Saturday, March 30, 2013

Is the Secret to Olive Oil in Its Scent?

Old olive oil factory
Old olive oil factory (Wikipedia)
by Anahad O'Connor, New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/is-the-secret-to-olive-oil-in-its-scent/

Why is olive oil, the crown jewel of the Mediterranean diet, so good for your health?

Nutritionists point to its abundance of antioxidants and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that protects the heart.

But new research suggests that some of the benefits of olive oil might be contained in its aroma.

The research found that compared to other oils and fats, extra virgin olive oil was more likely to increase a person’s feelings of satiety after a meal.

But another phase of the study showed that just imparting the scent of olive oil to food - by adding an aromatic extract - reduced the amount of calories people in the study consumed and improved their blood sugar response.

Smell and taste, it is well known, are two senses that are strongly tied together. Previous research has shown that manipulating the aroma of certain foods can influence the amount of them that people choose to eat.

Intensifying the smell and flavor of a dessert, for example, can prompt people to take smaller bites.

The goal of the new study was to take a closer look at the factors that make some foods more filling than others.

Many products in supermarkets nowadays attract consumers with labels saying “low-fat,” but eating low-fat foods can cause people to compensate by overeating later on, said Dr. Malte Rubach, a nutritional scientist who helped carry out the research with colleagues at the German Research Center for Food Chemistry, a government-financed institute based outside of Munich that published the report.

“We wanted to see whether there was a way to reduce the fat content of food without losing its taste or aroma,” Dr. Rubach said.

The researchers, who received no funding from producers of olive oil, began the study by comparing the effects of four different fats on feelings of satiety: lard, butter, olive oil and canola oil.

Canola oil has less monounsaturated fat than olive oil, but less saturated fat as well, and is often recommended along with olive oil as a healthy alternative to other cooking oils.

The researchers recruited 120 people and randomly split them into five groups. The participants were told simply to eat 500 grams of yogurt every day for three months.

In four of the groups, the yogurt was enriched with one of the four fats. The fifth group, which served as the control, ate plain, zero-fat yogurt.

The subjects were followed closely and regularly given blood tests. They were not told specifically what was in their daily yogurt, though for ethical reasons they were informed that it might be enriched with animal or plant-derived fats, Dr. Rubach said.

After eating their yogurt, the olive oil group showed the greatest increases in blood levels of serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety. They also reduced their normal caloric intake most days to compensate for the extra daily yogurt, which prevented them from gaining weight, a pattern that was also seen in the butter and control groups.

The canola and lard groups, however, did gain weight during the study period. Instead of cutting back on other calories, they added the yogurt to what they were already eating on a regular basis.

“You could see that those who felt really satiated reduced their total energy intake,” Dr. Rubach said, “whereas the others didn’t reduce their energy intake and they gained some weight.”

The researchers were particularly surprised to see that weight and body fat increased in the group that was fed canola oil, despite its similar health properties to olive oil.

So they designed the next phase of the study to see whether there was something other than the nutrients in the two oils that accounted for their different impacts.

This time, subjects were split into two groups that were given zero-fat yogurt. In one of the groups, the yogurt was mixed with an aroma extract that imparted the scent of olive oil without adding any fat.

Those who ate the plain yogurt showed a drop in serotonin levels and reported less satiation after eating it. They also did not cut back on other calories to compensate; instead, their intake increased an average of 176 calories a day.

The group eating the olive-oil flavored yogurt, meanwhile, reduced their calories from other foods and showed better responses when given glucose tolerance tests, which measure blood sugar control. Abrupt swings in blood sugar are part of what drives hunger and satiation.

The researchers attributed the impact of the olive oil scent to two aroma compounds that are particularly abundant in Italian olive oils, including hexanal, which is said to resemble the scent of freshly cut grass.

Dr. Rubach said that because the study was small, it would not be a good idea to draw any general recommendations from it. But the findings do suggest that consumers should be aware that the physiological impact of a meal is not limited to what they can see on the plate.

“This is the first time where we’ve really looked at the effects that things other than fatty acids, protein and carbohydrates have on satiety,” he said. “Everything that completes our impression of a meal can have an impact.”
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why You Should Get Up Early

by Laird Hamilton, Men's Journal: http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/why-you-should-get-up-early-20130326
 
Hi readers, an interesting view - what do you think?
 
Why You Should Get Up Early
Photograph by Ture Lillegraven
 
The case for starting your day in the dark.
Almost every guy I look up to - everyone whose life is an example of how to live - is an early riser.

All of them wake up in the dark, and they're just revved and ready to go.

To me, there's nothing worse than waking up and realizing that the sun's already been up for awhile.

I feel like I've missed out, like I'm only getting three-quarters of the day.

I subscribe to the idea that energy perpetuates energy, and nothing makes you more tired than sleeping in or sleeping too much.

If I don't get a chance to work out first thing in the morning, my whole day sort of goes awry.

Not everyone has the chance to exercise in the morning, but it's still the best time to do it - not only because we're well rested, but because if we burn off some energy first thing, we'll be less restless and better able to concentrate for the remainder of the day.

Besides, we're just better equipped to do anything physically demanding in the morning. Our hormone levels peak early.

Cortisol, for example, a stress-reducing hormone produced in the adrenal gland, spikes at 7am. Testosterone levels are highest around then, too (maybe that's why it's also a great time to have sex).

Any undertaking that's going to require your full focus - a stressful task, a journey, a physical challenge - you're probably better off starting first thing in the morning.

I know I always perform my best in the morning. And that doesn't mean I haven't surfed well in the afternoon, but my energy, my ability to go for a long period of time and to perform at a high level is better in the morning.

But I've never compromised on sleep. Even when I was young and would run around, when it was time to go, it was time to go.

I didn't care how cute she was or what my friends were up to - I was never one to stay up all night. Some people say that every hour of sleep you get before midnight is equal to two, and I believe them.

See also: Laird Hamilton's Morning Ritual

Easing Brain Fatigue With a Walk in the Park

Brick House Pictures/Getty Images
by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/easing-brain-fatigue-with-a-walk-in-the-park/

Scientists have known for some time that the human brain’s ability to stay calm and focused is limited and can be overwhelmed by the constant noise and hectic, jangling demands of city living, sometimes resulting in a condition informally known as brain fatigue.

With brain fatigue, you are easily distracted, forgetful and mentally flighty - or, in other words, me.

But an innovative new study from Scotland suggests that you can ease brain fatigue simply by strolling through a leafy park.

The idea that visiting green spaces like parks or tree-filled plazas lessens stress and improves concentration is not new. Researchers have long theorized that green spaces are calming, requiring less of our so-called directed mental attention than busy, urban streets do.

Instead, natural settings invoke “soft fascination,” a beguiling term for quiet contemplation, during which directed attention is barely called upon and the brain can reset those overstretched resources and reduce mental fatigue.

But this theory, while agreeable, has been difficult to put to the test. Previous studies have found that people who live near trees and parks have lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in their saliva than those who live primarily amid concrete, and that children with attention deficits tend to concentrate and perform better on cognitive tests after walking through parks or arboretums.

More directly, scientists have brought volunteers into a lab, attached electrodes to their heads and shown them photographs of natural or urban scenes, and found that the brain wave readouts show that the volunteers are more calm and meditative when they view the natural scenes.

But it had not been possible to study the brains of people while they were actually outside, moving through the city and the parks. Or it wasn’t, until the recent development of a lightweight, portable version of the electroencephalogram, a technology that studies brain wave patterns.

For the new study, published this month in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh attached these new, portable EEGs to the scalps of 12 healthy young adults.

The electrodes, hidden unobtrusively beneath an ordinary looking fabric cap, sent brain wave readings wirelessly to a laptop carried in a backpack by each volunteer.

The researchers, who had been studying the cognitive impacts of green spaces for some time, then sent each volunteer out on a short walk of about a mile and half that wound through three different sections of Edinburgh.

The first half mile or so took walkers through an older, historic shopping district, with fine, old buildings and plenty of pedestrians on the sidewalk, but only light vehicle traffic.

The walkers then moved onto a path that led through a park-like setting for another half mile. Finally, they ended their walk strolling through a busy, commercial district, with heavy automobile traffic and concrete buildings.

The walkers had been told to move at their own speed, not to rush or dawdle. Most finished the walk in about 25 minutes.

Throughout that time, the portable EEGs on their heads continued to feed information about brain wave patterns to the laptops they carried.

Afterward, the researchers compared the read-outs, looking for wave patterns that they felt were related to measures of frustration, directed attention (which they called “engagement”), mental arousal and meditativeness or calm.

What they found confirmed the idea that green spaces lessen brain fatigue. When the volunteers made their way through the urbanized, busy areas, particularly the heavily trafficked commercial district at the end of their walk, their brain wave patterns consistently showed that they were more aroused, attentive and frustrated than when they walked through the parkland, where brain-wave readings became more meditative.

While traveling through the park, the walkers were mentally quieter. Which is not to say that they weren’t paying attention, said Jenny Roe, a professor in the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University, who oversaw the study.

“Natural environments still engage” the brain, she said, but the attention demanded “is effortless. It’s called involuntary attention in psychology. It holds our attention while at the same time allowing scope for reflection,” and providing a palliative to the nonstop attentional demands of typical, city streets.

Of course, her study was small, more of a pilot study of the nifty new, portable EEG technology than a definitive examination of the cognitive effects of seeing green.

But even so, she said, the findings were consistent and strong and, from the viewpoint of those of us over-engaged in attention-hogging urban lives, valuable.

The study suggests that, right about now, you should consider “taking a break from work,” Dr. Roe said, and “going for a walk in a green space or just sitting, or even viewing green spaces from your office window.”

This is not unproductive lollygagging, Dr. Roe helpfully assured us. “It is likely to have a restorative effect and help with attention fatigue and stress recovery.”

The Value of Creating a Vision Board and Why Successful People Have Them!

by Gina Carre, 21st Century News: http://www.21stcenturynews.com.au/the-value-of-creating-a-vision-board-and-why-successful-people-have-them/?inf_contact_key=5bf26860b3db8c8c1ec4fb1907899e91e2d6d1e35dd8af8c81a648be00af645d

An example of how a cardboard Vision Board cou...
Vision Board (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gina Carré is an inspiring young entrepreneur who is publishing her first Self Help book in early 2013.

Blog: http://www.ginacarre.com 
E-mail: gina@ginacarre.com 

Maybe you have heard of a vision board and wondered why people have them?

I remember when I first got introduced to vision boards and honestly I thought they were a bit weird!

And then! I did one myself, and started to see amazing results that I never thought were possible!

Every person I would speak with about vision boards would tell me incredible stories about how they manifested their goals and how opportunities they never saw before suddenly started coming into their lives.

Here I will list the 5 TOP BENEFITS of creating a vision board then I will explain how to create your own!

1) CLARIFY YOUR GOALS

Do you have personal goals? It is really important to establish exactly what it is we want to work towards! Sometimes it’s easy to say “Oh yes, I am going to buy a house in a couple years” then realizing a couple of years passes and you still don’t have a house.

If you don’t have any goals get a piece of paper and start writing down what it is you want to achieve, and specify time frames, the more specific you are the better.

2) FOCUS ENERGY ON ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS

I’m going to give you an example of how focusing your energy on achieving your goals through vision boards has worked for me.

I wanted to get fit, I wasn’t heavily overweight but I really wanted to get toned and get a set of abs so what I did because I know that visual pictures help with achieving results, I went online and searched for celebrities that had the body that I wanted (you have to be realistic here, find someone that is the same height as you and has the same body frame).

My celebrity was Leryn Franco (Model & Athlete) so I printed out a photo of her and put it on my mirror so every morning I would be reminded of what it was I wanted, instead of focussing on “oh I shouldn’t eat chocolate” then going and eating some, lol.

Within only 1 MONTH I had a nice set of abs and felt amazingly fit – I couldn’t believe it! From this experience I realized the power of focusing your energy on what it is that you want, instead of focusing on what you don’t want. Stepping outside of your comfort zone!

3) HELP YOU ESTABLISH NEW AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES

Once you have clarified what your goals are, made a vision board and you are focusing your energy on working towards them, because you are reminded daily of what it is you are wanting you will notice that opportunities will start to open up for you, maybe they will be opportunities that were previously there but you never noticed them because your mind was somewhere else, but now that you are AWARE - your brain has been switched on to look for opportunities.

It’s like when I say to you don’t think of a Red Ferrari. How many of you actually thought of it? Yes every one of you did.

4) ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE MASSIVE ACTION

When you have created your vision board I highly recommend obviously placing it somewhere you will see it every day! The benefit of seeing your goals visually every day is it encourages you to take action during the day to achieve your goals.

Like what happened for me when I was try get fit - the constant reminder of seeing my picture daily, inspired me to take massive action and get the results.

5) VISUALISE YOUR GOALS, GET THE RESULTS!

Every successful person that I have spoken with and worked alongside have or had vision boards, I believe in the power of modelling other people who have the results that I want. Jack Canfield who wrote “Chicken soup for the soul” speaks of his vision boards on the movie “The Secret” If you haven’t already seen this movie I highly recommend you hire it straight away!

Stepping outside of your comfort zone! Anyway enough of the benefits now I’ll tell you how to make one!

HOW TO MAKE A VISION BOARD!

It’s really simple! See the attached vision board? This is one of my old personal ones that I still have in my office, whenever I make my vision boards I will put some dance music on really loud and grab a bunch of magazines and start getting creative.

There aren't any rule’s to making a vision board. It’s your creation so you can do whatever you like! Just ensure that you obviously put things that you DO WANT, and have inspiring words and pictures that reflect that. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Internet 'Narcissism Epidemic'

by http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/03/the-internet-narcissism-epidemic/274336/

Self-Help Tips That Are Easy To Understand

by Cessiosturim: http://cessiosturim.unblog.fr/2013/03/25/self-help-tips-that-are-easy-to-understand/

As long as you are open to it, there are always new opportunities for personal growth and improvement. If you want to grow and be a better person, start with learning and applying that knowledge to your life as often as possible.

Most employers don’t care about your school or college, they care about the degree you earned and if you can complete the work. There are only very few exceptions to this rule, such as working with a large financial institution. However, the important thing is to get a good education and increase your opportunities.

Make sure the goals you set for yourself are small and manageable so you can easily achieve them and develop the lifestyle that will make you happy. If you find what your weaknesses are, you can work to eliminate them and become a better person.

Make it a habit to constantly ask yourself what’s important in your life and whether you are still focused on it. Your life will be more peaceful, satisfying, and happy if you can stop obsessing over negative or meaningless things and concentrate your energy on what you really care about.

Do not go shopping for comfort. Instead of spending money, find a hobby. Doing something more productive will help keep money in your pocket and help your stress level.

Try not to take yourself too seriously. Everyone is a part of the world’s puzzle. Every individual can gain valuable insight from those around him, especially when acknowledging that no one person has all the answers. You’ll be open to more opportunities if you know this. Keeping an open mind will create a vacuum through which new ideas and information can flow.

A positive attitude will do wonders for your personal growth. Being a pessimistic sourpuss will hinder your efforts to get ahead and could even make your situation worse. Instead, stay positive and tell yourself that having a good attitude will help you achieve your goals.

Think of the gap between your current situation and your wishes as something you have to conquer. This can help you get where you plan to be. By living in denial of these facts, you will sabotage your efforts of reaching your true potential.

Becoming healthier will help immensely during personal development. It’s a well-known fact that a healthy body is a happy body. A healthy body also means that your mind will be sharper, and you may not have to spend as much money on heath care. Make a concerted effort to adopt healthy practices.

Maintaining benevolent wishes for others can lead to an increase in the good things you bring into your own life. Wish others well in life so you feel positive empowerment. If you keep your thoughts and feelings positive, you will find yourself less affected by negative emotions.

Organization should be central in your life. The process of cleaning up and organizing provides a massive boost to your self-esteem. Furthermore, you will feel accomplished after you finish this undertaking. Your stress level will also diminish as your life becomes more orderly. Having everything in its own place instills a calming energy.

These tips will give you a head-start on learning how to improve your self improvement. Personal development is a lifelong endeavor, so always be open to new self-betterment strategies.

Forget Self-Help Books: Find a Source of True Inspiration


Steve Tobak is a management consultant, executive coach, and former senior executive of the technology industry. He's managing partner of Invisor Consulting, a Silicon Valley-based strategy consulting firm. Contact Tobak; follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn@SteveTobak

There are tons of sources for self-help. But to really get yourself motivated to succeed, you have to find a source of real inspiration.

brewbooks/Flickr

An inspiring story or experience has the power to change your life or reinforce the path you're already on. It really does. But different things inspire different people.

Take business or self-help books, for example. They must work for somebody. Just not for everybody. Parables about cheese don't really cut it for me. As for other people's habits, they can keep them. All seven.

I actually did learn a few things from The One Minute Manager and What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School, but nothing inspiring. Nothing life-changing. And certainly nothing that inspired me to change. To be different.

Likewise, I find inspirational quotes to be of little value, except in the context of a moving story. I guess a lot of us lack the attention span or the time for anything but sound bites, these days. If it isn't 140 characters or less, forget it. It's sad. Really.

Here's the kind of story that I think is truly inspiring and motivating. Of course, I feel that way because, long ago, that's the affect it had on me. It inspired me to change course. It made a big difference in my life at a time when I really needed one. Maybe it'll work for you too. 

It's time to start livin'.

I went through a rough patch in college. Guess I sort of lost my way. Three weeks before the end of the semester, I was flunking my major classes. That's when my girlfriend took me to see a student production of the hit Broadway musical, Pippin.

Pippin was the son of King Charlemagne. Since he didn't get much love or attention from his busy father, he was sort of a lost soul searching for purpose, his place in the world, his Corner of the Sky, as he calls it in one of the songs.

My heart went out to Pippin. I saw myself in him. In search of himself, Pippin tries every kind of adventure a King's son can try: art, religion, war, sex, even tyranny. Nothing worked.

Lost, confused, depressed, and desperate, Pippin finally finds happiness in the one place he never thought to look: living a simple, modest life with Catherine - a widow he met along the way - and her son. The son of a king found fulfillment in the humble comfort of a caring family.

The play's musical score and lyrics were equally inspiring, but one song in particular really spoke to me. I've never forgotten it. To this day, it triggers a memory of a lost soul who comes to the sudden realization that life is about the little things. The simple things. Life is about living. No more, no less.

To this day, the chorus of the song No Time at All brings back all those feelings I felt that day more than 30 years ago:

Oh, it's time to start livin'
Time to take a little from this world we're given
Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
In just no time at all....

That play, that song, that simple lesson, that story that so resonated with me because I saw myself, my own desperation, in Pippin, is what inspiration - the kind that can motivate you to change your ways - is all about.

I went back and saw the play again the following night. It drew me like a magnet. And the next day, I changed. I really changed. I spent the next three weeks doing nothing but studying. No partying, no nothing. Just hard work. I aced my finals and never looked back.

To this day, when I'm lost, confused, desperate, I remember Pippin. I remember how I felt that day. I remember what really matters in life. With that perspective, I can see things clearly again. I figure out what I need to do. And I do it. And everything turns out okay.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You Wouldn't Go Out Looking Like That Would You?

by Tom McCollum

We all have that old favorite pair of sweat pants and a wrinkled shirt that we often lounge around the house in, right?

Particularly when we know that no one is around and the likelihood of being face-to-face with someone other than an immediate family member is a minimal risk. You know that look don't you?

No shower, maybe a little pillow-hair and looking pretty scary versus your normal "together" self. You'd never leave the house in that condition, would you? NFW!

In terms of image, there's one thing we all have in common: When we have an important social event, a business meeting or client interaction we put our best foot forward.

And on those really special occasions we might even get a fresh haircut and purchase something new to wear - all in an effort to make a quality impression and hedge our chances of success by carefully controlling the image that we portray to others.

We all have different looks for different occasions but one thing's for certain ... if we know someone important is going to be looking or evaluating us we go out of our way to be not only on our best behavior but we make ourselves look the best we possibly can - we naturally want to impress as it seems to be both common sense as well as an intelligent act of self-promotion.

So, what about your online presence? Your digital footprint? That seemingly ubiquitous presence you now have with all of your online profiles, activities and interactions. And those profiles are visible 24/7 to anyone in the world galaxy that decides to look.

And yet many choose to have a crappy photo or no photograph at all, complete with background information that is sketchy and in many cases with grammar that could use some serious work.

You're on display to the world around-the-clock and you're presenting yourself in the equivalent of that old pair of sweats and the wrinkled shirt. Really?

We can probably all agree that a sketchy, incomplete and poorly worded profile won't provoke any confidence with the person looking at your profile or social resume. People with these types of profiles should definitely rein in their expectations, as there's little chance of an offer ... of any kind.

Search engine functionality has improved to the point that anything and everyone can be found. If your profile is constructed properly, positioned strategically and coordinated with the proper keywords and phrases - you will be found and you might want to be looking the digital equivalent of professionally polished.

Passive recruiting has always been popular among search firms but the transparency caused by today's search functionality has given worldwide access to anyone interested in performing a search.

That includes the larger search firms all the way down to the one person HR department. Maybe it's a start-up looking for advisors or a board looking for expertise. Someone, somewhere is attempting to match people with opportunities ... are you discoverable? Moreover, are you presentable?

Seriously, take a shower, comb your hair, put on your best outfit and make yourself presentable - meaningful people with meaningful opportunities are looking for people just like you and you'll want to be the most presentable virtual version of yourself whenever they might choose to look your way.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_McCollum
http://EzineArticles.com/?You-Wouldnt-Go-Out-Looking-Like-That-Would-You?&id=7544674

Is It Better To Give Than Receive?

by Melissa Borgh

Giving and receiving should go hand in hand, there should be some sort of balance with the two. For most of us though we consider ourselves one or the other.

Either we are the type to drop what we are doing in order to help others no matter the cost or we take without being willing or able to return the favor.

In truth we should be able to do both, and in being able to do both when the situation calls for it will help us to become healthier and happier.

Givers are the mothers, the health care workers, the teachers and all of those that selflessly give of themselves with out concern of getting anything in return. Our problem is we need to be needed, the action of giving brings satisfaction.

The givers also have a hard time doing for themselves, taking a day off, going out with friends because in doing for others they find their worth. We also want others to acknowledge how much we do and when they don't we can easily become resentful and angry.

But what happens when there is no more left to give? What then? What is left of the mothers whose kids grow up and leave the home, of the teachers when they retire, or of the health care working when they eventually burn out? This is why there has to be a balance.

We all know one or two people in our lives that are takers. These are the ones that never offer to split the dinner bill, take the rides without offering gas money, and dominate the conversation so it seems that all they want to talk about are their problems without wanting to listen in return.

They can seemingly take advantage of those that endlessly give of themselves. But is it right to say they take advantage? Or is it just that they know an opportunity when it comes their way?

We need a good balance of both, and we need to know which is appropriate in each situation. There will be times that call for giving, and those that call for taking. If you find yourself more of a giver, start to take time for yourself.

Go for coffee with friends, take a yoga class, or go for a walk, but whatever it is make sure you find time for yourself each and every week. If you see yourself as more of a taker, start to be aware of those around you.

Be present for the friends that need you to listen, and offer your help when you see that someone may need it. It is in this way that we can become both giver and receiver.

I am Melissa Borgh, owner of Essence of Health in Markham, ON. I love to write articles that help my clients in their individual paths to health and wellness. For more articles like this one, please visit my website: http://www.essenceofhealthmarkham.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Melissa_Borgh
http://EzineArticles.com/?Is-It-Better-To-Give-Than-Receive?&id=7574383

Past, Present or Future?

by Natasha Althoff-Kelley

Which one are you more inclined to live in? We all will have one that we are best at living in, and one we are not so good at living in.

Time was once described to me as "endless moments of now". And that is true because as soon as we try to think about 'this' moment ... no 'this' moment ... no 'this' moment ... it is gone.

It's in the past and that moment in the future you are looking forward to - well it just became now, and as now became the past you can see time really is a wonderful thing!

When I coach people, one of the codes I am listening for is their relationship to time. Are they living in the past? Living in the present? Or living for their future?

None are correct or incorrect, and my belief is we need to experience all three, but the danger comes when we tend to live in one or the other for too long.

For instance - people that spend too much time in the past. The advantage and disadvantage of living in the past, is that are you get to re-experience an event over and over and over again.

Now if that experience is a powerful, emotional, exciting time, that fills you will confidence, strength, love and happiness - rock on, live there for a bit and then use those lessons and that emotion to bring into the present to create a compelling future.

The only thing is ...

Most people don't replay over and over and over the events in their past that made them smile. The replay the fears, the sadness, the failures, and they take that doubt, that fear and that sadness into the present, and believe that is what the future holds.

If living in the past is dictating your future, it's time to get out. You should be using your past for lessons and as reference points of success - that's it.

For people that aren't as good as living in the past, you need to make sure you are still remembering your successes. So for me - I have become an expert in putting the past away. What has happened has happened, and I never think about the past.

This means if an event has been very upsetting or something bad has happened, I find it very easy to get over it - give me 48 hours and it's all good. But that also means when I achieve big goals and have huge success, give me 48 hours and I have moved on and can barely remember it.

So yes - it is very useful to not waste energy on what has upset you in the past, but you need to still remember your success. To do this I have a success page where every month I need to write down all my successes and good memories on the past I want to remember.

I also write down the lessons I need to remember that I learned from the bad. But the actual bad memories I make very small and fuzzy and let them go - I don't need them

Then we have the people that live in the present. This is an awesome place to be. The advantage and disadvantage of living here is it is only about now.

You are focused on what you are doing, nothing else matters, you are completely experiencing everything in the moment and fully immersing yourself in it, rather than letting your mind drift and thinking about the past or the future and not enjoying the present moment of now.

A lot of us need to learn how to be more present when we are riding - only thinking about riding, not what to cook for dinner, or the work proposal, time with our friends, family and loved ones - we want to fully engage with the horse or your instructor rather than having our mind split thinking about something else.

Staying present and in the moment is the best gift you can give someone ... and yourself.

The dangers of only living here though, is you never plan or look toward the future. If you only think about the present you could be ruining your future. i.e. - if in the present I want a chocolate cake and I only think about the present and keep eating chocolate cake ... in the future I will be regretting my past of chocolate cake.

I see this with people who don't like to look in the future, they hate goal setting as in the past they have been disappointed by their future. So they refuse to think about it, and only control what they believe they can control - which is the present.

And for everyone who lives in the future! Hi!! That's where I live! And that's because the future is shiny and new and exciting, and we are constantly working on how to make it better and more exciting and more wonderful - we forget to take time out and just enjoy the present, enjoy the moment that was the future which has become now, and is now in the past.

So wherever you are in your life right now, enjoy it! Enjoy the present as the quote goes - "Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift: that's why we call it - The Present" - Unknown Author.

Use the past - it has plenty to teach you, but don't live there, what's done is done and it cant be undone.

Use the future plan what you want, and set goals so your future can be as compelling and as rich and as exciting as you can make it, and enjoy each and every passing moment of now. In balance of all three you will have the peace, love and excitement you want.

To Your Past, Present & Future Success!
Natasha Althoff-Kelley

Click here to visit my website for your FREE Ultimate Riding Success gift pack valued at $497

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Natasha_Althoff-Kelley
http://EzineArticles.com/?Past,-Present-or-Future?&id=7567823

Monday, March 25, 2013

Developing Intuitive Judgment and Understanding - Samurai Principle Number 6: A Book of Five Rings

Miyamoto Musashi as he appears in Koei's Samur...
Miyamoto Musashi in Samurai Warriors (Wikipedia)
by Stanley F Bronstein

Develop Intuitive Judgment And Understanding For Everything (Miyamoto Musashi)

Develop - To bring out the capabilities or possibilities of. Bring to a more advanced or effective state. To cause to grow or expand. To elaborate or expand in detail.

Intuition - Direct perception of truth, fact, etc. independent of any reasoning process. A keen and quick insight. The quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight.

Judgment - The ability to make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively and wisely. Good sense. Discretion.

Understanding - Mental process of a person who comprehends. Superior power of discernment. Enlightened intelligence. Knowledge or familiarity with a particular thing.

Everything - All things or all of a group of things. All relevant matters.

This meditation is the latest meditation from a concept discussed in a book known as A Book Of Five Rings, by the Japanese samurai master, Miyamoto Musashi. A Book Of Five Rings, is considered a classic on military strategy, in a manner similar to that of Sun Tzu's Art Of War.

While A Book Of Five Rings is a military text, it's lessons can be applied just as easily to non-military contexts. That's why this book is still useful today, more than 350 years after it was written.

This meditation talks about the importance of personal development.

Specifically, about the importance of developing one's judgment and understanding for that which is happening all around us. Face it. We live in a complex world. The world was highly complex in Miyamoto Musashi's time and it has only grown more so in the 350 + years since then.

A more complex world requires a greater level of judgment and intuition from us if we are going to survive and thrive. Musashi understood this in 1645 and if he were alive today he would understand it now.

Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Judgment and intuition are two sides of the same coin. The name of that coin is knowledge. In it's broadest sense, judgment is a matter of applying knowledge to make decisions. Intuition is the art of applying the knowledge gather from one's senses as they observe the world around them.

Knowledge is the key. The more one knows, the better they are prepared to face any obstacles in their path.

Analysis

As you meditate upon this thought, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is judgment?
  • Has my judgment been good in the past?
  • What can I do to improve my judgment in the future?
  • What is intuition?
  • Have I trusted my intuition in the past?
  • Has my intuition served me well in the past?
  • What can I do to develop my intuition in the future?

Stanley Bronstein is the author of 7 books, 6 of which are in the area of personal development. His latest project, was the creation of the intensive course SuperchangeYourLife

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stanley_F_Bronstein
http://EzineArticles.com/?Developing-Intuitive-Judgment-and-Understanding---Samurai-Principle-Number-6---A-Book-of-Five-Rings&id=7564478

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Knowing The Difference Between Gain and Loss - Samurai Principle Number 5: A Book of Five Rings

English: Miyamoto Musashi Français : Miyamoto ...
Miyamoto Musashi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Stanley F Bronstein

Distinguish Between Gain And Loss In Worldly Matters (Miyamoto Musashi)

Distinguish - To recognize as distinct or different. Recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of. To perceive clearly by sight or other sense. To discern.

Between - Distinguishing one from the other.

Gain - To get something desired, especially as a result of one's efforts. To acquire as an increase or addition. To obtain, as a profit.

Loss - Detriment, disadvantage, or deprivation from failure to keep, have or get. The state of being deprived of or of being without something that one has had. Failure to preserve or maintain.

Wordly - Of or pertaining to this world, as contrasted with heaven, spiritual life, etc. Devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs, interests, or pleasures of this world.

Matters - Situations, states, affairs or business. Something of consequence. Something of importance or significance.

An Introduction

This meditation is the latest meditation from a concept discussed in a book known as A Book Of Five Rings, by the Japanese samurai master, Miyamoto Musashi. A Book Of Five Rings, is considered a classic on military strategy, in a manner similar to that of Sun Tzu's Art Of War.

This meditation talks about the importance of possessing and cultivating one's ability to distinguish that which is important in this world (i.e. the material world). The ability to distinguish is a fine art; an art that once again, requires careful observation. Quite simply, one cannot distinguish if one does not pay close attention.

If one fails to properly distinguish, then what initially appears to be gain may actually be loss and what initially appears to be loss may actually be gain.

Real Life Situations

Have you ever encountered situations, in your life, where you felt like you gained and it turned out to be a loss? Have you ever encountered situations, in your life, where you felt like you lost and it turned out to have been a gain?

I know I have. I'm thinking of one situation from the past year where something didn't turn out quite the way I expected (in other words, I believed it to be a loss). But, as more time has gone by, I'm starting to realize that the situation was actually a gain, as it prepared me for some incredibly positive experiences that are just around the corner.

As you meditate upon this thought, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you ever encountered situations, in your life, where you felt like you gained and it turned out to be a loss?
  • Have you ever encountered situations, in your life, where you felt like you lost and it turned out to have been a gain?
  • What can you do to cultivate your ability to distinguish between gain and loss?

Stanley Bronstein is the author of 7 books, 6 of which are in the area of personal development. His latest project, was the creation of the intensive course SuperchangeYourLife

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stanley_F_Bronstein
http://EzineArticles.com/?Knowing-The-Difference-Between-Gain-and-Loss---Samurai-Principle-Number-5---A-Book-of-Five-Rings&id=7564475

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Know The Ways of All Professions - Samurai Principle Number 4: A Book of Five Rings

The Japanese ronin Miyamoto Musashi killing a ...
Miyamoto Musashi killing a giant nue (Wikipedia)
by Stanley F Bronstein

Knowing the ways of all professions is the fourth Samurai principle found in A Book of Five Rings.

The Book of Five Rings was written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi around 1645.

If we look at it in today's terms, it is essentially a manual of technique and philosophy.

Know The Ways Of All Professions (Miyamoto Musashi)

Know - To perceive or understand. To be acquainted with. To understand from experience or attainment. To be cognizant or aware of.
Ways - Manners, modes, or fashions. Habits.
Professions - A vocation requiring knowledge of some department of learning. The act of declaring oneself skilled or expert in a given area.

An Introduction

A Book Of Five Rings, is considered a classic on military strategy, in a manner similar to that of Sun Tzu's Art Of War. Having previously discussed Sun Tzu's Art Of War on many occasions, I figured it was time to explore many of the same concepts from the perspective of a Japanese samurai master.

This quote talks about the need for a broad base of knowledge in order to understand people. One way (perhaps the easiest way) is to understand what it is they do (their profession).

By understanding another's profession, we will sometimes find it easier to understand that person. Even if it doesn't help us to fully understand others, it definitely will take us a long way toward reaching an eventual understanding of others.

Paying Attention To Others

One way to gain knowledge about others is to observe them; to watch them; to listen to them; to communicate with them. Observation is vital if one wishes to understand the ways of others.

Unfortunately, all too often, we do not pay as much attention to others as we should. As a result, we miss key clues that would help us in understanding others.

Another Reason To Know The Profession Of Others

Another reason to know about the profession of others is that you might one day be called upon to exhibit the skills of a profession different than your own.

Wood workers may be called upon to work with brick. Accountants may called upon to deal with legal issues. Nurses may be called upon to perform as a doctor in an emergency situation. The potential list is endless.

As you meditate upon this thought, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my profession?
  • What does my profession say about me?
  • Do I pay attention to the professions of others?
  • What does their profession say about them?
  • Do I observe others as much as I should?
  • What can I do to pay more attention to others?
  • What might I learn by paying attention to others?

Stanley Bronstein is the author of 7 books, 6 of which are in the area of personal development. His latest project, was the creation of the intensive course SuperchangeYourLife

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stanley_F_Bronstein
http://EzineArticles.com/?Know-The-Ways-of-All-Professions---Samurai-Principle-Number-4---A-Book-of-Five-Rings&id=7564447

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Personal Knowledge - Samurai Principle Number 3: A Book of Five Rings

English: Miyamoto Musashi Français : Miyamoto ...
Miyamoto Musashi (Wikipedia)
by Stanley F Bronstein

The Book of Five Rings was written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi around 1645.

If we look at it in today's terms, it is essentially a manual of technique and philosophy.

Musashi establishes a "no-nonsense" theme throughout the text and that is what all people who want to SuperChange their lives must do.

Become Acquainted With Every Art (Miyamoto Musashi)

Become - To come, change, or grow to be. To come into being.

Acquainted - Having personal knowledge as a result of study, experience, etc. Made familiar.
Every - All possible; the greatest possible degree of.

Art - The principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning. Skill in conducting any human activity.

An Introduction

Today's meditation is the latest meditation from a concept discussed in a book known as A Book Of Five Rings, by the Japanese samurai master, Miyamoto Musashi.

"Becoming acquainted with every art" essentially means to acquire personal knowledge about virtually everything so that you are as prepared as possible for every eventuality you may face.

This meditation talks about the concepts of familiarity, knowledge and mastery.

Familiarity - Thorough knowledge or mastery of a thing, subject, etc.
Knowledge - Acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation.
Mastery - Command or grasp, as of a subject. Expert skill or knowledge.

  • To become familiar, one must acquire knowledge and mastery.
  • To become knowledgeable, one must acquire familiarity and mastery.
  • To become a master, one must acquire familiarity and knowledge.

They are all related.

The End Goal Is To Achieve Mastery

Mastery allows one to gain power and control. By gaining power and control, one can shape their own destiny, rather than have it shaped for them. As mentioned above, mastery requires knowledge and familiarity. To gain knowledge and familiarity, one must study and practice.

As the universe is ever changing, this requires a course of constant, never-ending, study and practice. That's right. Constant and never-ending.

Constant And Never-Ending Study Leads To Constant Improvement

Improvement - A person or thing that represents an advance on another in excellence or achievement.

We must always strive to become better. Becoming better prepares us for the obstacles we will face as we go through life.

As you meditate upon this thought, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What skills and abilities do I have?
  • Am I constantly working toward improving myself and those around me?
  • Am I embarked upon a course of study and practice that will lead to constant and never-ending improvement?
  • What actions can I take to constantly improve myself?

Stanley Bronstein is the author of 7 books, 6 of which are in the area of personal development. His latest project, was the creation of the intensive course SuperchangeYourLife

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stanley_F_Bronstein
http://EzineArticles.com/?Personal-Knowledge---Samurai-Principle-Number-3---A-Book-of-Five-Rings&id=7564436

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Training - Samurai Principle Number 2: A Book of Five Rings

Miyamoto Musashi in his prime, wielding two bo...
Miyamoto Musashi in his prime (Wikipedia)
by Stanley F Bronstein

The Book of Five Rings was written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi around 1645. If we look at it in today's terms, it is essentially a manual of technique and philosophy.

Musashi establishes a "no-nonsense" theme throughout the text and that is what all people who want to SuperChange their lives must do.

The Way Is In Training (Miyamoto Musashi)

Way - Manner, mode, or fashion. A method, plan, or means for attaining a goal. A direction.

Training - The education, instruction, or discipline of a person or thing that is in the process of developing or forming habits, thoughts, or behavior by discipline and instruction. The processing of making one proficient by instruction and practice.

A Book Of Five Rings, is considered a classic on military strategy, in a manner similar to that of Sun Tzu's Art Of War. While A Book Of Five Rings is a military text, it's lessons can be applied just as easily to non-military contexts. That's why this book is still useful today, more than 350 years after it was written.

Today's quote talks about the need for constant learning and development throughout our lives and the means to do so.

The way to constantly learn and develop throughout our lives is by training. In other words, constant learning and development will NOT just come to us. It will NOT just be given to us. Instead, constant learning and development must be earned by training.

It must be earned by education. It must be earned by instruction. It must be learned by discipline. It is a never-ending process that we must participate in if we wish to move forward. Otherwise, we will eventually stagnate, weaken and perish.

Why Should One Seek To Constantly Learn And Develop?

One should seek to constantly learn and develop because it is the way of things. One cannot and should not stand still. By definition, if one wishes to attain a goal, one must move forward. Attaining goals is what life is all about.

Goal - The result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

Goals can be virtually anything. A goal can be as complex as sending a man to the moon or as simple as enjoying the beauty of a flower. Either way, one must train themselves properly in order to achieve that goal.

An Example

I train daily by walking for several hours a day. While walking, I also listen to audiobooks on a variety of educational subjects, all for the purpose of increasing my knowledge. I do this daily and I can truthfully say that I am better today than I was yesterday and I will be better tomorrow than I am today. Can you say the same?

As you meditate upon this thought, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are some of my goals?
  • Am I better today than I was yesterday?
  • Will I be better tomorrow than I am today?
  • Do I have a program of constant development and improvement (i.e. training)?
  • What types of training can I incorporate into my life to improve my situation?

Stanley Bronstein is the author of 7 books, 6 of which are in the area of personal development. His latest project, was the creation of the intensive course SuperchangeYourLife

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stanley_F_Bronstein
http://EzineArticles.com/?Training---Samurai-Principle-Number-2---A-Book-of-Five-Rings&id=7564420

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Honesty - Samurai Principle Number 1: A Book of Five Rings

Miyamoto Musashi, self-portrait
Miyamoto Musashi (Wikipedia)
by Stanley F Bronstein

The Book of Five Rings was written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi around 1645. If we look at it in today's terms, it is essentially a manual of technique and philosophy.

Musashi establishes a "no-nonsense" theme throughout the text and that is what all people who want to SuperChange their lives must do.

Do Not Think Dishonestly (Miyamoto Musashi)

Do Not - To not perform. To not execute. To not accomplish, finish or complete.

Think - To have a conscious mind. To employ one's mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation. To call something to one's conscious mind.

Dishonestly - Not worthy of trust or belief. Proceeding from or exhibiting a honor in one's principles, intentions and actions.

An Introduction

Today's meditation is the latest meditation from a concept discussed in a book known as A Book Of Five Rings, by the Japanese samurai master, Miyamoto Musashi.

What Is A Book Of Five Rings?

A Book Of Five Rings, is considered a classic on military strategy, in a manner similar to that of Sun Tzu's Art Of War. Having previously discussed Sun Tzu's Art Of War on many occasions, I figured it was time to explore many of the same concepts from the perspective of a Japanese samurai master.

While A Book Of Five Rings is a military text, it's lessons can be applied just as easily to non-military contexts. That's why this book is still useful today, more than 350 years after it was written.

Today's Meditation

Today's principle talks about honesty. The word honest shares the same Latin roots as the word honor. Basically, being honest means to act with honor.

Honor - Honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions.

Being honorable is all about acting with integrity.

Integrity - Adherence to moral and ethical principles. Soundness of moral character.

It's All About Character

Character - The aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.

Either you are a person of fine character or you are not. If one follows the principle about not thinking dishonestly, then one will not have a chance to formulate thoughts that would cause them to have a negative character. By not having a chance to formulate those thoughts, one also would not be able to act on them.

An Interesting Point Of View

I've always been of the opinion that it's okay to have dishonest thoughts as long as one doesn't act on them. Miyamoto Musashi obviously thought differently. He was suggesting that we go even further. Not only should one not act dishonestly, one should also not think dishonestly. In the past I might not have agreed with his philosophy, but I believe I see the wisdom in his way of thinking.

Making Room

By not allowing dishonest thoughts to enter our minds, we are leaving room for honest thoughts to enter. We are what we think about and if we want to be honest, we should think about being honest.

Analysis

As you meditate upon this thought, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you believe you act honestly and honorably (at least most of the time)?
Do you ever find yourself thinking dishonest or dishonorable thoughts?
What can you do to reduce the chances of even thinking dishonestly or dishonorably?

Stanley Bronstein is the author of 7 books, 6 of which are in the area of personal development. His latest project, was the creation of the intensive course SuperchangeYourLife

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stanley_F_Bronstein
http://EzineArticles.com/?Honesty---Samurai-Principle-Number-1---A-Book-of-Five-Rings&id=7560152

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sustainable Happiness? 6 Ways to Get There

Catherine
Happiness (Photo credit: aporisme)
by , , http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/sustainable-happiness-6-ways-to-get-there?utm_source=wkly20130322&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=titleO/%27Brien

Dr. Catherine O’Brien and Ian Murray wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions.

Catherine has been actively engaged in sustainability efforts locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 20 years. Catherine is an education professor at Cape Breton University where she developed the first university course in the world on sustainable happiness based on the groundbreaking concept of sustainable happiness she created.

Ian is a writer, photographer and filmmaker whose work spans a wide range of topics including cultural diversity and sustainability. He is a co-creator of the sustainable happiness online course.

In the past ten years there has been an escalating interest in happiness.

Hundreds of books and studies have emerged to guide us toward finding the good life, but achieving personal happiness is only a part of the equation.

When happiness is partnered with well-being and sustainability it takes on a whole new dimension: sustainable happiness.

Sustainable happiness takes into account that happiness is interconnected with other people, other species, and the natural environment by a remarkable web of interdependence.  This means that our daily actions and decisions contribute to - or detract from - our own well-being, and that of others.

Sometimes things that make us happy may harm our community, ecosystems, or future generations. Sustainable happiness can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle and greater life satisfaction - and sometimes it's right at your fingertips.

Other times it involves reawakening to the joy that comes from simple pleasures or generating options for a lifestyle change. Here's how you can start: 

1. Cultivate Appreciation

According to happiness experts, gratitude and appreciation are associated with happiness and life satisfaction.  Taking a moment to experience appreciation is a marvelous counterpoint to the constant bombardment of media messages that tell us we don’t have enough stuff or that we aren’t good enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, and so on.

Appreciation brings us into the present. Perhaps it’s taking a few seconds to feel the delicate warmth of a winter’s sun on your face, birds singing early on a spring morning, or the delicious aroma of coffee wafting from the kitchen. Allowing yourself to absorb and appreciate the moment can be an antidote to stress. 

2. Embrace your Natural Highs

Natural highs are natural, everyday things that are found - sometimes literally - right under your nose, like the fragrance of a rose garden. Tuning in to your natural highs alone could bring you hundreds of daily experiences of delight and contentment.

Have you ever stood under a tin roof and listened to the rhythmic drumming of rain while the moist air cools you on a hot summer day? How about the sound of children’s laughter in the park?

To seek out these experiences, simply pay attention to the wonder of the world around you. Here are some of the natural highs people have shared during the course we teach in sustainable happiness:

Watching my daughter sleep
The smell of the earth thawing in the spring
Hearing an owl hooting at night
The cold side of a pillow
Feeling the sun on my face
The sound of an iceberg breaking apart
Hugs
Smelling flowers, especially roses
Gazing at the Northern Lights
Hiking in the woods
Riding my bike
Birds singing in early morning
Lying on the grass and enjoying a starry night
The moment of bursting to the surface while swimming
Watching a beautiful sunset 

3. Chart Your Sustainable Happiness Footprint

Take a snapshot of a typical day with a Sustainable Happiness Footprint Chart. Just list your activities from the time you wake up until you go to bed (such as eating breakfast, going for a run, heading to work/school, etc). Each column demonstrates how these activities impact you personally, and how they may impact other people and the environment.

You may want to chart your Sustainable Happiness Footprint for a week. Take a look at your chart and ask yourself if there is one thing you might shift to enhance your well-being, or the well-being of other people, other species, or the natural environment. Click here to download a Sustainable Happiness Footprint Chart. 

4. Create an Interdependence Map

The Sustainable Happiness Footprint Chart portrays the many decision points that are available throughout your day.  You can create a more complete picture by drawing your own Interdependence Map - a visualization that demonstrates how your life is intertwined with the world around you. You can make your map as detailed as you like.

An Interdependence Map joins the dots of all the interconnections that contribute to the existence of a person, thing, or idea. You may think of it as a complex web that links us to others, both near and far, and all the things in between.
Once you’ve made your list, look at each item and ask yourself if it’s been too long since you engaged in something that makes your heart sing.
Imagine, for example, the story behind something as commonplace as a piece of paper. We can trace all of the factors that influenced its existence.

If the paper was made from wood pulp, the map would include natural resources (trees, the sun, wind, soil, and water); historical inventions that affected the use of paper (printing presses); machines that were created to harvest trees, transport logs, and convert the wood into paper; energy sources for the various processes; water and chemicals at the paper mill; paper packaging resources; and even the human resources during all the stages of extracting, manufacturing, and transporting materials to the place where they are purchased.

Creating an Interdependence Map of your own can lead to important insights. The Interdependence Map for paper is quite basic in comparison to the complex webs that an individual might have.

You could include: ancestors, family, friends, resources for shelter, transportation, food, energy sources for clothing, electricity, and heat. Remember that each of these items is a hub for other webs of interconnection too. The one for food alone would be extensive.

Once you complete the Interdependence Map, ask yourself this question: Is there one thing that I could change that would lead to sustainable happiness? Even one shift has ripple effects in the world.

Many people find that changing something that contributes to their own well-being is a good place to start - like reducing the consumption of fast food, going for a walk after work, spending more time with family, turning off the TV, or starting a gratitude journal. 

5. Make Your Own "Happy List"

Take a few minutes to list all the things that make you happy. Jot everything down that comes to mind. Once you’ve made your list, look at each item and ask yourself if it’s been too long since you engaged in something that makes your heart sing.

The final step is to take a look at your list through the lens of sustainable happiness. Then ask yourself if anything on your list is detrimental to you, someone else, or the environment. 

6. Value Genuine Wealth

Genuine wealth is found in relationships, natural beauty, and an appreciation for life, loving, and laughing.  Building genuine wealth can be as straightforward as taking time for family and friends and enjoying your natural highs.

Try this:
  • Make a list of all your genuine wealth. You could include family, friends, education, the natural world around you, health, sensory experiences, political freedom, the ability to love and laugh, etc.
  • Ask yourself if you take any of these for granted.
  • Is there anything on your list that you would like to increase or improve in order to enhance your genuine wealth? If so, what steps do you need to take to accomplish this?
  • How are you contributing to the genuine wealth of other people or your community? Is there anything more that you would like to do?
Once you begin to draw on these sustainable happiness choices, you’ll likely discover that there are many new choices that you can make - and they're already within your reach. For more information on exploring sustainable happiness: sustainablehappinesscourse.com.

Interested?
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Friday, March 22, 2013

The Person Behind the Mask

No Me Mireis!
No Me Mireis! (El Hermano Pila)
by Ameerah N Pearman

Many of us go through life wearing different masks in order to adapt to different situations. Because of that, we never REALLY know what depression looks like.

Depression looks like your kindergartener's energetic teacher who takes an hour long commute just to get home and manage her unruly children without any help from their father.

Depression looks like the grocery store clerk who is underpaid and constantly sexually harassed by her boss.

Depression looks like the friendly alcoholic college student who has a passion for the arts but is forced to go to medical school by his judgmental parents.

Depression is a silent killer because you never ever know what a person is thinking unless they tell you.

In the meantime, these masks are now not just for the workplace or school, it has become a part of them. Now, what was meant to demonstrate strength and resilience is now a trap that cannot be escaped.

Identifying depression is difficult if you don't see any demonstrative behavior and/or hear any clues. It is the uninvited guest that sneaks in after dark while you are sleeping and sets up residence in your attic.

You look up one day and you think to yourself "I could have sworn I put that there," or "I don't remember using the last of the milk." Until finally you realize that things are DEFINITELY missing and items around the house are out of order; almost as if you have a roommate that you've never met.

You look around relentlessly for the culprit, gradually you grow more exhausted and disheveled. You are not even safe in your very own home. One day you caught a shadow of it, but it disappeared just as quickly as it came, almost as if it's taunting you.

The culprit is depression. The attic is your mind. Depression is an emotional disorder, hence the reason why everything gradually becomes unraveled the more time it occupies your mind until finally, it seems to be happily prancing around your mind and you can't get your hands on it.

Imagine having to go through all of that and still be a parent, a spouse, an employee, an active member of society, a student, or whatever roles you have. The true person behind the mask is only revealed to us when the mask begins to crack, and by then, the culprit has taken over.

Removing the mask is a daily process, healing the scars that the mask was hiding can be excruciating. But gradually, you will feel free, and more in control. The culprit won't feel so comfortable and it will eventually leave.

However, every once in awhile, now that you know what it looks like, you will notice it peeking in your window, looking for an opportunity to re-enter. When you notice that, take some mental health time and make sure that you are in a positive frame of mind.

To learn more about Depression and sign up for the Upcoming Webinar titled "Depression: When Life Happens to You." Go to http://www.healourhearts.org

To Learn More about Depression and its affect on everyone, go to http://www.healourhearts.org and sign up for the Upcoming Webinar titled, "Depression: When Life Happens to You."

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http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Person-Behind-the-Mask&id=7541519

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