Today i've posted a few articles that really caught my eye over the past weeks. They focus on love.
For me, I find it so easy to get caught up in the turmoil and pragmatic variables of life that are so important but at the same time, getting disengaged from all the important things that make it good to be of help to others and live my VIP.
What I've been emphasising over the past weeks in all the articles I've written for you, is making wise choices and having honest expectations of life. The real topic that evolves through all of this is - How do you feel today?
Since time began, people have been trying to feel good on a daily basis. Adam supposedly ate the apple submitting to temptation and forgoing long term benefits for short term feelings. So, it seems there is a quandary that has existed forever, and will exist forever.
That quandary is between short term pleasure (feeling good day to day) and long term results (feeling good in the long term.
We choose this daily.
On the one hand there is the person who might say "I don't care about anything or anyone - all that matters is me, right now and getting what I want" They often go to any source that stimulates their feel good experience whether it be food, sex, greed or spirituality... (the four substitutes)
On the other hand there is the stoic person who puts emotion aside and applies discipline to life. This person struggles a bit with daily happiness, never quite feeling that things are on track, but, at the end of a long period they will achieve a lot.
The cost of having what you want in the long term is paid in the short term
The cost of having what you want in the short term is paid in the long term.
Can we find the balance?
The answer is absolutely NO - as long as the definition of "feeling good" sinks down to self gratification and the multiplicity of emotional states that go with it are the measure of life.
The answer is absolutely YES - as long as love is the definition of "feeling good" rises up though the mire of dirt and dust of daily troubles to be the primary experience one has in life.
THe articles of the day list a few ideas about this. One important idea is that you can love anything you choose and it will permeate your life. Nature, a dog, a god, but the key here is that when you try to love yourself you are trying to love shifting sand or moving water. I believe, and I will take it through the tests of many challenges, that the first love in life, is a significant other. A partner, spouse or lover. This is, for an adult at least, the platform nature intended. It takes courage, an open heart and skills I teach to achieve this space, sacred love, but it's doable, you just need to trust your heart.
Trusting your heart is easy, once you know what it feels like to have it open in contrast to having a deep seated emotion... that's the experience I share in the 30 day challenge.
Love and wisdom
Moving the Addiction by Loving It
"There is nothing you have done or not done that's not worthy of love" so, I think the first step in dealing with addiction or helping others to deal with it is to love it in ourselves first. We achieve this through the awareness that "Every human has every trait"
Our addictions are: breathing, stress relief, nourishment, love, income, not being humiliated, being free to be, eating, sleeping.... etc... so lets put our hands in the air and say "in some form I am as addicted to .... as others are to cocaine" and "I am getting benefits our of my addictions just like others who might be drinking alcohol to excess are getting benefits from it" so, there's nothing to fix in others that's not worthy of love.
So, if we all have addictions we can't get rid of them and there are no such things as addictive personalities. There are just those whose addictions are focussed on long term results and those whose addictions are focussed on short term results.
From time to time we might want to change the focus of our addictions from say "tobacco or drugs" to "football and fresh air." We might do this because we link our new highest values or vision to new addictions and less to the old addictions. For example: if getting out of depression is a highest value then alcohol and tobacco might feel like perfect addictions because at some early level of entry they cause happiness in the face of depression. But maybe, if we deal with the depression and decide to start living with kindness as a new value then football and fresh air might be a better match. Our addictions always focus us on getting what we want and getting it as quickly as possible so to love an addiction and shift it to a different form, try this form:
If your idea of relaxation is a stroll around the block, you could also be doing your body a favor: A new study links weekly walks with a decreased risk of stroke in women.
"What women can take away from this is there is something that you can do that is very simple, very easy and not too time consuming to protect your cardiovascular health status, and that is walking," Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, Lenox Hill Hospital's director of women and heart disease, who was not involved in the study, told CBS News.
The study was based on people from Spain who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. The study included 13,576 men and 19,416 women, who were all between the ages of 29 and 69. They started the study between 1992 and 1996, and finished it in 2006. Reuters pointed out that many of the people in the study were blood donors, which is indicative that they were in good health (meaning the results of the study may not necessarily apply to the general population, which isn't guaranteed to be in good health).
Researchers had the participants report how many hours a week they spent exercising, as well as their medical history, lifestyles and diet. Over the average 12 years of follow-up, they found that 210 transient ischemic attacks and 442 stroke cases occurred.
The researchers found that walking for at least three-and-a-half hours a week was associated with a lower risk of stroke for women compared with those who didn't report regularly walking. However, no link was found between men's stroke risk and walking.
"Increasing time dedicated to activities such as walking would be expected to help to reduce the stroke burden in women," the researchers wrote in the study, which appeared in the journal Stroke.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes (two-and-a-half hours) of moderate exercise, which includes brisk walking, and muscle strengthening exercises each week.
Previously, a study in the same journal published in 2010 showed that the pace at which you walk also matters for stroke risk. The findings, conducted by Harvard researchers, showed that walking at a pace of three miles an hour for at least two hours a week was linked with a lower stroke risk for women, compared with non-walkers.
"Since the increase in computerization and mechanization has resulted in ever-increasing numbers of people being sedentary for most of their working time, adding short time exercise during working breaks or adding walking activity during work time is recommended," the researcher of that study, Gang Hu, Ph.D., said in a statement.
The group that may benefit the most from regular time in natural areas is our kids. Researchers studying the differences between kids who spend all their time in front of video games and TV and those who regularly get outside have found a long list of differences.
Kids who get outdoors regularly have longer attention spans, play more creatively and cooperatively together, are less prone to obesity, and have a better ability to focus. Unfortunately, a recent U.S. study found that only 6% of six to nine-year-old children play outside regularly. Many researchers are now linking this lack of outdoor time with surging rates of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the prescribing of anti-depressants for children.
Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods”, asks “Could it be that the huge increase in kids on anti-depressants is be- cause we took away the calming effect of natural experience?”
In fact, researchers are finding that the calming effect of nature can be a valuable therapy for kids with ADHD. A 2004 study found that “Green outdoor activities reduced symptoms signif- icantly more than activities conducted in other settings did,
Even when activities were matched across settings. Findings were consistent across age, gender, and income groups; community types; geographic regions; and diagnoses.”
Putting natural experiences back into children’s lives is im- portant for all kids. For example, students attending schools that incorporate hands-on experience with nature produce significantly better results in social studies, science, language arts and math. In one California study, students at a school that incorporated outdoor learning scored 27% higher on science exams than those in schools that did not. And getting outside keeps kids active, which is a great antidote to the health prob- lems caused by obesity in our increasingly couch-potato society.
Keeping kids inside, Richard Louv believes, threatens “their independent judgment and value of place” and does real dam- age to “their ability to feel awe and wonder, [and] to their sense of stewardship for the Earth.” In other words, kids who rarely venture past the front door except to go to the mall are
It’s not just hospital patients who benefit from natural vistas. Studies have found that if we can see natural areas from our workplace, we tend to be happier, more productive workers who call in sick less often than our colleagues in windowless factories or offices.
Researchers have found that workers with views of green space actually like their jobs more and deal better with a stressful environment. These workers are also more likely to stick around – the “intention to quit” was lower among workers exposed to green spaces in their work environment.
So protecting natural areas in the Greenbelt plays an important role in keeping the Southern Ontario economy humming with happy workers. And the kind of smart growth supported by the Greenbelt that creates multi-use communities surrounded by protected green spaces has some clear economic advantages.
Access to natural green space has also been linked to healthier communities. Parks and other green spaces give residents a chance to meet and socialize, thereby reducing stress and building a sense of community. If there are good opportunities to get outside in natural surroundings, crime levels tend to be lower and community ties stronger.
This is why the distillation of the Laws of Nature is so important to life when we are not in nature.
Researchers have investigated and widely documented various physiological and psychological effects of exposure to nature. The results of these studies—spanning recovery rates of hospital patients through retail sales trends affected by daylighting—often express increases in emotional value. However, the economic benefits of reconnecting people to nature are often overlooked because of the difficulty of quantifying the variables associated with the positive outcomes. By assigning value to a variety of indictators influenced by biophilic design, the business case for biophilia proves that disregarding humans’ inclination towards nature is simultaneously denying potential for positive financial growth.
Improved moods and reduced stress are the most consistent benefits of nature contact across research studies, regardless of whether they are controlled laboratory experiments or field studies. Furthermore, contact with nature can be purely visual or multi-sensory, active engagement (walking, running, gardening) or passive (viewing only). Benefits are found in multiple settings, multiple cultures, and across the age span, from early childhood to late adulthood.
Although the belief in the therapeutic benefits of nature contact is ancient, the first well controlled empirical test of this hypothesis was published in 1984 by Roger Ulrich using data from a hospital setting. Ulrich tested the effect of window views on hospital patient outcomes. Half the patients had a window that looked out onto a brick wall while the others viewed an outdoor landscape with trees. All patients had the same kind of surgery, with the two different view groups matched for age, gender, and general health conditions. Ulrich found that patients with the tree view used less narcotic and milder analgesics, indicating lower pain experience. They also stayed in the hospital for a shorter time period and had a more positive post-surgical recovery overall than did patients who had the view of the brick wall.
A decade of subsequent research by Ulrich and colleagues at Texas A&M University, largely in laboratory experiments, reinforces the findings from the hospital study. Subjects exposed to a stressor recover faster and more positively if they are shown nature scenes or urban scenes with nature, rather than urban scenes devoid of natural elements. Subjects viewing the completely natural scenes do the best overall, with the greatest and most rapid reduction in physiological stress and more rapid mood enhancement. Ulrich’s work has shown that nature contact can be beneficial, whether it is real or simulated.
In fact, Biophilia, health, and well-Being in many environments, such as windowless spaces, simulations may
be the only way to create beneficial experience. A study of windowed and windowless offices by Heerwagen and Orians (1986) supports this conclusion. They found that people in windowless spaces used twice as many nature elements (posters and photos especially) to decorate their office walls than those who had window views to natural areas outdoors.
Research on nature benefits has blossomed from this early beginning to encompass a huge body of studies and findings (see Kellert et al. 2008, for an overview of biophilia research and applications). A few select benefits of nature and natural processes explored in the literature are touched on here.
We have known for a long time that people prefer daylight environments and that they believe daylight is better for health and psychological functioning than is electric light. However, a clear delineation of the health and well-being benefits is relatively recent. We know now that bright daylight has medicinal properties. It entrains circadian rhythms, enhances mood, promotes neurological health, and affects alertness. (Figueiro et al 2002, Heerwagen 1990).
Research in hospital settings shows that patients in bright rooms recover more rapidly from illness, show reduced pain levels, take fewer strong analgesics, and stay in the hospital fewer days than patients who are in more dimly lit rooms located on the north side or in locations where nearby buildings block sun penetration (Walch et al. 2005). The benefits of sunlight can be experienced in even brief walks outdoors on a sunny day or through design of spaces that integrate daylight and sun into the interior.
Doing what you love is important - and it requires that you love what you do... They are very different.
Doing what you love means finding your true calling and working out how to be paid extremely well for it while loving what you do means having the skill to transform any circumstance into something you love.
The real power is in the second step because when you do what you love you will find significant amounts of time in difficult, energy sapping, challenging situations. If you run from them, because they don't feel right, you end up running from the very thing you love to do...
In my work, I love opening hearts. It's my inspiration- but if you look at my day, I can spend 12 hours doing other things so that, when I am with a client or audience, I can do what I love.
What state of mind will I be in for 12 hours a day if I don't know how to love what I do? I could be resentful that I'm not doing what I love, I could be frustrated, stressed, tired-- that in turn would sabotage me doing what I love.
The Rolling Stones spend 6 months rehearsing every concert tour. They love being on stage and making money but whole at rehearsal they are sending money and not on stage on front of crowds. The key, according to a recent interview, to their longevity, is loving what they do, even the challenging tough stuff.
Doing what we love is a bit idealistic if it doesn't include massive amounts of challenging stuff so, instead of running from it, or judging it, why not work out how to love it? That's the gift... The real key -
Another great example is relationship. Is it always about being in love? No... It's mostly about loving what you do... Including the whole diversity of challenge - many people run from the hard yards and idealise a partner who's going to agree allot.
Do what you love but more importantly love what you do, no matter what it is.
"Every word, every shot is a a promise of what it's like to live on purpose... when you ask why don't I sleep, it's because tomorrow is another day like today, to wake up like it's Christmas or something, and live another day on purpose"
That feeling of "lost steam" can be debilitating... it has many labels, burnout, fatigue, depression, exhaustion and more... I'm so glad you haven't labelled it in one of those stereotypical ways because that labelling actuarially adds to the trouble.
It's really easy to fall into the trap of living someone else's values. Some call it compassion or kindness and accidently give their power away. You'll know if this is you because you'll hear yourself saying "I should do this" or "I got to do that" ... this is the root of so much exhaustion... the conflict between what you value and what someone else, someone you've empowered as an authority (wife, husband, company, religion etc) values.