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"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Friday, October 31, 2008

Millennium Development Goals (MDG)

The MDGs or Millennimum Development Goals are global improvement goals to which the United Nations is dedicated. Their 2008 report about this global collective effort that is unsurpassed in 50 years of development experience is available to read in its entirety here.

Some highlights: It is not only governments of developing countries and the international community that have adopted the MDGs as their framework for international development cooperation, but also the private sector and, critically, civil society in both developed and developing countries. Besides being advocates for the MDGs, private foundations in the developed countries have become an important source of funding for a wide range of activities intended to achieve them. NGOs in developing countries are increasingly engaged in undertaking these activities, as well as in monitoring the outcomes.

This global collective effort is yielding results. Adding more recent data to those contained in earlier Reports largely confirms the patterns identified previously. There has been sound progress in some MDG areas, even in some of the more challenging regions, and a number of targets are expected to be reached by their target dates, mostly 2015:

The overarching goal of reducing absolute poverty by half is within reach for the world as a whole:

• In all but two regions, primary school enrolment is at least 90 per cent
• The gender parity index in primary education is 95 per cent or higher in six of the 10 regions, including the most populous ones
• Deaths from measles fell from over 750,000 in 2000 to less than 250,000 in 2006, and about 80 per cent of children in developing countries now receive a measles vaccine
• The number of deaths from AIDS fell from 2.2 million in 2005 to 2.0 million in 2007, and the number of people newly infected declined from 3.0 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2007
• Malaria prevention is expanding, with widespread increases in insecticide-treated net use among children under five in sub-Saharan Africa: in 16 out of 20 countries, use has at least tripled since around 2000
• The incidence of tuberculosis is expected to be halted and begin to decline before the target date of 2015
• Some 1.6 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water since 1990
• The use of ozone-depleting substances has been almost eliminated and this has contributed to the effort to reduce global warming
• The share of developing countries’ export earnings devoted to servicing external debt fell from 12.5 per cent in 2000 to 6.6 per cent in 2006, allowing them to allocate more resources to reducing poverty
• The private sector has increased the availability of some critical essential drugs and rapidly spread mobile phone technology throughout the developing world

Here are the actual goals and targets as presented by Business Day:

  • Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty & hunger. Target: to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.

  • Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education. Target: to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

  • Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women. Target: eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.

  • Goal 4: Reduce child mortality. Target: reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. Despite progress, deaths of under five children remain unacceptably high.

  • Goal 5: Improve maternal health.

  • Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria & other diseases.

  • Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability. Target: to integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources.

  • Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development.

Photo: Cuban Sunset

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Does Your Life Flow?

A Claremont Graduate University professor of psychology, and author of a magnificent little book - among others - called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (P.S.), whom I have mentioned occasionally in this blog and in my newsletter articles, called Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, asks, as TED (one of the featured websites I refer to over and over) highlights: ""What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow.""

TED further says this of Csikszentmihalyi: "[he] has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of "flow" -- a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work."

"Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: "When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life." He is the architect of the notion of "flow" -- the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake."

"Csikszentmihalyi teaches psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University, focusing on human strengths such as optimism, motivation and responsibility. He's the director the the Quality of Life Research Center there. He has written numerous books and papers about the search for joy and fulfillment."

See the video where he explains this important concept more closely



Should you experience any difficulty viewing the video, click here to view it directly at TED

Photo: Cuba

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If The World Could Vote


Who is behind the site?

Just three guys from Iceland. The site is independent from all political parties, companies or hidden agendas. It's just an idea a 22 yo guy in Iceland came up with and executed with a little help from a couple of friends.

Why are you doing this?

Just out of curiosity. The president of the United States is a powerful man, probably the most powerful person on the planet. So everyone seems to have an opinion on who should be the next president of the United States. We thought it would be interesting to see who would be the next president if the whole world could vote. It's also a challenge to try to beat the number of voters in the last US elections. So spread the news!

How many times can I vote?

Only once. Each computer can only vote once. Yes you can clear your cookies and vote again, but we have a script(called the Psychic Monkey) that looks for multiple votes and specific voting patterns and deletes fake votes before we publish the results.

I'm from the U.S, can I vote?

Of course you can, that will only make it more interesting to see how the U.S would vote in relations to the rest of the world.

Where are the other candidates?

Unfortunately it is clear that either of these two will become president. Although the 3rd party candidates have a theoretical change, that won't happen. And since we are not giving the world a real chance to vote, we want to see which one of these two the world wants. If we do this again though, we will include the 3rd party candidates.

http://www.iftheworldcouldvote.com/

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Only Person You Have to Make Happy Is You



Here we go again with the selfishness bit: you are the only one you are responsible for making happy. Click joy and happiness for many previous posts about the subject.

Of course, if you've been reading these blogs or if you read my monthly newsletters, you know that the reason for that is that if you are happy - if you do your utmost every day to make a fulfilling life for yourself - the ripple effect that your life has on other lives, is immeasurable. So it makes sense to think of yourself first (not by grabbing everything for yourself to the detriment of others, but by making consistent choices to ensure that your life - especially your inner life - is as good as it can possibly be at all times.

I ran across some great quotes the other day from a book I've read several times since I was 15: The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm. And I also found others by Fromm in his article published in 1939 Selfishness and Self-Love:
  • "Modern culture is pervaded by a taboo on selfishness. It teaches that to be selfish is sinful and that to love others is virtuous. To be sure, this doctrine is not only in flagrant contradiction to the practices of modern society but it also is in opposition to another set of doctrines which assumes that the most powerful and legitimate drive in man is selfishness and that each individual by following this imperative drive also does the most for the common good. The existence of this latter type of ideology does not affect the weight of the doctrines which declare that selfishness is the arch evil and love for others the main virtue. Selfishness, as it is commonly used in these ideologies, is more or less synonymous with self-love. The alternatives are either to love others which is a virtue or to love oneself which is a sin."
  • Fromm also refers to Calvin who has indicated that "If the individual finds something in himself „on the strength of which he finds pleasure in himself,“ he betrays this sinful self-love. This fondness for himself will make him sit in judgment over others and despise them. Therefore, to be fond of oneself, to like anything about oneself is one of the greatest imaginable sins. It excludes love for others* and is identical with selfishness."
  • Fromm also mentions Kant: "According to Kant, it is a virtue to want the happiness of others, while to want one's own happiness is ethically „indifferent,“ since it is something which the nature of man is striving for and a natural striving cannot have positive ethical sense. [...] love for oneself, striving for one's own happiness, can never be a virtue. As an ethical principle, the striving for one's own happiness „is the most objectionable one, not merely because it is false,... but because the springs it provides for morality are such as rather undermine it and destroy its sublimity...“
  • Fromm becomes even more damning as he continues his assault on our societal mores concerning self-love: "The doctrine that selfishness is the arch-evil that one has to avoid and that to love oneself excludes loving others is by no means restricted to theology and philosophy. It is one of the stock patterns used currently in home, school, church, movies, literature, and all the other instruments of social suggestion. „Don't be selfish“ is a sentence which has been impressed upon millions of children, generation after generation. It is hard to define what exactly it means. Consciously, most parents connect with it the meaning not to be egotistical, inconsiderate, without concern for others. Factually, they generally mean more than that. „Not to be selfish“ implies not to do what one wishes, to give up one's own wishes for the sake of those in authority; i.e., the parents, and later the authorities of society."
  • "„Don't be selfish,“ in the last analysis, has the same ambiguity that we have seen in Calvinism. Aside from its obvious implication, it means, „don't love yourself,“ „don't be yourself,“ but submit your life to something more important than yourself, be it an outside power or the internalization of that power as „duty.“ „Don't be selfish“ becomes one of the most powerful ideological weapons in suppressing spontaneity and the free development of personality. Under the pressure of this slogan one is asked for every sacrifice and for complete submission: only those aims are „unselfish“ which do not serve the individual for his own sake but for the sake of somebody or something outside of him." (italics mine)
  • In that sense Fromm made a magnificent statement: "Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either."
  • In Man For Himself Fromm wrote: "selfishness and self-love, far frm being indentical, are actually opposites. The selfish person does not love himself too much, but too little; in fact, he hates himself."

Much to think about here. But hopefully you will never again confuse selfishness and self-love.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Existential Well-being and Depression


Researchers - as reported by Science Daily - have concluded that spirituality protects against depression better than church attendance.

I can't say I am surprised, but I do say that I am inordinately pleased that this kind of research is coming out of the woodwork.

The articles indicates that "Lead researcher Joanna Maselko, Sc.D., characterized the religiosity of 918 study participants in terms of three domains of religiosity: religious service attendance, which refers to being involved with a church; religious well-being, which refers to the quality of a person's relationship with a higher power; and existential well-being, which refers to a person's sense of meaning and their purpose in life."

And when reporting their results, this is said: "Researchers also found that those who attended religious services were 30 percent less likely to have had depression in their lifetime, and those who had high levels of existential well-being were 70 percent less likely to have had depression than those who had low levels of existential well-being."

Read entire article here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Do Your Bit


Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.
Robert F. Kennedy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Keep Your Eye on Your Choices

Each choice you make takes you down a specific road. As you observe where you are in life, you can look back at the choices you have made and realize how you got to where you are.

Should you not be where you want to be, what this post is about is not blame.

But, if you are not where you want to be, consider the choices you have made. For instance, how often have you chosen to regard your lack of good fortune or ease in gathering speed along your chosen road of life, as bad luck?

Or how often have you chosen to react with anger, with depression, with a low-energy mood to one situation or another in your life?

These are also choices you have made.

How often have you chosen to spend an extra 20 minutes in bed instead of working out or meditating or learning that new language or becoming skillful at the use of some software that might give you an advantage in your quest in life?

How often have you chosen to say to yourself this is how I am and I can't change it?

How often have you chose to begrudge another his/her good fortune, rather than rejoicing - truly rejoicing - on their behalf?

Every choice we make brings a specific energy into our lives. That energy in itself leads us to more choices that could increase that same energy. If it was not the best to begin with, it is therefore increased. But at any part of the road we can choose to make other choices.

If you begin to keep your eye on your choices, to observe them, to be truly aware of them, and the intention that has brought them to life, you will be in a position to see clearly where your life would go into new directions if you changed those choices.

Photo: the walled city of Avila, Spain

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Unfinished Business You Can't Afford Not to Finish

Do you have any idea what the negative inside of you does to you?

It can affect your physical health, creating such problems as high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, stress, accelerated heart rate, all of which can eventually lead you to diseases of many kinds.

So the negative inside of you is something you need to get a handle on. More than anything, it would be very helpful if you could begin to realize that you literally cannot afford the luxury of having any unfinished business in your life. In order to start the process of eliminating it from your life, you need to become aware of how much it pulls you into the past. By pulling you into the past, it pulls you back into the low energy associated with the negativity of whatever the unfinished business is (see also my Augsut 2008 Newsletter: Cellular Responsibility: Getting Your Power Back).

What does unfinished business look like? Unfinished business is typically one or more of the following:
  • anger
  • resentment
  • hurt
  • guilt
  • shame
  • anxiety
  • depression
What is the quickest way to deal with it? Forgiving.

Here is a three-pronged quote from the above-cited article:
  • Recognize that not forgiving holds parts of you in the past
  • Understand that forgiving does not mean you condone what was done, nor does it mean you now need to have a wonderful relationship with that person … you may need to move on, but by forgiving, the hold that the event had over you, will be gone.
  • Forgiving also does not mean forgetting – but it does mean, removing the charge from the memory
Forgive the past and it will no long own you. Forgive and you will be free.

Photo: Pachula Lake, India

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Right Hemisphere Shows Us the Light

They have been talking about her on TED and on Oprah. She's written a New York Times bestselling book ... My Stroke of Insight (read an excerpt of the book here). In 1996 Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist, suffered a stroke.

In the words of TED this was her experience: "One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor's brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness ...

Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right."

But the most fascinating part of her voyage of discovery was something very different. View the 18-minute video of Dr. Bolte Taylor at TED or read more below.




If you experience any difficulty in viewing, please click here to view it directly at the website.

The truly fascinating part of her discovery had to do with something else. Amazon writes this:

"In My Stroke of Insight, Taylor shares her unique perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery, and the sense of omniscient understanding she gained from this unusual and inspiring voyage out of the abyss of a wounded brain. It would take eight years for Taylor to heal completely. Because of her knowledge of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and most of all an amazing mother, Taylor completely repaired her mind and recalibrated her understanding of the world according to the insights gained from her right brain that morning of December 10th.

Today Taylor is convinced that the stroke was the best thing that could have happened to her. It has taught her that the feeling of nirvana is never more than a mere thought away. By stepping to the right of our left brains, we can all uncover the feelings of well-being and peace that are so often sidelined by our own brain chatter. A fascinating journey into the mechanics of the human mind, My Stroke of Insight is both a valuable recovery guide for anyone touched by a brain injury, and an emotionally stirring testimony that deep internal peace truly is accessible to anyone, at any time.

Read a brief interview with her on Amazon. This paragraph in particular, stands out:

"I learned that I have much more say about what goes on between my ears than I was ever taught and I believe that this is true for all of us. I used to understand that I had the ability to stop thinking about one thing by consciously choosing to preoccupy my mind with thinking about something else. But I had no idea that it only took 90 seconds for me to have an emotional circuit triggered, flush a physiological response through my body and then flush completely out of me. We can all learn that we can take full responsibility for what thoughts we are thinking and what emotional circuitry we are feeling. Knowing this and acting on this can lead us into feeling a wonderful sense of well-being and peacefulness."

View the interview Oprah did with Jill Bolte Taylor on her Soul Series here

Photo: Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tending Your Inner Garden

Clients have often told me that they fear being by themselves. That they fear their own company. That they will do anything to avoid an evening on their own. Other clients tell me that while they may not fear being alone, they find it a most boring proposition, and can’t quite imagine how to fill the time, other than with TV or a novel. Others refer to being uncomfortable in their own company, and hence, avoid it. (See also my February 2006 Newsletter: Making Choices: Taking Responsibility For Our Lives).

All three alternatives lead us to the same conclusion: if this is how you feel about being alone with yourself, somehow you are not connected to yourself – and - more importantly, you have no real relationship with yourself, and therefore, probably don’t know yourself.

Why is this important?

Marrying Someone You Fear

Imagine marrying someone whom you fear being alone with, someone whom you avoid spending an evening with on your own. Imagine marrying someone you find so boring, that you would not want to spend time alone with them. Or imagine marrying someone in whose company you feel uncomfortable, and therefore, you avoid this person.

Sounds like a bad joke, doesn’t it? You’d run ten miles before marrying such a person. You’d do anything not to have to spend time with such a person. Nevertheless, that’s the situation we have with ourselves when we don’t recognize the value and importance of establishing a relationship with ourselves that makes us enjoy our own company, find ourselves interesting companions about whom we can always learn something new, and who can always lead us to deeper and deeper levels of understanding, and who is fun and exciting to be with…on our own.

Conjunctio…Are You Interested in Yourself?

Really? Is such a relationship with the self really possible? It basically comes down to what Jung termed the conjunctio, in other words the meeting of two separate parts of the self (generally unconscious) in the process of becoming a whole, or of uniting, and in so doing, of transforming.

But that actually sounds like a lot of psycho-babble. Who can contemplate overcoming what sounds like such a difficult hurdle? Anyway, who has the time and money to go into therapy in order to learn about all these things, and explore the deep dark past of one’s childhood? In actual fact, it is not so hard, and it certainly doesn’t depend on whether or not you go into therapy. It has a lot to do with becoming conscious and aware of the self, with a desire for knowledge of the self, and with the acceptance of responsibility for the self. So basically it has a lot to do with how interested you are in yourself.

Individuation and Becoming What You Can Truly Be

Jung, who brought us the idea of the integral, or holistic human being, said that becoming what we can truly be, growing into that which is inherently in us when we are born, is what the process of individuation is all about.

Maslow, who brought us the hierarchy of needs said that in order to self-actualize, we need to become everything that we are capable of becoming.

Joseph Campbell said we should follow our bliss.

Being Bored with the Self

All of these concepts refer in some way to self-knowledge, but also to meaning. (See my June 2006 Newsletter Finding a Meaning in Your Life).One can only be bored in one’s own company, if there is no meaning in the life; if the individual has not yet bothered to think about what meaning he or she could give to his or her life. I won’t delve more deeply into that subject, as it has been dealt with in some detail in the afore-mentioned article, but I do encourage you to explore it in order to begin to understand how to find the meaning in your life.

Fear of Being Alone with the Self

If you fear being alone with yourself, perhaps you feel there is so much in you that you hate, or despise, or judge, or criticize, that it is simply a very dangerous proposition to spend time there…together with yourself. In other words, it is scary to be with someone towards whom you have these very negative feelings. So doesn’t it make sense to get to know this person that you are inside and out, and to clean out, if necessary, all those parts that are reprehensible, or, even better, to come to realize that there are actually no really truly reprehensible parts, and that you are, in fact, a rather enjoyable person to be with? But this is only possible if you take the journey inside in order to begin to get to know yourself…more importantly, in order to begin to love yourself.

Many of the difficult feelings you may have about yourself can be addressed by using the “energy barometer” I refer to in the article Your Energy Barometer: Make Your Mind Body Connection Work for You. Shifting your energetic vibration, in other words deliberately making yourself feel better will automatically take you to other levels where your thoughts and feeling about yourself will change. On those other, higher levels, it is so much harder for negative or low energy thoughts to find a breeding ground. When you are feeling good, how often do you dwell on downward-spiralling thoughts? When you are feeling good, you don’t want to cry. So shifting your energetic vibration to a higher level, is something I encourage you to start practicing every single day, each and every time you recognize that you are spiraling downward.

Being Uncomfortable with the Self

If you are uncomfortable with yourself, it may have much to do with the fact that you have simply not much knowledge of yourself, and so feeling uncomfortable is similar to how you feel with a comparative stranger, about whom you know little, and who therefore does not create the sensation of ease and comfort a good friend does. Doesn’t it make sense to try to become your own best friend? Again, in so doing, you will begin to not only appreciate yourself, but also like and love yourself. Even admire yourself. Imagine spending all your time with a friend about whom you feel this way…and this friend is you!

Tending the Inner Garden

I wrote earlier that this process need not be difficult, tedious, and certainly does not require the services of a therapist. It does, however, entail something akin to gardening. When you plant a seed in the garden of your house, or in a pot on your terrace, you know very well, that in order for it to grow into a strong oak tree, an elegant palm that sways in the wind, a rose, a geranium, sweet-smelling rosemary, or a flowering perfumed hibiscus, it first needs soil (preferably rich), water, sunlight, care, and constancy. The inner garden is no different.

Enriching the Soil

Possibly the soil in which you are beginning your process of growth is not particularly fertile at this time. You know that out there, in the external world, you can create a compost heap in order to enrich the soil you use for your plants. In the internal world you can begin to feed your soil (your mind, heart, and soul), with reading and viewing material that will convert into great compost, rather than trashing your garden with leftover junk food and plastic waste (which on the inner level might be likened to the mass media shows and books or magazines that many people like to read and view as a steady diet, and which has no hope of ever converting into rich soil).

For more concrete pointers on these ideas, have a look at my blog, specifically at the April 2, 2007 post Keep Energy High! Watch How You Feed Your Brain, Heart & Spirit in order to better understand this concept of maintaining rich soil in the inner garden. Read also the last few paragraphs of the April 29, 2007 post Baelo Claudia: Roman Ruins and the "Now" in the same blog. Tend your garden well and watch the lush process of your own inner growth that will take place. Only you can do this for yourself, and only you can make the decision to begin it now…

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Radio Program November 2008

Once a month I will be posting the current list of topics for my weekly radio show.


This is what the November 2008 schedule looks like:

Nov 5: Interview 2: April Hannah & Michael Habernig: The Path Documentary Series
Nov 12: Do You Make Time for What is Really Important in Your Life?
Nov 19: Interview 3: William Buhlman: Adventures Beyond the Body
Nov 26: Who Pushes Your Buttons? Maybe You Should Take A Closer Look At Those People…


NEW: ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEWS

Starting in October 2008 a new section will be added to the topic areas that this website has addressed in the past. Once or twice a month I will be conducting interviews with key international figures in the fields of nutrition, business, healing, and science. They will be listed under Interviews on the Radio Page and uploaded to the website as the studio makes the respective audio clips available to me.

Here is a partial list of some upcoming shows (check scheduling each month for exact dates):

AUDIO ARCHIVES 2004 - 2008

Click here for radio show archives from 2004-2008 (not all are up, but you'll find more than 125 different radio shows!).

The show airs weekly on Wednesdays from 11 – 12 noon CEDT (Central European Daylight Time) which is 6 hours ahead of New York, one hour ahead of London, the same time as Paris or Berlin (except at the end of October and March, where there tends to be a week of confusion, as not all countries change to daylight saving and back, and those that do, don't always do so on the same day).

See below for equivalent times in other locations.

Ways To Listen

1) LIVE on your radio dial OCI FM 101.6 (Costa del Sol) or FM 94.6 (Costa Blanca)
2) LIVE on the web Onda Cero (Once there, click on “Internacional” on upper left)
3) Listen to over 125 archived audio files on my website

Equivalent Times in Other Locations: (Locally: CEDT: Central European Daylight Time)

or go to http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html to convert from your time zone (some of these times may not be correct at certain times of the year):

11 pm – 12 midnight: Honolulu (locally Tuesday evening)
5-6 am: New York City, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Nassau, Santo Domingo, Barbados
6-7 am: Rio de Janeiro
9-10 am: Reykjavik, Casablanca
10-11 am: London, Lagos
11-12 noon: (LOCAL) Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, Tripoli, Harare, Cape Town
12-1 pm: Bucharest, Riga, Istanbul, Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City, Addis Ababa, Nairobi
12:30-1:30 pm: Tehran
1-2 pm: Moscow, Dubai, Baghdad, Seychelles
2-3 pm: Islamabad
2:30-3:30 pm: New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai
4-5 pm: Hanoi, Bangkok
5-6 pm: Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila, Bali, Taipei, Perth
6-7 pm: Tokyo, Seoul
7-8 pm: Sydney
9-10 pm: Auckland, Fiji Islands

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Time

In the 18 months I have been writing this blog, I have only done this once or twice before: bring you the content of an email I just received; a beautiful email, whose message applies to all of us:

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved across the country in pursuit of his dreams. In the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, 'Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.'

The memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

'Jack, did you hear me?'

'Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I thought he died years ago,' Jack said.

'Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it,' Mom told him.

'I loved that old house he lived in,' Jack said.

'You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life,' she said.

'He's the one who taught me carpentry,' he said. 'I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I'll be there for the funeral,' Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.'

What's wrong, Jack?' his Mom asked.

'The box is gone,' he said.

'What box?' Mom asked.'

There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever say was 'the thing I value most,'' Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box.. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

'Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him,' Jack said. 'I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.'

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day, Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. 'Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,' the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. 'Mr. Harold Belser' it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

'Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life.' A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: 'Jack, Thanks for your time! - Harold Belser.''

The thing he valued most was...my time. Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

'Why?' Janet, his assistant asked.

'I need some time to spend with my son,' he said.

'Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!'

Photo: Lecco, Italy

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Was The Point Of All The Worry?

What was the point of all the worry?

Now that the global crisis – while not over - seems to have been taken in hand, I want to ask the following question: what good did all the worry do?

Careful … I’m not referring to not thinking about a problem, brainstorming, doing your due diligence in order to find a solution, but I am talking about worrying.

Worrying is very overrated. (It's a kissing cousin of guilt in the useless-things-to-do department).

Worrying never creates solutions. (Proactive behavior, brainstorming, etc. create the solutions.)

Worrying does not make anyone feel better (unless you believe so much in the value of worrying that by doing it - by worrying - it makes you feel better … as you spiral down further and further into feeling bad because you are worrying ... )

If worrying were of any true use at all, I’d be out there writing articles, giving speeches, and teaching workshops about how to worry better.

So let’s go back to my initial question about the global economic crisis. What was the point of all the worry?
  • it made us feel like we were doing the right thing ... if you don't worry when something goes wrong, you must be mad, right?
  • it made us feel like we were walking towards a solution ... if you worry, solutions have to appear, right?
  • it made us feel like we were being responsible ... if you worry, you indicate that you are a responsible person, since only an irresponsible person would not worry in a crisis, right?

So let's see ... we now have what looks like a potential solution because we worried, right? We just created enough worry across the globe - each of us in our own homes - to bring about high blood pressure, heart attacks, depression, panic, and anxiety, and we think we did the right thing by worrying?

Do you see what is wrong with this picture?

We (the global community) would have found the solution (because we had to) without the worry. The worry was useless. It did not bring about a better solution. But it did make us miserable. And it wasted a lot of time. We worried rather than did our due diligence, or brain storming, or being proactive about what we were able to do about it on our own small level. (I'd be saying the same thing even if no potential solution had been found. There still is no use for worry ... only for productive thinking and proactive planning and action).

Could we not use this crisis as a wake-up call? Recognize that worry is bad for us? That there are other ways of dealing with problems?

Photo: Midnight Sun in Greenland

Monday, October 13, 2008

Turn Away

We refer so often to what we can do about negative feelings, pain, and despair. So many techniques, so much talking, so many workshops, and so many (hundreds and hundreds) of books to help, and yet so many people continue to seek prescriptions for anti-depressants or anxiety medication, and so many people trying so hard to get themselves to a better place and just can´t seem to do so.

Sometimes it takes a paradigm shift.

Sounds so very complicated.

And that's the paradigm shift. We seems to expect it has to be complicated. And it is not. We just have to get our heads around the idea that it is not complicated and that we can do it by a mere shifting of attention (and of believing that we can actually do so without the grinding sheer desperate hard work we expect to be confronted with).

What I am saying here is not that you will not need discipline and stick-to-it-iveness. You will need that. But it need not be complicated.

So the paradigm shift that it is not complicated means that you will allow yourself to look at the possibility that all it takes is for you to turn away from your despair and your pain. Look in the other direction.

Pivot about on your inner heel 180 degrees and look in the other direction. Allow your inner self to embrace the possibility that it can be that easy. That once you look in the other direction, and allow yourself to see or imagine or think of something different than what you had been focusing on, you will begin to note a slight energetic shift. And that is the beginning.

Concentrate on that and begin to look further in that direction. You will not be forsaking your responsiblity to your pain and despair. Rather, you will be fulfilling your first and foremost duty to yourself: maintaining your energetic frequency as high as you possibly can in order to make the most of your inner and outer self.

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Photo: Nepal

Saturday, October 11, 2008

We Are Family: The Shift (A Movie)

See Deepak Chopra, Al Gore, Desmond Tutu, Marianne Williamson and many others speak of the shift that is occurring at all levels, crossing gender, race, age, national, and religious levels. This is the trailer of the movie The Shift.



If you experience any difficulty viewing it, click here to see it on the movie's own website

Friday, October 10, 2008

Addition to My Radio Show: One-On-One Interviews

NEW: ONE-ON-ONE RADIO INTERVIEWS

Starting in October 2008 a new section will be added to the topic areas that this website has addressed in the past. Once or twice a month I will be conducting interviews with key international figures in the fields of nutrition, business, healing, and science. They will be listed under Interviews on the Radio Page and uploaded to the website as the studio makes the respective audio clips available to me.

Here is a partial list of some upcoming shows (check scheduling each month for exact dates):

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Movie - Stress: Portrait of a Killer

PNI, or psychoneuroimmunology, tells us about the body-mind connection. Stress, something that can take place in the mind (worrying about the mortgage payment, fear of public speaking), has an immediate chemical effect on the body that - if it is chronic (as it tends to be in our modern world) as opposed to occasional stress (as evoked by needing to avoid a tiger who is chasing you for lunch), can be very bad for our long-term health due to the effect stress has on our brain, and our cells. We need to learn how to deal with stress in other ways in order to ameliorate its effects on us.

This is the blurb offered online by Stanford University, about their movie Stress: Portrait of a Killer, on their Youtube site about it:

As we've evolved, the human stress response has saved our lives. Today, we turn on the same life-saving physical reaction to cope with intense, ongoing stressors - and we can't seem to turn it off. Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University, reveals just how dangerous prolonged exposure to stress can be in the documentary, "Stress: Portrait of a Killer."

See the video clip introducing the movie


If you have any difficulty viewing it, click here for the Youtube site to see it there, or click here to go directly to the Stanford University site dedicated to the movie, where you can also link to the option of purchasing the full feature from National Geographic who produced the movie.

Clicking here takes you to another Stanford U site with fascinating podcasts by Dr. Robert Sapolsky about the same topic ... because obviously the next question is: so what can I do about my stress and I'll address that in tomorrow's post.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ways To Walk Towards Happiness Right Now

I ran across a wonderful little post by Donald Latumahina:

Finding Happiness: 20 Ways to Achieve Happiness in Life

In it, he offers many tips to achieve happiness, some of which are:
  • stop comparing yourself to others
  • count your blessings
  • find your inner voice
  • reconnect with your childhood dreams
  • help someone
  • say thank you
  • smile

and numerous others, each with further comments. Rad the entire article here

Photo: Dusk in the North Pole

Monday, October 6, 2008

Re-wiring Your Brain With Your Thoughts

Recently I mentioned Dr. Norman Doidge in The Mind is Not the Brain.

Today I refer to him again, in order to explore with somewhat greater emphasis his excellent book The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

The main topic of the book is neuro-plasticity which refers to, in Doidge's own words: the revolutionary discovery that the human brain can change itself.

He explains that the belief that the brain could not change had three major sources:
  • the fact that brain-damaged patients could so rarely make full recoveries
  • our inability to observe the living brain's microscopic activities
  • and the idea - dating back to the beginnings of modern science . that the brain is like a glorious machine. And while machines do many extraordinary things, they don't change and grow.

Doidge has written a book filled with stories about individuals who were able to change their brains in order to accomodate a situation that no longer allowed them to live their lives the way they previously had.

A point in case is that of a woman who could not keep her balance due to an antibiotic she had been prescribed that left her balance system impaired. Many such people commit suicide because there was no cure. With the help of what Doidge calls neuroplasticians (those who work with this concept of a brain that is able to change itself) her brain has been able to make changes to such a degree that she no longer has any difficulty keeping her balance.

He writes that these neuroplasticians showed that:

  • children are not always stuck with the mental abilities they are born with
  • the damaged brain can often reorganize itself so that when one part fails, another can often substitute
  • if brain cells die, they can at times be replaced
  • many "circuits" and even basic reflexes that we think are hardwired are not

Another example Doidge cites is that we now know that we are able to change our brain anatomy simply by using our imaginations thanks to the work of Alvaro Pascual-Leone from Valencia, Spain, chief of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard.

Doidge writes: I met a scientist who enabled people who had been blind since birth to begin to see, another who enabled the deaf to hear; I spoke with people who had had strokes decades before and had been declared incurable, who were helped to recover with neuroplastic treatments; I met people whose learning disorders were cured and whose IQs were raised; I saw evidence that it is possible for eighty-year-olds to sharpen their memories to function the way they did when they were fifty-five. I saw people rewire their brains with their thoughts, to cure previously incurable obsessions and traumas. I spoke with Nobel laureates who were hotly debating how we must re-think our model of the brain now that we know it is ever changing.

Read this book. It will change the way you think.

Photo: Dead Sea

Friday, October 3, 2008

No More Drugs ... Right?

Permission has been kindly granted to use this image by Natural News

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Counting Your Joys

This quote - by Fyodor Dostoevsky - helps us remember to count the right (joyful) way, rather than the wrong (troubled) way.

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.
Make that list of joys right now!
Photo: Striped Icebergs in the Antarctic

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Favorite Links That Offer Downloads

Although the list that follows is always visible on the right sidebar of this blog if you scroll down, I have found that many don't see it, and so I decided to reproduce it here for greater ease and convenience.

These are all magnificent websites (depending on your interests) that offer downloads (most are free, but not all) of lectures, seminars, interviews, and the like.

If you who have read some of the posts here on my blog about energy, you will know how much I emphasize the importance of ensuring that you are vibrating at a high energetic frequency.

When you are first moving into this type of thinking, it is not necessarily easy to put this into practice. Therefore it is very valuable to be able to use some of these downloads (burn them on to CD's) throughout your day, when you have a few minutes of time. I use them in the car every day, as I drive to my office and back, others use them in the morning when they are getting ready, or at lunch time. Have a good selection on hand, so you can pick and choose, and you will soon notice those that offer you better energy than others.

Some are too short to bother burning, and of course there are many, many others available for purchase from some of the excellent authors and speakers I frequently recommend on this blog, who have professionally produced CD series, but this list is just too good to pass up.

Check back, as I keep addding links.