Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Photograph changed the life of a dog named Schoep

Photo credit: Hannah Stonehouse Hudson

Touching Facebook Photo Saves Aging Dog’s Life

By Caroline Golon

Several months ago, a photograph posted on Facebook changed the lives of a dog named Schoep, his father John Unger and, now, countless other senior dogs.

The photograph was of Unger, cradling 19-year-old Schoep in the shallows of Lake Superior. Unger’s friend and photographer, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson wrote in the post that accompanied the photo: “Schoep falls asleep every night when he is carried into the lake. The buoyancy of the water soothes his arthritic bones.”

No one could have predicted the response that followed. Strangers who saw the photo and were touched by the story sent letters, emails and unsolicited donations to put towards therapy treatments that might ease Schoep’s pain – and that Unger couldn’t afford.

Soon more than $25,000 amassed. The amount was much more than Unger needed to help Schoep, so he formed Schoep’s Legacy Foundation to assist low-income families with treatments for their senior dogs.

And Schoep, the sweet-faced dog whose image prompted the outpouring of love and generosity, received the much-needed expensive joint laser treatments that reduced his pain and arthritic swelling. “Schoep is doing incredible right now,” Unger told the Daily Mail. “The therapies that the people have donated – it’s like turning back the clock a year and a half.”

The extra, pain-free time Schoep and Unger will have together is an unexpected gift for the two, who have been together since Schoep was an 8-month-old puppy.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Artist Margaret Keane
Please Join Me at the continuation of this Blog. The address is:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Look For The Lesson And Move ON

You simply cannot pay anyone back for something they did to you. Look for the lesson and move on. If one man or woman treats you badly, rejects you, abandons you, abuses or disrespects you, you cannot hold all men or women accountable. Look for the lesson and move on.
If your ex-wife or husband took your money, lied to you, neglected your children and your home, it does not mean that all men and women cannot be trusted. Look for the lesson and move on. If some white people are racist; some black people thieves; some intellectual people condescending; some uneducated people lazy; some light people uppity; some dark people ignorant; it does not give you the right or the authority to treat all people any way you choose, based on your past experiences. Ask yourself, what can I learn from this situation? What can I do this time that I did not do before? If there is nothing, simply move on.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?

Speakers Sherry Turkle: Cultural analyst

Sherry Turkle studies how technology is shaping our modern relationships: with others, with ourselves, with it.
.Why you should listen to her: .Since her pathbreaking The Second Self: Computers and The Human Spirit in 1984 psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle has been studying how technology changes not only what we do but who we are. In 1995's Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, Turkle explored how the Internet provided new possibilities for exploring identity.
Described as "the Margaret Mead of digital cuture," Turkle has now turned her attention to the world of social media and sociable robots. As she puts it, these are technologies that propose themselves "as the architect of our intimacies." In her most recent book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, Turkle argues that the social media we encounter on a daily basis are confronting us with a moment of temptation. Drawn by the illusion of companionship without the demands of intimacy, we confuse postings and online sharing with authentic communication. We are drawn to sacrifice conversation for mere connection. Turkle suggests that just because we grew up with the Internet, we tend to see it as all grown up, but it is not: Digital technology is still in its infancy and there is ample time for us to reshape how we build it and use it.
Turkle is a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.
"What technology makes easy is not always what nurtures the human spirit."
Sherry Turkle

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Quotes by Sherry Turkle.“The feeling that ‘no one is listening to me’ make us want to spend time with machines that seem to care about us.”

Watch this talk »
“We're letting [technology] take us places that we don't want to go.”

Watch this talk »
“We expect more from technology and less from each other.”

Watch this talk »
“We're lonely, but we're afraid of intimacy. And so from social networks to sociable robots, we're designing technologies that will give us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.”

Watch this talk »
“If we're not able to be alone, we're going to be more lonely. And if we don't teach our children to be alone, they're only going to know how to be lonely.”

Watch this talk »
“We're smitten with technology. And we're afraid, like young lovers, that too much talking might spoil the romance. But it's time to talk.”

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“We all really need to listen to each other, including to the boring bits.”

Watch this talk »

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Canine Retirement Portfolio

Our Elected Representatives ?

Any way you measure it, the happiest and most successful people in the world are those with the most political and economic freedom. Our elected representatives are working overtime in the opposite direction.
Wes Alexander

Rescue Dog Turned Therapy Dog Helps Save Owner

Amber by Kimberly Kelly Santini

Monday, April 2, 2012

We Live In A World Of Boundaries

"The simple fact is that we live in a world of conflict and opposites because we live in a world of boundaries.  Since every boundary line is also a battle line, here is the human  predicament:  the firmer one's boundaries, the more entrenched are one's battles. The more I hold onto pleasure, the more I necessarily fear pain.  The more I pursue goodness, the more I am obsessed with evil.  The more I seek success, the more I must dread failure.  The harder I cling to life, the more terrifying death becomes.  The more I value anything, the more obsessed I become with its loss.  Most of our problems, in other words, are problems of boundaries and the opposites they create."

Excerpted passage from Ken Wilber's book entitled, NO BOUNDARY Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth
ISBN 978-0-394-74881-8 (pbk.)

From The Secret Daily Teachings

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret

From The Secret Daily Teachings
Our natural state of being is joy, and it takes so much energy to think negative thoughts, to speak negative words, and to feel miserable. The easy path is good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.
Take the easy path.
May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
The Secret... bringing joy to billions

Secret Scrolls Newsletter Logo

What is Success

...as attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

"To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of flase friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded."

*Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

James R. Angell

"The consciousness of selfhood is the very core of our physical being.  About it are gathered all the joys and all the miseries of life."

James R. Angell, Psychology, 1908

Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, 1954

"It is thus with most of us;  we are what other people say we are.  We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay."

Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, 1954

A philosopher by the name of Epictetus once wrote...

"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them."

Epictetus in the 1st century A.D.


Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, human beings have a duty to care for all fellow humans. The person who follows these precepts will achieve happiness and peace of mind.


9 Spices With Super Healing Powers | Yahoo! Health

9 Spices With Super Healing Powers | Yahoo! Health

Have you checked your spice rack lately? Spices and herbs can do a lot more than add pizzazz to your cooking -- they can also promote heart health, fight cancer, reduce inflammation and more. Here are nine super spices and herbs that are good for you and taste good, too.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

We have come a long way, but still have a way to go!

We have come a long way.

1943 Guide to Hiring Women
The following is an excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine. This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II.
"Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees: There's no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage.
Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties:
1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they're less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.
2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It's always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.
3. General experience indicates that "husky" girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.
4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.
5. Stress at the outset the importance of time the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.
6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they'll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.
7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.
8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.
9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can't shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.
10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she'll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.
11. Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can't be stressed too much in keeping women happy."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Saint Augustine

Photo by Peter Walton

"The world is a book, and those who do not
travel read only one page."

____Saint Augustine

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne

Secret Scrolls Newsletter Logo 
From The Secret Daily Teachings
Love is the highest power we possess to be in complete harmony with the law of attraction. The more love we feel the greater our power. The more selfless love we feel, the more unfathomable our power.
The law of attraction has been called the law of love, because the law itself is a gift of love to humanity. It is the law by which we can create incredible lives for ourselves.
The more love we feel the greater our power to create a magnificent life of love, joy, and harmony.
May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
The Secret... bringing joy to billions

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Power of Positive Thinking

Photography by Wojtek Rychlik on Vimeo

By Remez Sasson


Positive thinking is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favorable results. A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health and a successful outcome of every situation and action. Whatever the mind expects, it finds.

Not everyone accepts or believes in positive thinking. Some consider the subject as just nonsense, and others scoff at people who believe and accept it. Among the people who accept it, not many know how to use it effectively to get results. Yet, it seems that many are becoming attracted to this subject, as evidenced by the many books, lectures and courses about it. This is a subject that is gaining popularity.
It is quite common to hear people say: "Think positive!", to someone who feels down and worried. Most people do not take these words seriously, as they do not know what they really mean, or do not consider them as useful and effective. How many people do you know, who stop to think what the power of positive thinking means?

The following story illustrates how this power works:
Allan applied for a new job, but as his self-esteem was low, and he considered himself as a failure and unworthy of success, he was sure that he was not going to get the job. He had a negative attitude towards himself, and believed that the other applicants were better and more qualified than him. Allan manifested this attitude, due to his negative past experiences with job interviews.
His mind was filled with negative thoughts and fears concerning the job for the whole week before the job interview. He was sure he would be rejected. On the day of the interview he got up late, and to his horror he discovered that the shirt he had planned to wear was dirty, and the other one needed ironing. As it was already too late, he went out wearing a shirt full of wrinkles.
During the interview he was tense, displayed a negative attitude, worried about his shirt, and felt hungry because he did not have enough time to eat breakfast. All this distracted his mind and made it difficult for him to focus on the interview. His overall behavior made a bad impression, and consequently he materialized his fear and did not get the job. 

Jim applied for the same job too, but approached the matter in a different way. He was sure that he was going to get the job. During the week preceding the interview he often visualized himself making a good impression and getting the job.
In the evening before the interview he prepared the clothes he was going to wear, and went to sleep a little earlier. On day of the interview he woke up earlier than usual, and had ample time to eat breakfast, and then to arrive to the interview before the scheduled time.
He got the job because he made a good impression. He had also of course, the proper qualifications for the job, but so had Allan.

What do we learn from these two stories? Is there any magic employed here? No, it is all natural. When the attitude is positive we entertain pleasant feelings and constructive images, and see in our mind's eye what we really want to happen. This brings brightness to the eyes, more energy and happiness. The whole being broadcasts good will, happiness and success. Even the health is affected in a beneficial way. We walk tall and the voice is more powerful. Our body language shows the way you feel inside.

Positive and negative thinking are both contagious.
All of us affect, in one way or another, the people we meet. This happens instinctively and on a subconscious level, through thoughts and feelings transference, and through body language. People sense our aura and are affected by our thoughts, and vice versa. Is it any wonder that we want to be around positive people and avoid negative ones? People are more disposed to help us if we are positive, and they dislike and avoid anyone broadcasting negativity.
Negative thoughts, words and attitude bring up negative and unhappy moods and actions. When the mind is negative, poisons are released into the blood, which cause more unhappiness and negativity. This is the way to failure, frustration and disappointment.

Practical Instructions

In order to turn the mind toward the positive, inner work and training are required. Attitude and thoughts do not change overnight.
Read about this subject, think about its benefits and persuade yourself to try it. The power of thoughts is a mighty power that is always shaping our life. This shaping is usually done subconsciously, but it is possible to make the process a conscious one. Even if the idea seems strange give it a try, as you have nothing to lose, but only to gain. Ignore what others might say or think about you, if they discover that you are changing the way you think.

Always visualize only favorable and beneficial situations. Use positive words in your inner dialogues or when talking with others. Smile a little more, as this helps to think positively. Disregard any feelings of laziness or a desire to quit. If you persevere, you will transform the way your mind thinks.
Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it and endeavor to replace it with a constructive one. The negative thought will try again to enter your mind, and then you have to replace it again with a positive one. It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you choose to look at one of them and disregard the other. Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively and ignore negative thoughts.

In case you feel any inner resistance when replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, do not give up, but keep looking only at the beneficial, good and happy thoughts in your mind.
It does not matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. It may take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they do.
Another method to employ is the repetition of affirmations. It is a method which resembles creative visualization, and which can be used in conjunction with it. It is the subject of another article on this website.

The other articles at this website, about the power of concentration, will power, self-discipline and peace of mind also contribute to the development of a positive mind, and are recommended for reading and practicing.

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Keeping a Journal

An Exceedingly Simple Guide to Keeping a Journal

Post written by Leo Babauta.
I have to confess: I’ve never been good at keeping a journal. Until this year.
It’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do regularly, and over the years I’ve started journals in many different forms. I have bits of journals in several notebooks and in several computer files, but while they’re interesting, they’re more a testament to my failure to keep a journal going for very long.
But this year has been different. I started a journal on January 3, 2012 and have an entry for just about every day since then — nearly 3 months might not seem like a lot to you, but it’s about six times what I’ve ever done before, and at this point I have confidence that I’ll keep it going for at least a few more months.
What has changed? I instituted a few “tricks” to keep the journaling simple, easy, and sustainable.

My Journal Rules

I wanted to make sure the journaling was as easy as possible, so I have no excuses. So I instituted a few rules that have worked very well for me:
1. Only write a few bullet points. I don’t write full sentences — just a bullet point for interesting or important things that happened each day. I only have to write 2-3, though sometimes I write 5-6 if I did a lot. I mix personal and work stuff together. By keeping each day’s entry short and simple, I make it so easy to journal that there are no excuses — it only takes a few minutes!
2. Keep my notebook where I won’t miss it. I put my notebook where I have coffee in the morning. I’ve been using an old Moleskine that I found in my closet that I’d started using as a journal in 2008, on my trip with Eva to Thailand. It really doesn’t matter what kind of notebook you use, but I’ve found a physical notebook is best because on the computer, I’ll tend to forget or be distracted by other computer tasks (damn the Internet!). When I see the notebook as I sit down to drink coffee, I remember to journal. Btw, one of the lapses in my current journal came when I changed my morning routine and started drinking coffee on the couch instead of at my desk — my journal stayed on the desk and I forgot to journal for more than a week. I had to fill it in later, which wasn’t easy. Which brings me to my next rule.
3. Don’t miss more than 2 days of journaling. I missed almost two weeks once, as I just mentioned … and later when I had to fill in back entries, I had a hard time remembering what I’d did. I had a couple other lapses like this, usually because visitors change up my routine, and I’ve found that looking in my calendar and emails helps jog my memory so I can get most of the main things into the journal. But it’s far better to journal the day after the events happen, when things are still fresh. I’ve found that two days later is also fine, but at three days, you start to mix up the previous few days and forget some things. So if I don’t journal every day, I will make sure not to miss more than a day or two.
That’s it. Those three rules work very well for me, and have helped me keep a journal for the last several months.

Bonus Tips

And here are a few more tips (some were said in the paragraphs above as well):
  • Physical notebooks are better than computer journals, as you tend to forget computer programs or get distracted by the Internet. I also like the physical act of writing pen on paper, which I do far too little these days. That said, if you prefer a computer journal, keep it simple. I like text files rather than a dedicated journal program, because text files are pretty much forever, while other data formats can become obsolete if the journal program gets discontinued.
  • What physical notebook you use doesn’t matter. I use a pocket Moleskine notebook witha  soft cover. I use a hard cover pocket Moleskine for my workout log, which I’ve been using since last year so I can see my progress. Those are my only two notebooks. I’ve used other notebooks too, and they work well. I like the pocket notebooks because they’re easy to carry around if I want to journal on the train (which I don’t do often) and don’t take up much space on the table next to where I drink coffee.
  • Journal before you get on the computer in the morning. Recap your previous day. If you start on the computer, I’ve learned, you’ll forget about the journaling. Don’t put it off!
  • If you forget to journal for a few days, use your calendar and the emails you sent as reminders for what you did.
  • Remember, keep it short! Just a few bullet points of the main things you did. Here are my bullet points for Wed. Mar. 21, 2012 for example: 1. gym – end of week 6; 2. drafted ZH post on 3-step happiness algorithm; 3. wrote mnmlist post on being OK with things as they are; 4. bought groceries, gifts, decorations for Noelle & Chloe’s birthday party.
  • I like that I can look back and see what the highlights are of each day — this helps me to know if I’ve been focusing on important stuff, or frittering my days away.
I highly recommend keeping a journal. It takes minutes a day, and looking back on your life is something that seems deeply satisfying.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Steve Jobs - Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.  So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.  You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.  This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

Steve Jobs
-Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wall Street Journal, 1993...Steve Jobs

"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me.  Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful...that's what matters to me."

Steve Jobs
February 24, 1955 - October 5, 2011
American businessman, designer and inventor

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

John Glenn Love Story

For half a century, the world has applauded John Glenn as a heart-stirring American hero. He lifted the nation's spirits when, as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, he was blasted alone into orbit around the Earth; the enduring affection for him is so powerful that even now people find themselves misting up at the sight of his face or the sound of his voice.
But for all these years, Glenn has had a hero of his own, someone who he has seen display endless courage of a different kind:
Annie Glenn.
They have been married for 68 years.
He is 90; she turned 92 on Friday.
This weekend there has been news coverage of the 50th anniversary of Glenn's flight into orbit. We are being reminded that, half a century down the line, he remains America 's unforgettable hero.
1962: John Glenn orbits Earth
NASA celebrates 50 years in orbit
He has never really bought that.
Because the heroism he most cherishes is of a sort that is seldom cheered. It belongs to the person he has known longer than he has known anyone else in the world.
John Glenn and Annie Castor first knew each other when -- literally -- they shared a playpen.
In New Concord, Ohio, his parents and hers were friends. When the families got together, their children played.
John -- the future Marine fighter pilot, the future test-pilot ace, the future astronaut -- was pure gold from the start. He would end up having what it took to rise to the absolute pinnacle of American regard during the space race; imagine what it meant to be the young John Glenn in the small confines of New Concord.
Three-sport varsity athlete, most admired boy in town, Mr. Everything.
Annie Castor was bright, was caring, was talented, was generous of spirit. But she could talk only with the most excruciating of difficulty. It haunted her.
Her stuttering was so severe that it was categorized as an "85%" disability -- 85% of the time, she could not manage to make words come out.
When she tried to recite a poem in elementary school, she was laughed at. She was not able to speak on the telephone. She could not have a regular conversation with a friend.
And John Glenn loved her.
Even as a boy he was wise enough to understand that people who could not see past her stutter were missing out on knowing a rare and wonderful girl.
They married on April 6, 1943. As a military wife, she found that life as she and John moved around the country could be quite hurtful. She has written: "I can remember some very painful experiences -- especially the ridicule."
In department stores, she would wander unfamiliar aisles trying to find the right section, embarrassed to attempt to ask the salesclerks for help. In taxis, she would have to write requests to the driver, because she couldn't speak the destination out loud. In restaurants, she would point to the items on the menu.
A fine musician, Annie, in every community where she and John moved, would play the organ in church as a way to make new friends. She and John had two children; she has written: "Can you imagine living in the modern world and being afraid to use the telephone? 'Hello' used to be so hard for me to say. I worried that my children would be injured and need a doctor. Could I somehow find the words to get the information across on the phone?"
John, as a Marine aviator, flew 59 combat missions in World War II and 90 during the Korean War. Every time he was deployed, he and Annie said goodbye the same way. His last words to her before leaving were:
"I'm just going down to the corner store to get a pack of gum."
And, with just the two of them there, she was able to always reply:
"Don't be long."
On that February day in 1962 when the world held its breath and the Atlas rocket was about to propel him toward space, those were their words, once again. And in 1998, when, at 77, he went back to space aboard the shuttle Discovery, it was an understandably tense time for them. What if something happened to end their life together?
She knew what he would say to her before boarding the shuttle. He did -- and this time he gave her a present to hold onto:
A pack of gum.
She carried it in a pocket next to her heart until he was safely home.
Many times in her life she attempted various treatments to cure her stutter. None worked.
But in 1973, she found a doctor in Virginia who ran an intensive program she and John hoped would help her. She traveled there to enroll and to give it her best effort. The miracle she and John had always waited for at last, as miracles will do, arrived. At age 53, she was able to talk fluidly, and not in brief, anxiety-ridden, agonizing bursts.
John has said that on the first day he heard her speak to him with confidence and clarity, he dropped to his knees to offer a prayer of gratitude.
He has written: "I saw Annie's perseverance and strength through the years and it just made me admire her and love her even more." He has heard roaring ovations in countries around the globe for his own valor, but his awe is reserved for Annie, and what she accomplished: "I don't know if I would have had the courage."
Her voice is so clear and steady now that she regularly gives public talks. If you are lucky enough to know the Glenns, the sight and sound of them bantering and joking with each other and playfully finishing each others' sentences is something that warms you and makes you thankful just to be in the same room.
Monday will be the anniversary of the Mercury space shot, and once again people will remember, and will speak of the heroism of Glenn the astronaut.
But if you ever find yourself at an event where the Glenns are appearing, and you want to see someone so brimming with pride and love that you may feel your own tears start to well up, wait until the moment that Annie stands to say a few words to the audience.
And as she begins, take a look at her husband's eyes.


The Life Of Flowers : Video Clips From The Coolest One

Lovely Video.  Hope you enjoy.  Please mute Easy Listening Music prior to watching.


The Life Of Flowers : Video Clips From The Coolest One

Monday, March 19, 2012

5 Excuses That Keep You Unhealthy

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 08:06 AM PST
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete.
Each and every one of us, as a human being, is hardwired to choose the path of least resistance. We’re programmed to conserve energy for when we might need it and to avoid risk wherever possible, because that’s what it took for our ancestors to survive (and reproduce) in a world full of unknown dangers.
Today, it’s why the status quo — tested, predictable, familiar — is so comfortable. And it’s why we find change so difficult, even when our very lives depend on changing.
I’m referring, of course, to our health.
As Steven Pressfield and Seth Godin have so gracefully written, we procrastinate because somewhere deep down, we’re afraid to start. The resistance, or lizard brain, will fight tooth and nail to keep us right where we are. Because change is risky, and where we are is safe.
But when it comes to health, where we are isn’t safe. Known, sure. But not safe.
The excuses we use to justify one more pack of cigarettes, one more TV show, or another quick spin through the drive-through window (it’s convenient, and I had a rough day) are the tools of this fear. What we say to distract ourselves, to make it feel alright for now, is nothing more than a smokescreen.
It’s time to cut through the haze. What follows is a list of five of the most common, most debilitating excuses and fears that keep people unhealthy and powerless to change. Find the one that’s holding you back, and see it for the sham that it is.
1. “Before I can start, I’ve got to plan.”
Sure, planning is important. But right now, it’s just procrastination.
You know how it goes: “Before I start, I need to get workout clothes that fit. And shoes. And join a gym. And load some new songs on my iPod. Then I’ll get a meal plan and go shopping, and I’ll be ready to start!”
Maybe you do need all that stuff. But first, just start.
It’s easy: go outside and start walking or get on your bike. Go in one direction for just five minutes — fast when you want, slow when you want. Enjoy yourself — play — then turn around and come home. Do it again the next day, and the day after that, feeling free to gradually do more as your body allows you to.
Build some momentum by doing something small every day. Then, and only then, should you think about planning.
2. “I’m so out of shape, it’s overwhelming to think about getting healthy.”
Right now, don’t focus on getting in shape. The important thing is to take the first step.
Look at it as an experiment: commit to eating well or exercising for just one week, to see how it goes. Be curious and be playful, but really commit to it: set some ground rules, tell other people about it, and don’t cheat.
Forget any long-term health goals right now. Just take note of how you feel, paying particular attention to your mood and mindset — that’s where the changes will show up first.
When the time is up, congratulate yourself for sticking with it. If at this point you’re not excited to keep going, you can stop without feeling guilty and change your approach.
But maybe you feel lighter. More energetic. Happier. These incremental benefits are immediate, no matter how far away you are from whatever your ideal is.
So what would happen if you did this again for two weeks, or 30 days? Try it again, with the same strong commitment, and evaluate again when you reach the end.
The great thing about this approach is that it shifts the focus to the process, not the outcome, and at the same time prevents you from ever feeling like you’re locked into something that you don’t enjoy.
3. “I don’t know how to cook, nor do I have time for it.”
I believe you. You don’t have two hours each night to spend preparing a gourmet meal for your family, nor are you a master of matching flavors and textures to create beautiful, perfect dishes that are also healthy.
But I bet you can follow instructions. Find five minutes to search this site and others for simple recipes. Many won’t take you even half an hour to prepare.
Here are just a few examples of delicious, nutritious meals that don’t take much active time to make:
  • Smoothies
  • Beans and rice
  • A grain, a green, and a bean
  • Soup
  • Slow cooker stews
Look at cooking as an opportunity to work with your hands and to be present in the moment, focusing on that one thing only.
Enjoy the smells, the textures, the process. The occasional Sunday when I spend three hours in the kitchen making pasta or vegetable lasagna from scratch is the most meditative time of my entire week.
4. “People will laugh at me when I exercise because I’m out of shape.”
A few might laugh. They’ll do so because of some insecurity of their own. But most people are so distracted and focused on their own lives that they won’t even notice you.
Of those who do pay attention to you, the vast majority will be inspired, and they will envy your determination. No joke.
Five-million-plus people watch The Biggest Loser each week. Are they doing it for laughs? No, they watch because it motivates them, even if they never take action.
When people see you working hard to get in shape, it reminds them that somewhere, they’ve got that fight in them too. Without realizing it, even if you’re doing this only for yourself, you become a leader by example. People are drawn to that.
I know, it feels like everyone’s watching you, judging you. But trust me: inside, they’re cheering for you.
5. “I’d like to exercise with a group or class, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up.”
The quickest way to get better at something is to hang around people who are getting the results that you want. (You’ve heard it before, right? If you want to know your weight, add up your five closest friends’ weights, divide by five, and you probably won’t be far off.)
But with groups comes the fear of being “the weak one.” The one who can’t keep up, the one holding everyone else back. Most of us have been there at some time, and it’s no fun.
So how do you get past this fear?
Accept it and face it. Let the group know, beforehand, that you think you might have trouble keeping up. Tell them that if they need to go ahead, you won’t be offended, you’re just thrilled to work out with them and learn from them.
With that, it’s out in the open, no longer something to be ashamed of. Gone are the pain and potential injury of pushing yourself too hard in attempt to avoid embarrassment. And it probably won’t be long until you’re helping someone else who is new and afraid.
The time to take that first step is today. If a flaw in your excuse has been exposed, take advantage of it now, before your fear can come up with a better one.
Getting yourself to start is the hardest part. As you begin to experience results and your new habits are reinforced, it becomes easy. You’ll discover that the more energy you use, the more you have, and being healthy is actually really fun.
Sure, it’s possible that you’ll stumble at first. Getting in shape isn’t as easy as watching TV, or eating whatever you want. But that’s okay.
The trick isn’t to never fall down, it’s to never stay down. When you mess up, use it as an opportunity to adapt and improve, not as a reason to quit.
And when the excuses crop up, step back, smile to yourself, and see them for what they are — a last-ditch effort by the old you, the comfortable, change-fearing you, to go back to the way things used to be.
Stop believing your excuses. Start.
Matt Frazier helps people discover their inner athlete and the simplicity of a plant-based diet. Get fitness tips and healthy recipes at his blog, No Meat Athlete, or sign up for his free series on getting started with plant-based fitness.

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne - Creator of The Secret

Secret Scrolls Newsletter Logo

From The Secret Daily Teachings
Begin your day by feeling grateful. Be grateful for the bed you just slept in, the roof over your head, the carpet or floor under your feet, the running water, the soap, your shower, your toothbrush, your clothes, your shoes, the refrigerator that keeps your food cold, the car that you drive, your job, your friends. Be grateful for the stores that make it so easy to buy the things you need, the restaurants, the utilities, services, and electrical appliances that make your life effortless. Be grateful for the magazines and the books that you read. Be grateful for the chair that you sit on, and the pavement that you walk on. Be grateful for the weather, the sun, the sky, the birds, the trees, the grass, the rain, and the flowers.
May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
The Secret... bringing joy to billions

 Image Detail

Loss of Our Nation's Civility

There is a great deal of conversation in the press these days about the lack of civility in Washington. Politicians on both sides of the isle, especially the conservatives in each party, seem to have lost their ability to be civil and respectful.
The behaviors of our elected officials are embarrassing.
They have lost all balance. They are so locked in the absolute fundamental truth of their individual position and beliefs, they have apparently forgotten there is always truth to be found on both sides of any issue. Truth is always relative.
To forget this simple, civilized reality is a form of ignorance that our nation can not afford to ignore or tolerate. Ignorance is ignorance regardless of the strength of one's beliefs. Just because we strongly believe something to be true does not make it true.
The civilized concepts of respect, kindness, and civility have given way to angry sarcasm, name calling, and demeaning attacks on the character, ethics, morality and intelligence of anyone who dares to disagree with them.
The rampant level of primitive ego narcissism they are manifesting is turning our government into an adolescent high school food fight.
Drawing a rifle target on the chest of a political opponent and publishing that image in the public media reflects the same lack of values, ethics, and moral behaviors that middle eastern dictators are currently using toward those who dare to disagree or challenge their right to rule.
The values of free speech, the right to disagree, and the protection of individual freedoms are the ideals our nation is built upon.
Tolerating the rampant narcissism and primitive ego thinking process, or primitive ego consciousness, of our politicians is not a wise decision for us as voters to make. We are rapidly becoming part of an emerging global culture. We need to model a political process that reflects the higher ideals and values of our country's founders. The higher values and ethics of who we really are.
We are either a civilized nation in our behavior toward one another or we are not.
When we tolerate the level of incivility in our political process that we have been seeing lately, we are walking a very dangerous path toward violence and intolerance...a nation that has lost its moral and civilized grounding.
It's time to intentionally awaken and evolve our nation's collective consciousness. Our inner-child's primitive ego consciousness is simply not up to the task.
Mental health counselor and life coach Dick Rauscher writes Stonyhill Nuggets on paths to growth and healing and awakening our primitive ego to achieve true happiness and success in life. His articles focus on taking full responsibility for the lives we are creating for ourselves, developing the skills required to achieve happiness and become more successful in life, and incorporating the day-to-day psychological and spiritual practices needed to achieve a deeper and more authentic spirituality. http://www.stonyhill-nuggets.com/
Sign up to get his free newsletter here and receive a free article on ways to be happy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Photographer William Jordan IV - Nature Photographer
Spring 2012

"No one can see their reflection in running water.  It is only in still water that we can see."

Taoist proverb

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Henry David Thoreau

"Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame."

Henry David Thoreau

Happiness is...

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

Mahatma Gandhi

Carl Gustav Jung

Birth of a Bull Pine Seedling by Maxie

 "The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely."

Carl Gustav Jung

The Hand You Are Dealt

"Life is like a game of cards.  The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will."

Jawaharlal Nehru

Blessings of Mankind

"The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach; but we shut our eyes, and like people in the dark, we fall foul upon the very thing we search for, without finding it."

Seneca (7 B.C.-65 A.D.)