"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, November 30, 2007

Check to see if YOUR Country is helping to eradicate world hunger


This is big one.

Some days ago I posted about http://www.freerice.com/, a site where you can improve your vocabulary and donate grains of rice for each word you get right. The number of people participating in this project has been growing exponentially, and flipping through information on their website, I found a list of 22 countries that are beginning to contribute to help eradicating world hunger.

Almost all of the deaths from hunger and disease that you see on this site can be stopped. The cost to do this is about $195 billion a year, according to the United Nations. Twenty-two developed countries below have pledged to work towards each giving 0.7% (a little less than 1%) of their national income in international aid, which would raise the $195 billion. Some countries are slow to meet their pledge.

Interestingly, the amounts any given country gives varies, as for example Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, and Denmark each donate from between 103 and 80 cents for every 100 dollars earned in their country, and have all already met their goals, while countries such as the US, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Switzerland, all pledge only between 17 (that's the USA) and 39 cents for every 100 dollars earned in their country, and this latter group of countries has not only not met their goals, but has not even set up a schedule for meeting them. A host of other countries have set up varying amounts, and are scheduled to meet their goals by anywhere between 2010 and 2015.

Click here to get to a page where you can print up a letter for your country's government or head of state in your language, in order to send it on to the appropriate address, to add your voice to this concern. If enough people in YOUR country do it, the goal can be achieved!

Read more

Posted from Dubai, UAE

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Taking the State of Your Energy into Your Own Hands

Posting From Dubai:

Wind Energy
If you check out the right sidebar, you will find many links prefaced with an asterisk that will take you to websites where you may download audio material (some free, some not), or listen online to audio material that will be very helpful in maintaining your energy levels at a good place -- that place that we have so often discussed.

You might also like to take another look at my September 2007 Newsletter: Nurture Yourself to Happiness and Success, where you will also find many suggestions about how to get yourself into a good place from the energetic point of view, always understanding energy as that part of you that determines how well you feel at any given moment in time.

The main point is, if you have taken to heart some of what I have written about here in the past regarding the subject of energy, you now have a myriad number of tools in your hand to start making use of odd moments during your day, so that they can serve the purpose of increasing your energy exponentially, to eventually bring you to the place where you are no longer content to muddle along feeling so-so, and adjudicating it to the fact that well, it was one of those days...or...I just got out of bed the wrong way and everything went downhill from thereon in.

You will crave the good feelings that you can produce, you will crave the higher energetic frequency that is the product of that, and so you will consciously be making choices, more and more, in order to maintain this new energetic status quo because of the kind of information and energy you therefore are drawing to yourself.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Sun Isn't Such A Villain After All

Sun Spots with kind permission by Jerry Lodriguss
Women Who Spend Time in the Sun May Age More Slowly, Study Says

Women who spend more time in the sun may be biologically younger and age more slowly than the rest of their age group, a study has found.

Researchers from King’s College London have discovered that women who have higher levels of vitamin D, which enters the body through sunshine, certain foods and nutritional supplementation tend to show signs of being “biologically younger” and healthier than others.

Lead researcher Brent Richards said that the study of 2,160 women aged between 18 and 79 showed that sunshine also could have an effect on age-related illnesses, such as heart disease.
Click here to see the study abstract (subscription required for full study)

"These results are exciting because they demonstrate for the first time that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may age more slowly than people with lower levels of vitamin D,” Richards said. “This could help to explain how vitamin D has a proactive effect on many aging related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.”

But co-author Tim Spector said that people should not think that being out in the sun all the time was healthy.

“Although it might sound absurd, it’s possible that the same sunshine which may increase our risk of skin cancer may also have a healthy effect on the aging process in general,” Spector said.
The results of the higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomer length in women. For the study, researchers measured the women’s telomeres, which were a sign of biological aging.
As people age, telomeres become shorter. But the scientists found that women with higher vitamin D levels tend to have longer telomeres.

The study was published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Life You Don't Lead

Atlas Mountains
Oscar Wilde said: One's real life is often the life that one does not lead.

Why would that be one's real life? Think for a moment how frequently you get side-tracked by what others think. You have a plan or a desire or an idea, and then, because of censure you feel you might receive from others or because someone says something to you that is critical or derisory about what you are planning, you set your own ideas aside.

They have been annihilated. And you can't really blame the other person - they merely stated their opinion. The problem is that you listened, and let it affect you to the point that you buried your own thoughts and are now living life -at least in this respect - according to what the other person has said...and where is your own life?

See these articles here on the blog for more thoughts about this subject. See also my March 2006 newsletter: Intentional Focus: Your Happiness, Your Success, and the Law of Attraction and my August 2007 newsletter: Making Fear of the Unknown Work for You.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Is Your Universe Friendly or Hostile ?

Arch with pilaster, Libya
Einstein said it.

You get to decide whether you live in a hostile or a friendly universe. You can decide what each of the things that happen every day mean. You get to decide whether your life is good or bad no matter how it may look on the outside...remember what I've said in other posts about Viktor Frankl or Nelson Mandela or other people who have gone through great suffering, and yet have made a choice about how their life is going, and especially how they are going to look at it, think about it, and hence, feel about it, and react to it.

Wayne Dyer says somewhere in one of his books or CD's that the more you look for reasons to believe that things are going against you, and that people don't like you or accept you, the less you will be disappointed in your expectations...

And don't forget that your thoughts - as molecular and cellular biology show us (see these posts on that subject) really do become things, so the manner in which you view your world and think about it is of great importance.

As I've pointed out so frequently: you choose.

You can choose to wake up in the morning and be grateful for the new day and new opportunities. You can choose to remember to be grateful to five people every day about something that happened with them, and to make a habit of this - without fail - in order to help keep your mind on that instead of what you didn't like. You can choose to find something in what you didn't like that is of value to you and your life, even if it is learning how to choose not to react negatively in the face of adversity.

You choose.

So start choosing the way that is of use to you, instead of the way that simply increments the negative.

You choose.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Radio Program December 2007

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

This is what the December 2007 schedule looks like:

Dec. 5: TBA (I am in Dubai, show will be taped)
Dec. 12: So You Have Cancer
Dec. 19: When the Motivation is Gone…
Dec. 26: Let's Talk About Guilt

Click here for radio show archives from 2004-2007 (not all are up, but you'll find more than 100 different radio shows!).

The show airs weekly on Wednesdays from 11 – 12 noon CET (Central European 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 right)
3) Listen to over 100 archived audio files on my website

Equivalent Times in Other Locations: (Locally: CET: Central European 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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Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Doubts Are Our Enemies

Our doubts are our enemies...Shakespeare said it.

When you doubt yourself...

When you doubt your ideas...

When you doubt your capacity to do something specific...

When you doubt that you can overcome something...

When you doubt...

You place yourself into the position of being your own worst enemy.

Think of it this way. You are the general of an army. You plan to vanquish the enemy. Then, when you fail, you realize that it was the saboteurs, those sabotaging traitors who caused you to lose the battle.

The sabotage comes from your doubts. Vanquish those and you will vanquish all else.

See also my February 2006 newsletter: Making Choices: Taking Responsibility For Our Lives and my August 2007 newsletter: Making Fear of the Unknown Work For You.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Exclusion and Religion

Our Planet in the middle of the Universe at night
Whom does your religion exclude?

Or do you have spiritual beliefs that cause you to believe that certain people will just not make it (whatever make it implies).

Who will not reach the kingdom of heaven if they don't do this or that, or recant, or convert, or throw themselves on God's mercy (whose God exactly are we talking about?)?

Missionaries...such a strange breed I always thought...what causes them to believe that what they have to offer is better than what the natives believe? I kind of feel the same way when the Jehovah´s Witnesses come a-ringing...or, for that matter, the Seventh Day Adventist's...but of course it's all really all the same. As a child, immured in fundamentalism, question marks dotted my brain when I saw what had to be done to be accepted by God. Or to what lengths people when to, in order to convince others that their way was the right way. How did they know, I wondered.

Then came the indoctrination against other religions. Well, heathens are like this, but we must feel sorry for them, but Catholics are like that, and belong to Rome, so they are bad (what, the question marks asked, dancing their way into my psyche...why are they bad...and why do we feel sorry for the others?)

And Jews...well Jews are a whole other story...voices would hush as explanations were given that made no more sense than the others with those other religions. And Muslims...again, other stories that sounded like something our of A Thousand and One Nights. The question marks inundated my being...by now I was a bit older and more autonomous, so I decided to have a look around...Unitarians, Church of England, Presbyterians, Baptists, Zoroastrians, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox...the mind boggled.

Why, I asked, can't we realize that all roads can potentially lead to the same place? Why must one be more right than the other?

And then I realized: if a religion excludes anyone, it simply cannot be true. As simple as that.

NOTE: Isn't it fascinating that the etymological (root) meaning of catholic is universal???

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

As Without, So Within

You may have heard of the Hermetic concept as above, so below. Hermetic writings in religion and philosphy are attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, an Egyptian magician and priest or sage. The Emerald Tablet of Hermes holds these writings, and there is another one The Emerald Tablet of Thoth. While many scholars consider Hermes and Thoth to be separate figures, others do not, but at some point all appear to unite them into the figure of Hermes Trimegistus (Hermes thrice great).

As above, so below means, in essence, that the macrocosm is a reflection of the microcosm. That one is a symbol of the other. That if you know and understand one, you can know and understand the other.
When we refer to as without, so within, it is essentially the same story. Whatever your outer life situation is (health, finances, love, family, profession, state of mind, success, etc.), gives off a reflection of what is going on inside. Likewise, whatever is going on inside of you, reflects what is going on outside.
This is quite important, as it can give you pertinent information in a way you might not have considered before.
I remember when I was still quite a young woman, I had suddenly decided to change something quite noticeable about my hair. In a way, it was a liberating thing to do, a freer thing to do - hair-wise - than what I had done to that point. It was much more modern and perhaps even slightly out there.
Thinking about it one day, I realized that the decision to do this to my hair had coincided more or less with a number of changes that had already taken place inside of me, on the same level, where my new attitude was somewhat more liberal and modern, and so what I had done with my hair, had merely been a symbolic manifestation of what had already taken place on an inner level.
Hermes Trismegisto

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Psychos, Texas Chainsaws, Freddy Kruegers & Saws (I, II, III & IV)

Horror movies...all of them.

Lots of people like the genre...I used to until sometime in the late 80's I found myself huddling under a comforter up on the 14th floor of the Chicago Hyatt Regency watching HBO and being frightened out of my wits.

I asked myself what on earth I was doing. This was torture. I switched channels.

Probably a lot of you know that horror movies give you an adrenaline rush. And that is what attracts many to such movies. There is something addictive about it, because for a short period of time the adrenaline rush makes you feel more alive, even if you are scared out of your wits.

One of the reasons you get the adrenaline rush, is because it feels so real. It feels so real because even though your logical brain knows that it is not really happening, on another level you react just as though it were really happening (see also my May 2006 Newsletter: Introducing Our Second and Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct).

Think: what happens when you are being chased by a real tiger in the jungle because he's decided you're lunch? You have an incredible adrenaline surge that allows you to run and shimmy up the nearest tree to save your life, right? And after, when he's gone, your poor body feels as though it's been through the wringer, because of all the chemical effects that took place after the adrenaline surge (cortisol rose to high levels, and now your body is using all of its energy - composed of other chemical elements in your body - in order to rid your body of this sudden upsurge of cortisol).

That's actually not a bad thing because that's what the adrenaline is for...it's meant to work in emergency situations like that to keep you safe. But now what happens when you have to run away from tigers frequently, like, say, four times a week? Now your poor body is being subjected to this upsurge of adrenaline a lot. And therefore it has to do the other part - getting rid of the excess cortisol - a lot as well.

And once this becomes frequent or chronic, your body begins to suffer. The reason is that in order to get rid of the cortisol, your body has to use hormones. These are normally meant to be used for quite another purpose, and should be in balance. But when they are often being used for this, they can't do their regular job. It may create a lot of imbalance in the body, just like people who suffer from chronic stress or anxiety.

Psycho-neuro-immunology or PNI, the study of the interaction between emotions, the brain, and the immune system (mind-body) has shown via several studies that Natural Killer (NK) activity is reduced in those persons who have the highest levels of overall life stress. After a number of such studies, researcher’s began to suspect that the NK depression resulted from the person’s response to the stress, rather than an overall depression of the immune system.

The kind of stress brought about by horror movies, despite the positively-felt adrenaline rush that the viewer may feel, forms part of this. Your emotions as you view a movie like that, could potentially lead to reduced NK activity. Is it worth it?

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Laptops For Kids in Third World Countries

The XO Laptop

This post is a repeat...better said...copy of most of a post I put up early in October...because it is so important.

Education is such a great purpose. Here is the repeat part:

Today's (Oct. 4, 2007) New York Times writes about another great educational purpose. You may have heard about the One Laptop Per Child effort that has been going on in order to get all poor, educationally underserved children of the world (two billion) a laptop for US $100 per child. That has gone up due to a number of issues to $200 per child, and people can participate in this effort in November by purchasing two: one for a child in a developoing nation, and one for the child at home.

But more than that, the article, Laptop With a Mission Widens Its Audience, is enormously fascinating due to the technological advances that this laptop incorporates, and the potential impact of these on the global community, and here I mean not only the impact on the third world community, but on all of us. We are indeed all one and this funny looking laptop moves us in the right direction.

I encourage you to read the article.

"In November, you’ll be able to buy a new laptop that’s spillproof, rainproof, dustproof and drop-proof. It’s fanless, it’s silent and it weighs 3.2 pounds. One battery charge will power six hours of heavy activity, or 24 hours of reading. The laptop has a built-in video camera, microphone, memory-card slot, graphics tablet, game-pad controllers and a screen that rotates into a tablet configuration." Read more.


You can still give one get one for US $400.00 (give one to a child in a third-world country, and get one for a child of your own) until November 26th. Click here for more information.

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Feeling Sorry for Yourself?

So you're feeling sorry for yourself? It's true, life can be quite difficult. Many unexpected turns in the path come up, boulders get thrown in your way, and then there is the occasional dragon that appears, snorting fire, not to mention those small creatures, almost invisible, that attack you as you sleep, and leave you with no strength.


This actually is not a grisly fairy tale, but a post designed to make you laugh a little at what happens in life, so that you will be willing to listen to what comes next...
A wonderful quote from Wayne Dyer, author of many books, including his latest Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life:

With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.

So...what do you choose?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Autism and Body Chemistry

Much has been written about the possible connection between autism and the body's chemistry, i.e., that what is eaten may have an effect on the autistic child.

Recently this video was sent to me and I recommend that if you have someone in your family with autism, or if you know of someone whose family member has autism, you take a look at it in order to become informed.

The video is just over 5 minutes long. If you are interested in more information, seeing the rest of the videos in this series, click here, and for the Fair Autism Media website, that produced this video (and others), click here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Avoid the Naysayers

Iceland (seen from space)
You had a really great idea. You told someone about it. They found a really good reason why it would never work. You killed your idea.

But a short while later someone else made your idea work.

You tell a friend about how much you lare looking forward to your vacation. He smiles and tells you that you will need to be careful because when he went to the place you are going to, he got mugged, and the hotel overcharged him. Also the mosquitoes ravaged him. Your pleasure has been smudged. You worriedly wonder if you made a bad choice. You are no longer looking forward to your vacation without thinking negative thoughts.
The naysayers, the negative thinkers, who often call themselves realists, nevertheless tend to emanate a negative energy over whatever it is that you are planning, if you listen to them. Understand that your own energy and emotions are affected by the people you associate with, and unless you are very strong within yourself, their negative effect on you may cause you to back out of something you had been very positive about, and that may very well have come to a good conclusion.
Naysayers tend to get their strength by deflating or taking away the strength of others. Not because they are terrible people, but because their modus vivendi feeds on looking at the glass as being half full. It's their habit, their ingrained way of thinking. They could change it if they became aware of what causes it and made the conscious choice to change. Don't let them push you into becoming one of them.
And don't let them cause you to abandon your dream.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Hate My House, I Hate My Job, I Hate This CIty, I Hate My Life...or the Plasticity of Your Brain

Aiguille Percée (Eye of the Needle Rock), French Alps
Someone said to me recently that he hated the house he lived in. When I asked why, he gave me all kinds of reasons, that actually made sense, and that the worst part was, according to him, that he could not afford to move or buy a new place.

So I guess that means he has to put up with it, right? Put on a good face to deal with a bad situation. The same thing could be applied to hating his job, the city he lives in, huge aspects of his life.


It's all in the attitude. It's all in the choices he chooses to make.

Let's say he truly can't move just now. Or he truly can't get another job just now. Or move to another city. (Let me digress a moment here and foretell his future if he moves to a new city with the same attitude he currently has...he will soon find something not to like about the new city as well).

By consciously deciding that he is going to like his house or like his job, he is actually taking a decision that makes a lot of sense:
  • First, he will start looking for positive points that will allow him to see something to like about the house and the job.

  • Second, as he does that - because he has decided that he wants to like the house or the job despite all the reasons for the contrary - he will find something amusing or funny about the turnabout he is doing.

  • Third, in so doing, he will begin to recognize that his brain is willing to do what he commands it to do.

  • Fourth, as this process continues, he will notice that he is feeling a lot better - ipso facto - just because he is directing his attention to positive, rather than negative things to do with the house or job

  • Fifth, as he carries a whole other level of energetic vibration due to the above, he will also attract another type of person and situation into his life, that may well, eventually, lead him to the possibility of finding another house or job.

Look carefully at what you are complaining about. Ask yourself if it is really worth the price you pay on so many levels in negative energy. Read also previous posts on this blog about how you can raise your energy here, about the brain here , and about making choices here.

Also see my January 2007 Newsletter: Are You Living the Life You Want to Live?

And for an amusing take on the subject, see: How Cilantro in Cancun, Soft Contact Lenses in Miami, Construction Noise and Strange-Smelling Trees in Spain Caused My World to Change.

Finally, you might enjoy Focus On What You Have and How You Can Make It An Asset.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

From Man WIthout Limbs to Man Without Limits

You must see this video to believe it. Nick Vujicic, Australian, was born with no limbs, and boy, has he made a name for himself. This is motivational. This is inspirational. He is inspirational. Take a look. (It's just under 9 min long).

There are two more parts to this...one before, and one after. They are available here.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Insomnia: Cure it Without Pills?

For those who suffer from it, insomnia can be a nightmare. Some just get it occasionally, some find it hard to fall asleep, some fall asleep like a baby, but then wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, for some it comes with age (andropause and menopause are often the culprits, imbalanced hormone levels), and for some it is anxiety, fear, stress, hopelessness, helplessness, and panic.

Many who suffer from it reach for pills. Not a particularly good solution, there tend to be side effects, you will often require higher dosages after a time, some make you feel groggy or give you fuzzy thinking, some - most are addictive, and certainly, for the day you wish to live without them, you will first need to re-accustom your body to sleeping on its own, another form of insomnia, and will take some determination and will-power.

Plus, of course, you lose control over that quintessential part of yourself...your sleeping self...and so you might like to reconsider what you do in order to sleep or not sleep. Having been a part-time insomniac myself, I got back into rhythm using more or less what is suggested in this article I just found in the NY Times, although in my case, my return from insomnia came a long time ago. It did require patience and perseverance, however...Rome was not vanquished in a day. Have a look:

Curing Insomnia Without the Pills

For people with chronic insomnia, studies show that simple behavioral and psychological treatments work just as well, and sometimes better, than popular medications read more


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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Grant Yourself the Gift of Solitude

The thought of solitude tends to make us a slightly nervous.

Who wants to be alone?

What's good about being alone?

All that silence...
What would I do?
It would mean no one wants to be with me
I'd feel lonely

And yet, if we do not allow ourselves some moments of solitude on a daily basis, we become stuck...or you might like to call it we can no longer see clearly.

Dr. Walter Dresel, a Uruguayan MD whose work I am unable to find in English, has written an enlightening book about today's topic of solitude called Toma un café contigo mismo (Have a coffee with yourself).

It is an invitation to begin an internal dialogue leading towards a greater self awareness about how one's expectations and self-image tend to become violated by the kind of experiences that society and human narrow-mindedness define as failures.

Whether you have the coffee the title of his book encourages you to, or whether you take a solitary walk, or simply sit somewhere in contemplative silence, is not as important as the fact that you do indeed take the time to do this.

When I was still in the corporate world, and at a point where I had reached the glass ceiling of that particular area of the company, I sat in my private office with a view and luxuriated in the silence, the solitude, and the luxury of being able to think. To really think. In that instance, of course, what I was thinking about was the future of the strategy I was to pursue within my particular area of expertise, what made sense, what did not, how to continue, what to lay aside. But in doing this, I simply sat quietly in my comfortable director's chair, behind my out-sized desk, and thought. I specifically requested no interruptions for a period of 30 minutes on each of the occasions I did this, and I often had a cup of coffee at the same time.

Doing this gave me insight in a way I could never have had in the midst of frantic busy-ness. The time to sit back and think is a luxury, but a necessary luxury and of course, not only for business strategy, but also for one's life, one's hopes, aspirations, dreams, and goals, one's sense of self and self-esteem, and so much more.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Gratitude (And Your State of Being)

You know, you simply can't reiterate some of these things often enough. Gratitude has been shown - by Ivy League establishments like Harvard, Cornell, and Stanford, to be one of the easiest and best ways to consistently help yourself stay in a good place - like contentment.

Keep a gratitude journal...write down five things you are grateful for every day. Show your gratitude to others.

So of course, people are writing books about the subject. Here's one:

Mom was right! If you say thank you, for even the smallest gift or slightest show of kindness, you'll feel happy.

Gratitude, says Robert A. Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, is a crucial element of happiness. In his most recent book, Thanks! , Emmons uses the first major study on gratitude to prove mom's point. In acknowledging and fostering this much-ignored expression of thankfulness, he illustrates how people have benefited -- even improved their health. Read entire article

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