To Reduce Stress, Stop Globalizing and Put Things in Perspective

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” ~Mark Twain   Life happens. And sometimes when life happens, we can get pretty stressed out. I’ve found that the way we view situations can either reduce our stress or make it worse. Here is just one way we aggravate situations, possibly unnecessarily, and how we can adjust our perspective to keep stress in check. A colleague of mine claims that he is “calendar-challenged.” He is often unable to attend meetings at the last minute or shows up late. I am, by contrast, a planner. I live by my calendar and know what I am doing months in advance. The different approach that my colleague and I take in the way we plan—or don’t plan—can cause friction. I could interpret my colleague’s behavior as merely irresponsible and chalk it up to a fairly ingrained part of his personality. That situation is irritating at worst. Or, I could take his lackadaisical approach personally by assuming that he doesn’t value me or my time. That’s somewhat stressful. I could even interpret his behavior as intentional and assume that he takes delight in making me angry. That is really going to stress me out. Do you see how my interpretation of the behavior can be as benign as “he’s not a planner” and it can escalate all the way to a vengeful person determined to sabotage my career? When we draw conclusions about a situation without checking the facts first, we can escalate it into a full-blown crisis in our minds. In other words, our negative thinking can spiral out of control, rapidly increasing our anxiety, unnecessarily. That’s called globalizing. How we think about our circumstances can make all the difference in the level of stress we feel. Many of us have experienced a workplace where budget cuts or a bad economy results in layoffs. The pall that can settle over an organization going through a period of like this can cause a great deal of stress, even for those employees still employed. Enter globalizing. I have what I call “straight to bag lady” syndrome. I can become convinced that if I lose my job I will never find another one, I will become homeless, and then I will be forced to live on the street. During the downturn of 2008 when many organizations were shedding employees like leaves in the fall, I occasionally went into this spiral in my mind. My good friend and colleague, however, did not. When I would ask her if she was stressed out by the loss of colleagues around us, she would say, “Yeah, I’m not going to worry about it. Even if they let me go, I assume I can just find another job.” Wow. What I wouldn’t give to have her attitude. She wasn’t oblivious to the fact that there was a good chance she might lose her job. However, instead of globalizing and assuming everything [...]

2018-11-05T16:41:13+00:00 By |

Tiny Wisdom: Think Less, Feel More

“Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.” ~Osho Have you ever felt attached to your thoughts—like you knew you were thinking yourself in circles, but a part of you wanted to keep getting dizzy? Now that I’m healthy and energized, three months after my surgery, I’m developing a consistent yoga practice again, and I’m feeling better mentally and physically as a result of doing that. But sometimes, when I get to the end of the day, particularly when I know I have a lot to do, I feel resistant to making that time for myself. It’s not even necessarily when I’m planning to work through the evening. Sometimes I’ll think, “I have a lot on my mind—I don’t feel like it tonight.” But that’s actually a compelling reason to go. Yoga always helps me calm my mind. So the other day, I stopped and asked myself: Am I resistant to clearing my head, and why? I realized that I wanted to keep thinking because I felt like I was creating solutions, like I was somehow making mental progress. If I took a break to clear my head, I thought, I might miss out on discovering something useful. In other words, I felt like sitting around analyzing, assessing, and plotting was somehow more productive than getting out and enriching my mind and body. What a misguided notion. While there’s something to be said for thinking things through, sometimes it’s far more useful to let everything go, create some space, and then see what ideas and feelings emerge in that new place of clarity and stillness. Taking a break in any fashion can feel like losing control—at least it can for me. But releasing control often feels far better than we imagine it will. Creating space feels good. Connecting with our bodies feels good. Stopping the cogs in our heads—yes, that feels good, too. And when we feel good, we increase our odds of doing good, through our work and hobbies. I know quite a few people with absolutely beautiful minds. One thing they all have in common is that they make time to nurture them. If we want to create and inspire, we need to create room to access inspiration. It doesn’t come from sheer mental will. It’s from enabling a flow between our heads and our hearts so that we don’t just know our answers, we feel them, with every ounce of our being. This post was republished with permission from You can find the original post here.

2018-10-26T12:30:49+00:00 By |

The Key to Healing Trauma

Did You Know When Someone Experiences Trauma at a Young Age, the Normal Developmental Process is Deeply Altered?   Toxic shame, and other resulting emotional coping mechanisms from deep childhood trauma often has people feeling that they can’t face the pain they experienced when they were young, innocent human beings. Traumatic abuse – whether its sexual, physical, or emotional abuse – causes lasting changes to our nervous systems, and brain chemistry. It’s no wonder that we can find it difficult to change our worldview, and heal. There is a way to do it, though, and it may not look how you might imagine. When someone experiences trauma when they are very young, the normal developmental process is deeply altered. They tend to compartmentalize and store away the emotions they feel when they are young, because they are too painful to digest in the moment that they are happening. While this can lead to all kinds of problems later in life, from physical illness to psychological challenges, that ticking away of emotional baggage is a coping mechanism. It’s a good one, too, because it helps us survive. Sadly, though, until that trauma is felt, forgiven, and integrated it will cause the normal cognitive and emotional functioning of a person to be greatly handicapped. We tend not to be able to process certain experiences when we are small, learning how the world works, and why people behave the way they do, and instead revert to primitive encoding. You can think of this encoding, in the form of symbols and physical sensations, as shorthand for the brain and body. When those signals are somehow triggered much later, after the initial trauma has occurred, they are felt in the body as anxiety, headaches, heart-palpitations, violent dreams, and other forms of encoded memory. While these memories stay in their unprocessed, coded form, we are likely to experience sudden and intrusive emotions, and a high-level of panic, and anxiety. We aren’t consciously aware of why we feel this way, but the physical sensations and symbolism we see in our dreams are very real, and can be very unpleasant. This is when we may start to act out against the physical and psychological pain we are feeling, without understanding our own responses. Perhaps we unleash rage or uncontrollable sobbing on an innocent bystander, or we are triggered through a small argument with a loved one. We feel like we need protect those wounded parts of us vehemently, because they were never healed. It would be like re-opening a scab, and allowing gushing blood to flow once again. Though there is likely little real present danger, we feel at risk, and desire to move away from the pain – but this is one of the paradoxes of pain. As long as we keep trying to move away from the pain, it will fester. Until we are able to accept what happened to us, and see it in the bright light of full consciousness, it will control our emotional re-actions [...]

2018-10-25T17:19:13+00:00 By |

What is the Immune System of the Mind?

Find Out How the Mind Really Works!   We’re familiar with the body’s immune system. It mounts a reaction to intruders, and in the process it swings into a full inflammatory response. Swelling occurs. Fever. The result, if the immune system is healthy, is the banishing of the intruders and a return to well-being. The body gains a victory—and the person builds confidence in his ability to stave off attacks. The mind has the potential to operate in a similar fashion. But there are prerequisites. The mind needs basic ideas and principles on which to erect its response. These basics are inherent in a healthy mind: the desire for freedom, for self-sufficiency, for the creation of a desired future, for committed work in that direction. In the absence of these strong fundamentals, the mind will not mount a direct immune response against intruders. It will be clueless. What are the intruders? Well, they are precisely the external influences that lessen, minimize, squelch, and sideline the inherent basics. Whatever would challenge freedom, self-sufficiency, committed work on behalf of creating a desired future—THESE are the factors the mind’s immune system responds against. But if the mind has been tuned to DEPENDENCE, all bets are off. The immune system is confused. It doesn’t respond swiftly and decisively. It is looking for, and favoring, more dependence, and so it is essentially working backwards. It has already let the opponent in the door. When intruding ideas enter—ideas that try to reject freedom and self-sufficiency—the mind’s immune system allows them deep inside. There is no defense. There is no full inflammatory response. When the mind is fortified with the basics, it sees these destructive ideas for what they are, and it nullifies them. There may be a period of crisis, during which the mind is sorting out thorny deceptions and coming to terms with them. But finally, it sees with clarity, and it wins. What now passes for education plays a role here. If schools downplay the strength of the mind, if they offer a flabby flaccid curriculum over a period of years, the mind tends toward surrender. And the stepchild of surrender is dependence. Game over. In the culture, these things used to be understood fairly well. That day is gone. Now, it’s up to the individual. About the Author Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29thDistrict of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You [...]

2018-10-25T17:04:42+00:00 By |

How to Feel Good In Your Skin: 7 Powerful Lessons on Beauty

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” ~Proverb   I struggled with body image for years while I was living in Europe because I have a very fair complexion, oily skin, and thin hair. During my childhood, people would look at me and comment on how pale I looked and ask my mother if I was anemic. Later on, as I was growing up, people who met me would ask if I was ill, or they would say that I look exhausted, tired, and weak. It was most difficult during the summers, when there was always a social pressure to get a tan, as I heard a lot of negative comments then. I didn’t perceive myself as beautiful, nor did I think I would ever, until I came to India for the first time. In India, bright skin is synonymous with beauty (beautiful means fair!), and everyone complimented me there, telling me how beautiful I am, that I am “bright like the moon.” They also admired my silky, smooth hair and oily skin—in India, they call it “glowing skin” and appreciate it because skin can get very dry, with the hot weather. Indian women would ask me over and over to share the secret behind my glowing skin, and they wouldn’t believe that it was naturally so oily; they’d think that it must be some cosmetic product from Europe that I didn’t want to tell them about. Suddenly I realized why all my Indian friends, who lived in my hometown back in Europe, would not leave the house without the sunscreen, why they’d always tell me that I’d be considered very pretty in India, and why they’d joke that I’d get married quickly there! I was shocked when I realized how much money people, both men and women, spend in India for fairness beauty products. Some women even bleach their skin with hydrogen peroxide-based cosmetics. Yet, in Western countries, people spend a ton of money on tanning products and solariums to get darker skin. I realized in India how beauty is socially constructed and started feeling beautiful in my own (fair) skin for the first time in my entire life. Or, I should say, I discovered how beautiful I am, with all my Western “imperfections.” For last two and a half years, since I’ve been living in India, people who knew me for a long time comment on how I look much more beautiful now and ask me to share my secret. I don’t deny that Indian vegetarian food and the abundance of tropical fruits, together with natural beauty products with neem, heena, herbal oils and sandalwood, are part of the equation. But I believe the major reason is that I started feeling beautiful and good in my own skin. Here are seven things I learned that can help us all feel better in our skin, with all of our “imperfections.” 1. Beauty is socially constructed. This was one of the biggest aha moments [...]

2018-10-25T19:06:05+00:00 By |

Filling the Void

Many people in the world do the things they do in order to fill a void. Some feel they need to be in a romantic relationship. Some over-eat, over-shop or continuously play video games. Others try to fill it with an even more detrimental addiction, such as drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, or gambling. It gives them temporary pleasure—momentary relief from the emptiness—so they keep going back for more, yet they are never happy or satisfied. The cause of the “void” feeling is actually the separation from God/Source/Love. We miss that love feeling, and all of us have had a taste of it to varying degrees. We have all lost it as well (or rather, perceive that we have), thus creating more longing for what we believe we are missing. Of course, the only way to fill a void is to fill yourself up with what is actually missing. If you want to find that Source/Love connection, you must look within. If the above describes you, perhaps it’s time to stop looking externally for what you have had all along; and to face yourself and your inner-most fear-based emotions that may be standing in your way. Aside from directly releasing these issues, via the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Vipassana mediation or The Releasement Process; meditation is a wonderful way to connect to Source energy. You can also do things that lift your spirit, such as listening to music, dancing, going out into nature, gardening, or anything else that gives you that “love” feeling. Feeding your soul will help release you from the need to feed your body with temporary pleasures that are not serving you. Discovering your soul will lead you permanently back to Source, love and bliss. For more information from Vicki Luibrand, go to

2018-10-23T18:32:59+00:00 By |

The Science of Healing Thoughts

Did You Know Your State of Mind Influences the State of Your Immune System?   Can your mind heal your body? It may sound far-fetched that the power of your thoughts and emotions could exert physical, biological changes, but there are countless examples, both scientific and anecdotal, showing this possibility is very real. Science journalist Jo Marchant shared numerous such examples, from Iraq war veterans and many others, in her book "Cure." She told Scientific American:1 "There are now several lines of research suggesting that our mental perception of the world constantly informs and guides our immune system in a way that makes us better able to respond to future threats. That was a sort of 'aha' moment for me — where the idea of an entwined mind and body suddenly made more scientific sense than an ephemeral consciousness that's somehow separated from our physical selves." Your State of Mind Influences the State of Your Immune System Your mind wields incredible power over the health of your immune system, for good or for bad. Stress, for instance, has a major negative influence on the function of your immune system, which is why you've probably noticed you're more likely to catch a cold when you're under a lot of stress. When researchers from Carnegie Mellon University infected study participants with a common cold virus, those who had reported being under stress were twice as likely to get sick.2 And, in the event you do get sick, emotional stressors can actually make your cold and flu symptoms worse. As lead author Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D. a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, noted:3 "Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control …  The immune system's ability to regulate inflammation predicts who will develop a cold, but more importantly it provides an explanation of how stress can promote disease. When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well." The opposite also holds true in that positive thoughts and attitudes are able to prompt changes in your body that strengthen your immune system, boost positive emotions, decrease pain and chronic disease, and provide stress relief. One study found, for instance, that happiness, optimism, life satisfaction, and other positive psychological attributes are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.4 It's even been scientifically shown that happiness can alter your genes! A team of researchers at UCLA showed that people with a deep sense of happiness and well-being had lower levels of inflammatory gene expression and stronger antiviral and antibody responses.5 The Placebo Effect Once Again Proves 'Mind Over Matter' By definition, a placebo is an inert, innocuous substance that has no effect on your [...]

2018-10-23T15:40:31+00:00 By |

Mindfulness Is Just the First Step: How to Change Mental Patterns

A Simple Guide to Developing an Affirmation Practice   I suffer from the mental pattern of spending inordinate amounts of time in thoughts of the future. Not the future thoughts that are helpful for planning your life direction. Instead, I wade through mountains of worries about the uncertainty that is inherent in the unknown future. So I launched into a self initiated “7 Day Now Challenge.” For seven days I wrote “Now” in big bold letters on my hand to remind myself to be present and here is what I learned: 1. There is great power in focusing on something for a finite period of time. Whether it is a 30 day exercise challenge or a 10 day cleanse, creating a bite-size increment of time to develop a new habit has the benefit of making a daunting task attainable. 2. Mindfulness creates a sense of detachment. When we move from being engrossed in our mental chatter to observing it, a sense of ease can move into the space created between the mind and the awareness. This space, this ease, can become a superpower. Enjoy this fabulous explanation video. 3. Observing negative thought patterns does not actually change them. This lesson is revolutionary because it brings to light the innate limitation in mere observation of the mind. 4. To change the negative thought patterns, positive ones must take their place. As Marin Luther King declared so beautifully, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” When we want to affect change in ourselves and in this world, we must invite the light. Replace negative thought patterns with positive ones. This is the practice of affirmations. Satirized by Stewart Smiley on SNL decades ago, positive affirmations are actually a profound practice. Here is a simple guide to developing an affirmation practice: 1. Create an affirmation for yourself. Look at the negative thought pattern you wish to change and turn it upside down. Write a positive statement that is brief, memorable, and in the present tense. For instance, I took this recurring thought, “What if I never achieve anything?” and turned it into this affirmation, “Success is mine. Divine Mother guides my life.” 2. Write your affirmation down and place it around your home. 3. Bring your affirmation into your meditation. At the end of your daily meditation practice, repeat your affirmation three times mentally, or even audibly. If you do not meditate daily, find a quiet moment each day to say your affirmation. In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in your closet, any moment of solitude will do fine for repeating your affirmation. Here are a few of my favorite books filled with ready-made affirmations: Affirmations for Self-healing by Swami Kriyananda Finding Happiness Day-By-Day by Swami Kriyananda Whispers From Eternity by Paramhansa Yogananda

2018-10-19T11:43:15+00:00 By |

The Five Pillars of Intuition

Learn How to Develop Your Sixth Sense   Intuition is as natural as breathing, sleeping or eating. All of us have intuition. Some of us are more open to this capacity, and connection to higher information, than others, but we can all deepen and develop our intuition with a few simple techniques and daily rituals. Intuition is the spark, or gateway, to higher knowing and to living a fulfilled, flowing, effortless and peaceful life. Each day we are bombarded by an avalanche of information, demands and pressures, that squash our vastness into a tiny reality. This data smog and information overload swamps our intuition. Now more than ever, we need this innate capacity to guide us. The more lost we are in the pace of modern life, the more we need this anchor. Our Sixth Sense Intuition is very much a natural and inherent part of our natures. When you strip back all the learned stress behaviours, pressures, mental projections and layers of baggage, we find the radiance of our true self. This authentic nature is peaceful, blissful, and intuitive. Each one of us has this ability to know things, to sense things, to feel things, see things and hear things, beyond our conscious awareness. The origin of the word “intuition” is the Latin verb intueri, which is usually translated as to look inside or to contemplate. There is a growing body of research suggesting there are underlying non-conscious aspects of intuition. Among these aspects of intuition involved in intuitive perception are implicit learning, or implicit knowledge. Science is now showing that the heart is involved in the processing and decoding of intuitive information. Emotion and intuition seem to be also rooted both in the heart and the second brain in the gut. This is where the term, your gut instincts, comes from. Intuition is like a secret, inner jetpack that helps you make quantum leaps in your life, a map that reveals the shortcuts, opens up the pathway and holds the keys to your happiness. Is this building up intuition too much? I don’t think so. Even the military is studying the secrets of intuition. In the wake of snap intuitive judgments in the field of combat that saved many lives, US researchers are studying the power of intuition. Sensing impending danger, deciding whether objects are missiles or airliners, or detecting bombs, are a few situations where a snap judgment needs to be made and where lives are at stake. The US navy studies, with experts in neural, cognitive and behavioural science, were attempting to discover what gives rise to our so called “sixth sense” and how they can train marines to use it.  A former US navy seal has even written four books on the subject and he believes that tapping into our intuition helps us to excel at light speed. Understanding what intuition is, can help us to recognise it. The basics of Intuition Intuition is an instinctual awareness. Actually, intuition is a mysterious and curious thing a [...]

2018-10-08T12:25:42+00:00 By |