Self development

For Some People, Learning Yoga on CD-ROM is a Stretch

As if to lend weight to my contention that your computer can, in theory, teach you anything, along comes a pair of CD-ROMs called Wellness Yoga and Shiatsu Relaxation.

Lithe young women demonstrate these ancient Eastern techniques while mellow-voiced narrators speak over somnambulant music, the better to relax you and make you all well.

Most of us are familiar at least with the concepts of yoga, its slow stretching exercises and its often almost unattainable physical positions. Wellness Yoga is a nicely designed program that packages 74 asanas, or positions, into several packages such as the Quick and Easy Course, the Beauty Course and the Health Course.

The program consists largely of what it calls procedure screens, in which each position is demonstrated in one window while described textually in another. A narrator reads that same text aloud. In addition to the usual tape-recorder buttons to pause, stop and restart the action, there is a graph that displays the approximate duration of each segment of the routine.

The practical difficulties of using this CD-ROM are fairly obvious. The manual, dragged kicking and screaming into English from its Japanese roots, advises the user to First practice forming the pose while watching the screen and try memorizing the whole procedure. » This, unless you have a 24-inch monitor or keep your monitor on the floor, is likely to be difficult. Clearly the actual learning of the poses could be more readily done with a videotape.

On the other hand, you can hunt around in the CD-ROM, choose from the positions you want to learn, and collect them into personal groups. And maybe you’ve got a really big monitor, and a cordless, long-distance mouse.

This is a nice program, well-made and instructive. My only complaint is that it does not emphasize clearly enough that unless you are as slender as the model executing the poses, you are not going to be able to do many of them — the Crow, the Heron and the Frog, for instance — correctly. On the other hand, we can all do the Corpse.

Shiatsu Relaxation, which teaches a massage technique clearly related to acupuncture, is another kettle of fish.

The theory is that rubbing, kneading or poking specific points on the body, called acupressure points, will make other parts of the body feel better. I am not prepared to argue that premise, but the entire procedure seems shiatsu yourself is not clear, either; the program initially suggests you find some of your own more accessible pressure points, but they are not all available to your own hands and all the demonstrations show one person ministering to another.

How self-improvement program works

There are a lot of programs that can aid you in your endeavors in having a healthy mental life.

If you have a lot of things on your mind and simply want to have the easy way to deal with them helps with programs. Such programs show you the ways on how to be in the healthy line if mental life. They can be an accelerated transformative practice which the professionals can easily impose on your schedule. It can last for a year or longer, depending upon the program administrator.

There are also lessons which you need to follow. Benefits of such programs can maximize your energy, lose weight, maintain good health, enhance your creativity, reduce stress , develop more fulfilling relationships, reach profound meditative states, discover a greater meaning in life, expanding your awareness, strengthen your immune system, take your spirituality to new levels.

You can also find a greater sense of self, master universal dynamics and processes and become the person you want to be they take advantage of the current research and proven practices from nutrition, exercise and psychology to discoveries in the fields of relaxation and spirituality. most other self-help programs that focus on one system or philosophy, some are holistic – or big-picture – approach that addresses all aspects of a person’s well-being.

Most of them goes well beyond offering you the theories behind our programs to give you practical tools and activities to put the power of our programs to work in your life and these programs or lessons are easy to follow, quick to implement and fun to participate in.

Audio self help tapes

On a typical self-help tape, you will hear a pleasant and easy to listen to English voice which will guide you into a deeply relaxed state of mind and body. To enhance the therapeutic effect each tape includes layered echoed background affirmations, a deeply relaxing effect, which pan from left to right in your headphones & 3D Sound effects.

So at times you’ll hear one voice in one ear speaking to the left hemisphere of your brain, while at the same time hearing other echoed voices addressing other parts of your brain.

This powerful method of delivering multiple suggestions simultaneously to the unconscious mind can facilitate positive changes very quickly. In addition to this the absorbing 60 bpm sound effects and powerful subliminal suggestions enhance the overall effectiveness.

How to take advantage of such programs

Speaking from a job organization behavioral point of view let us take a look at what motivation is all about and how to improve it. The human brain as I mentioned earlier is a virtual warehouse of energy.

There is nothing that we cannot do once we put our minds to it. Yeah, sure, all that has been proved time and again, but along with it comes a string attached. The same brain is easily distracted. In fact our imagination is probably the one thing that can travel faster than light. And so it is not an easy task to keep the brain occupied in the same task for an extended period of time. If the job is monotonous the task becomes more difficult and if the job is demanding and involves a lot of pressure to keep time, then you are done for.

Motivation can be thought of as the process of channeling the surplus energy of the brain towards a definite goal or purpose. If you have a good boss or supervisor, then the task of keeping you motivated rests with them. But even then, you have the responsibility to keep yours self motivated and believe me, self motivation is the best motivation because it comes from within.

THE ENTRANCE INTO SOCIETY.

The desire of pleasing is, of course, the basis of social connexion. Persons who enter society with the intention of producing an effect, and of being distinguished, however clever they may be, are never agreeable. They are always tiresome, and often ridiculous. Persons, who enter life with such pretensions, have no opportunity for improving themselves and profiting by experience. They are not in a proper state to observe: indeed, they look only for the effect which they produce, and with that they are not often gratified. They thrust themselves into all conversations, indulge in continual anecdotes, which are varied only by dull disquisitions, listen to others with impatience and heedlessness, and are angry that they seem to be attending to themselves. Such men go through scenes of pleasure, enjoying nothing. They are equally disagreeable to themselves and others. Young men should, therefore, content themselves with being natural. Let them present themselves with a modest assurance: let them observe, hear, and examine, and before long they will rival their models.

The quality which a young man should most affect in intercourse with gentlemen, is a decent modesty: but he must avoid all bashfulness or timidity. His flights must not go too far; but, so far as they go, let them be marked by perfect assurance.

Among persons who are much your seniors behave with the utmost respectful deference. As they find themselves sliding out of importance they may be easily conciliated by a little respect.

By far the most important thing to be attended to, is ease of manner. Grace may be added afterwards, or be omitted altogether: it is of much less moment than is commonly believed. Perfect propriety and entire ease are sufficient qualifications for standing in society, and abundant prerequisites for distinction.

There is the most delicate shade of difference between civility and intrusiveness, familiarity and common-place, pleasantry and sharpness, the natural and the rude, gaiety and carelessness; hence the inconveniences of society, and the errors of its members. To define well in conduct these distinctions, is the great art of a man of the world. It is easy to know what to do; the difficulty is to know what to avoid.

Long usage a sort of moral magnetism, a tact acquired by frequent and long associating with others alone give those qualities which keep one always from error, and entitle him to the name of a thorough gentleman.

A young man upon first entering into society should select those persons who are most celebrated for the propriety and elegance of their manners. He should frequent their company and imitate their conduct. There is a disposition inherent, in all, which has been noticed by Horace and by Dr. Johnson, to imitate faults, because they are more readily observed and more easily followed. There are, also, many foibles of manner and many refinements of affectation, which sit agreeably upon one man, which if adopted by another would become unpleasant. There are even some excellences of deportment which would not suit another whose character is different. For successful imitation in anything, good sense is indispensable. It is requisite correctly to appreciate the natural differences between your model and yourself, and to introduce such modifications in the copy as may be consistent with it.

Let not any man imagine, that he shall easily acquire these qualities which will constitute him a gentleman. It is necessary not only to exert the highest degree of art, but to attain also that higher accomplishment of concealing art. The serene and elevated dignity which mark that character, are the result of untiring and arduous effort.

« The Way to Wellness » It’s time to start a Healthy life: your 7 days program

How many times have you gone to sleep at night, swearing you’ll go to the gym in the morning, and then changing your mind just eight hours later because when you get up, you don’t feel like exercising?

While this can happen to the best of us, it doesn’t mean you should drop the ball altogether when it comes to staying fit. What people need to realize is that staying active and eating right are critical for long-term health and wellness — and that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The more you know about how your body responds to your lifestyle choices, the better you can customize a nutrition and exercise plan that is right for you. When you eat well, increase your level of physical activity, and exercise at the proper intensity, you are informing your body that you want to burn a substantial amount of fuel. This translates to burning fat more efficiently for energy.
In other words, proper eating habits plus exercise equals fast metabolism, which, in turn gives you more energy throughout the day and allows you to do more physical work with less effort.

The true purpose of exercise is to send a repetitive message to the body asking for improvement in metabolism, strength, aerobic capacity and overall fitness and health. Each time you exercise, your body responds by upgrading its capabilities to burn fat throughout the day and night, Exercise doesn’t have to be intense to work for you, but it does need to be consistent.

I recommend engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise four times per week for 20 to 30 minutes per session, and resistance training four times per week for 20 to 25 minutes per session. This balanced approach provides a one-two punch, incorporating aerobic exercise to burn fat and deliver more oxygen, and resistance training to increase lean body mass and burn more calories around the block.

Here’s a sample exercise program that may work for you:

* Warm Up — seven to eight minutes of light aerobic activity intended to increase blood flow and lubricate and warm-up your tendons and joints.

* Resistance Training — Train all major muscle groups. One to two sets of each exercise. Rest 45 seconds between sets.

* Aerobic Exercise — Pick two favorite activities, they could be jogging, rowing, biking or cross-country skiing, whatever fits your lifestyle. Perform 12 to 15 minutes of the first activity and continue with 10 minutes of the second activity. Cool down during the last five minutes.

* Stretching — Wrap up your exercise session by stretching, breathing deeply, relaxing and meditating.

When starting an exercise program, it is important to have realistic expectations. Depending on your initial fitness level, you should expect the following changes early on.

* From one to eight weeks — Feel better and have more energy.

* From two to six months — Lose size and inches while becoming leaner. Clothes begin to fit more loosely. You are gaining muscle and losing fat.

* After six months — Start losing weight quite rapidly.

Once you make the commitment to exercise several times a week, don’t stop there. You should also change your diet and/or eating habits,’ says Zwiefel. Counting calories or calculating grams and percentages for certain nutrients is impractical. Instead, I suggest these easy-to-follow guidelines:

* Eat several small meals (optimally four) and a couple of small snacks throughout the day
* Make sure every meal is balanced — incorporate palm-sized proteins like lean meats, fish, egg whites and dairy products, fist-sized portions of complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread and pasta, wild rice, multigrain cereal and potatoes, and fist-sized portions of vegetable and fruits
* Limit your fat intake to only what’s necessary for adequate flavor
* Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water throughout the day
* I also recommend that you take a multi-vitamin each day to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

I suppose that’s all I can think of for now. I should extend my thanks to a doctor friend of mine. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to write this article, or keep my sanity.

Enjoy life, we all deserve it.

Feng Shui In The Kitchen

The kitchen is the most important area of your home.
It is responsible for nourishing your entire family
and keeping everyone happy and healthy. In feng shui,
the kitchen is a symbol of wealth and abundance also.

The optimal place for your kitchen is the center of
your home. If the kitchen is located near the front or
back door, the positive energy can escape.

Food gives us all of our energy and enables us to
remain healthy. To keep this food energy positive and
healing, the food has to be cooked in an organized
kitchen that maintains a good balance of Chi. By
having a well balanced and energized kitchen, the cook
becomes more energized and the entire family benefits.

The best tips for the kitchen are pretty basic and
should go hand in hand with the rest of your home very
easily. Lighting is an important part of feng shui and
in the kitchen, there should be an abundance of
natural light if available and if not, full spectrum
lighting is recommended. The air should flow nicely
and the kitchen should give off a very welcoming
energy.

A great way to add positive energy to your kitchen is
by using plants and flowers. When placed on your
kitchen table, they are not only beautiful to look at
but increase the positive energy level greatly. You
should use plants and flowers that are yellowish in
color because in feng shui, yellow is a great
digestive aid.

Like the rest of the house, clutter should be kept as
minimal as possible. Since this is the very heart of
the home, keep it as happy and warm as possible.

Exercises

Yoga exercises strengthen your body and make it more flexible. Yoga also calms your mind and gives you energy. In active sports or strenuous exercises, you use up energy. In yoga classes, students report that they feel tranquil after a class, yet have more energy. Slow and steady motion is the key to going into or coming out of the postures. You hold a yoga pose for several seconds or even minutes and give attention to full, quiet breath. Your yoga instructor will always encourage you to relax as the exercises are being done.

You gently place your body into yoga postures. Done correctly, there’s very little chance of injury or muscle stress. A particular asana is not repeated dozens of times, nor are you ever encouraged to push yourself too much.

A yoga session is designed for balance. You stretch to the right and then to the left. You bend back and then forward. You learn to recognize when one side is stronger or more flexible than the other. Thus harmony and balance are achieved with yoga practice.

People of all ages can practice yoga exercises. They are easily modified to meet your needs and physical condition. Don’t be put off by the difficult looking postures you may see in a yoga book. A skilled teacher can adapt most asanas by using chairs, cushions, even a wall or other props. A yoga practice can be tailor-made just for you. If something is really impossible for you to do, just forget it. Never compete with yourself or others. Yoga is a stress-free but powerful way to exercise.

Yoga is good for increasing your flexibility and relieving stress, but it doesn’t take the place of aerobic exercise. You should still do regular, aerobic exercise, which increases your cardiovascular fitness, helps you lose weight, and, for people with non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes at least, improves blood glucose control.

Self improvement guide worth reading

There are different books and seminars that can help you gather some self improvement guide. All these sources are against the negative factors in your life.

This self improvement guide is intended to offer you the best solutions to eliminate these factors for good. Or at least to reduce it drastically.

Work, meetings, deadlines, appointments, telephone calls, shopping, taking the dogs out etc. – all these are things most people have to accomplish daily.

Most of the times, on the waiting list there are other things like: family, friends and even ourselves.

Sometimes we discover too late that the points mentioned on the waiting lists are, in fact, the most important and, unfortunately, sometimes, we don’t realize this at all, so find ourselves wondering for what reason we are so unhappy.

All this people know that time is more than money – time means, first of all, life and, more than that, it means our lives.

That is way we have the obligation not to surrender in stressful situations and to go fighting for the joy of living.

Let us not forget also that deficient management of time can produce tremendous health problems, both at the physical and mental level.

But there is good news! Time can be domesticated – we can make it, in certain manner, obey us. First step in implementing this process is to identify the elements that robe your time. Normally, they are divided into two groups:

The external factors (unexpected phone calls, very long phone conversations, unplanned visits, the policy of open doors, not sufficiently trained personnel, frequent meetings, interruptions caused by colleagues, friends and family etc.)

The internal factors – related strictly to our own persons (priorities and objectives that change, the lack of a daily working plan, lack of self imposed deadlines, the tendency to take care of too many things at the same time, disorder, lateness in resolving the conflicts, incapacity of saying no, lack of decision, tiredness).

By reading the above enumeration, you probably pictured recalled all the similar situations that you went through. Now, all you have to do is to find a way to defeat and eliminate them, so that you can be the mater of your own time again.

Here are three possible ways in which you can do that:

Get used to write everything down. It is useful, especially if you have a bad memory. Otherwise you might fail to remember to go to important meetings, to make important phone calls, to answer messages you promised you would answer.

You can also write down great ideas and inspirations that occur to you in the most unexpected moments.

Make a list of priorities. It takes you very little time to draw it and you can even do it while you’re having your morning coffee. Write down, the things you need to do that day, in the order of their importance and urgency.

Learn to say no. One big mistake that a lot of us make is that we put other people’s problems in front of ours. Nevertheless, by helping them in a bad moment for us, we give rise to frustration, stress and we find ourselves unable to respect previous engagements.

All these advices are also present in Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber’s book New art of time against stress and they invite us to meditate that more than a weapon against stress, time management is also a philosophy of life.

THE ART OF CONVERSATION.

The grand object for which a gentleman exists, is to excel in company. Conversation is the mean of his distinction, the drawing-room the scene of his glory.

In company, though none are « free, » yet all are « equal. » All therefore whom you meet, should be treated with equal respect, although interest may dictate toward each different degrees of attention. It is disrespectful to the inviter to shun any of her guests. Those whom she has honoured by asking to her house, you should sanction by admitting to your acquaintance.

If you meet any one whom you have never heard of before, you may converse with him with entire propriety. The form of « introduction » is nothing more than a statement by a mutual friend that two gentlemen are by rank and manners fit acquaintances for one another. All this may be presumed from the fact, that both meet at a respectable house. This is the theory of the matter. Custom, however, requires that you should take the earliest opportunity afterwards to be regularly presented to such an one.

The great business in company is conversation. It should be studied as art. Style in conversation is as important, and as capable of cultivation as style in writing. The manner of saying things is what gives them their value.

The most important requisite for succeeding here, is constant and unfaltering attention. That which Churchill has noted as the greatest virtue on the stage, is also the most necessary in company, to be « always attentive to the business of the scene. » Your understanding should, like your person, be armed at all points. Never go into society with your mind en deshabille. It is fatal to success to be all absent or distrait. The secret of conversation has been said to consist in building upon the remark of your companion. Men of the strongest minds, who have solitary habits and bookish dispositions, rarely excel in sprightly colloquy, because they seize upon the thing itself, the subject abstractly, instead of attending to the language of other speakers, and do not cultivate verbal pleasantries and refinements. He who does otherwise gains a reputation for quickness, and pleases by showing that he has regarded the observation of others.

It is an error to suppose that conversation consists in talking. A more important thing is to listen discreetly. Mirabeau said, that to succeed in the world, it is necessary to submit to be taught many things which you understand, by persons who know nothing about them. Flattery is the smoothest path to success; and the most refined and gratifying compliment you can pay, is to listen. « The wit of conversation consists more in finding it in others, » says La Bruy,re, « than in showing a great deal yourself: he who goes from your conversation pleased with himself and his own wit, is perfectly well pleased with you. Most men had rather please than admire you, and seek less to be instructed, nay, delighted, than to be approved and applauded. The most delicate pleasure is to please another. »

It is certainly proper enough to convince others of your merits. But the highest idea which you can give a man of your own penetration, is to be thoroughly impressed with his.

Patience is a social engine. To listen, to wait, and to he wearied are the certain elements of good fortune.

If there be any foreigner present at a dinner party, or small evening party, who does not understand the language which is spoken, good breeding requires that the conversation should be carried on entirely in his language. Even among your most intimate friends, never address any one in a language not understood by all the others. It is as bad as whispering.

Never speak to any one in company about a private affair which is not understood by others, as asking how that matter is coming on, &c. In so doing you indicate your opinion that the rest are de trop. If you wish to make any such inquiries, always explain to others the business about which you inquire, if the subject admit of it.

If upon the entrance of a visitor you continue a conversation begun before, you should always explain the subject to the new-comer.

If there is any one in the company whom you do not know, be careful how you let off any epigrams or pleasant little sarcasms. You might be very witty upon halters to a man whose father had been hanged. The first requisite for successful conversation is to know your company well.

There is another precept of a kindred nature to be observed, namely, not to talk too well when you do talk. You do not raise yourself much in the opinion of another, if at the same time that you amuse him, you wound him in the nicest point, his self-love. Besides irritating vanity, a constant flow of wit is excessively fatiguing to the listeners. A witty man is an agreeable acquaintance, but a tiresome friend. « The wit of the company, next to the butt of the company, » says Mrs. Montagu, « is the meanest person in it. The great duty of conversation is to follow suit, as you do at whist: if the eldest hand plays the deuce of diamonds, let not his next neighbour dash down the king of hearts, because his hand is full of honours. I do not love to see a man of wit win all the tricks in conversation. »

In addressing any one, always look at him; and if there are several present, you will please more by directing some portion of your conversation, as an anecdote or statement, to each one individually in turn. This was the great secret of Sheridan’s charming manner. His bon-mots were not numerous.

It is indispensable for conversation to be well acquainted with the current news and the historical events of the last few years. It is not convenient to be quite so far behind the rest of the world in such matters.

Genuine Happiness Comes from Within

Life isn’t the sweetest candy. Sometimes, when I feel like the world is just too heavy, I look around and find people who continued to live fascinating and wonderful lives. And then thoughts come popping into my mind like bubbles from nowhere – “How did their life become so adorably sweet? How come they still can manage to laugh and play around despite a busy stressful life?” Then I pause and observed for awhile… I figured out that maybe, they start to work on a place called ‘self’.

So, how does one become genuinely happy? Step 1 is to love yourself.

My theology professor once said that “loving means accepting.” To love oneself means to accept that you are not a perfect being, but behind the imperfections must lie a great ounce of courage to be able to discover ways on how to improve your repertoire to recover from our mistakes.

Genuine happiness also pertains to contentment. When you are contented with the job you have, the way you look, with your family, your friends, the place you live in, your car, and all the things you now have – truly, you know the answer to the question “how to be genuinely happy.”

When we discover a small start somewhere from within, that small start will eventually lead to something else, and to something else. But if you keep questioning life lit it has never done you any good, you will never be able to find genuine happiness.

I believe that life is about finding out about right and wrong, trying and failing, wining and losing. These are things that happen as often as you inhale and exhale. Failure, in a person’s life has become as abundant and necessary as air. But this should not hinder us from becoming happy.

How to be genuinely happy in spite all these? I tell you… every time you exert effort to improve the quality of life and your being, whether it is cleaning up your room, helping a friend, taking care of your sick dog, fail on board exams and trying again, life gives you equivalent points for that.

Imagine life as a big score board like those which are used in the NFLs. Every time you take a step forward, you make scoring points. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at that board at the end of each game and think to yourself “Whew! I got a point today. I’m glad I gave it a shot.”, instead of looking at it all blank and murmur “Geez, I didn’t even hit a score today. I wish I had the guts to try out. We could have won!” and then walk away.

Genuine happiness isn’t about driving the hottest Formula 1 car, nor getting the employee of the year award, earning the highest 13th month pay, or beating the sales quota. Sometimes, the most sought after prizes in life doesn’t always go to the fastest, the strongest, the bravest or not even the best. So, how do you become genuinely happy? Every one has his own definition of ‘happiness’. Happiness for a writer may mean launching as much best selling books as possible. Happiness for a basketball rookie may mean getting the rookie of the year award. Happiness for a beggar may mean a lot of money. Happiness for a business man may mean success. So, really now, how do we become genuinely happy? Simple. You don’t have to have the best things in this world. Its about doing and making the best out of every single thing. When you find yourself smiling at your own mistake and telling your self “Oh, I’ll do better next time”, you carry with you a flame of strong will power to persevere that may spread out like a brush fire. You possess a willingness to stand up again and try – that will make you a genuinely happy person.

When you learn to accept yourself and your own faults. You pass step 1 in the project “how to become genuinely happy”.For as long as you know how to accept others, you will also be accepted. For as long as you love and know how to love, you will receive love ten folds back.

Again, throw me that same question “how to become genuinely happy?”. I’ll refer you to a friend of mine who strongly quoted- “Most of us know that laughter is the best medicine to life’s aches and pain. But most of us don’t know that the best kind of laughter is laughter over self. Coz then you don’t just become happy… you become free.”

Feng Shui In The Garden

A garden can benefit from feng shui and even help
change the energy in your home. A properly arranged
garden can be a place to be uplifted and energized and
also soothed and relaxed.

This balance is very necessary but is easy to
accomplish by using various plants, flowers, and
decorations.

The best place to have an entrance to your garden is
facing South. The garden will get the maximum amount
of sun exposure. You should also use an arch or open
space instead of a closed gate.

There aren’t any specific plants you are supposed to
use but you should maintain a good balance between
colors. Since hotter and brighter colors increase your
energy, you should have them separated from your
cooler and mellower colors which will relax you.

One of the hardest things to do in a garden is avoid
clutter but this is a must in feng shui. When you
first plant, everything is pretty small and your
garden may look a little barren.

This is just fine. You want to make sure that each
plant has its own space so you don’t end up with a
cluttered jungle.

It’s easy and fun to incorporate the five feng shui
elements into your garden. A birdbath can cover water,
some lights or torches are fire, and for earth, clay
pots and small boulders work wonders.

As far as paths in your garden go, you should avoid
straight paths and instead opt for curvy, leisurely
paths made from rounded tiles. Avoid edges whenever
possible in your paths.