14 January, 2010

Sexual addiction: many conceptions.

Upon hearing the words ‘sex addiction’, people often connect it with a person, usually a man, who has an incessant need to make sexual conquests, but a true definition for the term is yet to be ascertained.The topic is extremely controversial, and even experts are not able to agree whether sexual addiction is a true addiction, with two researchers publishing in 1998 an article entitled ”Sexual addiction: many conceptions, minimal data”.
Dr. Erick Janssen, the Director of Education & Research Training at The Kinsey Institute, explained in an email that there is no accepted definition for the term.”We do not have a generally accepted definition of ’sex addiction.’ It was originally approached as involving some kind of ”inability to adequately control sexual behaviour,” but this is, as you can tell, not a very objective definition,” CBS News quoted him as writing.”According to some, sexual addiction seems in the eye of the beholder, or in the eyes of his or her therapist,” he stated.
Mavis Humes Baird, an addictions treatment specialist, is convinced that sexual addiction is a true disorder because people are in the throws of an impulse they can”t control, and that there are underlying changes in the brain that cannot be addressed by psychotherapy alone.
“For example, if one of the partners in a couple is having affairs and they’re not a sex addict, marriage counselling or family therapy is very effective. But if they’re a sex addict, all the therapy in the world getting at problems in the relationship won’t touch the addiction,” she said.
“One of the primary referral sources for sex addiction is couples counsellors who have been doing attachment work with couples for years with the addiction going on unaffected and sometimes kept secret for all those years.”You can”t treat the sex problems between the partners until the addiction is treated. And that’’s done by a combination of specific treatment protocols, and 12-step program involvement, and sometimes medication,” she said.But Baird also said that it is not listed in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), and that there’s a struggle about whether it will be included in the next edition.
Dr. Herbert Kleber, a professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, where he is the Director of the Division on Substance Abuse, has provided another view.”Is it an addiction? I’m convinced gambling is an addiction but am agnostic about sexual addiction. Once you let one of them in the door do you let in shopaholics, kleptomaniacs, etcetera? Where do you draw the line?” he said.
Dr. Janssen agrees with Dr. Kleber’s scepticism-on there not being prevalent statistics on sexual addiction.”There are no reliable prevalence statistics on sexual addiction. That is, it has not been measured in representative samples of men and women. A few studies in non-representative samples have concluded that it could involve 5-10 percent of the adult population,” he said.”Most sex researchers prefer to not use that term, instead relying on terms like ’sexual compulsivity’ or ’sexual impulsivity’ to reflect people’s experiences and actual behaviours,” he added.

06 September, 2009

Women rely on a purely sexual strategy.

Psychologists have shed new light on how women judge facial attractiveness when it comes to choosing potential mates."We have found that women evaluate facial attractiveness on two levels -- a sexual level, based on specific facial features like the jawbone, cheekbone and lips, and a nonsexual level based on overall aesthetics. At the most basic sexual level, attractiveness represents a quality that should increase reproductive potential, like fertility or health," said Robert G. Franklin, graduate student in psychology working with Reginald Adams, assistant professor of psychology and neurology, Penn State.
The researcher points out that attractiveness, on the nonsexual side, can be perceived on the whole, where brains judge beauty based on the sum of the parts they see."But up until now, this (dual-process) concept had not been tested," Franklin said.With a view to determining how women use such methods of determining facial attractiveness, the psychologists showed fifty heterosexual female college students a variety of male and female faces.
The participants were asked to rate what they saw as both hypothetical dates and hypothetical lab partners on a scale of one to seven.Franklin has revealed that the first question was designed to invoke a sexual basis of determining attractiveness, while the second was geared to an aesthetic one.According to him, this part of the experiment served as a baseline for next phase.The same faces were later shown to another set of fifty heterosexual female students. Some of the faces, however, were split horizontally, with the upper and lower halves shifted in opposite directions.
The scientists asked the participants to rate the overall attractiveness of the split and whole faces on the same scale.By dividing the faces in half and disrupting the test subjects'' total facial processing, the researchers believed that women would rely more on specific facial features to determine attractiveness.They thought that this sexual route would come into play particularly when the participants saw faces that were suited as hypothetical dates rather than lab partners, and the study showed exactly that.
"The whole face ratings of the second group correlated better with the nonsexual ''lab partner'' ratings of the first group," Franklin said.He revealed that, with the faces intact, the participants could evaluate them on an overall, nonsexual level."The split face ratings of the second group also correlated with the nonsexual ratings of the first group when the participants were looking at female faces. The only change occurred when we showed the second group split, male faces. These ratings correlated better with the ''hypothetical date'' ratings of the first group," he added.The bottom line is that, at a statistically significant level, splitting the faces in half made the women rely on a purely sexual strategy of processing male faces.The study verifies that these two ways of assessing facial appeal exist, and can be separated for women.
"We do not know whether attractiveness is a cultural effect or just how our brains process this information. In the future, we plan to study how cultural differences in our participants play a role in how they rate these faces. We also want to see how hormonal changes women experience at different stages in the menstrual cycle affect how they evaluate attractiveness on these two levels," Franklin said.It has been known for long that women''s biological routes of sexual attraction derive from an instinctive reproductive desire, relying on oestrogen and related hormones to regulate them.Scientists have also known that the overall aesthetic approach is a less reward-based function, driven by progesterone.
How this complex network of hormones interacts and is channelled through the conscious brain and the human culture that shapes it is a mystery."It is a complicated picture. We are trying to find what features in the brain are at play, here," Franklin said.The study’s findings have been reported in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

13 June, 2009

Boost there equals great sex!

If you are among the ones who pay an annual membership fee at the local gym, but visit it only a handful of times, this should motivate you.Being fit and healthy benefits all areas of your life – including sex. Those cardio and weight-training sessions can add that much-needed (or aspired) zing between the sheets.
Research has shown that regular exercise, especially squats and lunges, boost the testosterone level in the body. Since the hormone plays a key role in one’s libido and performance, a boost there equals great sex.
A toned physique is undoubtedly the most potent turn-on for your partner. It makes you more desirable to your partner and starts the fire burning. It’s been observed that those who maintain a toned physique have a better perception of themselves which leads to higher confidence levels and helps in a better sex life.
A man who indulges in enough cardio-vascular exercises stands better chances of satisfying his partner. Regular cardio builds the body’s overall stamina, which means you last longer in bed. Cardio requires withstanding the pressure for a longer duration with a sustained and justified distribution over the workout’s time span. This conditioning of the body helps men last longer and preferably let the women achieve orgasm before them. This helps because while men reach climax only once during the lovemaking, a women can do so multiple times. On the other hand, the women who indulge in weight-training achieve an orgasm much faster, as the aggression it induces makes patience take the back seat – which is why it is advisable for them.
Stress is one of the biggest reasons for a dissatisfactory bedroom experience as it leads to many problems, right from reduced stamina to simply not being in mood. Regular exercise is one of the biggest stress busters for most people and lower stress levels means a healthier and a far more exciting sex life.
A healthy and well-balanced diet is one of the most important aspects of achieving fitness. After you work-out, your body craves nutrition. For building muscle and repairing the damage, you need a diet high on zinc and proteins. Eat your way to a great sex life with a diet rich in asparagus, onions, garlic and bananas.
To experiment, keep that flab in check for the extra inches may restrict your urge to experiment in bed.

Any other way to say it!

There just isn’t any other way to say it – a sex slip-up just isn’t sexy, and to save you from the bedroom ‘mishaps’, a leading sexologist has come to your rescue.
Sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc, Dr. Yvonne KristĂ­n Fulbright has identified the top ten sex mistakes women make that ruin their relationships. The author of several books, Dr Fulbright has created a checklist for women to help them stop falling into the same sexual patterns, reports a leading newspaper.
Motherhood should not make you celibate: Fulbright insists on switching on your Marilyn Monroe persona the second you get your lover alone. Be responsive: Most of us don’t like to make love to a corpse. Don’t just lie there ... Move! Make noise. Do anything but play dead! Stay feminine: Strive to stay trim and look your best, and apparently effortlessly at that. While he wants you to be the girl-next-door in so many ways, he also wants to eternally see you as his sex goddess. Don't judge his porn: Unless you’ve been replaced by his passion for pornography, don’t give him a guilt trip for it. Instead of seeing his Playboy or Penthouse as a threat, see it as an enhancement.
Talk dirty: This can be a passion-inducer. Learn to talk dirty. Own your body: Big or small, short or tall, what men find a turn-on more than anything is how a woman carries herself — her confidence. This will help you boost your sex comfort and his.Trash-talking other women: Putting down other women in front of him serves as no more than a sign of insecurity. And that makes you unattractive. Don't assume you'll be monogamous: You’re not monogamous till you have the talk.

12 June, 2009

More loving and more concerned!

In every human being, there is an aspiration to become better, more loving and more concerned about one another and the planet. But people are trying to work towards it from the wrong end. People are trying to be loving, they are trying to be good. When you look at yourself, if you are happy and joyful, naturally you are a very loving, generous, wonderful human being. This is true for everybody. On the other hand, when you are in a state of unhappiness, frustration or any other sense of unpleasantness within yourself, you may be nasty. There is no point trying to be loving, trying to be pleasant to somebody else. When you are feeling pleasant, you are naturally pleasant to everyone around you. The fundamental thing that human beings have to work towards is to make themselves truly joyful and blissful. Trying to produce good human beings has never really worked. When people are joyful, they are all wonderful human beings. Joy is the best insurance against all evil.
People will always find ways to subvert values, morality and ethics. But when you are very joyful, when you are very pleasant within yourself, you are naturally nice to everyone around you. So, my whole work is to make human beings truly blissful. Spirituality does not mean going away from life. Spirituality means becoming alive in the fullest possible way so you are not just alive on the surface, you are alive to the core. If you look at how full of life and joyful you were when you were five years of age and how alive and joyful you are today, has the level gone up or gone down? For most people, it has gone down. It need not be so. With age, physical agility may go down but the level of joy and sense of being alive need not go down. If your level of joy and aliveness is going down, it is as if you are committing suicide in instalments. This happens because you only focus on certain aspects of life, but without including every aspect, you cannot live a full life.
Unfortunately, most of the time, belief systems are passing off as spirituality. The moment you believe something, if you believe "this is it", you are bringing a certain degree of rigidity into the very life process that you are. This is not spirituality. The spiritual process is always a quest, a seeking; that is why when you say, "I'm on a spiritual path," you say "I'm a seeker." When you say "I'm religious," you say "I'm a believer." There is a significant difference, because believing means you have assumed something that you do not know; seeking means you have realised that you do not know, which brings an enormous amount of flexibility. Whenever you say, "I do not know something," you are flexible. Whenever you think, "I know it," you become rigid. This rigidity is not just in attitude; it percolates into every aspect of your life. This rigidity is also the cause of an enormous amount of suffering in the world. How human beings are, that is how the society will be. So, creating human beings who are flexible and willing to look at everything rather than being stuck in their ideas and opinions definitely makes for a different kind of society. And the very energy that such human beings carry will influence everything around them.

08 June, 2009

why lovers fight!

Australian researchers are launching a major study on an age-old problem—why lovers fight. Richard Ronay and other University of Queensland researchers are set to put lovers'' tiffs and their reactions, such as door slamming, fiery verbal exchanges or the cold shoulder, under the scanner.The research would examine the conflict styles of couples who have been in a relationship for more than a year.
Considering the astonishing rate of one in three marriages landing in divorce in Australia, a decision on carrying out this study has been taken. A Can''t Buy Me Love online survey accords money (31 per cent) as the top reason why lovers often argue, followed by household chores (28 per cent). Problematic in-laws (25 per cent) came in third during the survey, while children (22 per cent) and sex (18 per cent) wrapped up the top five issues.
Ronay hopes that the new study would help offer better advise to distressed couples."We are interested in this capacity for self-control and what it contributes to effective conflict management," the Courier Mail quoted him as saying. The study has been planned to begin next month.

07 June, 2009

New venture in an economic slowdown?

Afraid of starting a new venture in an economic slowdown? Don't be, say investors. War times, recession and economic slowdown give excellent opportunities to set up new businesses and gain competitive advantage.
Capital expenditure and wage costs cannot be any cheaper than in these times. From Hyatt and FedEx to GE and Hewlett-Packard to Indian firms like Mindtree and Wipro BPO all were born in a slowdown. To set up a new venture, a core marketing and operations talent is essential. Economic slowdown gives an excellent opportunity to attract such talent at low wage costs, and give them excellent equity rewards and challenging work in return.
Top talent is also liable to easily migrate if their growth is not taken care of (in terms of salary hikes or promotion), even though in a recession. Capital infrastructure businesses will also find the expenses cheaper than they would in boom times. Any product follows the normal PLM (product life cycle management) graph. It follows five stages of development, introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Most ventures start with a loss and achieve break even after six months to an year. And the curve can be timed in such a way that the growth period starts with the period when stock markets start picking up pace.
The ideal maturity period should end with another phase of boom and beginning of a slowdown . Though no business can achieve accurate timing, entrepreneurs can time their product launches gauging the trend of the curve. Raman Roy, founder of three BPO ventures and CEO of Quattro BPO says: that there's is no good or bad time to start. "If you start selling bullock carts in this age, it won't work even in a boom times. Even we started Spectramind in post dot com bust, and we did very well. If the idea is good it will sell. It should satisfy the needs of a market."Roy started Spectramind at the peak of the dot com bust in 2000, with funding from Chysalis Capital. In two years, the company ramped up to 9,000 employees. It was bought by Wipro for $175 million after which Roy founded Quattro BPO with his own capital.

The world's most powerful laser!

The world's most powerful laser, created to help keep tabs on the US nuclear weapons stockpile while also studying the heavens, has been unveiled. The super laser, known officially as the National Ignition Facility, was unveiled on Friday at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of San Francisco. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and US Sen. Dianne Feinstein were among thousands of people in attendance at the ceremony.
The NIF, which is the size of a football field, consists of 192 separate laser beams, each traveling 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) in one-thousandth of a second to converge simultaneously on a target the size of a pencil eraser. Federal officials said they planned to use it on a multifaceted assignment that would include ensuring aging nuclear weapons are functioning properly without resorting to underground testing. Other uses will include the study of astrophysics and experiments in developing green energy programs. Beginning next year, scientists also will use the laser for experiments aimed at creating controlled fusion reactions similar to those found in the sun. ``More energy will be produced by this ignition process than the amount of laser energy required to start it. This is the long-sought goal of energy gain that has been the goal of fusion researchers for more than half a century,'' said NIF director Edward Moses. The laser will be used in astrophysics, allowing scientists to mimic conditions inside planets and new solar systems, something the lab's officials said would allow for conducting experiments that could never be undertaken on Earth before.

Hotline for heart patients!

A support hotline for heart patients is of great benefit, a new study has found.Patients inhabiting Australia's hinterlands with access to the "Chronic Heart failure Assistance by Telephone" (CHAT) were one-third less likely to die or need hospital treatment.CHAT is an automated answering service supplemented by qualified cardiac nurses. Patients' medication, general health, day-to-day routines and their heart condition were regularly monitored. Patients were encouraged to undertake check-ups and self-assessment surveys.
One hundred and thirty six GPs were recruited to support the year-long study, involving more than 400 patients. The results were presented at the European Heart Failure Association meeting in Nice, France (May 30-June 2) by the principal study investigator, Henry Krum. Krum, who is a professor at Monash University, Melbourne, said the study showed that phone support for people living outside city areas was valuable for heart patients."The CHAT study demonstrated significant reductions in hospitalisation for any cause and a highly significant 35 percent reduction in death or hospitalisation," said Krum, according to a Monash release.

World- first breakthrough!

In what is claimed to a world- first breakthrough, scientists claim to have used stem cells cultured on contact lens to restore sight in the sufferers of blinding corneal disease.A team at the University of New South Wales harvested stem cells from patients' own eyes to rehabilitate the damaged cornea. The stem cells were cultured on a common therapeutic contact lens which was then placed onto the damaged cornea for 10 days, during which the cells were able to re-colonise the damaged eye surface.
While the novel procedure was used to rehabilitate damaged corneas, the researchers say it offers hope to people with a range of blinding eye conditions and could have applications in other organs, the 'Transplantation' journal reported in its latest edition.In fact, the trial was conducted on three patients -- two with extensive corneal damage resulting from multiple surgeries to remove ocular melanomas, and one with the genetic eye condition aniridia. Other causes of cornea damage can include chemical or thermal burns, bacterial infection and chemotherapy.

Now captured scents from cricket!

Move over floral, musky smells. Perfume makers have now captured scents from cricket grounds, including the changing rooms, cricket bats and kit, as well as from the cabins of ocean-going yachts."We are looking for modern smells that have never been used in fragrances before but which have strong associations with activities that people enjoy or respect," The Times quoted Will Andrews, a fragrance scientist at Procter & Gamble (P&G), which makes perfumes by Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana and Lacoste, as saying.
Andrews' aim is to find "notes" within the odours found in such places that evoke positive emotions associated with sporty activities. These can then be used in conjunction with other odours to make new fragrances. "Smell is the most evocative of the senses. Just a faint whiff of a particular odour can conjure up memories and emotions in a way that no other sense can achieve," the expert said. A lecture on how researchers used a technique called "headspace analysis", in which a pump sucks air from a room or area deemed to have interesting smells, will be given by Andrews at the Royal Institution in London.
In the process, air is passed over polymer beads that trap the odour molecules and concentrate them. Back in the laboratory the beads are placed in a gas chromatograph where they are warmed up. The odour molecules evaporate from the beads and are sucked into the machine to be analysed. Once the structure of the molecules is known they can be duplicated artificially in the quantities needed for perfume.

Electronic memory chips!

The day is not far when electronic memory chips would gain the ability to be bended and twisted, for engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found a way to build a flexible memory component out of inexpensive, readily available materials. Although the new device is not ready to debut in the market, but it holds promise not only because of its potential applications in medicine and other fields, but also because it has the characteristics of a memristor.
A memristor is a fundamentally new component for electronic circuits that industry scientists developed in 2008. Scientists seek electronic components that can flex without breaking for many reasons-for example they could be worn on the skin to monitor heart rate or blood sugar Although there exist some flexible components, the NIST researchers think that creating flexible memory is a technical barrier. Thus, while hunting for a solution, the researchers took polymer sheets-the sort that transparencies for overhead projectors are made from-and experimented with depositing a thin film of titanium dioxide, an ingredient in sunscreen, on their surfaces.
They deposited the material by a sol gel process, which consists of spinning the material in liquid form and letting it set, like making gelatin. They added electrical contacts and created a flexible memory switch that operates on less than 10 volts, maintains its memory when power is lost, and still functions after being flexed more than 4,000 times. In fact, the switch's performance strongly resembles to that of a memristor-a component theorized in 1971 as a fourth fundamental circuit element (along with the capacitor, resistor and inductor).A memristor is essentially a resistor that changes its resistance depending on the amount of current that is sent through it-and retains this resistance even after the power is turned off. The NIST component demonstrates similar electrical behaviour like a memristor, and is also flexible. And, thus, they can begin to explore the metrology that may be necessary to study the device's unique electrical behaviour. "We wanted to make a flexible memory component that would advance the development and metrology of flexible electronics, while being economical enough for widespread use. Because the active component of our device can be fabricated from a liquid, there is the potential that in the future we can print the entire memory device as simply and inexpensively as we now print a slide on an overhead transparency," said NIST researcher Nadine Gergel-Hackett. The findings of the study appear in an upcoming issue of IEEE Electron Device Letters.

You may soon feel others’ pain!

Well, you may soon feel others’ pain, thanks to scientists who have discovered what they claim is a way to measure a person’s suffering. Using brain scans, a team at the Oxford University has carried out a series of studies which have shown distinct differences between the brains of people in pain and others who are not.
“Pain seems to increase the blood flow to certain parts of the brain roughly in proportion to the amount of pain felt, and we can measure that activation in a brain scan,” the team’s leader Prof Irene Tracey said.What the scientists have found is that the brain possesses what they call a “pain matrix”, with such feelings typically activating more than a dozen parts of the brain, ‘The Sunday Times’ reported. This is in contrast to other senses such as vision or hearing, where stimuli are generally fed to just one part of the brain for interpretation.

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Women often felt blameworth!

A higher proportion of women feel that they do not meet their own high standards with family and workplace commitments, say US researchers.According to a study of 288 adults, when it comes to feelings of inadequacy at home and at workplace, ladies suffer more than men.Authors of the study, which has been published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, claim that such perfectionism can have a negative effect on the work-life balance.
The study’s volunteers had to work at least 20 hours a week and have family commitments, reports The BBC.Most people were married and 80 percent had at least one child living at home.Statements included in the questionnaire included: “the time I spend with my families interferes with my work responsibilities”; and “when I get home from work I am usually too frazzled to participate in family activities”.
In the study, respondents were categorised into those who set themselves very high standards but felt they did not meet them, those who set high personal standards and were happy with their performance, and non-perfectionists.At work, 38 percent of women did not feel they met the high standards they set themselves, compared with 24 percent of men, the study found.
When it came to home and family life, 30 percent of women felt they were failing to meet the standards they wanted to compared with 17 percent of men.
Study author Dr Jacqueline Mitchelson, assistant professor in psychology at Auburn University in Alabama, said: “None of the research I’ve seen which splits perfectionism into groups has found a gender difference so it was completely unexpected.”I’m not sure where it comes from, and we need more research.”Professor Cary Cooper, an expert in organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, said women often felt blameworthy when juggling work and home commitments.
“They have what we call the double shift - trying to juggle working and competing at work and then carrying out duties at home with men only helping at the margins.”They then feel guilty that they’re not doing well at work because of home commitments and they’re not doing well at home because of work commitments.”He added: “Women suffer from perfectionism. They tend to be more conscientious, working to 100 percent.”

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Snoring linked with sleep apnoea!

While snoring has been linked to learning impairment, stroke and premature death, researchers at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) now say that snoring linked with sleep apnoea may impair brain function more than previously thought.
The research has shown that obstructive sleep apnoea sufferers experience similar changes in brain biochemistry to people who have had a severe stroke or who are dying.And the new study is the first to analyse-”in a second-by-second timeframe”-what is happening in the brains of sufferers as they sleep.Previous studies have focused on recreating oxygen impairment in awake patients.”It used to be thought that apnoeic snoring had absolutely no acute effects on brain function but this is plainly not true,” said New South Global Professor Caroline Rae, the lead author of the study.Severe form of Sleep apnoea is characterised by extended pauses in breathing, repetitive asphyxia, and sleep fragmentation.
Children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids are also affected, raising concerns of long-term cognitive damage.The researchers used magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the brains of 13 men with severe, untreated, obstructive sleep apnoea.They found that even a moderate degree of oxygen desaturation during the patients” sleep had significant effects on the brain’’s bioenergetic status.
“The findings show that lack of oxygen while asleep may be far more detrimental than when awake, possibly because the normal compensatory mechanisms don’t work as well when you are asleep,” said Rae.She added: “This is happening in someone with sleep apnoea acutely and continually when they are asleep. It’s a completely different biochemical mechanism from anything we’ve seen before and is similar to what you see in somebody who has had a very severe stroke or is dying.”In her opinion, the findings suggested societal perceptions of snoring needed to change.
She said: “People look at people snoring and think it’s funny. That has to stop.”Rae said that they don’t known why the body responded to oxygen depletion in this way.”The brain could be basically resetting its bioenergetics to make itself more resistant to lack of oxygen. It may be a compensatory mechanism to keep you alive, we just don’t know, but even if it is it’s not likely to be doing you much good,” said Rae.

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Sleep disturbances increases with age!

Scientists from Lighting Research Centre (LRC) have developed a goggle-like device designed to deliver blue light directly to the eyes to improve sleep quality in older adults suffering from chronic sleep disturbances.Sleep disturbances increases with age. Researchers have long believed that the sleep disturbances common among the elderly often result from a disruption of the body’s circadian rhythms - biological cycles that repeat approximately every 24 hours.It has been shown that blue light is the most effective at stimulating the circadian system when combined with the appropriate light intensity, spatial distribution, timing, and duration.
“Light and dark patterns are the major synchronizer of circadian rhythms to the 24-hour solar day,” said Dr Mariana Figueiro, Lighting Research Center Light and Health Program director and principal investigator on the project.”Light stimulus travels through the retina, the light-sensitive nerve tissue lining the back wall of the eye, to reach the master clock in the brain,” the expert said.”However, a combination of age-related changes in the eye and a more sedentary lifestyle may reduce the amount of light stimulus reaching an older person’s retina, therefore reducing the amount of light for the circadian system,” she added.
The light-treatment prototype was developed by Topbulb.com, LLC, based on prior LRC light and health research.It offers an alternative approach using specially designed goggles that deliver blue light spectrally tuned for optimum circadian response.During the study, the device was worn by eleven subjects between the ages of 51 and 80 years of age, who were exposed to two levels of blue light for 90 minutes on two separate nights.The researchers collected the blood and saliva samples and assessed levels of nocturnal melatonin, a hormone used as a marker for the circadian clock, with high levels at night when a person is in a dark environment and low levels during the day.
After only one hour of light exposure, the light-induced nocturnal melatonin suppression level was about 35 percent for the low light level and about 60 percent for the high light level.In addition, the higher level of blue light suppressed nocturnal melatonin more quickly, to a greater extent over the course of the 90-minute exposure period, and was maintained after 60 minutes.The researchers believe that the device could be subsequently used to increase sleep consolidation and efficiency in older subjects when worn for a prescribed duration at an appropriate time.”The study suggests that the light goggles might be a practical, comfortable, and effective way to deliver light treatment to those suffering from circadian sleep disorders,” said Figueiro.The study appears in Chronobiology International.

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Why do you say we should learn to enjoy adversity?

When something is inevitable, when its occurrence cannot be prevented, it is better to go along with it rather than to resist it. The word enjoy here means, make the best out of something. Let me illustrate with an example: A person is walking along a mountain ridge. He stumbles and falls. As he tumbles down the cliff, he sees the branch of a tree projecting from the cliff-face. He catches hold of that branch. As he is hanging there precariously, he sees his Guru standing on the top of the mountain. He asks the guru what he should do. There is no way the guru can help him physically. Instead, he tells him, The left side of the valley below you is dry and thorny. The right side is lush and green. Look to the right and try to fall there. Now that the fall is inevitable, and you may be plunging to your death, enjoy the scenery during your last leap. Your assessment of any situation should be realistic. You must muster all your resources in protecting your interests. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your adversary and be prepared to put up the stiffest resistance you can. At the same time, if you find yourself overpowered, try to work out the best bargain. In corporate parlance, for example, try your best to fend off a hostile takeover bid against your company. But if you see that it is unavoidable, try to get the best terms of a takeover.At least some kinds of enjoyment involve a willingness to suffer some unpleasantness. You go for an Ayurvedic or any other kind of massage. Massage is good for health. Sometimes the masseurs use foot massage, using their body weight to apply different degrees of pressure on your body. It might be uncomfortable or even painful, but later, you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. You are bearing the unpleasantness in anticipation of the joy.

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You don’t see Him because…

Where and how do we search for God? Remember that God is within you, but you don’t see Him because the one place you will never look is inside yourself. You will search everywhere, but never within yourself. Paradoxically, you lose sight of God because He is in you.
Now look at what God has given us. Our intelligence, buddhi , is a precious gift. Yet, are we loving and grateful enough to God who has given us all these?Do we have even a little of the gratitude a dog has towards its master? No! That is why Dattatreya considers the dog as one of his gurus. Dattatreya draws four lessons from the dog. A dog doesn’t count its misfortunes or grieve over them. A dog doesn’t live in the past. It doesn’t make long-term plans either. It doesn’t live in the future. It lives instinctively, from moment to moment.
A dogs life is one unbroken straight line marked by love, devotion and gratitude to the one who sustains it. Devotion is its defining property. Can we, like the dog, be always grateful to our Creator and Sustainer? Can we give up being miserable about our past misfortunes and mistakes? These are disciplines we impose on ourselves. When we reach this stage, we will have achieved a mental state that looks with equal ease at happiness and sorrow, at misery and luxury; in short, we will have seen God in ourselves. This is the essence of the Sanskrit saying, Tat Tvam Asi, You are That. That is, you are the object of your search. A spiritual journey is a discipline for reaching this stage of supreme self-realisation.

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06 June, 2009

Feature from swarnmriga!

It’s virtually a face off! Scientists have developed a software which they claim can change the sex of a person on a computer by taking a live video feed of a person talking.The software has been developed by computer scientist Barry-John Theobald at the University of East Anglia in the UK and Iain Matthews, formerly at Carnegie Mellon University and now at Weta Digital in Wellington, New Zealand.
In fact, according to the scientists, the software can take a live video feed of a person talking and make them look and sound like somebody else could actually change that, the ‘New Scientist’ reported.
In their research, the scientists recorded video of volunteers performing 30 different facial expressions such as frowning, smiling and looking surprised. For each expression, the positions of key facial features, such as the eyes, nose and corners of the lips, were manually labelled.
That annotated footage was used to “train” software to recognise the face of each individual featured in the set. Once trained on a person in this way, it can closely track every move of their face in video footage.
Those movements can then be transferred onto the face of another “known” person by calculating how the recipient’s features need to change to take on each new expression.

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Need to make sexual conquests!

Upon hearing the words ‘sex addiction’, people often connect it with a person, usually a man, who has an incessant need to make sexual conquests, but a true definition for the term is yet to be ascertained.The topic is extremely controversial, and even experts are not able to agree whether sexual addiction is a true addiction, with two researchers publishing in 1998 an article entitled ”Sexual addiction: many conceptions, minimal data”.
Dr. Erick Janssen, the Director of Education & Research Training at The Kinsey Institute, explained in an email that there is no accepted definition for the term.”We do not have a generally accepted definition of ’sex addiction.’ It was originally approached as involving some kind of ”inability to adequately control sexual behaviour,” but this is, as you can tell, not a very objective definition,” CBS News quoted him as writing.”According to some, sexual addiction seems in the eye of the beholder, or in the eyes of his or her therapist,” he stated.
Mavis Humes Baird, an addictions treatment specialist, is convinced that sexual addiction is a true disorder because people are in the throws of an impulse they can”t control, and that there are underlying changes in the brain that cannot be addressed by psychotherapy alone.
“For example, if one of the partners in a couple is having affairs and they’re not a sex addict, marriage counselling or family therapy is very effective. But if they’re a sex addict, all the therapy in the world getting at problems in the relationship won’t touch the addiction,” she said.
“One of the primary referral sources for sex addiction is couples counsellors who have been doing attachment work with couples for years with the addiction going on unaffected and sometimes kept secret for all those years.”You can”t treat the sex problems between the partners until the addiction is treated. And that’’s done by a combination of specific treatment protocols, and 12-step program involvement, and sometimes medication,” she said.But Baird also said that it is not listed in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), and that there’s a struggle about whether it will be included in the next edition.
Dr. Herbert Kleber, a professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, where he is the Director of the Division on Substance Abuse, has provided another view.”Is it an addiction? I’m convinced gambling is an addiction but am agnostic about sexual addiction. Once you let one of them in the door do you let in shopaholics, kleptomaniacs, etcetera? Where do you draw the line?” he said.
Dr. Janssen agrees with Dr. Kleber’s scepticism-on there not being prevalent statistics on sexual addiction.”There are no reliable prevalence statistics on sexual addiction. That is, it has not been measured in representative samples of men and women. A few studies in non-representative samples have concluded that it could involve 5-10 percent of the adult population,” he said.”Most sex researchers prefer to not use that term, instead relying on terms like ’sexual compulsivity’ or ’sexual impulsivity’ to reflect people’s experiences and actual behaviours,” he added.

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Obligations that come with marriage?

you’re planning to make your relationship eternal by getting married, then you should sit down for a moment and give the idea a second thought, suggests a new study.Northwestern University study is based on the question: Will the partner who supports your hopes and aspirations while you are dating also help you fulfill important responsibilities and obligations that come with marriage?
The answer to that question could make a difference in how satisfied you are after tying the knot.Believing a partner is there to help you grow into the person you aspire to be predicted higher relationship satisfaction for both dating and married couples, the study showed.
But the belief that your partner helps you live up to your responsibilities and uphold your commitments only predicted higher relationship satisfaction after marriage.For dating couples, the relationship itself tends to revolve around whether things are moving forward. Happiness with a partner depends on whether the relationship will grow into something more, whether a partner will support the dreams the other eventually hopes to achieve.For married couples, the feeling that their partners are helping them to advance their relationships and realize their ideal achievements is still important.
But the relationships of married couples, now more interconnected both practically and psychologically, tend to revolve around upholding the commitment made to their partners. Unlike dating couples, married couples also put a high premium on their partners” support of whatever they determine to be necessary obligations.”In other words, the feelings of being loved and supported that people use to judge who makes a good girlfriend or boyfriend may not be completely trustworthy in deciding who makes a good husband or wife,” said Daniel Molden, assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern and lead author of the study.
“Those feelings may only partially capture the emotions that will determine your satisfaction with the person you marry,” the expert added.The findings, Molden said, could be important in explaining why so many marriages fall apart.
The study, which will be published in the July issue of Psychological Science, included 92 heterosexual dating couples and 77 married couples.They completed a battery of questionnaires that included an assessment of how much they thought their partner understood and supported both the hopes and responsibilities they had set for themselves. To measure how different types of perceived support were related to happiness with the relationship, couples also completed well-validated measures of satisfaction, intimacy and trust.

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Quantity of your personal relationships?

What determines the quality and quantity of your personal relationships? I think the #1 factor is your mindset towards relationships. There are many ways to frame the role of relationships in your life, and some options are more empowering than others. Look at relationships one way, and you’ll find it difficult to relate to others. But change your mindset in a certain way, and you’ll find yourself attracting compatible people with relative ease.

In this article I’ll share with you a mindset shift that significantly improved my personal relationships, including my marriage, friendships, and even everyday encounters with total strangers. I’ll say up front that this was not an easy shift for me to make, but the results have been well worth the effort.

The mindset of disempowered relationships

First, let’s consider the basic objective mindset about relationships. This mindset assumes that other people are separate and distinct from you, and you communicate with them through words, voice, and body language.

Here are some facets of the objective relationship framework:

  • Separation - Other people have their own thoughts which are separate and distinct from yours.
  • Risk of rejection - Human relationships are both imprecise and risky because you never know for certain what other people are thinking.
  • Potential resistance - It takes courage to approach a stranger; you never know what kind of resistance you may meet when you try to initiate a conversation with someone you don’t know.
  • Trust takes time - Relationships are built on communication, trust, and familiarity, which takes time to build.
  • Bonding takes time - You feel closer to people you know and more distant from people you don’t know. Total strangers are the biggest risk of all; the less you know about a person, the less certain you are of your mutual relationship prospects.
  • Risk of attachment - There’s a risk of becoming attached to destructive or abusive relationships (or simply those that no longer serve you) because you’ve invested so much time and energy in building them.

This is the basic relationship framework that most people identify with. It’s so common we could call it “common sense.”

However, I consider this a disempowering mindset, not because it’s so terrible — it is fairly functional — but because there’s a more empowering alternative. I spent most of my life using this framework, and I got average results with it. I had fun spending time with friends, and I didn’t suffer from undue loneliness, but I never had close relationships with friends who’d encourage me to live up to my true potential or who’d allow me to do the same with them. It was sort of an unspoken rule that you didn’t talk about things like mission, purpose, or service to the greater good. Such topics were the domain of saints and historical figures, not ordinary people with bills to pay.

A chance encounter

One day I had a chance encounter with a peculiar woman. I call it a chance encounter because our meeting was the result of an odd synchronicity. During one of our first conversations together, I practically bared my soul to her. She learned more about the real me in a single conversation than my other friends learned in years. At the time I didn’t know why I felt open to discuss such things with her — I just felt safe with her, and I could tell she wasn’t judging me for being who I was. We became close friends almost immediately. I’d never had such a deep emotional bond with another person occur so quickly before.

As I got to see this woman interacting with others, I noticed how ridiculously easy it was for her to relate to people, whether in person, online, or on the phone. Total strangers would just open up to her and tell her their darkest secrets in the first 10 minutes of conversation – I could scarcely believe it. I had to ask this woman how she did it, and she explained that it was the result of a particular mindset she had about people.

For many years I resisted adopting her mindset as my own because even though I could see that it worked for her, it just didn’t seem accurate. I felt like I’d be adopting a false view of reality, but I also wondered how a false view could produce such positive results.

Eventually I relaxed my skepticism enough to try it, and she was right. It made a huge difference for me too. I began attracting new friends much more easily.

As you might have guessed, that peculiar woman was Erin, who’s been my wife for 12+ years now. If you’ve ever talked with her yourself, you already know what she’s like. She talks to you as a fellow soul, treating you as a real human being instead of as your job title, your physical appearance, or your personality. She connects with people so easily and so naturally that grown men often cry during phone readings with her.

While Erin certainly has some serious natural talent in this area, I’ve seen that her mindset is a key component of her ability to genuinely connect. She doesn’t do anything premeditated or manipulative – her ability to connect is a natural consequence of her beliefs. And to the degree I’ve been able to adopt her beliefs in this area, I’ve been able to get closer to her results. My results aren’t a match for hers, but fortunately this isn’t an all-or-nothing deal.

The mindset of empowered relationships

So what is the mindset that makes it so much easier to relate to people? Here it is in a nutshell:

Everyone you meet in your life — even total strangers — is already intimately connected to you. The idea that we are all separate and distinct beings is nothing but an illusion. We are all parts of a larger whole, like individual cells in a body.

Moreover, everyone and everything you see out there in your world are reflections of you. Just as the cells in an organism carry the same DNA, other people are walking around with some part of you inside them. When you look at other people, you’re really looking at yourself. When you notice other people, it’s just like your eyes observing your hands. We’re all parts of the same whole.

Here are some facets of this interconnected model of relationships:

  • Oneness - Other people are not separate and distinct from you. In fact, they are you.
  • Connectedness - You don’t have to “build” relationships with others because you’re already connected. You need only tune into the pre-existing connection that’s already there.
  • No risk - Little or no courage is required to approach strangers. You’re never actually building new connections from scratch. You’re just recognizing what’s already there.
  • Equality - You can feel just as close to total strangers as you do to your friends.
  • Significance - All relationships are significant; none are irrelevant. Even the strangers you pass on the street are important parts of you.
  • Love without attachment - Letting go of harmful relationships is easier because you’re still unconditionally connected to everyone else. As you release old relationships that no longer serve you, you’ll attract new ones that are compatible with you.

Initially I found this a totally alien mindset. It was only in seeing the results first-hand that I became a convert. Interestingly, I wasn’t into subjective reality when I first adopted this mindset, but this is in fact the subjective reality view of relationships in a nutshell.

One of the side effects of this mindset is that Erin and I are constantly meeting people through synchronicities… people we feel we were supposed to meet. I first read about these kinds of encounters in The Celestine Prophecy. When you have a certain mindset about relationships, you begin to attract the right people at the right times. That’s precisely how Erin and I met as well.

For example, Erin and I recently spent several days in Sedona, Arizona. This was the first time either of us had ever been to that city. One day we walked into a shop we’d never been to before, picked up a strong vibe from a total stranger, started talking, and 30 minutes later we had become friends and said goodbye with hugs. This woman also sent us a gift in the mail a week later to thank us for some guidance we gave her. For Erin and me, this has become an increasingly common event. And believe me — before I had this mindset I could never walk into some random store and expect to be hugging someone I’d never met only 30 minutes later.

I think the reason this mindset is so effective is that when you assume a pre-existing connection with another person, s/he will tend to respond in kind. Usually the best way to break the ice with someone is to assume there never was any ice to begin with.

I also like that this is an easy way to identify highly conscious people. The more conscious and self-aware someone is, the more easily and naturally they’ll respond to someone who relates to them as a real human being right off the bat.

Applying the empowering mindset

When you adopt the mindset that we’re all inherently connected, these are some of the actions and results that will come naturally to you:

  • Easy rapport - You’ll connect with strangers almost as easily as you connect with your closest friends, sometimes more easily. The difference between strangers and friends is intellectual familiarity, but you can tap into an intuitive familiarity even with someone you’ve never met.
  • Fairness - You’ll begin to feel a kinship with everyone, regardless of familiarity.
  • Attraction - Because you’re always open to connecting with people, you’ll begin attracting new relationships fairly easily. Compatible people will be drawn to you.
  • Synchronicity - You’ll experience a swell in synchronicities that lead to chance encounters, meeting people you feel very drawn to meet.
  • Social courage - Have you ever seen someone at a distance you felt you were supposed to meet? Have you ever run into the same stranger multiple times in the same day? With the right belief system, you’ll feel confident beginning a conversation with such people, and you’ll find that your hunches were right on — you were supposed to meet.
  • Deeper relationships - You’ll enjoy deeper, less superficial relationships, getting to know people at the level of soul.
  • Energy - You’ll attract relationships that energize you rather than drain you.
  • Reading people - Because we’re all connected, you can mentally connect with other people and literally share the same thoughts in a way that goes beyond words, voice, and body language. You can even do it at a distance. With practice you can get an accurate read on someone you’ve never met, picking up specific data about that person that you couldn’t have known in a purely objective sense. Practice increases both your accuracy and your ability to trust the information you pick up.

These benefits aren’t either-or. You gradually gain them as your awareness of our spiritual interconnectedness grows.

Fearless relationships

While you can get some of these benefits while still clinging to an objective model of relationships, I think it would be very difficult. The real key is removing fear from the equation. When you can relate to people without fear, which is a natural consequence of the belief that we’re all connected, then it becomes much easier to form deep connections with other human beings.

If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you can probably guess that if you were to meet me in person, you wouldn’t have to begin a conversation with me by chatting about the weather. We could just talk soul-to-soul about anything, and you needn’t be afraid of me judging you because my belief is that you’re an integral and inseparable part of me. But that’s because you already know a lot about me and my mindset from reading my articles, so you already have some familiarity with me, and that reduces your social risk with me. However, the truth is that you can achieve the same level of rapport with a total stranger when you get an intuitive read that s/he will be receptive. Your social conditioning will cause you to focus on the fear of rejection, but with the mindset of interconnectedness, you’ll focus on the opportunities for connection instead.

My understanding is that the mindset of interconnectedness isn’t only more empowering than the objective mindset — it’s also more accurate. Our fundamental interconnectedness was one of the most empowering realizations I ever had… and also one of the most humbling. It keeps my ego in check to know that this Steve person I inhabit is just one cell in a much larger body. We all are. And the best we can do with our lives is to achieve the point of optimal balance whereby serving our own needs and serving the whole body are congruent. A body does not survive by sacrificing the cells that serve it, and a cell does not survive by sacrificing the body that hosts it.

Interdependence is a higher level of consciousness than independence. Fear serves the latter; fearlessness, the former.

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If you screw up!

Do you ever mistakenly use your own power against yourself? Instead of focusing your creative energies to fulfill your desires, do you channel those energies into negative thoughts, feelings, and visualizations? If so then you’re succumbing to an abuse of your own power.

Here are some common patterns that involve using your power against yourself as well as suggestions for how to stop yourself and make corrective adjustments.


When you complain, you’re using your power to reinforce and magnify whatever you’re complaining about. Why on earth would you want to feed more energy into something you don’t want?

The more you complain, the more you’ll continue to attract and create similar negative circumstances, and the more you’ll have to complain about. Once you step onto the treadmill of complaining, it’s hard to step off again.

How do you feel about people who complain to you about their lives? Do you empathize with them? Do you feel pity for them? What if they keep it up year after year? Don’t you sometimes feel like shaking them and shouting, “For God’s sakes would you please stop all the frakkin whining? I just can’t take it anymore! Try taking some responsibility for your life. Quit whining and go do something about your problems. Stop playing the victim role – it’s not who you’re supposed to be.”

Okay, so maybe you don’t say that to their face, but deep down that is sometimes how you feel, isn’t it?

Actually you’d be lucky if that was how you felt. A more common reaction is to not even recognize complaining for what it is. Making negative comments about our own lives has become so ubiquitous that you may not even notice it when it happens. Complaining has become an acceptable, “normal” part of human interaction. However, the truth is that complaining is an enormously disempowering trap. Learn to recognize it as a disease, and treat it aggressively when you encounter it, especially if you notice it’s coming from you.

Have you ever seen a complainer finish complaining? Imagine a complainer saying, “Well, that’s it! I finally finished complaining! I now have nothing left to whine about, so I guess I can go be happy now.” Of course they never actually finish. All they do is run themselves in circles, pouring more energy into the perpetuation of unhappiness.

Instead of complaining, do the opposite. Talk about what’s good in your life. If you have problems to deal with, then talk about possible solutions. Stay focused on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

If you’ve been a complainer for a while, you’ve probably surrounded yourself with a posse of energy vampires who feed off your negative energy. If that’s the case, you’re going to repel those people when you start shifting to become more positive. Trust me — they will likely freak out and won’t be able to handle it. Just allow that to happen. In fact, go make it happen if you can. If a parting of ways needs to happen, let it happen. You’ll be much better off.

When you talk about what’s good in your life and about solutions and opportunities instead of problems and obstacles, you’ll attract different people who can handle the new you – people who will play back at you with positive stories of their own. Then you can encourage the heck out of each other. These people are typically allergic to complainers, so if you complain a lot, you will naturally repel them, and they’ll want nothing to do with you.

If you can’t seem to make and keep high-caliber, positive friends, is it possible you’re repelling them by being too whiny? You can’t hide the way you use your power. If you empower your weakness instead of embracing your greatness, other people can quickly sense that.

When you encounter a chain complainer, don’t feed their addiction by rewarding their whining with attention or pity. Instead, try raising their awareness of what they’re doing to themselves. You might say, “I’d prefer not to relate to you on the basis of complaining. That isn’t going to serve either of us. Can we talk about what’s good in your life instead?”

Then you should probably duck.

People will sometimes freak out when you violate social conventions like this, but you’ll be doing them a favor in the long run. They may have to hear it a number of different times from different sources, but at least you’ll play a part in helping them kick the habit if they ever choose to do so. Better to shed some truth on their abuse of power than let it go unchecked and perpetuate their denial.


Doubting yourself or feeling sorry for yourself is another way to abuse your power. Now you’re taking your power and using it to weaken yourself. That’s like being a god who says, “Let me be powerless.”

You’re a naturally creative being. It makes no sense to turn your creative energies into self-destruction.

If you doubt yourself, it’s not because you’re inherently defective. It’s not because you’re a screw up. It’s because you haven’t yet learned how to use your power to create certainty.

Certainty isn’t something you detect. It’s not something you’ll discover through analysis. Certainty is a feeling that you create for yourself.

Certainty is when you say to the universe, “Here’s what I want. Now let’s make it so.”

Self-doubt is when you say to the universe, “Here’s what I want. Or wait… maybe I want this instead. No… maybe I don’t want either of those things. I guess I’m just not sure.”

If that sounds really dumb, that’s because it is dumb.

Stop being so wishy washy. Stop reciting stupid affirmations like, “I just don’t know what to do.” Who taught you to do that anyway? Someone who was an even more egregious self-doubter?

“I don’t know what to do” is not an observation. It’s an act of creation. Obviously you won’t know what to do if you’re using your power to perpetuate a state of self-doubt. Whenever you proclaim that you don’t know what to do, you’re creating your own state of perpetual uncertainty.

To move beyond self-doubt, start doing the opposite. Use your power to create certainty instead of self-doubt. Begin saying to yourself, “I know what to do. I ABSOLUTELY know what to do.” Say it like you mean it.

Never say, “I don’t know what to do” to yourself or anyone else. It only makes you weak. Plus it’s just dumb.

If you can’t handle, “I know what to do,” then start with, “I’m now gaining clarity about what to do.” Use your power to reorient yourself in the direction of clarity. Never affirm “I don’t know what to do” unless you really want to create a state of perpetual uncertainty.

It’s foolish to act like a victim of your own uncertainty when you’re the one who’s creating it in the first place.

If you want certainty, you must create it. You won’t find it out there in the world. The world is waiting on you. If you abuse your power to create self-doubt, then you’ll be even more confused when you look to the external world for answers. All it will do is reflect back what you’ve created.

Please be warned that if you ever say “I don’t know what to do” in my presence, I will smack you – hard. Trust me — this will help you gain clarity. At the very least, it will encourage you to come up with a better idea than being smacked again. My way’s not very sportsmanlike, but it can be quite effective.

Seriously, the next time you catch yourself saying, thinking, or believing, “I don’t know what to do,” give yourself a good hard smack across the face. This will help you connect that whining about your uncertainty is a form of self-abuse. If you don’t like smacking yourself in the face, then stop using your power to beat yourself down.

Fezzik, jog his memory.


When you use your power to feed your fears instead of your desires, you succumb to cowardice.

Think of it this way — whatever you feed with your energy will expand. If you want your fears to grow and expand in your reality, then by all means keep feeding them. Give them even more of your precious attention. Think about your fears and worries often. Hang out with other people who are also good at worrying. Avoid anyone who faces up to their fears or who’d nudge you to do the same.

Maybe there’s a part of you that knows deep down that courage is an essential quality you must develop sooner or later if you ever wish to live as a mature, conscious human being.

Courage can be defined as the willingness to face your fears. But what happens when you finally face one of your fears? The feeling of fear essentially dissolves because now you’re focused on creating a result other than fear. You may feel a sense of exhilaration and determination as the fear leaves you.

Another way of defining courage is to say that courage is the willingness to empower your desires instead of your fears.

You generate fear when you send energy to what you don’t want — by thinking about it, dwelling on it, imagining it, etc.

You generate courage when you send energy to what you do want, in much the same way. Gradually you feel more and more motivated to take action. The more you use your power to generate a feeling of courage, the closer you are to making your desires real.

Whenever you catch yourself feeding your fears, stop and remind yourself that this is a serious abuse of your power. Then reclaim that energy by imagining yourself drawing it back into you. Finally, use your power correctly by imagining what you really want, and send all that energy into those thoughts, images, and feelings instead.

Spend time hanging out with the bravest people you can find. When you will hang out with them, you’ll see that they refuse to feed their fears. They spend much more time feeding their desires instead. They’ve learned how to use their power to create more drive and passion instead of cowardice and fear-based thinking.


Arguing with other people is another way to abuse your power. Arguing is trying to make someone else wrong and yourself right at the same time. This is an easy trap to fall into, but it doesn’t serve you.

Making an effort to persuade someone to see things from another perspective is okay. So is spirited debate. In those situations you’re trying to understand the other person’s point of view and to encourage them to understand yours as well. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

Arguing happens when you take this a step too far, trying to invalidate the other person’s point of view entirely — to make them wrong for seeing reality as they do. This is an abuse of power.

The problem with trying to make someone else wrong is that once again you’re using your power against itself. Your power is creative, not uncreative. When you argue with someone, you’re trying to uncreate their point of view, which can’t be done. You cannot invalidate a perspective.

Instead of arguing, think in terms of acceptance and consequences. First, accept the other person’s point of view as valid for them. Then decide what the consequence of that realization will be. Maybe the consequences are negligible. Maybe it means the best solution is for you to each go your separate ways. Or maybe the best outcome is somewhere in between.

Usually we run into a pattern of arguing when we resist the consequences of acceptance. So we push too hard to force the other person to give in, and that simply doesn’t work. Even if the other person seems to go along, their consent will only be superficial. As the saying goes, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

When you catch yourself arguing, where you’re trying too hard to make yourself right and the other person wrong, just stop. Drop the disempowering frame of winning vs. losing. Then shift yourself into the frame of acceptance and consequences. Accept the other person’s point of view completely. You may be convinced it’s the wrong way to see things, but it is what it is. Permit that person the freedom to choose their preferred perspective. Next, ask yourself what the consequences of accepting the other person’s point of view will be. And finally, go ahead and implement those consequences if it’s necessary for you to do so.

Sometimes when I catch myself getting into an argument with someone and realize just how pointless it is, I will up and quit right in the middle of the argument. Defending my point of view simply isn’t a good use of my power. Instead of continuing to fuss over who’s right and who’s wrong, I shift over to acceptance and consequences. Even if I think the person is totally out of sync with reality for believing what they do, I accept that it’s their choice to hold that perspective. Then I ask myself, “Based on this acceptance, what do I need to do about this?” Most of the time it just means dropping the argument and letting it go, in which case the other person will have to decide what they want to do about my loss of interest in continuing to argue. A week later I probably won’t even remember it.

Don’t pour your time and energy into arguing. Use your power to create something more positive instead. Again, participating in a healthy debate is fine, but once you recognize that it’s degraded into arguing, it’s time to bow out and move on.

Asking permission

Asking permission is a tricky problem because it can be hard to notice. Many people don’t realize they’re doing it and define such behavior as normal.

When you ask permission to create what you want, you’re projecting your power onto someone else. You’re diminishing your authority as a creative being and thereby weakening yourself.

It’s fine to negotiate with others to help you get what you want. But if you desire to creating something new in your reality, don’t ask permission to want it.

When I was a teenager, sometimes my Mom would question me about my plans as I was about to walk out the door. Of course as a typical rebellious teen, I didn’t feel I needed anyone’s permission to live my life as I saw fit. So when she started questioning me, I would sometimes say, “Just take note of what I’m wearing, so you can identify the body later.” Then I stepped out the door.

Yes, that’s a pretty ornery thing to say to one’s Mom, but it helped me step away from asking permission and to assume more authority (i.e. authorship) over my own life. I realized that just because someone was questioning my behavior didn’t mean I had to justify myself to them. I could simply implement my decisions and accept the consequences of others’ reactions.

It’s amazing how many people yield control of their life’s direction to someone else. When you talk to such people, it’s blatantly obvious that they aren’t in command. They’re still responsible for a starship, but they act like lowly ensigns. Then when the ship crashes, they look for someone to blame.

The sad thing is that many times no one in particular is in command. They just let themselves get bounced around by the currents of social conditioning.

What about going with the flow? That’s fine if you’re a water molecule… not so good if you’re a human being.

Going with the flow only works if you’re the one generating the flow in the first place. Use your energy to set a clear course, and then let your actions flow with your intentions. But don’t use going with the flow as an excuse to be wimpy, powerless, and irresponsible.

Don’t ask permission to live your life. Give yourself full permission to want what you want. Once again think in terms of acceptance and consequences. If someone else has an issue with your decisions, let the issues be theirs to worry about.

When you inform people of new decisions you’ve made, sometimes they’re going to react negatively. Get used to it. Another person’s resistance doesn’t mean that you’ve made a mistake.

I have little choice but to apply the model of acceptance and consequences because doing any less would be totally impractical for me. For example, if I tell people my next article will be about productivity, some people will say, “Yay — I’ve been hoping you’d write more about that.” And other people will exclaim, “No, dammit! Go back to writing about polarity.” It doesn’t matter what the topic is. Some people will embrace it; others will resist it.

If you can see the folly in trying to seek permission from a large and diverse audience where it’s impossible to get everyone to agree on the simplest things, can you also see the folly in seeking permission from people on an individual basis?

Do you fall into the trap of asking your spouse or significant other for permission on how YOU should live your life? Even if you’re in a relationship or have a family, don’t you think you should be free to decide what you’re going to eat, what career path you’ll pursue, and what types of people you’ll hang out with?

Let the other person think in terms of acceptance and consequences as well. If they don’t like what you’re into, they’re always free to dump you and move on. By all means make such decisions carefully and with a reasonable grasp of what the consequences may be. But at the end of the day, you must make your choices and allow other to make theirs. Don’t submit your choices for approval by someone else. You’ll end up with a rather disappointing life if you do so.

Asking permission is really just a cop-out anyway. It’s nothing but an excuse to hold back.

Suppose you tell me that you really want to quit your unfulfilling job and start your own business, but your wife won’t let you. What am I supposed to say to that?

“Oh, well… that’s totally understandable then. If your wife won’t let you… hmmm, that’s rough… what can you do? I guess you’ll have to learn to like your job. I’m sure she’s worth it.”

Yeah, right.

I’d probably say instead, “Whoa… did you just feel that? That wave of vibrational energy? What would you call that? Sheer cowardice perhaps? What’s this nonsense about asking your wife for permission? What’re you 12 years old or something? Just tell her you’ve decided to start your own business and then go do it. If she goes kittywompus over it, let her. Inform her that you’re moving forward with your plan and that you’d appreciate her support, but that if she can’t handle it, she’s free to dump you and go be with someone she can control instead.”

Your wife (or husband or significant other) isn’t the problem. The problem is you. You’re bringing out their resistance because they can sense your weakness, your lack of resolve. And because they can see that you’re weak, they don’t trust you. They’re right not to trust you. I wouldn’t trust you either.

When you give off the hint that you’re asking permission, people will jump on it. They’ll give you plenty of reasons why you can’t get what you want. If you start seeking their permission, you’re giving away your power.

Use your power to feed your desires and decisions, not the objections raised by others.

It’s not a bad thing to ask for feedback from people, but do that to strengthen your own decisions, not to seek approval.

I often post about my decisions on my blog because I want people to try to poke holes in them. I want people to test me and challenge me. I’m not asking their permission because my decision is already made, and I’m simply informing them of it. But I still want them to take their best shots to see if they can say something that might derail me from my course. This helps me refine my decisions, and it also strengthens my power. It’s similar to doing resistance training at the gym to boost the definition and strength of your muscles.


Blaming other people, events, or circumstances for your lot in life is pointless. By denying responsibility for the life you’re creating, you only use your power to weaken yourself.

As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So what happens if you turn off the responsibility? Off goes the power switch as well. You wind up helpless.

You can’t wield power over your reality and deny responsibility for your creations at the same time. You must be both powerful and responsible — or neither.

Don’t blame. Practice acceptance and forgiveness instead. Accept what you have to deal with, and focus on channeling your energies in a creative way.

You are always creating. You cannot help it. Your nature is to be a creative being. By choosing different thoughts and actions, you could create a very different life for yourself in a matter of days. That option is always available to you. No one is stopping you or holding you back. You can only hold yourself back.

Realize that whatever life you’re living, you are creating it — right now in this moment. If you don’t like what you’re experiencing, then resolve to create something else. Begin to create that new reality immediately. Realize that no one is coming to rescue you. It’s entirely up to you to make your life what you want it to be.

I had to learn this lesson while sitting in jail when I was 19. I could have found plenty of people to blame for putting me there. But instead I chose to take responsibility for what I created. I finally saw the foolishness of it all. I realized that everything that happened up to that point was the result of what I was doing to myself. In that moment I decided to create a very different life for myself. Was it easy? Heck no. But at least it got me using my power to create what I wanted instead of blindly following a path I didn’t really want.

Are you now finding yourself in some sort of jail cell that you’re still denying? Is it a dead-end job? A bad relationship situation? An unhealthy lifestyle? A lack of purpose and inspiration? A lack of joy in your life? Whatever it is that you don’t like about your life, that’s the jail cell you’ve created for yourself as a result of denying your power. When will you be ready to reclaim your power to make your life the way you truly want it to be? Life is waiting on your answer, always listening, always hoping.

As a creative being, you’re going to have some screw-ups. Forgive yourself completely. Accept your mistakes and learn from them. This is a lot more intelligent than resisting or denying them.

Creativity is not perfection. If you were perfect, there’d be no need to create or experience anything. Your creative power gives you the opportunity to grow and change. Take advantage of it!

Own your power!

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are still more ways to abuse your power. These just happen to be some of the most common.

Stop giving away your power — to other people, to your fears, to anything you don’t want. Use your power positively and creatively. Channel the tremendous energy inside of you to manifest your desires.

It can be difficult to catch yourself abusing your power, especially when the negative behaviors are habitual. One thing you can do is use the highly effective 30-day trial method. Take on one bad “abuse of power” habit, and commit to using your power only positively in that area for 30 days straight. Simply do the opposite of what you’ve been doing. If you screw up, start again at day 1 until you make it the full 30 days.

Don’t whine. Don’t weaken yourself. Don’t wimp out. Don’t argue. Don’t ask permission. And don’t blame. Decide what you want to create and then pour your heart and soul into creating it. Get in touch with that powerful creative being inside you, and let it shine!

Otherwise, start smacking away until you get it.

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YOU are not your physical body!

The Law of Attraction simply says that you attract into your life whatever you think about. Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. But the Law of Attraction gives rise to some tough questions that don’t seem to have good answers. I would say, however, that these problems aren’t caused by the Law of Attraction itself but rather by the Law of Attraction as applied to objective reality.Here are some of those problematic questions.

  • What happens when people put out conflicting intentions, like two people intending to get the same promotion when only one position is available?
  • Do children, babies, and/or animals put out intentions?
  • If a child is abused, does that mean the child intended it in some way?
  • If I intend for my relationship to improve, but my spouse doesn’t seem to care, what will happen?

These questions seem to weaken the plausibility of the Law of Attraction. Sometimes people answer them by going pretty far out. For example, it’s been said by LoAers that a young child experiences abuse because s/he intended it or earned it during a past life. Well, sure… we can explain just about anything if we bring past lives into the equation, but IMO that’s a cop-out. On the other hand, objective reality without the Law of Attraction doesn’t provide satisfactory answers either — supposedly some kids are just born unlucky. That’s a cop-out too.

I’ve never been satisfied by others’ answers to these questions, and they’re pretty important questions if the Law of Attraction is to be believed. Some books hint at the solution but never really nail it. That nail, however, can be found in the concept of subjective reality.

Subjective reality is a belief system in which (1) there is only one consciousness, (2) you are that singular consciousness, and (3) everything and everyone in your reality is a projection of your thoughts.

You may not see it yet, but subjective reality neatly answers all these tricky Law of Attraction questions. Let me ’splain….

In subjective reality there’s only one consciousness, and it’s yours. Consequently, there’s only one source of intentions in your universe — YOU. While you may observe lots of walking, talking bodies in your reality, they all exist inside your consciousness. You know this is how your dreams work, but you haven’t yet realized your waking reality is just another type of dream. It only seems solid because you believe (intend) it is.

Since none of the other characters you encounter are conscious in a way that’s separate from you, nobody else can have intentions. The only intentions are yours. You’re the only thinker in this universe.

It’s important to correctly define the YOU in subjective reality. YOU are not your physical body. This is not the egoic you at all. I’m not suggesting you’re a conscious body walking around in a world full of unconscious automatons. That would be a total misunderstanding of subjective reality. The correct viewpoint is that you’re the single consciousness in which this entire reality takes place.

Imagine you’re having a dream. In that dream what exactly are YOU? Are YOU the physical dream character you identify with? No, of course not — that’s just your dream avatar. YOU are the dreamer. The entire dream occurs within your consciousness. All dream characters are projections of your dream thoughts, including your avatar. In fact, if you learn lucid dreaming, you can even switch avatars in your dream by possessing another character. In a lucid dream, you can do anything you believe you can.

Physical reality works the same way. This is a denser universe than what you experience in your sleeping dreams, so changes occur a bit more gradually here. But this reality still conforms to your thoughts just like a sleeping dream. YOU are the dreamer in which all of this is taking place.

The idea that other people have intentions is an illusion because other people are just projections. Of course, if you strongly believe other people have intentions, then that’s the dream you’ll create for yourself. But ultimately it’s still an illusion.

Here’s how subjective reality answers these challenging Law of Attraction questions:

What happens when people put out conflicting intentions, like two people intending to get the same promotion when only one position is available?

Since you’re the only intender, this is entirely an internal conflict — within YOU. You’re holding the thought (the intention) for both people to want the same position. But you’re also thinking (intending) that only one can get it. So you’re intending competition. This whole situation is your creation. You believe in competition, so that’s what you manifest. Maybe you have some beliefs (thoughts and intentions) about who will get the promotion, in which case your expectations will manifest. But you may have a higher order belief that life is random, unfair, uncertain, etc., so in that case you may manifest a surprise because that’s what you’re intending.

Being the only intender in your reality places a huge responsibility on your shoulders. You can give up control of your reality by thinking (intending) randomness and uncertainty, but you can never give up responsibility. You’re the sole creator in this universe. If you think about war, poverty, disease, etc., that’s exactly what you’ll manifest. If you think about peace, love, and joy, you’ll manifest that too. Your reality is exactly what you think it is. Whenever you think about anything, you summon its manifestation.

Do children, babies, and/or animals put out intentions?

No. Your own body doesn’t even put out intentions — only your consciousness does. You’re the only one who has intentions, so what takes precedence is what YOU intend for the children, babies, and animals in your reality. Every thought is an intention, so however you think about the other beings in your reality is what you’ll eventually manifest for them. Keep in mind that beliefs are hierarchical, so if you have a high order belief that reality is random and unpredictable and out of your control, then that intention will trump other intentions of which you’re less certain. It’s your entire collection of thoughts that dictates how your reality manifests.

If a child is abused, does that mean the child intended it in some way?

No. It means YOU intended it. You intend child abuse to manifest simply by thinking about it. The more you think about child abuse (or any other subject), the more you’ll see it expand in your reality. Whatever you think about expands, and not just in the narrow space of your avatar but in all of physical reality.

If I intend for my relationship to improve, but my spouse doesn’t seem to care, what will happen?

This is another example of intending conflict. You’re projecting one intention for your avatar and one for your spouse, so the actual unified intention is that of conflict. Hence the result you experience, subject to the influence of your higher order beliefs, will be to experience conflict with your spouse. If your thoughts are conflicted, your reality is conflicted.

This is why assuming responsibility for your thoughts is so important. If you want to see peace in the world, then intend peace for EVERYTHING in your reality. If you want to see abundance in the world, then intend it for EVERYONE. If you want to enjoy loving relationships, then intend loving relationships for ALL. If you intend these only for your own avatar but not for others, then you’re intending conflict, division, and separation; consequently, that’s what you’ll experience.

If you stop thinking about something entirely, does that mean it disappears? Yes, technically it does. But in practice it’s next to impossible to uncreate what you’ve already manifested. You’ll continue creating the same problems just by noticing them. But when you assume 100% responsibility for everything you’re experiencing in your reality right now — absolutely everything — then you assume the power to alter your reality by rechanneling your thoughts.

This entire reality is your creation. Feel good about that. Feel grateful for the richness of your world. And then begin creating the reality you truly want by making decisions and holding intentions. Think about what you desire, and withdraw your thoughts from what you don’t want. The most natural, easiest way to do this is to pay attention to your emotions. Thinking about your desires feels good, and thinking about what you don’t want makes you feel bad. When you notice yourself feeling bad, you’ve caught yourself thinking about something you don’t want. Turn your focus back towards what you do want, and your emotional state will improve rapidly. As you do this repeatedly, you’ll begin to see your physical reality shift too, first in subtle ways and then in bigger leaps.

I too am just a manifestation of your consciousness. I play the role you expect me to play. If you expect me to be a helpful guide, I will be. If you expect me to be profound and insightful, I will be. If you expect me to be confused or deluded, I will be. But of course there’s no distinct ME that is separate from YOU. I’m just one of your many creations. I am what you intend me to be. But deep down you already knew that, didn’t you?

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Write your goals every day!

Some very successful people advocate writing and re-writing your goals every day. Others say it’s good enough to read them once a day. The basic idea is to keep refreshing your goals in your mind, so you think about them often.If you don’t employ such a practice, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals. You get caught up in day-to-day activities, and the most important long-term items fall by the wayside. Instead of leading your life, you merely react to whatever comes up.When this happens to me, I start getting an empty, sinking feeling. A week goes by, and I feel like I didn’t really get much done, even though I may have been very busy. Unimportant tasks consume my time and multiply, and my goals don’t seem to be getting any closer. Have you ever felt that way?On the other hand, when I’m very focused on my goals and working on them actively, I usually feel great. I have more energy and motivation, and I end my week with a major sense of accomplishment.Some people think that motivation spawns action, but action also spawns motivation. Motivation is the feeling that comes from building and maintaining momentum. When you can see your goals getting closer day by day, it’s very energizing.There are lots of ways to keep your goals in front of you. Creating a belief board, which I mentioned a couple posts ago, is one way. Here are some other ideas to consider:

1. Use a digital photo frame to display photos of your goals.

I’ve gotten two of these as gifts, but they sat in my closet unopened since 2006 or so. I didn’t want to add more clutter to my desktop.But a cool use for these devices is to load them up with positive imagery that reminds you of your goals. For example, if you want to go on a vacation, put up photos of the places you want to visit.You can also create your own images like affirmations (with or without background pics), and add those to the rotation as well.You might even add a few reminders of the things in your life you’re already grateful for. You don’t have to remove all the pics of friends and family. Just add to them.

2. Add goal pics to your sidebar widget.

I’m not currently using any sidebar widgets, but Erin has one on her Windows sidebar that rotates through photos from her hard drive. It would be very easy to add some pics that represent your goals to this widget.

3. Choose an inspiring desktop background.

You can add a list of your top goals to your desktop background image, so they’re always visible on the screen. Just load up the pic in an image editor, add some text to it, and re-save it.

4. Write your goals on paper and post them everywhere.

Print your goals in a large font (like 100-pt), and post them around your home and workspace, so you see them often.

If this sort of thing would embarrass you if someone came to visit and saw your goals posted everywhere, then you really need to get over yourself. Plus you need better friends who will respect people with goals. If anything, you’ll be doing your visitors a big favor by reminding them to think about their goals more often too.

If you can’t even summon the courage to do this, then what chance do you have of achieving your goals? I’d bet against you.

5. Tell other people about your goals.

There are multiple schools of thought on this one. Here’s my viewpoint:

I think it’s okay to share your goals with other people openly. Now when you do that, some people will support you, some won’t seem to care, and other people will criticize you as say stuff like, “Yeah, right. You’ll never pull that off.”

Talking about your goals is a great way to filter your friends and family because it immediately shows you who’s on your side and who is only going to hold you back. That’s good information to have. It gives you advance warning about the people who are likely to go kittywompus as you get closer to your goal.

For example, if you tell people that your current financial goal is to earn $10K per month, even though you’re only making $3K per month right now, some people might go hyper-critical just because you set that goal. They see you as a threat to their complacency and laziness. So they’ll poke fun at you, attack you, etc. If you start working on your goal and have a setback, those will be the first people to jump on you and call you a failure.

You need to cut those people out eventually, and the sooner the better. If they can’t handle your ambitions now, imagine what it will be like when you actually hit $10K a month. They won’t be able to deal with it. They’re just going to get worse along the way, and they’ll create a psychological drag on you that could very well make you fail.

Erin and I saw this happen with some of our old friends, and it’s not pretty. The longer you try to maintain such relationships, the worse it gets and the more drag it creates. Let go of such people early, and the path to your goals is much smoother.

On the other side, talking openly about your goals also helps you identify who your true supporters are. It shows you which friends will not only be able to survive your ambitions but also thrive from it. Some people are actually turned on by their friends’ ambitions and achievements. Erin and I tend to be like that when our friends talk about their goals. It excites us. We want to see them succeed. It gives us the opportunity to vicariously celebrate their success along the way.

Some people are neither whiners nor cheerleaders. They’re just neutral. They don’t get upset or excited when you talk about your goals. Those people can still become good resources for you, so there’s no need to drop them from your life just because they aren’t super enthusiastic on your behalf. They might even be future customers if you start a business someday.

Aside from filtering your friends and family, another reason to talk about your goals is that it creates positive accountability. Once you drop the whiners, you can stop talking to them about your goals. But it’s good to keep talking about your goals and your progress with the true friends who want to see you succeed. Those people will check in on you from time to time and hold you accountable for making progress. When all other reminders fail, knowing that so-and-so is going to be asking how you’re doing on goal X can help you jump-start an otherwise stalled goal.

Keep it simple

The key is to keep it simple. Some people decide to create these elaborate vision binders and whatnot, but it takes too much time and effort, so they don’t maintain the habit. It’s better to take 2 minutes to print and post a plain text statement of your goal on the way right in front of you, or send a quickie email blast to let your friends know about your latest goal. You can always fancy it up later if you have time.

A simple practice done regularly is superior to a complex practice done irregularly — or not done at all. If you can’t get something in front of you in less than 5 minutes, you’re overcomplicating the process. It’s really not that difficult.

The benefit of keeping your goals in front of you is that you’re constantly refreshing your goal-oriented mindset. You make it hard to forget about them. You may still go dark from time to time, but your reminders will create that positive pressure that says, “I’m still here, and I’m not letting you off the hook that easy. You need to make some changes ASAP and get back on track.” With so many things in the world to distract you these days, especially online, this is an important practice to adopt.

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Are you living your purpose?

How do you know when you’re living your purpose? When your present moments begin to feel perfect.

When you live on purpose, your relationship with time changes dramatically. You’ll no longer be looking for happiness somewhere in the future. You’ll stop saying to yourself, “Once X happens then I’ll be where I want to be. Then I’ll be happy.” Instead you will look to your present and say, “This is exactly where I want to be right now… and nowhere else. Nothing could be more perfect than this precise moment.”

The emotion that accompanies this state is joy. Joy results from total acceptance of your present moment. Whenever you project your consciousness away from the present moment and seek happiness in another time or place, you leave joy behind. When all parts of your being fully embrace where you are right now, you can’t help but feel joyful.

Most likely you haven’t reached this state yet. But it’s well within your capability to do so. You can reach it by following your internal compass. By assessing your current emotional state and comparing it to the state of joy, you can get a sense of your distance from this state. You can pinpoint where you are at any time along the levels of consciousness scale. Inner peace is right next to joy. Neutrality is a little further out. Far beyond that lies anger. And really far away is fear. The more powerless you feel, the further you are from joy, and the more you’re resisting what is.

If you are far away from joy, you cannot simply jump to this state immediately and stay there for long. You might be able to experience it temporarily, such as through meditation, but the circumstances of your life will soon pull you back to your previous level. But with conscious intent, you can eventually reach this state and make it your default. And the way you do this is to keep re-pointing your life in the direction of joy by making better decisions.

Whenever you’re faced with a decision, even a seemingly mundane one such as what to eat for your next meal, choose the option that brings you closest to joy. That will be the option that makes you feel the most powerful. It will not necessarily be what makes you feel joyful, especially if you are currently in a very negative state. If you’re currently depressed, you may have zero choices that will produce joy in this moment. But you will have some choice that makes you feel more powerful and alive than the others, and that is the choice that will turn your life in the direction of joy.

If you are feeling fearful and worried, perhaps the best action you can find is one which makes you feel greedy or angry. That is perfectly fine. Greed and anger are both higher states than fear; they are closer to joy. It is better to act out of anger than out of fear, since it will turn you in the direction of joy. And soon you’ll be able to progress beyond anger. Do not beat yourself up if a seemingly negative state like anger is the best you can muster at this time in your life. You cannot expect any more from yourself than your best. The anger will pass, and you’ll soon be able to climb the ladder towards more positive states. If you are in a deep negative state such as depression, you will have to pass through higher negative states first before you can reach the positive ones. So going from depression to anger is a very positive step in the right direction.

If you proceed in this manner with every decision you can, eventually you will reach the state of joy. It may take some time, but you will eventually reach it and make it your default state.

Joy is in fact your natural state of being. Babies enter this state very easily because they are fully in the present moment. They do not seek themselves in the past or future.

When you are joyful, your life flows with ease and lightness. Existence is no longer a struggle. Why? Because when you stop resisting the present moment, you stop creating problems for yourself. Resistance creates internal problems like stress, fear, and disease, but it also creates external problems like conflict, scarcity, and injustice. When you learn to choose the direction that creates the most joy in your life, your life will become a joyful experience in each and every moment. And of course it is easy to accept and embrace any present moment in which you feel joyful, so the state will naturally perpetuate itself. Joyful feelings create joyful actions which produce more joyful feelings.

The state of joy enables you to stop worrying about your survival, to stop fearing what may or may not happen, and to stop fighting your present moments. You’ll find it easier and easier to satisfy your needs. This will allow you to direct your consciousness outward and interact with the world without fear. People will seem much less threatening to you. Even strangers will smile at you more because they’ll pick up on your joyful state. Positive people will be drawn to you like a magnet, and you’ll soon find your life filled with empowering relationships. All the support you need will come to you. And this in turn will give you the energy and drive to embrace your true purpose.

Simply make decisions that bring you as close to joy as possible, even if it seems very distant at first, and soon you’ll find your life becoming more joyful. You have free will though, so in any moment you can decide to move towards joy or away from it. The choice is yours.

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Offensive in swat valley could be over in two days!

Pakistani forces battled militants in South Waziristan on the Afghan border on Sunday and a government official said an offensive in the Swat valley could be over in two or three days. Pakistan has been carrying out its most concerted offensive against an expanding Taliban insurgency, which has raised fears for the stability of the nuclear-armed U.S. ally and the safety of its nuclear arsenal.
The focus of the fighting has been the former tourist destination of Swat, 120 km (80 miles) northwest of Islamabad, which the Taliban virtually took as the government alternated between inconclusive military action and peace pacts.
But tension has also been rising in South Waziristan, an al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold, with military officials saying an offensive was likely there after Swat was secured. The United States and the Afghan government have long been pressing Pakistan to root militants out of South Waziristan and other enclaves on the Afghan border, from where the Taliban direct their Afghan war. Militants attacked a paramilitary force camp near the town of Jandola, 80 km (50 miles) east of Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, late on Saturday, security officials said. “They carried out a very serious attack on our positions at around midnight. It was repulsed after a heavy exchange of fire,” said military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas.
Up to 15 militants and three soldiers were killed, he said, although an intelligence official in the region said earlier at least 40 militants and four soldiers were killed. There was no independent confirmation of the casualty estimates. Militant violence has surged in Pakistan since mid-2007,
with attacks on the security forces, as well as on government and Western targets. There have been eight bomb attacks in various towns and
cities since the offensive in Swat and neighbouring districts began in late April and the Taliban have threatened more.The offensive in Swat has sparked an exodus of about 2.4 million people, according to government figures, and the country faces a long-term humanitarian crisis. The United Nations has pleaded for contributions for a $543 million fund to help. Bomb attacks in cities and the plight of the displaced could undermine public support for the offensive but for now, analysts say, the authorities are determined to defeat the Taliban in Swat.
The army said on Saturday it had regained full control of Mingora, the main town in Swat, and a top Defence Ministry official said on Sunday the military operation could be over in two or three days. “Only five to 10 percent of the job is remaining and hopefully within two to three days, the pockets of resistance will be cleared,” Syed Athar Ali, secretary of defence for Pakistan, said at a regional defence meeting in Singapore.
Military spokesmen have been cautious about predicting how long the offensive would last, saying there was still resistance. “It’s very difficult to give a timeline,” said Abbas. “It’s a very big area so nobody’s in a position to give any timeline for the operation.” The military says 1,217 militants have been killed since late April, while 81 soldiers have been killed and 250 wounded. There are no independent casualty estimates available. On Sunday, the military urged civilians to leave the town of Charbagh, about 15 km (10 miles) north of Mingora, and lifted a curfew there and in Mingora and thousands of people left the two towns. “We have to flee. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow,”
Mingora resident Mohammad Nisar told. Pakistan is vital for U.S. plans to defeat al Qaeda and cut support for the Afghan Taliban. The United States, which is sending thousands of reinforcements into Afghanistan, has been heartened by the offensive in Swat.

Trying to horrify smokers!

Health regulators have long been trying to horrify smokers and encourage them to quit by putting different types of warnings on the cigarette packs. Next in the warning series are “graphical warnings” which the experts hope would be effective in preventing tobacco use.
WHO’s call for pictorial warnings
Following the saying “a picture is worth more than words can say”, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the governments to put gruesome picture warnings on the cigarette packs to highlight the hazards of tobacco intake.
It is believed that the horrible pictures of rotting lungs, miscarried fetuses and bleeding brains would motivate the smokers to quit and also prevent others from picking up the habit.”Today, WHO urged governments to require that all tobacco packages include pictorial warnings to show the sickness and suffering caused by tobacco use,” said the Geneva-based health agency in a statement.
The mandatory graphical warnings conveying the disastrous consequences related to tobacco use to the general public will be placed on “all main faces of the pack so that the warnings will be visible no matter which side of the pack is displayed at retail.”
The UN health agency asked the worldwide governments to put as shocking images on the packs as they can. “More graphic images are considered to have a greater impact and to be more likely to lead to behavioural change,” it said.
Proved: Graphical warnings are effective
“Effective health warnings, especially those that include pictures, have been proven to motivate users to quit and to reduce the appeal of tobacco for those who are not yet addicted,” said the agency.
Countries like Brazil, Canada, Singapore and Thailand have already been plastering picture warnings showing illnesses caused by tobacco on cigarette packs. And WHO says studies in these countries have proved that putting gruesome picture warnings on tobacco product packages significantly helps in reducing its use.
The WHO has launched its own explicit poster campaign for World No Tobacco Day on Sunday, May 31, 2009. The poster campaign combined the picture of bleeding brains with the text warning “smoking causes brain strokes” and the other picture of rotting gums comes with the warning “tobacco causes mouth diseases”.
Dr. Ala Alwan, WHO’s assistant director general, said: “Health warnings on tobacco packages are a simple, cheap and effective strategy that can vastly reduce tobacco use and save lives. But they only work if they communicate the risk.
“Warnings that include images of the harm that tobacco causes are particularly effective at communicating risk and motivating behavioral changes.”However, WHO complained that nine out of 10 people in the world have no access to such warnings. It added that even among people who are aware of tobacco’s harmful consequences, few understand its specific health risks. This is why the agency’s campaign this year focuses on decreasing tobacco use by increasing public awareness of its dangers.

Cancer survivors remains unaffected!

The level of cardiovascular fitness among cancer survivors remains unaffected by therapies, say researchers.”We know physical activity is a critical component of cancer survivorship, both during and after cancer treatment,” says Jennifer LeMoine, a post-doctoral research fellow at Georgetown University (GU). In order to prescribe an exercise programme, it’s critical that we understand our patient’s fitness level and whether or not treatment has had an impact on their cardiovascular health,” she said.
Researchers conducted a chart review of 49 women who attended a physician-directed fitness clinic for cancer survivors, founded and run by Priscilla Furth, the study’s co-author.The data included demographics, physical activity levels and cancer treatment type, duration and time since their treatment.
Fitness assessments were conducted using a three-minute step test during a clinic visit. The purpose of the study was to access the step test as a way of determining a patient’s current cardiovascular fitness level.Overall, 33 per cent of the survivors were sedentary and 67 per cent reported being physically active. Thirty-five or 71 per cent of the participants completed the step-test. Test completion and heart rate recovery were not affected by treatment or age.The findings were presented at the American College of Sports Medicine in Seattle.

Ringing loudly for about 30 seconds!

Just the ring of a cell phone can pose a dangerous distraction for drivers, especially when it comes in a classroom setting or includes a familiar song as a ringtone, says a new study.”In any setting where people are trying to acquire knowledge and trying to retain that information in some way, a distraction that may just seem like a common annoyance to people may have a really disruptive effect on their later retention of that information,” said the study’s lead author, Jill Shelton, a postdoctoral psychology fellow in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
The study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology includes an experiment in which Shelton poses as a student seated in the middle of a crowded undergraduate psychology lecture and allows a cell phone in her handbag to continue ringing loudly for about 30 seconds.
Students exposed to a briefly ringing cell phone scored 25 percent worse on a test of material presented before the distraction.
Volunteers tested later scored about 25 percent worse for recall of course content presented during the distraction, even though the same information was covered by the professor just prior to the phone ring and projected as text in a slide show shown throughout the distraction. Students scored even worse when Shelton added to the disturbance by frantically searching her handbag as if attempting to find and silence her ringing phone.
“Many of us consider a cell phone ringing in a public place to be an annoying disruption, but this study confirms that these nuisance noises also have real-life impacts,” Shelton said.
“These seemingly innocuous events are not only a distraction, but they have a real influence on learning,” the expert added. Titled “The distracting effects of a ringing cell phone: An investigation of the laboratory and the classroom setting,” the study was conducted at Louisiana State University.The study found that unexpected exposure to snippets of a popular song, such as those often used as ringtones, can have an even-longer-lasting negative impact on attention.Thus, people who use popular songs as a personal ringtone may be increasing the odds their cell phone rings will be more distracting.

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Start attracting her!

What is it exactly that turns on a woman? 10 tips to crack the code; so stop chasing her and start attracting her.
Women love wondering what’s next. But most guys are painfully predictable. Don’t ASK her where she wants to go for dinner. Instead, TELL her see you at 8. If she’s curious, say “It’s a surprise.” Take her to an unusual place. Even if it’s a hole-in-the-wall dhaba, she’ll love it more than a fancy eatery, simply because of the anticipation. The only predictable thing about you should be unpredictability.
The longer you delay touching her, the weirder it gets later to kiss her. Initiate touching early. Hug her when you meet; at least shake hands. Do some thumbwrestling while having coffee. If you’re going to a different venue, say “Let’s go!” and hold her hand. Then, remark “Hope you’re not getting ideas, just because we are holding hands”; roll your eyes and say “Women!”
This one is routine sight in our malls. While the women are browsing the clothing section, boyfriends often hang around like puppy dogs, just waiting for them to get done. Not good for attraction! Walk away, browse the men’s section, chat with people, do anything that does not involve waiting for her. Let HER come and find you.
Many guys, while interacting with a woman, give her all their power. While planning an evening out, he’ll ask her what she wants to do. If she suggests a movie, he’ll give her a list of movies to choose from and so on. Not good. Women like men who take decisions and take the lead. Your tone should be something like this: “Hey I’m going to see XYZ movie, at 8 tonight. Wanna tag along?”
Don’t compliment her about her eyes, beauty etc in the first meeting itself. Instead, compliment her on something not so obvious. “I like the way you’re so well co-ordinated” is much better than “You’re so beautiful, are you a model?” Or you could be playful about it and say, “You have nice eyes, but you know what, mine are nicer.”
Once you’ve made your subtle yet cheeky moves, she may say things like “I like you” or “you’re funny”. Many guys drop the ball here and say “I like you too”. Well, that diffuses all the tension. Instead, up the tension further. Ask her if she’s flattering you just so you will go home with her. Be cocky. A good rule-of-thumb is to say all the stuff that women typically tell men.
Teasing a woman the right way demonstrates confidence and humour. For instance, if she is walking behind you as you enter a restaurant, turn around, look at her sternly and say “Stop following and staring at me!” Then mock about about why women are always in a hurry to tear off your clothes before even knowing you. Interpret anything she does as if she is hitting on you.
Women can tell from the way a man kisses how he will be in bed. Here’s a tip: Don’t be like most guys who kiss while they’re scheming to get to the main destination, sex. For a good kisser, the kiss is the destination itself; he kisses as if he wants to enjoy every moment of it. Women can tell the difference.
Open the door for her, but complain that she walks slower than your granny. Feed her at a restaurant but roll your eyes and mutter about how she’s a baby. While walking on the street, have her walk on the inside to protect her from the traffic; but tease her about how she’s delicate. If you can tease her and still treat her like a lady, chances are, before long, she will be lattoo over you.
Women don’t like men who follow them like Mary’s little lamb. Women, especially quality women, want a man who is on HIS path, following HIS passions. Have a busy life with interesting activities that bring a smile to YOUR face and it will automatically attract people (including women) to you. Don’t chase women, attract them.