"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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Do You Choose to Listen to?

Another eye-opening article in Science Daily, this time about how we choose what we seek out and listen to.

"We swim in a sea of information, but filter out most of what we see and hear. A new analysis of data from dozens of studies sheds new light on how we choose what we do and do not hear. The study found that while people tend to avoid information that contradicts what they already think or believe, certain factors can cause them to seek out, or at least consider, other points of view."

""We wanted to see exactly across the board to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know," said researchers.

"The researchers found that people are about twice as likely to select information that supports their own point of view (67 percent) as to consider an opposing idea (33 percent). Certain individuals, those with close-minded personalities, are even more reluctant to expose themselves to differing perspectives, Albarracín said. They will opt for the information that corresponds to their views nearly 75 percent of the time."

"The researchers also found, not surprisingly, that people are more resistant to new points of view when their own ideas are associated with political, religious or ethical values."

"Perhaps more surprisingly, people who have little confidence in their own beliefs are less likely to expose themselves to contrary views than people who are very confident in their own ideas, Albarracín said."

Read entire article here

Monday, June 29, 2009

Does Chaos in the Brain Lead to Order?

A wonderful article in New Scientist this week poses the question of whether chaos in the brain leads to a greater level of order, or synthesis.

Disorderly genius: How chaos drives the brain

HAVE you ever experienced that eerie feeling of a thought popping into your head as if from nowhere, with no clue as to why you had that particular idea at that particular time? You may think that such fleeting thoughts, however random they seem, must be the product of predictable and rational processes. After all, the brain cannot be random, can it? Surely it processes information using ordered, logical operations, like a powerful computer?

Actually, no. In reality, your brain operates on the edge of chaos. Though much of the time it runs in an orderly and stable way, every now and again it suddenly and unpredictably lurches into a blizzard of noise.

Neuroscientists have long suspected as much. Only recently, however, have they come up with proof that brains work this way. Now they are trying to work out why. Some believe that near-chaotic states may be crucial to memory, and could explain why some people are smarter than others.

Read the entire article here

Watch the brief video below to get a sense of how modern technology is able to simulate brain activity.

Should you experience difficulty viewing the video, please click here to view it at the original site.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Did You Bring Your Brain?

"Did you bring your brain?“

At the many lectures he gives worldwide, Ilchi Lee often begins with this question. Having struggled to focus in his childhood and overcome this handicap later, he developed a great trust in and knowledge of the human brain. By utilizing the brain's full power, he believes, humanity can achieve its potential and resolve the serious problems we are facing. Though the brain, we can realize the key dreams of the world: health, happiness and peace.

Through a three-decade career, Ilchi Lee has developed many training programs and methods, organized numerous projects and events, authored dozens of books, and founded a variety of for-profit and non-profit organizations. In this sense, he is a modern Renaissance man. Prolific innovation is his way of life. Yet at his core, Ilchi Lee is motivated by only one thing – a deep and abiding love for humanity and the Earth, and a passion to improve their conditions. A true believer in the power of individuals to change themselves and the world around them, Ilchi Lee seeks to empower individuals to live according to their highest ideals and grandest dreams. He identifies the source of this ability in the human brain, and thus considers its development as the most critical aspect of human progress. For this reason, he created the Brain Education System Training (BEST), which provides a profound five-step process for unleashing the brain's unlimited potential. The hundreds of training programs that he has created are part of BEST.

What follows is the first part of a lecture at the 2008 UN Conference for Brain Education that Ilchi Lee gave. Further parts are below.

Part 2

Part 3

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Radio Program "Re-Wiring the Soul" July 2009

Once a month I post the current list of topics for my weekly radio show, live every Wednesday at Rewiring the Soul.

This is what the July 2009 schedule looks like:

  • July 1: Dr. Sung Lee, Director of the Brain Well Center in Arizona. At the center physician-directed trainings and services are designed to improve the quality of health and life, by enhancing the brain-body connection and developing inner resources. Brain training can benefit any person with a brain – young to elderly. It can be highly valuable for persons with neuro-psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety, insomnia, learning difficulties, cognitive impairment, attention deficit, post-traumatic stress, addictions, stroke, traumatic brain injury, headache, seizures, migraine, and movement disorders. Other health conditions commonly benefited include cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer recovery. Training is also excellent for persons without major health challenges. It can catalyze creativity and peak performance for artists, athletes, and executives.

Click here for Dr. Sung Lee’s website and click here for a direct link to the show.

Click here for Tom Campbell’s website and click here for a direct link to the show.

  • July 15: Chris Fenwick: Author of The 100th Human. Chris says that Reaching Critical Mass just got personal! The 100th Human is a spiritual quest delving deeply into matters of physics, metaphysics, evolution and the human condition. Join Jack, Apu and Alana as they race against time searching for those who can assist in revealing the mystery of the ancient symbols - before time literally runs out.

Click here for Chris Fenwick’s website and click here for her book’s website and click here for a direct link to the show

  • July 22: Leslie Feinberg: Neuro-Modulation Technique. NMT trains the body to correct the causes of disease in a natural way. The Feinberg Technique is the marriage of accepted principles of western science and energetic medicine. Patients suffering from nearly any symptom commonly experience rapid improvement, and restoration of health when they receive NMT. The reason NMT works so powerfully to restore health is that NMT addresses the problem of illness at its most basic level.

Click here for Leslie Feinberg’s website and click here for a direct link to the show

  • July 29: Lawrence Furman: Revisiting the Western Way of Birth and Death. Lawrence is the author of the upcoming book Medium Rare, Memoir of a Slightly Mad Mystic, and joins me for a frank discussion about life in the hereafter, as well as his work in mid-wifing not only birth, but also death. Lawrence reminds us that we enter this world on a breath and we leave it with a last breath. Lawrence has given annual natural childbirth classes to a group of students at the University of Miami, discussing alternative methods of childbirth, and the effects of the birth script upon future relationships. Lawrence has personally been through three near death experiences, and has also been a trance medium since 1992.

Click here for a direct link to the show.

Ways To Listen:

  1. LIVE on the web here
  2. Past episodes here (these episodes only include shows since Januray 14th, 2009. For prior shows see the next point). These clips are for listening when the show is no longer live, for downloading, etc.)
  3. Listen to over 150 archived audio files on my website (in the past it has always taken some time for me to get new shows up on my website due to logistical problems. Now, with the new program Re-Wiring the Soul, new clips will be up in a matter of minutes, for re-listening or downloading ... for adding to ITunes or your IPod)
  4. You can also listen to past episodes on my blog ... scroll down on the right sidebar to just below the photo of myself wearing earphones

Show Time & Equivalent Times in Other Locations:

(Locally: 7 pm CET: Central European Time) or go to http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html to convert from your time zone

- 7 pm (European Central Time) Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Rome (local: Marbella, Spain)
- 8 am Hawaii
- 1 pm New York City
- 2 pm Mexico City
- 8 pm Cape Town
- 10 pm Moscow
- 11 pm Dubai
- 12 pm Mumbai (midnight)
- 2 am Hong Kong (next day)
- 3 amTokyo (next day)
- 5 am Sydney (next day)

Participating in the Show:

If you want to call in during the show, call this US number (646) 727-1281. You can also - at the show's website - "click to talk" online, with no need to make a phone call.

Alternatively, you can chat with me and other listeners online during the show by signing in once you are at the site of that day's episode (see above as listed at the end of each show's description).

Information About This New Show

Many changes have taken place at the local studio where I had been broadcasting for the past five years from 2003 - 2008, and they finally closed their doors to the international section of their station.

Hence, I am continuing to broadcast via another medium and under the name Re-wiring the Soul.

After five years of broadcasting a conventional radio show in Southern Spain about topics in the broad (and frequently eclectic) fields of integral psychotherapy and positive psychology, I wanted to venture further abroad. Thanks to my incredible interlocutor at the station, Brenda Padilla, we managed to produce 150 audio clips from that show and they are all available via my website or blog.

Re-wiring the Soul is the result of my desire for a change. Psychology per se is good, but we need to reach much further in our quest to create the balanced human being. The mission statement for this show might be “using all tools available via nutrition, fitness, psychology, cutting-edge empirical research, holistic therapies, spirituality, neuro-science, etc. to further the growth of the soul.”

This call-in talk show welcomes and interviews guests from all walks of life, although occasionally I will be speaking alone. Those of you who have listened to my past programs know that the main message I have always woven through the shows has consisted of the need for becoming aware and then making good choices from this position of awareness. On this show that will be our guiding dictum.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Schools That Kill Creativity

Once again TED brings us persuasive and intelligently presented information.

This time "Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

If you experience difficulty viewing the video, please click here for the original website

"Why don't we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it's because we've been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies -- far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity -- are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences.

"We are educating people out of their creativity," Robinson says. It's a message with deep resonance. Robinson's TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006. The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? "Everyone should watch this." A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His latest book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, a deep look at human creativity and education, was published in January 2009. "

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Child Abuse & Subsequent Adult Onset Cancer

The online Science Daily has published an article indicating the higher incidence of cancer in adults who were physically abused as children. Interestingly, there appear to be some indications that "dysfunctions in cortisol production – the hormone that prepares us for 'fight or flight' [could be] a possible mediator in the abuse-cancer relationship."

The study "shows those individuals physically abused in childhood are more likely to develop cancer than those who have not been abused. Childhood physical abuse is associated with 49 per cent higher odds of cancer in adulthood, says Esme Fuller-Thomson of U of T's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family and Community Medicine."

"This research provides important new knowledge about a potential childhood abuse-cancer relationship."

"The study's findings showed the association between childhood abuse and cancer remained significant even after controlling for three major potentially confounding factors: childhood stressors, adult health behaviors (i.e. smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption) and adult socioeconomic status."

Read the entire article here

Monday, June 22, 2009

Getting Fit in Six Minutes A Week

The New York Times published an interesting article about the benefits of exercise, but instead of the usual information about a minimum requirement of length of time exercised, the article presents new research indicating that perhaps it is not necessary to exercise as long as we have previously believed in order to achieve optimum results.

The question that researchers asked was whether humans can increase physical endurance with only a few minutes of strenuous exercise, instead of hours.

Ongoing research at McMaster Universtiy in Canada indicates that the answer may be yes. In a recent study, a group of college students, who were healthy but not athletes, were asked to ride a stationary bike at a sustainable pace for between 90 and 120 minutes. Another set of students grunted through a series of short, strenuous intervals: 20 to 30 seconds of cycling at the highest intensity the riders could stand. After resting for four minutes, the students pedaled hard again for another 20 to 30 seconds, repeating the cycle four to six times (depending on how much each person could stand), “for a total of two to three minutes of very intense exercise per training session.

Each of the two groups exercised three times a week. After two weeks, both groups showed almost identical increases in their endurance (as measured in a stationary bicycle time trial), even though the one group had exercised for six to nine minutes per week, and the other about five hours. Additionally, molecular changes that signal increased fitness were evident equally in both groups.

The short, intense workouts aided in weight loss, too, and other researchers have found that similar, intense, brief sessions of exercise improve cardiac health, even among people with heart disease.

Read entire article here

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Surprising Science of Happiness

It should not surprise you that I am once again blogging about TED, the wonderful organization that brings us so many informative, fascinating, cutting-edge, and sometimes even amusing and made-for-musing videos with speakers from every profession and walk of life.

The one I am focusing on today is with Nancy Etcoff speaking to us about the surprising science of happiness. Ted has much to say about her ... see below.

If you have any difficulty viewing the video, please click here to view it directly at TED

Nancy Etcoff is part of a new vanguard of cognitive researchers asking: What makes us happy? Why do we like beautiful things? And how on earth did we evolve that way?

In her book Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff refutes the social origins of beauty, in favor of far more prosaic and evolutionary explanations. Looking for a partner with clear skin? You’re actually checking for parasites. And let’s just say there’s a reason high heels are always in fashion.

Her recent research into the question of happiness exposes results that not only are surprising but reinforce things we should've known all along: like the fact that having flowers in the house really does make us happier. As the instructor of "The Science of Happiness" at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at Massachusetts General Hospital, Nancy Etcoff is uniquely qualified to solve the mysteries of contentment.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mindfulness & Psychotherapy

A new book is out: The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions by Shauna L. Shapiro and Linda E. Carlson.
With a Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Here is what amazon.com has to say about it: Imagine the rigor of science, the beauty of art, the wisdom of reflection, and the effectiveness of years of practical clinical application rolled into one easily accessible, joy-to-read book. This is what you have at your fingertips when Shapiro and Carlson's Art and Science of Mindfulness rests in your hands. Written with clinicians in mind, this treasure is far more than a useful healers' guide. The wealth of the ideas and practices presented in this illuminating work will be of benefit to educators and professionals in a range of fields as well as to the general reader who welcomes a new way of living that has the power to transform our individual and collective lives.
Psychotherapies are a century young, meditative disciplines millennia old. As therapists we have much to learn from these venerable disciplines, and this book offers a fine introduction to both recent applications and research.
Intention is fundamental to any project, endeavor, or journey. Related to intention is the concept of mindfulness - the awareness that arises through intentionally attending to oneself and others in an open, caring, and nonjudgmental way. Drawing from Buddhist teachings and psychological theory, authors Shapiro and Carlson explore why mindful awareness is integral to the therapeutic healing process and show clinicians how to connect with this deeper awareness. This book integrates the art and science of mindfulness to engender greater well-being in both clinicians and their patients. Seen through the lens of mindfulness as a universal human capacity, this intention helps bridge the gap between therapist and patient, reminding us that we are all human beings wanting health, happiness, and freedom from suffering. This book is suitable for clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors, and social workers. It is intended for health care practitioners such as nurses, physicians, and physical therapists. It is also suitable for graduate students in all of the above areas.

Shauna L. Shapiro, Ph.D. is a professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University, and previously served as adjunct faculty for Andrew Weil's Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Dr. Shapiro's research focuses on mindfulness meditation and its applications to psychotherapy and health care. She began her study of psychology and meditation at Duke University, graduating summa cum laude, and received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona. Dr. Shapiro pursued her study of meditation in Thailand and Nepal, as well as in the West, training in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Dr. Shapiro has conducted extensive clinical research investigating the effects of mindfulness-based therapies across a wide range of populations, and published over 50 book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles. She is the recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies teaching award, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to graduate education in the area of mindfulness and psychotherapy. Dr. Shapiro lectures and leads mindfulness training programs nationally and internationally for health professionals on the growing applications of mindfulness in psychology and health care.
Linda E. Carlson, Ph.D., R.Psych. holds the Enbridge Endowed Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology, an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Health Scholar award, is an Associate Professor in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. She is Director of Research and works as a Clinical Psychologist at the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, where her program has offered Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to cancer patients and their families since 1997. Dr. Carlson trained as a Clinical Health Psychologist at McGill University in Montreal, researching the area of psychoneuroendocrinology. She received the Kawano New Investigator Award from the International Psycho-Oncology Society in 2006, and the William E. Rawls Prize in cancer control from the National Cancer Institute of Canada/Canadian Cancer Society in 2007. She has practiced meditation with the Insight Meditation Society in Burma and Canada, and trained in MBSR with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. She presented her work at Mind and Life XVI, Investigating the Mind-Body Connection: The Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation at the Mayo clinic with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2008. Dr. Carlson has published over 90 book chapters and research papers in peer-reviewed journals, holds more than six million dollars in grant funding and regularly presents her work at national and international conferences.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Neuroscience & Happiness (Change in Programming for Radio Show)

Once a month I post the current list of topics for my weekly radio show, live every Wednesday at Rewiring the Soul.

Unexpectedly there has been a slight departure from the June programming I had blogged about earlier, and hence, my guest for Wednesday, June 24th, will be Martina Sheehan from Australia.

Read the full description of the show:

Martina Sheehan: Neuroscientific Approaches to Brain Training and Happiness

Train your 100 billion neurons to live well and work well with Brain Trainers™ You might not realise it, but you have been training your brain since the day you were born. Everything you learn, everything you think, and everything you do trains the billions of neural connections in your brain and builds habits that can last a lifetime. Use Brain Trainers™ to focus on the habits you want to strengthen in your life. Join me to speak with Martina Sheehan, Director reinvention® and Brain Trainers™ about these cards that she and her partner Susan Pearse have developed and will be developing.

Click here to access the show

See their website http://www.brain-trainers.com/

This show had previously been scheduled to air on Wednesday, June 24th at 7 pm Central European Time, or 1 pm EDT, but due to the exigencies of the changes described above, the show will air at 9 am European, or 5 pm in Brisbane, Australia. If you are not able to join us live for the show, please listen to the archived file at the link indicated at the above show access, at whatever day or time you wish.

All previously aired shows on Rewiring the Soul are available like that as well, as your convenience, or you can download them and put them on your iPod or burn them on to CD's for easy listening in the car or wherever you please.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Healing Perceptions: The One Minute Shift With Bruce Lipton

The Institute of Noetic Sciences brings occasional brief videos to help change our world one minute at a time. These videos are all called The One Minute Shift and I have blogged about them here in the past (see below).

The latest one features Bruce Lipton, famed cellular biologist who is convincing the world bit by bit that there is not such thing as genetic predeterminism.

Do our genes control our health? Epigenetics research challenges the conventional beliefs about genes and reveals the role of emotion on our bodies and health. In this video, author and cellular biologist Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. explores the importance of perception in maintaining optimal health.

Should you experience difficulty in viewing this video, please click here in order to view it directly at the One Minute Shift website.

Related Posts:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Choosing Gratitude - Choosing the Now

So many people find their lives so full of worry, sorrow, pain, anxiety, and fear. Especially in this climate of the global economic crisis.

Here's something you can do to deal with those difficult and dark emotions: as you find yourself immersed in yet another negative or hard thought or feeling, and find yourself succumbing to its way of pulling you into a black quagmire, do this:
  • chose to do something different about this today
  • chose to focus elsewhere (as opposed to the worry or the fear)
  • chose to feel gratitude for something right here and now (a butterfly, the blue sky, a whiff of heady jasmine from the garden next door, your laptop that connects you to the world in such fascinating ways, your dog, your child, your capacity to run, etc.) Whatever you feel gratitude for is not important, what is important is that you do feel gratitude.
  • as you do this, you will find yourself in the present moment. And in the present moment you are not in the place where you need to worry or fear,
  • the present moment brings you to the now, where the past or future have no place.
  • remain in the present moment for a while, choosing to continue to focus on something for which you feel gratitude.
  • one you notice that you feel better, move to your other duties, but continue this exercise as soon as you find yourself giving way to difficult or dark thoughts and feelings.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sex and Marriage

The New York Times recently carried an article about no-sex marriages, marriages where sex has ended over time and no longer forms part of marriage.

The article states "Married men and women, on average, have sex with their spouse 58 times a year, a little more than once a week, according to data collected from the General Social Survey, which has tracked the social behaviors of Americans since 1972. But there are wide variations in that number. Married people under 30 have sex about 111 times a year. And it’s estimated that about 15 percent of married couples have not had sex with their spouse in the last six months to one year, according to Denise A. Donnelly, associate professor of sociology at Georgia State University, who has studied sexless marriage."

The article consists of a number of questions that the author (Tara Parker-Pope) asks of Professor Donnelly:
  • Is there any indication that the sexless marriage is becoming more common? Or are we just hearing about it more?

  • Why does a marriage become sexless? Does it start that way? Or does sex fade?

  • Are couples in sexless marriages less happy than couples having sex?

  • Can people in a marriage that has become sexless rekindle their sex lives?

  • Are people in sexless marriages more likely to get divorced?

  • What else are you trying to learn about sexless marriages?
The answers to some of these questions may surprise you. Read the entire article by clicking here.

And in order to look at further possibilities about why it happens, why marriages sometimes lose their passion, you may also wish to read these articles, published some time ago in various editions of my monthly newsletter:
Photo: The Kremlin by night

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saving the World With Seeds

Once a month I host a Mind Expansion Group at my home. Twenty - thirty of us gather (and the group is always shifting as we are a pool of well over 100) to listen to a speaker discourse about some subject of interest, we then have a group discussion about it, followed by a convivial dinner together.

This month's topic was about permaculture, genetically modified foods, about fossil fuels, about the rapid decline of oil reserves (even in the oil wells) in our world, and what we can do about it.

One of the things to do (among so many others) is to make sure you have seeds that are not genetically modified, and to have a good store of them on hand.

That brought to mind another brief video from TED.org. This one is about storing millions of seeds on a global level. In the video, Jonathan Drori encourages us to save biodiversity -- one seed at a time. Reminding us that plants support human life, he shares the vision of the Millennium Seed Bank, which has stored over 3 billion seeds to date from dwindling yet essential plant species.

TED says this about Jonathan Drori. He " has dedicated his career to media and learning. As the Head of Commissioning for BBC Online, he led the effort to create bbc.co.uk, the online face of the BBC (an effort he recalls fondly). He came to the web from the TV side of the BBC, where as an editor and producer he headed up dozens of television series on science, education and the arts.

After almost two decades at the BBC, he's now a director at Changing Media Ltd., a media and education consultancy, and is a visiting professor at University of Bristol, where he studies educational media and misperceptions in science. He continues to executive produce the occasional TV series, including 2004's award-winning "The DNA Story" and 2009's "Great Sperm Race." He is on the boards of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Woodland Trust."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Light In the Dark - Love In Hatred

Once a candle has been lit in a dark room, the darkness will be dispelled and the room will be light, and will continue to be light, as long as the candle burns, and as long as other candles continue to be lit from the flame of the initial candle.

So obvious.

Once love has entered a place where there is hatred, love can begin to dispel the hatred, and the place where only hatred reigns will be smaller, and will continue to grow smaller, as long as love remains alive, and as long as others continue to bring more love after having warmed themselves in the flame of the love shown by the initial person who brought it into hatred.

Perhaps less obvious, but just as do-able as the candle metaphor.

Let us all be candles, and let our flame - our light - be filled with love.

Photo: India

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Marshmallows & Success

Joachim de Posada shares a landmark experiment (at Ted.org) on delayed gratification -- and how it can predict future success. With priceless video of kids trying their hardest not to eat the marshmallow.

If you have difficulty viewing the video here on my blog, go directly to the website by clicking here.

Here's what TED has to say about him: Joachim de Posada's infectious energy and humor have turned him into a popular motivational coach. Working in Spanish and English, he helps companies and teams find deep and lasting reasons to succeed. His books include How to Survive Among the Piranhas and his latest, No te comas el marshmallow ... todavia, or Don't Eat the Marshmallow ... Yet. (He's recently updated the book for the recession, calling it Don't Eat the Marshmallow ... Ever.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Doing Only and Wholly What You Must Do

What you must do is not only what you consider your duty and responsibility. It is that, but as you make choices in life, and go down certain paths, you come more and more to a place at which you recognize that what you must do, is what lies deep within you ... you must do it, because if you do not, you commit treason; you betray yourself.

As a man's real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do.
Ursula le Guin (The Wizard of Earthsea)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Bridge Between Three Worlds: We Are All One

Today's speech in Cairo: President Obama speaking to the Muslim world.

If you have trouble viewing the video on this blog, click here to view it on C-Span

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Finding Deep Meaning in Defeat

What does a young and successful tennis star have to do with a blog about inner growth?

Several things:

First, although it is not my birth nationality, I have been Spanish for nearly four decades, so I feel I am warranted some pleasure in national sports glories, such as the recent UEFA Champions League soccer final win by the Barcelona team Barca, Alonso in car racing, Tour de France winners (the last three), and of course, also by all the success the young Rafael Nadal has had in international tennis (see also the Wall Street Journal for this magnificent article Spain's Extraordinary Sports Ego, referring to talk of "An Invincible Armada").

Second, and this point is much more germane to this blog: here we have a very young individual who is used to success make the nevertheless very mature point that deep meaning can be found in defeat.

Here's what he said at his post-defeat press conference: “Defeats never make you grow, but you also realise how difficult what I achieved up until today was, and this is something you need sometimes. You need a defeat to give the value to your victories.”

In the Times Online, sports columnist Matthew Sayed writes this about Nadal's statement : "How better to remind oneself of the savour of victory than to taste the bitterness of defeat?"

And he goes on to quote from Nadal's blog: “The first thing I want to say is that it was only a tennis match yesterday. No big drama. It happens, and I knew it would happen one day. It had to be yesterday and well, now I just have to look at that match and see what I did wrong. It is not a tragedy.”

Sayed continues: "Defeat is a precious gift to the all-conquering sportsman: an opportunity to learn, to adapt, to develop. But ultimately it is an opportunity to rediscover the essential meaning of victory. That is why Nadal will return stronger, deeper and hungrier. "

Read the entire article here

Defeat ... not only a precious gift to the all-conquering sportsman, but a gift to anyone, to choose to regard it as an opportunity to learn, to adapt, to develop.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Raising Energy As You Iron & Clean

My monthly newsletter went out yesterday (subscribe here) with the feature article's topic being about raising your energy ... your inner energy. It's a favorite topic of mine, especially in times when so many people are suffering inner fear and trepidation about their future due to the current financial crisis.

In the article, I include a long list of websites that offer much material, in particular audio, that is almost all free, downloadable, and hence can be used to burn on CD's or iPods for listening in moments when one is "making time", as when one is driving to work, etc.

At any rate, one of the newsletter readers wrote this back to me:

Just a thought you might want to share with your readers:

I go to inspirational websites, a few of the ones you mention, when I have to do unpleasant chores – ironing, cleaning, organizing the closet – so that I actually look forward to those activities because I get uninterrupted listening time (my daughters never interrupt me when I do those chores, otherwise they might have to help). I don’t have Cd player in the car, nor an ipod, so I listen on my computer. If I were just listening, the others in my house would think I were “available” and I would be interrupted several times. So cleaning and ironing have become my inspirational moments….

What an excellent suggestion! Thank you.

Photo: Cordoba, Spain (taken January 2009 ... check out the oranges!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Brenda Cobb: Surviving Cancer With Raw Food 10 Years Ago

I've had a slight scheduling change for this week's radio show. Due to another guest's postponement to early September, Brenda Cobb has graciously agreed to come in earlier than expected and speak to me on Wednesday, June 3rd at 7 pm European Central, or 1 pm EDT (10 am PDT).

Brenda Cobb survived cancer thanks to raw food. Brenda Cobb, Founder and Director of the Living Foods Training Center, overcame breast and cervical cancer without the use of drugs or surgery by following the simple principles of detoxification and nutrition. She also got rid of allergies, acid reflux, indigestion, arthritis, obesity, age or liver spots, and gray hair. Her eyesight even improved! She looks and feels 10 years younger than she did 10 years ago.

Click here for Brenda’s website and here for a direct link to the show.

Join me on Wednesday, June 3rd, to chat with Brenda. And if you can't, the archived clip will be available for as long as people continue to listen to it, also available for download to listen to at your leisure or take with you as a CD or in your iPod.