Monthly Archives: September 2013

Balance — The Key to Health, Wealth and Happiness

Balance — The Key to Health, Wealth and Happiness
At the Capital Region Women’s Conference in Sacramento, California, the theme of “Health and Wealth” was demonstrated and spoken about in areas such as nutrition, exercise, wealth management, technology, nature and wellness.

After listening to many of the speakers, one overarching theme emerged — balance. In a nation that craves extremes and quick fixes, whether that be losing weight or gaining wealth, only balance will sustain us for the long term. For example, in nutrition it’s enjoying an occasional chocolate cupcake amid a regular diet of healthy, organic fruits and vegetables. In health care, it’s exploring alternative healing remedies alongside traditional Western medicine. In fitness, it’s about finding the exercise you love enough to do every day instead of being a weekend warrior.

Technology and nature — opposite ends of the spectrum — are a great example of how important balance is in our lives. We need doses of both every day to satiate our brains and our bodies. Of course technology, particularly in California, seems to be synonymous with wealth, but money is just another form of energy that needs balancing. Hoarding money might make you richer, but sharing it will enrich your life. By giving money to people and organizations that need it, you keep the cycle of money going, not only in your own life, but also in others.

The importance of balancing our feminine and masculine sides came up for multiple conference speakers. Roy Spence, author of The 10 Essential Hugs of Life and the only male speaker at the conference, spoke about the value of feminine qualities in both the workplace (“Hugs are a handshake from the heart,”) and the home (“Dads need to hug their sons more.”). Lisa Oz, New York Times bestselling author and TV host, asked the audience not to give up their core femininity, but rather to embrace both their male and feminine qualities. Dr. Leslie Hewitt, chiropractor and CEO of WOW (Women of Wellness), encouraged women to reconnect with their inner goddesses. As the author of The Goddess of Happiness, I was delighted someone brought up the importance of the feminine archetype.

I spoke about finding balance through an integrated life. Notice I didn’t say “work-life” balance, which is a term I find meaningless and non-existent. Of course I learned that the hard way. In my 30s, I thought balance was the ability to multitask — work 80 hours a week, host extravagant dinner parties and exercise 45 minutes every day. In her keynote, Lisa Oz said, “Multitasking is not balancing. It distracts and leads to less efficiency.” It wasn’t until I was caught up in a whirlwind of family deaths from suicide, brain tumors and cancer, that I realized I wasn’t living an integrated and balanced life, and that my health and happiness, my relationships, my friends and family and my peace of mind were just as important than making money and much more valuable.

Work and life aren’t separated but rather one integrated journey, and that journey had better include of good balance of passionate and inspirational work, gratitude, self-love, inner awareness, good nutrition, fitness, generosity, service, and yes… a whole lot of fun! If you want to be happy, healthy and wealthy, include all of these in your life — in moderation and in balance.

Paying Attention
As I inch forward along this well-worn road, I know by now that to stay alert, awake and attentive is essential to avoiding the pitfalls of mere wishful thinking and downright deception, whether by oneself or well-meaning others.

One must refocus and rely only on one’s personal connection to infallible guidance from highest source, while politely passing over solutions stemming from frequently “common sense” suggestions offered by programmed and/or traditional minds. More often than not there is such opposition in various viewpoints that it requires much discernment to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Eventually humans may fully evolve to the extent that the left-logical and right-intuitive hemispheres of their brains will harmonize and become a single unit, presenting only thoughts that are fully integrated and aligned with well-being.

Since practice makes perfect… I shall practice, practice, practice!

I am now noticing small, or not so small, synchronicities. To clarify, I shall enumerate them chronologically, more or less:

My daughter, Carol, called me from California a few days ago to tell me that someone she grew up with in this building, Tammy, gave her the name of a real estate broker, Judy, who reputedly knows every apartment on the Upper East Side. (I prefer to remain in my present neighborhood. It feels like home.)

I met Judy yesterday in the lobby of a building a few blocks away to look at possibilities. Previously in the week, I had inquired about rentals from an office I just “happened” to pass. The young man from this agency showed me an apartment suitable in every way except price. The location was next door to a drug chain, across the street from a supermarket and my bank. In front was a crosstown bus stop.

Interestingly, Carol’s father, Arnold, had lived there after our separation. So did Carol, when at 14, she decided that living with mom was much too restrictive of her personal freedom. Later, Carol’s new step-mom-to-be, Linda, joined the household. She still lives in the same premises with her significant other. Not to worry if we should meet, Linda and I are cool. If those walls could talk!

Now it just “happened” that the building Judy showed me was in the same vicinity as the location I have just described, only not quite as pricey. There are presently no vacancies. In May, my projected moving date, something could open up. So where is this path leading? I haven’t a clue.

There are times when I wonder what actions I should be taking. The spiritual leader and founder of the “Sedona Method,” Lester Levenson, recommended use of “the butt system” when faced with seeming difficulties.

I sometimes sit and watch old movies. Often they contain encouraging dialogue, such as when in Alice Adams, the family is in dire need, her father counsels that something always comes along — and it does!

Frequently when I listen to music the old Ellington standard “Do Nothing ‘Til You Hear From Me” is played, I interpret this as a sign from divine guidance to take the message literally.

It’s a gorgeous early spring day. A walk in the park, observing Mother Nature decked out in her new finery reminds me that it’s time to put away the heavy winter gear and don something lighter. This can carry over to maintaining sunny thoughts.

How can I have weighty matters on my mind on such a light airy April day? I shall don some spring finery, park my butt on a bench in the park and do nothing ’til I hear from source.

For more by Irene Tanner, click here.

For more on wisdom, click here.

George W. Bush Remembers His Late Dog Barney, Who Would’ve Been 13 Today (PHOTO)

Good News – The Huffington Post
George W. Bush Remembers His Late Dog Barney, Who Would’ve Been 13 Today (PHOTO)
President George W. Bush reflected on the life of his beloved dog Barney Monday by sharing a photo of the president and his former pup on Facebook.

Bush wrote that Monday would have been Barney’s 13th birthday.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

OSU Football Team Consoles Grieving Sports Anchor Dom Tiberi With Onslaught Of Hugs (VIDEO)
On Sept. 17, Dom Tiberi, longtime sports director and anchor at CBS affiliate WBNS-TV, unexpectedly lost his 21-year-old daughter, Maria, in a car accident.

“It’s never going to be the same; a little piece of me died,” Tiberi said Friday, as he made an emotional return to the WBNS sports desk in Columbus, Ohio.

Expressing his gratitude to colleagues and supporters for their encouragement, he added: “We’re going to try to make a positive out of this… Thanks for sticking with me.”

The very next day, after the Ohio State University football team beat the University of Wisconsin-Madison at Ohio Stadium, his home team showed Tiberi that they’re indeed sticking with him: They lined up after the game to envelop the grieving anchor in bear hug after bear hug.

“Whoa,” Tiberi says to the camera, his voice catching, as the last few members of the Buckeyes walk off to the locker room. “That was amazing.”

Tiberi’s daughter had been a student at OSU. A few days after her death, more than 100,000 Buckeye fans stood in silence in her honor before a game at Ohio Stadium, WBNS reports .

Watch the Buckeyes welcoming Tiberi back to the Ohio Stadium in the video above. It’s heartbreakingly bittersweet, so you might want some tissues.

Green – The Huffington Post
Government Shutdown Would Force 94 Percent of EPA Staff To Stay Home
WASHINGTON — Ninety-four percent of Environmental Protection Agency employees will be furloughed tomorrow in the event of a government shutdown, according to the agency’s contingency plan.

A very small number of the agency’s 16,204 employees would be allowed to continue working. Anyone for whom the suspension of work “would imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property” — which the agency says is only about 3.85 percent of its staff — would be allowed to come to work.

Among them are those engaged in activities that “ensure continued public health and safety, including safe use of food and drugs and safe use of hazardous materials”; those who protect federal lands, buildings, equipment and research property; those who conduct law enforcement and criminal investigations; and those who provide emergency and disaster assistance.

Another small portion of employees — 1.81 percent — are funded outside of the appropriations process and would also be able to continue working.

But EPA employees whose jobs involve writing laws to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, for example, will not be able to work. Even most employees who oversee projects like Superfund cleanup sites would not be allowed to continue working, unless discontinuing the work there would pose an “imminent threat” to public health. From the contingency plan:

For example, if ceasing the operation of an acid mine drainage treatment plan would cause a release to a stream that provided drinking water to a community; the agency would consider that situation to pose an imminent threat.

The plan says that the EPA is determining which of the 800 superfund sites around the country qualify for that exception.

Florida Fishermen Boat Through Waterspout, Vow To Never Do It Again (VIDEO)
This goes without saying, but we have to address it anyway: driving a boat through the middle of a waterspout is generally a bad idea.

Yet that didn’t stop Kevin Johnsen, a fisherman specializing in tours of the Florida Keys, when he and Aaron Osters, a fellow fisher, ventured close to a group of waterspouts last week.

A video uploaded to YouTube captured the scene as the two men and a dog boated in and around a storm system 6 miles off the Florida coast. They spend some time underneath a forming funnel, then actually point the boat through a spinning cloud that’s already touched down.

“We’re going to batten down the hatches, put on the waterproof housing and then we’re going inside,” Johnsen explains to the camera (at about 7:10). “My girlfriend is going to kill me,” he adds, as they steer through just over 8 minutes into the video.

Johnsen estimates the spout was an F0, meaning it had wind speeds under 72 miles per hour, though it was strong enough, he says, “to completely open my deck hatches and forcibly move the boat more than I expected.”

“All right, we won’t do that again!” he tells the camera.

Johnsen’s actions are the exact opposite of what one should do with a waterspout. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tells all boaters to “take waterspouts seriously” and “be prepared to quickly seek safe harbor.”

Watch the full video, below:

Climate Change and Urban Sustainability: Building the Infrastructure for Resilience
In 2009, for the first time ever, a majority of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2030, six out of ten people will live in cities. By 2050, that number will grow to seven out of ten. That is three billion additional urban dwellers forecasted by 2050.

Our urban centers are rapidly growing, and we are ill-prepared to meet the challenge. Our climate is changing, and our urban infrastructure is crumbling. Our energy grid has never been more fragile, our landfills are close to overflowing (maybe because we waste almost half of our food?), and our water and wastewater transport and treatment system is in a state of disrepair. The majority of our tax dollars continue to get directed to building highways instead of public transit, and the American Dream seems further out of reach than ever before.

So, what do we do? How do we build our urban centers so that we are both climate resilient and able to keep up with our growing population? How can we engage our communities and urbanites while we build the green job economy that holds such promise?

First, cities need to get a lot smarter about how they use their water and energy, where their food comes from, how they move people around, and where they build housing. Healthy food, adequate clean water, accessible transit, and affordable housing are the building blocks of a quality urban life.

To fuel our growing cities, we will need reliable, local, and renewable energy. California has blazed the path toward this clean energy future with a host of regulatory, legislative, and financial tools, from its landmark AB32 legislation, to community choice aggregation, to clean fuel vehicles. We need to localize these programs in our cities, and institutionalize them from the ground up.

Then there is water, our municipal lifeblood. Climate change will cause water shortages for an additional 100 million urbanites by 2025. We need to rapidly move toward investing in green infrastructure and diversifying our water supplies. The multiple benefits of green infrastructure can no longer be ignored — it is not just about storm water management, but the data now shows that green infrastructure can boost everything from a city’s carbon sequestration to its economic vitality. Recycled water, improved groundwater management, water efficiency, grey water systems, and rainwater catchment are a few of the many water diversification and conservation tools that urbanites can use today to help build a resilient urban water system.

Transit-oriented, energy-efficient developments (TOD) must also become a priority in our city planning if we are going to move the dial on climate change and create livable cities. TOD is a type of community development that includes housing, office, retail, healthy food, and other amenities in a walkable neighborhood and located within a half-mile of transit. TOD is the sustainable solution to everything from housing affordability, to traffic congestion, to climate change. Plus, it can provide safe, green places for our children to play, and for our parents to grow old.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to invest in and lift up our most entrepreneurial and determined community leaders to get the job done. By 2050, people of color will become the majority, and immigrants will account for two-thirds of urban growth by 2025. We need to provide education, job training, and green-collar opportunities to this growing demographic, include them in decision-making at all levels, and recognize the important role they play in a healthy urban infrastructure.

If we move quickly to engage our communities and leaders in the building of a sustainable urban infrastructure, we may yet provide the resiliency we need to adapt to a rapidly changing climate.

My eight-year-old urbanite will thank you.

Hunting In Hawaii Offers Beautiful Vistas, Challenging Terrain And Ethical Game
Most avid sportsmen plan trips to the south or the midwest for their hunting trips. But there’s a new destination to add to the mix, and it doesn’t require cold weather gear.

Hawaii, it turns out, is a hunter’s paradise. Obviously, fishermen in Hawaii have no difficulty filling their days, but the islands are full of large game as well. Wild pigs, goats, axis deer, and feral and mouflon sheep roam the mountains without any natural predators, which makes hunting in Hawaii an environmental necessity. The idea of living off the land is an important value in Hawaiian culture and you’ll often hear hunters say that the “aina [or land] provides.”

Hawaii’s terrain and natural beauty offer an added bonus for hunters looking for more than just a stroll in the woods. Jake Marote, an adventurer and photographer, frequently endures army crawls, hikes over lava fields and climbs up steep cliffs to track animals, all with his crossbow and a 30-pound pack of survival gear in hand. “Never know when you’ll be spending the night,” he says. If he does catch something, Marote (who raised a baby goat he found as a pet) will usually debone the animal on the spot, pack the meat, and leave the carcass — it’s a long hike back, after all.

On a recent hunting trip for goats on Oahu’s west side, Marote and his hunting partner left at 4am. This was the night sky they saw as they began their hike up:

night sky

They had to climb and crawl across narrow spines with steep cliffs on either side. One slip or fall could be deadly.

spines

But the view from the top was worth it.

top

Since it’s “the rut” — or mating season — right now, the male goats were constantly chasing and battling the females around.

rut

Taking aim:

aim

Marote and his friend didn’t catch anything on this particular outing, but not for lack of targets. They could have shot some goats, Marote explained, “but they wouldn’t have been ethical shots as we wouldn’t have been able to climb down and retrieve them from the side of the cliffs.” One of the disadvantages to adventure hunting.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW

For those sportsmen who still don’t believe Hawaii is for them, here is Marote with a ram he shot after a nine-mile hike over lava fields:

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
The Most Important Decision We Can Make
Lots of things annoy me: being behind slow walkers, bad grammar, people who wear cologne a bottle at a time, reality television.

The one pet peeve I have that immediately shifts me into argument mode is best summed up by this comment on my article, “How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps.”

“What happens when you wake up from this dream, and have to live in the real world? I practice these tips every day and i am miserable almost every day. Why? Health issues, spouse, bills, jobs, or lack there of, kids, inlaws, money, no time for physical relationship, to busy for friends, blahblahblah. So you can stick your thumb up your butt and stare at the sky all you want, but that doesnt change the fact that the majority of live is not pleasureable and if it was we wouldnt slave away all year saving for vacation, or get hammered every weekend, or spend money we dont have to buy Christmas presents for everyone to mask the fact that their lives are unhappy also. So your hippie paradise is fine in theory, but then again so is Communism. Depressed yet? Welcome to life.”

I don’t write much about the specifics of difficult things I’ve gone through, partly out of respect for other people that might affect, but in a larger part because it isn’t what defines me. I don’t see myself as the sum of all of the adversity I’ve faced or problems I still have. I don’t look at all the times I’ve been on the ground as who I am.

I define myself by all the times I chose to keep going, when it would have been easier to quit. I define myself by the fact that I choose — daily — that my life is something that I make, not something that happens to me.

I see myself as having gotten back up.

That is the difference. That is the crux of my biggest pet peeve, and quite possibly the biggest decision any of us can make.

We do not get to choose our parents. We do not get to choose what race or gender we are born. We do not get to choose many of the events that happen in our lives: illness, abuses, job loss, relationship problems, the list goes on. We do not choose the hand we are dealt.

But please, don’t ever fall for the lie that we have no choice in what we do about it.

How we behave when things are going well is one measure of our character. Perhaps a far better measure of our character is how we react in the face of adversity. One of the things that sustains me in times that are dark, or difficult, is the knowledge that no matter what happens, the choice of how to respond is mine — and no one else’s. It is a privilege and a responsibility to take ownership of your life, to fully embrace the ideal that your life is not what happens to you, but what you make of it.

Life may bruise us. It might even break us. What comes next is up to us. It isn’t that we should strive to never fall or fail — we will. If we are going to do anything there will be many false steps and failures along the way. We get sick — physically or emotionally. We have losses, setbacks and obstacles. We have heartbreaks. The point of life isn’t to avoid these things or believe that we should act like they didn’t hurt us.

The point is that no matter how many times we fall, we can choose to get back up.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

For more by Kate Bartolotta, click here.

For more on happiness, click here.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

A Life Permanently Changed

A Life Permanently Changed
I’m going to talk about terror  –  about truly coming face to face with what you fear most in life.

As a young child I used to have a reoccurring dream that my neighborhood burned down and took everyone and everything with it.

Fast forward to New Year’s Eve 1986. I was 21 and living in Washington, D.C. My boyfriend at the time had invited me down to Richmond, Virginia, for a New Year’s Eve party. We were driving there with another couple, and then staying overnight and returning on New Year’s Day.

Like any 21 year old who was smitten with her boyfriend, I couldn’t wait for my first overnight trip with him.

As I was getting prepared for the trip, I was listening (and dancing) to Earth Wind & Fire when there was a news interruption on the radio about a hotel fire erupting in Puerto Rico. My heart skipped a beat — my parents were vacationing in San Juan for the holiday week.

I called my brother and learned that my parents were not staying at that particular hotel. In fact, they were staying on a different side of the island. Phew. Instant relief. I went about curling my hair, trying on a dozen different outfits until I found the right one and putting the finishing touches on my makeup.

Finally at 8 p.m., we began our 90-minute journey to the party.

Once in Richmond, we attended the bash until well past midnight and then headed to the Hampton Inn.

When we turned on the TV at the hotel, CNN was the first channel that popped up. Splashed on the screen were horrifying images of the hotel fire that I had heard about earlier in the day. By now they were starting to count the number of dead and interview some of survivors. The Dupont Plaza Hotel fire had been set at 5 p.m. ET by a disgruntled employee and within minutes, spread from the casino to many floors of the building. Images flashed showing terrified victims jumping from windows, ambulance sirens shrieking in the background and smoke billowing from every opening in the building.

Deep breath, Susan. Your parents were nowhere near the hotel. My boyfriend suggested — actually demanded — that I turn off the TV and go to sleep and we’d find out all was okay the next morning. But the TV was like Pandora’s box for me. How could I shut it off? Thankfully he won the argument, as what I would have seen had it stayed on would have probably caused me to go into shock.

My father was next up to be interviewed on the news.

The next morning, I woke up at 8 a.m., startled  –  an early hour for anyone on New Year’s Day. It was sleeting, which only added to the dreary feeling engulfing all four of us. We started our trek home, slowly, because of the weather. Legend says that Virginians don’t drive well in freezing rain and snow.

When we stopped for gas, I decided to call the apartment I was staying in to see if anyone had called for me. Reaching into my jeans pocket, I fished out several dimes and dialed. My roommate answered the call before I could even blubber out a whisper of “good morning” and almost shouted: “Where are you and how far are you from D.C.?”

He told me that my brother and cousin had each called before 9 a.m. A wretched feeling came over my body, and I felt as if I might throw up. I asked for more info, but he didn’t share — all he said was hurry back. My head hung low as I wandered in a blur back to car.

As we headed north, I stared outside counting the icicles drop from the sky as they smacked the sides of the car. Washington’s all-news radio religiously repeated the headlines every seven minutes with the increasing numbers of the victims. First 35, then 45, then 60 and up. The drive seemed to go on for an eternity, and remember, these were the days without Internet, smartphones, or even in many cases, answering machines. There was literally no way to get updates.

Finally, four hours after leaving Richmond, we pulled into my aunt’s driveway in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. Standing at the door were my cousin Anna and my Aunt Arlene. I began my dizzying walk up the long staircase. When they opened the door, I knew that the worst moment of my young life had occurred. My beloved mom was missing and not expected to be found. I fell into their arms.

Ninety-six people perished on that fateful day and left 96 families and loved ones in utter despair. I came face to face with the nightmare that had plagued me as a young child. The fire had won this time. My life would be irrevocably changed forever. There was no turning back.

Almost 30 years later, there are few days that go by that I don’t think of her and the senseless and tragic loss of her life. What I do carry with me is a strange and rather bizarre gift  –  a gift of having experienced one of life’s worst tragedies. I confronted terror head-on. It was challenging and harrowing — the hardest time of my life. But ultimately, I survived. I endured. And I know that no matter what life throws my way, I will eventually be okay.

For more by Susan McPherson, click here.

For more on emotional intelligence, click here.

A City of Mash-Ups
The ultimate mash-up…

Primal, powerful and awe-inspiring…

Alluring, capable of overpowering the senses, driving people wild, beyond control…

Eliciting love and hate, hugs and violence…

No doubt one of the largest viral audiences ever….

What could it be, you ask?

What combination of music, sounds and artists could produce such emotion?

Listen:

“The voice of the muezzin calling the Moslem faithful to prayer; the toll of the Church bells; the chant of Jews praying at the Western Wall…”

And there is only one place in the world where this intoxicating, heady, elating mash-up can be heard… and seen… Jerusalem… as Amos Elon so beautifully portrays in the quote above from his book Jerusalem: City of Mirrors.

Imagine the clean cold chill of a mountain early morning; the dark clear sky ablaze with the lights of the night as the colors begin to change, black to purple, purple to gold as the glow of the sun begins to overpower all and the chill gives way to heat. Now close your eyes and listen — the sounds of Jerusalem — the holy mash-up welcomes the day… in all its new glory.

If I sound slightly infatuated, passionate even maybe a bit crazy and mad — it’s because I am, I was — I stood and listened and watched and experienced the full power and glory of that frenetic mash-up; a sound I can never get enough of when I visit Jerusalem.

And yet, there are some, many perhaps, who would deny that sound — undo the mash-up, limit it to one or another of its parts, unravel the complexity of its beauty, destroy the multi-dimensions, deny the textures that make this mash-up unique.

Let me be clear and honest — I don’t mean for this to be a political or religious diatribe — far from it — I am more interested in the power of this crazy mash-up to drive social long before Facebook, to inspire community long before LinkedIn, to drive connected interactive experiences long before digital anything.

And I am fascinated by what it can inspire today through digital channels of communication, connection and interaction. And yet somehow we seem to be missing the beat.

So as I stood there entranced I asked myself, why is it that the promise of all that we have at our fingertips to connect the world divides us more than ever?

Why is it that we create silos as quickly as we break them down — erase one and seemingly hundreds spring up — against the very premise that digital portends.

Bottom line — the mash-up of all mash-ups — an ultimate source for digital content, social connection, and by the way news — is sadly divisively isolated into its constituent parts.

As I leave Jerusalem — I can only wonder, and I can only hope…

“Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem?”

How about, instead, we tweet, link, share, post, ping and otherwise use the huge power that each of us has in our hands today to use Jerusalem as a metaphor for what digital can do to change the world.

People who value open systems believe that is just the point — value comes not from owning but from sharing. Not from passion for what is mine but from passion for sharing. From understanding that access is the new ownership — it’s not what I hoard, it’s what I can use when I want.

Let’s share this nutty mixed-up mash-up; let’s all own it — because we can, maybe we have to…

Listen:

“Jerusalem is a festival and a lamentation. Its song is a sigh across the ages, a delicate, robust, mournful psalm at the great junction of spiritual cultures.” David K. Shipler

Listen and watch:

And listen and watch again:

The power of digital has never had a better place to start…

What do you think?

Cute Dog Viciously Attacked By Coyote Is Given A Second Chance

Good News – The Huffington Post
Cute Dog Viciously Attacked By Coyote Is Given A Second Chance
Roadrunner’s life was left hanging in the balance after a coyote attacked him. Small dogs do not usually survive such a vicious attack. Roadrunner, a sweet and docile dog, was left lying on the ground, dying from his wounds. Luckily animal control picked him up, but his life was still in jeopardy.

Roadrunner was rushed to the emergency room, but the estimate to save his life was $2,000. The shelter could not afford to spend that much money on just one dog for treatment. Roadrunner was going to have to be put down.

2013-09-27-roadrunnerattackedbycoyote1.jpg

The animal control officer had contacted Tera, at Doggie Protective Services, a nonprofit, all-volunteer driven animal rescue organization who had rescued animals from that particular shelter before. Tera had never taken care of a dog that had survived a coyote attack before, but the thought that a dog would survive such a brutal attack only to be euthanized at the shelter was haunting.

2013-09-27-roadrunnerattackedbycoyote2.jpg

Doggie Protective Services rescued Roadrunner, but that did not mean Roadrunner’s life was in the clear. He survived his surgery, but had a long road to recovery. Roadrunner’s body was wrapped in an orange and black bandage that was literally holding his life together. He had to keep them on constantly because removing the bandages could kill him. There was a potential threat for when they removed the wrap — the punctured lung could collapse and Roadrunner could die. He was isolated for several weeks in a crate for his own safety, any movement could injure him or lead to his sudden death.

2013-09-27-roadrunnerattackedbycoyote3.jpg

Now, two months later, Roadrunner is almost completely healed. After a long and stressful road to recovery, Roadrunner is full of personality. He loves to cuddle and loves to go under the covers and play in the pillows. He does not have any long-term health issues from his injuries. He’s just a happy-go-lucky dog who recently found his forever home! That’s right, Roadrunner was recently adopted.

2013-09-27-roadrunnerattackedbycoyote4.jpg

Despite almost dying from the attack, Roadrunner definitely had the last laugh over the coyote this time around.

To learn more and to donate to Doggy Protective Services visit their website and

like them on Facebook for updates.

Do you have a Tail of Hope or Survival? We’d love to hear it! Visit us at thepetcollective.tv and tell us your story!

Visit The Pet Collective Website for more amazing Tails of Hope!

Connect with The Pet Collective:

The Pet Collective YouTube Channel: /ThePetCollective

The Pet Collective Cares YouTube Channel: /TPCCares

The Pet Collective Facebook: /thepetcollective

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
Divorce Can Have Serious Impact On Men’s Health, New Research Finds
According to a new paper published in the Journal Of Men’s Health, divorce can take a great mental and physical toll on men. Specifically, divorced and unmarried men have higher rates of mortality and are more prone to substance abuse and depression than married men.

The paper, titled “The Influence of Divorce on Men’s Health,” concluded that divorced and married men have mortality rates up to 250 percent higher than married men. The causes of premature death for divorced men include cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke. Divorced men are also more prone to various diseases, ranging from common colds to life-threatening health problems like cancer and heart attacks.

Divorce can also affect men’s mental well being; the researchers found that divorced men are more likely to partake in risky activities such as abusing alcohol and drugs, and divorced or separated men have a suicide rate that is 39 percent higher than that of married men. Depression is also more common for divorced men than married men, and divorced men undergo psychiatric care 10 times more often than married men do.

Dr. Ridwan Shabsigh, the president of the International Society of Men’s Health, explained the importance of the study’s findings in a press release.

“Popular perception, and many cultures as well as the media present men as tough, resilient, and less vulnerable to psychological trauma than women. However, this article serves as a warning signal not to follow such unfounded perceptions,” he said. “The fact is that men get affected substantially by psychological trauma and negative life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, war, and bereavement. Research is urgently needed to investigate the prevalence and impact of such effects and to develop diagnosis and treatment guidelines for practitioners.”

This isn’t the first study to look at how divorce affects people’s health. In August, a study out of Finland found that antidepressant use spikes in the months preceding divorce, and a study published in July 2013 found that children of divorce may be more susceptible to serious health problems later in life.

Check out the slideshow below for even more interesting divorce-related research findings.

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter.

Green – The Huffington Post
David Suzuki Foundation: Global Warming Can Be Curbed In Canada

OTTAWA – The David Suzuki Foundation says the latest international report on climate change confirms that global warming is amplified in Canada and the trend is going to continue.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, released today in its entirety, confirms the planet is heating up and that it’s extremely likely that human activities are to blame.

The Suzuki foundation, however, says the additional details from the report released today also show that climate change hits harder in northern countries such as Canada.

The foundation says Canada has experienced double the average global temperature increase during the last century.

It also says the report shows it’s not too late to cut carbon emissions and avert the worst effects of global warming.

The Harper government greeted the report by saying it’s already acting to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

WATCH: Just Say ‘Yes!’

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
WATCH: Just Say ‘Yes!’
Perhaps you’ve seen the Jim Carrey movie Yes Man. Yes? It’s about a guy who chronically says “no” to everything. A motivational speaker challenges him to start saying “yes!” to life, and the hilarity ensues. While I’m not necessarily encouraging you to go to the same lengths, is it perhaps possible that there are more good experiences out there that you could say “yes” to? I hope this video will help.

If you are new to tapping, it will be beneficial to also watch the first episode in the “Tap Out Your Fears” series — which explains the basics of EFT — click here.

As with any of my tapping videos, this is an abbreviated process for releasing uncomfortable feelings and enhancing good ones. Some folks may find their fear dissolve after just one tapping session, but for others, it will take some repetition, bringing the discomfort down little by little each time. (Still others may uncover specific issues that are best addressed directly with a wellness practitioner.) In any event, this brief video should help at least take the edge off the discomfort, freeing you up to enjoy life much more. Let us know how it helped you!

For a picture of the tapping points — and more info on EFT — click here.

Tapping can sometimes bring up long-buried emotions, which is why I state that, before tapping along, folks must take full responsibility for their own well-being. For more information about that, please read this disclaimer.

Until next time, feel free to tap along with any of the many videos I have on YouTube or the many recordings I have at TapToFeelGood.com.

For EFT with kids, please visit: TheWizardsWish.com.

For more by Brad Yates, click here.

A City of Mash-Ups
The ultimate mash-up…

Primal, powerful and awe-inspiring…

Alluring, capable of overpowering the senses, driving people wild, beyond control…

Eliciting love and hate, hugs and violence…

No doubt one of the largest viral audiences ever….

What could it be, you ask?

What combination of music, sounds and artists could produce such emotion?

Listen:

“The voice of the muezzin calling the Moslem faithful to prayer; the toll of the Church bells; the chant of Jews praying at the Western Wall…”

And there is only one place in the world where this intoxicating, heady, elating mash-up can be heard… and seen… Jerusalem… as Amos Elon so beautifully portrays in the quote above from his book Jerusalem: City of Mirrors.

Imagine the clean cold chill of a mountain early morning; the dark clear sky ablaze with the lights of the night as the colors begin to change, black to purple, purple to gold as the glow of the sun begins to overpower all and the chill gives way to heat. Now close your eyes and listen — the sounds of Jerusalem — the holy mash-up welcomes the day… in all its new glory.

If I sound slightly infatuated, passionate even maybe a bit crazy and mad — it’s because I am, I was — I stood and listened and watched and experienced the full power and glory of that frenetic mash-up; a sound I can never get enough of when I visit Jerusalem.

And yet, there are some, many perhaps, who would deny that sound — undo the mash-up, limit it to one or another of its parts, unravel the complexity of its beauty, destroy the multi-dimensions, deny the textures that make this mash-up unique.

Let me be clear and honest — I don’t mean for this to be a political or religious diatribe — far from it — I am more interested in the power of this crazy mash-up to drive social long before Facebook, to inspire community long before LinkedIn, to drive connected interactive experiences long before digital anything.

And I am fascinated by what it can inspire today through digital channels of communication, connection and interaction. And yet somehow we seem to be missing the beat.

So as I stood there entranced I asked myself, why is it that the promise of all that we have at our fingertips to connect the world divides us more than ever?

Why is it that we create silos as quickly as we break them down — erase one and seemingly hundreds spring up — against the very premise that digital portends.

Bottom line — the mash-up of all mash-ups — an ultimate source for digital content, social connection, and by the way news — is sadly divisively isolated into its constituent parts.

As I leave Jerusalem — I can only wonder, and I can only hope…

“Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem?”

How about, instead, we tweet, link, share, post, ping and otherwise use the huge power that each of us has in our hands today to use Jerusalem as a metaphor for what digital can do to change the world.

People who value open systems believe that is just the point — value comes not from owning but from sharing. Not from passion for what is mine but from passion for sharing. From understanding that access is the new ownership — it’s not what I hoard, it’s what I can use when I want.

Let’s share this nutty mixed-up mash-up; let’s all own it — because we can, maybe we have to…

Listen:

“Jerusalem is a festival and a lamentation. Its song is a sigh across the ages, a delicate, robust, mournful psalm at the great junction of spiritual cultures.” David K. Shipler

Listen and watch:

And listen and watch again:

The power of digital has never had a better place to start…

What do you think?

What to Do When Your Skills Don’t Align With Your Passion
skill (noun):

1. The ability to do something well; expertise.

2. A particular ability.

So many of us get extremely caught up in doing the things we’re good at. Maybe it’s a trade we learned from our parents growing up… maybe it’s what we were directed to go to college for, and we have a degree plus years of experience under our belt.

Regardless, it’s not our passion.

This realization can cause a lot of confusion and heartache.

But I spent ___ years and thousands of dollars going to school for this.

This is the only way I know how to make money.

The thing I love to do can’t be a REAL career.

Everyone says I’m so great at this, I would be a fool to change paths.

2013-09-27-skills_vs_passion.png

Here’s the truth about “what you do best”:

You were given these strengths and skill sets as tools, not necessarily to build your life around.

I’m a prime example of this… my skills, experience and “expertise” are in design and branding. I went to school for it, worked at many firms and agencies, even built a business of my own around it! But it’s not my passion. My passion is personal responsibility, and I’m driven by the desire to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

I tried to find a logical way to incorporate the two… only work with non-profits or companies that try to make a difference, but the fact of the matter is, I was just not passionate about design on it’s own. It’s a talent, one that I wasn’t entirely sure why I had, until I realized it was a tool to do far greater work in the world… and not necessarily in an obvious way.

Yes, I have the ability to create a beautiful and strong brand for everything I do… but my experience with branding also allows me to help people define their why, values and vision for life, then help them ensure all life areas are consistent with this vision. I’m able to see where people are out of alignment with what they claim to believe and desire in their life.

Let’s look at how you can do this with your life…

How to Connect Your Passion and Skills

1. Make a Transferable Skills List

The first step towards building a life around your passion, while incorporating your skills and strengths, is to take a look at how they integrate with one another. At first it can be incredibly difficult to make a connection… take my story as an example. How on earth does graphic design and personal development work together?

Start by making a list of all the skills that you’ve developed or honed as a result of your education, training and experience. Think of as many as possible. In my case, not only did I have all the skills and experience of design, I learned a ton about running a business, bookkeeping, customer service, working with vendors, pitching, sales, printing and so much more. I gained the tools necessary to build a solid business doing what I love and a different perspective on how to teach it to my audience. Additionally, my personal experience in building a life I didn’t love drives the work that I do for others.

Once you have your list, take a look and see what’s transferable to your passion. What skills can you use to build a career, business or life around what you really love? Get creative — sometimes the answer is not always obvious or conventional.

2. Reframe Your Situation

Many times you may experience feelings of guilt or shame around the fact that you went to school, trained or spent years of your life following your skills, not your passion. Before you can move forward with what you love, you have to release those feelings and reframe the situation.

First of all, you would not have ended up doing whatever you’ve been doing without those natural skills and talents… there is a reason you spent time in the field you did and not another. Even if you were shoved into a profession that felt completely out of your skill set, you likely landed in a position that was fitting on some level.

Instead of viewing this as wasted time, work to see it as time spent honing your skills and talents in a different way. Having a unique perspective on how to do things will prove to be invaluable as you pursue your passion. No matter what you’ve been doing, it will serve you as you in the years to come. Look to positively reframe your situation constantly. There’s no sense wasting time in that negative space!

3. Dabble in Your Delights

Don’t think that because you spent years as a lawyer you can’t “waste time” painting. Or that you have no business building a life around working with kids when all you’ve done for the past decade of your life is crunch numbers and push papers.

You’re drawn to what you’re drawn to for a reason… don’t over-think it! Do what you love. Do what you deeply desire to do. The things that light you up, fascinate you and feels right. Feelings should always win out over thoughts.

If you feel like you want to paint and be an artist… paint and be an artist. Don’t worry about the thoughts that tell you it’s silly, childish, random or a waste of time. Don’t think that you should be focusing on that big promotion when you don’t love what you do. Put energy into what you love to do, not what you do because you can.

Take Action Now

Share with me at least one skill that you’ve honed doing whatever it is that you do that could be utilized if you follow your passion. If you’re not sure what you’re really passionate about yet, share with me one thing that you desire to do and how you plan to start incorporating it into your life this week.

Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, “The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question.”

Connect with Stephenie on Facebook and Twitter!

For more by Stephenie Zamora, click here.

Babies Walking For The First Time Will Send Your Heart To The Moon
One small step for babies, one giant leap for baby compilation videos.

Via FunnyPlox

Good News – The Huffington Post
World’s Oldest People Interviewed In Hunter Weeks’ New Film, ‘Walter: The Movie’
The 21st century is 13 years old and there are only seven people on Earth who were alive during the 1800s.

In addition to that lucky group, there are only 53 other people on the planet who quality as “supercentenarians” — people at least 110 years old.

Colorado filmmaker Hunter Weeks interviewed six of these very old souls for “Walter: The Movie,” in hopes of discovering their secrets.

He learned a lot about himself in the process, mainly that it can be difficult asking a 114-year-old man about his secrets to life.

“It’s hard seeing old people,” Weeks told The Huffington Post. “You’re hanging out with them at the end of their years.”

PHOTOS: (Story Continues Below)

Weeks noted that only two of the supercentenarians interviewed in the film are still alive: Sister Cecilia Gaudette, 109, an American nun living in Rome, Italy; and Juana Bautista de la Candelaria Rodriguez, a Cuban woman who claims to be 128.

The documentary premieres Oct. 4 at the IFC Center in New York and was inspired by Walter Bruening, who lived to be 114 years, 205 days until his death in April 2011.

Weeks first met Bruening in Great Falls, Mont., while doing a project about the state’s oldest resident. He was fascinated to be in the presence of a man who was 10 years old when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake happened.

Weeks hoped to find some secret to long life while making the film, but admits there is no exact formula. Bruening smoked cigars until he was 99 (and only quit because of the cost), while former world’s oldest living person Besse Cooper loved fried chicken.

“These are people who dodged a lot of bullets,” Weeks said. “It comes down to walking a fine line.”

All of the supercentenarians shared one common factor: strong wills.

“That was especially the case with Walter. He wanted things his way,” Weeks said. “He was having lunch and I went to film him and he said, ‘Leave me alone. I have lunch by myself.'”

But getting historical insights with Bruening — or anyone else over the age of 110 — presents its challenges, Weeks said.

“Talking to a really old person can be awkward,” Weeks said. “I would ask him a question and he would mishear it and answer the question he thought he heard. Sometimes you feel compelled to finish their sentences.”

Weeks also discovered that being the world’s oldest person is more of a big deal for the people around the supercentenarians than the record-breaking oldsters themselves.

“It’s not like they don’t care, but they kind of know they’re at the top of the list,” he said. “In their own communities, their advanced age gives them more respect.”

Some advanced oldsters also hope the honor brings them more money, like Rodriguez, an allegedly 128-year-old woman in Cuba.

“She was excited about [possibly being the oldest person on Earth],” Weeks said. “She thought it might bring more money.”

The claim also brings controversy, and close scrutiny from a very active online community called The 110 Club that keeps track of who is a contender and who is a pretender for the title of “World’s Oldest Living Person.”

The group makes a point of analyzing the claims of alleged supercentenarians like Rodriguez as well as Ethiopian farmer Dhaqabo Ebba, who claims to be 160 years old, and Carmelo Flores Laura of Bolivia, who insists he turned 123 in July.

Atlanta-based gerontologist Robert Young, told Weeks he believes Rodriguez is only 96.

Young recently disputed Laura’s claims by pointing out a few basic facts about supercentenarians in general: Few people past the age of 110 can walk on their own without help, like Laura, and the oldest age any man has been documented to live is 116.

“Young gets frustrated when people make fraudulent claims,” Weeks said. “He wants to know who the oldest person really is.”

The “World’s Oldest” categories are among Guinness World Records’ most popular, and Weeks said one of the most amusing encounters came from the family of Mary Tankursley, who turned 110 during the making of his film and died shortly thereafter.

“The daughters saw that there was growing interest in their mother as she hit 110 and they wanted to know what they could expect in coming years,” Weeks said. “It was almost like she was a rookie.”

Man Named Gary Beats Crack Addiction For Sake Of His Dog, And Now He’s Speaking Out (PHOTOS)
When Gary moved to The Avalon Hotel in 2000, he sometimes smoked crack in his room. But in 2002, he was given a dog named Kolby. And each time Gary smoked, the 2-year-old German Shepherd, golden lab-retriever mix would scratch at the door to get out — that, or throw up.

So Gary quit smoking crack.

He simply couldn’t handle watching his companion suffer.

Eleven years later, Gary — whose last name The Huffington Post is withholding — is still clean and finally telling his story. In an interview with Canada’s Metro News, he explained how his four-legged friend is responsible for keeping him on track.

“[Kolby] is pretty much my life,” Gary, now 65, told the paper. “If I didn’t have him I’d just be sitting around in my room, watching TV all the time. So now I get out. I get some fresh air. It makes a big difference.”

The interview made national news last week when msnNOW picked up Gary’s story.

kolby

The Avalon, where Gary still lives, is a hotel-style residency in Vancouver that houses 85 low-income tenants. It’s also home to Whole Way House, a charitable society aimed at building meaningful relationships within the community. Tenants aren’t required to stop doing drugs or stop drinking when they live there. The residency is instead designed to help offer love, support, and comfort.

Behind it is the Konkin family. Since 2010, siblings Josh and Jenny Konkin have managed the residency. Their parents, Ron and Tina, used to run things, and their grandparents originally purchased the building in the late 1970s.

konkin

konkin

The Konkins are also the reason that Gary met Kolby.

In 2000, Jenny Konkin’s dad gave the pup to her as a gift. But after she started college, her parents began bringing Kolby to work at the hotel each day. And Gary, 54 at the time, immediately took a liking to him.

“[Gary] would look after him and take him to the park,” Jenny Konkin told HuffPost. “He really took him under his wing, like his own baby.”

The two grew so close that Gary eventually offered the Konkins a sort of ultimatum.

“I just said, ‘Well, you’ve either got to take him back or give him to me, because I’m getting too attached to him,'” he told Metro News.

Jenny Konkin decided to do the former. In 2002, she gave Gary ownership of her pet.

“To watch the joy Kolby brought him… I was happy to give that to him,” she told HuffPost.

Konkin said this is not the first time she’s seen love conquer addiction at The Avalon. Around the same time that Gary found Kolby, Konkin’s mother, Tina, took on a tenant named Gypsy. Gypsy was a heroin addict who prostituted to support her habit. Tina Konkin was distraught by Gypsy’s profession — so much so that one day, she offered to pay for Gypsy’s drugs.

“We all thought, ‘What?'” Jenny Konkin recalled. “Paying for someone’s drugs goes against all of my mom’s values… But she loved Gypsy too much to let her continue prostituting.”

In the end, though, everyone won. Gypsy was so overcome by the gesture that she decided to quit heroin. Sometimes, Konkin says, love and support is all a person really needs.

“It’s important to us to make people know they’re not alone. That’s what Gary has with Kolby,” she said. “Dogs give unconditional love. That’s what we want to do, too.”

Green – The Huffington Post
Cute Dog Viciously Attacked By Coyote Is Given A Second Chance
Roadrunner’s life was left hanging in the balance after a coyote attacked him. Small dogs do not usually survive such a vicious attack. Roadrunner, a sweet and docile dog, was left lying on the ground, dying from his wounds. Luckily animal control picked him up, but his life was still in jeopardy.

Roadrunner was rushed to the emergency room, but the estimate to save his life was $2,000. The shelter could not afford to spend that much money on just one dog for treatment. Roadrunner was going to have to be put down.

2013-09-27-roadrunnerattackedbycoyote1.jpg

The animal control officer had contacted Tera, at Doggie Protective Services, a nonprofit, all-volunteer driven animal rescue organization who had rescued animals from that particular shelter before. Tera had never taken care of a dog that had survived a coyote attack before, but the thought that a dog would survive such a brutal attack only to be euthanized at the shelter was haunting.

2013-09-27-roadrunnerattackedbycoyote2.jpg

Doggie Protective Services rescued Roadrunner, but that did not mean Roadrunner’s life was in the clear. He survived his surgery, but had a long road to recovery. Roadrunner’s body was wrapped in an orange and black bandage that was literally holding his life together. He had to keep them on constantly because removing the bandages could kill him. There was a potential threat for when they removed the wrap — the punctured lung could collapse and Roadrunner could die. He was isolated for several weeks in a crate for his own safety, any movement could injure him or lead to his sudden death.

2013-09-27-roadrunnerattackedbycoyote3.jpg

Now, two months later, Roadrunner is almost completely healed. After a long and stressful road to recovery, Roadrunner is full of personality. He loves to cuddle and loves to go under the covers and play in the pillows. He does not have any long-term health issues from his injuries. He’s just a happy-go-lucky dog who recently found his forever home! That’s right, Roadrunner was recently adopted.

2013-09-27-roadrunnerattackedbycoyote4.jpg

Despite almost dying from the attack, Roadrunner definitely had the last laugh over the coyote this time around.

To learn more and to donate to Doggy Protective Services visit their website and

like them on Facebook for updates.

Do you have a Tail of Hope or Survival? We’d love to hear it! Visit us at thepetcollective.tv and tell us your story!

Visit The Pet Collective Website for more amazing Tails of Hope!

Connect with The Pet Collective:

The Pet Collective YouTube Channel: /ThePetCollective

The Pet Collective Cares YouTube Channel: /TPCCares

The Pet Collective Facebook: /thepetcollective

Meet Peter Willcox, The Greenpeace Captain Currently Under Arrest In Russia
Greenpeace says it is not backing down from direct actions even as Russian authorities continue to detain the captain of its Arctic Sunrise ship and 29 other activists in Murmansk, Russia, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle.

Captain Peter Willcox, the only American in the group, was arrested by the Russian Coast Guard on Sept. 19, a day after several Greenpeace activists attempted to scale an offshore oil platform belonging to the state-owned oil and gas company Gazprom. The oil platform is located some 60 kilometers off the coast of Russia, according to Gazprom, but The New York Times reported that the Greenpeace ship was boarded by Russia’s Federal Security Service in international waters.

No charges have been filed against the group, who will be held in Murmansk for at least two months. Russian investigators said Monday that charges would be filed soon and accused the activists of posing a “real threat” to personnel aboard the Gazprom platform.

“It’s just unconscionable to hold people prisoner without any charges for two months or any period even close to that,” Greenpeace U.S. Executive Director Phil Radford told The Huffington Post. “The Russian government has really overreacted, when they should be focusing on their reaction to climate change.”

Willcox, 60, was also the captain of Greenpeace’s flagship Rainbow Warrior. In 1985, the French foreign intelligence service bombed and sunk the ship while it was docked in Auckland, New Zealand. Fernando Pereira, a 35-year-old Greenpeace photographer, was killed in the attack, which occurred ahead of a planned protest against French nuclear testing in the Moruroa Atoll.

“The French have never apologized to either Greenpeace or the Pereira family for what happened,” Willcox told former Greenpeace research director Kert Davies in a radio interview in 2012.

A Connecticut native, Willcox has worked for Greenpeace for more than 30 years. He began his career as an environmental activist in 1973, sailing aboard Pete Seeger’s sloop, the Clearwater. He became captain of that ship in 1976. He joined Greenpeace in 1981, and said in a short biography he wrote for the group that skippering Greenpeace boats has occupied “about 90% of my life” since then.

Willcox told Davies that he “absolutely loved” working aboard the Rainbow Warrior in the early 1980s. “I think I’d still be on the Warrior today if the French hadn’t blown it up,” he said.

Willcox is also the father of two teenage daughters, and he described parenting as “about the only thing that could keep me from going to sea.”

His wife, Maggy, told HuffPost that she accepted theirs would be a long distance relationship when they got married in February 2013, but joked that this wasn’t what she envisioned. “You know, honey, I wasn’t thinking of a gulag in Russia,” she wrote in a recent message to Willcox.

She described her husband as “a man of strong convictions” who “sincerely cares.”

“He’s worried about what we’re doing to our planet,” she said. “He’s unable to just sit back and let things happen.”

Radford described Willcox as a thoughtful introvert and a “great captain” who “runs a really tight ship.” Surviving aboard the Rainbow Warrior during the bombing “only strengthened his commitment,” Radford said.

“He really cares about exposing the environmental crises of our time and has been doing this for about three decades,” Radford said.

John Passacantando, a former executive director of Greenpeace U.S., described Willcox as “the perfect warrior and perhaps Greenpeace’s most experienced captain.” “He’s the guy you want to go through fire with,” Passacantando told HuffPost.

Maggy Willcox said the ordeal has been difficult, but she’s trying to be positive and constructive. While she described her husband as kind and gentle, she said he has a “backbone of steel.”

She said that seeing photographs of Peter released last week that show him grinning as Russian police escorted him into a courtroom in handcuffs gave her hope. “Peter’s okay,” she said. “I’m okay.”

Greenpeace says it’s not backing down from the situation in Russia. “We are not going to be intimidated by this,” Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace International, said at a press conference last Friday. “We will continue.”

peter willcox1

Kate Sheppard contributed to this report.

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
World’s Oldest People Interviewed In Hunter Weeks’ New Film, ‘Walter: The Movie’
The 21st century is 13 years old and there are only seven people on Earth who were alive during the 1800s.

In addition to that lucky group, there are only 53 other people on the planet who quality as “supercentenarians” — people at least 110 years old.

Colorado filmmaker Hunter Weeks interviewed six of these very old souls for “Walter: The Movie,” in hopes of discovering their secrets.

He learned a lot about himself in the process, mainly that it can be difficult asking a 114-year-old man about his secrets to life.

“It’s hard seeing old people,” Weeks told The Huffington Post. “You’re hanging out with them at the end of their years.”

PHOTOS: (Story Continues Below)

Weeks noted that only two of the supercentenarians interviewed in the film are still alive: Sister Cecilia Gaudette, 109, an American nun living in Rome, Italy; and Juana Bautista de la Candelaria Rodriguez, a Cuban woman who claims to be 128.

The documentary premieres Oct. 4 at the IFC Center in New York and was inspired by Walter Bruening, who lived to be 114 years, 205 days until his death in April 2011.

Weeks first met Bruening in Great Falls, Mont., while doing a project about the state’s oldest resident. He was fascinated to be in the presence of a man who was 10 years old when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake happened.

Weeks hoped to find some secret to long life while making the film, but admits there is no exact formula. Bruening smoked cigars until he was 99 (and only quit because of the cost), while former world’s oldest living person Besse Cooper loved fried chicken.

“These are people who dodged a lot of bullets,” Weeks said. “It comes down to walking a fine line.”

All of the supercentenarians shared one common factor: strong wills.

“That was especially the case with Walter. He wanted things his way,” Weeks said. “He was having lunch and I went to film him and he said, ‘Leave me alone. I have lunch by myself.'”

But getting historical insights with Bruening — or anyone else over the age of 110 — presents its challenges, Weeks said.

“Talking to a really old person can be awkward,” Weeks said. “I would ask him a question and he would mishear it and answer the question he thought he heard. Sometimes you feel compelled to finish their sentences.”

Weeks also discovered that being the world’s oldest person is more of a big deal for the people around the supercentenarians than the record-breaking oldsters themselves.

“It’s not like they don’t care, but they kind of know they’re at the top of the list,” he said. “In their own communities, their advanced age gives them more respect.”

Some advanced oldsters also hope the honor brings them more money, like Rodriguez, an allegedly 128-year-old woman in Cuba.

“She was excited about [possibly being the oldest person on Earth],” Weeks said. “She thought it might bring more money.”

The claim also brings controversy, and close scrutiny from a very active online community called The 110 Club that keeps track of who is a contender and who is a pretender for the title of “World’s Oldest Living Person.”

The group makes a point of analyzing the claims of alleged supercentenarians like Rodriguez as well as Ethiopian farmer Dhaqabo Ebba, who claims to be 160 years old, and Carmelo Flores Laura of Bolivia, who insists he turned 123 in July.

Atlanta-based gerontologist Robert Young, told Weeks he believes Rodriguez is only 96.

Young recently disputed Laura’s claims by pointing out a few basic facts about supercentenarians in general: Few people past the age of 110 can walk on their own without help, like Laura, and the oldest age any man has been documented to live is 116.

“Young gets frustrated when people make fraudulent claims,” Weeks said. “He wants to know who the oldest person really is.”

The “World’s Oldest” categories are among Guinness World Records’ most popular, and Weeks said one of the most amusing encounters came from the family of Mary Tankursley, who turned 110 during the making of his film and died shortly thereafter.

“The daughters saw that there was growing interest in their mother as she hit 110 and they wanted to know what they could expect in coming years,” Weeks said. “It was almost like she was a rookie.”

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

Tim Minchin’s Graduation Speech Perfectly Breaks Down Life’s Lessons For Everyone

Tim Minchin’s Graduation Speech Perfectly Breaks Down Life’s Lessons For Everyone
You might recognize Tim Minchin as a famous Australian musician, composer, songwriter, actor, comedian and writer, but did you know that he is also pretty much a sage when it comes to giving life advice?

Watch Minchin deliver the Occasional Address (aka guest speech) at his alma mater, The University of Western Austrailia. His advice to graduates on how “to be” is funny, inspiring, beautiful and real. To sum it up very very simply, he says:

1. You don’t have to have a dream.

2. Don’t seek happiness.

3. Remember, it’s all luck.

4. Exercise.

5. Be hard on your opinions.

6. Be a teacher.

7. Define yourself by what you love.

8. Respect people with less power than you.

9. Don’t rush.

Listen to these words of wisdom, and you might just get through life perfectly…Or at least, kind of unscathed.

Via The University of Western Australia

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 8 in a Series of Cancer-Related Commentary
Where the streets have no name… (U2)

I thought I’d take this opportunity, as my body ejects the cancer cells and recovers for the next round of chemotherapy, to discuss how different people have reacted to being told I have cancer. Like responses to chemo, everyone’s experiences are different. Of course, these are my experiences; but I believe they contain universal truths.

Spouse/Partner/Significant Other:

If you are in a relationship with a caregiver then they will continue in that capacity for the duration — you are in good, loving hands. If you are not in a relationship with a caregiver you need to understand that the person you fell in love with may not change into someone who can nurse you back to health. It doesn’t mean they love you less, it’s simply who they are. It may be difficult to understand, but the person you chose to share your life with is the same person — you are the one who has had a change of circumstance. Let them be themselves; continue to love them for who they are; don’t try to make them into someone they are not; and you will both be happier for it.

Children:

I don’t have any biological children, so I don’t have any familiarity for this area. I’ll defer to others to comment on their experiences in the comment section below. What I will say is that having been a child I know that the love for a parent is strong — never forget children love you, unconditionally.

Parents:

I had an interesting relationship with my mother prior to notifying her that I had cancer (my father passed many years ago). I’d call her and she’d talk about herself, never once asking about me. It was when she was in her late 80s that I told her I had leukemia; then she never talked about herself until I asked, and only briefly — she wanted to know everything I had done since we last spoke. It completely changed the dynamic of our relationship in that she became both a friend and a nurse to my patient. This change made our times together before her passing that much more rewarding; and, while I may not like to, I have my leukemia to thank — a silver lining.

Siblings:

We grow up together and then we part, some farther than others. What I would suggest we all remember is that our siblings have their own lives and families; and the distance in multiple factors (age, miles, etc.) impacts the manner in which they respond. Some will be selfless, while others will resort to still being a sibling within the hierarchy of the family. If you can understand this then you can handle how they will behave, from denial (since they don’t want to think they may also get cancer due to any hereditary factors) to taking over (usually an older sibling, which can be a blessing and a pain). But let them live their lives as they, too, need to live with your cancer in the best way they know how.

Friends:

Cancer is the ultimate decider of who your true friends, or angels, are. In our lives we are lucky if we have a few best friends who, when the cancer chips are down, are there without having been asked. We think we know who these people are, but the wonderful thing about having cancer (I know, somewhat of an oxymoron) is the joyous surprises of love your friends will shower on you in both big and little ways. It’s as if a ray of sunshine pierces your heart each time an offer, a mention, a meal, a smile, a call, an email comes your way. The simple act of asking, “How are you?” is a radiant sunrise given so effortlessly, yet promising so much.

I would ask that you also forgive those friends who seem to disappear. I had two such friends who, once I told them I had leukemia, never called me again; and this after I had been there for them during their recovery from being run over by a car and a divorce. But I can’t blame them, for I was the one who chose to be there for them during their time of need. We each deal with adversity in our own way, and this is how they chose to deal, or, as the case may be, not to deal, with my misfortune. Be prepared for this and you will be a stronger person in the end. And don’t be afraid of letting these people go no matter how much you may think you love them or have invested in them, for if they truly love you they will come back. (I know, sounds like releasing that butterfly slogan. Be prepared for them not to come back.)

Acquaintances:

People who we meet and interact with on a limited basis may surprise you upon finding out you have cancer. There are people you won’t know well who have a need to be helpful — let them. There are people who are good friends of your friends who will rally around you in support of that friend — embrace them. There are people who will observe silently from the sidelines — help them. There are people who make offers with all good intentions but no follow through — forgive them.

And then there are people from your past (near or distant) who may reach out offering encouragement, providing a moment of uplifting pleasure from their simple act of having contacted you — be ever thankful.

Bosses:

They don’t want to know anything; and if they know something, the less they know the better — for the company. You need to bear in mind that it is the company for which you work. If you receive health care from your company, all the more reason for the company to not want to know about your health. But tell your boss as soon as you know you have cancer; give them as much information as you have because you will need them, the company’s health insurance, when the time comes.

My bosses, for the most part, were supportive in our discussions; but they would never broach the subject with me — I had to initiate any conversations either verbally or in writing. What you need to realize is that they are doing their job, as you should be doing your job. It may seem cold and harsh, but it is the reality of the workplace today — do not hold it against them.

Co-workers:

And yet here you’ll find people who care and don’t have an issue by asking you, from time to time, how you’re doing once they hear you have cancer. People you pass in the hall will display concern for your wellbeing — totally unsolicited — as they, too may have experienced cancer in one form or another during their lives. These are the same individuals you may have worked with for years or only briefly who suddenly take a keen interest in you — hold close those that do.

Strangers:

During the cancer journey you will come across many new faces. Some will become your angels and friends for life, while others will be looking to you for direction and information, and still others may dismiss you as being condescending. Don’t ignore the strangers you encounter as they are looking to learn, seeking how to be brave, wanting to know more without acknowledging it. For, yes, we all want to have the knowledge, to be empowered — they simply may not know it yet. Please note that those who may condescend have their own issues they are trying to cope with — let them be.

Oneself:

How you react to being told you have cancer, and how you deal with it on an ongoing basis, is as individualized as snowflakes. My advice is to not blame anyone, especially oneself — it isn’t productive. You might begin by reviewing the many self-help books and guides, as well as alternative routes to take. Learn as much as you can about your individual cancer, and then begin the process of educating yourself on how best to continue with your life with cancer. This takes many forms, from the food we eat, to where we live, to whom we have around us, to options for healing with herbs and meditation as well as the medicines you will be prescribed. No one told me I couldn’t try something if it had even the remotest chance of it making me feel better. But do ask your health care provider first as some things have been clinically proven to be harmful to the type of cancer you may have, and they will know.

If your cancer was brought about due to negligence or work related practices, it is understandable that you will be upset with the responsible party. I ask that you remember that anger does not make you healthier — it actually serves to make you worse. First and foremost — be good to yourself.

As for me, I still feel disoriented and confused from time to time, along with short-term memory loss where I can’t remember names and details combined with an inability to concentrate or focus for long periods — what I call chemo brain; fatigue is a constant, while my fingers tingling has lessened. During this entire cycle I have had nasal congestion and cough which appear to be lessening. And the other side-effects I experience dissipate as I get closer to the next round of chemotherapy — at least they have so far.

Timing: Oct. 7 through Oct. 12, Cycle Three (3) of chemotherapy.

Where the streets have no name…

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 1

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 2

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 3

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 4

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 5

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 6

Postcards From Lebanon: Part 7

Roadmap for the Work Week
It is so easy to refer to our weeks as either “good” or “bad,” but every week is a journey, filled with highs and lows, opportunities to be happy and in control, and excuses to feel stressed or misunderstood. Just as words can be “heavy” or “light,” so too can your week’s journey! Thinking of each day as a leg of the journey could help in lightening your emotional diet and creating the ideal week in which the “to dos” of life become rewarding and manageable.

Maybe you’ve got a Manic Monday this week… why not make it a Mighty Monday? Could your Warring Wednesday become a Winning Wednesday? The list goes on: make your Tuesday Tranquil, your Thursday Thoughtful. Let Fridays be fit and fun, and certainly find a way to be Smiling on Saturday. No matter what kind of week you’re having, compartmentalizing each day and giving yourself the opportunity to positively change each “leg” is possible. Like a good wine and cheese, each day of the week can be paired with a complementary exercise (either mental or physical) that can transform and better it. Let’s break it down.

Sunday: It’s Sunday night. Maybe you’ve laid out your clothes, packed lunch for the next day, sent the last email of the night and settled into bed for a bit of shut-eye. So why can’t you sleep?! If you’re like many people, Sunday is the hardest night of the week to fall asleep. Stressing out on Sunday night sets you up for a major work week traffic jam. Who wants to start Monday off groggy and unfocused?!

There are active choices you can make to turn a Sleepless Sunday into a wonderfully Sleep-filled Sunday. A great choice to make is to pair Sunday with some quality to-do list time. Physically write down your list — the major events, the things that need to get done and the things you want to get done. Accept your goals but also accept the possibility that everything might not get completed.

Try to make sure that there’s a good balance between the things you do and things that are good for you on your list: that’s a recipe for success. Your list can be your mental exercise, but for those of you looking for more physical engagement on Sunday, consider a vinyasa flow class. This form of yoga gets your heart pumping but also values restorative poses and relaxation — a great combo for a Sunday! Now that you’ve mentally prepared for the week it’s time to put it away and get some sleep.

Monday:

Now that Monday has arrived, your to-do list is live and running — the week’s journey has begun. Monday can be manic for a variety of reasons: maybe your list now seems daunting, maybe your boss added three new things to that list, maybe your sister needs you to watch the kids… that’s fine! Take the opportunity to turn a Manic Monday into a Mighty one. Feel empowered by the fact that so many people find you capable and responsible.

On Monday morning you’ll find out if your journey is set or if you have to make a small detour or two. Remember, there’s a whole week ahead to accomplish your tasks. Pair Monday with a walk outside. The combination of exercise and fresh air (preferably during a mid-afternoon break from work) will rejuvenate your mind and body. Even 15 minutes can refresh your senses and ready you for the rest of the day. When you return to your desk, you’ll likely have prioritized certain tasks for the rest of your day, and before you know it, they’re complete! From Manic to Mighty? It’s a walk in the park!

Tuesday:

By Tuesday, your week is really taking shape. Many people I know see Tuesday as a slower day both mentally and physically, and as a result, tensions can run high. Make the choice to avoid a Testy Tuesday — let it be Tranquil. On Monday, you made the necessary adjustments for your week’s journey and on Tuesday, you’ve got to put them into action! Tuesday can test your ability to stay on track. Knowing that Tuesday can be a bump in the road, wake up preparing to try your best. And sometimes you need a little help to get a kickstart! Tuesday is a perfect day to challenge your body and mind with an intense cardio or bootcamp type of class. The high-intensity of these kinds of classes will allow you to combat and then release stress and ready you for the rest of your week. With so many varieties — kickboxing, interval training, dance-based classes, even a challenging run — you can choose what’s right for you. Use exercise on Tuesday to bring energy into the week, into your body and into your mind.

Wednesday:

At halfway to the weekend, you’re over the hump! By this day, you should be truly enjoying the week’s journey. Hopefully your Monday was Mighty and your Tuesday was Tranquil, but if not, choose to make Wednesday Winning. There may be things left to do, but you’ve accomplished a lot so far this week! With half of your journey left, it’s important to keep your energy up. Choosing the right foods throughout the day can provide you with lasting energy and focus. First off, don’t skip breakfast! Depriving yourself of needed energy before a long day is like intentionally flattening one of your tires before taking a road trip. Combine a complex carbohydrate with protein and a good fat for a filling, nutritious start to your day — try stirring a tablespoon of peanut butter into your morning oatmeal.

Secondly, allow yourself snack breaks! You might be surprised that eating an apple at 10:30 a.m. or some cheese and crackers around 3:00 p.m. can make your just as (or even more!) alert as a cup of coffee can. And if you can manage all that, and even if you can’t, try to couple Wednesday with “friend time” — get together with your pals for a little mid-week decompression and fun. It might energize you even more than that 3 o’clock snack!

Thursday:

By Thursday, the week is winding down, and you might be, too. Thursday is like Sunday in terms of the need for some mental preparation. Return to your list, untangle anything left undone, and prepare for your final day before the weekend. Thursday’s goal should be getting grounded and centered, using the Tranquil sensations and Winning attitude built by Tuesday and Wednesday. Thoughtful Thursday allows you to reassess the week. What have you gotten done? Maybe it’s more than what you expected! Maybe it’s less. And either direction is okay. To achieve a Thoughtful Thursday instead of a Thankless one, pair the day with a mini-meditation. That’s right, you don’t need to make time for a full yoga class in order to reap the benefits of meditation. You can do breathing exercises at your desk.

Close your eyes, take 10 to 15 deep, even breaths and think about just one thing. While clearing your mind completely is best, a singular focus can have just as rewarding an effect. When you bring your attention back to your surroundings and eventually back to work, remember this mindful state. You are in charge. This mini-meditation is your most useful tool for a Thoughtful Thursday. This mindfulness and focus will lead you to victory!

Like on Sunday, a mental exercise may not be enough to get you back on track. If you’re feeling this way, add something new to this week’s routine! Maybe so far you’ve done yoga, taken a walk, and gotten your heart pumping in a cardio class. Pair Thursday with a Pilates or barre-method class. These classes are all about specificity and targeting certain parts of your body for long, lean muscles, so they will complement the mindfulness and focus you’ve channeled with your mini-meditation!

Friday:

What a week it’s been! By the end of the week, there’s a lot to be thankful for — they don’t say T.G.I.F. for nothing! In the same way that you allotted time for a walk, a yoga class, a nice meal and a mini-meditation, take time on Friday to say thank you. Maybe you’re thankful for the coworker who volunteered to help you out on a project. Or maybe you’re thankful for your roommate who took on the grocery shopping this week. You might even be thankful that it didn’t rain on the day you forgot your umbrella. The point is, take a little time to truly appreciate what you can. So often we forget to say thank you for the less obvious moments in our lives, but your journey can be much sweeter if you’re in tune with everything that deserves a little bit of gratitude. Friday’s pairing is a free-for-all! Choose what kind of positive intention you want to put into this day. Is your Friday Fit, Fancy, Fun? Be it a new fitness class, a glamorous evening out or a concert at night, reward yourself on Friday for a job well done this week.

Saturday:

While not necessarily a “reward,” do something for yourself on this day. If you’ve taken each opportunity this week to transform your days, there’s no reason your Saturday shouldn’t be Smiling. Think of Saturday as your journey’s destination. You’ve earned this day, and you are in control of how you spend it. The one thing you shouldn’t do on your Saturday is to make it Stressful! Pair this restful weekend day with something that makes you Smile. Have that Froyo you’ve been craving, see a movie everyone’s been talking about, go get a great workout — you made it! Saturday is a day to tie up any loose ends on your list, but it’s also a day to relax.

And before you know it, Sunday night comes back around. It’s time to pack your bag and make your list, preparing for the week ahead. Even if you follow a routine, no two Mondays are ever the same. There’s a lot in this world that we can’t control, but what we can control are our choices. Make positive choices: choose a mini-meditation, choose to say thank you, choose to eat well. These daily tools are meant to help along your week’s journey. Any good roadmap has structure and suggestions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose to detour, and it doesn’t mean you won’t hit a roadblock. What’s important is to accept each day for what it is and to be present in it — don’t fixate on yesterday or stress about tomorrow. Choose to be the best you can be in the moment.

For more by Rupa Mehta, click here.

For more on fitness and exercise, click here.

Babies Walking For The First Time Will Send Your Heart To The Moon
One small step for babies, one giant leap for baby compilation videos.

Via FunnyPlox

Tim Minchin’s Graduation Speech Perfectly Breaks Down Life’s Lessons For Everyone

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Tim Minchin’s Graduation Speech Perfectly Breaks Down Life’s Lessons For Everyone
You might recognize Tim Minchin as a famous Australian musician, composer, songwriter, actor, comedian and writer, but did you know that he is also pretty much a sage when it comes to giving life advice?

Watch Minchin deliver the Occasional Address (aka guest speech) at his alma mater, The University of Western Austrailia. His advice to graduates on how “to be” is funny, inspiring, beautiful and real. To sum it up very very simply, he says:

1. You don’t have to have a dream.

2. Don’t seek happiness.

3. Remember, it’s all luck.

4. Exercise.

5. Be hard on your opinions.

6. Be a teacher.

7. Define yourself by what you love.

8. Respect people with less power than you.

9. Don’t rush.

Listen to these words of wisdom, and you might just get through life perfectly…Or at least, kind of unscathed.

Via The University of Western Australia

Vipassana: Makes Life Practically So Much Easier
A few weeks ago I finished my second Vipassana retreat. Ten days of silence. Every day we meditated for 10 hours, from 4:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.

I heard people say about Vipassana: “I can’t do it… to be alone with my mind for 10 days? I will go crazy.” What they don’t understand is that they are alone with their mind all the time. And when they will get to observe what they are thinking about most of the time they will realize they are already crazy. That’s what happened to me.

When I tried in the beginning to practice the technique like they guided me to, I couldn’t. People think the hard part about Vipassana is the silence, but for me it was the meditation. In my first days there, I constantly lost my focus and got carried away by my thoughts.

After a few days of hearing my thoughts over and over, I started observing them. I observed my thoughts coming again and again, the same obsessive ones. It felt like I am putting a DVD in my mind so I’ll have entertainment. I noticed that only a small percentage of what I think goes to things I really want to think about.

I noticed how much of my thoughts go to what other people think, problems that might show up, direct and immediate short term opportunities, things that happened in the past. Only a small percentage of my thoughts is reserved for long-term opportunities, the present moment, what I want to do now — all the things that really matter.

And then I thought, if I don’t dedicate a lot of time to THINK about what really matters, how can I expect to dedicate sufficient time to ACT upon what really matters — hence, how can I expect a LIFE that really matters? I understood this is an opportunity to change it, change habit patterns I have adopted.

Luckily, after a few days I got so tired of my thoughts, that I just let them go and surrendered to the technique.

The technique is based on the fact that as human beings, our senses are constantly perceiving information from the outside world. First there is the cognition part, that signals the body that something happened. For example, there is a noise outside. Then there is the recognition that interprets what happened and determines if it’s good or bad. For example, we experience a pleasant noise. According to the recognition — good (pleasant) or bad (unpleasant) — we experience a sensation in the body that is pleasant or unpleasant. According to the sensation, the habit pattern of the mind is such that we react to a pleasant sensation with craving — we want more of that, and an unpleasant sensation with abortion — we want it to stop right away.

This habit pattern of the mind is the reason for all of our suffering, all our addictions, depressions, reliance on the outside world’s feedback. It is all a game of reacting to the pleasant and unpleasant sensations. Wanting more and more of the pleasant, and less and less of unpleasant, we lose the balance of our mind, dependent in what happens in the outside of us.

The body sensations will always be there. When someone speaks bad words toward us, we will feel unpleasant sensations. But we can change the mental reaction. We can train our subconscious mind to remain balanced, even after he feels an unpleasant sensation. This doesn’t mean to become passive or numb. Exactly the opposite. When you are balanced you have the privilege to react in a sane and smart way to every situation.

Once you become established in the technique, you can practice being the master of your own life — you get to choose how to react to your body sensations. And this has a benefit not only when you are sitting calmly on the beach, but also when you are in a stressful situation. You can take the Vipassana technique with you wherever you go.

For three years now I’ve been exploring different meditation techniques. My friends used to criticize me for going for all of the different meditation retreats that exist out there, but when coming back to the normal mundane life I would get upset by the usual stuff.

The main problem I would face every time I would come back from a silence retreat, or a meditation course, was okay, now what? It is one thing to change yourself in an ashram. It is a totally different thing to change yourself in life. Daily life. With people, activities and problems.

A good meditation technique is one that helps you practically when you are in the middle of the city, or in a fight, or in a hard time in work. It is a technique that suits the mundane life of this planet. It is one that gives you answers for the need to embody what you have learned in your life and the necessity to maintain it.

The only technique that ever gave me an answer to these questions was Vipassana. “Vipassana is the art of living. Not the art of escaping.” — S.N. Goenka.

Vipassana is universal and not based on any religion. Everyone can practice it. And when I write everyone, I mean it. Especially because it’s for free. For 10 days you get three meals, guidance in meditation and a place to stay all based on the contribution of others.

Nowadays, more then a month after I finished the course, when things happen to me, I still get upset, but I notice a huge difference. I feel the sensations in my body every time something unpleasant happens, and it reminds me this will pass to. That everything changes all the time.

It reminds me that it’s not about who said what, or what did or didn’t happen — rather, the simple reality that I am experiencing an unpleasant sensation in my body now, and the best thing to do before I react from my unbalanced mind is to observe. After I observe (a matter of a few seconds) I act. Instead of reacting. And the results are amazing.

Yes, of course I’m not Buddha, and I still fall back on my patterns, but everything passes faster. It makes life practically so much easier.

It might sound hard to pay attention to your sensations, and to be aware of your thoughts and taking responsibility for everything that happen to you. But in this dynamic life when everything keeps changing, and nothing is fixed — it’s much harder not to.

Sooner or later, we all sadly realize that we can’t change other people.

Even if we dedicate our whole life to completely changing all the people around us, who said someone else wouldn’t come and upset us? Can we change all the people in the world? Certainly not.

The only thing we can change is ourselves. And it takes a lot of work. Most of us don’t even know where to begin.

Now, I have a strong tool, which I can take with me wherever I go, and I am very grateful for that.

For more by Narkis Alon, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

Green – The Huffington Post
Kitten Thief Steals Steak Because You Don’t Deserve Steak
Look, nothing personal, but this kitten really deserves that steak more than you. What have you ever done?

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
This Is How You Know You’re a Gen Y Doctor
Generation Y is often criticized for our perplexing fetish for animal onesies, a sloth-like work ethic, and a disproportionate sense of self-worth.

I can’t deny the onesies, but I take umbrage at the rest. The latest crop of hard-working professionals like bankers, lawyers and doctors, are all Gen Y now. Like it or not, we’re putting our unique Gen Y stamp on our professions. (We’re pretty confident we can do a better job than you, anyway.)

But don’t reach for your heart pills yet, dear Boomers! Relax, my skeptical Gen X readers! I’ve made a careful anthropological survey of my fellow Gen Y docs, and the results aren’t as alarming as you might fear.

How do you know you’re a Gen Y doctor?

Let me tell you, as I sip on my fair-trade chai latte, and touch-type on my Macbook Air:

You’ve actually used the word ‘chillax’ in a consultation.

You’d like to save the world — but only if you can do it part-time. How else will you manage your eco-solar-chookshed and your sustainable-organic vegetable patch?

You play Words With Friends, not Sudoku, while you’re anaesthetizing patients.

The administration staff are amazed you can plug in a LAN cable. Or fix the printer. Or touch-type. Or, heaven forbid, SEND A FAX YOURSELF!

You’re planning a Locum Odyssey that entails surfing/working around the country for a few years. YOLO! (Also, you know what YOLO means.)

You’re not going to hang your diploma on your clinic wall. You’re going to hang photos you took on your D-SLR of your hot-air-ballooning adventure over Myanmar, or your trek through the remote Nicaraguan jungle, or your windsurfing tour of the Maldives…

You consult the Twittersphere, not the library, to find out about the most up-to-date medical research.

You’re considering early retirement after three years of full-time employment.

You’ve never seen a case of Smallpox. Or Polio. Or Tuberculosis, Measles, Diphtheria, Tetanus… or pretty much any vaccine-preventable disease. (Unless you live in Northern NSW, that is.)

If the Internet goes down, you might not remember how to be a doctor. See, you haven’t bought any textbooks, because they go out of date before they hit the shelves these days. (Scary thought, that one…)

There you have it — the future of medicine, Gen Y style. Who knows what further changes we’ll bring to the medical profession? My hope is at the very least a more realistic work-life balance. Chillax, patients — the Gen Y doctor’s in the house, and your future is in safe hands.

Marlene Pearce writes a regular blog at thedoctorsdilemma.wordpress.com/, where a version of this piece first appeared.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo