Archive for March, 2007

Our MIND.

Think about it. Our mind is constantly fluctuating from one thought to another and perhaps, back to the original thought. The mind is always leading. Always demanding. Incessantly pointing us into various directions beyond our conscious will. Our mind might mislead us into negative thoughts periodically. Even whilst we are asleep, our mind directs us into dreams and nightmares.

Can our mind ever be calm, stable and clear? Why is it important and essential that we are to be calm and be able to achieve inner clarity in our mind?

All thoughts consume enormous amount of energy or “qi”. More so with negative and ill thoughts. They suck and sap away our life-force necessary for us to maintain wellness and sanity of our mind, body and spirit. Each single living moment, such negative energies or the qi are slowly and surely being drawn away from us; the qi we are so in need of to conserve our well-being, health and peace.

Pranayama is one very simple way to do it. And it does not take just a few minutes of each day for us to attain inner clarity and solace. Pranayama is a breathing practice used by yogis for centuries; proven to give each one of us who do it, harmony and balance within our ourselves and everything that evolves around us. Pranayama removes fluctuations of our mind, gives us immense inner clarity, stillness and peace within ourselves.

After each pranayama, we can observe the calmness of our breath and the silence of our mind. These are invaluable and easily obtainable gifts we can generously bestow upon ourselves if we cared to do this daily practice. We re-establish and re-balance our inner life-force and rejuvenate ourselves after the harsh beatings and polluted environment our mind, body and spirit continuously are subjected to on a daily basis.

Benefits are endless and these include –

-Hair will regrow within two months of practice;

-Body will go to it’s ideal weight by itself;

-Face becomes bright and luminous;

-Lost vision will return;

-Removes fear/anxiety of any kind –
– Aligns both hemisphere of the brain for full brain functionality
– Creates a deeper sense of well-being and harmony
– Helps alleviate migraines and headaches and frazzled states of being
– Works great in situations where you find yourself anxious, board and need grounding; and

-Blockages in the arteries of the heart are removed and the arteries become clean, making circulation unimpeded.

I strongly recommend to you to discover this sheer pleasure, state of bliss and this definite self-fulfilling, self-enriching journey into a peaceful, healthy and wealthy mind, body and spirit. A Wonderful And Meaningful Life.

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Great introduction to pranayama by reviewer who delivers workshops on these types of topics, March 13, 2007
Reviewer: Patrick D. Goonan “www.meaningful-life.us” (Pleasanton, CA) – See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)
I am a personal growth coach who is educated in biology, biochemistry, biofeedback and psychology. I give workshops on stress management, coach executives on this topic and also do workhshops that combine these techniques with biofeedback. This gives you some background on me and my perspective that I’m writing this review from.

As someone who works with these techniques and sees the results via biofeedback with myself and others, I highly recommend this very inexpensive book as a brief overview and introduction to the topic. The author covers a lot of ground in a small space and the instructions are clear and simple.

If you practice these exercises as they are explained, they will cause effects in your physiology. Regulation of the breath is very tied to the nervous system and to heart rate variability which correlates with resilience. If you buy this book and get serious about a practice, I would pick up some additional material to augment this text such as the SCIENCE OF BREATH and THE LIGHT ON PRANAYAMA. The first of these is a more Western explanation by a respected yoga institute and the second is a classic text with a lot of detail.

I also highly recommend getting a home biofeedback program such as FreezeFramer or Healing Rhythms. You can read the descriptions of each and determine what is best for your needs. However, this additional step will really heighten your awareness and help you to develop more control over your internal states.

Excellent., February 10, 2007
Reviewer: Sanjay Raj “OmsDaddy” (Woodbridge, NJ) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
i still need to learn more to understand completely the given material, but a very lucid book and a good source.

Valuable Book, February 24, 2006
Reviewer: Manish A. Patel (Chicago, IL United States) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Instead of wasting money on Iyengar’s books, this is safer, simple way of doing PRANAYAMA. This book is worth it’s weight in gold.

Alternet Nostril Breathing is the best for weight loss, however Ujjaini works, too, but little slowly.

Following are two techniques:
Alternate Nostril Breathing
(Anulom Vilom Pranayama with no breath retention) This pranayama (control breathing) is done with alternate breathing from the left and right nostrils for cleansing of Nadis. (energy meridians). Seated in a convenient posture, start off with slow inhalation from the left nostril first by closing the right nostril with the middle of right hand thumb ,and after fully filling the lungs, (not the belly breathing) breathe out slowly from the right nostril by closing the left nostril with the two ( left hand middle and ring) fingers. Now breathe in from the right nostril by closing the left nostril in the above manner and exhale from the left nostril by closing the right nostril with the right thumb. It completes one cycle. Do this for three minutes for two months then gradually increase to 5 minutes.

Do it two hour after eating or drinking. (Do it on empty-stomach) Do not eat for 15 minute after you are done. Better to lie down for five minutes after you are done. If you limit practice to maximum of five minutes, it will be the best.

The very first sign you will experience is lightness in the body and clearer thinking.

The practice of this breathing for a period of three to four months can open up thirty to forty percent of the heart arteries’ blockages. This pranayama alleviates all the diseases of the body, leads to the state of joy, enthusiasm for living , fearlessness, peace of mind and deep meditation.

Benefits:
-Hair will regrow within two months of practice.
-Body will go to it’s ideal weight by itself.
-Face becomes bright and luminous.
-Lost vision will return.
-Removes fear/anxiety of any kind.
– Aligns both hemisphere of the brain for full brain functionality
– Creates a deeper sense of well-being and harmony
– Helps alleviate migraines and headaches and frazzled states of being
– Works great in situations where you find yourself anxious, board and need grounding
-Blockages in the arteries of the heart are removed and the arteries become clean, making circulation unimpeded.

Ujjayi Pranayama

1. You can do this sitting, standing or walking anywhere anytime.

2. Inhale slowly through both nostrils, keeping the throat slightly constricted so as to make a gentle sound that will help you to feel the breath in the throat. The sound will remind you of ocean waves washing up the beach. Concentrate on the feeling of the breath moving in and out through the throat.

3. During inhalation do not allow abdomen to bulge out, let the chest expand.

4. After completing inhalation slowly exhale. (Either by both nostrils or by left nostril) During exhalation chest should go inside and abdomen should remain steady.

Remember :-

1. While doing Ujjiayi air should touch the throat.

2. Breath must be mentally locked in chest area. (Do not do belly breathing)

3. After practicing it for few days, knowing your limitations, keep the ratio between inhalation and exhalation 1 : 2.

4. In easy Ujjiayi Pranayama, inhalation and exhalation can be practiced by both the nostrils.

Benefits:
This simple practice has a subtle influence on the whole body. It calms the mind and has a soothing effect on the nervous system. Ujjayi is very useful for people with high blood pressure as it slows down the heartbeat. It has subtle effects on the flow of life force in the astral (energy) body and helps you to be aware of its movement within the sushumna (astral spine).

Video 1 Kapalbhati Pranayama – BSK Lyengar Pranayama

Video 2 – narrated in Tamil – Kapalbhati Pranayama – An ancient way to keep an individual’s body fit. 3:56 minutes running time


Video 3
– Conscious breathing – 2:28 minutes running time

Video 4 – Pranayama with Masterji II – 7:27 minutes running time – Change your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies through simple, focused yogic breathing techniques. Enjoy the first 2 beginners lessons of this dynamic yogic breathing instructional dvd – Brought to you by yoga.india.yogeleme.

Wellness. This is such an important thing to have. It is something so priceless. People pay loads of money to achieve a state of wellness. A simple yet forgotten way to go down the path of wellness is to ensure our colon health that is one of the keys to our wellness. It only take just a little time and we can receive abundant positive improvement in our health.

In our years leading to today and moving on into the future, we are literally taking in plenty of undesirable elements found in food that we consume. Slowly and surely, toxins and layers of food residue line our colon. As this layer thickens over the years, we come heavier and our health problem multiples and increases. Problems such as colon cancer, flatulence, cholesterol, colon discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, and occasional pains in the intestinal tract can be eradicated with this simple cleansing habit. For anyone who has yet to cleanse his or her colon, do make it a habit to do so. One will immediately find that his or her weight will come down and after a short while, the weight can be maintained. Nutritional absorption will vastly improves and unhealthy conditions would heal.

There are a number of ways to cleanse the colon. Methods include forced passing of water up into the colon and drinking cleansing formal available in the marketplace. The best way is really to have a natural process of cleansing. I use a specific yoga cleansing practice combined with consuming a natural product in the morning on an empty stomach. Since then, I don’t any uncomfortable conditions including adding on weight, stomach pains, constipation, stomach aches and other abdominal and intestinal related concerns. For friends whom I have recommended colon cleansing, they have also found tremendous benefits and weight control.

Try it now to realize that such a simple habit of colon cleansing can bring enormous benefits in health leading to overall wellness of body, mind and spirit.

Think about the following sayings.

The old proverb put it this way: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” The Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius put this yet another way:

“As thy thoughts are so will thy mind be also; for the soul takes its coloring from thought.”

“If you are pained by an external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you―but your judgment about it.” (The Meditations, 160 AD).

For those who come by to visit my blog, who are much more conversant in Cantonese and would like to know what NLP is in Cantonese, here are 4 videos covering different aspects of the subject by Cheung Wai Tsz. Enjoy the programs.

Video 1 NLP in General.

Video 2 – Part 1 張慧慈 講NLP – 建立完善結構的結局 (第七集)Part 1

Video 3 – Part 2 張慧慈 講NLP – 建立完善結構的結局 (第七集)Part 2

Video 4 – NLP and Self-Confidence 張慧慈談自信

I have meant to post this writing up a few weeks ago and I did not get down to doing so. Reason was merely that I was not inspired to do it yet!! Now I reckoned would be the right time. heehee.

Each one of us operate on a primary mode of being a visual (sight) person, kinestatic (feeling / emotional), auditory (hearing), or digital auditory (logic).

First of all, “Visual”. A visual person will think “visually”. He would paint a picture in his mind and think of colors before he or she decides to do something or answers a question. To move such a person, we will have to employ words like “think for the colors”, “look at the lyrics of the song”, visualized the applicability of that idea”.

Kinestatic. This person is particularly into feeling most of the time. He or she has to dig deep into his or her feeling to be able to react to a situation or an question. Operative words or phrases would be “feel this richness in the texture”, “touch the surface and you will notice…”, “embrace this idea”.

Auditory. He or she is primarily into using his or her hearing ability more than using imagination or getting into an emotional state to respond. To speak to this person in order for his or her ease of understanding, we will have to use words like “do you hear me?”, “I heard what you are saying”, “that sounds like a great idea”, “I want you to hear me out”.

Digital auditory. This person has to dig very deep into himself or herself for a rational and logical reason. Such a person will most likely be into accountancy, quality assurance and control, research, audit. Words applicable to establish rapport and understanding are “dig deeply into yourself and find me an answer”, “discover the reason that resides in you”, “deep within you, lies the motivation”.

The following video demonstrates how we could discover which category a right-handed person would would fall into. It holds true most of the time. Try it and you will discover the language to getting into rapport and establishing understanding.

Imagine, using the visual words on a child when he or she is auditory. That would not work. In addition, this child if asked to read a book, will not be able to understand what was written fast enough. Give him or her an audio disc and this child will getting into what is being communicated instantly.

Just imagine talking to an artist who is most likely visual and use the auditory digital or auditory words. Rapport is bound for failure.

Many couples could not understand each other because the exchange of the words used were all wrong. Visualize how effective the husband and wife could understand and rightly respond to each other, if they could only know how to use the right words on each other.

Try it. Watch TV and watch the actor’s or actress’ eye movement when certain questions were asked. How our unconscious mind tell the truth about ourselves. Interesting….watch for future thoughts on this subject.

Video – Eye Patterns

Now, let’s take just a moment to think. Is it our brain who acts funny when we refuse to want to do something? Or is it our physically self that become resistant to doing it? Or is it the way we are wired up that we form states in response to situations that we are not encouraged to what to do something? The subject is mind-twisting. Read how Dr. Michael Hall looks at it and how he intrigues us with his perspective of the brain and how it triggers us into certain states. A very provocation article, one of many of his.

By L. Michael Hall, Ph.D., cognitive psychologist, international NLP trainer, entrepreneur; prolific author and international training; developer of Meta-States and co-developer of Neuro-Semantics. http://www.neurosemantics.com.

The Brain Game
How Do We Run Our Own Brain?

Brains follow directions. They take the directions that you give them and they follow them.

“John, did you see that red, white and blue cat yesterday? Yes, red, white and blue― in fact, the American Flag colors were bright red, white, and blue. Someone in the neighborhood must have thought it would be a patriotic thing to do. Where did I see it? On Linda’s yellow car. It was being chased by a pair of French Poodles across the greenbelt by the swimming pool. That was just before King Kong climbed to the top of the school and beat his chest at the circling plane.”

Provide a little description and the brain goes to work representing the information on our internal mental screen. Like a movie director, brains use the information as instructions for our mental Cinema. This explains why the following are very important questions for our states:

What directions are you giving your brain?

What are the default instructions that you’ve learned to give your brain?

What instructions did your parents or teachers provide you about yourself, life, others, etc.?

How useful, ecological, healthy, balanced, valuable, true, etc. are those instructions?

Do those instructions create empowering states for you?

Would you want to give those instructions to your children?

Do they map out an exciting and loving life?

Why are these questions so important? Because the quality of our lives is a function of the quality of the information processed by our brain. The quality of that information flows from the quality of its instructions. The most important thing you do in life then are the instructions that you give your brain. Are the instructions those that you would use to create a world-class movie?

Recently a young man wrote to me.

“I’m an extremely shy person. When I see a social situation, I avoid it because I say to myself that I’ll have nothing to say and that I’ll be a complete idiot because they will find me boring, then I’ll feel depressed. So I just don’t go. Every time I make a mistake, I feel stupid, then depressed. And that’s what causes me to procrastinate. It’s really stupid, and I know better, and I see it causing me to produce sub-optimally. I feel like these are insurmountable problems….”

I copied the words from the email, cut and pasted them back into my reply. I then asked him to step back from the words and view them as brain instructions.

“Just pretend for a moment that these are instructions for your brain. Are these ideas healthy or sick ones? Would you recommend this way of thinking? Suppose the most popular kid at the university thought this way. How much of a party would these instructions make his or her life?”

There’s a principle in this. Namely, feed your brain toxic ideas and you enter into a toxic world. Your brain will go there because that’s what brains do. Brains go places. Just this week I caught a Brain (thank God it wasn’t mine) going to “Worst Case Scenario!” The person was talking about terrorism in the world. He then entertained unimaginable scenarios. Then he freaked out. Then he said, “This shouldn’t happen!”

And I can tell you, these instructions did not put him in a very resourceful state.

Brains use words, pictures, sounds, tones, volumes, smells, tastes, all kinds of things as the basis for swishing us places. Mention a word and off your brain goes. But where? It depends on your learning history, experiences, memories, imaginations, hopes, etc. Brains are phenomenal at linking things. They do so very, very quickly. Actually, this is one of the chief problems we have with our brains. The problem is not that they don’t learn, but that they learn too quickly. It’s just what they learn that often times is just not true or useful.

Brains are also incredible instruments that never shut down. Even in sleep, we dream as brain wave activity continues. This becomes a problem if we don’t give the brain lots of interesting things to process. The stimulus hunger of brains will trigger them to play the old B-rated movies or hallucinate freely.

Cartoon Video – Anatomy Of The Brain

Video – A Scientific Way To Look At The Brain

Our Brain

Brain 101: How to Play the Brain Game for Fun and Profit

L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.

The Brain Game
How Do We Run Our Own Brain?

So you want to run your own brain? Good for you. What a wonderful objective! And so rare. Many people talk about running their own brain and taking charge of their own mind, but just watch them when criticized or insulted. They go to pieces. Let one of their closely held beliefs be questioned, and watch out. Sudden it becomes semantic reaction time. They explode with rage, anger, stress, fear, shock, etc. If they truly “run their own brains,” how is it that they lack state management skills in the moments when managing one’s reactions really counts?

Running our own brain, and thinking freely in independent ways apart from rehashing worn-out or spoon fed thoughts necessitates several things. It necessitates that we develop mindfulness about our brains (or more accurately, our minds) so that we actually develop state management skills. It means we learn to play a new Game, The “Running My Own Brain” Game. So, with that in mind:

* What do you need to understand about brains to be able to run yours?
* Would you like to play the Brain Game?

SEVEN BRAIN FACTS

Here are seven things about your brain. They provide a description about how brains work. They also establish an understanding of the Game of Running Your Own Brain and so lead to the Rules of the Game.

#1: Brains Follow Directions

Brains follow directions. They take the directions that you give them and they follow them.

“John, did you see that red, white and blue cat yesterday? Yes, red, white and blue― in fact, the American Flag colors were bright red, white, and blue. Someone in the neighborhood must have thought it would be a patriotic thing to do. Where did I see it? On Linda’s yellow car. It was being chased by a pair of French Poodles across the greenbelt by the swimming pool. That was just before King Kong climbed to the top of the school and beat his chest at the circling plane.”

Provide a little description and the brain goes to work representing the information on our internal mental screen. Like a movie director, brains use the information as instructions for our mental Cinema. This explains why the following are very important questions for our states:

What directions are you giving your brain?
What are the default instructions that you’ve learned to give your brain?
What instructions did your parents or teachers provide you about yourself, life, others, etc.?
How useful, ecological, healthy, balanced, valuable, true, etc. are those instructions?
Do those instructions create empowering states for you?
Would you want to give those instructions to your children?
Do they map out an exciting and loving life?

Why are these questions so important? Because the quality of our lives is a function of the quality of the information processed by our brain. The quality of that information flows from the quality of its instructions. The most important thing you do in life then are the instructions that you give your brain. Are the instructions those that you would use to create a world-class movie?

Recently a young man wrote to me.

“I’m an extremely shy person. When I see a social situation, I avoid it because I say to myself that I’ll have nothing to say and that I’ll be a complete idiot because they will find me boring, then I’ll feel depressed. So I just don’t go. Every time I make a mistake, I feel stupid, then depressed. And that’s what causes me to procrastinate. It’s really stupid, and I know better, and I see it causing me to produce sub-optimally. I feel like these are insurmountable problems….”

I copied the words from the email, cut and pasted them back into my reply. I then asked him to step back from the words and view them as brain instructions.

“Just pretend for a moment that these are instructions for your brain. Are these ideas healthy or sick ones? Would you recommend this way of thinking? Suppose the most popular kid at the university thought this way. How much of a party would these instructions make his or her life?”

There’s a principle in this. Namely, feed your brain toxic ideas and you enter into a toxic world. Your brain will go there because that’s what brains do. Brains go places. Just this week I caught a Brain (thank God it wasn’t mine) going to “Worst Case Scenario!” The person was talking about terrorism in the world. He then entertained unimaginable scenarios. Then he freaked out. Then he said, “This shouldn’t happen!”

And I can tell you, these instructions did not put him in a very resourceful state.

Brains use words, pictures, sounds, tones, volumes, smells, tastes, all kinds of things as the basis for swishing us places. Mention a word and off your brain goes. But where? It depends on your learning history, experiences, memories, imaginations, hopes, etc. Brains are phenomenal at linking things. They do so very, very quickly. Actually, this is one of the chief problems we have with our brains. The problem is not that they don’t learn, but that they learn too quickly. It’s just what they learn that often times is just not true or useful.

Brains are also incredible instruments that never shut down. Even in sleep, we dream as brain wave activity continues. This becomes a problem if we don’t give the brain lots of interesting things to process. The stimulus hunger of brains will trigger them to play the old B-rated movies or hallucinate freely.

#2: Brains Externalize Instructions

We can see a person’s internal world of ideas and frames by noticing the person’s external Games. External life reflects internal frames. The behavioral, speech, and action Games that we play on the outside are expressions of our internal frames of mind. They go together. Games and Rules of the Games.

The old proverb put it this way: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” The Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius put this yet another way:

“As thy thoughts are so will thy mind be also; for the soul takes its coloring from thought.”
“If you are pained by an external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you―but your judgment about it.” (The Meditations, 160 AD).

Brains manifest internal representation into the external world so that we externalize our internal frames and representations. What does this mean? Namely, that our external world will only be as exciting, vibrant, dramatic, and powerful as our internal frames of mind. So, as you decorate your internal world of mind, imagination, and memory with hopes, desires, wonders, delights, etc., you alter the quality and content of the instructions that you give to your brain.

This brings up several excellent questions for those of us who want to run our own brain to create a quality life:

What kind of images, sounds, words, sensations, etc. do you have running on the inside of your brain?
What kind of internal movies are you showing in the Cinema of your Mind?
Who does your interior decorating?
Does your internal world of frames need some better interior decorating?

#3: Brains Run on Representations

The cognitive and neuro-sciences have discovered that brains represent our external sensed experiences. It is not that we literally have an internal movie screen in our mind, yet it seems that we do. This phenomena of consciousness is how we experience thoughts and awareness’s. It seems that we internally recall what our home, car, work, friends, parents, dogs, etc. look like, sound like, smell like, feel like, taste like. This sensory awareness on the inside of our brain has led neuro-scientists to designate parts of the brain the visual cortex, auditory cortex, the cortex where we process smells, tastes, sensations, balance, etc.

Korzybski and others noted that we operate upon the world, not directly, but via a map of the world. In NLP, Bandler and Grinder revolutionized psychology by putting the foundation of thought in terms of the sensory representations systems and using these modalities of awareness as the first “languages” of the mind. This facet of running our own brain seems so simple, yet it is so profound.

If we picture a beautiful day with blue sky and billowy white clouds and a green grass lawn facing the white sands of a gorgeous ocean view and imagine feeling the warm ocean breeze blowing through our hair and the smell of the salt water and the sounds of children playing and enjoy our favorite drink while getting a neck and back massage from our special loved one …

Well, it doesn’t take long before our body and neurology responds to those representations as if they were instructions about how to feel. Because brains run on representations, the more expressive, vivid, dramatic, and sensory-specific, the easier it is for us to tell our brains where to go and what to feel. Then the screen play is clearer and easier to follow.

Our brains represent things as it were on a mental screen of the mind. It’s like there’s an internal movie playing and we fill in the sensory details of that movie. Of course, we do not play out everything in that Cinema. We can’t. We can’t even input all that comes in. Our eyes only scan a very narrow part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our ears only receive a very narrow band of sound wave frequencies. So we have to be pretty selective, as a movie director, about what we play on our internal Cinema. Choose well. It’s your brain.

#4: Brains Transition In and Out of the Present Moment

With that last induction (three paragraphs above), did you leave where you are now and go somewhere else? If you didn’t, perhaps you could use the words to do that. Try it out. Because we represent things, we can represent realities that are not immediately present and go there. This is the foundation of all day-dreaming, night-dreaming, fantasizing, learning, creativity, invention, thinking, conceptualizing, mathematizing, theorizing, etc. This is what we humans do best. We can leave our current situation and travel to distance places, times, and worlds.

We call this thinking. It’s also hypnosis. It’s also trance. It’s many things: imagination, fantasy, creativity, and hallucination. This means that we are not stuck or limited to his present moment. We can represent things not present, never present, and even impossible things. What freedom of mind we have! It’s a freedom of consciousness that’s unique to our species. We have a consciousness that can transition from our current state to other states, hence the word “trance.” Anytime we shift our awareness to something that is not part of our current awareness, we enter a trance state.

This means that most of our states of mind are trances. We mostly live in hypnotic states not sensory aware states in this present moment. Hypnosis is the norm, our default situation, not present time sensory acuity. We call hypnosis or trance “downtime” in NLP because we are down inside ourselves thinking, feeling, and experiencing other times, places, people, and ideas. We call present time sensory acuity “uptime” because we are “up” and noticing what our eyes see, ears hear, skin feels, etc.

“Hey, Tom! Tom, Earth to Tom!”

“What?”

Our brains love to zone out. Doesn’t yours? It happens when you drive on long trips, it happens even when you drive to the grocery store. It happens when you wait in line, in an elevator, and when you’re listening to a speech. Brains do that. It’s no big deal. Well, it’s not unless you have no guidance or control over it. Then it is a big deal. If you lack awareness of when you are present and when you’re off on some mind-trip, then you are doing out-of-control hallucinating.

We all hallucinate. Those who do so mindfully and by choice are our greatest scholars, inventors, creators, designers, teachers, CEOs, etc. Those who don’t do it by choice suffer from under-achieving and the ineffectiveness of not being able to manage their own mind. They don’t run their own brains.

#5: Brains Induce States

Brains put us into neurological states. They affect our physiology, breathing, movement, and internal chemistry. To work up a good mad, we only have to think angry thoughts of injustice and violation. We only have to think about a dangerous threat and off we go into a fear state. And some representations of sexuality can induce our body to experience desire and lust.

Brains do this because they are part of the body. They sit at the top of the spinal cord and nervous system and bring in all of the nervous impulses processed by the end receptors. Out of the structure of our multi-layered brains emerge our sense of awareness we call “mind.” Mind is an emergent property in the neurology of our brain. So it is always mind-body or body-mind, and never one without the other.

This explains why we mostly think or represent ourselves into our states but why we also can act our way into states. This gives us two royal roads into a mind-body state of consciousness whether it is confidence and joy and love or fear, anger, and sadness. We can use mind and all of our internal representations and we can use body (breathing, posture, movement, activity, etc.).

What state are you in? What state do you go into when any given stimulus or trigger occurs? You need look no further than the instructions you give yourself at the mental dimension or what you do in terms of your posture, muscle tension, breathing, etc. at the physiological dimension.

#6: Brains Go in Circles

Not only do our brains represent the world, go places, and put us into states, but brains also do flips, they roll over, they flip back on themselves, they go in circles. As there are feed forward and feedback loops in the physical structure of the brain so that nervous impulses are sent to the thalamus and the amygdala they are simultaneously passed on to the escorted and after processing there back to the lower brain structures. It’s all inter-connected. We even have an associative cortex that keeps everything connected with everything else so that we have more cortical connections in the three trillion brain cells than atoms in the universe.

No wonder we loop around. No wonder we can worry about our humor and wonder if we are caring too much and then become afraid of our worry and then think something must be wrong with us that we are worry about something so silly as that. We get caught up in down spirals of negative thoughts and can become obsessive compulsive. We can get caught up in positive spiral of thoughts and suffer from insomnia due to our excitement.

Our brains are not strictly logical. To think in a straightforward way and to stay on that path for more than a few seconds is very difficult for our brains. That’s why mathematics and formal logic seem so foreign to us. It’s not the natural habit of our mind. We think in circles. Our brains go around in loops and spirals. We keep reprocessing the same tired old thoughts.

This reflexivity is what allows us to layer thought upon thought, feeling upon feeling, thought upon feeling, memory upon imagination, fear upon anger, dread upon worry, joy upon learning, etc. This creates the whole domain of our meta-states―our states of thoughts and feelings about other thoughts and feelings. And that’s what creates the layering effect of our awareness so that we can create great complexity in our experiences.

We begin with a reference experience, bring it in and represent it, then develop thoughts and feelings about that, and so on until what was “out there” becomes a frame of reference, a frame of mind and then the very frameworks of four personality and orientation. This creates the Rules of the Game, or our highest frames of mind.

#7: Brains Frame Things

This is one of the greatest powers of our brain for health and sanity and for insanity and destructiveness. Our brains frame. They do so to create contextual meaning. Things, events, people, even words do not mean anything in and of themselves. It takes a brain to create meaning, a “thing” that does not exist out there but is a production of the brain.

Actually, the brain creates two levels of meaning. Associative meaning arises when we link up one thing with another thing. What does a cookie mean? It depends on what you have associated with a cookie. It could mean a sweet or junk food. It could mean reward or lack of nutrition. It could mean delight and fun, it could mean threat to my diet. It could mean survival, it could mean fat.

Because brains link ideas, images, feelings, etc., things easily become associated. This creates triggers or anchors. One thing (a sight, sound, sensation, word, etc.) triggers another thing. Stimulus― Response. In this way we create structures of the mind that we call understandings or knowledge. These are not “things,” but organizations of associations―how we have sequenced or ordered the frames in our movies.

What does an “authority figure” mean? Where does your brain go when you think about an “authority figure?” What state does it evoke? Pleasant or unpleasant? Resourceful or unresourceful? Just thoughts … connected in your brain to memories, awareness’s, meanings.

Then there is contextual or frame meaning. Once we have linked up and associated things and bring that association into our mind as our frame of reference, we develop higher level thoughts about it. We call these ideas “concepts.” In this way we now look at things through a conceptual frame of mind. It becomes a filter. We call them meta-states and meta-programs. This establishes a mental context for thinking and feeling. This is how we turn associations into higher level maps. Doing so establishes the mental Rules of the Games that we then play.

We first associate a harsh tone of voice with being spanked. Later we develop ideas and concepts that people who strain their vocal chords are mean, hurtful, and nasty. Then we develop higher frames that “criticism is bad,” “confrontation always ruins things,” “I’m sensitive to criticism,” “I cannot handle that tone of voice,” etc. These thoughts create the higher frames of mind about an event and semantically load that event. So when someone strains the vocal chords, the meanings I experience in relation to that event puts me into very unresourceful states. All of this happens so quickly that on the inside it seems like and feels like “the criticism” (or harsh tonality) makes me upset, angry, or frustrated. This is how we set up and play the Games that we do.

Brains deal with data overload by making generalizations. They create categories for items; they organize things into groups. This allows us to develop contextual meanings from our frames, giving us an even higher way to interpret things.

“Oh, that’s just information. Good. For a minute I thought that was criticism.”

How we categorize a thing determines what it “is” to us― in our neurology. Yet as we frame, so we become. What we organize on the inside, in-forms us. We are all psychologically organized by our belief frame, value frames, identity frames, decision frames, etc. And the thing about the brain framing is that as we frame, so we play the frame games that we do.

HOW TO PLAY THE BRAIN GAME

Now that you know about brains (minds), what they do and how they work, you’re ready to play the Brain Game. This is the Running Your Own Brain Game, one of the original visions of NLP. With Neuro-Semantics we take this even further to run our own brain at the highest levels of the mind (The Secrets of Personal Mastery, 2000).

Rule #1: Quality Control Your Brain’s Instructions.

Consider anything that isn’t Top-Notch Quality for your Brain as Absurd.

Did I mention that brains are stupid? At least in one sense they are very stupid, in the aspect of quality. In that area, they are less intelligent than stomachs. Really. After all, if we feed our stomach garbage, it at least knows how to vomit. Not so the brain. Feed it garbage and it doesn’t think twice, it just processes the garbage. Feed it toxic ideas, poisonous thoughts, limiting beliefs, irrational conclusions, and inaccurate mapping and it doesn’t know any better than to represent it, assume it is real, and then believe it. Brains themselves are not discriminating about quality, at least not near as much as the stomach. Whether the information is accurate, useful, true, productive, hurtful, stupid, etc., it doesn’t seem to matter.

So, given this stupidity of brains, we have to take charge of the Quality Control of the information we feed it. We call this “running an ecology check.” Reality test the value, health, and balance of an idea in the whole system of your body, relationships, energy, etc. This is the first Rule of the Game.

If you don’t do this, prepare yourself for trouble because trouble, problems, ill-health, incongruent, sabotage, conflict, etc. you will get. This Brain Game Rule says,

“Anything that does not create personal power, health, balance, joy, compassion, wealth, love, etc. is absurd.”

Do you play the Game of Life by that rule?

I highly recommend it.

Consider anything that your brain produces in your body, emotions, speech, behavior, relationships that puts you in constant conflict, that keeps repeating patterns that don’t work, that creates incongruity, ineffectiveness, unresourcefulness, etc. as absurd. Then stop it! If you follow this first rule, your life will probably radically change and transform in a matter of weeks. This is an extremely powerful and pervasive Rule.

If what you are doing, whether in communication to yourself or others, whether in relationship to your work, career, relationships, health, etc. is not working as an ongoing pattern, STOP. To keep repeating long term patterns that don’t work while hoping for different results is a practical definition of “insanity.” It is absolutely ludicrous to keep replaying the old movies of hurt and pain in the theater of your mind. Wasn’t once enough? It’s ludicrous because while the first time it happen to you, after that first time you have been doing it to yourself! It’s your brain doing it. It’s not happening “out there” anymore. If you’re still watching that B-rated movie, and you are the director of the movie.

Quality control your thinking, higher frames of mind, beliefs, states, etc.

Does this enhance my life over the long-run?
Does this empower me as a person?
Does this make life a party?

This Rule will radically challenge everybody still whining over childhood aches and pains, feeling like a victim to a failed marriage or business, or blaming others for their lack of success. This Rule enables you to live in a different way and to play a different Game― a more passionate and ferocious Game, one where you move out into life looking for opportunities and taking risks and playing to your strengths.

Rule #2: Rise Up in your Mind to Become Aware of the Games

You Only Get to Run Your Own Brain if You have Meta-Awareness

Everybody does not get to run his or her own brain. There is one primary condition for getting to run your own brain, you have to know that you have a brain to run and awareness of how you are currently running it. The brain creates first level “awareness,” awareness of the world. This is the consciousness of animals and small children. Awareness of that awareness, meta-awareness, moves us to a higher level of mind. If you don’t know that you are running your own brain or how you are running it, then your unawareness will be unconscious. Then you won’t get to run your own brain. Your Brain will run you!

This Rule ought to scare the hell out of out you! Does it? Unconsciousness means that you are not mindful of what’s going on. Use that as a cue. Do you ever scratch your head wondering that? Do you have ask:

Hey, what’s going on here? Why do I feel this way?
Why can’t I seem to get ahead?
Why am I always running around in circles and never getting on with things?
I don’t know what came over me; I just flipped out?
I don’t seem to have control of my emotions.

When Rule #2 says that you only get to run your own brain when you develop meta-awareness of what you’re doing, it posits awareness as the key condition. This is a big challenge for many. Over the years many have asked, “Would you just hypnotize me and make this problem go away?” I played that Game for awhile. Then I realized the toxicity in that attitude. It’s the wrong attitude if you really want to have control over your own life. That attitude will not lead you on to personal mastery. That attitude indicates the failure to actively participate in your own life. And that’s why it has to be refused.

In NLP and NS we know that the magic is in the structure. The structure of an experience itself is the magic. That’s why we model. We model experts to learn how they do it. Do what? Run their own brain with regard to a specific area (selling, parenting, relating, communicating, wealth building, health and fitness, leadership, etc.). Once we know that, we know how to find the magic in any field or expertise.

This explains why we do the kind of trainings that we do. We seek to teach to the conscious mind. We want consciousness involved. So while we utilize processes for working with facets of mind outside of conscious awareness, we focus on empowering people to run their own brains without becoming dependent upon us. So we facilitate their self-awareness and ego-strength to look reality in the face, and laugh, and feel ferocious.

This rule leads to various questions and orientations.

What is the basic attitude that drives this experience?
What frame of mind do I need in order to experience this orientation?
How does he do that?
How can I adopt her frame of mind about that?

Rule #3: Beware of Your Frame Referencing

Just Because Your Brain Framed it Does Not Make it Useful

If your brain frames, and if the frames that you set create the Games that you play, take care what you reference and how. We all know people (perhaps we have been such) who experience one or more negative events in life and then (to make things worse), build their lives around that event. Talk about a program that sucks. This is the structure of sick magic: Center your life around a Tragedy, Misfortune, or Injustice! This violates Rule #1 for the Brain Game. It is failing to consider this way of representing and framing things as totally absurd.

Decided to build your life around great events. Find (or invent) wonderful references that you can center you life around.

What wonderful event could I build my life around?
What inspiring referent experience (real or imagined) would I like to commission at the center of my attention
and focus?
If I did, what else would have to change?
And what other supporting ideas or beliefs would enable me to frame things this way?

What you reference, how you reference in terms of the representation richness you encode it in and what you set as your governing frames makes all the difference in the world. It controls and governs the Games that you play. Are you playing the Games that you want to play? If not, then take a look at the entire referencing and framing sequence and design a more empowering one.

As everything habituates so do the neuro-pathways and the internal processing of the brain. When we habituate a way of thinking, an information processing style, or a direction for sending our brain, it eventually becomes our meta-programs or sorting styles. This defines our current trance that organizes our mind-body states. Frames become our software programs or default maps for how to operate in any given arena of life.

Rule #4: Lighten Up and Have Lots of Fun with your Brain

If you don’t enjoy the process, you will get stupid.

Here’s another rule in the Brain Frame Game. If you get serious about things, you will get stupid. Stupidity is the occupational hazard of getting serious about things. Getting serious typically undermines such graces as humor, laughter, enjoyment, playfulness, silliness, and ludicrousness. And yet these are the saving graces that keep us human. These are the saving graces for being real, being spiritual, and being authentic. Lose these and you will not be able to run your own brain with any dignity or grace.

Lose humor and laughter and you loose perspective. You’ll even begin to be seduced into playing the God Game, thinking you are perfect (or should be), know it all (or should), and be everywhere and do everything (hence, indispensable). If any of that seems legitimate, you are in danger of getting stupid very rapidly.

Now the stupidity of seriousness causes people to become stiff and rigid. They get “right” (or so they think), then proud of being right. That leads to stuffiness, arrogance, and the closing of the mind. It’s a pitiful thing to see. Yet it happens all too often. Many people pursue an advanced degree and then think the degree bestows upon them an All-Knowingness. They actually think that their every opinion is somehow sacred and should never be question. Doctors, educators, and bureaucrats often fall into this fallacy. All of this increases their stupidity because not only do they not know it all, but they cannot know it all, no one can, and if they did, it would make life less worth living. The fun is in the pursuit.

Rigid serious arrogance makes these people clowns when it comes to making a mistake. Talk about watching a fallible human being make an ass of himself. Watch one of these people do something wrong. The problem is that they can’t be wrong. It’s not allowed. Yet their pomposity won’t allow them to simply say, “Oops. Missed that one.”

This Rule in the Game of Running Your Own Brain says you have to enjoy and delight yourself in your complete fallibility. Your brain is fallible and that makes all you think fallible, all of your emotions, speech, behavior, and actions. It is all “liable to error.” Don’t just accept this, enjoy it. How easy is it for you to have fun with it? To poke fun at your own silliness? To be ridiculous, make a fool of yourself, blow it, and still maintain all of your dignity?

Serious people not only believe, they believe in their beliefs. This is what makes them dangerous. That leads them to being fanatical “true believers” who have closed their minds to the possibility of being wrong. Such serious people never see the high comedy of their ridiculous position. It’s their lack of humor that leaves them with no perspective. So it is humor that’s our saving grace, that frees us up, that allows us to lighten up and to know that all of our mental mapping is just that―fallible human mapping, at the best, the highest thinking we can do at the moment.

Lighten up and enjoy the ride especially when you get into a loop. Just flow with it. If you fight it, if you resist it, you add negative energy to the loop. The quickest and easiest way out is paradoxical― welcome it and enjoy the ride. It’s just a loop of the mind. Play with it.

#5: Keep Teaching Your Brain New Tricks

Yes, your brain can (and will) learn new tricks. Count on it. Brains are always learning, that’s the good news. The bad news is that if you don’t take charge of what they are learning, they will learn trash. So in playing the Brain Game, aim to constantly be teaching your brain more productive things. Feed it the best data available: inspiring ideas, awesome thoughts, empowering beliefs, and supporting understandings. Keep coding and recoding the Cinema in your mind so that your internal world is dramatic, exciting, bigger than life, full of grace and love, power and energy, make it alive and vital. Create one new empowering frame of mind every week―in a year’s time you’ll have 52 enhancing frames for the Matrix of your Mind.

Set out on the exciting adventure of discovering, unpacking and replicating the strategies of the experts. Forget “why” things go wrong and people are stupid, focus on those who are producing excellence and search out their strategy. Find out what movies are playing in the Cinema of their Minds. Find out all of the cinematic features that make that movie so entertaining and the states and higher level states it creates. After you do that for a year or two, you’ll have habituated the Movies of the Experts in your mind … and body and emotions and life.

Summary

There’s a new Game in town. It’s the Game of Running Your Own Brain. Nor does it take a rocket scientist to understand the Game. Mostly it takes self-awareness, meta-awareness, and the willingness to have fun exploring how the brain creates the Matrix of Frames that then governs the Games of our lives.

THE BRAIN GAME

BRAIN FACTS

BRAIN GAME RULES
#1: Brains Follow Directions

#2: Brains Externalize their Instructions

#3: Brains run on Representations

#4: Brains Transition in and out of the present moment

#5: Brains Induce States

#6: Brains Go in Circles

#7: Brains Frame Things
#1: Quality Control your Brain Instructions

#2: Rise Up in your Mind to become aware of the Games

#3: Beware of your Frame Referencing

#4: Lighten Up and Have Lots of Fun with Your

#5: Keep Teaching Your Brain New Tricks

References

Bodenhamer, Bob; Hall, L. Michael. (2000). Users manual of the brain. Wales, UK: Crown House Publications.

Hall. L. Michael (2000). Meta-States: Managing the higher levels of your mind. Grand Jct. CO: Neuro-Semantics Publications.

Hall, L. Michael. (2000). Secrets of personal mastery: Advanced techniques for accessing your higher levels of consciousness. Wales, UK: Crown House Publications.

Author:

L. Michael Hall, Ph.D., cognitive psychologist, international NLP trainer, entrepreneur; prolific author and international training; developer of Meta-States and co-developer of Neuro-Semantics. (P.O. Box 8, Clifton CO 81520), (970) 523-7877. http://www.neurosemantics.com.

An inspiring story about 1000 marbles.

1000 Marbles

by: Unknown Author

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps
it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to
rise, of maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at
work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning
are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen, with a
steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in
the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned
into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from
time to time.

Let me tell you about it. I turned the volume up on my radio
in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an
older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind,
he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business
himself.

He was talking about “a thousand marbles” to someone named
“Tom”. I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had
to say. “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your
job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to
be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a
young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a
week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s
dance recital. ” He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom,
something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my
own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his
theory of a “thousand marbles.”

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.
The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know,
some live more and some live less, but on average, folks
live about seventy-five years.” “Now then, I multiplied 75
times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of
Saturdays that the average person has in their entire
lifetime.

“Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part.
“It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about
all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I
had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. “I
got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only
had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. “So I went to
a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended
up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles.
“I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear
plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio.
Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and
thrown it away.

“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused
more on the really important things in life. There is nothing
like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get
your priorities straight. “Now let me tell you one last thing
before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for
breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of
the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then
God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my
loved ones…… “It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you
spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you
again someday. Have a good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the
show’s moderator didn’t have anything to say for a few moments.
I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to
do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went
upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m
taking you and the kids to breakfast.” “What brought this on?”
she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special,” I said. ” It has
just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with
the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I
need to buy some marbles.”

How many marbles do you have?

This is something good that I wish to share.


Why Love Heals: How Friendships Keep You Healthy

By Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, MD
Getting Connected

There is an actual, physical chunk of brain that runs your emotions called the limbic brain. You can trace its development back a hundred million years. You can see it on an MRI. Every second you spend with other people, your limbic brain is tuning in to them, being changed by their moods, and changing theirs in turn. It’s a constant, life-affirming limbic dance.

Experimental psychologists have known for decades that we share moods. If you don’t believe me, just think of the people who make you feel better simply by walking into a room. These sorts of interactions feel so good (directly and unconsciously) that we would wither away without them. This is why you should never underrate the emotional side of your life.

Women are better than men at keeping the limbic dance going by working to ensure that families stay connected as the years go by and by building lasting friendships and deep connections from the many different aspects of their lives. High school and college friends, friends from work, friends from raising children together, from neighborhood committees, from shared vacations — sure, some of these bonds and friendships fall away as part of the natural cycle of growing and changing, but most women find new friendships to replace them. Women who don’t find close friendships, who have trouble keeping up connections, need to make an effort to change those patterns.

Hundreds of research studies confirm that isolation hurts us and connection heals us through the same physical mechanisms as exercise and healthy diet. Blood vessels are measurably more elastic, the heart’s ability to respond to extraordinary demands is higher, cardiac inflammatory protein levels are lower, and blood pressure response to exercise is better in more connected people. Their stress-hormone blood profiles are also measurably healthier than those of isolated people.

Building a Community

Sadly, I see people in my medical practice who give up on connection, who stop living years before they die. These are women and men who feel so overwhelmed by the prospect of getting out and building new connections that they stop trying. Our society — with its emphasis on the traditional family structure and the workplace as centers of social togetherness — doesn’t help matters. People who lack either of those have to work doubly hard. But the consequences of not making connections are so devastating that you cannot allow yourself to retreat into isolation. The stakes are too high. A study of more than 4,000 women and men in Alameda County, California, showed a direct link between the size of one’s social circle and survival, with larger circles bringing ever-greater longevity. Women with fewer than six regular contacts outside the house had significantly higher rates of blocked coronary arteries, were more likely to be obese and have diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression, and were two and a half times more likely to die over the course of the study than those with an extensive social network.

Having either a good marriage or just one close friend cuts the risk of mortality by a third, and the benefit increases the more your circle broadens. It’s reassuring to note that both quality and quantity count. Some people have a few close friends or family members, while others have a broad network of involvement with their community. Either works well, though it’s best to have both.

Talk to any nurse about how much it matters for patients to have visitors in the hospital — about the difference in outcome for those people who have a steady stream of visitors, a wall covered with get-well cards, flowers obscuring the monitors and tubing. But the thing is, you can’t wait until trouble strikes to build your community. You have to work at it day after day, make the calls, make the effort, be the hospital visitor years before you need one yourself.

I’m lucky that no one in my own family has ever shied away from making these kinds of efforts. I couldn’t imagine any other way until I became a doctor and saw the isolation in so many people’s lives, particularly as they age. My mother and father each care deeply about building their passions and connections. They work hard at staying in touch with friends, and they’re critically important people in their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. They have made living, caring, and connecting their jobs.

Optimism is an extraordinary limbic resource and is available to everyone because it’s a learned skill. You can decide to be optimistic with remarkable success. Not Pollyanna optimistic, but glass-half-full optimistic, and it’s worth the effort. Women who are optimistic about motherhood before pregnancy have a much lower risk of postpartum depression. Optimistic women have lower mortality rates from cancer and heart disease. It seems to help to approach illness with a positive, optimistic attitude, which may lower blood pressure and improve immune function. You recover from bypass surgery faster and better, you get out of bed sooner after back surgery, and you go back to work and regular exercise sooner. Anger doubles your risk of heart disease. But perceiving your work as satisfying cuts your risk of heart disease in half.

Finding Satisfaction in Life

Generations ago, extended families provided rich, lifelong limbic safety nets and connections to the group. In the days before TV, telephones, electric lights, and convenience stores, this wasn’t a choice. There was nothing to do but be within a group. The great gift of traditional societies was that you were a necessary part of the community your whole life. Okinawans, a group of people living on an island off the coast of Japan, have the greatest documented longevity of any population on earth, and in their culture older people are integral parts of the community until they draw their last breath. At 90, or 100, they are respected for their life experience and are relevant to the group.

It seems as if that model is vanishing from the planet. But our society still has all those limbic connections — you just have to find them and put them together for yourself. For those who are frantically busy with work, the office can be an important source of connection and gratification, which helps to explain why increasing numbers of Americans of both sexes are choosing to work past retirement. Sometimes this is for financial reasons, of course, but sometimes it’s due to the increasing recognition that work has a value beyond the paycheck. Part of the value is simply in the structure — in having a reason to get out of the house in the morning. Part of the value is in the social interactions that come automatically with most jobs. And part of it is the importance of still having a role in the tribe: a defined niche in the great social order.

There are other pathways to connectedness, too, such as spirituality. A search for meaning is too profound and personal for facile advice giving, but we do know that for limbic reasons alone you should be on the journey. The growing number of reasonably well-done studies on spirituality point to its importance in our lives for both mental and physical health. Many people who search for meaning in their lives and their experience via religion or spirituality survive loss, cancer, and heart disease better and have healthier immune chemistry and lower risks of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not.

People who report that faith is an important part of their lives have higher levels of life satisfaction and emotional well-being. You can decide for yourself how much of the positive effect stems from the increased social connections offered by organized religion and how much is from something ineffable, but the simple message is that it is important to look for the meaning in your life’s experience.

Every single human being on the planet craves limbic connections. We just need to head out the door to build them. The tide of social atrophy — of limbic decay — is not that strong. It’s just remorselessly steady. The ultimate message is swim against the tide, every day. If you work at it steadily, it is almost impossible to fail.

Let’s give love in abundance and we can be absolutely sure that we will receive love many times over.

This is something good that I wish to share.


Why Love Heals: How Friendships Keep You Healthy

By Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, MD
Getting Connected

There is an actual, physical chunk of brain that runs your emotions called the limbic brain. You can trace its development back a hundred million years. You can see it on an MRI. Every second you spend with other people, your limbic brain is tuning in to them, being changed by their moods, and changing theirs in turn. It’s a constant, life-affirming limbic dance.

Experimental psychologists have known for decades that we share moods. If you don’t believe me, just think of the people who make you feel better simply by walking into a room. These sorts of interactions feel so good (directly and unconsciously) that we would wither away without them. This is why you should never underrate the emotional side of your life.

Women are better than men at keeping the limbic dance going by working to ensure that families stay connected as the years go by and by building lasting friendships and deep connections from the many different aspects of their lives. High school and college friends, friends from work, friends from raising children together, from neighborhood committees, from shared vacations — sure, some of these bonds and friendships fall away as part of the natural cycle of growing and changing, but most women find new friendships to replace them. Women who don’t find close friendships, who have trouble keeping up connections, need to make an effort to change those patterns.

Hundreds of research studies confirm that isolation hurts us and connection heals us through the same physical mechanisms as exercise and healthy diet. Blood vessels are measurably more elastic, the heart’s ability to respond to extraordinary demands is higher, cardiac inflammatory protein levels are lower, and blood pressure response to exercise is better in more connected people. Their stress-hormone blood profiles are also measurably healthier than those of isolated people.

Building a Community

Sadly, I see people in my medical practice who give up on connection, who stop living years before they die. These are women and men who feel so overwhelmed by the prospect of getting out and building new connections that they stop trying. Our society — with its emphasis on the traditional family structure and the workplace as centers of social togetherness — doesn’t help matters. People who lack either of those have to work doubly hard. But the consequences of not making connections are so devastating that you cannot allow yourself to retreat into isolation. The stakes are too high. A study of more than 4,000 women and men in Alameda County, California, showed a direct link between the size of one’s social circle and survival, with larger circles bringing ever-greater longevity. Women with fewer than six regular contacts outside the house had significantly higher rates of blocked coronary arteries, were more likely to be obese and have diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression, and were two and a half times more likely to die over the course of the study than those with an extensive social network.

Having either a good marriage or just one close friend cuts the risk of mortality by a third, and the benefit increases the more your circle broadens. It’s reassuring to note that both quality and quantity count. Some people have a few close friends or family members, while others have a broad network of involvement with their community. Either works well, though it’s best to have both.

Talk to any nurse about how much it matters for patients to have visitors in the hospital — about the difference in outcome for those people who have a steady stream of visitors, a wall covered with get-well cards, flowers obscuring the monitors and tubing. But the thing is, you can’t wait until trouble strikes to build your community. You have to work at it day after day, make the calls, make the effort, be the hospital visitor years before you need one yourself.

I’m lucky that no one in my own family has ever shied away from making these kinds of efforts. I couldn’t imagine any other way until I became a doctor and saw the isolation in so many people’s lives, particularly as they age. My mother and father each care deeply about building their passions and connections. They work hard at staying in touch with friends, and they’re critically important people in their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. They have made living, caring, and connecting their jobs.

Optimism is an extraordinary limbic resource and is available to everyone because it’s a learned skill. You can decide to be optimistic with remarkable success. Not Pollyanna optimistic, but glass-half-full optimistic, and it’s worth the effort. Women who are optimistic about motherhood before pregnancy have a much lower risk of postpartum depression. Optimistic women have lower mortality rates from cancer and heart disease. It seems to help to approach illness with a positive, optimistic attitude, which may lower blood pressure and improve immune function. You recover from bypass surgery faster and better, you get out of bed sooner after back surgery, and you go back to work and regular exercise sooner. Anger doubles your risk of heart disease. But perceiving your work as satisfying cuts your risk of heart disease in half.

Finding Satisfaction in Life

Generations ago, extended families provided rich, lifelong limbic safety nets and connections to the group. In the days before TV, telephones, electric lights, and convenience stores, this wasn’t a choice. There was nothing to do but be within a group. The great gift of traditional societies was that you were a necessary part of the community your whole life. Okinawans, a group of people living on an island off the coast of Japan, have the greatest documented longevity of any population on earth, and in their culture older people are integral parts of the community until they draw their last breath. At 90, or 100, they are respected for their life experience and are relevant to the group.

It seems as if that model is vanishing from the planet. But our society still has all those limbic connections — you just have to find them and put them together for yourself. For those who are frantically busy with work, the office can be an important source of connection and gratification, which helps to explain why increasing numbers of Americans of both sexes are choosing to work past retirement. Sometimes this is for financial reasons, of course, but sometimes it’s due to the increasing recognition that work has a value beyond the paycheck. Part of the value is simply in the structure — in having a reason to get out of the house in the morning. Part of the value is in the social interactions that come automatically with most jobs. And part of it is the importance of still having a role in the tribe: a defined niche in the great social order.

There are other pathways to connectedness, too, such as spirituality. A search for meaning is too profound and personal for facile advice giving, but we do know that for limbic reasons alone you should be on the journey. The growing number of reasonably well-done studies on spirituality point to its importance in our lives for both mental and physical health. Many people who search for meaning in their lives and their experience via religion or spirituality survive loss, cancer, and heart disease better and have healthier immune chemistry and lower risks of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not.

People who report that faith is an important part of their lives have higher levels of life satisfaction and emotional well-being. You can decide for yourself how much of the positive effect stems from the increased social connections offered by organized religion and how much is from something ineffable, but the simple message is that it is important to look for the meaning in your life’s experience.

Every single human being on the planet craves limbic connections. We just need to head out the door to build them. The tide of social atrophy — of limbic decay — is not that strong. It’s just remorselessly steady. The ultimate message is swim against the tide, every day. If you work at it steadily, it is almost impossible to fail.

Let’s give love in abundance and we can be absolutely sure that we will receive love many times over.

For those mums to be, take a look at this interesting video of a mother during childbirth using hypnotherapy to help her deal with a much easier period of pregnancy as well pain during childbirth.

The video and the link do provide more information.

Yes…be just like this bird and reach for the sky.

Funny MyYearbook Images
www.postpalace.com

I am back!! Just to post this and will come back soon.

Be like this illuminated Teddy Bear. Cheerful as ever and still smiling much more. Never give up and let’s spare a thought and kindness for all living creatures on this Earth especially, those displaced by all sorts of act done onto them by the human kind.

Funny LostCherry Images
www.postpalace.com

Hoodia. What is that you might ask?

Its full name is Hoodia Gordonii. It is a cactus-like plant, succulent and bitter in taste. The plant originates from the southern parts of Africa; in the wild in the Kalahari Dessert. It has a history of thousands of years and has been a faithful companion for the African tribesmen to withstand long periods of hunger and thirst for days while they left their homes for hunting trips.


How does this nature’s wonder does what it does?
Hoodia has an active ingredient known as P57 molecule that fools the hypothalamus into getting the stomach to perceive as being “full”; similar to the same effect that glucose creates. Glucose raises the blood sugar level, signaling to the brain that you are full. Hoodia provides the same effect.

For those who require a little helping hand, Hoodia might be just the answer to give a little boost to start loosing that excessive stubborn weight that you have been trying to rid of for a while. Although chewing on parts of the plant is difficult to accept because of the bitter taste, there are a number of convenient ways now. Capsules and pills are just one of them. These will reduce cravings for cream, sugar, tit-bits, snacks and unnecessary consumption that we can do without. You can read more about Hoodia appetite suppressant. This particular product come in the form of Hoodia Gordonii diet pills.

Do keep in mind though, a complete wellness program is just not about losing weight. It is about fitness and being well. Integrating our mind, body and spirit is ultimating the balance we want to achieve. It has to be coupled with exercise, eating well, with the right amount of calories for you and vitamins and minerals. And very importantly, using breathing techniques (pranayama) to calm our frequent busy conscious mind. Furthermore, in today’s world of extensive processed foods, we do not received appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, take the appropriate and balanced amount of supplements that our bodies require together with our wellness program.

No excuse not to exercise. This following is a short office desk workout or at home. All it takes is 15 minutes. Check out the video.

Everyone of us exists in many parts. When it comes to decision-making, the parts show up very obviously. Self-questioning like, ” Do I buy the car or not. I love it but I am not quite sure if I should.” Watching the language is an quite easy to identify the parts exist. The use of the word “BUT” shows that the person has a conflict within.

Many a time we are at such crossroads. Multi-personalities are extreme cases of parts.

NLP and hypnotherapy both do have an intervention that helps to resolve conflicting roles within a person. The intervention is known as “Parts Integration”.

The following video shows how the induction is done. Mind you, the person undergoing the induction is fully aware of what is going on and what is being said to him. Therefore, there is no trick or mind-control. He is purely in a heightened state of deep relaxation.

Enjoy the Video and give feedback / comments if you can.

What is our world becoming today? I remember back 30 years ago in my country, Malaysia, the temperature in the towns are much much cooler. Water can be drank off the taps and water tasted so refreshingly cool and good then. Years after, when small towns became bigger towns and bigger towns became cities, more forest disappeared, trees are lesser to be found. More roads and highways have been built. “Industrialization” stands for development, progress and better lifestyle. Is that so? Think deeply. Are gaseous emission and chemical discharge contribute to the contamination, pollution of the air, water, and almost everything else we need breathe, drink, eat, touch, enjoy worth sacrificing in the name of such so called “development”? Oceans that we depend on so much for food are being contaminated with oil discharge from tankers, poisoned rivers leading into the sea, carelessness and totally disregard in the name of profits to shareholders. Diseases seem to be increasing and uncontrollable. Our environment has becoming increasingly unsafe, sick and depressed contributing to environmental, health and safety risks.

Is this just happening only in Malaysia? No, I don’t think so at all. Generally, the entire surface of our Mother Earth is moving towards dilapidation, warmer climate, trees being cut down unethically, animals driven from their homes and having less of their own territories, ice-caps melting away, slowly but surely. Give it another 50 years, who is going take the blunt of all our abusive behavior and wrong-doings? Yes, indeed our future generations, our children, our children’s children are all going to be faced with the abuses we batter on our Mother Earth with.

US A’s ex-president, Al Gore, has start a movement and a documentary has just been produced. More certainly has to be done and fortunately, there are organizations that have been promoting a better future for our eenvironment, health and safety (EHS).

One such organization that started up in 1998 is striving to creating a better tomorrow for all of us living today and the future by working and helping corporations to implemented transformation in managing EHS compliance and voluntary programs. This company is EDGS (Environment Data Solutions Group). EDSG has unrivaled experience in leveraging technology to support sustainable EHS solutions. With offices located in California, Pennsylvania and Texas, EDSG has extensive experience across a wide variety of industries in North America and worldwide. EDSG has an impressive list of clients; “raving” clients as EDSG names them.

It is an excellent corporate taking EHS seriously and helping its customers to tackle such issues that are so importantly for keep environment, health and safety impacts relevant to individuals and corporations to fight against the deteriorating conditions of the living atmosphere and practices that we led our lives and leaving a legacy for our future children to enjoy. EDSG assists organizations to comply and maintain environmental law and concerns. If only increasingly more corporations, big and small, recognize the importance of the EHS issues and employ EDSG to help them address their EHS concerns and compliance, our planet would be so much more healthier and safe to live in. EDSC provides integrated information technology innovations to optimize Environmental, Health and Safety performance for companies.

EDSG’s innovative efforts in providing softwares including Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Software and waste management software in resolving EHS impact is truly is a commendable one. It is hope that in time to come, much more companies, manufacturers and industries will adopt conscientious programs such as those solutions promoted by EDSG to nurse our Mother Earth hack into a healthy and safe state for everyone to enjoy.

I hope all governments and companies across the span of the world would work together very quickly before it becomes too late for anyone of us to be able to do anything at all. Let’s transform out behavior and habits into positive ones to better the health of the place that we depend so much for our daily and future lives.

DVDs On Environmental Impact

Short Video – Climatic Changes Impacting Our World

The unconscious mind is extremely powerful and dominant. In a state of the unconscious, let super-learn occurs. In that state, we perform things without limitations, constraints and restraints. We know no fear at all.

Everyone of us is controlled more than 90% of the time by our unconscious mind. Our body and mind operates constantly at an unconscious level. Examples are –

1. Now, feel the temperature of your body;

2. Notice the difference in temperature of your skin with that of the atmosphere;

3. Now, notice the weight of your feet;


4. Feel the heart beating against your chest;
and

5. While you are reading this, be aware of all the sounds around you.

You realize that indeed how deeply we are controlled unconscious. Many of our mood swings, personality, character, mindset, attitude, and just “being” are operated unconsciously. Just imagine if only we can be offered more choices to positive re-wire ourselves to make quantum positive transformation, how much more effective each one of us can be. Such choices are possible; it is only for our taking.

Phobias and allergies are wiring down wrongly to our neuro-network at some point in time and totally, unconsciously. We can get rid of them by reeducating our neurology.

Robert Dilts develop an allergy process within NLP to get rid of allergies in a very short time without medication. The following is an extract from one of his articles.

According to immunologist Dr. Michael Levi, an allergy is like a “phobia” of the immune system. In the 1950’s Levi won the World Health Association Award for his research demonstrating that viruses were infectious. As a result of his many years of work with the immune system, Levi contends that, when a person develops an allergy, the immune system has in essence formed a kind of phobic reaction to a certain type of substance, and then begins to panic when it gets around it. Symptoms of an allergy are produced by the results of this type of phobic reaction. Levi also asserts that other forms of allergies are like a “tantrum” of the immune system — that is, the immune system is throwing some sort of fit because it was not being taken care of properly, or was getting so fatigued and tired that it was striking out as a person or a child might have a tantrum.

In the same way that we learn and acquire emotional responses, our bodies learn and acquire immune responses. The fact that such deadly illnesses as small pox and polio have been virtually wiped off the face of the earth is a testament to the fact that our immune systems can learn.

The major issue in dealing with an allergy is reeducating the immune system. Our immune system has two basic ways of dealing with foreign material in our bodies – passive and active. A passive immune response is primarily carried out by macrophages – white cells in the blood stream that simply engulf and digest the foreign material. In fact, the term “macrophage” literally means “big eater.” The active immune response is carried out by “killer” T cells – cells that attack and destroy foreign matter.

The purpose of the passive immune response is to remove non-living matter from the body. The purpose of the active immune response is to attack and destroy living cells, like bacteria, that endanger the body. In the case of the virus, this means attacking cells in our bodies. This is because of the way a virus operates. A virus is basically a little bundle of genetic material that cannot reproduce itself because it lacks the rest of the cell structure to support that process. So instead the virus acts as a kind of a parasite that takes over the cells of its host in order to reproduce, depleting the resources of the unwilling host. In order to rid the body of a particular virus, then, the immune system must recognize and destroy the infected cells in our own body. In some cases this is done by actually exploding the infected cell (through a chemical reaction). This is what causes the redness and irritation associated with infections and allergies.

In the case of an allergy the immune system has made a mistake, in that it is responding to a harmless non-living foreign material as if it were a virus. Similar to a phobia, the immune system is panicking and is in such a confused state that it is attacking our own bodies even though there is no danger. In some ways it is a kind of an “I’ll show you, I’ll just hit myself” reaction.

The goal of treating an allergy involves reeducating the immune system to utilize the passive rather than active protection in response to the foreign substance – a kind of physiological re-framing.

Like a phobia an allergy is a conditioned response. In fact, research has shown that allergies can be conditioned in guinea pigs using a procedure similar to that Pavlov used in his experiments with his dogs (Russel, Dark, et al, 1984). The researchers put the smell of peppermint into the guinea pigs’ cages and then injected them with a substance that would naturally produce an active immune response. After repeating this five times over a short period of time, the researcher put the peppermint smell in the cage but did not inject the noxious substance. When they checked the blood of the guinea pigs they found that they were producing as full of an immune reaction as they would if they had been injected. Other studies (Ader & Cohen, 1981) demonstrated that rats could be conditioned to suppress immune responses.

A basic premise of psychoneuroimmunology (which is shared by NLP) is that immune responses, such as allergic reactions, can be influenced by psychological factors. There is a famous example of this, dating back to the turn of the century, documented by a physician named MacKenzie (1886) who was treating a woman with a violent allergic reaction to roses. He had an artificial rose in his office and was surprised to discover that his patient, not realizing that the rose was fake, manifested the full allergic reaction as soon as she saw the rose. The implication is that our autonomic nervous system (even our immune system) may be influenced as much by mental representations and expectations generated from within our central nervous system as by stimuli from the outside world.

Certainly, the immune system is capable of learning very quickly. Allergies are known to appear and disappear almost spontaneously. Patients with multiple personalities will have allergies in one personality and not in another. People often “outgrow” certain allergic reactions. The cells involved in active immune responses are produced in our bone marrow at the rate of about 80 million cells per minute. So once the reeducation process is done it can spread rapidly.

It is already known that allergies can, like a phobia, sometimes be treated through systematic desensitization procedures. However, like the phobia versions of these techniques, the process can be time consuming and often ineffectual. Using the model and techniques of NLP this desensitization process can be accelerated tremendously.

Both phobias and allergies also appear to be the result of what is called “response expectancy,” a process which has strong mind-body implications. Response expectancy is the same process which is at the root of the placebo effect. People can very often bring on allergic response symptoms by the strength of their imagination, as MacKenzie’s patient with the allergy to roses demonstrated. From this perspective, allergic symptoms may be the result of a type of negative placebo effect.

Sometimes an allergy is the only excuse people allow themselves to take a rest, or to pay attention to their own health. It becomes a reminder for them to take care of themselves. Often, an allergy is a communication that a person is under a fair amount of emotional or physical stress. There are even some people who are afraid of accepting the responsibility that would come with realizing that they had that much influence on their own health.

In special cases, if a person’s father, mother, or some other significant person in his or her life has had allergies, an individual may unconsciously feel that having a similar allergy is way to stay connected with those significant others.

The purpose of identifying such positive intentions and secondary gains is to help the person add more choices. An underlying principal of NLP is that ecological change comes by adding new choices, not by taking away existing choices. Before a person is ready to shift an allergic reaction, he or she may need to find other ways of addressing certain life situations.

Finding these new choices is analogous to the change the immune system needs to make. Keep in mind that an allergy is often the result of the brain and the immune system together making a mistake. The body thinks that it’s being invaded by something that is not, in fact, actually dangerous. The immune system becomes conditioned to try to defend itself against something that isn’t really harmful. The smoke, cat dander, pollen and foods to which people develop allergies don’t invade our cells like a virus. What happens is that the immune system thinks that it is being invaded, and so it strikes out at the body’s own cells. The symptoms of an allergy are the result of the immune system destroying healthy cells in the body in an attempt to protect itself from an invader that isn’t really there.

Many allergies were developed at a time in a person’s life, or under conditions which have psychological similarities to this confusion of the immune system. The immune system is the body’s equivalent of a psychological self-concept. Many people develop allergies at a time when they are at a transition point with respect to their own sense of identity. At these times a person can feel their sense of ‘self’ being challenged or threatened by something from the outside. In this case the allergy may develop as a reflection of the psychological threat, and the resulting stress it produces. Allergies associated with asthma, for instance, are often related to traumatic experiences.

To address such situations, people may need to detach themselves from those early or traumatic experiences. Using NLP techniques such as Change Personal History, Re-framing or Re-imprinting, people can be helped to recognize that their identity has evolved and is different now than it was under those early circumstances. They can discover new ways of handling their life situations and their responses to crisis or danger, in the same way that the body can learn to have a different response to old triggers and stimuli. They can imagine how they would react differently if they took their current learnings, resources and abilities back into those early situations associated with the allergic response.

Two powerful and highly recommended books by Robert Dilts

On the side – Video 1 on Hypnosis, Phobias, Pain, etc

Video 2 – More on Hypnosis

“If it is to be, it is up to me”.

The mind can create amazing wonders and equally, disastrous havocs. It is all in our mindset what choices we desire to make.

The following inspiring story about Jerry and how he view life and near death.

Positive Thinking

by: Unknown

Read this, and let it really sink in… Then, choose how you start your day tomorrow…


Jerry
is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant.

The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.

I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Yes, it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, “…the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man.’

I knew I needed to take action.” ” What did you do?” I asked. “Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'”

Jerry
lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

* Positive thinking the the first step towards a happy life.
* Attitude is everything

If everyone applies just these, the whole world will live in happiness.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

You have a piece of meat in your head called a brain. You also have perceptions, feelings, thoughts, and ideas, which scientists assert are related in some fashion to that piece of meat. How can this be? Philosopher Colin McGinn looks at this question in depth in The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds in a Material World, a slim, accessible book that presents a novel answer: we’ll never know. We can look at the brain from outside, and look at our consciousness from within, but never the twain shall meet.

Not at all defeatist in tone, The Mysterious Flame rejects strict materialism and dualism, which seek to solve the mind-body problem in fairly unsatisfactory ways, and claims instead that our intelligence is not an appropriate tool to use for understanding the interface between subjective experience and material reality. (And, unfortunately, we don’t have anything better.) Instead of bemoaning our fate, McGinn turns the traditional questions around and asks “What can we know about ourselves?” This is just as interesting as any question being asked by philosophers of the mind, and in fact seems to merit a higher priority. Whether McGinn’s arguments will succeed in the marketplace of ideas is an open question, but they certainly deserve the attention of anyone interested in the nature of human thought. –Rob Lightner –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Although its roots reach back to ancient Greece, the mind-body problem has bedeviled Western philosophers particularly since the time of the rationalist suppositions of Descartes in the 17th century. As knowledge of neurophysiology and brain function increase, questions about the nature of human consciousness also multiply. McGinn (Ethics, Evil and Fiction), a philosophy professor at Rutgers University, explores the relationship between the brain and the mind in a witty style. The authors analysis of the classical philosophical answers and conundrums emanating from this problem (dualism, epiphenomenalism, materialism, supernaturalism) are made easy to understand for the lay reader. Pushing reason, logic and experience to their limits, McGinn concludes that, ultimately, the essence of mind and the meaning of consciousness lie beyond the capability of the minds trying to define and comprehend them. Yet, he says, in accepting the limitations of thought about thought, we may find unlikely intellectual solace in inexplicable mystery. This is no pessimistic tract. McGinn asserts that acknowledging the frustrating boundaries of reason about reason frees the thinker to explore those areas of human intelligence that are open to our understanding. Except for his distracting habit of defaulting the third-person personal pronoun to the feminine, McGinn makes his case eloquently, with literary examples drawn from areas as diverse as biology, astrophysics and science fiction. Susan Rabiner Literary Agency.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways”.


Stephen Vincent Benét

I wrote about choices on January 29, 2007. This is yet another inspiring story about choices. An extract from the passage is –


Each morning I woke up and say to myself, “Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

The rest of the story begins here…

Positive Thinking

by: Unknown

Read this, and let it really sink in… Then, choose how you start your day tomorrow…

Jerry is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant.

The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.

I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Yes, it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?” I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, “…the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man.’

I knew I needed to take action.” ” What did you do?” I asked. “Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'”

Jerry
lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

* Positive thinking the the first step towards a happy life.
* Attitude is everything

If everyone applies just these, the whole world will live in happiness.