Archive for November 11, 2012

Activate Your Best Mindset


These mindset-based questions form a powerful tool you can apply to any challenge, adversity, and opportunity. They are especially well suited to the obesity challenge, and making a permanent shift from The Obesity Ghetto to an enlightened Second Hand Fat mindset.

The Control, Ownership, Reach, Endurance Questions can be used in the most informal ways, infused in everyday conversation, virtual or face-to-face. You can use them in a tweet, text, posting, email, or Skype. Conversely, you can formally structure entire, game-changing meetings with others around these Control, Ownership, Reach, and Endurance Questions, to harness both personal and professional issues, big or small.

You may recall that one of the huge downsides of The Obesity Ghetto mindset and Complex, Accelerating, Global, Epidemic is it can induce a sense of being overwhelmed, even helpless, and as a result paralyzed, given the apparent scope, difficultly, magnitude, and pace of the obesity challenge. The Control, Ownership, Reach, Endurance Questions are precisely devised to equip you to bust down this Complex, Accelerating, Global, Epidemic or any perceived constraints, impossibilities and improbabilities.

Control: What are all the facets of this situation (the obesity challenge) that we can at least potentially influence?

There are those who consider the obesity issue impossible. To them, I ask one of my favorite questions, “Clearly solving this is not possible. But if it were, how would we do it?” Example, I could eat less, exercise more, or ask my overweight neighbor to go for a walk. Traction begins with ignoring all the aspects of the obesity issue we believe we cannot affect, and listing, then becoming obsessed with those we at least potentially could, or can. This rule applies across the board. Whether for your own health, your loved ones’, or regarding the grander issue, ask this Control, Ownership, Reach, and Endurance Question. Notice this question doesn’t ask for a definitive conclusion that specific things can, for sure be influenced. It only asks for all the facets you can “at least potentially influence.”

Ownership: Where and how can I/we step up to make the most immediate, positive difference in this situation (regarding my health, even the grander issue)?

First, define your Health Gap. This is the distance between your current health-related habits and what you already know to be ideal health-related habits. Then, list every answer to this question: If I were coaching someone I really cared about on how to close that gap, specifically what would I advise that person to do? Given where you are now, versus where you could/should be, what specific changes to diet, exercise, lifestyle sleep, stress, relationships, work, happiness, sex, meaning, etc. would I recommend? List them all. Next, list all of the people you could positively influence as your health-related habits improve and your gap, no matter how big or small, begins to close. Keep those people in mind as a source of inspiration for even more fully owning your own health, and making it a personal cause that goes beyond you to all of them. Pick the top 2-3 actions off your list that answer the question: Where and how can I/we step up to make the most immediate, positive difference in this situation regarding my health, even the grander issue?

Reach: What can I/we do to contain, or minimize the potential downsides and mitigate Second Hand Fat? What can I/we do to optimize the potential upsides gaining the full potential benefits of awareness, exercise, diet, energy, setting an example, etc.? Of all the potential downsides or consequences of Second Hand Fat, which one scares, frustrates or concerns you most? What can you at least begin to do now, to limit, contain, and shrink either the magnitude or likelihood of that consequence?

For example, if your biggest fear or concern related to Second Hand Fat is seeing how your partner’s suffering from type two diabetes affects his or her and maybe your health, energy, and overall quality of life, think of all the things you can do to reduce the chances that it gets worse, that you continue to enjoy life, regardless, and that others: children, peers, etc. are not negatively influenced by this condition. If you’re biggest frustration is seeing your child heading toward obesity, you might decide to go for a family walk after dinner, buy a used bicycle at a garage sale, limit the amount of candy in the house, etc.

What is the single biggest benefit you expect or hope to gain from refusing to let your mindset be a cause of Second Hand Fat? Is it the people you’ll inspire or influence? Is it your energy, longevity, happiness, attractiveness, or self-esteem? Pick the one that most excites you. What can you do to accelerate and increase the chances for the realization of that exciting benefit?

Endurance: What do I/we do to get past this personally or collectively as quickly as possible?

Pace influences energy, optimism, and results and results turn the flywheel, creating more positive momentum and results. Given this force, how can you harness it to your advantage? Consider the actions you’ve selected from the prior Control, Ownership, Reach, and Endurance Questions. For each action, ask yourself, if had to do it sooner, how quickly could you begin? Is there any reason one or more of your top three actions couldn’t begin today? Even right now?

Let’s be clear and honest. “Creating a plan” or “Trying to be more aware,” is not action. In fact, if your action includes the word “try,” it’s not nearly as likely to happen as if it includes a word like “do.” Also, the brain responds to intense specificity. Saying, “This holiday season I should probably drink less alcohol, eat more sensibly, and exercise more,” is relatively meaningless, especially when compared to, “Starting this evening, I will limit my self to one glass of wine, taste but not finish dessert, cut back on carbs, and go for walks with my sweetheart after dinner, at least four nights per week.” Doing something, taking real strides, no matter how small, creates momentum and pace toward real results. Having your Second Hand Fat mitigating actions inspired by the idea of contributing to and positively influencing others is a great way to get outside your own skin, and get inside the enlightened Second Hand Fat mindset.

Ultimately, the Second Hand Fat Mindset helps us bust out of thickening the walls of The Obesity Ghetto Control, Ownership, Reach, Endurance, before it’s too late. Fueled by the obstacle-busting, possibility-spawning Control, Ownership, Reach, Endurance Questions, the Second Hand Fat mindset naturally inspires us to individually and collectively own our health. It compels us to live up to the elevating moral choice to do all we can to contribute a healthy body to our loved ones and society, for as long as we can, in spite of all the very real ways in which the world around us may be conspiring to prevent that from happening.

The Obesity Ghetto (TOG)

CORE: Control, Ownership, Reach, Endurance, the four components that make up a person’s AQ®, or response to adversity.

Complex, Accelerating, Global, Epidemic (CAGE)

Control, Ownership, Reach, Endurance CORE)

Second Hand Fat (SHF)


Posted November 11, 2012 by dranilj1 in Lifestyle

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Live Science


Orange ClusterCredit: NASAThe star cluster Cygnus OB2 contains more than a thousand young stars, according to observations by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra has observed more than 1,700 sources of X-ray emissions in this star cluster, with about 1,450 of those thought to be baby stars. Here, the x-ray emissions are visible in blue. Red in the image comes from infrared data collected by NASA’s Spitzer Telescope, and the orange clouds are optical data from the Isaac Newton

Guardian of the Lava

What are you doing at my rock outcrop? Geology fieldwork sometimes brings scientists face-to-face with local fauna, like this curious red fox living in a lava field on Iturup Island. This volcanic island is part of the disrupted territory between Russia and Japan, with both nations claiming it as their own

Icy Paradise

Snow, ice and clouds blend together in this dreamy image of Antarctic mountains taken by a NASA ice survey team. NASA’s Operation IceBridge aims to study our planet’s polar ice. This photo comes from an IceBridge DC-8 flyover of the Getz Ice Shelf

Seriously Spooky Squid

Talk about a sea monster. This 1889 illustration of a vampire squid paints these mysterious creatures in a creepy light — fitting, given that the scientific name for vampire squid, Vampyrotheuthis infernalis translates roughly to "vampire squid from hell."
In fact, vampire squid are the only known cephalopods that don’t hunt for their prey (so much for their namesake). Instead, they’re the
sea’s garbage disposals, eating marine detritus that floats down to the depths like snow.

Beautiful Bay

Clew Bay, Ireland, is said to have an island for every day of the year. In fact, these islands are drumlins, elongated ridges formed by retreating glaciers. The "drowned drumlins" in Clew Bay are being eroded on their seaward side.

Buddhism and Vedanta


The Vedanta Philosophy is the foundation of Buddhism and everything else in India, and the Advaita Philosophy of the modern school has a great many conclusions similar to those of the Buddhists. Of course, the orthodox Hindus will not admit that, because to them the Buddhists are heretics. But there is a conscious attempt in Vedanta to stretch out the whole doctrine to include the heretics also.

Vedanta has no quarrel with Buddhism. The ideal of Vedanta is to harmonize everything. With the Northern Buddhists we have no quarrel at all. But the Burmese and Siamese and all the Southern Buddhists say that there is a phenomenal world, and ask what right we have to create a noumenal world behind this.

The answer of Vedanta is that this is an incorrect charge. Vedanta never contends that there is a noumenal and a phenomenal world. Vedanta says that there is only one reality. Seen through the senses, it appears phenomenal, but it is really the noumenal all the time. Take the case of a rope mistaken for a snake in a dimly lit room. If we see the rope, we do not see the snake. It is either the rope or the snake but never both. So the Buddhist statement of our position-that we believe there are two worlds-is entirely false. They have the right to say that the reality can only be phenomenal but no right to deny others’ right to say that the reality is noumenal.

Buddhism does not want to have anything except phenomena. A phenomenon is an observable event, something that can be observed by the senses and the mind. The phenomenal world is the world we perceive through the senses and through imagination and dreams. As opposed to this is the noumenal world of "things-in-themselves." According to some philosophers; most notably Immanuel Kant [1724-1804]), we can only know the phenomenal world; the noumenal world is not directly accessible to human experience. In phenomena alone is desire. It is desire that is creating all this. Modern Vedantists do not hold this at all. We say that there is something that has become the will. Will is a manufactured something, a compound, not a "simple." There cannot be any will without an external object.

We see that the very position that will created this universe is impossible. How could will have done it? Have you ever known will without an external stimulus? Desire cannot arise without stimulus or, in modern philosophic language, of nerve stimulus. Will is a sort of reaction of the brain, what the Samkhya philosophers call Buddhi. This reaction must be preceded by action, and action presupposes an external universe. When there is no external universe, naturally there will be no will; and yet, according to your theory, it is will that created the universe. Who creates the will?

Will is coexistent with the universe. Will is a phenomenon caused by the same impulse that created the universe. But philosophy must not stop there. Will is entirely personal; therefore we cannot go with Schopenhauer at all. Will is a compound–a mixture of the internal and the external. If we were born without any senses, we would have no will at all. Will requires something from outside, and the brain gets some energy from inside; therefore will is a compound, as much a compound as the wall or anything else. We do not agree with the will-theory of these German philosophers.

Will itself is phenomenal and cannot be the Absolute. Will is one of the many projections. There is something that is not will but is manifesting itself as will. That I can understand. What I do not understand is that will is manifesting itself as everything else. That doesn’t make sense because we cannot have any conception of will as separate from the universe. When that something which is freedom becomes will, it is caused by time, space, and causation. Take Kant’s analysis. Will is within time, space, and causation. Then how can it be the Absolute? One cannot will without willing in time.

If we can stop all thought, then we know that we are beyond thought. We come to this by negation. When every phenomenon has been negated, whatever remains, that is It. Whatever remains cannot be expressed and cannot be manifested, because the manifestation will be-again-will.

Posted November 11, 2012 by dranilj1 in Vedanta Philosophy

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Clutter Is Stuck Energy


It makes no difference if the spaces are the external ones in which we live and work or the more vast internal ones that we fill up with a noisy, chattering, worrying mind. Clearing any thing or thought opens the channels to that part of us that is always clear, spacious, and not attached; like the blue sky above the clouds that never changes. So how do we release the stuff, reduce the noise, and connect with that which makes our heart’s sing? One minute at a time – with awareness. Awareness…It changes everything.

At the heart of it, clearing is not about tackling the unsightly messes, the clothes that don’t fit, the emails that invade your inbox, and to-do lists that get longer by the second. Clearing is not fixing a problem or reaching for a solution. It is what happens in between. It is the space between the problem and the solution where the real juice is, where the real clearing happens and the only way to release what isn’t working for you is to enter that sometimes scary zone called feeling. Feeling of overwhelm, resistance, attachment, guilt, sadness, worry, despair, shame…Feeling it all – without judging it as good or bad or taking it personally.

Moving things from one place to another; clothes to drawer, magazines from the floor to the reading basket, button that needs sewing to do-do pile, bills to desk drawer or wherever they go in your home, dirty clothes to hamper; moves stuck energy. Sometimes the release of stuck energy doesn’t feel very good; especially if the thing has been sitting around for a while. Add mindfulness and subtract self-judgment and you have just created a clearing practice that is both sustaining and sustainable. Take a moment to look away from this computer screen. Do you see anything that is out of place? If so, use this moment to put it away. Or take sixty seconds to move a pile, or round up one area. Push chairs in, turn off lights, make the bed, cap the toothpaste, put the toilet seat down, match shoes with mates, pick up the dirty clothes, and put the clean dishes away. What does it feel like to consciously place something where it belongs? What does it feel like to put the same thing in its home every day?

Is there a situation that feels unresolved? Are you thinking on something that you can’t figure out, doesn’t add up, or make sense? Do you feel stuck, rattled, jangled? If so, try sweeping, reach for your broom and sweep for one minute today and notice what it feels like. Sweep a floor, a room, the front steps, or cobwebs that are hard to reach. You can use the practice of sweeping to invoke a fresh start, anchor an intention, and open a path to a solution. In the spirit of this Japanese saying, “Let the past drift away in the water,” wash your hands mindfully to release the strings or attachments of your day and/or to bring in cleansing energy. Wash a dirty dish or two: smell the soap, feel the cleansing warmth of the water on your hands, gently place the clean dishes in the drainer to dry. Slow down. Breathe. Allow.

Ease; for such a little word, it lingers and expands if you say it out loud. With very little effort, it works magic on your nervous system. Try it now; stop, take an easy breath in and repeat the phrase “I choose ease.” Anytime you notice yourself feeling jangled, rattled, overwhelmed, anxious, or ill at ease, simply repeat the phrase for one minute, and notice the quality of your breathing; is it shallow…is it full; before, during, and after doing this practice. De-clutter a purse, a wallet, a drawer. Throw outdated bulletin board flyers, lifeless food item from the freezer or refrigerator, recycle newspaper, magazine, or store catalogue. Clap, rattle, or ring a bell to clear stuck energies and/or to prepare a space for something new. On a piece of paper make a list of things, or issues that weigh you down, and burn it or just imagine it burning with gratitude. What does it feel like just reading these words? How’s your breathing?

There are the obvious external clues of clearing success, of course: an emptier bookcase, a new love interest, a job offer; but what about the internal markers? How spacious and detached and present can you be when the next family reunion rolls around? Or a child becomes seriously ill? The next time your button gets pressed or you notice yourself getting lost in emotional drama, take a breath and replace the personalizing “I am…” or “I have…” thoughts with the more neutral declarative: “This is…” For example, “I’m worried” would be “This is worry,” “I have a headache,” would be “This is a headache,” and so on. Notice how easy or hard it is to let go. Notice if this practice helps you become more of an observer of the emotional “weather” instead of the weather.

What are you grateful for? Take one minute to stop, breathe, and express gratitude for your life, your home, your body, and your world. Practice this exercise especially when you feel down or hopeless. See if by shifting the focus on the idea of having rather than lacking you observed something you hadn’t noticed before. If this exercise brings up some resistance, take it as a sign to stop, feel, and observe the emotional weather without doing anything to fix or manage it. If you want to support yourself in feeling lighter, start laughing. Execute one small thing that makes your heart sing like read: love madly, activates your senses, and/ or makes you laugh out loud. Fake a laugh if you have to get the energy moving. The more joy you feel the more you will radiate lightness and attract lighter people.

What’s going through your mind right this second? Do you feel the same as you did when you began scrolling through this post? Is your breathing the same or different? Adopt any one-minute practice into your daily life, every day for a week or six weeks, or even a year and watch what happens. You may notice that your buttons don’t get pressed as much. You may feel inexplicably happy for no particular reason.

You may be pleasantly surprised by what you attract into your life, remember every moment is a new moment. Consistency, not quantity, is the key to freedom and lasting change.

Strength to Pursue Dreams


We all need the strength to pursue our dreams. Read on these motivations and inspirations to help you tap into the courage and fortitude within, and remember, whatever your fear or challenge of the moment, this too will pass. Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, when the funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must, but don’t you quit. Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint on the clouds of doubt, and you can never tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems afar. So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit; it’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit. Don’t get discouraged; it is often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock. The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot. Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow." You must have long range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short range failures. Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, "Press on," has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. Action is the antidote to despair. You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

Our society is so caught up in winning; we forget that most of the great men and women in history have, at one time or another, failed at something, often repeatedly, and discouragingly. But each failure is nothing more than a brick in the wall that forms the foundation of our success. We can’t forget that. Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Row out to meet it.

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