Wednesday, December 24, 2014

This is Happening so That You Can Grow

We all have moments in our lives where it feels like life is against us. It can be shocking and scary when it seems like everything is going wrong all at once.
You thought life was great and then somehow, without even trying – your life gets turned upside down.
And if you think it’s just you – think again. Life feels like it turns against everyone.
Why?
Well, depending on your answer to that question, everything can change.
You see – in moments of massive uncertainty we must allow ourselves a greater perspective than just to give up, throw in the towel and decide that life is against us.
That is the path of the dabbler, the dreamer, and an idealist who never makes it.
The difference between those who live their dreams and those who just dream is found in how each responds to life throwing them a curveball.
And a curveball will come. They always do.
The question is, how do you respond to the upsets, the upheavals and the scary things you didn’t see coming?
At a certain point, instead of expecting that things should go your way and getting stressed out when they don’t – we mature. We mature to understand that sometimes the greatest gifts are the setbacks, the moments that cause us to freak out and the times where we feel most challenged.
We understand that life is not about comfort, but growth. And growth means that we must hold steady amid massive uncertainty.
So whenever times get tough, or I feel like life is against me, I pause and decide that what’s happening is for my growth – rather than for my downfall.
I pay attention to what I am grateful for. I ask to be guided to the lesson I am meant to learn – and then I choose to see everything that happens next as an answer to my prayer.
There will be moments where you will be challenged and push to the limit. Our aim should not be to avoid these moments, but rather meet them head on with courage, faith and a mindset that is looking for the opportunity to grow.
Looking for growth will allow massive miracles to come into our lives. Finding the opportunity to grow will allow us to find meaning in the seeming chaos and to emerge stronger, wiser and with more gratitude for the journey.
Here’s how you can turn upheaval into growth:
1. Focus on what you do have; focus on what’s working.
2. Ask for guidance; pray for revelation as to the meaning in the chaos.
3. Surrender the outcome to your Higher Power or the Divine.
4. Choose to see everything that’s happened as a vehicle for growth, rather than a reason to stop.
5. Take life each day at a time. Don’t future trip. Be present with what’s happening now.
6. Don’t get caught in fear. Keep moving, remember, live is movement.
7. Open up and ask for help. You aren’t an island. You do have resources; all you have to do is look for them.
I hope this helps with the seeming chaos of your life. If you look for it, you will find that what’s happening is happening for your growth, not your downfall.
Mastin Kipp



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How is your heart doing?

The Disease of Being Busy
BY OMID SAFI 

I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.”
Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do.”
The tone was exacerbated, tired, even overwhelmed.
And it’s not just adults. When we moved to North Carolina about ten years ago, we were thrilled to be moving to a city with a great school system. We found a diverse neighborhood, filled with families. Everything felt good, felt right.
After we settled in, we went to one of the friendly neighbors, asking if their daughter and our daughter could get together and play. The mother, a really lovely person, reached for her phone and pulled out the calendar function. She scrolled… and scrolled… and scrolled. She finally said: “She has a 45-minute opening two and half weeks from now. The rest of the time it’s gymnastics, piano, and voice lessons. She’s just…. so busy.”
Horribly destructive habits start early, really early.
How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our children? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?
Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored? Do we have to love our children so much that we overschedule them, making them stressed and busy — just like us?
What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?
How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?
Somewhere we read, “The unexamined life is not worth living… for a human.” How are we supposed to live, to examine, to be, to become, to be fully human when we are so busy?
This disease of being “busy” (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.
Since the 1950s, we have had so many new technological innovations that we thought (or were promised) would make our lives easier, faster, simpler. Yet, we have no more “free” or leisurely time today than we did decades ago.
For some of us, the “privileged” ones, the lines between work and home have become blurred. We are on our devices. All. The. Freaking. Time.
Smart phones and laptops mean that there is no division between the office and home. When the kids are in bed, we are back online.
One of my own daily struggles is the avalanche of email. I often refer to it as my jihad against email. I am constantly buried under hundreds and hundreds of emails, and I have absolutely no idea how to make it stop. I’ve tried different techniques: only responding in the evenings, not responding over weekends, asking people to schedule more face-to-face time. They keep on coming, in volumes that are unfathomable: personal emails, business emails, hybrid emails. And people expect a response — right now. I, too, it turns out… am so busy.
The reality looks very different for others. For many, working two jobs in low-paying sectors is the only way to keep the family afloat. Twenty percent of our children are living in poverty, and too many of our parents are working minimum wage jobs just to put a roof over their head and something resembling food on the table. We are so busy.
The old models, including that of a nuclear family with one parent working outside the home (if it ever existed), have passed away for most of us. We now have a majority of families being single families, or where both parents are working outside the home. It is not working.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?
What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.
I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.
Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence.
Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.
I teach at a university where many students pride themselves on the “study hard, party hard” lifestyle. This might be a reflection of many of our lifestyles and our busy-ness — that even our means of relaxation is itself a reflection of that same world of overstimulation. Our relaxation often takes the form of action-filled (yet mindless) films, or violent and face-paced sports.
I don’t have any magical solutions. All I know is that we are losing the ability to live a truly human life.
We need a different relationship to work, to technology. We know what we want: a meaningful life, a sense of community, a balanced existence. It’s not just about “leaning in” or faster iPhones. We want to be truly human.
“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”
How exactly are we supposed to examine the dark corners of our soul when we are so busy? How are we supposed to live the examined life?
I am always a prisoner of hope, but I wonder if we are willing to have the structural conversation necessary about how to do that, how to live like that. Somehow we need a different model of organizing our lives, our societies, our families, our communities.
I want my kids to be dirty, messy, even bored — learning to become human. I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye, touch one another, and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing? I am taking the time to reflect on my own existence; I am in touch enough with my own heart and soul to know how I fare, and I know how to express the state of my heart.
How is the state of your heart today?

Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.”



Friday, November 7, 2014

You Become What You Believe

“We have to come to a new way of understanding biology. This 'new' understanding has actually already been in the leading edge of science for 10 years now. It takes at least 10 or 15 years for science to take a fact from its first inception and get it out into the public so that the people can understand it. That means anything in current textbooks is at least 10 or 15 years old. What your going to hear is whats going to be the future textbooks.” — Dr. Bruce 



http://www.e-motionthemovie.com/bruce-lipton-interview/

“You can live a life of fear or live a life of love. You have the choice! But I can tell you that if you choose to see a world full of love, your body will respond by growing in health. If you choose to believe that you live in a dark world full of fear, your body’s health will be compromised as you physiologically close yourself down in a protection response.” — Dr. Bruce Lipton 



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

We'll see...

“A boy is given a horse on his 14th birthday. Everyone in the village says, “Oh how wonderful.” But a Zen master who lives in the village says, “We’ll see.” ‘The boy falls off the horse and breaks his foot. Everyone in the village says, “Oh how awful.” The Zen master says, “We’ll see.” The village is thrown into war and all the young men have to go to war. But, because of the broken foot, the boy stays behind. Everyone says, “Oh, how wonderful.” The Zen master says, “We’ll see.” - Via Charlie Wilson's War


 ‘We’ll see’ is a story that means different things to different people, some people say the story is about fate, or that everything happens for a reason, others say it is about experience and we should not jump to conclusions.
The message I take from this story is that when others around you jump to conclusions experience shows it’s sometimes better to step back say ‘we’ll see’ and take some time to consider the situation.
We should also remember that what we get is what we focus on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Minimalists

Be Happy With Less Stuff
Stuff. So much of our lives are spent wanting it, buying it, trying to keep it. We work 40-hour or more workweeks so we can fill our drawers and purses and closets and storage units and attics with stuff. We take pictures of our stuff to post on Instagram, spend weekends picking out more stuff to buy, talk about our stuff at cocktail parties.
Sure, we need some stuff. We need to eat stuff, use stuff, and wear stuff. 
But how much stuff do we really need? And how much of our stuff actually brings value to our lives? That's the question Ohioans Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus began asking themselves when, in their late 20s, they realized they were outwardly successful but inwardly miserable.
The duo, who call themselves the Minimalists, recently penned a memoir titled Everything That Remains. 


Minimalism, by the way, is described by the guys on their website as "a tool used to rid yourself of life's excess in favor of focusing on what's important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom."




The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you.





Monday, September 29, 2014

Time To Learn

A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master:
"If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen."
The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years."
The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast -- How long then?"
Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years."
"But, if I really, really work at it. How long then?" asked the student.
"Thirty years," replied the Master.
"But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student. "At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?"
Replied the Master," When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path."


"The game is not about becoming somebody, it's about becoming nobody." 
— Ram Dass


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Be Love Now





Imagine feeling more love from someone than you have ever known. You're being loved even more than your mother loved you when you were an infant, more than you were ever loved by your father, your child, or your most intimate lover—anyone. This lover doesn't need anything from you, isn't looking for personal gratification, and only wants your complete fulfillment.

You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don't have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success— none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.

Imagine that being in this love is like relaxing endlessly into a warm bath that surrounds and supports your every movement, so that every thought and feeling is permeated by it. You feel as though you are dissolving into love.

This love is actually part of you; it is always flowing through you. It's like the subatomic texture of the universe, the dark matter that connects everything. When you tune in to that flow, you will feel it in your own heart—not your physical heart or your emotional heart, but your spiritual heart, the place you point to in your chest when you say, "I am."

This is your deeper heart, your intuitive heart. It is the place where the higher mind, pure awareness, the subtler emotions, and your soul identity all come together and you connect to the universe, where presence and love are.

Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not "I love you" for this or that reason, not "I love you if you love me." It's love for no reason, love without an object. It's just sitting in love, a love that incorporates the chair and the room and permeates everything around. The thinking mind is extinguished in love.

If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love. Then you and I are truly in love, the state of being love. That's the entrance to Oneness. That's the space I entered when I met my guru.

Years ago in India I was sitting in the courtyard of the little temple in the Himalayan foothills. Thirty or forty of us were there around my guru, Maharaj-ji. This old man wrapped in a plaid blanket was sitting on a plank bed, and for a brief uncommon interval everyone had fallen silent. It was a meditative quiet, like an open field on a windless day or a deep clear lake without a ripple. I felt waves of love radiating toward me, washing over me like a gentle surf on a tropical shore, immersing me, rocking me, caressing my soul, infinitely accepting and open.

I was nearly overcome, on the verge of tears, so grateful and so full of joy it was hard to believe it was happening. I opened my eyes and looked around, and I could feel that everyone else around me was experiencing the same thing. I looked over at my guru. He was just sitting there, looking around, not doing anything. It was just his being, shining like the sun equally on everyone. It wasn’t directed at anyone in particular. For him it was nothing special, just his own nature.

This love is like sunshine, a natural force, a completion of what is, a bliss that permeates every particle of existence. In Sanskrit it's called sat-cit-ananda, “truth-consciousness-bliss,” the bliss of consciousness of existence. That vibrational field of ananda love permeates everything; everything in that vibration is in love. It's a different state of being beyond the mind. We were transported by Maharaj-ji's love from one vibrational level to another, from the ego to the soul level. When Maharaj-ji brought me to my soul through that love, my mind just stopped working. Perhaps that's why unconditional love is so hard to describe, and why the best descriptions come from mystic poets. Most of our descriptions are from the point of view of conditional love, from an interpersonal standpoint that just dissolves in that unconditioned place.

When Maharaj-ji was near me, I was bathed in that love. One of the other Westerners with Maharaj-ji, Larry Brilliant, said:

How do I explain who Maharaj-ji was and how he did what he did? I don’t have any explanation. Maybe it was his love of God. I can’t explain who he was. I can almost begin to understand how he loved everybody. I mean, that was his job, he was a saint. Saints are supposed to love everybody.

But that's not what always staggered me, not that he loved everybody—but that when I was sitting in front of him I loved everybody. That was the hardest thing for me to understand, how he could so totally transform the spirit of people who were with him and bring out not just the best in us, but something that wasn’t even in us, that we didn’t know. I don’t think any of us were ever as good or as pure or as loving in our whole lives as we were when we were sitting in front of him.

Welcome to the path of the heart! Believe it or not, this can be your reality, to be loved unconditionally and to begin to become that love. This path of love doesn’t go anywhere. It just brings you more here, into the present moment, into the reality of who you already are. This path takes you out of your mind and into your heart.

Excerpted from BE LOVE NOW by Ram Dass

Listen these inspirational talks :)
http://youtu.be/8WPcpb2GHR4

http://youtu.be/Xxj0jWQo6ao

NAMASTE




Friday, September 26, 2014

All of Me Loves All of You


The human heart feels things the eyes cannot see, and knows what the mind cannot understand. - Robert Valett 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Healthy Relationship

What is a healthy relationship?



A healthy relationship is one where two healthy and whole human beings are attracted to one another and choose one another as companions on life’s journey.

Before we can talk about relationships, we have to focus on one person, because when you have two people the equation gets a little more complicated. Let’s take the simplest part of the equation first — just you.

When you’re whole, you don’t need someone else’s validation to be happy — because you accept yourself. You don’t need someone else to love you in order to feel loved — because you love yourself. That’s not to say you don’t love to be loved by others, or want others in your life — but you already provide the foundation of what you need, all by yourself, by accepting and loving yourself.

When you’re whole, you are not insecure, because you aren’t worried so much about the other person leaving. Sure, it would be a great loss for your loved one to abandon you, but you’d be fine on your own. You wouldn’t be “alone” because you have the best company in the world — yourself. You know you’d survive, be happy, do great things, even without that person. That’s not to say you don’t want your lover to stay — but you aren’t always afraid of the possibility of that person leaving.

When you’re whole, you don’t need the other person to check in with you all the time, because you’re happy on your own. You’re OK if they go do their own thing, because you’re secure in your relationship and you’re perfectly fine doing your own thing too. You don’t need reassurance of that person’s love, because you’re secure.

A relationship, by definition, can only be as healthy as the individuals in it. Two broken, needy, insecure, and/or immature individuals cannot “complete” one another. When they form a relationship, they will both end up with twice the brokenness, neediness, insecurity, and/or immaturity they had before.

The individuals in a healthy relationship do not need each other. Each of them is a whole person by themselves.  A solid relationship is two whole people coming together because they love each other’s company. They come together not out of need, but simply because they enjoy each other’s company and want to spend life together.

Only healthy people are truly free to choose one another. Broken people always think they are choosing, but they are driven by their emptiness and deep need for the other person. “I need you,” as romantic as it sounds, actually means, “I am not free to choose not to be with you.”

When one person in a relationship believes they are healthy and whole, but that the person they are with is broken, it is almost certainly the case that the first person is not healthy and whole. Healthy and whole people rarely choose unhealthy and broken people as partners. Brokenness is obvious to them, and is a turnoff.

Broken people, however, will be deeply attracted to other broken people. To a broken person, brokenness in others feels like love. If both are needy and insecure, there will be constant fights about why you didn’t check in with me, why you’re so distant today, why you’re talking to that guy, what you’re doing when you go out with your friends, etc.

The work of saving a broken relationship is always the work of the broken individuals becoming healthy and whole. As that happens, the relationship will naturally begin to heal. It is next to impossible for broken people to be in a healthy relationship, and it is just as unlikely that whole people will be in a broken relationship. The only exception to this is when a broken person in a broken relationship finally sees their brokenness clearly and does what must be done to become whole.

But if both people are whole, they can be apart and are secure enough not to worry about the other person, and are happy being alone. They can come together and be happy, enjoying each other’s company. They don’t need each other, but love each other and care for the other person’s happiness — not worrying so much about their own happiness, because they are secure that they’re already happy.

The respect each other, and themselves. They are compassionate for each other, and themselves.


“When we are in a truly loving relationship, we receive the gift of being known and accepted. We become more, not less, of who we are. We receive the space in which to bloom. This is how we know we are in a loving relationship. We are blooming, and the one we love is blooming as well."




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pay Attention

“Difficulties come when you don't pay attention to life's whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you'll get a scream”


The economy is in flux; so are we. For years I’ve noticed that the universe speaks to us in whispers. If we ignore the whispers, we get pebbles of warnings. If we still don’t pay attention, we get bricks of problems, and if we’re really hardheaded, eventually the entire wall comes crashing down. This is a pattern I’ve seen repeated so often, in every area of life, that I know for sure when you don’t pay enough attention to the pebbles, it’s just a matter of time before the bricks show up.

The international financial crisis is the brick wall that’s going to force us to deal with the reality of what truly matters. And it will force us to face the spiritual crisis of figuring out who we are and who we choose to be.

Our spending and greed for the material things that we think will define us have been forcibly put in check. We have a wake-up-call opportunity to get real and be real with each other by finding ways to show love, give love, be love, without spending a whole lot of money. It’s a chance for us to take a long, hard look beneath the surface, into the culture of excessive more, more, more-ness that got us into this mess in the first place.

It will take more than a bailout to get us on the right track. We need to make a shift in the way we think about our lives. We may have to search deeply to recognise what matters. Sometimes when I ask people what it would take to make them happy, they don’t know what to say. They forge an answer about family and friends, and yet their lives are about everything else.

Everything in life has meaning. The bigger the fall, the greater the lesson.

Barn’s burnt down – Now I can see the moon.
 –Masahide (17th-century Japanese poet)

Oprah 


Friday, September 19, 2014

Change the Way You Look at Things......

Change the Way You Look at Things and the Things You Look at Change

By Michael Michalko

We see no more than we expect to see.

People tend to think of perception as a passive process. We see, hear, smell, taste or feel stimuli that impinge upon our senses. We think that if we are at all objective, we record what is actually there. Yet perception is demonstrably an active rather than a passive process; it constructs rather than records "reality.” You construct how you choose to see the world.

Think for a moment about a bee. A bee settling on a flower has stung a boy. And the boy dreads bees and says the object of the bee is to sting people. A philosopher admires the bee, sipping honey from the cup of the flower, and says the object of the bee is to sip the nectar of the flower. A beekeeper says the object of the bee is to gather honey. Another beekeeper, who has studied bees more closely, says the object of the bee is to gather honey to feed the young ones, and to rear a queen, and to perpetuate the race. The botanist believes the object of the bee is to fertilize the pistil of the flower. Another sees the hybridization of plants and believes the object of the bee is to contribute to that end.

As you can see, the perception of the observer depends upon the observer’s own assumptions and perceptions. That is not to say we experience totally different things but different aspects of things. The Hindu’s view of a cow in no way corresponds to that of a canning factory meat packer, and in Istanbul they keep their pigs in the zoo instead of making them into sausage.

We build our own reality. Even colors are products of our mind. Vincent Van Gogh told his brother he could see twenty-seven different shades of grey. Who knows if my red is the same as your red? Even if the two most distinguished color experts in the world were asked to dress up Santa Claus, and one were asked to pick the coat and the other the trousers you can be sure the top will not exactly match the bottom.

An oft-quoted story about Pablo Picasso is about the time he was hanging around an exhibition of his paintings in Paris. He was approached by a man who asked Picasso why he didn’t paint people the way they look. “Well, how do they look?” asked Picasso. The man took a photograph of his wife from his wallet and handed it over. Picasso looked at the picture; then handing it back, said, “She is awfully small isn’t she. And flat too.” We have to accept the fact that much of what seems real to us is governed by our own perceptions.

WE SEE NO MORE THAN WE EXPECT TO SEE. Our stereotyped notions block clear vision and crowd out imagination. This happens without any alarms sounding, so we never realize it is occurring. Not long ago, a man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin.  It was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.  During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station.

One man stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on to meet his schedule. A little later, a woman threw a dollar into the till and without stopping continued on her way. The first person who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only the children it seemed wanted to stop and listen.

When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it.  No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world.  He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.00.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment. Because he was playing in a subway station, people assumed he was a street musician playing for handouts and paid no attention to his music. They saw and heard what they expected to see and hear from a street musician.
Thumbs up to the children who had the awareness they were listening to extraordinary music.

COUNT THE FINGERS IN THE ILLUSTRATION. 

We make instantaneous judgments every day all predicated on what we see and hear based on our past experiences. For example, did you notice anything unusual in the illustration? No. Count the fingers







PRIMING THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS. I have always been fascinated by how easily we can change the way we look at things. What made psychologist Sigmund Freud famous was not the discovery of a new science about the subconscious, but in fact, was his way of representing the subject in a new way. Sigmund Freud would “reframe” something to transform its meaning by putting it into a different framework or context than it has previously been perceived. For example, by reframing the “unconscious” as a part of him that was “infantile,” Freud began to help his patients prime the way they thought and reacted to their own behavior.

Psychologists Ap Dijksterhuis and Ad van Knippenberg at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, asked half a group of volunteers to carry out a simple mental exercise that involved imagining the mindset of a typical university professor. The other half imagined a football hooligan. All then had to answer some general- knowledge questions. The professor group got 6o per cent of their questions right, while the hooligan group got only 41 per cent.

Focusing on the body rather than the mind, John Bargh and his colleagues at New York University asked their volunteers to do a mental task involving words relating to old age, such as "wrinkled", "grey" and "bingo". A second group was shown words unrelated to old age. The researchers then said the experiment was over and secretly recorded the time each participant took to walk down the long hallway to the exit. Those with old age on their mind took significantly longer to walk down the corridor.
So it seems that a just a few moments' thinking time can prime you to perform either better or worse than normal at both mental and physical tasks.

Remarkably, you can even lessen pain by changing the way you look at it. Researchers at Oxford University discovered a way using inverted binoculars to reduce pain and swelling in wounds. Remarkably, when you look at a wound through the wrong end of binoculars, your perception of the wound makes it seem much smaller. It’s this perception that acts like a painkiller and diminishes pain. According to the researchers, this demonstrates that even basic bodily sensations are modulated by your perception.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Struggle is Good!

Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
  
 But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.


As you go through life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.