Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday



Why More Is Not Always Better 
By Remy Melina

While it may seem that giving more gifts is better, adding a cheaper 'stocking stuffer' to an expensive present diminished the perceived value of the overall package in the recipient's eyes.

When figuring out what presents to get your loved ones this holiday season, keep in mind that more isn't always better. A new study shows that, when giving an expensive present, adding on a cheaper stocking stuffer as an extra gift actually diminishes the perceived value of the overall package in the recipient's eyes.

Say you have the choice of giving your significant other a luxury cashmere sweater, or the sweater and a $10 gift card. Although it may seem that adding the smaller gift and therefore giving them more presents is the way to go, researchers found that giving only the sweater would be the better option.

That's because the gift recipient is likely to perceive the gift of just the expensive item alone as more generous than the combination of the costly item and the cheaper item, according to the researchers, who conducted several experiments.

The Paradox

In one experiment, 54 consumers from an online marketing research panel were divided into groups of "presenters" or "customers." Presenters were asked to put together an iPod-product package for customers. Subjects had the choice of creating a package of either an iPod Touch with a cover or an iPod Touch, cover and one free music download.

The participants were instructed to put together a package that would seem the most valuable to customers. Study participants in the customer group were shown both the packages and asked to estimate how much they would be willing to pay for each product bundle.

Although 92 percent of the presenters chose to include one music download in the product bundle, the customer group indicated they were willing to pay substantially more for the smaller package.

Dubbed the "presenter's paradox," the seemingly counter-intuitive reaction of favoring one expensive item over that same item combined with a cheaper object results from the way consumers evaluate item clusters, according to the researchers. Rather than seeing the cheaper item as an added bonus, the consumers "make judgments that result in an averaging pattern," the researchers wrote in the study.

By averaging the value of both the expensive and the cheaper item, the overall value of the package is lessened, in effect diluting the perceived worth of the highly favorable item.

More isn't always better

In another experiment for the study, researchers split 227 students at the University of Michigan and Princeton University into "presenters" and "evaluators." Presenters were asked to pretend they were hotel owners getting ready to list their hotel on Hotels.com. In the advertisement, they had to choose whether only to reveal the hotel pool's 5-star rating from an outside agency, or the pool rating plus information about the hotel's three-star restaurant.

The evaluators, who were asked to pretend they were planning a vacation, were either shown a Hotels.com ad featuring only the 5-star pool or the 5-star pool and the 3-star restaurant. 

As the researchers expected, the evaluators who saw the ad featuring both the pool and the restaurant were willing to pay significantly less per night than those who saw the advertisement featuring the 5-star pool only. Even so, 72 percent of the presenters had chosen to include both the 5-star pool and 3-star restaurant in their ad.

"Fortunately, there is a simple remedy: Take the perspective of the evaluator and ask yourself how the bundle will appear to someone who will average across its components," Weaver said. "Doing so will alert you to the fact that others will not always share your sense that more is better."

For more inspiration read the Joy of Gift Giving

Article source here

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!



Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. 
It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… 
When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present - love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure - the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach


 Wishing everyone happy and peaceful Thanksgiving ~ Dominique


         

Image source unknown but greatly appreciated

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Hanukkah!



At this time of year, when the sun is most hidden, the holiday of Hanukkah celebrates the rays of hope and light. Indeed, the physical darkness of this time of year can be a metaphor for the darkness that often envelopes us at times of illness and loss of a loved one, when the world sometimes feels dark and cold. At such times, we yearn for the sun, and the light and warmth that it provides. Often, it is through simple and unrecognized miracles that we are able to feel the warmth of hope and light. - Rabbi Rafael Goldstein

Wishing Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish frineds!  ~ Dominique

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Illusion of Separation



The separation between individuals is an illusion created by time. Space-time is a four-dimensional fluid that is “polarized” in one dimension so that causality and entropy occur. 

All waves travel at the speed of light through space-time. Matter waves travel through the time dimension, and can also travel through space dimensions, experiencing time dilation to remain at light speed. Light waves and gravity waves are restricted to traveling through space, which is the three dimensional surface of space-time. 

Each moment is a focal point of the Universe, a standing wave pattern created at the intersection of all the matter, light, and gravity waves at that position in space-time. Individual beings are fractal extensions of their environments, each one created by a different section of the universe, unique and appearing separate. 

The separation is an illusion, all moments and beings are interacting with each other and arise from the the same underlying Cosmic order. We are all parts of the same being, experiencing and creating ourselves, continually changing, dissolving and emerging in time.

Text source here
Image source here

Friday, November 22, 2013

Killing Kennedy


President John F. Kennedy  May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963
President John F. Kennedy
May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963

The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings.

We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions.

Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. 

That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control.

And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know." - Fragment from a speech that President John F. Kennedy gave at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on April 27, 1961 before the American Newspaper Publishers Association. 

Arrival of President Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963
Arrival of President Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963

It is such an irony that the details of the assassination of a man who abhorred secrecy are  kept secret to this day. Fifty years later more than 50,000 have not yet been revealed to the public! Any official explanation or theory can only be based on what the public is allowed to know. This very fact makes any explanation incomplete if not invalid. 

Like no other event in the American history, assassination of the 35th president of the United States gave birth to countless conspiracy theories. 

Circumstances surrounding the assassination are rather mysterious and the official version put out by the Warren Commission in 1964 has been discredited long time ago. 

Presidential motorcade - JFK and his wife riding with Texas Governor John Connally  Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963
Presidential motorcade - JFK and his wife riding with 
the Texas Governor John Connally
Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963

Just as someone wrote, to solve a criminal case you need to know the motive, the means and circumstances, but the killing of president Kennedy seems to be one big swamp of missing evidence, shadowy characters and conclusions that lead nowhere.

One thing is certain. Assassination of JFK was a conspiracy, but to this day we do not know who was behind it. In fact, we may never know.

Dominique Allmon
 
         

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Promise of Autumn



I often hear people say that they love autumn because of its incredible beauty. Autumn is magnificent. It tickles our senses.

When leaves begin to change their colors we are reminded of all the vibrant life that surrounds us. We seem to wake up from a long summer dream. Everywhere we look nature explodes in all shades of red, brown, yellow and gold.


Autumn is magnificent, but the joy it brings is short-lived. Unlike spring, autumn does not carry a promise of life. It reminds us of the eternal force that governs the cycle of life and death. And while spring allows us to be carefree and playful, autumn forces us to reflection. 

Our emotions seem to change when the last golden leaf falls onto a wet side walk. All the magic of autumn seems to disappear in an instant. The days are shorter and darker now. Only crows seem to enjoy the barren landscape that spreads around us where only a moment ago, it seems, was a vibrant palette of almost indescribable colors. 


Autumn brings its promise of death and decay and reminds us that nothing lasts forever. A deep reflection upon this fact may fill us with melancholy, but it also allows us to examine our own existence. 

Things are, indeed, in constant motion and holding on to any experience does not make much sense. We must accept change and move on. Mindfulness and conscious detachment allow us to see the true nature of things and embrace life in a new way.

The joy does not last, but neither does the sadness. Our eyes begin to shine again when the first snowflakes start falling down on the barren earth...

By Dominique Allmon


The Weeping Angel image by Nicole

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Vajra Mudra


 Buddha and the vajra mudra

Mudras are symbolic hand gestures that are often to heal the mind-body. Since ancient times mudras represent a non-verbal form of communication and spiritual expression. They are used as symbols of divine powers or the deities themselves. 

Mudras were widely used in the Hindu and Buddhist art to express the capacity in which a deity was represented. In its highest form mudras were used to evoke the invisible forces that operated in the mundane sphere.

But mudras are not only symbols of divine manifestation. They are used by the spiritually inclined people in their practice of meditation and concentration, and are believed to generate forces attributed to a particular aspect of the deity. They allow the practitioner to align and strengthen his own energy flow.

Vajra mudra is a gesture of the fiery thunderbolt. It symbolizes the five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and metal. It is supposed to transform ignorance into wisdom. On the physical plane, vajra mudra is believed to stimulate blood circulation and reduce the restlessness and dizziness caused by low blood pressure.

Vajra mudra

Vajra mudra is formed with both hands raised in front of the heart chakra whereas the index  finger of one hand is wrapped and held in the fist of the other hand. The remaining fingers form a fist below. The right-handed people use the palm of the right hand to hold the index finger of their left hand. The left-handed form this mudra with their left hand wrapped around the right index finger.

Vajra mudra should be practiced three times a day for at least five minutes. This mudra is not as easy as it looks. If you have never practiced before you may want to start with a minute or so until you get used to sitting with hands held in this position.

By Dominique Allmon

Images source here and here

         

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gold Leaves



Lo! I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.

In youth I sought the prince of men,
Captain in cosmic wars,
Our Titan, even the weeds would show
Defiant, to the stars.

But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.

In youth I sought the golden flower
Hidden in wood or wold,
But I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold. 

By Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans' Day



From the world wars of Europe to the jungles of the Far East, from the deserts of the Middle East to the African continent, and even here in our own hemisphere, our veterans have made the world a better place and America the great country we are today. - John Hoeven

My infinite thanks to all the Veterans for their bravery and sacrifice - Dominique Allmon



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Health Benefits of Spices



Spices are used in cuisines all over the world to enhance taste and flavor of the dishes. Since ancient times people utilized seeds, roots, barks, leaves, and other fragrant parts of plants to add flavor to their food and to preserve it. The earliest written records come from the Assyrians who wrote around 2300 BC that the gods drunk sesame seed spiced wine before they created the earth. Spices were also used for medicinal purposes throughout the world. Their antibacterial and carminative properties seem to have been widely known. Phytochemicals in spices are responsible for their specific flavor and aroma, a characteristics that made them attractive in the first place.

In Antiquity and during the Middle Ages spices were treated as luxury goods and were as precious as gold. Because of their rarity, almost magical properties were attributed to them in Europe. They were very often used as aphrodisiacs. Spice trade changed the history of many regions. It was very lucrative, but not without dangers. Great fortunes were made. Trading institutions such as the British India Company or the Royal Dutch Company contributed to the exponential economic growth on the one hand, and to the colonial expansion and exploitation on the other.

Modern science is continuously researching the healing properties of spices. Scientists were able to identify and isolate bio-active ingredients in spices, such as sulfides, thiols, terpenes, aldehydes, and others. It was discovered that some spices can help digestion, improve cardiovascular health as well as the cognitive function. Some compounds found in spices are potent anti-carcinogens. Others are able to relieve inflammation, control blood sugar, and strengthen the immune system. Spices stimulate appetite and have strong anti-bacterial and anti-vermicidal properties. They display very strong antioxidant activity. In fact, they are considered to have more antioxidant compounds than fruits and vegetables.

Medicinal properties of commonly used spices:
  • Allspice derives its name from the fact that is smell like a combination of many spices, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It is also known as pimento, because the Spaniards mistook it for piper nigrum, or black pepper. Allspice is the only spice that is native to the Western Hemisphere. The evergreen trees grew wildly in the rain forests of South and Central America and are now cultivated in Mexico, Jamaica, and other Central American countries. Allspice is used for its carminative and digestive properties. Like cloves, it also contains eugenol. It has warming, blood vessels diluting properties and can be used as a treatment of arthritis and to sooth sore muscles. However, the essential oil of allspice can irritate the skin.
  • Anise is a plant from the family Umbelliferae  also called Apiaceae and is native to the Eastern Mediterranean and South West Asia. Its essential oils deliver the fragrance and flavor of licorice. Anise was traditionally used to aid digestion. It has strong carminative properties and can also be used as a mild expectorant. It is popularly used in cough medicines and to freshen the breath. It has antiseptic and antispasmodic properties.
  • Cardamom, known in India as the queen of spices, comes from the ginger family. It a very aromatic, old spice that was native to Southern India since ancient times. Today, cardamom is also cultivated in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Mexico, Guatemala, and Central America. Entire pods and the seeds are used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. Cardamom is well known for its stimulating and carminative properties. It is used to treat variety of digestive problems, including indigestion, constipation, stomach ache, and dysentery. The seeds are traditionally chewed in India after a meal to aid digestion. Cardamom is also used to treat teeth and gum infections, to heal throat infections, and to break kidney and gall stones. The Arabs attributed aphrodisiac properties to it.
  • Chili is a member of the Capsicum family. Known for its "hot" taste and flavor, chili is rich in vitamin C. The red fruits are rich in beta carotene. The active compound, capsaicin, seems to have a positive effect on the blood levels of cholesterol. It also works as anticoagulant. Both aspects are valuable for people who wish to prevent cardiovascular disease. Capsaisin has thermogenic properties and may increase metabolism. Applied topically, it gives relief from arthritic joint pain.
  • Cinnamon is a spice derived from the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree from the Laurel or Lauraceae family native to Sri Lanka. Cinnamon was greatly valued for its carminative properties and was used to treat nausea and flatulence. It is used to treat a number of digestive disorders. Used alone or with other spices it can alleviate diarrhea. It is a warming spice that has been used to treat colds and circulatory problems. It was used traditionally to treat toothache and bad breath. Recent research have demonstrated that cinnamon may considerably reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. It is important to know that cinnamon contains volatile oils that can be toxic if it is consumed in large amounts over a long period of time. It is suggested to supplement with Cinnulin PF which is extracted from cinnamon in a process in which the toxins found in whole cinnamon are filtered out.
  • Cloves are the highly aromatic, unopened flower buds of an evergreen tree native to India and Indonesia that is also cultivated in Zanzibar, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Pakistan. Cloves are widely used in Indian and Mexican cuisines, and are one of the flavors associated with Christmas throughout the Western world. Cloves are well known for their carminative properties. They help to increase the secretion of the hydrochloric acid and improve peristalsis. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine they are considered to be a warming spice. Cloves are used in dentistry for their analgesic properties. The active compound eugenol constitutes up to 90 per cent of the essential oil extracted from dried cloves. It has antiseptic and analgesic properties, but can also be toxic when ingested even in small amounts.
  • Cumin are the seeds of a plant from the carrot family. Its origins are in the Mediterranean, but it is now cultivated in India, China, Indonesia, and Japan. Cumin's history dates back to the Old Testament. It is used in cuisines of Asia and the Middle East, but also in Central and Eastern Europe where it is added to dishes that are considered to be difficult to digest. Cumin is regarded as a good source of iron and manganese. It contains compounds that help with digestion and prevent bloating.
  • Ginger is the root of the plant Zingiber officinale that was first cultivated throughout Asia and which later spread to West Africa and the Caribbean. The active compound in ginger is called gingerol. Gingerol is a powerful anti-oxidant that has demonstrated cancer fighting properties. It is generally used to prevent motion sickness and nausea. Ginger is used to ease digestive problems and colic. However, it is strictly contraindicated for people with gall stones as it increases the bile secretion. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and blood thinning properties. It can also decrease lipid levels in serum thus helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • Nutmeg is the seed of the evergreen tree Myristica fragrans native to the Spice Islands (Mollucas) and is now cultivated in the Caribbean. The tree produces two spices - nutmeg and mace. Used in small doses, nutmeg can relieve a number of digestive disorders such as indigestion, flatulence, and diarrhea. It helps to alleviate nausea. The essential oil containing myristicin found application in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, where it is used to produce cough syrup and toothpaste. Myristicin taken in large doses is toxic. It can cause hallucinations, convulsions, nausea, vomiting, and even death. This effects will not be experienced even with the most generous culinary use of the spice.
  • Pepper or piper nigrum, commonly known as the black pepper, is a flowering vine from the family Piperaceae, native to the monsoon forests of the Malabar coast of Southwest India. For a long time it was called the King of spices and highly valued as such. Like many other spices, pepper has not only been valued in the kitchen as a seasoning, but widely used as medicine. It was used to cure many digestive disorders, but also to treat colds, insects bites, joint pain, lung and liver dysfunction, tooth decay, toothache, and oral abscesses. An alkaloid compound found in pepper called piperine was found to enhance the absorption of selenium, beta carotene, vitamins of the B group, as well as other nutrients. Piperine is often added to nutritional supplements to enhance their bio-availability. Pepper contains small amounts of a mildly carcinogenic compound called safrole. When consumed in large quantities it is known to irritate the intestinal tract.
  • Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus, a species of crocus from the iris family of Iridaceae native to West Asia. A saffron crocus bears three stigmas which are dried and used as a spice. Saffron is considered to be the most expensive spice in the world. It takes about 75,000 blossoms to produce one pound of it. Saffron has been used to induce sweat, to suppress spasms, and to promote menstruation. Saffron has been recognized for its carminative and sedative properties. It contains many active compounds, especially carotenoids, including alpha and beta carotenes, zeaxantin, and lycopene. The high content of zeaxantine makes this spice useful in preventing macular degeneration. The most recent studies conducted in Australia and in Italy demonstrated that the vision of patients with macular degeneration improved considerably after ingestion of saffron. Saffron appeared to affect the genes regulating fatty-acid content of the cell membrane, and this makes the vision cells stronger, more resilient, and more resistant to damage. Japanese researchers found that two compounds found in saffron - crocetin and crocin - are able to improve memory and learning skills in laboratory animals. These findings indicate that saffron extract may be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and related memory impairment. Saffron used in high doses may be detrimental to health. It can stimulate uterine contractions and should not be used therapeutically by pregnant women. Moreover, in doses higher than 12 g it may cause a kidney damage, paralysis of the central nervous system, and possibly death.
  • Star anise is an evergreen plant native to South China and Vietnam. The star shaped fruits are harvested and dried before they can ripen. The dried seedpods have a flavor similar to anise and has been used for centuries in both, cooking and medicine. Like anise, star anise contains anethole. It has been used traditionally as a carminative, to relieve colic, and to promote digestion. It has some stimulating and diuretic properties. In China, where it is an ingredient in the famous Five Spices Powder, star anise is used to relieve gastrointestinal disorders, relieve cough, increase libido, ease birth, increase the milk production in new mothers, and to relieve menopausal problems. Star anise is well known for its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, expectorant, and anti-spasmodic properties. Used externally, it can help relieve back pain and rheumatism. A caution is advised as it can cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals. Star anise contains an active compound called shikimic acid which is used by the pharmaceutical industry to produce the famous antiviral medicine called Tamiflu. The Chinese star anise, Illicium verum, should not be confused with the Japanese star anise, Illicium anisatum, which is highly poisonous and normally used as incense for its purifying aroma.
  • Turmeric is a perennial plant from the ginger family Zingiberaceae. It is one of the oldest spices native to South East Asia and currently also cultivated in Australia, Peru, and the Caribbean. Turmeric has many uses. It was applied to alleviate digestive problems. Known for its antiseptic and antibiotic qualities, it was used to desinfect and heal infected wounds. Turmeric's active compound curcumin has been subject to extensive research. Studies demonstrated that it has very strong anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-amyloid, and anti-inflammatory activity. Numerous clinical studies are underway to study curcumin's effects on pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Combined with piperine, curcumin may prevent the growth and proliferation of breast cancer.
New studies are being published in medical journals and alternative health publications on regular basis. Many conditions can be improved and prevented by simply adding these natural ingredients to your meals. Add some spice to your life and boost your health and vitality. After all you are what you eat! Remember, however, that some spices are very potent and should be used with caution. They can interfere with some medication. Some phytochemicals in spices have been shown to demonstrate mutagenic, carcinogenic, and allergenic properties. Some spices used in therapeutic doses may disrupt growth and the development of the embryo. Used in moderation, however, spices are beneficial. As with everything else, common sense is essential.

By Dominique Allmon

*A caution is advised. Contact your health care provider before beginning any self medication.

      

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Add Some Spice to Your Life and Improve your Health by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kristallnacht - The Night of Broken Glass


 Germans pass by the broken shop window of a Jewish-owned business that was destroyed during Kristallnacht.
 Germans pass by the broken shop window 
of a Jewish-owned business that was destroyed during Kristallnacht.

Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass" as it is known in English, was a series of vicious attacks against Jews and Jewish-owned property throughout Germany and parts of Austria, that took place exactly 75 years ago on the night of 9/10 November, 1938.

Nearly one hundred Jews were murdered that night, and about 30,000 more arrested and put in concentration camps. More than 1,000 synagogues were burned and more than 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed or damaged.

This atrocity gets its name from the streets covered with broken glass from the shops, homes and synagogues.

Kristallnacht is regarded as the beginning of the "Final Solution" - Hitler's plan to rid the world of Jews. 

After the pogrom the Nazis issued administrative and legal orders that were meant to speed up the "Aryanization" of Germany and opened the way to Holocaust.

To learn more please visit the Yadveshem website

      


Image source here

Friday, November 8, 2013

Stop Writing That Book!



A self-fulfilling prophecy is an assumption or prediction that, purely as a result of having been made, cause the expected or predicted event to occur and thus confirms its own "accuracy" • Paul Watzlawick 

Years ago a very troubled colleague of mine told me that she found a cure to her unbelievable unhappiness. She bought a then freshly published book written by the Austrian-American psychologist Paul Watzlawick. The Situation is Hopeless But Not Serious or "Sorge Dich Nicht, Lebe" in German, helped her cope with her own misery and made her laugh at herself, something she has not ever done before.

And we both laughed when she told me the story of a hammer.

A man wants to hang a picture on the wall. He has a nail, but does not have a hammer. He considers borrowing it from his neighbor, but before he even leaves his home a thought crosses his mind. He remembers seeing his neighbor just the other day. "The guy did not even greet me yesterday. Who knows what he thinks of me. Maybe he has something against me... He probably will not even lend me his hammer. Who knows what is going on in his mind. I am not like that. If anyone have asked me for a tool I would gladly lend it to him. How can a human being be so heartless! Such people make our lives miserable. On purpose! He probably even thinks that my life depends on him only because I need to borrow his hammer. Nasty man! But that's enough! I will tell him what I think of him!" Agitated, the man knocks on his neighbor's door. The door opens and before the neighbor can even say a word our protagonist shouts out "You know what, you can keep your bloody hammer, you...!" and walks away leaving his neighbor completely perplexed.

The poor man in this story has written a whole book before he even knocked on his neighbor's door. How many stories do we write before we act? How often we do not act at all because the story we have written did not have a happy ending?

Over the years I met many people with complete stories of their entire lives. One bad experience in the past destroyed all hopes for better future. Life was what it was and there was no reason to expect anything else. It even seemed to me that such lives ended long time ago and the unfortunate people were only there to turn the pages of their own creation.

Of course, things are not always as dramatic and not all of us get stuck in some kind of morbid scenario. Most of us write short stories, especially when we have to make difficult decisions or face particular situations or people.

Our creative activity begins early. Maybe as kids we did something wrong and were terrified to talk to our parents. Maybe we were terrified not because our parents were very strict, but because we imagined that they would punish us severely for what we did. The story we wrote not only prevented us from acting, but also protected us from pain that we might have experienced if we did talk to our parents.

Over the years we may have become masters of the genre. We always know better, and we know for sure that there are forces much stronger than we can even imagine that always act against us. 

A scary scenario unfolds when we interact we people who represent some kind of authority: parents, teachers, credit facilitators, spouses. We don't even need to try. We already know the outcome. So we leave things undone and words unspoken and indulge in our misery.

But would anything change if we stopped writing the book?

Change does not happen overnight. It takes time and determination to change behavior patterns that were perfected over the years, but they can be changed. With a little practice we could learn to shift our attention and concentrate on the action that has to be taken and not on the outcome we expect. Once we have mastered this new behavior we could learn to shift our attention and start creating positive outcomes, but this is a different story...

By Dominique Allmon

Image source here

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Stop Writing That Book by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


         

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Solitude Late at Night in the Woods



The body is like a November birch facing the full moon
And reaching into the cold heavens.
In these trees there is no ambition, no sodden body, no leaves,
Nothing but bare trunks climbing like cold fire!

My last walk in the trees has come. At dawn
I must return to the trapped fields,
To the obedient earth.
The trees shall be reaching all the winter.

It is a joy to walk in the bare woods.
The moonlight is not broken by the heavy leaves.
The leaves are down, and touching the soaked earth,
Giving off the odors that partridges love.

By Robert Bly 

Image source here

Friday, November 1, 2013

All Saints' Day



Death is not the end: it is temporary emancipation, given to you when karma, the law of justice, determines that your present body and environment have served their purpose, or when you are too weary or exhausted by suffering to bear the burden of physical existence any longer. To those who are suffering, death is resurrection from the painful tortures of flesh into awakened peace and calmness. To the elderly, it is a pension earned by years of struggling through life. For all, it is a welcome rest. - Paramahansa Yogananda