Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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On the way to venizia

June 22, 2011

On a trip without constant web and email access. Very stressful and challenging. We get so used to having everything at our fingertips, from the obvious…like a phone to the not so obvious like contact information. It’s funny that everyone else has computers. I used to be the one who had to be online, now I feel like the only one who doesn’t want to be online. Need some kind of place to relieve addiction to connectivity. I’m arriving at the train station in Venice. I love Italy. Some day a long visit….

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Oh where oh where have my digibreaks gone

February 13, 2011

Oh where oh where have my digibreaks gone? Ever since the craziness of TEDxSanDiego I’ve lost my way. Haven’t had a digital break in 4-5 months. I feel really good about what I’ve been doing but my brain is fried. I am totally addicted. Can’t get away from one screen or another, one “ding” or another, one post or another. My TEDx responsibilities, my work my family have all taken over my life once again. Balance is out of whack and I know that I have to practice what I preach.
Where oh Where Have My Digibreaks Gone?
We know we need freedom
Yet the shackles of the glow
Draws us in, nay SUX us in,
Till we forget selves, our souls.
BREAK AWAY BREAK AWAY BREAK AWAY
We see words in the dark
Yet we lose our-selves in the light.
As day turns to night the glow
Grabs our hearts and SUCKS us in.
Breaking free is so easy yet why can’t we leave….
The shackles are so real and yet so unreal.
BREAK AWAY BREAK AWAY BREAK AWAY
Where oh where have my digibreaks gone…..
They have not gone, they’re right there,
Just out of sight, just beyond the glow.
Reach out and grab my hand,
Come touch the sky come away with me….
BREAK AWAY BREAK AWAY BREAK AWAY

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Take a “cucumber break” today

July 13, 2010

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls.

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Even Maxim Magazine is into digibreaks!

May 17, 2010

“‘Tis the season to get your s*^# together. Here’s the Maxim cheat sheet to decluttering, destressing, and de-hating your existence…..”
A list, half in jest of things you can do to simplify your existence:
Spring Clean Your Life by Maxim Staff

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I Know Why the Caged Bear Sings

February 9, 2010

I am blessed to be surrounded by friends who inspire me. The other day one such friend was lamenting that he felt guilty because he had worked so hard all of his life and that currently he was achieving just as much financial success but at the same time thoroughly enjoying his life.

I was struck by a line in one of my new favorite books “The Book of Martial Power” by Steven Pearlman. In talking about the principles underlying all martial arts, Pearlman states as part of the ultimate standard of any martial art is that “Victory must be effortless.”

What if life was meant to be effortless?

Not the effortlessness in the unskilled sort of beach bum or common charlatan type of effortless. That is more of an example of individuals often working harder not to work and evolve than they would if they had applied themselves to an honest living. But rather, what if the ultimate goal of life was mastery, like mastering a martial art. At first you struggle and work hard and get bogged down in details. You believe that all of that is necessary to learn to survive. But if you have seen a master of anything at work, it is like magic requiring no effort. (To look upon a prima ballerina is to think that such a person is simply born to effortlessly move that way, that not even her body remembers the years it took to break her feet into that capability.)

What if the point is to relax and act from a state of inspiration?

I have been practicing jiu-jitsu for about 5 years. Recently my teacher told me to soften my gaze when I was sparring. He told me to relax and stop focusing on the details. Tension, unnecessary tension, is the mark of a novice who lacks confidence in their techniques and confidence that they can win. And it is a pure waste of energy that actually hinders victory. My focus needed to be purely on keeping my own center (relaxing my vision to keep peripheral vision, relaxing my breathing as much as possible, maintaining control over my own body, etc.) and on seeing in my own mind how the dance would go. That’s it. You actually get to the point that your opponent is an illusion, and disappears from your mind all together.

So after a few years of struggling against opponents who outweighed me by 40 to 100 or more lbs., struggling to get every detail of a move down, of learning the attack, the counter, and the counter of the counter, and now after all of that left-brain overanalysis my teacher was asking me to completely let that go and switch into right-brain inspired action. He said,”Have you ever seen a child playing? When they are really caught up in their story a bomb could go off behind them and it wouldn’t distract them. That is the kind of focus you need to develop.” Now my teacher never read Pearlman’s book. He is not much of a reader. But a life of mastering his own body had taught him that transition.

To go from novice to mastery requires that you eventually let go of any belief in the struggle. It is a huge wall you meet with and you don’t ever expect it. How can I let go of all that I have come to be, have worked so hard to be, and go in the opposite direction?

We’ve all heard the story of the bear who spends its whole life in a cage and when it is released still limits its life to the size of the cage. We evolve our identity, our sense of self in that transitory state of struggle. We say to ourselves, “I am the bear who struggles against the cage and if the cage isn’t there and I am free, then who a I?”

We want happiness and joy and peace, but we build our lives around stress and struggle and drama.

The struggle was never the goal. It was a step; the perceived necessity. It never was, nor is, who we are.

So why the guilt?

For one thing, the majority of people around you won’t understand you (but if you are like me you are used to this.)

I think the heart of it is that it’s just a really good lie you were told once a long time ago; that life is hard. And it is really hard for most people most of the time. When you finally get to the other side and see it doesn’t have to be that way maybe there is a bit of survivor’s guilt.

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Getting Grounded

January 26, 2010

My disconnect from my feet began when I was in my teens and I got my first pair of arch supports. This was followed by years of high tech running shoes and culminated in wearing MBT’s.

As the distance literally grew between my feet and the ground I got more and more unsteady. I remember feeling for years in dance or yoga glass like there was a disconnect from my knees down.

Last week I started seeing a Z health practitioner, which in my interpretation is a systematic qigong joint mobility program with Western terminology. It basically uses proprioceptive rewiring to reconnect your brain with your body and fix alignment issues and overcome pain responses. I noticed after 2 days that my feet began to absolutely hate all my shoes. It was as if they were screaming at me every time I put something on my feet, “These soles are too rigid!” or “I can’t move!”

I invested in a pair of Sprint Vibram Five Finger shoes which basically allow you to walk barefoot everywhere. They take some breaking in. At first they feel like you are wearing those toes spacers you wear when you get a pedicure.

I just came back from a walk with my dogs and it was a different experience. I felt fully in my body. My feet were picking up information when we walked over the assphault versus the cement sidewalk versus different kinds of earth and vegetation. It was like I had 2 extra hands supplying me with extra input. I didn’t realize until this moment just how disconnected I had gotten.

There is a deadness that sweeps over us as we get more and more involved with our gadgets that occurs so slowly from childhood to adulthood that it is almost imperceptible. To be able to integrate that left-brained knowledge with our body’s grounded intuition is a beautiful experience.

Next time you take a break try walking around barefoot.

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So What Do You Do When You’re Taking a Break?

January 18, 2010

Years ago in an acupuncture class my teacher gave us the assignment to be “totally present” for 24 hours during all of our activities. (This was similar to what the Zen Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh advocates.) So, when we did the dishes we just focused on doing the dishes, no TV, no radio, etc. And you do these activities just for the sake of doing them. I remember feeling so frustrated, annoyed, and deprived. I simply experienced emptiness and it wasn’t pleasant.

I do not have ADHD. I don’t get bored easily. So why wasn’t I able to comfortably do the assignment? I remember as a child exploring the woods on my grandparents’ farm in upstate New York and sitting still and just watching the quiet forest come alive when it thought I had left it alone. I had no problems being present then.

I remember going to the Amazon years later and feeling the world I knew slip away under its dense canopy, as if the modern world had never existed. I felt absolutely present then.

I could sit for hours painting or drawing as a teenager completely immersed in the present moment.

So what was different then? I was sitting in awe of great beauty.
I realized that what worked better for me was not simply removing the distractions, but focusing my attention on something I wanted to fill my life with, like, beauty, joy, connection, peace, etc.

Give the moment to a higher purpose.

When you are sitting in the car, stuck in traffic, try turning off the radio. Notice how beautiful the sunset or sunrise is or the clouds in the sky. Just for a moment. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Just a moment.

Next time you are waiting in line rather than checking your email or texting someone, simply be in line and look around you. Don’t allow yourself to focus on the distracted chaos that is usually apparent, but see something beautiful, something peaceful and embrace it.

The next time you have a conversation with someone really see them. Listen as if there was no time; as if there was nothing you had to do as soon as the conversation was over. Just listen and feel how good being connected to another human being feels.

When you are with a child or a pet this can be easier and might be a good first step. For example, if you ever watch the Dog Whisperer , the host Caesar Milan always talks about how your energy in the moment affects your dogs . This is especially helpful when you have a problem dog. Notice how your energy is around the dog and how when you change it, your dog’s behavior changes almost immediately.

This little exercise will bring you peace. A peace that is not dependent upon the constantly changing events around you. It is a peace that is based on what you choose to place in the spaces between the noise.