly in a short span of time, the spirit of that animal is attempting to get a message to you. Often you’ll have a hunch or a sense of the message from this spirit guide. Trust it. As you’ll see, it might even be a distant, long-deceased relative that is guiding and protecting you by showing up in animal form.
As I mentioned, every culture has a slightly different take on this idea of animal spirit guides. From ancient Hawai’ian spirituality, still alive today, comes the concept of ‘aumakua—spirit guides clothed in the language, customs and mythos of this culture.
‘Aumakua (ow-ma-koo-ah) are very simply the spirits of deceased ancestors. They can be called on for protection, guidance and spiritual support. The very first ‘aumakua were the children of humans who had mated with the Akua, or primary gods, the main ones being Ku (Koo), Kane (Kah-nay), Lono and Kanaloa (Kah-nah-low-ah). When someone died, they went through a period of time where they stayed with these Akua and thereby acquired a degree of mana, or power. Eventually they could make themselves known to their descendants. One of the most prevalent ways they could make their appearance—although not limited to this—was through animals and animal spirits. They could also show up in the wind, rain or lightning, or in your dreams.
Very soon after her father’s death, Ellen took a walk on the beach. She noticed a dolphin jumping along the water, much closer to shore than usual. She realized that this was her father’s spirit expressing through and in cooperation with the spirit of Dolphin, embodied in the one that was tracking her as she walked along the shore. Ellen was reassured that her father was just fine in the spirit world. His spirit had elicited Dolphin’s help in getting this message to his daughter. This was her ‘aumakua.
From Western Europe a few centuries ago comes the idea of familiars. During the Middle Ages, familiars were mainly associated with witches, while these days they’re associated with Wiccans. Familiars are spirits often showing up as animals, although they can also inhabit objects, such as rings or lockets. The spirit animal can also be the companion of magicians and sorcerers. Think Harry Potter’s Owl.
Another term for familiars that has been grossly distorted over the centuries is daemon or demon. Up until the persecution of witches that began in late 13th century, the word itself did not mean something evil. In other words, the word demon got . . . well, demonized. In more contemporary terms, a demon would simply be an animal spirit guide or power animal, often embodied in a companion animal, such as a cat or dog. In fact, older women who kept a cat during the persecutions were often accused of being witches and put to death, whether or not they actually practiced witchcraft.
So, an animal spirit guide by any other name, whether called ‘aumakua, a familiar, a power animal or a totem animal, is still an animal spirit guide. And they can help you navigate through this lifetime. And who knows—maybe the next time you spot that hummingbird, it just might be great-great-great auntie Jane telling you that she’s watching over you, so try to cheer up!|5|spirit guide,culture,animal spirit guides,steven farmer,spirit guides|_none|1|steven_d_farmer Reversing the Flow|How to serve yourself while helping others.|2009-09-29 17:00:00||0||
US Airways flight 1549 took off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009, but less than two minutes into the ascent, a large flock of Canada geese collided with the plane and disabled both engines. Engine power was lost, and in moments, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger also lost communication with air-traffic control. What to do? Relying on experience, the ability to stay calm under pressure, and a stunning display of creativity and chutzpah, he glided the aircraft eight miles and ditched safely in the Hudson River. All 150 passengers and 5 crew members survived.
When the downed plane began to take on water, several men tried to help the women and children evacuate first. Others pushed or jumped over their fellow passengers, desperately trying to escape. And a few blocked the way in an attempt to save their luggage . . . go figure. (They must have been lost in a good novel during that safety briefing that tells you to leave your stuff behind—yes, some people actually need to be told—in case of an emergency landing.)
Miraculously, all 155 souls got out. The last to leave was the captain, who walked the cabin twice searching for anyone who might have been left behind. The air temperature outside was a chilly 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but Sully and the crew peeled off their own jackets and gave them to freezing passengers as they awaited rescue.
Passenger Barry Leonard had jumped into the water before climbing into a raft and was soaking wet and in danger of succumbing to hypothermia. When the ordeal was over, he told a reporter, “I was obviously very cold and one of the crew turned to me and said, ‘Please take off your wet shirt and I’ll give you my dry one.’ And he gave me his shirt. He literally gave me the shirt off his back to keep me warmer. I still have it. And I’m never going to give it up.”¹
Reversing the Flow
Reversing the flow is a term I learned from Susan Baggett and Thomas White, who run a yearlong course in service at the Center for Purposeful Living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Reversing the flow takes the spotlight off self-concerned “I, me, and mine” thinking and puts the focus on someone else’s needs instead. The result of this compassion is that both the giver and the receiver feel better. When passenger Barry Leonard told the reporter that he wasn’t ever going to give up that crew member’s shirt, he said it all. Moments of compassion and generosity are worth preserving and reliving in our imaginations. The positive emotions they evoke are deeply spiritual and expansive. They remind us of what it means to be fully human.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has another term for reversing the flow. He calls it being wise selfish, since it’s a smart way to serve yourself while helping others. Research on the health benefits of altruism bears him out: giving to others reduces stress, boosts well-being, offers meaning and purpose to life, and even helps you live longer.
Experiencing Flow Reversal
During my tenure as a cancer cell biologist, I finally hit the career wall. Worried that a grant I’d written wasn’t going to get funded and that my research program would go belly-up, all I could think about was myself. Since Harvard had a “publish or perish” policy, not getting a grant might mean not having a job. For weeks I walked around tense, irritable, and all wrapped up in myself. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Then one day my beeper went off at the clinic. An AIDS patient had requested a “peace of mind consult.” No one had ever heard of such a thing, but because I was a meditation teacher, I was called to this man’s bedside.
I went to “Sam’s” room gowned, gloved, and if the truth be known, trembling inside. The virus hadn’t been isolated yet, and I wondered whether I was putting my family in danger of contagion. Then, of course, there was another big question: how could anxious me facilitate someone else’s search for peace? I pulled up a chair and we talked about life as dusk began to fall and the setting sun flooded the lonely room with delicate pink light. I taught Sam how to meditate and then held his hand for a few minutes until he fell asleep. Although he was close to my own age, he looked younger and more vulnerable.
He is some mother’s child, I thought, and right now, I’m the only mother on duty. Watching his haggard features relax, my own troubles started to fade. Caring for him had reversed the flow of attention from my own worries to concern for a frightened and sick human being. Because of Sam, helping AIDS patients became my vocation in the early years of the epidemic, before effective drug cocktails rendered it a chronic illness rather than an immediate death sentence. While I still enjoyed research, it took a backseat to helping the confused and traumatized young men who made up the first wave of AIDS patients. Setting up a clinic for them was wise-selfish. They taught me more than I can ever acknowledge and changed the course of my life.|1|inspiration,resilience,love,compassion,dalai lama,joan borysenko|_none|1|joan_z_borysenko_phd Tired of Worrying So Much?|13 ways to be anxiety free.|2009-12-31 17:00:00|public://imports/863.jpg|0|public://imports/863.jpg|
You’re probably more ambivalent than you think about getting rid of worry. On the one hand, it’s wearing you down, ruining your daily enjoyment of life, interfering with your relationships, keeping you up at night, and making you depressed. But on the other hand, you may be harboring a very powerful secret belief—secret even from yourself—that your worry will protect you and help you solve problems.
Your habit of worrying is simply the way your mind has learned to think about everything. It’s kind of a free-floating anxiety that attaches itself to whatever comes along. To overcome it, you need to teach your mind others ways of thinking (or not thinking) about things.
Here are 13 steps that have proved effective for those who worry too much.
- Build Your Motivation: Write down a list of your worrying pros and cons. Seeing them on paper may change the way you feel about them. When you look at the two lists, this should supply you with excellent motivation to move on.
- Challenge Your Thinking: Decide just how rational you think your worries are. Deciding that they’re irrational won’t stop them from happening. But it may lessen the urgency with which you respond.
- Set Aside Worry Time: Assign a specific 20-minute period (not before bedtime) daily. Sit down in a chair and write down your specific worries. Keep a worry record and try to predict your next week’s worry. Many of your predictions will prove to be false.
- Validate Your Emotions: Your rational mind can help you figure out how to meet your needs—but without your emotions to guide it, it’s a rudderless ship. The more you’re able to feel your emotions, the less you need to keep them at bay through worrying.
- Accept Limited Control: One of the most powerful hidden beliefs behind worrying is that you have the power to control everything in your life. The fact is, hardly anything in our lives goes as planned. Accept that you cannot know everything—and let it go.
- Accept Uncertainty: Most of us are keenly aware that nothing in the world is certain. Remember, uncertainly doesn’t mean terrible results. Eighty-five percent of the things that people worry about have a positive outcome.
- Let Go of Your Urgency: Somehow a belief has lodged in your consciousness that you cannot rest until you know what the future holds now. But there’s no way to find out what’s going to happen except by waiting to see.
- Try to Go Crazy: Like most worriers, you worry that your worries will so overwhelm you that you will lose control and go insane. Try this exercise: Come up with the most extreme examples and try to go insane. You will see how far-fetched these worries are.
- Practice Your Worst Fears: Facing your worst fears and practicing them can help you overcome your worries. If you can face your worst fear you won’t need to worry about it to avoid it.
- Do What You Are Avoiding: Face your anxieties rather than avoid them. You’ll learn that it is possible to worry about a task and yet do it anyway. And this will free you in a thousand ways.
- Practice Relaxation: Worry always involves tension. This tension is in the body as well as the mind: when the mind perceives danger, the body prepares for combat or flight. Try tensing and relaxing your muscles. It’s a good practice in letting go.
- Practice Mindfulness: One way to counter the debilitating effects of worry is to calm the mind. Mindfulness is the practice of stepping out of your thoughts and into the present moment. This can be done through meditation.
- Observe Your Thoughts: People who worry all the time are accustomed to regarding their thoughts as reflections of reality. When we watch our thoughts mindfully, we distance ourselves from them, rather than identifying with them.
Remember, becoming anxiety-free will not happen overnight. But with practice, you will begin to develop new habits for relaxation, acceptance, thinking, and dealing with your senses of urgency, uncertainly, control, and risk. Make progress a little bit each day.|6|emotions,irrational thought,depression,worrying,robert leahy|_none|1|robert_l_leahy Can Cauliflower Help Prevent Cancer?|A NatureFood wages war on disease.|2010-05-30 17:00:00|public://imports/1385.jpg|0|public://imports/1385.jpg|
Mark Twain once called cauliflower “a cabbage with a college education.” What Twain didn’t know is that cauliflower can be a valuable asset in the quest for vibrant health. Like other members of the cruciferous family, cauliflower is loaded with nutrients that seem to wage war against a host of diseases, including cancer. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that are essential for keeping the immune system strong.
Although cauliflower’s darker-colored sister, broccoli, has gotten most of the attention for its healing potential, cauliflower also is generously endowed with cancer-preventing powers. In fact, this filling, high-fiber, and low-calorie vegetable (only 25 calories in a cup of florets) is one of the most powerful healing foods you can eat. This same cup has over 100 percent of the RDA of vitamin C, 1/3 of the RDA for folate (the plant source of folic acid), and reasonable amounts of potassium and vitamin B6. It also has bioflavonoids and other chemicals that protect against cancer.
To keep cauliflower’s cancer-fighting indoles intact, keep it out of the heat. Your best bet is either eating it raw or cooking it quickly in a steamer, wok, or microwave. Boiling is the worst way to cook this crucifer. Submerging cauliflower in the hot, roily water will cause it to lose about half of its valuable indoles. I sometimes include cauliflower as one of the key ingredients in my fresh vegetable juices.|6|health,diet,healthy vegetables,disease,cancer,susan smith jones|_none|1|susan_smith_jones Learn by Asking|Questions to get ahead in life.|2009-09-30 17:00:00||0||
When I was researching the key principles for my life I asked a variety of celebrities, politicians, and professionals some key questions to help find out what has made them successful. I chose questions that helped me see them in different ways. Being a firm believer that the quality of our answers is determined by the quality of our questions, I have used these opportunities to ask what I believe are some great ones. I wanted to ask questions that would either confirm what I already knew or lead me to a broader definition of the truth. I asked questions like:
- What is the greatest disappointment in your life and how did you overcome it?
- What’s the most important decision you’ve ever made in your life?
- What’s the worst decision you’ve ever made in your life?
- If you were to give an 18-year-old one specific piece of wisdom, what would it be?
Whenever you get the opportunity to talk to a successful person, one who has overcome adversity and overwhelming odds, be sure to have some questions in mind the answers to which will provide you with an education.
When I asked Jimmy Dean how he defined success, he wrote back, saying that success and wealth is a state of mind:
My grandfather, W. J. Taylor, was the most successful and wealthy man I ever knew, and I doubt seriously that he ever made more than $10,000 in any given year in his life. But he was the best farmer in Hale County, Texas. He knew that. He had the straightest fences, the cleanest end-rows. He had the neatest barn and the neatest house. He raised nine kids, he had a great relationship with the man upstairs and a wonderful inner peace. To me, this is success and wealth.
I asked him what the keys were to his success. One of them was hard work to which he commented:
I have no use for anyone who can help themselves and does not. . . . My greatest fear is that with all our federal aid, state aid, city aid, county aids, etc., that they’re going to be many wonderfully talented people who will never be forced to find out what their talent is.
I submit to you that one of the greatest resources for getting ahead in life is people. Talk to people who have been through the muck and come out on the other side. Ask them how they handled adversity, how they overcame, what they value most. It is questions like these that will lead to the best tools to succeed.|1|prosperity,inspiration,wisdom,success,jimmy dean,andy andrews|_none|1|andy_andrews Forgive and Forget|Surviving a break-up.|2009-10-01 17:00:00|public://imports/864.jpg|0|public://imports/864.jpg|
My friend Gina went through a terrible divorce, giving her plenty of opportunity to choose between forgiveness and blame. After 11 years of what she had thought was a good marriage—what anyone who’d ever seen them together assumed was a great marriage—her husband wanted out. I’ve never seen a relationship that was all one person’s issues, so I’m making no judgment here on either person’s behavior. But I can say from having walked alongside her that her path was the path of forgiveness . . . and it paid off. Did she go through a year of hell? Yes, she did. But her consistent efforts to bless and forgive her ex-husband—a man whom she refused to cast out of her heart, although he seemed to have cast her out of his—was not only inspiring to witness, but demonstrative of the way that forgiveness works miracles. She continued to lay claim to the love between them, regardless of the fact that the form of the relationship was being torn apart. She was hurt, but not bitter. She continued to have faith. He could leave the marriage, but she would not give up on the love between them. And within 18 months, they’d swung full circle. They were no longer married, but the friendship survived.
That was important for Gina, not just so she could be at peace with her past marriage but so she could be at peace with any man she met afterward. If bitterness in our past is brought into the present, it then sabotages our future. Even in the midst of her divorce, my daughter and I would joke that Gina was a man magnet. And we could understand why. Allowing herself to feel her pain without defending against it, she grew suppler instead of tougher. She didn’t harden at the loss of love, the way some people do. I watched her mature, but I never saw her harden. And love kept rushing in.
You can live the rest of your life reacting to and replaying what went before, but that won’t serve you or deliver you to the shining place. And everyone you meet will subconsciously know how you’ve responded to your past. They will know whether you’re stuck there or better for having been there. “Forgive and forget” is not mere platitude. Many say, “Yes, I do forgive, but I will never forget.” Beware that sentiment, for it leaves you subtly in the thrall of suffering. Do forget what was done to you; just remember the lessons you learned from it. Drop the cross. Embrace the sky.|1|marriage,divorce,forgiveness,course of miracles,marianne williamson,inspiration,relationships|_none|1|marianne_williamson Why It’s So Hard to Lose Weight|Tired of exercising and counting calories?|2013-08-26 17:00:00|public://imports/3507.jpg|0|public://imports/3507.jpg|
Do you want to know the real reason why it’s so hard to lose weight, and why, when we do lose it, most of us gain it all back within two years? It’s because we keep trying to solve the problem with simplistic, one-size-fits-all solutions. But you can’t fix an individual problem with a one-size-fits-all solution.
Creating a healthy, lean body depends on how well your body copes with the demands made on it. This is very personal: what works for you may not work for your friend. The important thing is that you understand what works for you.
A well-functioning, balanced body will naturally maintain a normal body weight without requiring epic demonstrations of discipline and deprivation. But most popular diet plans today are still touting the outdated, oversimplified equation: calories in = calories out.
In other words, to lose weight you must decrease your input of calories and increase your output of energy. This may have worked well for you in the past, when your body was younger and your metabolism was in high gear, but not so well now. You may be one of the many women I see who, at midlife, are eating very few calories but still gaining weight. There are women who overeat, don’t get me wrong, but in my experience there are many more who don’t—without seeing the smallest dip on the scales.
In the reductive atmosphere of a laboratory (that is, where things are reduced to the simplest of equations), if a test subject uses up the same number of calories that it takes in, there is a zero net; there aren’t any calories left over to store in muscle tissue or fat cells, so, voilà, no weight gain. This has been the golden rule of weight loss for as long as I’ve practiced medicine, and it has meant more miserable women dragging themselves to the gym at 5 A.M. than I can count, not to mention a ridiculous amount of time spent counting calories.
Now, it is true that if you consistently eat more calories than your metabolism can burn, the extra will be stored as fat and you will gain weight. But everyone has a different metabolism that burns at a different rate, and some may be genetically predisposed to burn one nutrient or another more efficiently.
Some of you may have seen the movie Super Size Me!, in which a young filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, spent 30 days eating all of his meals at McDonald’s, keeping physical activity to a bare minimum and never turning down an offer to “supersize” his meal. At the end of the experiment, Spurlock had gained more than 20 pounds and his cholesterol had skyrocketed, in direct contrast to his mood, which had plummeted. More seriously, he was on his way to clinical liver damage—in just a month.
Spurlock’s experience inspired another researcher, a man named Fredrik Nystrom at Linkoping University in Sweden, to conduct a similar experiment of his own, using a group of 18 college-student volunteers.¹ These students were asked to double their usual caloric intake, eating anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 calories in junk food a day, and to avoid physical activity as much as possible.
Based on the film and our current ideas about weight control, you would probably expect all the volunteers—after doubling their caloric intake and reducing their caloric output—to be well on their way to obesity, like Spurlock. But that wasn’t what happened at all! Now, each of the volunteers did gain some weight. Some gained almost as much as Spurlock, others only a few pounds, and at least one gained half of his additional weight in muscle. More surprisingly, many of the subjects saw no change in their cholesterol levels (one student’s actually went down), and none of them had liver problems. What Nystrom discovered was what I’ve been telling you: everyone responds differently!
The bottom line is, most of the science telling us that input must equal output—or that “a calorie is a calorie is a calorie”—doesn’t adjust for a person’s individual metabolism, nor does it take into account the various other physical and emotional factors that may be creating obstacles to weight loss. The truth is actually quite simple: a calorie is a calorie is a calorie . . . until it enters your mouth.
What happens next—the way your body burns, stores, or excretes that calorie—is specific to you, and specific to where you are right now. A woman’s physiology isn’t static; it’s a reflection of her biochemistry, her nutrition, and all the things she’s doing, thinking, and feeling—consciously or unconsciously—at a particular time in her life.
When you toss out the one-size-fits all mentality and learn to work with your body and not against it, you will restore your core balance and shed those toxic pounds once and for all.|6|fitness,obgyn,womens health,diet,calories,alternative medicine,weight loss,marcelle pick|_none|1|marcelle_pick What I Learned from My Psychic Grandma|12 powerful lessons that changed my life.|2009-10-06 17:00:00|public://imports/874.jpg|0|public://imports/874.jpg|
Once in a while Grandma Ada used to say that if something hit you squarely in the solar plexus, that was a psychic hit, so you had to make a fast decision. By the same token, when you meet someone, your first impression is usually right because your intellect hasn’t gotten in there to mess it up yet. But if you do something blindly for all the wrong reasons, then your haste will make waste.
My grandmother was so ahead of her time. She ingrained in my soul that this world was just a temporary place to learn and do good. She also used to say that being psychic is only part of a bigger picture, which was to show people that God’s consciousness is all around us, and that His and Her helpers are always there for us, as long as we don’t get caught up in our own “stuff” and ego. I’ve personally been defamed, gone broke, been divorced, and lost loved ones; yet I keep getting up and trying again, knowing that those who love me always will, and those who don’t love me aren’t going to, and that’s all right, too.
Even now when I’m in the throes of helping someone and it gets to be too hard, I hear Grandma’s words: “If you keep carrying someone, his legs won’t work anymore.” I think it’s amazing that so many decades after she went Home, her words are still influencing my life, but that’s bound to happen with someone as full of insight, wisdom, and greatness as she was.
Grandma used to say that there was a time for everything, and if you just stayed on a good course, God would present your opportunities. She told me to expect nothing, accept everything that was good on my path, and negate the bad. I wish I’d listened to that more, but then again I wouldn’t have learned some of my life’s most important lessons.
I treasure Grandma Ada’s words—I have dozens of her letters, which are crumbling and yellowed with age, but they’re absolutely priceless to me. She was a German woman who settled in the Midwest to raise her family—she was never on the radio or television, but she gave help to thousands of people. I’m sure that all the souls who watched her from the Other Side learned from her and cheered.
She was my guiding light, my mother, my friend, and the love of my life. I learned more from her in close to 18 years than I have in the remaining decades of my life. Do I miss her? Yes, of course I do, but every time I see Angelia, I see Grandma: the blue eyes; the toss of the head; the love of babies, animals, and people; the caring and the love. When I first held that precious baby girl in my arms, I said, “Well, now we’ve come full circle.” Today I find myself giving Angelia the same encouraging words my grandmother gave me, such as: “Know that you are good, beautiful, and smart; love others, but don’t let anything keep you from your goal.”
Here are 12 of Grandma Ada’s favorite sayings, which over the years have become life lessons for me. I know that several of these come from literature or the Bible and have been around for a long time, but it takes a good mind to know when to apply them so that they pack the greatest punch.
- “Love can overcome any problem.”
- “You can shatter the vase if you will, but the scent of the roses clings to it still.”
- “Don’t let negativity fill your heart . . . it will show in your eyes and on your face.”
- “If you lose something precious, God will replace it with something good.”
- “God lets us see ghosts and spirits to show us that we live on beyond this life.”
- “Ignorance is the worst thing you can let your mind entertain.”
- “If you have a secret, keep it to yourself, or else the whole world will know it.”
- “Unkind words are like opening a feather pillow in the wind and then picking up all the feathers.”
- “Don’t put sweaters on your children when you are cold.”
- “If you lie, you weave a web that you become imprisoned in.”
- “God answers prayers. He just sometimes says no.”
- “You have to be respectful to be respected.”
While an ancient Greek would tell you that your memories live in your beating heart and an early Buddhist could read to you from scriptures written on his bones, a modern scientist can’t tell you much with certainty about what memory is or how it works. It is quite remarkable that with all the information we humans have accrued by studying our own bodies, no one has conclusively cracked the mystery of memory. Of course, there are throngs of techniques and even surgical procedures—not to mention medications, vitamins, herbal concoctions, and foods—whose purpose it is to enhance memory. But no one can tell you for sure its size or shape or capacity or exactly why it behaves the way it does.
Though they may not have found a way to measure the capacity of your memory, scientists have discovered in recent years that exercising it can be as important as exercising the body. It turns out that memory exercises stave off dementia and other forms of memory loss. Books, flash cards, and classes in the field of “Neurobics” have flooded the market with do-it-yourself memory workout programs for the aging brain.
You may be muttering under your breath by now that this is all well and good for some people, the ones who actually have an innate proclivity for memory, but you are not one of them, never have been, and never will be. I have heard this, or versions of it, from a startlingly high percentage of people. When I do, I feel the kind of heartbreak that a singing teacher must feel when, once again, she encounters a music lover who was told in sixth grade, as I was, to “just mouth the words.” I spent three decades believing I couldn’t sing—until Chloe Goodchild, a vocalist whose work on CD is appropriately called Your Naked Voice, unlocked the cage of my history and set my voice flying up into the present moment. Now I’ll blurt, bellow, and serenade at the least provocation. And, though I’m not always singing the expected note, it turns out I am definitely not tone-deaf.
Anyone can learn a poem by heart. Perhaps your natural capacity is obscured by memories of painful attempts in your past and projected failures in your future. But I’ve never met anyone who couldn’t eventually learn poems with ease. Whatever beliefs you hold about the limitations of your own memory, I urge you to question them. As scientists and mystics will concur, memory is a great mystery and whatever you believe to be true about it could as easily be fiction. Who knows how vast your memory is or what it can hold? Science’s latest theory is that a memory is a pattern of synaptic connections in the brain. There are about a thousand trillion such connections possible. That means there is the potential for 30 times as much to be stored in your brain as is stored in the entire Library of Congress.
Throughout history people have memorized gargantuan amounts of information by using all manner of memory tricks. You can associate words with colors or visualize them in specific locations or connect them with random images or make acronyms of their first letters. There are even annual World Memory Championships in which people win recognition and lots of money by remembering unbelievably long lists of numbers or names by way of one technique or another.
Learning a poem by heart is different. Just as you need no technique to remember a really great kiss, a list of your favorite foods, or a mystical experience, you need no tricks of memory to recall a poem you love. It happens through allowing yourself to be touched and changed by the creative relationship. As Plato might say, when the words on the page are connected with the wisdom of the soul, memory happens.
I invite you to learn a poem by heart. Write it on your bones, plant it in your synapses, give it a home in your memory palace. The question of exactly what memory is and why it behaves as it does can remain unanswered, swathed in the wonder that the ancient Greeks may have felt when they worshipped it as a goddess: Mnemosyne, the great mother of the Muses.|1|inspiration,memory,healing,poetry,kim rosen|_none|1|kim_rosen Destiny and Dragonflies|Nature has a few surprises for you.|2009-10-10 17:00:00||0||
“Here we are,” Robert said when we arrived at the top of the third hill. In front of us was a large cement-covered water reservoir, and to the right the road turned from pavement to dirt and meandered though what seemed to be a horse pasture. I followed Robert off the main road to the left and came to the top of a hidden staircase that had been obscured by several full bushes. We carefully descended the precarious steps into the most magnificent meadow I had ever seen. Shafts of golden light danced on the moss-covered fallen logs, and the ground was carpeted with a combination of long green grass and the most delicate of ivy.
“This is incredible,” I gasped while taking in the magical beauty that appeared to have been lifted from a Maxfield Parrish painting. The light that engulfed the meadow was in constant motion, and the hues of the trees and grasses changed from blue to green to purple to orange and back again.
“Yes, it is. This is the largest fairy meadow in all of Ashland. Be sure to stay on the path as you walk—you don’t want to crush anyone’s home.”
I wasn’t sure when he was serious or not, but judging by his wrinkled brow, it didn’t seem like he was joking.
“You wanted to learn how to gather universal wisdom that already exists, and that is why I brought you here. Nature is filled with that very wisdom, and it’s all around us every day. There are many wise nature spirits living in this meadow, so it’s an easy place to feel the difference between their energy and the energy created by humans. Be very quiet and simply feel their presence.”
I sat on a rock adjacent to the path and closed my eyes to see if I could sense what he was talking about. Almost immediately a tingle in my stomach forced an uncontrollable laugh.
“Yes, they’re quite playful. And they sure are curious about you! Do you feel that?”
“Um, I think so.” I did feel something strange, and playful was definitely a good word to describe it. As I opened my eyes, I saw a bright blue dragonfly hovering a few inches in front of my nose, as if to stare directly into my eyes. It sped off as quickly as it had arrived, and then I saw four more, following a triangle path above my head. Within seconds they seemed to multiply into dozens, and less than a minute later there were literally hundreds of dragonflies all darting in between the trees, following the same triangular pattern. One at a time, they would hover within inches of my nose until I began to get dizzy.
“Dragonflies!” I was nearly speechless as my heart raced with excitement. I had always been attracted to these graceful creatures, but I had never seen so many in one place.
“Yes, fairy spirits take the form of dragonflies when they want humans to see them. Aren’t they beautiful?”
“There are so many! What are they doing here?”
“Every tree in the forest has a nature spirit to look out for it, and since we’re in the mountains, there are lots of tree fairies to take care of them. Everyone has a job to do on this planet, and that’s theirs. They are lucky: they are born knowing what their destiny is. It’s harder for humans, since the first part of their journey is discovering what they are meant to do.”|5|spirituality,nature spirit,nature,waiting for autumn,scott blum|_none|1|scott_blum A Cautionary Tale|Where does a child’s future begin?|2009-10-11 17:00:00||0||
Once upon a time there was a boy named Paul who grew up in a small, poor town called Davis Creek, West Virginia. He was a slow learner in elementary school and didn’t learn to read until he was in the third grade. That label “slow learner” stuck with him for years. In junior high, they started calling him an “underachiever” because they discovered he was pretty smart, even though he wasn’t doing well in class. Then in high school, his grades shot up and suddenly he was “gifted.”
But in his heart and soul, he knew that he was still little Paul, the slow learner. He didn’t think like other people. The school wanted him to conceive of the world sequentially, in order from A to B. He tended to see ideas holistically, metaphorically. He made connections that seemed perfectly clear to him, but when he voiced them, most adults didn’t get it. “You’re being too random!” they told him. “Stop going off on tangents and then trying to pull everything together into some ‘big picture.’”
So despite his good grades and the fancy new label of “gifted,” Paul knew he wasn’t going to college. No one from his high school went to college.
One teacher disagreed.
Mrs. Sang taught Latin and French, and she wouldn’t leave Paul alone. You’re going to college, she insisted. You are. “I’m not college material,” he’d mutter, but she showed him and his parents how to fill out the applications and declared that he would be accepted.
He was. Paul went off to Ohio State University, and well into his freshman year he continued to get letters from Mrs. Sang, letters full of exhortations to believe in himself, to remember that he was still being formed, that he was young and capable of anything.
A number of years passed, and the adult Paul decided to make a trip back to his old high school. Mrs. Sang was still there and delighted to see him. She’d followed his career with interest and pride. She promptly pulled him into her fifth-period class and sat him up in front of the students.
“Did you go to college?” she asked him.
“Yes, I did,” Paul replied. “I went to Ohio State.”
“Do you have a master’s degree?”
“Yes, from the University of North Carolina.”
“Do you have a doctorate?”
“What sort of jobs have you worked?”
“Well, I started out as a teacher. Then I became a principal, then an assistant superintendent. At the moment I’m superintendent of schools in Princeton, New Jersey.”
Mrs. Sang allowed a moment of silence, then she asked Paul, “Where did you go to high school?”
And the classroom erupted in disbelieving catcalls and shouts. “You did not!” the students yelled. “No way! Who are you really?”
Mrs. Sang told them to be quiet, then asked, “Now why don’t you believe this man? He just got done telling you he’s from Davis Creek, just like you.”
One boy raised his hand and said, “People who do what he’s done don’t go to this school.”
Dr. Paul D. Houston has never forgotten that day. People who do what he’s done don’t go to this school. It reinforces his passion to work for the day when our public school system will never provoke a student to speak such sad, negative words.|1|inspiration,education,schools,dropout,bill milliken|_none|1|bill_milliken Defy Gravity!|Perceiving life through the eyes of your soul.|2009-10-13 17:00:00|public://imports/1152.jpg|0|public://imports/1152.jpg|
You never really know how or when your life is going to change, and that’s for the best. If someone had said to me, “Be on the lookout tonight, Caroline, because someone is going to experience a spontaneous healing in your audience,” how would I have reacted? And at whom would I have looked? Would I have cast my attention to the two people in wheelchairs? Would I have asked for a show of hands to count how many people were ill, just to see how many subjects were in the running? I don’t know what I would have done. But a healing did happen that night while no one was looking.
The evening was part of a tour to promote my new book, Entering the Castle. It was planned as the usual type of tour event, at which I introduce my new book, chat about it for a couple of hours, answer some questions, and then autograph copies. But that’s not what happened on this evening. It started out that way, yet as I began to describe the “interior castle,”—the image Saint Teresa of Ávila used to beautifully describe the inner soul—I could tell that my words were not communicating its power or mystical significance. The people in the audience were simply not relating to the seductive power of their souls through words, and it was obvious that all the metaphors and analogies and poetic descriptions would only continue to fall short. How could I possibly tell these people to get enthusiastic about a place they had never experienced? Words cannot get you to experience Paris, can they?
I began to realize that my listeners were craving an actual mystical experience, or as close as they could come to one. They didn’t want me to talk about the interior castle; they wanted to enter their own interior castles. I looked at this audience of more than 800 people and thought, “How am I going to do this without prayer?” Teresa was clear in her writings that the only way into one’s interior castle is through prayer and inner devotion. But my experience through the years had consistently been that although audiences were comfortable with meditation, guided imagery, moments of silence, and even terms like the Divine, the Goddess, and the Great Spirit, mention prayer or God and feathers got ruffled. As a result, I had never introduced prayer into my workshops.
That evening I had to confront this ironclad policy. I knew that if I simply told my audience, “Close your eyes, sit back, and listen to my words as I lead you into your castle,” not only would I be dishonoring everything I knew about the mystical journey, but these eager people would also be denied an opportunity to experience something quite tranquil and authentic within them. I knew that the transformative link that drew a person “out of the mind” and into an altered state of consciousness, however slight and however brief, was prayer and that without prayer, the entire exercise into the castle—this metaphor of the soul—would be no more than a mental visualization.
To be clear, I differentiate between what I call a “mystical journey” and a “mystical experience.” A mystical journey is an inner exercise scripted with language that is specifically soul-focused. That is, instead of saying, “Relax and breathe into your energy,” as I might do in a different kind of guided meditation, I instruct people to “breathe into a field of grace.” I direct them into their “interior castle,” their inner soul, through prayer, not relaxation. I use the vocabulary of the soul and the sacred. A mystical experience, on the other hand, cannot be self-initiated. Rather, it is a spontaneous occurrence in which an individual is consumed into an altered state of divine consciousness.
So I told the audience that the journey into the interior castle required prayer and grace—not ordinary prayer, as in prayers of petition or repetition, but the type of prayer that withdraws your attention from external distractions and from your five senses. The audience was more than willing, and so, for the first time in my career, I led 800 people on their maiden journey into their interior castle.
As I continued the castle meditation exercise, the atmosphere in the room began to change. I realize now that the collective sharing of prayer and opening to the experience of channeling grace had created a unified field of grace, generating a mystical atmosphere ripe for the experience of healing.
A field of grace emerges when people come together in prayer or for acts of good intention, such as helping others after disasters. You can sense the absence of negativity in a field of grace, for example, and though it may not last long, the sensation that negativity has evaporated is akin to the absence of psychic tension, as if a soft harmonious breeze has filled the room. Everyone settles into an effortless place of calm and without being led into forming a chorus of breathing together, they silently unite into one whole breath.
After the exercise, few wanted to leave their chairs, which is quite something in a room of 800 people. The silence in the room was not an ordinary one, but a soothing, healing silence that had penetrated deeply into the stressful minds and hearts of the audience, and they wanted to remain in this grace-filled quiet for as long as they could. Finally, I had to begin to sign books, so I thanked everyone, left the stage, and went to the signing table.
Hundreds of people lined up for inscriptions. It’s impossible to have a conversation with everyone, even though I want to because I am so grateful to see each person. On this evening, when I was nearly done, a woman walked up behind me and said, “I’ve suffered with chronic pain for 20 years in my shoulders, my back, and my hands. I’ve never, ever been out of pain in all that time. I don’t know what just happened to me or how it happened, but my pain is gone, and somehow I know it is gone forever. I thought you would want to know that.”
She told me this while I was signing a book for someone else. I looked up to see her face. Shimmering with awe, she whispered, “Thank you,” and left. I wanted to run after her and ask, “Who are you? Tell me more about what happened,” but I couldn’t leave the book-signing table. And then she was gone.|1|spirituality,mystical experience,grace,prayer,healing,caroline myss,guided meditation|_none|1|caroline_myss Can You Find the Perfect Mate?|Put the Law of Attraction in action!|2009-10-15 17:00:00||0||
In order to find what you are calling the “perfect mate,” you must first be the perfect mate. In other words, you must consistently emit a Vibrational signal that matches the mate you desire. The not-so-perfect relationships that you have observed, or lived, have given you wonderful opportunities to decide and fine-tune the kind of relationship you would like to have. And so, you have only to think about those wanted characteristics of a relationship in order to train your own Vibration into one that matches your desire.
When you point out what you do not like in relationships, or remember unpleasant events from past relationships, or even watch movies where people are mistreating one another, you are unwittingly training your Vibration away from your desired relationship. And you simply cannot get there from there.
You cannot get the relationship of your dreams when your chronic thoughts about relationships feel lonely or angry or worried or disappointed. But as you look for things you appreciate in yourself and others—as you make lists of positive aspects of past and present relationships—you train your Vibrational offering to match the Vibration of your desires, and your “perfect mate” must then come. It is Law.|5|relationships,abraham,abundance,law of attraction,esther and jerry hicks|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Homeownership 101|Can you afford the house you want?|2009-10-10 17:00:00|public://imports/889.jpg|0|public://imports/889.jpg|
A home is one of life’s most significant resources. It’s the place where you live, but it’s also an investment that can bring you satisfaction and security for years to come. If home ownership makes sense for you, it can be an essential part of your financial and emotional life. But the time has to be right. The biggest mistake first-time home buyers can make is to assume that if they’ve been paying $800 a month in rent, they can afford an $800-a-month mortgage. These days, more than ever before, just because you qualify for a mortgage doesn’t mean that you can afford the monthly payments. It’s a sobering fact that 100 percent of the houses (and homeowners) now in foreclosure once qualified for a mortgage. Not all of these people lost their jobs or suffered other unforeseen calamities—some of them just discovered too late that they really couldn’t afford the home they’d bought. Why? Because they didn’t plan for how much it was really going to cost.
Your monthly costs will include not only your mortgage, but also property insurance, property taxes, any possible PMI payments, maintenance, and utilities. And not only will your utility payments be higher if the home you buy is larger than your current one, but in many cases you’ll also be responsible for charges that renters don’t ordinarily pay—such as water, sewer connection, and garbage removal. Remember, as a home owner, you’ll be financially responsible for maintaining and repairing things out of your own pocket. That includes the physical upkeep of the property around your home and the repair and replacement of appliances—such water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces, stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers.
As an exercise to help you find out what you can afford, I recommend that you “play house” before you actually buy a first, or larger, home.
How to Play House
Open up a brand-new savings account. Remember, this is something you want to do well before you’re really serious about buying a home. Set a date once a month—for instance, the 15th. For the next six months, on that date, I want you to deposit into your new account the exact difference between what your current housing costs (rent, or the total payments you’re making on the home you currently own) and the amount you project you’ll have to pay on your new home. For example, let’s say that you’re renting, and it costs you $1,500 a month to rent. The house you want to buy will cost you $3,500 a month (including mortgage payment, PMI, property insurance, taxes, utilities, and maintenance). You must deposit the difference between the two ($3,500 - $1,500 = $2,000 a month) into the new savings account, no later than the date you set.
After doing this for six months, evaluate how making those higher payments—or “playing house”—has affected your lifestyle. If you’ve made all the payments comfortably and on time, you know that you can truly afford this particular home right now. If, on the other hand, you missed payments or were late in making any, you can’t afford the house you were thinking about buying right now. The good news is that you now know what you can realistically afford at this time—without having lost any money in finding out. As a bonus, you should also have a nice sum of money in your savings account that will help you achieve your future goals.|23|mortgage,house,home ownership,suze orman|_none|1|suze_orman The Effort Trap|Are you working too hard?|2009-10-09 17:00:00||0||
“Success is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
A majority of us have been raised to believe in this old Work Ethic mantra. We live as if it is the whole truth about success, and we never question it. Maybe, though, the reason that your success takes 99 percent perspiration is that we only allow for one percent inspiration. I believe that if people are courageous enough to go for 2 percent inspiration and 98 percent perspiration, their lives will be blessed with at least double the grace and success. A one-percent increase in inspiration can make a world of difference.
The Work Ethic fails to teach that too much effort can actually block success. When you stop trying so hard, you are often easier to live with, you are more attractive, and your relationships blossom. Similarly, your work flows, you perform better, and you catch yourself enjoying your life. Have you ever heard about people who found their soul mate only after they stopped trying to get a partner?
Success requires commitment, particularly the commitment to balance effort with grace. True champions like Linford Christie or Michael Johnson (dubbed “the fastest man alive”) look so relaxed as they glide across the track. They are fully committed and perfectly poised. They are in the zone, which is the meeting point between effort and grace. In the postrace interviews, the winners always comment on how relaxed they felt. Clearly, the relaxation they speak of is not idleness or apathy.|23|prosperity,inspiration,work ethic,success,robert holden|_none|1|robert_holden_phd Decisions, Decisions|How to make them for fun and profit.|2009-10-08 17:00:00|public://imports/888.jpg|0|public://imports/888.jpg|
The fear of regret often delays or even stops us from making decisions as we paralyze ourselves with stories about “what might not be” and “what might have been.” But what’s interesting is that feeling good or bad about what we’ve decided almost always precedes the consequences of our decision. In other words, you don’t usually wait to see how something turns out before you begin either regretting it or feeling good about it. What’s actually going on here? What do these feelings about our newly minted decisions actually tell us?
Earlier this year, I was speaking with a good friend of mine who had to choose between two job offers, both of which would make the average employee drool. He explored the choices in great detail and then—based on a combination of researched information and expert advice—made his decision.
A few days later he called me to say, somewhat sheepishly, that he was beginning to regret what he had chosen, although his job wouldn’t be starting for another week.
For myself, I find that regret (and in particular, “premature regret”) nearly always corresponds to not following my inner knowing. If I’ve really listened to and followed my inner guidance about a situation and things still don’t work out, I don’t mind so much. I even have it written up on the board above my computer as a personal guideline: “Follow your inner wisdom, even when you’re wrong.”
But if I “know” at some level that something is wrong for me and I wind up going with it anyway, I almost instantly begin to regret it. And if I don’t listen to that feeling and course-correct (by changing my direction), I wind up with consequences that I’ll regret even more in the future.
In that sense, fearing regret is a bit like fearing that when you look at your compass, it will tell you that you’re heading south instead of true north. It doesn’t really mean anything except that it’s time to turn around and move forward with your life.
Treating my friend’s regret as nothing more or less than a point on his inner compass, I guided him through an exercise I call “The Decision Accelerator.” By the time we were done, he had reconnected to his inner knowing and “re-decided” which job to take. What made the process truly worthwhile was that he then had both the wisdom to explore potential consequences of his new decision (particularly to his “almost employers”) and the courage to have the inevitably awkward conversations to put things right. (As a point of interest, he has now been with the new company for nearly six months and is absolutely loving it!)
Here’s the exercise so you can use it to help make an important decision for yourself:
The Decision Accelerator
- Think about a decision you have (or want) to make. To make this simpler the first time you do it, choose a decision that essentially comes down to one of two choices.
- Imagine that you’ve firmly and irrevocably made choice number one. Who would you tell first? What would you say to them? What would you tell them that you’re particularly looking forward to? How would they react? How do you feel in yourself about the decision you’ve made?
- Now imagine that you’ve been living with that decision for a year. Things have gone well—not perfectly, but well. What have been the good things about the decision you made? What hasn’t worked out quite as you had hoped? How do you feel in yourself about the decision now?
- Finally, imagine that it’s ten years from now and you’re really, really happy in yourself and with your life. What is it about your life that you enjoy so much? As you think back to that decision you made all those years ago, how do you think about it now? What contribution did it make to where you are in your life today? How do you feel now about the decision you made way back then?
- When you’ve completed these steps in as much detail as possible, jot down any additional thoughts or insights you may be having.
Repeat steps 2-5 as if you irrevocably made the other choice. (If you did pick a decision with more than two possible options, repeat the steps with each choice.)
Based on what you’ve learned, what’s your decision? If you haven’t already, make sure you explore the practical, predictable consequences of your decision, both in the very short term and in the future.
Take at least one concrete action in the next 24 hours to make your decision “real.” If your action brings with it an increase in the feeling of “rightness,” take more action; if it brings with it an increase in the feeling of regret, either repeat the exercise or explore some additional alternatives!|23|success,happiness,regret,decisions,michael neill|_none|1|michael_neill Put Off Procrastination Now|…or maybe later!|2009-10-07 17:00:00||0||
Everybody puts off the inevitable at some time or another. Think about when you’ve used this old delaying tactic. Was it during your school days: the completion of an academic exercise, finishing a research paper, or memorizing all the states in the Union? Is it in the workplace now: handing in the company budget, starting on the employee reviews, or keeping the client files updated? Does it come about in a love relationship: keeping in contact with your sister, having that heart-to-heart with your elderly parent, or apologizing to your spouse after a big brouhaha? When you want to do something to better yourself—such as dieting and exercising, or stopping smoking cigarettes—and the task feels too daunting, does Procrastination creep in?
Interestingly enough, the reason you’re having a tough time facing your task is one of the primary reasons any of us procrastinates: perfectionism. Do you ever feel like you’re supposed to know something right off the bat or accomplish a task with very little struggle or sweat? And if it doesn’t flow easily from your brain, pen, or mouth, then it doesn’t come at all? You tell yourself that if you have to grapple with something—if it doesn’t progress naturally and it’s not just wonderful the first time—then just forget the whole thing. You’re most likely fighting a voice that’s shouting in your head: It’s all or nothing! You’re in the throes of perfectionism.
This irksome way of being has some value. It propels you toward being the best you can be. But it’s really a very painful double-edged sword. Those of you navigating with perfectionism as your copilot are never satisfied because your mind believes that you must be superhuman—but you’ll always fall short. And then perfectionism’s big sister, Procrastination, jumps in to stop you from making an ass of your human self. She puts the brakes on you, makes excuses for you, and facilitates your continuing under the misconception that you need to do everything right—just not right now.
You think this big sister is a godsend. You grab Procrastination’s hand and believe that she’ll protect you from your anxious state. The funny thing about this Defender is that it doesn’t really protect you; instead, it grows a secondary uneasiness and doubt. The idea starts to bubble up in your brain that you don’t have the goods to get things done, and an I am a loser and a fake mentality emerges. There’s a bee in your bonnet that continually buzzes until the task is under way. It clearly triggers an ache not associated with the original discomfort.
So based on not doing what you intended to do, when you intended to do it, you’re now in the throes of feeling rotten about yourself. There is an urgency that starts to surface and leaves you with a new anxiety. With the onslaught of Procrastination comes the fallout: lack of confidence and growing disbelief in your abilities to get the job done.
And so you hide. You become more isolated and worry that someone is going to catch on to you and see that you’re a fraud. In our practice, we constantly run across this feeling of Someone is going to find me out; I’m just faking my way through.
How can you ever feel successful if your favorite Defender is Procrastination? Here’s one tip you can try:
When you want to get yourself motivated to begin that chore you’ve been avoiding, it’s necessary that you first begin the “ordeal” by setting specific parameters. Don’t bite off more than you can chew: you’ll choke to death.
Buy yourself a cheap egg timer or use the alarm on your watch or cell phone. At the same time every weekday (you get the weekend off), take the timer or alarm to work, to your room, to the bathroom . . . to wherever that Proverbial Procrastination Pile is expanding. Set it for ten minutes. That’s it—that’s the rule. Pick some papers, mail, photos, CDs, clothes, dishes—whatever your pile consists of—and get to work. File, organize, throw away, clean, read . . . whatever. When the timer goes off, stop: you’re done for the day. Don’t continue. Put it down. Stop. You’ll return to it the next day. If you keep working on it, you’re defeating the purpose of this exercise. Live with this. Over time, you’ll be surprised by how much gets done. Delay that gratification and you will be gratified.|23|self improvement,organization,emotional health,defense mechanisms,marilyn kagan|_none|1|marilyn_kaganlcsw Is There Enough to Go Around? |Changing negative thoughts about your finances.|2009-10-06 17:00:00||0||
A belief in lack is the reason that more people are not allowing themselves the financial abundance they desire. When you believe that there is a finite pile of abundance and that there is not enough to go around—and so you feel injustice when someone has more than others, believing that because they have it, others are deprived of having it—you are holding yourself apart from abundance.
It is not another’s achievement of success that is responsible for your lack of achievement, but rather it is your negative comparison and your attention to the lack of your own desire. When you feel the negative emotion that you feel as you accuse others of injustice or of squandering wealth or hoarding—or when you simply believe that there is not enough to go around—you hold yourself in the position of denying your own improved condition.
What anyone else has or does not have has nothing to do with you. The only thing that affects your experience is the way you utilize the Non-Physical Energy with your thought. Your abundance or lack of it in your experience has nothing to do with what anybody else is doing or having. It has only to do with your perspective. It has only to do with your offering of thought. If you want your fortunes to shift, you have to begin telling a different story.
Many people criticize those who are living well, who accumulate land and money and things; and that criticism is symptomatic of their own lackful habit of thought. They want to feel better and often believe that if they can make that which they are unable to achieve “wrong,” then they will feel better—but they never do feel better, because their attention to lack perpetuates lack everywhere they look. They would not feel uncomfortable in seeing someone else’s achievement if that desire for achievement were not present within themselves as well. And that criticism that they often keep alive within themselves only serves to hold them in vibrational discord with what they want.
In other words, if someone called you on the telephone and said to you, “Hello, you don’t know me, but I’m calling to tell you that I will never call you again,” you would not feel negative emotion about the caller’s absence from your life, because his or her presence was not something that you desired to begin with. But if someone you care about were to make that announcement to you, you would feel strong negative emotion, because your desire and your belief would then be at odds.
When you feel negative emotion about anything, it always means that you have a desire that has been born from your personal life experience that you are, right now, opposing with other thoughts. Vibrational discord is always the reason for negative emotion. And negative emotion is always guidance to help you redirect your thoughts to find vibrational alignment with who-you-really-are and with your current desires.|23|prosperity,vibrational alignment,law of attraction,money,finance,financial abundance,abraham,esther and jerry hicks|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks Are You Likable?|Getting your “fix” of friendliness.|2009-10-05 17:00:00||0||
Who here is old enough to remember Nelson Rockefeller? Here was a man with all of the money in the world, or at least a good chunk of it. When he decided that he wanted to run for President, he had no hesitation about eating chitlins in Harlem, bagels in Brooklyn, and bratwurst in Yorktown. This is how politics works…and all of life is politics. We can all learn a wealth of valuable information about getting along and getting ahead from studying politicians at work and on the campaign trail, and if we had to boil down all that information into one phrase, it might well be: People get ahead by pleasing others.
It’s not a burden either. The amazing thing is that if you do it enough, and if you get into the habit of being ultra friendly and cheerful to those around you—and especially those above you—you get to like it. When you smile, anyone who’s sane near you smiles back. When you’re cheerful and upbeat around others, they smile at you and are also upbeat and cheerful. This feels good. In fact, it feels darned good.
You get into the habit of getting a “fix” of friendliness just by being friendly to those near you. And those people get accustomed to feeling better when they’re near you—and they want to be near you.
Rewards, promotions, money—all of these perks are attracted like a bunch of iron filings to friendly, magnetic, cheerful, likable people. Be one and you’ll notice that you’re soon surrounded by those lovely iron filings.
Only they turn out to be gold.
This is true everywhere. There isn’t one job we know of where you get more mileage out of being unfriendly and aloof than out of being cheerful and upbeat. Even in the toughest, meanest dens of trading on Wall Street, you’re expected to be congenial with your bosses. Do it and you’ll see the magic.|23|prosperity,inspiration,positive attitude,confidence,boss,job promotion,getting ahead,ben stein|_none|1|ben_stein Got More Stress than You Can Handle?|A ‘feel good’ way to reduce your anxiety.|2009-11-01 17:00:00||0||
Whether we imagine ourselves to be anti-social or great socializers who love people, a lone ranger or a party person, we are all part of a master team. The connecting thread weaving through the course of all our lives joins us in a special way that is indefinable.
We feel greater self-worth and more successful when we provide services for others. There’s a touch of the Good Samaritan in all of us; therefore, there is wisdom in setting aside special time in our daily routines for doing something that helps another person.
Let this particular service you engage in be the type that assists others in fulfilling their goals. Sometimes it won’t be an immediate “gratifier,” but it will take the form of a long-term gain. This follows the ancient proverb: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. But teach him how to fish, and you will feed him for a lifetime.”
This Good Samaritan aspect of ourselves can express itself without us even being aware of it. For example, some of us already live this out by being courteous and opening doors for others or simply helping someone run an errand.
This compassionate trait can also be expressed by playing with children in a park or assisting an elderly person cross the street. Some of us may work or volunteer with a charitable cause. Whatever form this service takes, it should be done in love.
As I stated, one of the greatest gifts we can offer is education—that is, teaching others how to fish for life instead of just handing them a fish. Sometimes, what we perceive as a service to others may ultimately be a means of robbing them of their dignity. However, what I recommend isn’t so much about bailing people out, but providing them with opportunities and learning situations that foster self-worth and self-sufficiency.
The main purpose of helping someone isn’t meant to add new stress or burden to your life. Offering help or assistance to other enables you to achieve a greater sense of inner success. Here are some practical action steps you can take:
- Each day find a way that you can assist someone else in fulfilling his or her goals whether they’re small or large.
- When you come upon opportunities to be of service, act on them.
- Think of some of your friends and imagine how you might help them obtain what they would love to have or do in life. If you don’t know, simply call and ask them.
Affirmation: Today, I open my heart, keep my eyes open, and do what I can to help others.|23|success,stress,service,john f. demartini|_none|0|john_f_demartini Love Your Voice|Do people really hear what you’re saying?|2009-10-29 17:00:00|public://imports/911.jpg|0|public://imports/911.jpg|
If you’ve ever been hustled by a fast-talking salesman or sat there waiting for a slow speaker to get to the end of a sentence, you know how strongly pace can affect you. Too fast, and you feel like you’re being run over; too slow, and you start to think the speaker is not only slow, but also as dumb as a doorknob.
So what’s the tempo of your voice saying about you, and how is it affecting what your listeners are hearing and thinking about you?
First, keep in mind that everybody operates at a different pace. If you’re jittery and restless, your metabolism is probably naturally set on high: You walk fast, eat fast, and talk fast. On the other hand, you may be a low-key, calm person who rarely gets overly excited and hates to be rushed. Your heartbeat and breathing are probably slower, and your blood pressure is likely lower.
You need to be able to tune in to your natural speed. Recording yourself and playing the tape back should really help with this. You need to think about whether or not you talk more quickly or slowly than the people around you. Spend some time listening to your friends and co-workers and notice how your pace compares with theirs. There’s no absolute good or bad speed, but I’d like you to become aware of what happens when your tempo is slower or faster. Try to pay attention to how your conversations go when you’re speaking at different speeds, and then you can see whether or not it’s helping you achieve your desired results.
Another good way to determine the proper pace is to see if listeners are constantly interrupting you. If they are, you’re probably speaking too slowly. If they ask you to repeat parts of what you said, you’re most likely speaking too fast.
The Need for Speed
When you get nervous or excited, it’s quite normal for the pace of your voice to go into turbo drive. You might be fine one-on-one or in familiar situations with people you trust, but when you step in front of an audience or have to give somebody bad news—or have unbelievably good news and you’re bursting at the seams to share it—sometimes adrenaline kicks in and increases your pulse rate. At that moment, if you can’t find a way to calm yourself back down, more likely than not the words will just rush out too fast. As you feverishly try to get them all out, the sound of your voice can really suffer. You could end up losing all of the great melody in your voice and fall into a kind of drone-like monotone voice instead.
If you’re rushing through the sentences and not giving yourself time to breathe, there’s no way that your voice is going to create the best sounds possible. Believe me, this isn’t the voice you want to use to tell your boss that you need next Friday off or let your spouse know that there’s a huge dent in the new car.
I’d like you to play with pacing when you talk. You might start by picking up the newspaper or a book and reading into a recording device. Read a sentence or two at your normal speed, and then change the pace. Slow down for another sentence or two and then speed up again. What speed do you think sounds the best? Which one makes you sound energetic or powerful or loving? You might notice that different content seems to be more effective at different speeds.
Play with it. If you’re a fast talker normally, try slowing your pace on every other phone call at work. How do people respond to you? When you’re face-to-face with a friend, watch for cues. Are you connecting better when you slow down? Or does a certain amount of speed help get your message across?
In Slow Motion
When you speak too slowly, you also run the risk of distorting your voice and sounding lazy. Have you seen any old John Wayne moves lately on cable? Well, when I imitate that voice, I think it makes me sound weak, tired, and a bit dim-witted. In many situations, listening to a slow speaker who frequently pauses makes you question the person’s credibility. The pauses suggest hesitancy or lack of authority, or imply that the individual just hasn’t figured out what the heck he or she is trying to say. The slow-talking speaker can also seem unprepared or inarticulate, even thought that might not be the case at all. But honestly, what good is being the sharpest tool in the shed if everybody around you thinks that you’re dense? The goal is to make sure that you always create the best impression possible.
How Do You Sound?
There’s no magic pill for fixing the pace of your speech other than just listening and adjusting, listening and adjusting. Use your recordings for feedback. Keep in mind that different situations require a variety of paces. If you’re a therapist, for example, you might want to provide lots of space in your speech pattern to encourage the other person to respond. If you’re a firefighter, you probably need to speak a bit faster so that your instructions are heard and carried out before the building burns down. Just play around with pace and try to make sure it’s appropriate to your particular circumstances. The good news is that your listeners will quite often let you know by asking you to stop talking so fast, or by telling you that you’re boring them to death!|23|voice,effective speach,speach,voice lessons,roger love|_none|1|roger_love Someone Taking Advantage of You?|Try this surprising plan for setting things right.|2009-10-16 17:00:00|public://imports/893.jpg|0|public://imports/893.jpg|
Are the world and its inhabitants always imposing on you? You may find yourself at the heart of your own troubles. Your external world and all the people in it reflect the state of your own psyche. So when you feel that people are taking advantage, it’s because at some unconscious level you’re taking advantage of yourself, punishing yourself without realizing it by withholding the joy of life from yourself. The person who acts it out for you is actually being sent by your Tao to do you a service—to show you what you’re doing to yourself.
Do you feel people are taking advantage of you? Start off with feeling gratitude to these people for playing that role. This instantly stops you from taking it personally. Then thank your Tao for the reflection. This instantly stops you from feeling like a victim. Life becomes once again a beautiful learning and healing process, rather than an obstacle course or horror story.
Next express your self-love. It’s facile but it works—say it out loud in the first person: I love you. Say it again with more feeling. And again until you hear it as you’d want to hear someone you really cared about telling you they love you.
Then, hold the person who you feel has wronged you in mind and tell them you love them. Use the same tone of voice and say it till you break through all resistance and feel it. Doing so is the essence of magnanimity. It creates the sympathetic internal environment you need to conduct a more self-affirming inner dialogue. That will automatically produce a sympathetic external environment in which to conduct a mutually respectful dialogue between you in real time.
Now notice how you withhold the joy of being alive from yourself from moment to moment—how you block out the joy of simply being alive which is your birthright—by tensing your belly against life, by holding your breath against it, by tensing the back of your neck, by tensing your hips and buttocks and so on. Be clear with yourself that by relaxing these muscles instead and letting yourself breathe more freely, you’re opening yourself up to the joy of the moment, regardless of external conditions or any self-defeating thoughts going on in your head. Take a chance and actually relax—release all that tension. Say “tension, release!” and it will.
Having retrieved your personal power and situated yourself correctly in respect to the external situation, you’re ready to approach the other person. First ask your Tao to produce the perfect moment in which you can both spontaneously discuss the issue and be open to and with each other. Then decide your intended outcome. For instance, that you both walk away from the discussion happy—with pride intact, feeling good about each other, having agreed to your mutual satisfaction to redress the imbalance in your relationship.
And when that moment arises, as it inevitably will if you give it the chance, proceed to communicate as follows, all the while bearing in mind that appearances aside, the other is really merely reflecting the damage you’ve been perpetrating on yourself without realizing, and has actually been serving you in taking advantage of you till now. Hence you speak lovingly:
I feel (whatever you feel—upset/sad/afraid/angry) because I think (whatever you think has happened that constitutes them taking advantage of you), and what I’d like is (whatever you’d like to have happen now—them acknowledging the error and agreeing to rebalance the situation in whatever way is mutually appropriate).
If done with humility, dignity, kindness, firmness, respect and determination not to allow any possible dodging tactics on their part and even on yours by getting scared and sidestepping what you need to say to them, this technique produces the desired result and you’ll get the outcome you wish for.|6|tao,relationships,communication,the barefoot doctor,stephen russell|_none|1|barefoot_doctor_stephen_russell How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?|Wake up to new research on peaceful slumbering.|2010-03-26 17:00:00|public://imports/1268.jpg|0|public://imports/1268.jpg|
Over the past 40 years, Americans have cut their snooze time by one to two hours per night. We now sleep less than people in any other industrialized country. Chronic sleeping problems afflict as many as 70 million Americans, costing the nation billions in medical expenses, accidents, and lost productivity, according to a new study. Last year, doctors wrote a record 43 million prescriptions for sleep pills. What’s going on? How does this deprivation affect our bodies?
There’s nothing more physically restorative than good sleep, and plenty of it, night after night after night. Lack in this area affects everything—job performance, schoolwork, health, and family harmony. Women, especially mothers, are the most deprived, losing about nine hours of sleep each week. Sleep debt impacts relationships, too. According to a very recent National Sleep Foundation poll, 25 percent of couples say they’re too tired for sex. And it’s been shown that if you only get six hours of sleep nightly, your mental functioning will be on about the same level as that of a drunk driver!
Lack of sleep also undermines your body’s ability to deal with stress. One way to tell if you’re getting enough shut-eye is to see if you wake at a regular time without an alarm. If you require a buzzer to get out of bed in the morning, you’re not getting enough sleep. How much sleep do you need each day? Adults need 8 1/4 hours of sleep nightly to maximize their ability to function daily. Adolescents require 9 1/4 hours; preschoolers have to get 12 hours; toddlers need 13 hours and babies need 14-18 hours.
Consistent lack of sleep can lead to a variety of health problems, including toxic buildup, premature aging, weight gain, depression, irritability, impatience, low sex drive memory loss, lethargy, relationship problems, and accidents. Sleepy people are dangerous to themselves and others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that sleep deprivation plays a role in nearly 100,000 traffic accidents each year; it also has been cited as a leading cause of workplace mishaps and has contributed to such disasters as the Chernobyl nuclear-reactor meltdown and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
How do you know if you’re sleep deprived? If you become sluggish, drowsy, or fatigued, particularly after lunch or in the middle of the afternoon, you fall into this category. If you have difficulty getting up in the morning, you’re also in this group. When it comes to sleep, researchers and other experts say that most people require a minimum of eight hours nightly. Every hour you lose adds to your sleep indebtedness, and you can’t expect to catch up by sleeping late one day a week.
There’s nothing more restorative for the body than plenty of good sleep on a regular basis. So if you want to be the best you can be, make this a nonnegotiable habit because it will have a positive impact on every area—body, mind, emotions, and spirit. With enough shut-eye, you’ll heal your physical self, feel more empowered, have more confidence, and know that you can face whatever comes each day with aplomb and élan. If everyone got more sleep and felt more rested, we’d be kinder toward one another; and family, friend, and business relationships would run more smoothly. Sweet, delicious sleep is a wonderful gift to give to yourself—and to others!
Here are some tips on getting a good night’s sleep:
- Increase your evening body heat with exercise or a hot bath, then allow at least two hours for a drop back to a normal temperature before going to bed.
- Save your bed for sleep and sex only. Work, eat, and watch TV somewhere else. Choose calming and soothing materials for bedtime reading.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and well-ventilated with plenty of fresh air. Add green plants to your décor to help supply oxygen.
- Don’t eat too close to bedtime and choose your evening meal wisely. A big, spicy meal might interfere with sleep; healthy carbohydrates make a better choice.
The best way for us to keep fit and healthy is for us to watch what we eat and think. Our choices of thoughts and food are the major parts of either poor health or good health. Life has given us unlimited choices and it’s up to us to educate ourselves on what really works for us. We’re all unique individuals and have our own special needs. So be aware of how your choice of thoughts makes you feel. When you choose angry or bitter thoughts, do you “feel” good? Wouldn’t you feel better if you chose a thought like, “All is well in my world?”
It’s the same with foods. Do you choose foods with the pretty picture on the package and then feel tired and irritable a little while after you’ve eaten it? Or do you choose natural foods that build up your energy and create healthy new cells? For the next month, be aware of your choices of thoughts and foods. You can create good health one food at a time, and one thought at a time!|6|diet,health,high energy,healthy foods,healthy choices,positive thoughts,louise l. hay|_none|0|louise_l_hay Linden’s Last Life|One man’s journey of the soul.|2009-10-14 17:00:00||0||
For as many times as I wondered how I would die, I never imagined it would be at my own hand.
I stood on the burnt-orange railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, my knees shaking violently, staring into the icy water more than 200 feet below. The full moon cast an eerie glow over the angry, gray churning swells, soon to swallow me whole. Fear clutched my naked throat like a cold steel hand, and my body stiffened. A voice in my head screamed: Get down and save yourself while you can! But I had made up my mind. Even a painful death could be no worse than the agony that had ravaged me for so long.
The night I found them still tortured me. Through the fogged window of a dark green Mercedes I saw my girlfriend straddling her ego-bloated managing editor. Vicky’s dress was up around her waist, and she was riding him like an animal. Jesus . . . they couldn’t even wait until they got into her apartment, just steps from the car.
Crimson fury exploded through my brain. “What the hell do you think you’re doing, Vicky?!” I yelled, pounding on the roof.
Startled, Vicky straightened out her dress and rubbed the fog off the inside of the window. When she saw that it was me, she made a pained face and lowered the window. “I’m sorry, Linden,” she called through the darkness. “I need to be with someone who wants to make something of his life.” She caught my eyes for a brief moment, and then the electric window silently rolled closed, shutting me out like a stray dog. I slammed on the roof one more time and stumbled away, nearly tripping in the boots my buddy had given me that were a size too small.
Just when I thought my life couldn’t possibly get worse, it did. If you’ve ever wondered how much hell could be packed into six months, I can tell you. Try: Magazine I write for goes belly-up. Car’s transmission dies. Landlord kicks me out on my ass. I go to see my uncle John, the only relative I ever felt understood me, and his depressed wife tells me he has been ordered into a drug-treatment program for a cocaine addiction he has kept secret for years. Then she tries to seduce me. When I refuse her advances, she threatens to tell him I attacked her. When I can’t pay my drinking buddy the hundred bucks I owe him, he picks a fight with me in a bar, we both get busted, and the public defender is sure I will get sentenced to jail time. I start walking the streets and grow a blister on my foot that gets infected; when I go to the emergency room, they won’t treat me without insurance.
I make my way to the bridge.
Vicky wasn’t the only girlfriend I’d ever had—just the only one I loved. She was sassy and steamy enough to melt every guy who showed up at the Time Out reception desk. When I came in to drop off my articles, her coquettish smile disarmed me, and our conversations turned into hypnotic interludes. (I didn’t quite know how to respond when she told me I looked like Brad Pitt with darker hair and deeper eyes.) I would walk out of the office all aflutter and find excuses to come back just to see her. Our dates were casual at first, but soon turned into marathon lovemaking sessions peppered with metaphysical discussions and laughter. Yet when Vicky practically drooled over dresses she saw in the Macy’s window and seemed overly impressed by her boss’s new car, I should have seen the bomb coming. But my hope for what could be blinded me to what was, and I had to learn the hard way that betrayal lurks behind even the sunniest moments.
But none of that mattered now—in a few moments it would all be over. I steadied myself for a moment against a thick steel cable, took a breath, and held it. . . . Last chance to turn back. . . . No turning back. . . . Gotta stop this pain in my heart. . . . Just push off. . . . One little step and it will all be over. . . . What’s that on my ankle? . . . Someone touching me . . . a hand? . . . Not grabbing . . . but strong. . . .
Ditch the Pity Party|Why pessimism makes you sick.|2010-11-06 17:00:00|public://imports/896.jpg|0|public://imports/896.jpg|
Just as down-and-out Linden Kozlowski is about to end it all, he’s intercepted by a stranger who says that if he runs away from his life, he’ll have to return. And his problems will just get worse. Sometimes people who are headed to one place find a good reason to choose another. And so the saga begins . .
Have you ever found yourself saying or thinking, “I wish I had just told him/her how I felt,” “Wow! I sure blew that opportunity,” “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” “My intuition tried to tell me. I should’a listened,” or “That dress would’a been perfect. Why didn’t I buy it?” Well, if you have, then join the ranks of people who suffer from the Could’a-Would’a-Should’a Syndrome, otherwise referred to as the “living with regret” syndrome.
Regret is a difficult companion to live with mentally, emotionally, and physically because it increases our susceptibility to pity parties, erodes our self-confidence, undermines our ability to achieve what we’re capable of, alters our moods at any given moment, robs us of joy, changes how we see ourselves, and affects our health.
Regret can cause us to become bitter, cynical, or judgmental, and to even turn on ourselves. Most important, it keeps us from living in the present moment, which is where we need to be if we’re to heal our body and change the source of the regret in our life. Regret only sees life from two perspectives: the past and the future. When living in the past, we’re always comparing where we are now with where we’ve been. This is not healthy. When living in the future, we’re always planning what we’ll be doing rather than just doing it now. Again, this is not a healthy perspective.
The Real Problem Isn’t Regret
While it’s true that regret can promote destructive, self-sabotaging behavior and cause us to lament the past, it really isn’t a contributor behind why we become sick. The contributor is simply the pessimism we develop as a result of living with regret. It’s what distorts our perspective of life and drains us of energy. It’s what emotionally debilitates us and robs us of the joyfulness life offers. It’s what causes us to focus on problems rather than solutions and leads us to believe that trying to change ourselves or a situation is pointless. It’s what causes us to ask, “Why bother?” And, it’s what causes us to give up on life and on ourselves.
Pessimism, as with regret, is a futile process with no reward in the end. It’s like a dog chasing its tail. Let me explain. Regret creates pessimism. Pessimism causes us to dwell on disappointment, anger, resentment, frustration, sadness, and other types of emotional distress we feel as a result of the regret. The more we dwell on these negative emotions, the more pessimistic we become until it reaches a point where we give up. And then we regret giving up. When viewed this way, it seems silly, doesn’t it?
It might be helpful to remember that we aren’t born with a gene that makes us more susceptible to regret or pessimism. Both are learned behaviors. They’re something developed based on the past; and when we live in the past, there is bound to be regret, which is even more reason to live in the moment.
Effects of Pessimism on the Body
More than any other part of the body, pessimism appears to affect the stomach and upper digestive tract the most. In fact, it appears to be the primary underlying contributor to gastric ulcers. Originally, ulcers were thought to be caused by too much hydrochloric acid and pepsin, which eat away the mucus lining of the stomach. However, researchers are now rethinking whether that is really the case, as some of the latest studies are showing there are people who actually have an “ulcer personality,” meaning they display predictable, learned personality characteristics that make them prone to ulcers. These characteristics include being excessively independent or self-critical, and having less social support, unrealistic expectations, or reoccurring bouts of remorse and regret.
Regret-Proof Your Life
Here are 5 simple steps to help “regret-proof” your life:
- Shift your perception of the past. Rather than using it to compare where you are now with where you were, use it to help you see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown.
- Transform the way you tell your story. We all have a life story that we tell and retell. Change that story so you’re not using it to elicit the sympathy of other people or to get attention. Instead, use it to inspire others to change their life and interestingly, it will change yours.
- Stop the Could’a-Should’a-Would’a Talk. At the time you make your choices, they are based on the best information available. And, contrary to what you’ve been led to believe, hindsight isn’t a teacher. It’s an imitator.
- Reclaim your dreams. You can’t change the past, but you can reclaim the essential experiences from the past that can help you live your dreams every day.
- Laugh more. It’s interesting how laughter keeps you engaged in the present moment. Besides, it’s hard to be pessimistic when you’re having a good belly laugh. When you laugh, it’s even harder to take regret seriously.
Will these steps guarantee you an easy life? Probably not, but they will help rid you of regret.|6|sickness,pessimism,illness,healing,carol ritberger|_none|1|carol_ritberger_phd Got Fear?|Fight your fears by facing them.|2009-10-16 17:00:00|public://imports/892.jpg|0|public://imports/892.jpg|
A simple way to build courage is to make commitments that don’t require much courage to accept but that require significant courage to implement. When you put yourself on record, you’ll tend to follow through. Small commitments can help you overcome complacency and build significant courage.
During my first few months as a member of Toastmasters International, I decided to enter their humorous-speech contest. I’d never competed in an adult speech contest before, but when I was asked if I wanted to participate, it didn’t take much courage for me to say, “Sure, I’ll do it.” As the contest date drew closer, however, I began to second-guess my decision: What have I gotten myself into here? But since I was already committed to the contest, I followed through and did my best.
Preparing for each round of competition was hard work, but I had a lot of fun and probably advanced my speaking skills by the equivalent of 6 to 12 months of regular club attendance. After that first contest season, I felt much more confident and courageous as a speaker, and I went on to compete in other speech contests. I’m sure I wouldn’t be as comfortable with public speaking today if I hadn’t committed to that first competition many years ago. All it took to get moving was to open my mouth and say, “I’ll do it.”
Instead of avoiding your fears, make a commitment to face them. If you’re afraid of public speaking, commit to giving a speech. If you’re afraid of heights, enroll in a rock-climbing class. If you’re afraid of the water, sign up for swimming lessons. Remember that whatever you fear, you must eventually face, including death itself.
Courage is a choice. To be courageous is to confront your fear with the power that emanates from your deepest connections. As you bring your life into alignment with truth, love, and power, fear’s hold on you will gradually weaken. Truth helps you see through the illusion of fear, so you can maintain authority over your life. Love motivates you to deepen your connections and achieve the fearless state of oneness. And power provides the strength to act in spite of fear, building courage in the process.
No matter how difficult it may seem, choose to face your fears consciously. Don’t die without embracing the daring adventure your life is meant to be. You may go broke. You may experience failure and rejection repeatedly. You may endure multiple dysfunctional relationships. But these are all milestones on the path of a life lived courageously. These are your private victories, carving a deeper space within you to be filled with an abundance of joy, happiness, and fulfillment. Be afraid if you must; then summon the courage to follow your dreams anyway. That strength is undefeatable.|23|commitment,toastmasters,fear,public speaking,courage,steve pavlina|_none|1|steve_pavlina Are You a Hostage to Your Allergies?|The culprit may be environmental mold.|2009-10-17 17:00:00|public://imports/894.jpg|0|public://imports/894.jpg|
I recently received a letter from a full-time nurse who has been suffering terribly from seasonal allergies. As soon as the pollen starts to fly, she is in misery. She tries to avoid sneezing and coughing over her patients, but over-the-counter medications don’t seem to help and also make her drowsy. Can you relate to this?
If you live in any hot, humid place, the key to your problem can be your exposure to environmental molds. Mold exposures can compromise the immune system making the body more reactive to seasonal allergies, notably pollens.
Molds can accumulate in feather pillows and damp bedding. Molds are also found in the soil of houseplants. For people with breathing problems, it is wise to remove the plants from the bedroom. When these plants are watered, the molds can rise into the air and contaminate the space where the person is sleeping. There are many well-known effects from exposures to molds including breathing problems; puffy eyes and facial tissue; runny nose; postnasal drip; headaches; anxiety; and depression to name a few.
People who live in moldy climates and who are frequently exposed to molds due to rainy weather or dampness are especially affected. During the summer, when the weather is dry, their symptoms often improve.
So it is given that molds trigger immune reactions. Once the immune system is on “red alert,” it will react to other things as well: pollen, dust, rag weed and common foods notably dairy products. During this season of the year, I suggest that you take a break from milk-based products. These can be very mucous forming. Dairy can be re-introduced in dry weather.
I remember several years ago, I visited a farming community. Many of the people there were severely affected by molds. All too often these people had moldy, damp basements in which they had created children’s playrooms, computer rooms, sewing rooms and laundry rooms. In that community I was stunned by the number of people who had environmental illness because of their exposure to molds. I have seen people’s personalities change, where they can become violent, anxious, or very sad, just because of exposures to molds. In fact, a woman in that community finally got relief from her severe migraine headaches when she moved out of her moldy home.
Investigate the possibilities of molds in your home. Clean up and dry out your basement. If your basement is slightly moldy, purchase a dehumidifier, which will help to remove the moisture in the air. Never allow a child to sleep, (or yourself to work) in such a place. Go into these places with the nose of a bloodhound and use your instincts to correct problems. If you suspect that your home is moldy and you have a child or family member who suffers from anxiety or depression, there may be a connection.
If you currently live in a moldy place, limit your intake of mold through your food. Avoid eating mushrooms, vinegar, pickles, soy sauce, aged cheeses, wine and beer—which are all fermented items—until your mold sensitivities subside. After you have avoided these items for approximately 30 days, reintroduce these items and watch for symptoms. Is your nose runny? Do you feel the onset of a mild headache? During this whole process in which you are developing your intuition, use your own body as a laboratory to see the effects of the environment on your system.|6|mold,allergies,immune system,caroline sutherland,empowerment|_none|1|caroline_sutherland Hang On, or Let Go!|5 tips for making better choices.|2009-10-12 17:00:00|public://imports/884.jpg|0|public://imports/884.jpg|
Every choice and decision you’ve made has brought you to this very point at this precise moment in time. I do believe that some events in one’s life can be attributed to fate, whereas others are just meant to happen. But, you have free will, and the choice at that moment is to determine what you do, and how to respond when the event happens.
As a soul, you’re an accumulation of all your experiences that are happening now, as well as those that happened in the past. It’s the choices that you make as a result of these experiences, that determines the quality of how you’re going to live your life.
There are many different roads that you may decide to take on your soul’s journey. When your soul incarnates here in the physical world, its predestined journey will take you from point A to point B. It’s your choice and your free will which route you want to take and how fast you want to get there. You may take the fast route, direct from A to B, or you may meander through different side roads, experiencing all that life has to offer, as you take your time in getting to your soul’s ultimate destination.
Sometimes it’s good to let go of the river’s edge and let the flow of life take you to where you're supposed to be. It can be quite liberating when you do let go. Suddenly, opportunities and choices become exciting, and surprisingly, you still feel safe by letting go of the outcome. Of course, there are other times when it makes more sense to grab a pair of oars and steer yourself in a certain direction.
Your choice is your own free will —so, either hang on or let go! Here are 5 tips to send you on your way:
5 Tips on Making Better Choices
- Tap in to the power of your soul. Next time you make a decision, stop for a moment and ask yourself, “How do I feel about this decision?” “Does it feel positive or negative, and why?” Simply by doing this, you’ll be guided to make better choices.
- Begin your day in a positive way. It’s always your choice as to what kind of day you want to have. Even before your foot touches the floor, try smiling. You don’t need a reason. By just smiling, you’ll begin your day in a positive way. All thought creates reality, so by starting off your day in this way, you’ll attract more positive vibes and opportunities.
- Trust your intuition. Your intuition can be an excellent resource to assist you in making an important decision. Imagine two roads in front of you, going in opposite directions with individual signs representing the decision. Take your time as you walk down each road and observe all the surroundings. Notice everything. Are the roads rugged or smooth? Is the landscape rich with greenery or is it barren? Use this technique for small decisions at first, as you build your intuition and confidence.
- Choose from the heart. Try to look beyond what you’re seeing in front of you. Layers of life’s issues may be covering the goodness that’s inside people. Look deeper to feel if they have a kind, pure heart. Look for the good that’s in every person, and in every situation.
- Make peace with poor choices. At one time or another, we’ve all made bad choices in our lives. Hopefully we learn from them, try to not to do them again, and move on. By making peace with a bad choice from the past, it will help you become more positive to make better choices in the future. By this simple act, you’re making a commitment to yourself and to your soul to be all that you can be.
Fear is one of the biggest barriers to living a joyful and fulfilling life. If you’re living life from a place of fear, you’re not free to take risks or pursue your dreams. If your energy is expended in avoiding failure or rejection, then that energy is used to stay safe, instead of being available to create the life you envision.
Through evolution, we’re hard-wired to respond to fear with intensity. For our evolutionary precursors, the fight-or-flight response was a valuable survival mechanism. It’s not as useful when triggered by modern-day fears. In addition to affecting the autonomic nervous system, the hormone cortisol is released in higher quantities than normal. Cortisol helps the system react and normalize once the threat has passed. However, chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels have adverse effects, including impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, blood-sugar imbalances, higher blood pressure, and increased abdominal fat. It can also compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
Most fears are not based on our current reality. They are the product of imagined fears conjured up in our minds—the product of our own fantasies. Of course, if you’re walking alone in a dark parking lot at 2 a.m., you may have every reason to experience fear. That fear is going to propel you to your car, keys ready, as fast you can move. However, the other kind of fear—the fear that has no basis in reality—is one of the biggest things that keeps people from pursuing the life they desire. Fear of meeting new people or trying something new. Fear of success or of failure. Fear of leaving a job you hate, getting out of a bad relationship, or moving to a new city. Fear of defying convention. Fear of change.
Fear rears its head when people attempt to move beyond their comfort zones. These are the situations and circumstances that we know, that give us a sense of security because they represent what’s familiar. Staying within your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re happy there. It’s just what you’re used to. Your willingness to expand your comfort zone allows you greater experiences and freedom. To move outside your comfort zone, you have to be able to manage fear. Below are four steps to move beyond the shackles of fear, and create the experiences and circumstances to which you aspire.
- Instead of resisting it, acknowledge your fear. For example, “I’m afraid I will fail” or “I’m afraid I’ll be rejected” or “I’m afraid I won’t make enough money.”
- Identify the “gloom and doom” movie you’re running in your mind. Ask yourself, what am I imagining will happen?
- Do a reality check. Figure out if your fears have any real basis in fact. Be as methodical as you need to be.
- Replace the gloom and doom movie with one that supports your goals—focus on the movie of the future state you want to achieve.
James: There is a natural rhythm to life that gives us a tangible experience of Oneness. We felt it when we were born and when we were young, but as we grew, we realized that the evidence around us painted a very different picture. This evidence led us to believe that we’re in competition with every person and situation we encounter. This is how the ego was born, and we nurtured it because we thought we needed its protection. But in reality we were simply out of rhythm, and Oneness felt like a distant dream. Now that we realize this, we can enter back into the stream and sense that natural rhythm again.
Anakha: Yes. When we watch children, we see that they are certainly in, and are accepting of, their own rhythm. They’re deeply in touch with their basic needs, whether it’s for food, attention, comfort, or rest. They’re also wide open to the flow of their emotions. One minute they may be sad, the next minute mad, and the next, joyfully laughing and playing. Children allow themselves to move at their natural rhythm and pace. They accept what arrives from moment to moment and then allow it to spontaneously flow into something else.
It’s quite a beautiful experience to observe children in that place of Oneness. Yet what happens when we’re young is that we start to interact with the world, our parents, and our primary caregivers; and in that process, our experiences tell us that we’re less than whole…that something is wrong with us, we’re not enough, or we’re not doing “it” right. And from those events a core belief of fear is created. We start mistrusting our inner rhythm, our essence, our natural state, our emotions, our truth…and we begin trying to fit into something that will guarantee our safety, security, acceptance, and well-being.
The journey into Oneness includes identifying and dissolving those limiting beliefs that were created early on. They live just below our awareness in the subconscious; and they have a powerful impact on how we show up in the world, and how we act and relate to others. When we begin slowing our rhythm and discovering our natural pace—our automatic way of moving, speaking, and breathing—we reconnect to the state of Oneness.
James: One of the things I’m feeling right now is the importance of not judging these natural rhythms. We must know that they’re natural and vital to the evolution of our Souls. Allow the state of remembering and forgetting. We came here to forget who we are for a moment so that in remembering Oneness we may appreciate it more deeply.
I think this is really the journey of the Soul. So we don’t want to look at the way that we’ve lived—our ego existence—as wrong or bad because that actually makes it difficult to release or transform it. I think we have to accept and love ourselves exactly as we are. At that point, we’re ready to remember, ready to step out of that state of forgetfulness and think back to why we were born, why we’re here. And then we can activate that knowledge in our lives and in the world.
Anakha: Beautiful…yes! It’s a process. The rhythm of Oneness will bring us back into love and tenderness for ourselves and one another. And yes, there’s already enough pain surrounding how we’ve lived within the illusion of separation—we certainly don’t need to add insult to injury. Compassion is absolutely necessary as we allow those beliefs that have manifested as separation in our lives to actually begin to heal and dissolve.|1|meditation,children,rhythm,oneness,anakha coman,james twyman|_none|1|james_f_twyman Bathing Your Genes in Junk Food?|Food is so much more than fuel. How your food talks to our immune system.|2009-10-21 17:00:00||0||
How your genes are expressed is determined by what you surround them with or feed them. That means food is a primary determinant of how your genes are expressed, whether for good health or disease. The revolutionary new science, Nutrigenomics, the science of how food talks to our genes, tells us that food contains information and “hidden instructions” which are communicated directly to your genes.
Armed with this information, your genes commandeer various metabolic actions and affect millions of critical biological processes, including cholesterol levels, aging, hormone regulation, weight gain and loss, and much more. Eat the right foods and it will send instructions to your genes for good health, eat the wrong foods and you send messages for disease.
Just as a computer program won’t function well when it gets fed bad data, neither will your body. Once you understand that food is “data” or complex information that the body uses to direct the multifaceted actions that keep us vibrantly alive, it’s easy to understand that loading up on junk food is like taking the fast lane to a giant system failure. Foods loaded with sugar, trans fats, chemicals, and pesticides, and foods processed beyond recognition, are simply “bad data” for human consumption. Eat badly regularly, and your body stops working properly.
It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. When you bathe your genes in a dangerous environment, like the one created when you eat junk food, your genes “miscue” metabolic actions and that can trigger disease. Bottom line: the food you eat affects the functioning of your genes.
The way we see food at the moment is that it is basically a delivery system for nutrients, that food contains protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. This belief system maintains that the value of food is in its nutrients and not in the food itself. As with the way we see the body in Modern Western Medicine, it is reductionist and does not see food as a whole.
What we are finding out is that there is so much more to food than just the nutrients we have discovered thus far. Food is packed with thousands of compounds that are present in a complex and dynamic relationship to one another. We are only beginning to understand it all and to think we can break it down to those few parts we have deciphered is naive.
Don’t be reductionist about your food and try to work out the calories or even protein, fat and carbohydrate percentages to eat well. Although you should know how to read food labels, most of the food you eat should not come with a label …vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats, organic eggs and chickens, etc. The “foods” that tend to be bad for your genes are usually man-made. I call them food substances to distinguish them from real food.
So although there is no one right diet for everyone (as we are all different), try to eat as close to nature as possible because the further removed food is from its source, the more likely it is of being a food substance and not real food and the less good data it will contain. As Michael Pollan says in his brilliant book, In Defense of Food, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” He too is talking about eating real food.|6|diet,michael pollan,genes,junk food,frank lipman,healing foods|_none|1|frank_lipman Experience Miracles With Quantum Physics |A Tibetan Yogi Defies Physical Laws|2013-12-27 17:00:00|public://imports/1151.jpg|0|public://imports/1151.jpg|
Historically we’ve been taught that we’re insignificant specks of life passing through a brief moment in time, limited by the “laws” of space, atoms, and DNA. This view suggests that we’ll have little effect upon anything during our time in this world, and that when we’re gone the universe will never even notice our absence. It’s precisely these beliefs that often leave us feeling small and helpless in the face of life’s greatest challenges.
Are We Capable of Miracles?
What if we’re more than this? Could it be that we’re really very powerful beings in disguise? What if we’re delegates of a miraculous potential, born into this world with capabilities beyond our wildest dreams—capabilities that we’ve forgotten in the conditions that have shocked us into the illusion of being powerless?
Such a radical discovery would change everything. It would change what we believe about ourselves, the universe, and our role in life. It’s also precisely what the leading-edge discoveries are showing us today and what the great masters discovered for themselves in the past.
A Tibetan Yogi Does The Unthinkable
In the ninth century A.D., the great Tibetan yogi, Milarepa, began a personal retreat to master his body in this world, a journey that would last until his death at the age of 84. Before he died, Milarepa left proof of his mastery in the form of a miracle that modern scientists say should simply not exist. I wanted to see for myself the place where Milarepa breached the laws of physics to prove that our beliefs determine what’s possible for us in life.
I’d first heard about Milarepa from a Sikh mystic who became my yoga teacher in the 1980s. For years, I’d studied the mystery surrounding the yogi’s journey throughout the remote mountains of China’s Western plateau and the secrets that his devotion had revealed. In 1998, I led a group pilgrimage into Tibet following a route that would take us directly to Milarepa’s cave. Nineteen days after the trip began, I found myself in the thin air of a cave hidden 16,000 feet above sea level, standing precisely where the great yogi had stood nearly 800 years before. With my face only inches away from the wall of the cave, I was staring squarely into the mystery that he had left behind.
To demonstrate his mastery of the physical world, Milarepa had placed his open hand against the cave’s wall at shoulder level, and then continued to push his hand deep into the rock in front of him, as if the wall did not exist! When he did so, the rock beneath his palm became soft and malleable as he left the imprint of his hand embedded in the stone for all to see.
As I opened my palm and placed it into the impression of Milarepa’s hand, I could feel my fingertips cradled in the precise position that the yogi’s fingers had assumed eight centuries earlier—a feeling that was both humbling and inspiring at the same time. The fit was so perfect that any doubt I had about the authenticity of the handprint quickly disappeared. Immediately, my thoughts turned to the man himself. I wanted to know what was happening to him when the rock softened to his touch. What was he thinking? What was he feeling? What did he change within himself that allowed him to defy the “laws” telling us that two physical things—like human flesh and a rock—can’t be in the same place, at the same time?
In anticipation of my question, our Tibetan translator, Xjin-la (pronounced jen la) answered before I even spoke the words. “He has belief,” Xjin-la stated in a matter-of-fact voice. The geshe he said, (the Tibetan word for great teacher) believes that he and the rock are not separate. The rock cannot contain him. To him, this cave is not a wall, so he can move freely as if the rock does not exist.”
How Our Conciousness Shapes Our World
In the face of an event like Milarepa’s breach of physical laws, we must reconcile our direct experience with what our family, friends, and culture accept as the reality of our world. The qualities of a cave’s stone wall depend upon the way we think of them. Before Milarepa’s students witnessed the possibility that their teacher showed them, for example, they believed that the rock was a barrier to the human body. After their teacher’s demonstration, their beliefs changed. Both views are accurate. Each one depends upon the way we think of our world—it’s all about what we choose to believe.
The Language of Quantum Physics
So the question that we must ask ourselves is simply this: Could the same thing be happening in our lives today? As far-fetched as this question may sound in light of our scientific knowledge and technological advances, modern scientists now describe a similar irony. Using the language of quantum physics rather than yogic miracles, a growing number of leading-edge scientists suggest that the universe and everything in it—including the healing of our bodies—“is” what it “is” because of the force of consciousness itself. Interestingly, the more we understand the relationship between consciousness, our inner experiences, and our world, the less far-fetched this suggestion becomes.
The ancient mystics reminded our hearts and modern demonstrations have proven to our minds that the great secret of creation itself lives within each of us: the power to create in the world, what we’ve imagined in our beliefs. While it may sound too easy to be true, the evidence suggests that the universe and our healing works precisely this way, and is just this simple.|1|science,miracles,quantum physics,consciousness,gregg braden|_none|1|gregg_braden Can You Turn Down the Noise?|The spirituality of silence.|2009-10-23 17:00:00||0||
You live in a noisy world, constantly bombarded with loud music, construction equipment, jet airplanes, rumbling trucks, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and tree cutters. These human-made, unnatural sounds invade your senses and keep silence at bay. In fact, you’ve been raised in a culture that not only eschews silence but is terrified of it. The car radio must be on, and any pause in conversation is a moment of embarrassment that most people quickly fill with chatter. For many, being alone is a nightmare, and being alone in silence is pure torture. The famous scientist Blaise Pascal observed, “All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Make a conscious decision to reduce the noise level of your life. Noise is a distraction to your highest self because it keeps your ego on red alert. Learn to take time each and every day for quiet contemplation: For example, when you’re driving alone, turn off the constant chatter bombarding your inner world. Then when you arrive at your destination, honor the OFF button on the TV remote—and honor the ON button for your highest self!
Try to make meditation a daily practice as well, even if it’s only for a few moments. All creation stems from the void, the great silence—this includes the creation of a new you devoid of self-defeating thinking habits and accompanying excuses. As Swami Sivananda reminded his devotees: “Silence is the language of God.” Mother Teresa described silence and its relationship to God by saying, “God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, grass, grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence…. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” This includes your soul!
All creativity requires some stillness. Your sense of inner peace depends on spending some of your life energy in silence to recharge your battery, remove tension and anxiety, reacquaint you with the joy of knowing God, and feel closer to all humanity. Silence reduces fatigue and allows you to experience your own creative juices. Ask in silence, listen in silence, and let silence be the jumping-off point for becoming one with the creative force of the universe.|23|meditation,noise,peace,silence,quiet,wayne w. dyer,meditation|_none|1|dr_wayne_w_dyer Your Inner CEO|Who’s taking control of your life?|2009-10-05 17:00:00||0||
As an executive coach, I’ve had the pleasure of working with highly talented CEOs, and I’ve found that the most effective leaders excel in getting various parts of the corporation to work together. They create peak performance because they listen carefully to all departments within the organization and integrate that information into wise and powerful choices.
You are, believe it or not, the CEO of “You, Inc.” If you abdicate this position, then other people and random events will dictate your circumstances. If you want to take control of your life, you can’t do it well without accessing information about yourself from all departments of your organization.
The task of accessing full information about yourself may seem daunting, which may be the reason so many of us still take those magazine tests promising instant insight into your personality. Overall, if you want to access your inner CEO, you’ll need to learn how to truly listen to your body. By doing so, all your inner departments will be available to you.
First off, you can’t figure out what you feel, or access your body’s wisdom, by thinking. The word feel implies physical sensation. Even the word emotion has in its letters the implication that feeling is e-motion (that is, energy in motion—found in physical movement).
Our language demonstrates how physically disconnected we are. We’ll say, “I’ve been suffering from this migraine,” as if the pain in our head is the result of evil exterior forces. We’ll complain about how our back goes out on us, as though our back muscles plotted mutiny. We describe our body symptoms as if they’re a foreign force because, for many of us, our body is alien and mistrusted territory. We also use the word it frequently to describe our body. If asked about our headache, we might say, “It has been making me miserable for days,” as if our head is a separate entity.
Disconnection from our body has a price. The anger we don’t feel turns into a headache; the grief we can’t express becomes a lump in our throat; the remorse over something we’ve done becomes a stomachache. On the other hand, if we identify and own these feelings, we can save ourselves a great deal of dis-ease, and at the same time become better communicators.|23|executive coach,career,wisdom,ceo,daneen skube|_none|1|daneen_skube Did You Eat Your Protein Today?|The most important nutrient of all.|2009-10-05 17:00:00||0||
I believe that protein is the most important nutrient of all. I can almost guarantee that you didn’t eat enough protein today—in fact, I’d be willing to bet the house that you haven’t eaten enough for about 90 percent of the days you’ve been alive. After all, it’s easier for most of us to reach for that sugary carbohydrate than a chicken breast.
Why is protein so important? Because it’s the only nutrient that actually feeds the lean muscle tissue in your body. If you don’t take in enough protein, you’ll lose lean muscle tissue. Remember that your goal is to lose body fat, not muscle tissue—without it, your body will lack that toned, shaped appearance that enhances everyone’s appearance.
Have you ever seen someone who’s lost a lot of weight but doesn’t look all that great? They tend to look like a smaller, almost flabbier version of their former self. (I could mention a few top actors, but why get myself in trouble?) These people have lost significant muscle tissue along with their fat, so their skin almost hangs off them because the muscle is no longer there to form the shape of their bodies. Some examples of high-quality, protein-rich foods include chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, protein powders, and lean red meat.|6|diet,health,protein,frank sepe,healing foods|_none|1|frank_sepe Are You a Turned-On Woman?|Let life get you in the mood!|2009-10-08 17:00:00|public://imports/961.jpg|0|public://imports/961.jpg|
When you start living your life as a totally alive, turned-on woman, an amazing thing happens: Not only does this bring you an amazing amount of pleasure and happiness, but you also start having a positive effect on everyone else around you. In fact, your joyful outlook becomes positively contagious!
The effect is similar to what happens when you’re in a good mood. You’ve probably often seen how your upbeat mood can put a smile on someone else’s face, but the effect I’m talking about here is much deeper and more powerful than just spreading a few smiles.
When you commit to discovering, nurturing and then living your true passion, it’s as if you’re stoking a fire in your soul. Others then see you not only being confident and comfortable in your own skin, but also celebrating yourself and reaching for joy at every turn. As a result, you will inspire them to do the same. So eventually, they, too, begin making healthier choices that nurture their bodies, minds, and spirits.
But that’s just the start. Instead of merely being an example—as powerful as that can be—why not become a source of pleasure for others as well? You’ll quickly see that this takes relatively little effort on your part, and it can be a great deal of fun.
For example, compliment others more often when they do something right. So many of us are used to getting feedback only when we do something wrong or displease someone else. Why not let people know that you appreciate what they’ve done right then and there? Remember the saying “An attitude of gratitude creates a space for grace”—there’s a lot of wisdom in that statement!
I’m also a big believer in “drive-by” compliments. If I see a woman in public whose outfit, hairstyle, or jewelry is particularly striking, I let her know with a quick but genuine compliment. I do the same for men and children, too. When you behave in this way, what you’re really doing is starting a chain of positive emotion. The individual you compliment will most likely be genuinely touched—especially if it’s someone you don’t know who isn’t expecting it. And then that person will feel better about him-or herself and will be in a better mind-set to keep the joy circulating.
The more pleasure you spread to others, the more you will feel yourself, and the more joyous and healthier the world around you will become. This works because of the Law of Attraction, which states that whatever you pay attention to expands. So, by spending time focusing on joy and pleasure, you’re simply calling more of it to you—and to everyone else you come in contact with, as well. In a very short time, you’ll start to see beauty in many forms and opportunities for pleasure wherever you go.
The idea of being a source of pleasure for others isn’t limited to compliments and other quick, positive comments. You can actually use joy to help transform the world. Remember the old adage “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? The opposite is also true: When women are happy, everyone around them automatically feels uplifted, too. It’s as if a wave of loving-kindness goes out from them and affects every living thing on the planet.
By virtue of our biology, women are the main source of nurturing in the world. We nurture everyone around us—not just our kids. It’s in our DNA. So, then, can you imagine the difference it would make being nurtured by a woman who’s fully alive and turned on by life, versus a woman who’s just making it through the day? Women who have blossomed in midlife actually feed life force to everyone they come into contact with, whether or not they realize it.
That’s why when women take the time and effort to be truly supportive of other women, the effect is so gratifying. Haven’t you experienced the incredibly uplifting power of being in a group of female friends? By the time the get-together is over, you almost always feel infinitely better than you did when you arrived, and you can’t wait to spend time with each other again. It’s no coincidence.
The world needs more beauty and light right now. The health of the planet depends upon our own happiness, joy and pleasure to help raise the collective life force for all beings. Giving and receiving pleasure is a way of life that helps everyone and everything. So get going! The only thing you have to lose by following your bliss is your suffering—and that is worth celebrating.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.|6|womens health,female pleasure,christiane northrup,strength meditation|_none|1|dr_christiane_northrup Life Is an Education |How to expand your world.|2013-10-07 17:00:00|public://imports/897.jpg|0|public://imports/897.jpg|
Life is really meant to be simple and easy. However, well-meaning parents and others often try to pressure their kids to excel in school so much so that children today have very high levels of stress that we never thought about when we were young. Unfortunately, we adults aren’t taught in school how to have relationships or how to be good parents. As parents, we muddle through as best we can, having learned parenthood only from what we saw in our own families. Children learn by observing their parents, so if you teach them love and forgiveness, they’ll learn how to be loving and forgiving.
It’s one of our challenges (as we grow up) to do what’s right for us even when those who care about us have other ideas. We’re not here to fulfill other people’s expectations. I believe that everything does work out for the best in the end, but sometimes it’s hard to see that while we’re going through a challenging experience.
By trusting Divine Intelligence to help us experience life in the way that’s best for us, we empower ourselves to find our own path to fulfillment and to enjoy everything that life has to offer. I truly believe knowledge is power. I’m constantly increasing my understanding. Every day I open my awareness a little more to the Divine Wisdom within me. Life, to me, is an education! I’m glad to be alive and so grateful for the good that’s come to me. We can educate ourselves by opening our mind and heart every day to discover new insights, new people, new viewpoints, and new ways to understand what’s happening around and within us. The more I understand, the more my world expands and I feel at ease with all the changes in this incredible school of life here on Planet Earth.
There are many things you can do to expand your world. You can begin with the thoughts that you think by using affirmations. Remember, affirmations are anything and everything you think and say and believe. Here are some of my personal favorites:
I am responsible for my experience.
Every thought I think is creating my future.
I need to release the past and forgive everyone, including myself.
The point of power is always in the present moment.
I am safe in the Universe, and all Life loves and supports me.
All is well in my world.
People often say “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up” and worry themselves silly. Someone recently sent me a copy of a wonderful commencement speech given at Stanford University by the founder and CEO of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs. A highly successful businessman known for his creativity and innovation in the world of business, his speech in a nutshell was about loving what you do. Given all that he’d accomplished in the world, this didn’t really surprise me. But what did surprise me was the fact that he told the assembled crowd that for the last 34 years he has been using one of my most popular techniques to start his day. He looks in the mirror every morning and says this affirmation: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do?” In his speech Mr. Jobs also said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart, and intuition.” What a powerful message!
As Steve Jobs was implying, today is the only opportunity you’ll ever have to experience this day. Stay in the now, and rejoice in every moment. Don’t let your days slip by in frustration or you’ll miss out on much of your joy. Create in your mind how you want your life to be. Study, read, and listen to CDs. If you’re already going to school, begin every morning with a few minutes of meditation. Affirm that school gets easier and easier for you all the time. Develop a feeling of gratitude for every experience you have. Learn to find joy in each moment.
It’s your life. Love it, and Life will love you in return. I promise, if you take a month of expressing gratitude at every turn, Life loves a grateful person and will give you even more to be grateful for.
Affirm: I listen with love and peace to what life is teaching me!|5|education,self-esteem,affirmations,mirror work,gratitude,parenting,louise hay|_none|1|louise_l_hay The Story of Influence|The horse who taught me how to open my heart.|2009-10-24 17:00:00||0||
Everyone is stressed out these days and I’m frequently asked how to deal with anxiety. I urge people to get a pet or have some sort of animal companionship. Many studies have shown that having a pet reduces stress and prolongs life. A lot of clients have even learned to love again after grievous losses or betrayals by getting involved with an animal and experiencing their unconditional love—a true healing balm for the heart.
I love my dog and my cats, but I have a special relationship with Influence—my 20-year-horse. He’s a black Dutch Warmblood with four white socks and a white blaze on his face, very much like Elizabeth Taylor’s horse in the movie National Velvet.
It was love at first sight with Influence. I’ve spent a lot of time living in rural areas with many different types of animals. My husband and I had a ranch in the mountains near Lake Tahoe that was rather like Noah’s Ark, with pairs of ducks, geese, chickens, pigs, goats, even a dozen llamas. One day a neighbor rode by on her horse. I had never been close to a horse before . . . but one ride, and I was head over heels. I found Influence (along with several other horses, since if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing to excess!) and spent all my time in a self-created “University of the Horse,” learning everything I could.
When he was young, Influence chased the llamas around the field, but was very gentle with them. An old cowboy walked by one day and warned me that Influence acted like he thought I was his mother, and to watch out, he might bite me. (Young horses do nip their mothers.) A few days later, I bent over Influence’s stall door to pet him and he did bite me. To this day, I have to be careful because he’ll want to give me love nips if I haven’t seen him in a while.
I was a green rider with a green horse. Horse trainers told me our combined ignorance was sheer insanity. But I knew he was meant to be my horse. I rode dressage—that was our sport. He loved competing. In dressage, horse and rider have to perform difficult movements as one, or at least that’s the goal. Influence was never easy to ride, he always made me work for every movement. Influence prefers his retirement now, smelling the breeze, enjoying the Southern California air.
In the summer, my husband and I sleep outside in a tent. I love sleeping on the ground, in touch with the restorative energy we receive from the natural world. And it also allows me to be near my horse.
Influence needs our companionship. He knows when we’re asleep and stays quiet. When one of us wakes up—even just opening an eye—he immediately senses it. Oh good, you’re awake! When he was young, I had put a little brass bell in his stall and told him, if you need me, ring the bell. He’s never forgotten that trick. Now he takes his big foot (he weighs close to 1600 pounds!) with its iron shoe and kicks the metal bucket. He doesn’t care if it’s 2 a.m., dark and cold, I have to get up and give him his hay. I keep him 20-30 feet away from the tent so he’s not in my energy field while I meditate. When your animals meditate with you, it recharges them rather than you.
He’s very magical. The first time I ever heard Influence speak was when I’d had him for only a month. I was riding him and he was clearly reluctant to be going anywhere. In my mind, I heard him say: It’s too hot out and my feet hurt. Connecting with an animal on a deep intuitive level shows a willingness to trust in a real partnership.
There’s an old cowboy saying that a horse’s outsides are good for a man’s insides. (It’s a corollary to that cardinal cowboy rule: Always keep the horse between you and the ground.) All I have to do is stand near Influence, groom him, pet him, or even mentally connect my energy field to his when I’m not in his presence—and it grounds me and opens my heart.
Our pets do so much for us. As I say in my book Truth Heals when discussing the heart chakra: “One of the best ways to open a closed heart is through giving and receiving love with a pet—a dog, cat, horse, or even a bird can help heal heartbreak and teach us how to love again. Pets love us unconditionally and make it safe for us to learn to love again.” So if you want to hone your intuitive skills, receive unconditional love, have access to instant grounding, and open your heart—get a pet!|1|stress,intuition,healing pets,pets,deborah king|_none|1|deborah_king Is Raw Food for You?|Jenny and Doreen Virtue on eco-delicious living cuisine.|2009-10-25 17:00:00|public://imports/1150.jpg|0|public://imports/1150.jpg|
What makes living foods so amazing?
Living foods are alive! Full of vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes. This plant-based style of eating focuses on fresh local produce and is made from fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains. What does that mean? No bad fats, no bad cholesterol, nothing processed—that’s right just pure food for your body to live on!
What makes living cuisine so different from other types of plant-based diets?
Your health! Living foods are designed to give your body optimal nutrients for healthy living naturally. Since nothing is processed, everything is functional and provides your body with regenerative nutrients on a daily basis. This diet has been proven to clear up cancers, high cholesterol, heart disease, allergies, asthma and more. Even if you simply begin by adding something living to your diet and increase slowly to a higher percentage of living foods, you will start to experience greater health.
When I discovered living foods almost a decade ago, I though “I’ll try it, what’s the worst that can happen? I go back to eating meat and potatoes right?” I had no idea the amazing health benefits that were about to take place in my life. Eating this way and living this lifestyle has the power to heal your body and your mind on several levels.
Here are my Top 5 reasons why choosing a living foods lifestyle is so amazing:
- Incredible Vibrant Health: Several modern health conditions are a result of a poor diet. Basic health issues such as GERD, insomnia, acne, obesity, bloating and chronic fatigue can all be distant memories if you make a commitment to changing your diet. When you feed your cells with living nutrients they are able to help your body regenerate and the result is incredible vitality—every day!
- Beauty: “Your skin, hair and nails never looked so good” or “You look so much younger, wow you are glowing.” These are things I started to hear the more living foods I ate. I was already feeling lighter, happier, and more at ease with myself and I noticed I didn’t feel heavy anymore, like the world was weighing on my shoulders. Instead I felt like dancing! This feel-good feeling has been an anchor in my life the last decade and it can be yours, too. It’s true beauty inside and out!
- It’s Green!: Let’s face it, unless we get serious about making a change on the planet we won’t have much of a life here for too much longer. Eating a plant-based diet is one of the easiest ways to help the planet. Did you know that it takes more than 500 lbs of grain to feed one pig raised for meat? That same grain could feed 6 families for a year!
- Stay Hydrated: We all know our body is over 70% water right? But the food we eat is devoid of water and keeps us dehydrated and acidic. A living foods diet puts the water back in our bodies, hydrates us and is an alkaline way of eating. What does that mean? No more brain fog, indigestion, food comas, and dry brittle hair—suddenly we are rejuvenated and our cells are working for us not against us. Eating an alkaline diet is the best way to combat aging, fatigue, and depression.
- Energy!: It’s a fast-paced world we live in and so it is easy to feel tired if we do not feed our bodies right. Living food is full of energy, so we are in turn energized. This style of eating is much easier for the body to process so we can go about our day offering more of who we are to the world. Athletes, business persons, moms and more—no matter what your role is when you give your best—it’s a good feeling. Making a few simple changes in your diet may just make you feel like you have found that secret fountain of energy and youth!
Here is an easy way to get started today: Swap your bacon and eggs for a healthy smoothie (see recipe below) that will give you great energy and optimal nutrition in every bite! If you start to do this every day, you are now 30% raw!
1 Organic Banana
1 Tbsp Raw Almond Butter
1 Cup Raw Nut Milk (Or Apple Juice)
1 Cup Kale or Spinach
1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds or Maca Root
1 Tbsp Raw Agave Nectar
1 Cup Ice (Optional)
Blend all ingredients well and enjoy!
The Inspiration of Doreen Virtue
I met Doreen Virtue (coauthor of The Art of Raw Living Food) in Laguna Beach as she was first exploring the world of living foods. We immediately discovered that we each shared the same passion for positive energy and vibrant living. Doreen and I connected when we started talking about the transformative power of living foods in our own lives.
During one such conversation at 118 Degrees (my living foods restaurant in Costa Mesa, California) where Doreen was in dining with family and friends, the idea for a user-friendly book that could help inspire others to follow the road of this incredible lifestyle was born.
I am so honored to share the experience of writing this book with Doreen. She has been inspirational to me and so many others through her numerous titles (Losing Your Pounds of Pain, The Yo-Yo Diet Syndrome, Eating in the Light, Healing Your Appetite, Healing Your Life).|6|healthy eating,raw foods,vegan,vegetarian,jenny ross,doreen virtue,healing foods|_none|1|doreen_virtue Do You Know How to Relax?|Stepping back so the Universe can step in.|2010-12-15 17:00:00|public://imports/903.jpg|0|public://imports/903.jpg|
This morning I overslept. I spent the weekend teaching a workshop on the East Coast and then caught a flight home that landed at midnight. By the time I collected my luggage, got to my car and drove home it was 2 a.m. I didn’t mind. I still felt exhilarated from the workshop and the happy, joyful response, which emanated from the people who attended. Their love carried me home on such a vibrational high I didn’t feel tired at all. That is until the alarm clock went off at 7 a.m. this morning and a wave of exhaustion swept over me as I reached over and pushed the snooze button. I immediately fell back into a deep sleep for another ten minutes when the alarm went off again. Struggling to wake up I forced myself to open my eyes, stood up, and found my way to the shower. The deep satisfaction I had felt the day before still lingered, but my body was having none of it. It was tired and not ready to dive into another day’s work quite yet. Ignoring my body’s needs, my mind pushed forward and thus began a head versus body struggle that lasted all day. I had made commitments that I wanted to keep and yet physically I was running on empty. I pushed through to 4 p.m. then found my way home where I could no longer put out any more effort, good intentions or not. I fell deeply asleep until 9 p.m.
I realized as I pulled out of the heavy fog of such deep sleep that if I want to live in the highest vibration I have to give my body more of a vote in how I pace myself, or I will not succeed.
My mind loves to create and loses all sense of time and space when I enter the creative vibration. My heart loves to connect and share and engage with others. And my body wants to share in the vibration of love as well by “suiting up and showing up.” But unlike my mind and heart, my body has a different set of requirements to keep up the vibration that the heart and mind want to maintain. And embarrassingly, I often forget to take these requirements fully into account as I arrange my day. And when I ignore what my body needs, my loving vibration takes a nosedive. I become agitated. I feel cranky and irritable. I have more difficulty listening, or being present for others; and I overreact to noise and other dissonant energies around me.
I can’t tell you how many times my family members, who witness me in an over extended, exhausted and crabby state, have said, “I wish your clients and students could see you now….the way you really are!”
Every time this happens I cringe a little inside because they are right. Coming off the vibrational high of an intense effort of work, even work I absolutely love, does often catch me by surprise with a negative mood and no love or patience for anything. If we try to do too much or have too many obligations snipping at our heels, the best of our loving intentions can implode into stress, irritation, and even depression because we simply cannot catch our breath.
This is a tricky challenge, especially for the more ambitious among us, me included. I love life and don’t want to miss any of it; not a single moment. And yet, if I cram my days chock full of activities without allowing for the three-dimensional physical needs of my body, I may be publicly loving, but quite guilty of downloading my stress and negativity onto the people closest to me.
Living in the spirit of love is for the long haul. We must slow down and pace ourselves so we avoid the emergency mode of breathless overwork and exhaustion. As I write this I’m shaking my head and smiling because this is so clearly a lesson I must learn. I know my Higher Self is writing this through me to me.
I’ve read that the Dalai Lama is very mindful of the importance of keeping a sensible pace so he can live in the spirit of love everyday. One time a reporter asked him how he remains so calm, so grounded, and so loving when his life can be so stressful and demanding.
He paused, gave the question some serious thought, and then answered, “I leave early for appointments.” How sane. How realistic. How intelligent. And, how loving to himself and the people who look to him for leadership that he pace himself realistically. It is only when we refuse to allow our ambitious and overly active mind to bury us alive with its endless “to do” list that we can genuinely live in the spirit of love for more than a sprint or mad dash.
So like everyone else I’m learning, and remembering to practice what I already know. In the spirit of that intention I’ve taken the day off to just relax. I slept in, and have nothing to do but enjoy life all day. It’s a challenge but I am committed to rising to the occasion. This reminds me of something my teacher Dr. Tully once said to me. “Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is nothing. This doesn’t mean nothing is being done however. It simply means when you step back, the Universe can step in and do its part for you.” So, with a cup of coffee in one hand, a novel in another, and nothing on my agenda all day, I send you all my love from my relaxed and peaceful heart.|23|workaholic,depression,sleep,relax,stress,sonia choquette|_none|1|sonia_choquette See Fear as Your Friend|Don’t be afraid of endings.|2009-10-27 17:00:00||0||
The greatest cause of anguish is fear. Your first step in conquering fear is to learn not to be frightened of fear itself. Start by seeing fear as your friend, not your tormentor. It’s OK to be scared at times. In fact, fear keeps you safe. It heightens your perception and allows you to take corrective action when needed. All fear stems from fear of death.
It’s the death of things that scares us. Not just physical death, but the termination of familiar things—the end of a relationship, a job, a habit. Sometimes it’s a rhythm that’s about to change, or your location, or a feeling of certainty you’ve clung to.
It’s change we resist. Yet change is the spiritual universe’s way of keeping you alive and fresh. We live in a rapidly developing world. If you’re not changing, life is leaving you behind. Things will get tougher, not easier.
Once you can accept change and endings, and not see them as personal affronts, most of the fear will dissipate. By attempting to hang onto circumstances and conditions whose energy is spent, you strain yourself.
Constantly remind yourself of what you already know. Nothing is guaranteed or certain. It doesn’t have to be. You can be balanced in all circumstances.
Fear of change and fear of the unknown are just malaise of the ego. You don’t have to know what will happen in the future in order to feel safe. In fact, the more you evolve and expand your consciousness, the more unpredictable life becomes. The less certain you are, the higher you have climbed.|5|change,fear,stuart wilde|_none|1|stuart_wilde A Good Neighbor|Kindness has power to heal.|2009-10-28 17:00:00|public://imports/909.jpg|0|public://imports/909.jpg|
In 1967, when I was fourteen, Mom and Dad made a big decision. They saw a house that they liked in South Land Park, an all-white middle-class suburb, and decided to buy it. We would be the first blacks in the neighborhood. The home represented an upgrade. It gave us more space and was located on a quiet street. My brother Cliff, my sisters, and I were excited—though we hated to leave Glen Elder. It was something nicer than what we were used to, and we were up for the adventurous move.
When the white neighbors heard that we were coming, they panicked. They decided to stop us, as in Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play, A Raisin in the Sun. They had a series of meetings in which they concluded that the only way to keep us away was to pool their money and buy the house out from under us. But Mom and Dad were organized and efficient professionals. They had made certain that the mortgage papers were in order, the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. The house was ours. When the neighbors saw that the financial tactics wouldn’t work, they got down and dirty. They went to threats. Nasty notes in the mailbox. Ugly phone calls.
Dad reacted in typical Dad fashion. He didn’t answer their name-calling with names of his own. He didn’t threaten them back. He didn’t get a gang of his friends together and come back with a show of force. He simply put on his coat and tie and began going door to door to all our neighbors. He’d knock politely and when the resident responded, he said, “Just want to introduce myself. I’m Cliff West, and my wife and I, along with our four kids, have moved into that house just down the street. We’re hardworking folks and are pleased to be able to live in such a nice part of town. We intend to be good neighbors, and I want you to know if there’s anything that we can do for you, all you have to do is ask. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
The neighbors were disarmed. Dad’s kindness would unnerve the unkindest person around. The threats and the ugly calls stopped, but that didn’t mean that we were given welcome baskets and warm apple pies. We hardly heard a “good morning.” Rarely did we see a friendly smile. The vibe was cold as ice.
“Don’t matter,” said Dad. “We’re here to stay. Let the people react however they react.”
One man, though, reacted with love. His name was Tom Hobday. He was a white brother—I call him the John Brown of our neighborhood—who immediately saw that the West family was up to good. He befriended Dad. When it was time for the Golden West Track Meet, Mr. Hobday extended us a personal invitation.
“I wasn’t good enough to enter,” my brother Cliff recently remembered. “In my junior year, my best time in the mile was only 4.37. But not only did Hobday insist that you and I go to the meet, Corn, he used his position as head of the sponsoring organization to introduce us to the Grand Marshal, Jesse Owens. After the meet, Jesse came to our house for dinner. Man, that was the thrill of thrills! When he asked me about my time in the mile and I told him, he said, ‘Son, I see something in you that makes me think next year you’ll be in this meet and win it. I see a champion in you.’ His words were so strong and his heart so sincere I couldn’t help but believe him. And sure enough, next year I won the national and state championship. I ran a 4.09.” It is still a Kennedy High School record forty-two years later.
Having Jesse at our dining room table was really something. I asked him about Germany in 1936. That’s when he won four gold medals at the Summer Olympics and, in the process, undercut Hitler’s hateful nonsense about a superior Aryan race. In the course of our conversation, though, I learned something else: It wasn’t the fact that Hitler didn’t shake his hand that bothered Jesse. It was how he had been ignored once he got back home. For all his record-breaking honors, for all the glory he brought to the United States, Jesse Owens was not acknowledged by the president or invited to the White House. Roosevelt ignored him, and so did Truman. “I never even got a congratulatory telegram,” he said.|1|race,jesse owens,integration,cornel west|_none|1|cornel_west Over Caffeinated? |Another way to fill your cup.|2009-10-29 17:00:00|public://imports/934.jpg|0|public://imports/934.jpg|
Many of us find it difficult to give up coffee and black tea—but the reason why may be more complex than just the daily buzz. An important part of the morning routine for many women is a hot “cuppa”—it’s relaxing and warming and makes us feel comforted. And there’s no reason to give this up. I’m okay with one cup of coffee in the morning while you are on The Core Balance Diet, but know that weaning off caffeine for a period of time is always a healthy choice. If you need more than one cup, try changing what’s in the cup! Herbal teas, decaf coffee, warm water with lemon, or even low-sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable broth sipped slowly in the morning are delicious alternatives.
If you’re finding it really hard to stop drinking coffee and black teas, don’t stress! Try to alternate cups of caffeinated coffee and tea with non-caffeinated varieties, or make your morning coffee with half decaf, half caf, slowly increasing the amount of decaf until you wean off caf completely. Always buy high-quality Arabica beans (which are lower in caffeine than robusta varieties) and really savor your cup; you may find you need only one.
As you wean off caffeine, experiment with herbal teas. Not only are they delicious, but they will help keep you hydrated. Many come in prepackaged tea bags, or you can buy loose-leaf tea and make your own infusion. If you are on prescription medication, diabetic, pregnant, or breast-feeding, do not ingest herbs or herbal teas without discussing them first with your medical practitioner.
Herbal Teas for All Reasons
- To invigorate and boost digestion: cinnamon, ginger, green teas, fennel, gentian, gotu kola, lemongrass, peppermint, red raspberry, sage, sarsaparilla, slippery elm, yerba maté
- To detoxify: alfalfa, anise, dandelion, fenugreek, gingko, licorice, nettle, parsley, red clover, uva ursi
- To boost immunity: birch bark, echinacea, elder, feverfew, garlic, goldenseal, horehound, hyssop, marshmallow, pau d’arco
- To calm and relax: borage, chamomile, dong quai, hops, kava kava, kudzu, passionflower, St. John’s wort, valerian
To make a delicious infusion, preheat an 8-cup teapot and a mug with hot water. Fill kettle with cold water and heat just until boiling. Empty teapot and add 2–3 tablespoons herbal leaves or flowers (or to taste). Fill teapot with just-boiled water. Let steep for 3–4 minutes. Empty mug and pour infusion through a small, tight-mesh tea strainer. Serve with lemon.|6|immune system,stress,detox,digestion,health,herbal tea,caffeine,marcelle pick,herbal healing|_none|1|marcelle_pick The Art of Journaling |Get to know yourself better.|2009-10-30 17:00:00||0||
Developing a solid relationship with yourself is the key to living a life of meaning and purpose. There’s nothing more important than this intimate connection. As you create a strong attachment to your inner life, you’re better able to make choices that reflect your deepest longings and desires. One of the best ways to build a strong bond with yourself is by journaling.
For more than 25 years, I’ve kept a journal—a private place to record my thoughts, feelings, and reactions to life experiences. This personal practice has taught me to turn to and rely on my own innate wisdom. Now I’d like to encourage you to do the same.
The goal is simple: to get to know yourself better. Like the mind that feels scattered during the beginning stages of meditation, the first page of journaling may feel more like reporting than connecting with a wise part of yourself. If you keep at it, you’ll soon find that your mind and heart come into alignment and you begin to write from a deeper, more feeling-oriented place. Writing from this place will connect you with the voice of your soul.
There’s no perfect way to journal. Just ponder each question or sentence and write whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or writing every day. What matters most is that you get started and stay with it. It takes time and discipline to build a new, honoring habit.
Make sure that you keep your journal tucked away in a secure place so you have the privacy you need to be honest with yourself. Telling the truth about your life is the first step toward positive change. I offer you these questions to answer and sentences to complete to get you started, with the goal of completing two pages for each one.
So close your eyes, take a few relaxing deep breaths, and start writing.
- What are the top five most important priorities in your life right now? Why are they important to you and what do you need to do to honor them?
- If you had all the time in the world, what ten things would you most want to do? Describe them in detail:
- Start an abundance list here. Learn to see the blessings you receive each day by returning to this page often to add to the list:
- What are feeling right now? Keep writing until you shift from thinking to feeling:
- If you could wave a magic wand and change one area of your life, which one would it be? Explain:
I have a nickname for the negative chatter in our minds that keeps us addicted to keeping our experience in our own personal bubble—I call it the “Goblin.” This is how we miss the opportunities pointed out to us by our intuition.
The Goblin lives inside every human being and is the manifestation of an unhealthy, wounded ego. It’s fed by our thoughts of resentment, anger, fear, shame, guilt, sloth, envy, indifference, competition, greed, lust, and every other expression of lack and limitation. The Goblin is in charge of keeping us in “separation mode” and would just love it if our personal bubbles were made of fortified steel so that we’d never have to glimpse into our limitless connection.
The Goblin depends on the concept of separation to maintain a unique Me identity.
If we transcend this perception, the Goblin has no identity or purpose and dies or falls into a deep sleep. Therefore, it has a vested interest in keeping us in our bubbles and shutting down anything that reminds us of another reality outside of our own. The Goblin keeps the filter clogged on purpose so that it remains the false center of the universe inside the bubble. The Goblin continuously repeats a song to itself that goes, “Me-Me-Me-Me-Me-M”—and that’s the music we hear much of the time.
The Goblin is a clever little creature that keeps our focus on distracting, persistent, and loud noise. It wants us to believe that it’s who we are—that its thoughts are ours—and the only identity that matters is its own. The Goblin is in the bubble of the reality of only five senses and has no connection to anything on the outside or our sixth sense because it only has the capacity to see itself. So it’s safe to say that the Goblin is the worst part of our personal identities.
When the sixth sense kicks in and threatens to pop the bubble, it causes the downfall of the Goblin. Remember the Wizard of Oz? He was a fraud, and everyone found out that he was just a little chubby man behind a curtain, manipulating people into thinking that he was the all-powerful center of an entire land. The Goblin is an imposter, too, because it wants us to believe something that’s only an illusion.
Be aware that the Goblin has a vested interest in keeping us in a five-sensory universe because it will lose its power if we see through different eyes or hear with another pair of ears. Our natural human mind-body-spirit mechanics equip us with a sixth sense, our special radio that receives information before it gets filtered. The radio waves are invisible but always exist in an unlimited supply. The music of the cosmos beams into our receivers, but the Goblin plays with the dial and purposely tunes it to the wrong station.
Have you ever been in a car with a bratty little kid? You might decide to turn on a children’s CD in order to keep him quiet. Even though you’re trying not to pay attention, you still have to listen to it, and later those same songs remain stuck in your head, perpetually repeating themselves. Your Goblin is like that unruly child, and you’re listening to the station that plays the tunes that your Goblin loves to hear over and over. Without even realizing it, a lot of the time you hear:
You’re listening to Goblin Radio EGO-FM, the home of suffering and fear! Tune in for our special guest, the CEO of Financial Insecurity, followed by Miss Grandiosity and her little sister, Never Enough, singing their hit songs, “More and More” and “Gimme Yours.”
How do you change the station to allow greater personal access to your intuition? Like the bratty kid, the Goblin really just needs a nap! (Several guided meditations, by the way, can be an instant lullaby for Goblins.) When it’s asleep, an awakening of your Higher Self takes place, and you find less blocking your path. You also develop greater natural access to your intuition and can learn how to tune in to a completely different station.|5|health,intuition,ego,colette baron-reid|_none|1|colette_baron_reid Beware the Emotional Vampire!|A survival guide to freedom.|2009-10-31 17:00:00||0||
To be emotionally free you can’t remain naïve about relationships. Some people are positive and mood elevating. Others can suck optimism and serenity right out of you. Vampires do more than drain your physical energy. The super-malignant ones can make you believe you’re an unworthy, unlovable wretch who doesn’t deserve better. The subtler species inflict damage by making smaller digs which can make you feel bad about yourself—for instance, “Dear, I see you’ve put on a few pounds” or “You’re overly sensitive!” Suddenly they’ve thrown you emotionally off-center by prodding areas of shaky self-worth. To protect your sensitivity, it’s important to name and combat these vampires.
Types of Emotional Vampires
Vampire #1: The Narcissist
Their motto is “Me first.” Everything is all about them. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement, hog attention, and crave admiration. They’re dangerous because they lack empathy and have a limited capacity for unconditional love. If you don’t do things their way, they become punishing, withholding, or cold.
How to Protect Your Emotions: Keep your expectations realistic. These are emotionally limited people. Try not to fall in love with one or expect them to be selfless or love without strings attached. Never make your self-worth dependent on them or confide your deepest feelings to someone who won’t cherish them. To successfully communicate, the hard truth is that you must show how something will be to their benefit. Though it’s better not to have to contend with this tedious ego stroking, if the relationship is unavoidable use the above strategies to achieved desired results.
Vampire #2: The Victim
These vampires grate on you with their “poor-me” attitude and are allergic to taking responsibility for their actions. The world is always against them, the reason for their unhappiness. When you offer a solution to their problems they always say, “Yes, but.” You might end up screening your calls or purposely avoiding them. As a friend, you may want to help but their tales of woe overwhelm you.
How to Protect Your Emotions: Set kind but firm limits. Listen briefly and tell a friend or relative, “I love you but I can only listen for a few minutes unless you want to discuss solutions. Then I’d be thrilled to brainstorm with you.” With a coworker, listen briefly, sympathize by saying, “I’ll keep good thought for things to work out. Then say, I hope you understand, but I’m on deadline and must go back to work. Then use “this isn’t a good time” body language such as crossing your arms and breaking eye contact to help set these healthy limits.
Vampire #3: The Controller
These people obsessively try to control you and dictate what you’re supposed to be and feel. They have an opinion about everything. They’ll control you by invalidating your emotions if they don’t fit into their rulebook. They often start sentences with “You know what you need?” and then proceed to tell you. You end up feeling dominated, demeaned, or put down.
How to Protect Your Emotions: The secret to success is never try and control a controller. Be healthily assertive, but don’t tell them what to do. You can say, “I value your advice but really need to work through this myself.” Be confident but don’t play the victim or sweat the small stuff. Focus on high priority issues rather than on putting the cap on the toothpaste.
Vampire #4: The Splitter or Borderline Personality
Splitters see things as either good or bad and have love/hate relationships. One minute they idealize you, the next you’re the enemy if you upset them. They have a sixth sense for knowing how to pit people against each another and will retaliate if they feel you have wronged them. They are people who are fundamentally damaged—inwardly they feel as if they don’t exist and become alive when they get angry. They’ll keep you on an emotional rollercoaster and you may walk on eggshells to avoid their anger.
How to Protect Your Emotions: Stay calm. Don’t react when your buttons get pushed. Splitters feed off of anger. They respond best to structure and limit setting. If one goes into a rage, tell the person, “I’m leaving until you get calmer. Then we can talk.” Refuse to take sides when he or she tries to turn you against someone else. With family members, it’s best to show a united front and not let a splitter’s venomous opinions poison your relationships.
Signs that You’ve Encountered an Emotional Vampire
- Your eyelids are heavy—you’re ready for a nap
- Your mood takes a nosedive
- You want to binge on carbs or comfort foods
- You feel anxious, depressed, or negative
- You feel put down, sniped at, or slimed
Not long ago, I interviewed Maya Angelou about living a full life in a world that’s been forever changed since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. The renowned poet and best-selling author said that in looking to the future, we must take heart in remembering our resilience in the past. Maya’s statement led me to think seriously about the men and women who have made tremendous strides in the world. I realized that my success wasn’t a whim or random occurrence—it’s been a work in progress. In fact, it started in 1922, when my grandmother, Bianca, a native of the small island of Anguilla in the British West Indies, made her 22-day journey to the United States.
She came with a bagful of dreams stashed away in her homemade cloth suitcase, and the hope of building a future in America. Educated in a one-room schoolhouse on that island, my grandmother had only completed the eighth grade, yet she had an unwavering belief in God, could read and write well, and was trained as a seamstress. This elegant and polished woman also possessed two qualities that I believe many of us need: ingenuity and a tremendous amount of guts. Young Bianca wasn’t reluctant to take chances on the things that she truly believed would better her life. And it would be these opportunities—along with exceptionally hard work, her faith, and her confidence in herself—that would shape our family’s fabric through the generations.
As she worked in the post office at night and did side jobs such as making and selling flowers, she and her husband (my grandfather), Joel, flourished. They saved their money and eventually purchased several apartment buildings. They educated their children, and after their daughter (my aunt) died as a young mother from cancer, they raised her children as well. My grandparents were brave and not afraid to push the envelope.
What chances are you willing to take on your journey? You see, when you’re truly focused and ready to strive for a particular goal, it’s time to think about the sacrifices you’d be willing to make in order to get there. You may be seeking a promotion, trying desperately to lose weight, working hard to recapture the zest in your love life, or seeking spiritual nourishment. Regardless of your goal, you must first establish that you’re willing to make a change, and then you can become proactive about charting your own path.
In the mid-90’s, I definitely knew I was pushing the limit when I took a job as a general assignment reporter in Philadelphia. The job required me to travel about two hours a day (each way) from my home in New Jersey to the office—and that wasn’t factoring in the live-shot locations or stories that would take me to Delaware, various parts of New Jersey, and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. It was a live ten o’clock news show, which meant that I was usually standing in front of a fire, a courthouse, a school, or a murder scene, often filing my story minutes before going on the air.
It may seem crazy to most people that I’d even consider such a rough commute or accept this job when I was a mother with a husband who traveled. But for me, the explanation was easy: I wanted a shot at the network. I even set a timetable as to how long I wanted to stay before moving on to the next level. Yet, as with many things in life, my schedule didn’t exactly pan out as anticipated. I’d hoped to leave in about three and a half years—but it actually took about five years to find a better opportunity.
I can laugh now, but I certainly wasn’t then. During this stint, I covered every kind of natural disaster—blizzards, snowstorms, floods, power outages, you name it—so I always kept a change of clothes in my car. I had rain and snow gear, boots, hats, and gloves, and so on. In fact, I remember that people had become so familiar with my winter coat that they nicknamed it “the green monster.” Yet the value of staying as long as I did was that I was able to use the wealth of these experiences as a stepping-stone, a pit stop that propelled me onto a bigger highway.
This experience gave me a strong work ethic and helped me build my confidence. I knew the job, staff, and territory, and I was clearly ready for, and confident about moving on to the next level.
So weigh the risks and think about the chances you’re willing to take in your journey. That next level could be another position that allows for more responsibility, or it could be a move out of the workplace entirely, allowing you to spend more time with you children, go back to school, or help your aging parents.|23|maya angelou,striving,career,confidence,goals,success,jennifer lewis-hall|_none|1|jennifer_lewis_hall 10 Things to Be Grateful For|Serving a helping of grace.|2009-11-03 17:00:00|public://imports/1148.jpg|0|public://imports/1148.jpg|
Everyone around the dinner table smiled as Pat Ward put the last dish in front of them. “I know it’s not much…” The whole family laughed out loud. That statement had been made by Pat every Thanksgiving of their lives. Actually, there was enough food to feed an infantry division, but she always worried that there would be some poor soul who didn’t get at least five helpings of everything.
“Wade, please say grace,” Pat directed as everyone bowed their heads.
“Certainly, Dear. Let us pray.” And as they all closed their eyes, he began. “Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you on this day of Thanksgiving with gratefulness in our hearts…”
Wade paused. This is ridiculous, he thought. How can I even say that?
I don’t feel grateful at all. I shouldn’t even finish this prayer. But he did.
Pat’s husband, Wade, is more commonly known around Sawyerton Springs as Pastor Ward. He has led the flock at Beauman’s Pond United Methodist Church for well over two decades now, but lately it has all seemed a bit much. It’s not that he is old—he isn’t. “I’m just tired,” he told Pat this morning, “and frustrated. I’ve had it.
“It’s not necessarily the church,” he tried to explain, “or Rotary Club or my city council duties, or the grandkids. It’s just… well, it’s everything. I’ve had it.”
There at the dinner table, Wade sliced the ham and looked at Pat’s Uncle Frank. Uncle Frank was seventy-four years old and a first-rate know-it-all. Uncle Frank also knew a million jokes, and as Wade finished the ham and started on the turkey, he told another one. Another stupid joke, Wade thought.
“So there’s these cowboys,” Uncle Frank was saying, “and as they rode into town whoopin’ and shootin’, there was this dog right in the middle of the street. One of them cowboys shot him right in the foot.
“A couple of days later, the cowboys was in a saloon. They was drinkin’ and cussin’ and playin’ cards, when all of a sudden… ” Uncle Frank’s eyes got big. “All of a sudden, a shadow fell over the saloon. As the cowboys looked up, they saw the dog walking through the swinging doors. He had on a gun belt and a hat pulled down low over his eyes. A cowboy said, ‘What do you want?’ and the dog says, ‘I’ve come to get the man that shot my paw!’”
Everyone screamed with laughter. “I’ve come to get the man that shot my paw,” Uncle Frank said again, banging his hand on the table. “You get it, son?” he asked Wade. “You get it, don’t you? I’ve come to get the man that shot my paw!”
Wade had driven all the way to Foley to pick up Uncle Frank earlier that afternoon. He had missed the first quarter of the Dallas-Detroit game because Uncle Frank insisted on leaving the house at two o’clock sharp. No reason and no way to talk him out of it.
On the way to the house, sandwiched between the jokes, Uncle Frank had asked Wade why he was driving a twelve-year-old car. “It was a piece of junk when you bought it,” he said.
“It’s what we can afford, Uncle Frank,” Wade had answered, but inside he had been seething. I’m fifty-three years old, Wade thought. I should not be driving a twelve-year-old car. Pat is forty-eight, and she’s never had a car of her own.
For the third year in a row, the church elders had voted down a $1,500 raise in their pastor’s salary. Last Monday, Roger Luker had come to tell him in person. “We just felt that the money should go to foreign missions,” Roger said. “After all, there are a lot of poor people overseas. And besides, it’s not like you have to make a house payment—the church owns the parsonage.”
Through dessert, Wade wondered if his church members cared more about poor people they didn’t know than they did about his family.
That’s right, Wade said to himself, you do own the parsonage. Where are we supposed to live when I retire? Or am I just supposed to preach till I’m a hundred and keel over on the pulpit? Why can’t I buy my wife new dresses? Or a diamond ring? Or a new car? And about the car we’re driving now—one more year and the engine will die. Then the floor will fall out, and I’ll be driving around town like Fred Flintstone!
After dinner, the family helped clean up while Wade tried to herd Uncle Frank into the car. “If I can get him out of here,” Wade said to Pat, “then I’ll have something to be thankful for!”
After Wade walked Uncle Frank to the door and listened to four more jokes, he got back in his car and drove. Had he gone straight home, this story might have ended here (and in not too happy a fashion).
But Wade didn’t go home. It wasn’t until two the next morning that he rolled into his driveway. Pat had been frantic, but she knew her husband too well to push him for answers. She was relieved he was safe and glad to see that he was smiling. It was the first time she’d seen him really smile in days.
Wade apologized for worrying her. He said he hadn’t meant to be so distant or to snap at her as he had done lately. He kissed her, looked at her, and kissed her again. Then he went to bed.
Pat might never have known what happened that night that caused such a change in Wade had she not found the letter. It was in a bottle, floating near the bank in Beauman’s Pond. Pat was raking leaves behind the church when she saw it. Reaching the bottle with the rake, she unscrewed the cap, fished out the letter, and read:
It doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving. At least I don’t feel very thankful. In fact, I am fairly ticked off. If you asked me about what—I’d say “everything.” I am so preoccupied with the things that are going wrong in my life that I am having a hard time seeing the bigger picture.
Lord, I’m going to sit here by this pond until you remind me of ten things I have to be thankful for. And please do it fast. Pat is going to kill me for being late.
- I have Pat. She loves me even when I’m being a jerk to her relatives like I was today.
- I have a home in which to live. Remind me occasionally of the people on the street.
- My family has enough to eat. I know there are fathers who put their children to bed hungry.
- I have people who care about me. There are many who don’t.
- I was born in America. With all our problems, this is still the greatest country in the world.
- I can see and hear and walk and talk. These are things I rarely consider, but they are a priceless gift.
- I have the opportunity to help people who are hurting. It is amazing how much good an encouraging word can do.
- I have the seasons. They are a constant reminder of change. After the winter in my life, there is always springtime.
- I have my children and grandchildren who depend on me. That is an honor, and I have learned to be dependable.
- I have music, trees, a good bed, a pond to fish in, my health, a car that does in fact run, clothes to wear, time with my family, and in Uncle Frank, I have an unlimited source of jokes for my sermons. Thank you, Lord, even for him.
|1|relationships,family,prayer,gratitude,thanksgiving,andy andrews|_none|1|andy_andrews Do You Dream About Falling?|You may be feeling out of control.|2009-11-04 17:00:00||0||
You’ve woken with a thud. You know you’ve just taken a fall in your dream and made a crash landing back into your body.
Why are we so frightened of falling when the sensation in itself is so exciting? What we’re really frightened of is being unsupported and crash-landing. If you dropped from a tall building and 20 strong firefighters stood underneath you with a net, you wouldn’t be as afraid because you’d feel supported.
Falling in a dream may suggest that you feel unsupported in life. Why don’t you feel supported? What can you do to support yourself? Notice what you’re falling from in your dream (a cliff, a ladder, or out of thin air) and if you don’t wake up first, take amore of what you fall on or into. What’s the context—work, relationships, or a social situation? This will give you a clue to the areas of your life in which you feel unsupported.
If you dream you fall off a ladder, first check the ladders around your house to make sure they’re safe, then ask yourself if someone was supposed to be holding the ladder for you. If you see someone else falling in a dream, ask yourself if they need support. Or perhaps they’re falling from your grace? What do they represent to you? Perhaps an aspect of yourself is falling away?
Look at your life, too. Are you anticipating a downfall at work, in a relationship, or in another area of your life? Fall is another name for autumn, a time when the leaves drop off the trees.
Research has found that when astronauts dream in space, they dream that everything floats. Perhaps the fall in your dream is simply a physical sensation.|5|falling,support,emotions,dream interpretation,dreams,leon nacson|_none|1|leon_nacson Do You Have a Power Leakage?|How to deal with poisonous emotions.|2009-11-08 17:00:00||0||
Toxicity can come in an emotional package as well as a physical one. A perfect example of this is a woman named Janice, whom I met at a glamorous spa. I was there for a few days giving presentations, and as I sat next to her at dinner, I intuitively noticed that she was on a number of medications.
It turns out that Janice was at the spa for a few days of reflection, a gift to herself for her 57th birthday. She’d been married for 20 years to a man who verbally abused her—he continually belittled her and often loudly criticized or judged her in front of their 18-year-old son. He also had complete control over her emotions and the family finances. It had gotten to the point where she felt so beaten down that her immune system had begun to overreact. She was now on several medications, including three antidepressants and pills for anxiety.
Janice felt that she was at a critical turning point in her life and was examining her choices and options, both to recover her physical strength and her mental well-being. As we talked over dinner, she told me that she thought a miracle had arrived at her table—and in a way, perhaps it had.
I immediately grabbed a piece of paper and started writing down some simple guidelines to strengthen her immune system and detoxify her body. One aspect of the game plan was to work on Janice’s liver: I explained that all the medications she was taking would have toxic effects on that organ, so I suggested some detoxification herbs, a lot of raw vegetables, and plenty of water. The real toxic examination, however, related to her relationship, which was taking her very essence away from her.
Why do people stay in a fire? The clothes they’re wearing are burning, but they stay in the flames, hoping that things will cool down and life will be peaceful. After 20 years with one cruel person, this was obviously not going to happen… it was time to move on.
Here was a beautiful, personable, and intelligent professional woman who could make her way in the world perfectly well, yet Janice was staying in a toxic relationship that was breaking her heart and her spirit. Valuable energy was draining out of her body because of it, and it was destroying her soul as well. Her will to live was damaged, and save for a level of core strength that she seemed to possess, she was teetering on the brink of giving up on life. At a time like this, with her body’s resources stretched thin, cancer could be an unwelcome guest.
Would this woman be ready to climb the mountain and claim her own life, or would she be content to circle the perimeter? I wholeheartedly prayed for the former.
Just like Janice, many men and women are mired in toxic relationships, which can age them as quickly as poisonous drugs and substances can. Such patterns go way back: For women, they could stem from a controlling, dominant father; while for men, they might point to a mother issue. As children, we were programmed to stay quiet—we weren’t supposed to rock the boat or make Mommy or Daddy mad, so we learned to suppress our emotions. Because we hold on to patterns, as we get older we invariably magnetize to ourselves a person who exactly mirrors what we believe on the inside.
Do you want to know where energy and power is leaking out of your body? Follow these Six Steps to find out:
- Imagine that you’re a large oblong container of energy.
- See that there are cords running out of your container.
- Visualize each one of these cords plugged into your job, your relationship, your children, your elderly parent, your finances, and so forth.
- Take a look at this picture closely. Now draw what your container looks like, along with the cords and each issue they’re plugged into.
- Place your hand on your heart and ask yourself how much of your energy is invested in your relationship. Write down the answer.
- Repeat the question for each of the “drains” you’ve jotted down. Keep in mind that if 60 percent of your energy is going to your children, then you only have 40 percent going to your job, your mate, and you!
I like to think of energy as little suitcases with feet, which run away from the body. A daily examination of your energy loss will help you to better control it.|6|self-esteem,depression,toxic relationships,healthy living,healthy eating,detox,caroline sutherland|_none|1|caroline_sutherland Lonely at the Top|Do you suffer from excessive individualism?|2009-11-06 17:00:00|public://imports/938.jpg|0|public://imports/938.jpg|
I recently coached a man called Clive who worked for a global pharmaceutical company. When I asked him what he did, he said “I’m in charge of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.” He had come to see me because he was depressed. “On my bedside table, I have a copy of Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins and a bottle of Prozac,” he said. Clive told me that he wanted to “stop the craziness,” as he put it. He was lonely in his job and lonely in his marriage, and he had thought about leaving them both, but he was afraid of being alone.
Clive is a good example of the people I meet who have taught themselves that in order to be successful they must build tough exteriors and harden their hearts. Clive described himself as being “between a rock and a hard place.” I told him that I thought he was suffering from a broken heart and that he was hoping more success would somehow mend it.
“The problem is that if your heart is not open you won’t feel any success you experience,” I said.
In one session, Clive likened himself to the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, who had no heart. “If I don’t get my heart back,” he said, “I may as well die.”
In my Success Intelligence seminars, I present clinical research that proves there is a high correlation between loneliness and diseases such as heart disease. Many physicians identify loneliness as a leading cause of death, describing it as “a killer.” The loneliness they refer to is: (1) an isolation from other people, (2) an estrangement from our authentic self, and (3) a spiritual emptiness and perceived separation from God.
Excessive individualism and the lack of deep intimate attachments is not a formula for success. It breaks up communities and it breaks people’s lives. Excessive individualists seek to make an impression, but not to relate. They want admiration, not intimacy. They want to win, not join. They end up lonely at the top (if they ever get there) and suffer from appalling social illiteracy, poor emotional resilience, no spiritual rootedness, and no sense of belonging. They are on their own, and they are afraid.
I believe that it is a spiritual imperative of every human to overcome his or her perceived aloneness. Separation—the optical delusion—is the mental virus that causes so much fear, pain, and disease. My work with Success Intelligence recognizes that intimate relationships are the basic building blocks of true success and well-being.
Success Intelligence Tip – Relationships
Consider this thought: Relationships are the heart of success. How true is this for you?
Review your life and name the most important relationship lessons you have learned. Assess honestly how well you have learned these lessons.
Next, name three (or more) of the most important people in your life and your work.
Then review the present status of these relationships. Score the health of each relationship on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (perfect). Consider how you could make each relationship even better.|23|health,heart,separation,loneliness,relationships,success,robert holden|_none|1|robert_holden_phd Are You Addicted to ‘Gloom and Doom’?|How affirmations really work.|2009-11-07 17:00:00||0||
An old acquaintance of mine recently wrote an article about positive thinking—a subject that is often misunderstood. For many years I, like many people on the personal-development path, believed that by writing down and repeating positive affirmations (positive statements about yourself or your life, written in the present tense as if they were already true), I would think more positively and the changes I sought in myself and in my life would happen automatically. I hung these inspiring statements up all over my house, memorized them, and repeated them out loud, sometimes as much as 100 times a day. But it seemed that no matter how many times I said them, the changes I hoped to achieve continued to elude me.
It would be nearly 20 years before I finally realized that while affirmations are a powerful tool for clarifying and focusing on what you want, positive action is also required to achieve it. Positive action generates positive thinking, which generates more positive action and positive thinking. Positive action and thinking are a choice, a choice that can be challenging, especially for people who have experienced much suffering and pain in their lives—but it’s still a choice.
For example, you feel lonely and sad, but instead of isolating yourself, you do something positive. Maybe you attend a cooking class, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or go out for a run—something that refocuses your thoughts and produces a more positive experience rather than sitting home alone eating cookies and feeling sorry for yourself.
Chronic negative thinking and the emotions it invokes is, like many destructive behaviors, a form of addiction. People become addicted to habitual, “gloom and doom” thoughts, as well as to the emotions they produce—such as fear and anger. It becomes their comfort zone—it may not be very pleasant, but it’s familiar.
To break this self-defeating addiction, you have to first understand its roots (almost always found in your life conditioning), and consciously change your behaviors and actions to ones that create more positive results. Over time, you’ll build a string of positive experiences that solidifies a new internal reference point and makes a positive mindset in your new habitual way of thinking.|23|self-esteem,affirmations,positive action,positive thinking,lauren mackler|_none|1|lauren_mackler Poems of the Mystics|Christian tradition from ancient to modern.|2009-11-05 17:00:00|public://imports/939.jpg|0|public://imports/939.jpg|
If you want to speak of the ineffable and the essential, there is no better medium than poetry. Poetry is the language of the spirit and the soul, not of the discursive mind. It compresses the lived truth of the poet’s experience into a beauty and wisdom that can slip under the skin of the reader and enter their bloodstream. When you don’t know what to say you cry out, and those cries are the beginning of poetry. They are the language informed not only by the mind but by the body and heart as well. Poetry is the language of choice for mystics in all traditions who have tried to communicate their insights and experiences for the benefit of those who will listen.
Poems from the Christian mystical experience is for lovers of God everywhere, because lovers of God are everywhere, whatever their race or creed may be. The mystics among us of any religion or none, put their faith less in external belief systems or dogma than in the more interior, personal experience of God and of existence itself. But the deeper and more interior these spiritual experiences become, the more universal they also tend to be, expressions of a common stream that feeds humanity and all its religions everywhere, no matter how different we may appear on the surface. That stream emerges in every tradition as the language of silence beyond thought, of longing and ecstasy, of a wisdom that can see beyond the limitations of forms and beyond language itself. Ultimately, it emerges in a celebration of union—the union on this earth and in this body of the human with the divine. This is the true spiritual marriage, the consummation of love that in one way or another is the aim of every ritual and every practice in every religion.
Mysticism and its contemplative practices continue to exist in Christianity, as in every religious tradition, because they represent the intrinsic human desire to return to the source of our humanity. As Saint Augustine said in The City of God, “we must fly to our beloved homeland. There the Father is, and there is everything.”
|1|christian,mystics,poems,poetry,roger housden|_none|1|roger_housden Do You Believe in Angels? |Archangel Michael will help you.|2013-09-24 17:00:00|public://imports/937.jpg|0|public://imports/937.jpg|
“May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibiities, and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew you.”
— John O’Donohue
Archangel Michael is a powerful nondenominational angel who provides protection and clear answers to your questions. He’s also unlimited, and therefore able to be with everyone simultaneously, having unique and individual experiences with every person. Like the other angels, he respects your free will, so he won’t intervene without your permission. But once you ask for his help, he’s there in every way.
Archangels are the managers of our personal guardian angels. Each archangel has a specialty, and Michael’s is to provide protection—for that reason, he’s the patron saint of police officers. Michael also lends courage and strength, as well as offering us guidance through life changes.
Additionally, Archangel Michael knows the details of your Divine life purpose, which every person has. This means that you have a mission, based upon your natural talents and interests, that’s helpful to others. If you’re confused about the purpose or higher meaning of your life, Archangel Michael can give you clarity and guidance.
Archangel Michael’s name means “He who is like God.” When you work with him, you’re actually working with the right hand of the Creator, the ultimate messenger of Divine will and love. He’s 100 percent safe and trustworthy, and his guidance is always crystal clear.
Michael has inspired leaders and lightworkers since his time in the Garden of Eden, where he taught Adam how to farm and take care of his family. Joan of Arc told her inquisitors that it was the Archangel Michael who gave her the impetus and courage to lead France during the Hundred Years’ War.
Archangel Michael is extremely tall and handsome, and he usually carries a sword, which he uses to release us from the snare of fear. When he’s around, you may see sparkles or flashes of bright blue or purple light. Michael is a fiery energy, and his presence is enough to make you sweat. I’ve had a number of female students tell me that they thought they were having menopausal hot flashes until they realized they’d just invoked Michael, and it was his presence creating all that heat!
Michael also has an incredible knack for fixing electrical and mechanical devices including computers. I’ve called on him a number of times to help me with errant telephones and other types of electronics and he always comes through.
Countless legends, particularly in Christian, Judaic, Islamic, and Celtic traditions, discuss Archangel Michael’s renowned strength and wisdom. Yet, this archangel isn’t merely relegated to the pages of sacred texts. He’s very much alive and among us today. In fact, chances are good that he has helped you, especially if you’ve called upon him. He may have even guided you to read this article.
Michael helps everyone who asks, and you don’t need a formal invocation or special training to gain his assistance. A sincere request is all he needs.|1|divine message,menopause,guardian angel,protection,archangel michael,angel,doreen virtue|_none|1|doreen_virtue Look Outside the Box|Don’t pray yourself short.|2009-11-13 17:00:00|public://imports/1147.jpg|0|public://imports/1147.jpg|
While I was a guest on a radio talk show interview featuring my book Handle with Prayer, a caller shared an inspiring story. “When my daughter was scheduled for surgery, I asked my prayer group to pray for a positive outcome to the surgery,” he recounted. “At the prayer group someone asked, ‘Why accept the surgery as a done deal? Let’s pray that your daughter be healed without the surgery.’ So we prayed for a natural healing. When I took my daughter for her next exam, the doctor informed me that her condition had cleared up and she no longer needed the surgery.”
Sometimes when we pray or set goals, we make assumptions about what is available to us. We plot our route based on what we think we can get or on the options that others tell us are available to us. If you are not altogether satisfied with the options before you, it might be time to step back and question your assumption about the options. Very often if you think or pray outside the box, you will find vast terrains that you did not know were available to you based on your previous level of thinking.
A problem may come to you not so much because of the obvious issue before you, but to stimulate you to think more deeply than you have been thinking. Albert Einstein noted that we can never solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it. In the light, problems exist specifically to move us to a higher level of thinking. Then the solution becomes obvious, and we have attained a new rung of consciousness that we can apply to all future issues and decisions.
The story above does not mean you should not get surgery. It means that you should not settle for a solution unless it takes into account options grander than the ones you have noticed.
What options may be available to you that are bigger than the ones you have been considering?
I will not settle for a solution less than one that truly answers the question.|1|concious thinking,solutions,surgery,prayer,alan cohen|_none|1|alan_cohen Can Fear Prevent You from Healing?|Let go of your superstitions.|2012-09-07 17:00:00|public://imports/2978.jpg|0|public://imports/2978.jpg|
Fears are powerful, particularly because they are unreasonable and often rooted in superstitions. Indeed, many penetrate well beyond the parameters of our reasoning mind, gaining a foothold deep in our unconscious, where they morph into irrational beliefs. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t harbor at least one superstition, even if it’s the habit of knocking on wood for luck or protection from “evil.”
I’ve tried to get people to suspend their superstitious “good luck” habits for the duration of a workshop, just as an exercise in being reasonable, without much success. “What do you think will happen to you if you remove your good-luck charm?” I asked one woman. She laughed and said, “I don’t know, but I sure don’t want to find out.” Is that faith or fear? I don’t believe that it’s disrespectful to challenge such thinking.
Superstitions demand challenging, because they are ruthless in your unconscious, like dark spells that hold you prisoner to irrational fears. Many of the people in my workshops ask not to participate in the exercise, although they laugh about wanting to be excused. The fact is, however, that they cannot get free of the hold of the unreasonable side of their reasoning mind, which has them completely convinced that the forces in this universe are commanded by knocking on a piece of wood or hanging talismans around their necks (wearing garlic “necklaces” in medieval times to ward off vampires comes to mind).
Here’s the bottom line: Fear patterns block healing, especially fears that are based on nonsense, superstitions, and irrationality. You are always receiving guidance on how to proceed with your healing, and just as often you may repress that guidance by claiming you are afraid to act on it.
Use these contemplative exercises to help release your fears and superstitions and listen to your inner guidance:
- Identify three superstitions that have authority over you. By superstitions, I mean wearing talismans for safety or knocking on wood for protection. Reflect upon what your superstitions are and write down, actually name, what the force is you are attempting to protect yourself from. Is it evil? The devil? Negativity is not a “thing” as such; the source of negativity is your real object of fear, so what is that object?
- Do you believe in evil? Is that a real presence for you? Do you avoid talking about evil?
- Do you consider your fears to be reasonable or unreasonable ones?
The primary reason that people feel a shortage of time is because they are trying to get too much leverage out of their action. If you are unaware of the power of alignment and are making little or no effort at finding your personal alignment—if you are overwhelmed or angry or resentful or ornery, and from those emotional perspectives, you are then offering your action to try to accomplish things—you are very likely experiencing a severe shortage of time.
There simply is not enough action in the world to compensate for the misalignment of Energy, but when you care about how you feel and you tend to your vibrational balance first, then you experience what feels like a cooperative Universe that seems to open doors for you everywhere. The physical effort required of someone who is in alignment is a fraction of that required of someone who is not. The results experienced by someone who is in alignment are tremendous in comparison with the results experienced by someone who is not.
If you are feeling a shortage of time or money, your best effort would be to focus upon better-feeling thoughts, to make long lists of positive aspects, to look for reasons to feel good, and to do more things that make you feel good when you do them. Taking the time to feel better, to find positive aspects, to align with who-you-really-are, will net you tremendous results and help you balance your time much more effectively.
Shortage of time is not your problem. Shortage of money is not your problem. Shortage of Connection to the Energy that creates worlds is what is at the heart of all sensations of shortage that you are experiencing. Those voids or shortages can be filled with only one thing: Connection to Source and alignment with who-you-really-are.
Your time is a perceptual thing, and even though the clock is ticking the same for everyone, your alignment affects your perception, as well as the results that you allow. When you set time aside to envision your life as you want it to be, you access a power that is unavailable to you when you focus upon the problems of your life.
As you observe the enormous differences in the effort that people apply and the results they achieve, you have to conclude that there is more to the equation of achieving than action alone. The difference is that some receive the benefit of the leverage of alignment because of the thoughts they think—while others disallow that leverage because of the thoughts they think.
Imagine yourself running one mile, and in this mile there are 2,000 doors to move through. Imagine coming to each door and then having to personally open it before you can run through it. Now imagine running the mile, and as you approach each door, the door is opened for you, so you are able to continue the pace, slowing not at all upon approaching each door. When you are in alignment with the Energy that creates worlds, you no longer have to stop and open the doors. Your Energy alignment allows things to line up for you, and the action that you offer is the way you enjoy the benefit of the alignment you have accomplished.|23|esther and jerry hicks,time,money,source,career,energy healing|_none|1|esther_and_jerry_hicks The Truth about Food Labels|Read beyond the vague terms.|2009-11-10 17:00:00||0||
I want you to become an expert at reading the label! If you have kids, teach them to do it, too. Know that the truth is in the fine print, not the big banners on the outside of the box (that’s marketing).
Don’t be fooled by vague terms like natural, pure, and enriched, or even organic, organically grown, pesticide-free, all-natural, and no artificial ingredients. Trust only labels that say certified organically grown. These are the only words that mean the food was grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides, in soil free of these substances.¹
According to the USDA, all food labels must list the product’s ingredients in order by weight. The ingredient the product contains in the greatest amount is listed first. Sometimes labels can be purposefully confusing; don’t buy foods that play these tricks:
- Vague labeling. Vegetable shortening and Made from healthy fats sound healthier than lard or bacon fat, but most shortenings are made with hydrogenated oils, which are trans fats—far worse than lard. Look for a more explicit label, such as trans-fat-free. Also beware of the tricky no trans fats claim. Manufacturers are allowed to claim this if there is less than 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving. Many of us eat more than one serving in a day, so the half-grams can add up.
- Natural claims. Made from (or made with) natural ingredients can be a big red herring. Most processed foods begin with natural ingredients—it’s what happens to them on their way into the box that should concern you. For example, a lot of sugar cereals are now boasting that they are made with whole grain—but who cares when they also contain so much sugar?
Buy certified organic when you can, or shop at a trusted natural food store or farmer’s market for local produce.|6|marcelle pick,diet,healthy eating,food labels,natural foods,organic foods|_none|1|marcelle_pick Look Who’s Talking!|When infants communicate through sign language.|2009-11-12 17:00:00|public://imports/945.jpg|0|public://imports/945.jpg|
My 10-month-old daughter was always easy to put to bed, so when she clung to me and cried one night, I wondered what could possibly be the matter? Was she suddenly old enough to protest bedtime?
I looked at her and asked “What’s wrong?”—simultaneously shrugging my shoulders and lifting my hands in a “WHAT?” gesture, which is also the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “WHAT?”
My tiny daughter immediately pointed to her open window and waved one hand in an arc out from her nose, her approximation of the ASL sign for “ELEPHANT”. Now, I already knew that my baby was absolutely terrified of elephants. She had expressed this often when viewing them at the zoo and on video. I had also noticed that, recently, she had begun signing “ELEPHANT” whenever she heard a car alarm or siren.
I looked to the open window, which had, until tonight, been closed every night over the winter. This warm night was likely the first time my baby could remember it being left open at bedtime.
Suddenly, I saw my urban neighborhood through my baby’s eyes—a noisy neighborhood full of trumpeting elephants, just out of sight around each corner, behind each bush, just waiting to reach or climb through a window left carelessly open!
I closed and locked the window and shut the blind and my sweet little girl went happily to sleep. Had my daughter not had the ability to communicate her specific fear through sign, I might have, in my ignorance, left her crying, alone and terrified in her crib.
Baby Sign Language is the practice of augmenting your verbal interactions with your baby with symbolic gestures. Signing helps make the meaning of words clearer to your baby, and empowers your baby to communicate, long before he or she can talk.
Crying works fairly well to express basic needs, but by signing, babies are able to express things that interest them and that they have no other way to communicate. Babies can even ask questions by signing!
Research shows that signing with babies decreases crying and tantrums, strengthens the parent/child bond, and enhances language development. In fact, in a long term study at UC Davis, signing babies were found to have an average of 50 more spoken words in their vocabularies by age two than their non-signing peers. That, of course, was in addition to all the signed words they were using. Even more incredibly, the children who had signed continued to excel in their verbal development, and by age 3, the signing children were nearly a full year ahead of the non-signers in their spoken language development.|1|family,children,baby sign language,parenting,babies,monta briant|_none|1|monta_briant Is Stress Damaging Your Health?|Bring more wellness into your world.|2009-11-20 17:00:00|public://imports/957.jpg|0|public://imports/957.jpg|
Whether it’s a new week, a new month, a new season or a new year, it’s a great time to make choices about improving your health. One of the best ways to bring wellness into your world is to decrease the level of stress you experience on a daily basis. Why is reducing stress so important? Believe it or not, the American Association of Family Physicians reports that two-thirds of all doctor visits are due to stress-related ailments. It’s also believed that 80 to 90 percent of all diseases are stress-related. And if you’re female, stress may be even more damaging to your health. Study after study has found that women suffer from both stress and depression more often than men.
Although most of us think of deadlines and commitments when we think of stress, stress has many other causes. It can be triggered by emotions—anger, fear, worry, grief, depression, or even guilt. And stress can actually lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, heart problems, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches, and other illnesses and chronic health conditions. If you want to avoid these problems, follow my 7 steps to living a vibrantly healthy, stress-less life.
- Get moving! That’s right—exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress in your life. It relaxes muscles and eases tension.
- Meditate and breathe deeply. Spend a few minutes of quiet relaxation first thing in the morning and later in the day. Sit and close your eyes and focus on your breathing. This way, you’ll bookend your day on a stress-free note.
- Eat a stress-relieving diet. Take stress off your digestive system by eating at least 7 servings of fresh fruits and veggies daily; they are high in water content and easily digestible.
- Keep your body hydrated. Our bodies are 70% water; our cells are 70% water; our planet Earth is 70% water. That’s no coincidence. Each day, drink at least 7 glasses of purified water. A healthy body is a fully hydrated body.
- Catch plenty of Zzzs. Lack of sleep undermines your body’s ability to deal with stress. That’s why it’s important to get 7-8 hours of rest per night.
- Laugh a lot. Mollify stress with lots of laughter. It releases endorphins into the body that act as natural stress-beaters. It also helps relieve pain and counteracts fear, anger, and depression, all of which are linked to illness and stress.
- Be thankful—and reap the health benefits. Each and every day, take a moment and be grateful for all you have in life. Focusing on the positive, even during difficult times, is a wonderful way to reduce and alleviate stress and transform your life.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” It’s a familiar childhood taunt that we once thought was true. But as we learned from Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work, words have an energy frequency that affects the molecular structure of water. Because the body is 75 to 90 percent water, we are affected by words. Not only can words hurt us emotionally, but the ones that we choose to use represent the flow of our subconscious mind.
One of my patients, Jennifer, was 13 in 1967 and excited about being invited to her first “teenage” party. When she told her friend about the invitation, her companion responded, “No boy will ever want to dance with you.” At the time of those remarks, Jennifer and her friend were eating tuna salad. When Jennifer began dressing for the party hours after the conversation, her nose and lips started to swell. Her parents took Jennifer to the emergency clinic, and the doctor declared that she was allergic to fish. From that point forward—over the next 35 years—Jennifer never ate fish, and if she was around while it was being cooked, she had an allergic reaction.
Using the words and intention of Infinite Love & Gratitude, I harmonized the internalized thoughts, feelings, and beliefs associated with Jennifer’s memory. She no longer has any allergic reaction to fish and enjoys eating it on a regular basis.
Words can have a profound, life-altering positive impact—or they can create intensely negative, devastating effects. Think about the words used when you have a disagreement with your spouse or significant other, or when you receive criticism from your parents or praise from your boss. How do words affect you when your siblings, friends, or co-workers tease you? If you don’t respond to them right away, what energy frequencies are rumbling around your body as a result?
Some words that you use every day have a similar impact. Close your eyes and say the words: my, try, can’t. What feelings do they evoke in you?
Let’s start with the word my. It means “belonging to or done by me.” So what happens when you use my to describe a symptom or disease? “My migraine headache is killing me.” My allergies are making me sneeze like crazy.” “My arthritis won’t let me stand up for long periods.” “My diabetes is acting up.”
When you use the word my when speaking of a symptom or a disease, you create an identity as if the condition defines you. That’s dangerous! Adding the word my means that the symptom belongs to you. The truth is that the ache or other dysfunction is a sign that there’s an imbalance in your system, and your body is attempting to get your attention. When you qualify the headache by calling it “my headache,” it sends a negative message to your body, and the cycle of breakdown continues. In addition, when you participate in verbal patterns of communication that are pessimistic or limiting in any way, the body has to take on another opponent—you. It’s hard to defend against yourself. It’s like shadowboxing: The opponent ducks every time you do.
This is what I recommend: When you talk about a symptom, make it the pain instead of my pain—the pain in my head, the pain in my stomach, or the pain in my back. At the same time, you should own your body parts—that is—my head, my stomach, or my back. But don’t say my arthritis, my multiple sclerosis, or my Parkinson’s disease. When you do, you’re just solidifying dysfunction as being a part of you.
During a recent service, our rabbi gave a wonderful sermon. He talked about a little boy who showed his teacher a picture of the earth. As an experiment, the teacher tore it into little pieces and instructed the boy to put them back together again. In a short amount of time, the child came back with the picture taped together.
“How did you do it so fast?” the teacher asked.
“On the other side of the earth was the picture of one person,” the child responded. “Putting that one person back together helped me put the earth back together.”
In order to heal the earth you must first put yourself back together—you must heal your own life. The words my, can’t and try are representative of the state of imbalance and dis-ease in your subconscious mind. My, can’t, and try are symptoms of the subconscious mind’s perpetration of harm against the body. Own your power by doing your best: Unconditionally respect, honor, and love yourself by choosing to take responsibility for the words you use. The impact of your choice will send a ripple outward to heal the earth, one person at a time.