My Secret to a Healthy Lifestyle: Intuitive Eating

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
My Secret to a Healthy Lifestyle: Intuitive Eating
Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. Don’t see food as “good” or “bad.” Eat what you want, when you want.

It kind of sounds like the best “diet” out there, right? Except, it’s not actually a diet. It’s truly a way of life — an intuitive eating way of life. And it’s a philosophy that I’ve been following for more than six years with life-changing results.

I spent the majority of my teen and college years obsessed with the number on the scale and with the number of calories I’d burned and eaten. I’d heavily restrict my food for a few days, only to binge on unhealthy foods later. Then I’d overexercise to burn those extra calories off, and set a new goal to follow yet another unrealistic diet. Only to fail, overeat and overexercise again. This yo-yo dieting cycle continued and continued.

That was until I learned about intuitive eating — and learned to really follow and trust my own body. I began checking in with myself before, during and after every meal to see how my hunger or fullness was and to see what emotions I had going on. With the help of my registered dietician, I began to drop my obsession with calories and fat grams and the like. I stopped overexercising and dropped the guilt when I’d eat an unhealthy food or miss a workout. I began eating without distractions or as a means to comfort or punish myself. I slowed down and began to notice and trust what my body was telling me to do.

Some days, my body needed french fries. Other days, a big salad. Sometimes I’d have two breakfasts because I was just that hungry. Other days, a light dinner was more than enough. I learned that a small piece of dark chocolate could actually satisfy a craving and that I didn’t actually need three glasses of wine with dinner to enjoy it. Butter, burgers, donuts — nothing was off limits as long as I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full (but not stuffed). It took a few months, but it’s funny how once you realize you can actually have any food at any time, a lot of food’s irresistible draw vanishes.

And it was life changing. When I began to eat this way, a whole new level of my awareness about everything opened up. I was more present in conversations. I better appreciated my food. I was grateful for my body. And I had so much more energy. Not only was the food fueling my body better, but my headspace was so much more expansive, free and happy because it wasn’t constantly adding up calories or worrying if last night’s dessert would show up on the scale.

Sometimes when I tell people about intuitive eating, they seem to think that it’s too good to be true. So when I stumbled upon a review article by the journal Public Health Nutrition that was published in late August about the research on intuitive eating, I was thrilled. While it’s no magic bullet to weight loss (what is though?), the article showed that intuitive eating is linked with lower BMI (weight maintenance and lack of weight gain over the years) and better psychological health.

These days I’m actually about five to 10 pounds lighter now than I was back in my pre-intuitive eating days — and my weight stays steady without me trying (I only get on the scale once a week, at most). But, that’s not the most important perk for me. It’s that better psychological health piece that I’m really grateful for — and the one I’m glad to see is a common thread for those who practice intuitive eating.

Life is too short to spend it counting calories, weighing yourself obsessively or spending hours at the gym doing workouts you hate. We are all more than what we look like and beating ourselves up to look a certain way never results in true health or well-being.

So if you’re stuck in the yo-yo dieting cycle, consider giving intuitive eating a try. (I recommend meeting with a certified nutritionist who specializes in it to get you started.) You just might be surprised at how much of your life opens up when you start trusting your body — and yourself.

For more by Jennipher Walters, click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

Google’s ‘Jolly Good Fellow’ On The Power Of Emotional Intelligence
When Google engineer-turned-mindfulness expert Chade-Meng Tan gives a talk in front of a group of Silicon Valley developers and executives, he often starts with a simple exercise.

“Imagine two human beings. Don’t say anything, don’t do anything, just wish for those two human beings to be happy. That’s all.”

During one recent talk, he gave the group a homework assignment: Perform the exercise the next day at work, spending 10 seconds each hour randomly choosing two people and silently wishing for them to be happy. The following morning, Tan received an email from an employee who attended the workshop that read, “I hate my job. I hate coming to work every day. But yesterday I tried your suggestion and it was my happiest day in seven years.”

It’s not the first time that Tan — who Wired recently dubbed an “Enlightenment engineer” — has seen emotional intelligence exercises transform an employee’s work and life. As Google’s resident “Jolly Good Fellow,” Tan developed Search Inside Yourself (SIY) program, a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence training program. Tan’s philosophy is that cultivating emotional intelligence through mindfulness training and meditation can help an individual reach a state of inner peace, the essential foundation of happiness, success and compassion.

More than 1,000 Google employees have gone through the SIY curriculum, according to Wired, the principles of which are outlined in Tan’s New York Times bestseller, “Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path To Achieving Success, Happiness (And World Peace)”. The program focuses on building up the five emotional intelligence domains of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, primarily through meditation and mindfulness training, which aims to improve one’s focus and attention on the present moment.

The benefits of emotional intelligence in the workplace are well-documented, from career success to improved relationships to better leadership — and Tan says getting Silicon Valley interested in a meditation program to train employees in emotional intelligence wasn’t difficult.

“Everybody already knows, emotional intelligence is good for my career, it’s good for my team, it’s good for my profits,” Tan tells the Huffington Post. “It comes pre-marketed, so all I had to do is create a curriculum for emotional intelligence that helps people succeed, with goodness and world-peace as the unavoidable side-effects.”

Here are five ways that you can cultivate emotional intelligence — and revolutionize your work, relationships and happiness.

Meditate.

meditation office

Tan outlines three major steps to developing emotional intelligence: Training attention (“the ability to bring the mind to a state that’s calm and clear, and to do it on demand,” he explains), self-awareness, and social intelligence. The first step is building an individual’s powers of attention through meditation.

Tan is convinced that much like improving physical fitness, improving “mental fitness” through meditation and mindfulness practices can improve nearly every aspect of your life, from work to family life to physical health.

“There are some things in life where if you improve one thing, everything else in life is improved… If you improve physical fitness, it improves your home life, success, wellness, everything,” says Tan. “The same is true for meditation, because meditation is in fact mental and emotional fitness. If you are fit mentally and emotionally, every aspect of your life improves.”

Research has confimed that mindfulness contributes to emotional well-being, in addition to improving memory and attention. A 2013 University of Utah study found that individuals with mindful personality traits (such as self-awareness and attentiveness) exhibited more stable emotional patterns and reported feeling more in control of their moods and actions. Brown University research also found that mindfulness meditation could improve an individual’s control over brain processing of pain and emotions.

Cultivate compassion.

compassion

Meditation is also the primary vehicle for cultivating compassion: A recent Harvard University study found that individuals who underwent eight weeks of meditation training were significantly more likely to help others in need than those who hadn’t gone through the meditation training.

Neuroscientists have even seen that meditating on compassion can create an empathetic state in the brain. When Tibetan Buddhist monks were asked to meditate on “unconditional loving-kindness and compassion” in a 2006 study, the researchers measured brain activity in the left prefrontal cortex, which is associated with positive emotions, that was 30 times stronger than the activity among a control group of college students who didn’t meditate, Wired reported. The researchers theorized that empathy may be something one can cultivated by “exercising” the brain through loving-kindness meditation.

Tan explains that mindfulness training helps to boost self-compassion first and foremost, which then expands to compassion for others. “[After the program], people say, ‘I see myself with kindness.'”

But the benefits of cultivating compassion go beyond greater kindness towards oneself and others: In addition to improving happiness, compassion can also boost a business’s creative output and bottom line, according to Tan — a sentiment that LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, a leading proponent of compassionate management, would agree with.

“The one thing [that all companies should be doing] is promoting the awareness that compassion can and will be good for success and profits,” says Tan.

Practice mindful observance of the mind and body.

deep breathing

Mindful awareness of what’s going on in the mind and body — thoughts, feelings, emotions, physical sensations and disease — is an important step in cultivating inner joy, says Tan.

“If you start from mindfulness, the first thing you get is inner peace,” Tan explains. “Then you add on other practices like observing wellness in the body, you also get inner joy. Take that inner joy and add on other practices, and you will get kindness and compassion.”

Make mindfulness a habit.

habit change

You may not think of inner peace as something that you can develop through creating good habits, but Tan explains that happiness is a habit that you can create through a daily mindfulness practice.

“To create sustainable compassion, you have to be strong in inner joy,” says Tan. “Inner joy comes from inner peace — otherwise it’s not sustainable. And inner peace is highly trainable.”

The way that inner peace is trained is through regular meditation — which isn’t strictly limited to sitting quietly in lotus position. A meditation habit can be a quiet daily walk around your block, a yoga practice, or any of these non-om forms of meditation. The important thing is that you create a habit by doing it regularly and turn mindfulness into a part of your daily life.

“Habits are highly trainable,” explains Tan. “And habits become character.”

chade meng tan

Lightbulbs For Better Sleep
Not all bulbs are created equal. Two new products help you fall asleep at night and feel more alert in the morning.

5 Things a Caregiver Should Know
There is a lot of information out there about how to be a cancer patient. Drink this. Inject that. Have this surgery. Stay away from these.

There’s no guidebook giving instructions on how to be a caregiver. There are no physician consultations to tell you what the next step is in how to provide moral, physical, and emotional support to the person you love that has just been diagnosed with a possibly fatal disease. There are no rules about caring for yourself.

Having been a caregiver for nearly three years to my late husband, who was diagnosed at the age of 22 with stage III testicular cancer, I’ve been around the block. Here are five things I learned that I hope will help guide other caregivers in your heart-wrenching predicaments everywhere:

1. It’s okay to freak out for yourself.

You’re already freaking out for your loved one. That one comes naturally. What takes a little bit more consciousness and effort, is to allow yourself to lose it all, come totally unglued, fall apart… all over how this diagnosis is affecting you and your life. You’re a person, too. Yes, with needs. Your world just got rocked and while you’re busy holding it all together in support of your loved one, you forget how to let go and let your feelings matter, too. I’m here to tell you that it’s not just okay to allow yourself to feel and experience the magnitude of what you’re dealing with, it’s something that I encourage you to do, for your own sake.

2. No one, including you, really knows how to help you.

People mean well. Friends and family will offer to help in whatever ways they can and all you have to do is let them know how they can help. The thing is though, that you have no earthly idea what these people can do to help ease your pain or make your life easier. If you can figure out ways to allow these people who love and are worried about you to contribute, let them. Ask for dinners to be brought over on chemotherapy days so that you can spend the day in the clinic or hospital without having to worry about preparing a meal when you get home. Let someone know which closet you keep your vacuum and broom in and let them clean your floors while you go grocery shopping. Let that overbearing neighborhood mom who always seems to have it together take your kids for a play date — maybe letting her deal with your kids for a couple of hours for a change will take her down a notch or two. And if you really can’t figure out ways to let people help, don’t sweat it, because it’s not worth the added stress.

3. It’s normal to lose friends after a diagnosis.

Just like people don’t really know what the best way to help you is, people also don’t know how to react to the news you’ve shared with them. Cancer makes people uncomfortable, whether they mean to let it or not. Now that you’ve got your hands full with chauffeuring your loved one to doctor appointments, heading out in the middle of the night for last-minute prescription refills and learning an insane amount of new terminology, you’ve got no time left for lunch dates, mommy-and-me outings or long phone calls just to catch up. It’s not going to be an immediate priority of yours to keep the lines of communication open, but when your friends stop hearing from you they won’t realize that you didn’t even mean to stop calling. They’ll figure that you’re too busy, and you are, but they won’t want to bother you so they won’t call either… and it just cycles. They’ll check in on Facebook and read the blog that you keep to document your journey, but since you’re dealing with something they can’t understand, and you’re pretty hush-hush with them about the whole ordeal, it’s only natural that you’ll grow apart. Hopefully the bond that you had pre-cancer is strong enough to take the hiatus hit, and if it’s not, at least you’ve discovered who your real friends are.

4. You’re going to become extremely close with your loved one.

In my situation, this was one of the few benefits I saw come from my husband’s diagnosis. There were some ugly things that I saw happen to my husband, and his knowledge of my awareness led him to trust me more than he ever had. He knew that he didn’t have to feel shame or embarrassment around me. He knew that he could cry and I wouldn’t judge him. He knew that by smiling at me he was giving me all that I needed to get through that day. From a medical standpoint I knew him inside and out. There was nothing that his body did that I wasn’t fully aware of, and while it was rarely glamorous, I never minded because I knew that I was the only one he had allowed in this far.

5. When it’s all over, it’s going to take you a while to get back to normal.

Together, my husband and I went through numerous remissions and recurrences. During the times we thought we were finally free, we both wanted to jump back into life and pick up right where we had left off. It wasn’t always as easy as that though. We were both college students, and sometimes we were ready to go… in the middle of the semester. We both wanted children, but because of his treatments we were forced to proceed with in vitro fertilization, which was costly and time consuming and not at all in line with our desire to pounce back into a full life. When my husband died from his illness, I was pregnant with our twin girls and whatever “normal” I thought I could ever have in my life went right out the window. Fortunately, with some time behind me, I’ve found ways to enjoy life again. It’s taken patience and perseverance but I’ve achieved much of the normalcy I longed for when we were in the thick of our experience. There’s no rushing this process, dear caregivers, but if you trust that you’ll get there, you will. You know all about taking things one day, one appointment, one treatment at a time. Baby steps. You’ll get there again.

To read more about Karen’s experience with cancer and the hope-filled life she leads now, visit her personal blogs here, here, and here.

For more by Karen Sewell, click here.

For more on death and dying, click here.

Bellamy Young, ‘Scandal’ Star, Opens Up About How She Keeps Her Center In ORIGIN Magazine (PHOTO)
The following is an excerpt from ORIGIN Magazine.

Interviewer: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What are you passionate about in life?

Bellamy Young: For me, singing. I wouldn’t make it through the day without singing. It is my solace and my meditation and my release. It lets me know how I’m processing things, what I’m processing, if I’m out of touch in some area. I will just think, why am I singing? Then I will know everything I need to know about what I’m feeling.

But also, kindness. That is what thrills me, personally. Small acts of kindness; thoughtful, large acts of kindness. I feel like we’re in a bit of a precipice, and I think that any beautiful energy on the kindness continuum will just help us fall into a lovelier place. From the fear and constriction that’s sort of always pulling us back and keeping us in old modalities, I feel like any expansive act of kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity, helps tip the scale toward a more conscious, liberated existence for everyone. The smallest act has repercussions for the universe.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a routine?

BY: I have to meditate before I go to bed, always. I have to let the day go and let the eternal in. Sleep is such a potent, liminal state, and I don’t want to drag anything in there that doesn’t need to be there. I get a lot of work done in my dreams and I don’t want to take anybody else’s work with me. We all got plenty of work in this life, so for sure I have a very simple seated meditation practice before bed. But equally helpful to me is a walking meditation — to be in nature, to not be attached to my electronics, and to just be instead of be doing. And yoga, always. The union.

bellamy young

MP: How do you process pain, emotional pain, when it comes in?

BY: I process it like a teacher. The more I resist anything, the stronger it gets. I have to welcome the pain like I welcome the joy. And the pain is always bringing me a lesson. If I listen to the lesson when the pain is manageable, the pain won’t get gargantuan and flatten me entirely, because I will have received the message at the center. I receive it as gently as I can, because the cruelest thing that I do to myself is try to push myself through an experience. If I’m feeling hurt, sad, lonely, depressed, and then I shame myself for feeling that, then that’s a black hole for me. I really have worked a lot to meet pain with both gratitude and gentleness. You gotta love yourself, because when you’re hurting — you never know who’s gonna be around to do the lovin’ for ya. You gotta love yourself through the pain.

MP: Such a joy to talk to you. What is love to you?

BY: Love is a true unconditional space to me. To love someone or to be loved is to be seen, and I think, gosh, as humans, all we want is to be seen, to be heard, right? To be valued. To be respected. But mostly just to be held in a safe, unconditional space.

MP: What causes on the planet are you passionate about? Anything that’s near to your heart?

BY: For me, it’s adoption. I am adopted, so of course it means the world to me personally. But also even animals. There’s a lot of life on the planet that needs love, wants love, deserves love, in whatever capacity we are able. I feel it is a blessing, a duty, an honor, that we give the love that we have, and we share the lives that we have with our fullest heart. Souls finding each other and sharing love through this road. I foster a lot. Not humans, animals.

MP: Let’s talk about your current project. You’re on the most loved television show right now on any network.

Scandal is an unprecedented blessing in my life. I’ve never dreamed of a blessing like this — to be in this family of people where everyone is so grateful and so hardworking, and to be given these words to say that are so honest and so complicated and so nuanced. Nothing is all good or all bad, nothing is black or white, everything is just messy and human and difficult. We’re meeting it all with our best moment but we are failing, and that is an amazing opportunity for an actor. Not to mention the monologues. The writing I have right now is unbelievable, a gift. It’s all really beautiful! Scandal is like a really, really beautiful thing. Also, this summer I’m getting a little album off the ground.

MP: I did not know that!

BY: It’s going to take a minute, and it’ll happen in its own time, but I feel so grateful that singing is back in my life, and that I have an opportunity for this. I’m just trying to open my heart and open some doors and let it all come together the way it’s supposed to.

MP: Can you tell me a little bit about the album?

BY: It’s all very, it’s all just nascent. Coming together now. The conversations are fun and evolving.

MP: This has been such a pleasure.

BY: It’s my pleasure.

origin ORIGIN is the conscious culture national print magazine bringing together art, yoga, music, humanitarianism, and sustainability to shift the planet for good. Twenty percent of our editorial is donated to nonprofits impacting the planet. You can find ORIGIN in Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Pharmacas, Central Markets and 15+ other National retailers.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Google’s ‘Jolly Good Fellow’ On The Power Of Emotional Intelligence
When Google engineer-turned-mindfulness expert Chade-Meng Tan gives a talk in front of a group of Silicon Valley developers and executives, he often starts with a simple exercise.

“Imagine two human beings. Don’t say anything, don’t do anything, just wish for those two human beings to be happy. That’s all.”

During one recent talk, he gave the group a homework assignment: Perform the exercise the next day at work, spending 10 seconds each hour randomly choosing two people and silently wishing for them to be happy. The following morning, Tan received an email from an employee who attended the workshop that read, “I hate my job. I hate coming to work every day. But yesterday I tried your suggestion and it was my happiest day in seven years.”

It’s not the first time that Tan — who Wired recently dubbed an “Enlightenment engineer” — has seen emotional intelligence exercises transform an employee’s work and life. As Google’s resident “Jolly Good Fellow,” Tan developed Search Inside Yourself (SIY) program, a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence training program. Tan’s philosophy is that cultivating emotional intelligence through mindfulness training and meditation can help an individual reach a state of inner peace, the essential foundation of happiness, success and compassion.

More than 1,000 Google employees have gone through the SIY curriculum, according to Wired, the principles of which are outlined in Tan’s New York Times bestseller, “Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path To Achieving Success, Happiness (And World Peace)”. The program focuses on building up the five emotional intelligence domains of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, primarily through meditation and mindfulness training, which aims to improve one’s focus and attention on the present moment.

The benefits of emotional intelligence in the workplace are well-documented, from career success to improved relationships to better leadership — and Tan says getting Silicon Valley interested in a meditation program to train employees in emotional intelligence wasn’t difficult.

“Everybody already knows, emotional intelligence is good for my career, it’s good for my team, it’s good for my profits,” Tan tells the Huffington Post. “It comes pre-marketed, so all I had to do is create a curriculum for emotional intelligence that helps people succeed, with goodness and world-peace as the unavoidable side-effects.”

Here are five ways that you can cultivate emotional intelligence — and revolutionize your work, relationships and happiness.

Meditate.

meditation office

Tan outlines three major steps to developing emotional intelligence: Training attention (“the ability to bring the mind to a state that’s calm and clear, and to do it on demand,” he explains), self-awareness, and social intelligence. The first step is building an individual’s powers of attention through meditation.

Tan is convinced that much like improving physical fitness, improving “mental fitness” through meditation and mindfulness practices can improve nearly every aspect of your life, from work to family life to physical health.

“There are some things in life where if you improve one thing, everything else in life is improved… If you improve physical fitness, it improves your home life, success, wellness, everything,” says Tan. “The same is true for meditation, because meditation is in fact mental and emotional fitness. If you are fit mentally and emotionally, every aspect of your life improves.”

Research has confimed that mindfulness contributes to emotional well-being, in addition to improving memory and attention. A 2013 University of Utah study found that individuals with mindful personality traits (such as self-awareness and attentiveness) exhibited more stable emotional patterns and reported feeling more in control of their moods and actions. Brown University research also found that mindfulness meditation could improve an individual’s control over brain processing of pain and emotions.

Cultivate compassion.

compassion

Meditation is also the primary vehicle for cultivating compassion: A recent Harvard University study found that individuals who underwent eight weeks of meditation training were significantly more likely to help others in need than those who hadn’t gone through the meditation training.

Neuroscientists have even seen that meditating on compassion can create an empathetic state in the brain. When Tibetan Buddhist monks were asked to meditate on “unconditional loving-kindness and compassion” in a 2006 study, the researchers measured brain activity in the left prefrontal cortex, which is associated with positive emotions, that was 30 times stronger than the activity among a control group of college students who didn’t meditate, Wired reported. The researchers theorized that empathy may be something one can cultivated by “exercising” the brain through loving-kindness meditation.

Tan explains that mindfulness training helps to boost self-compassion first and foremost, which then expands to compassion for others. “[After the program], people say, ‘I see myself with kindness.'”

But the benefits of cultivating compassion go beyond greater kindness towards oneself and others: In addition to improving happiness, compassion can also boost a business’s creative output and bottom line, according to Tan — a sentiment that LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, a leading proponent of compassionate management, would agree with.

“The one thing [that all companies should be doing] is promoting the awareness that compassion can and will be good for success and profits,” says Tan.

Practice mindful observance of the mind and body.

deep breathing

Mindful awareness of what’s going on in the mind and body — thoughts, feelings, emotions, physical sensations and disease — is an important step in cultivating inner joy, says Tan.

“If you start from mindfulness, the first thing you get is inner peace,” Tan explains. “Then you add on other practices like observing wellness in the body, you also get inner joy. Take that inner joy and add on other practices, and you will get kindness and compassion.”

Make mindfulness a habit.

habit change

You may not think of inner peace as something that you can develop through creating good habits, but Tan explains that happiness is a habit that you can create through a daily mindfulness practice.

“To create sustainable compassion, you have to be strong in inner joy,” says Tan. “Inner joy comes from inner peace — otherwise it’s not sustainable. And inner peace is highly trainable.”

The way that inner peace is trained is through regular meditation — which isn’t strictly limited to sitting quietly in lotus position. A meditation habit can be a quiet daily walk around your block, a yoga practice, or any of these non-om forms of meditation. The important thing is that you create a habit by doing it regularly and turn mindfulness into a part of your daily life.

“Habits are highly trainable,” explains Tan. “And habits become character.”

chade meng tan

Bellamy Young, ‘Scandal’ Star, Opens Up About How She Keeps Her Center In ORIGIN Magazine (PHOTO)
The following is an excerpt from ORIGIN Magazine.

Interviewer: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What are you passionate about in life?

Bellamy Young: For me, singing. I wouldn’t make it through the day without singing. It is my solace and my meditation and my release. It lets me know how I’m processing things, what I’m processing, if I’m out of touch in some area. I will just think, why am I singing? Then I will know everything I need to know about what I’m feeling.

But also, kindness. That is what thrills me, personally. Small acts of kindness; thoughtful, large acts of kindness. I feel like we’re in a bit of a precipice, and I think that any beautiful energy on the kindness continuum will just help us fall into a lovelier place. From the fear and constriction that’s sort of always pulling us back and keeping us in old modalities, I feel like any expansive act of kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity, helps tip the scale toward a more conscious, liberated existence for everyone. The smallest act has repercussions for the universe.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a routine?

BY: I have to meditate before I go to bed, always. I have to let the day go and let the eternal in. Sleep is such a potent, liminal state, and I don’t want to drag anything in there that doesn’t need to be there. I get a lot of work done in my dreams and I don’t want to take anybody else’s work with me. We all got plenty of work in this life, so for sure I have a very simple seated meditation practice before bed. But equally helpful to me is a walking meditation — to be in nature, to not be attached to my electronics, and to just be instead of be doing. And yoga, always. The union.

bellamy young

MP: How do you process pain, emotional pain, when it comes in?

BY: I process it like a teacher. The more I resist anything, the stronger it gets. I have to welcome the pain like I welcome the joy. And the pain is always bringing me a lesson. If I listen to the lesson when the pain is manageable, the pain won’t get gargantuan and flatten me entirely, because I will have received the message at the center. I receive it as gently as I can, because the cruelest thing that I do to myself is try to push myself through an experience. If I’m feeling hurt, sad, lonely, depressed, and then I shame myself for feeling that, then that’s a black hole for me. I really have worked a lot to meet pain with both gratitude and gentleness. You gotta love yourself, because when you’re hurting — you never know who’s gonna be around to do the lovin’ for ya. You gotta love yourself through the pain.

MP: Such a joy to talk to you. What is love to you?

BY: Love is a true unconditional space to me. To love someone or to be loved is to be seen, and I think, gosh, as humans, all we want is to be seen, to be heard, right? To be valued. To be respected. But mostly just to be held in a safe, unconditional space.

MP: What causes on the planet are you passionate about? Anything that’s near to your heart?

BY: For me, it’s adoption. I am adopted, so of course it means the world to me personally. But also even animals. There’s a lot of life on the planet that needs love, wants love, deserves love, in whatever capacity we are able. I feel it is a blessing, a duty, an honor, that we give the love that we have, and we share the lives that we have with our fullest heart. Souls finding each other and sharing love through this road. I foster a lot. Not humans, animals.

MP: Let’s talk about your current project. You’re on the most loved television show right now on any network.

Scandal is an unprecedented blessing in my life. I’ve never dreamed of a blessing like this — to be in this family of people where everyone is so grateful and so hardworking, and to be given these words to say that are so honest and so complicated and so nuanced. Nothing is all good or all bad, nothing is black or white, everything is just messy and human and difficult. We’re meeting it all with our best moment but we are failing, and that is an amazing opportunity for an actor. Not to mention the monologues. The writing I have right now is unbelievable, a gift. It’s all really beautiful! Scandal is like a really, really beautiful thing. Also, this summer I’m getting a little album off the ground.

MP: I did not know that!

BY: It’s going to take a minute, and it’ll happen in its own time, but I feel so grateful that singing is back in my life, and that I have an opportunity for this. I’m just trying to open my heart and open some doors and let it all come together the way it’s supposed to.

MP: Can you tell me a little bit about the album?

BY: It’s all very, it’s all just nascent. Coming together now. The conversations are fun and evolving.

MP: This has been such a pleasure.

BY: It’s my pleasure.

origin ORIGIN is the conscious culture national print magazine bringing together art, yoga, music, humanitarianism, and sustainability to shift the planet for good. Twenty percent of our editorial is donated to nonprofits impacting the planet. You can find ORIGIN in Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Pharmacas, Central Markets and 15+ other National retailers.

Green – The Huffington Post
New Island Off Pakistan’s Coast May Be Mud Volcano, Scientists Say (PHOTOS)

A new island emerged from the ocean offshore of the city of Gwadar, Pakistan, after a strong magnitude-7.7 earthquake shook the country Sept. 24.

The mound appears to be 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12 meters) high and 100 feet (30 m) wide, DIG Gwadar Moazzam Jah, a district police officer, told Pakistan’s Geo News. It rose out of the sea at a spot located about 350 feet (100 m) from the coast, he said.

The news sparked lively chatter among geologists, who debated whether the hill was a landslide, a fault scarp or even a hoax. A fault scarp marks vertical displacement along a fault, anything from a small step to a huge, steep cliff.

Scientists are still far from consensus, but many think that Pakistan’s newest piece of land may be a mud volcano.

Geologist Bob Yeats, an expert on Pakistan’s earthquake hazards, said he’s waiting until he hears from his colleagues in Pakistan (it’s currently night there) before judging the case. The two most likely possibilities are a landslide or a mud volcano, Yeats told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet.

new island pakistan

On September 26, 2013, NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this image of a new island off the coast of Pakistan. The “mud island” rose from the seafloor near Gwadar on September 24, shortly after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rattled the Balochistan province of northwestern Pakistan.

island pakistan

This image shows the same area on April 17, 2013.

Yeats said Gwadar is several hundred kilometers southwest of the earthquake’s epicenter, making it highly unlikely that the new island is a fault scarp.

“[The island] is a long way from where they reported the earthquake. We’re looking at two different things,” said Yeats, an emeritus professor at Oregon State University.

A mud volcano is a likely possibility because Gwadar’s coastline already has several of the gurgling, steamy cones, both onshore and at sea. One suddenly popped up where sea level was 30 to 60 meters (100 to 200 feet) deep on Nov. 26, 2010, creating an island. NASA satellites snapped a photo of the birth. [7 Ways the Earth Changes in the Blink of an Eye]

And in 1945, the magnitude-8.1 Makran temblor triggered the formation of mud volcanoes offshore of Gwadar, according to a study on mud volcanoes in Pakistan published in 2005. A recent study in the journal Nature Geoscience also suggests the 1945 earthquake released tons of methane from the seafloor.

pakistan island

In this photo released by the Gwadar local government office on Wednesday, Sept 25, 2013, people walk on an island that reportedly emerged off the Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea.

Get ready to rumble

Mud volcanoes appear when sediments like silt and clay become pressurized by hot gas trapped underground. A subduction zone beneath Pakistan supplies the tectonic activity that heats and holds the gas. The Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates collide offshore of Pakistan, forming a subduction zone, but today’s earthquake was onshore and mostly strike-slip — each side of the fault moved horizontally.

Mud volcanoes burble up during earthquakes because the shaking releases mud and water that are trapped beneath barriers in seafloor sediments.

“For example, a clay or shale layer can be impermeable, but if fractured during an earthquake, could release mud and water that was under pressure below the layer. Or a water-rich clay layer could undergo liquefaction that would be released along fractures in the sediments,” explained James Hein, a senior scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Santa Cruz, Calif. “Some think the island was there before the earthquake, and that would be very easy to check by looking at satellite photos of that area taken the week prior,” he said.

new island pakistan

The highest intensity shaking is marked in orange, near the epicenter of the Sept. 24 Pakistan earthquake.

But Geologist Dave Petley, a landslide expert, thinks the island’s low, arcuate (or bow) shape — as seen in the few pictures released so far — suggests a rotational landslide, rather than a conical mud volcano. A rotational landslide moves along a rupture surface that is curved or concave, like the inside of a spoon.

“We will need to wait until the morning to know. It is really very strange, and the pictures are just too indistinct to be able to tell,” said Petley, a professor at Durham University in the United Kingdom.

The Arabian Sea isn’t the only spot on Earth to spout mud and gas when jiggled by earthquakes. In Japan, the town of Niikappu on the island of Hokkaido sports mud volcanoes that erupt after earthquakes, reports a study published in 1997 in the Journal of the Geological Society of Japan.

The world’s most notorious mud volcano, Indonesia’s Lusi, destroyed a town in 2006. It may have been caused by an earthquake or by drilling operations nearby.

Earthquakes also rattle geysers and real volcanoes. The 2002 Denali earthquake in Alaska changed the spurting schedule of Yellowstone National Park’s famous geysers for several months. And seismic shaking can sometimes cause a surge in eruptions at nearby volcanoes after an earthquake.

Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @OAPlanet, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet.

The 10 Biggest Earthquakes in History Image Gallery: This Millennium’s Destructive Earthquakes Sights and Sounds: Cali’s Gurgling Mud Volcanoes Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. ]]>

7 College Towns To Visit This Fall
College towns are at their finest in the fall. Students are fresh-faced, leaves are changing, there’s football and beer, nostalgia and charm.

A quick trip to a college town is the perfect weekend getaway. From striking campus architecture to all-American tailgates to leaf-peeping ventures, there’s a great college town for everyone to visit.

Check out our favorite college towns to visit in the fall below!

Princeton, New Jersey

princeton university

Home to prestigious Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., is a college town with a charm and class. About an hour from both New York City and Philadelphia, Princeton makes a great stop along an East Coast road-trip and warrants a visit in its own right. Take a stroll around the University’s open, park-like campus. Architecture nerds will delight in the array of building styles — there’s colonial, Collegiate Gothic, Italianate, Romanesque and modern.

Charlottesville, Virginia

university of virginia campus

Take a journey into history with a visit to Charlottesville — home to the University of Virginia and former United States President Thomas Jefferson. In fact, the University was conceived and designed by Jefferson himself. Charlottesville is packed with things to do — from hiking, to beer and wine tours to the notable indie rock scene — and it’s all gorgeous in autumn. Of course, a visit to Monticello is a given.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

University of Michigan in Autumn

The University of Michigan’s home, Ann Arbor, is nicknamed “Tree Town” — so there’s no question that it’s probably at its finest in the fall, with all those leaves changing. Plus, there’s the football. Ann Arbor is rife with densely-forested parks, so you’ll have your pick of leaf-peeping opportunities, and if that’s not enough you can check out the University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum. If you can snag tickets to a Wolverine’s football game, get ready for some excitement. There’s nothing like a Big Ten game — or the tailgate before it.

Williamstown, Massachusetts

williams college

Want to visit a quaint New England town that is also home to a beautiful, old liberal arts college? Head to Williamstown, Mass., tucked away in the Berkshire Mountains, and pay a visit to Williams College. Outdoorsy types will fall in love with the scenery, while artistic travelers will adore the Clark Art Institute.

Burlington, Vermont

burlington vermont fall

The University of Vermont’s abbreviation, “UVM” stands for its Latin name, Universitas Viridis Montis. In English that’s the University of the Green Mountains. And those mountains are really pretty in the fall. Burlington is heaven for lovers of the great outdoors — the waterfront is perfect for hiking and biking and the lake is ideal for kayaking, sailing or fishing. The Burlington marketplace offers tons of boutiques and shops selling artisanal and organic products. Make sure you pick up some maple syrup while you’re there!

Berkeley, California

uc berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley — aka “Cal” — makes a great West Coast destination for an autumn escape. Cal’s campus (the original campus of the University of California system) serves as Berkeley‘s unofficial Central Park, with celebrated architecture, picturesque scenery, and walking paths that connect the campus to Downtown Berkeley. Make sure to check out the campus’ gorgeous botanical gardens. Downtown Berkeley offers fun for the whole family, with an abundance of shopping and a vibrant dining scene.

Athens, Georgia

university of georgia campus

Athens, Ga., is the ultimate college town. The city was basically established around the University and still remains highly influenced by its collegian residents. At the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Athens is stunning in autumn. The University is known for its athletics, so try and catch a football game if you have the opportunity!

Good News – The Huffington Post
Stephen Hawking’s ‘Big Ideas’ Explained In Cartoon Form (VIDEO)
What’s at the center of a black hole? And what happens at the edge of a black hole?

Stephen Hawking has some big ideas that answer these big questions. Called one of the most influential physicists of our time, you might assume that his theories are too complicated for the layperson to wrap his or her mind around.

But in some ways, his ideas are easier to understand than you might think. Through animation and narration, The Guardian’s science correspondent Alok Jha explains them all in a two-and-half-minute cartoon in a way that everyone can easily grasp. Check it out above.

And why give Hawking’s theories the cartoon treatment?

“I suppose the incredible thing is that he came up with all these profound, provocative insights without the convenience of being able to write anything down,” Jha says in the video. Hawking, who authored A Brief History of Time, is paralyzed as a result of motor neuron disease.

[H/T The Guardian]

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

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