Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I have seen the confidence of the strongest, most confident men and women become mushier than a bowl of mashed potatoes at the thought of facing the snide comments, comparisons and cruelty that some of our relatives bring to the holiday table.
How ironic that a feast that is supposed to be a celebration of gratitude and harmony can churn out more negativity and drama that a soap opera marathon.
But there is hope. We cannot change other people, but we can work on our own reaction to them. Last year I posted a short video on you tube on three simple steps on how to erase negativity. It’s not a cure all, but it can help us reduce our own negativity, which in turn can have a ripple effect on others.
Please check out this video and share it with your friends and family. Heck, share it with your enemies too. They probably need it worst of all. You can view it at
As an added bonus, I will offer a free ebook with the purchase of every paperback copy of the book. The catch is you need to contact me directly through this blog or my website www.EraseNegativity.com. The book is $14.99 or two for $25. You can also purchase the book at various independent stores as well as Amazon.
For those of you who are not familiar with the message in the book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within is a practical guide on how to reduce negativity and embrace happiness. From meth addicts to multi-millionaires, the book offers powerful experiences of individuals who have faced dramatic challenges, but did not lose hope. Using these compelling biographies, as well as practical advice and simple exercises, the reader is guided on an internal journey toward adopting a more joyful way to live.
We pay a heavy price for our negativity and I want to combat that with a free tool that provides a more optimistic alternative. I’m really hoping folks will spread the word and use this window of time to read the book and suggest it to others who are interested in embracing a more hopeful message.
So there you have it. No more excuses. Discounted book, free video. Kick that grouch out now. But lest I come off too brash or too self serving, I do have one last bit of advice for this holiday season. Try to take a moment and find the love in your heart and send those laser beams of love out to those family members around you – especially those who annoy you. While we might not think so now, there will come a time when they are out of our lives and we will miss them. And more importantly, we do not want to miss the opportunity to summon up a little love and shine a little light in the world.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Do vitamins actually work?
Overwhelmed by the hectic lifestyle, the majority of people seek a magic solution to
improve their health and are easily swayed to believe the information they are presented with on-screen. Can a single vitamin tablet counteract the lack of proper nutrition and exercise? Unfortunately, nothing in life can be hastened by wrong decisions, things can only fall further apart when it comes to our body and mind union. But should vitamins be part of your natural diet to help oil the machinery?
How should vitamins work?
Contrary to popular belief taking vitamin C in between meals strengthens your immune
system to fend off colds. The research on the link between artificial vitamin C and
immunity has been largely inconclusive at best. Research points to the vitamin whose use could potentially reduce the time it takes one to recover from common flu, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t fight off a cold in a different way, eg. by selecting some of its natural sources like vegetables.
On the other hand, you may as well benefit from adding a couple of extra lozenges if you really have to, but be aware that you are more likely to experience the placebo effect than anything else. For what it is worth, the quicker you get on the fast track to the complete recovery, the better.
Many artificial vitamins contain varying amounts of additives and colorants, something that should tip the scale more effectively towards the decision for a more balanced approach to diet and sport. The time-effectiveness that the vitamin tablets guarantee speaks for itself and suggests that fruit and vegetable consumption are something of a bother, whereas it is hardly the case.
Even though our natural preference when under time pressure for prepackaged food wins
hands down, adding another artificial component to the mix stands in clear opposition to the common sense. If you imagine someone fed on hormone injected bacon and a high
intake of soft drinks and artificial sweetners, coupled with the vitamin dessert, you may want to conclude that this vision does not translate into a healthy lifestyle at all.
Can vitamins ever be of help?
Those people who are at the risk of malnutrition or recovering patients who have received long time treatment could greatly benefit from more synthetic vitamins. Also, anyone who practices sport or undertakes more draining jobs or challenges could be best advised to consult their dietician or seek counsel with their general health provider. It is these types of conditions and activities that vitamins are put to best use – although they should be used as dietary supplements rather than a substitute for healthy food.
Indeed, vitamin consumption is becoming more important in today´s world given that
genetically modified food is devoid of natural nutrients the body needs. Due to a depletion of certain minerals and vitamins, reduced drastically through the use of artificials and excessive fertilization, vitamin intake could prove inevitable to provide the body with the nutrition it needs to stay healthy.
Sarah is a content writer and blogger who has a special interest in health and nutrition. She is currently working alongside advanced medical experts Nutricia.
Friday, November 8, 2013
Wednesday, Nov. 6th was Day of the Dead for me.
Before you consult your calendar and take umbrage to this statement, I am not talking about the traditional Day of the Dead holiday celebrated throughout Mexico. That holiday focuses on family gatherings to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed away. My understanding is the traditional Day of the Dead (October 31, November 1 and November 2) is celebrated with private altars, (ofrendas)honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed.
My Day of the Dead was celebrated by biting my nails, munching on leftover Halloween candy and asking my departed relatives to keep me from cursing the universe.
Let me explain.
I recently began visiting the Red Mountain Multi-Generational Center (RMMC) in my home town of Mesa and began taking yogalates (a combination of yoga and pilates) as well as a Zumba Gold class. Now that the Snow Birds are returning to town, the Zumba Gold class fills up fast. I made my best effort to get to class a bit early to ensure I would have the opportunity to bumble my way through this fun, albeit humbling, class of exercise and dancing.
As I skipped, okay ambled, my way across the parking lot I aimed my clicker to lock my car, Goldie. Nothing. No sound, no clickie, no lockie. I walked closer to the car, but my problem was not one of distance. My car wouldn’t lock, nor would it start. I had a dead battery. I turned on my cell phone to report the problem to my spouse, CB, and to AAA, but that battery was dead as well. Not one to fall into despair, I figured I’d dance off my frustration while awaiting rescue. Unfortunately when I approached the front desk to get my wrist band to allow me into my zumba class, I was told the class filled to capacity a mere three minutes ago.
So there I was, dead phone, dead battery and no zumba. Fortunately, the Rec Center has a phone to make local calls. I called AAA and CB and began the waiting process. I allowed myself about five minutes of pity. I had purchased a certified used car, a 2010 Toyota Prius, a mere seven months ago, but I was fairly certain the auxiliary battery would not be covered (it wasn’t.) I had owned (and loved) a previous Toyota Prius (Sparky) and replaced the battery, so I knew this would not be a cheap fix. Unfortunately, I was right about that too.
I took the car to the dealer and several hours later they confirmed the painful truth. My battery was dead. A replacement was going to be $300. I believe that is at least twice what it cost when Sparky’s battery was no longer sparking, but technology does not come cheap. On the bright side, my cell phone battery was revived by doing what I should have done last night – recharge it.
Unlike in the past, I decided I was not going to dwell on my misery. Yes, I should have recharged the phone. Yes, I supposed I should have suspected Goldie’s battery was getting weak when my clicker was not working the way it should, but as they say, “hindsight is always 20/20.”
Unfortunately, bad things happen. In the scheme of things, this was more inconvenient than bad. I tried to look at the bright side. I had an influx of extra work last month that more than paid for my battery. The car died in a parking lot where I was able to use a phone and wait in air conditioned comfort. I just renewed my AAA membership and was rescued quickly . The Toyota dealership had my car on the road again in less than 24 hours, and today I have a subject to blog about.
In the past I would have marinated in my misery for days. Now I know this tactic is a sure recipe for attracting more of what I dwell on. Ironically, I heard a motivational speaker last week and had a complimentary toe reading afterward. Many folks were asking about their life purpose. I feel I am pursuing my life purpose of writing inspirational and humorous stories and scripts, but I admitted my frustration that things were not happening as quickly as I thought they should be.
The toe reader reminded me that I should focus on gratitude, my successes and not on what I was lacking. She even helped me create a couple of useful affirmations.
• I don’t know how my book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within will reach the millions of people who need it, I just know I do.
• I don’t know how I become a successful screenwriter and television writer, I just know that I am.
Even though the grammar seems a bit odd, it is important to write the desired effect in the present tense, so there it is.
Even though my friend and co-author, Jackie, and I have written a self-help book, it doesn’t mean we are immune from problems. We have our setbacks like everyone else. The key to embracing happiness is not to deny problems exist, but to focus on positive solutions. And, when, necessary, show up a little early for appointments and make sure to charge your batteries (whether electronic or soulful) every night and day.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Alcoholic beverages have played a vital role in society throughout all of history. Interestingly, wine was once safer than water to drink and was given to everyone from infants and adults to provide a healthy dose of nutrition. Doctors in the past have also prescribed beer and wine for health issues ranging from anxiety to tuberculosis. While alcohol does have some healthy properties, we now know that not everyone should be drinking. Additionally, it is now recommended that a person should drink in moderation if they want to avoid unhealthy consequences. Yet, how do you know if you are drinking too much? Here are some general guidelines as to what constitutes healthy drinking along with some of the reasons why you may over-imbibe.
Pay Attention to Alcohol Content
Novice drinkers often discover a tasty beverage of which they just cannot get enough. Whether you have a signature drink or you are trying out a new one, you should always be aware of the alcohol content. As a general rule, hard liquors and wine have more alcohol than beer. For example, wine can come in as high as 15% alcohol while many beers barely exceed 4%. If you are consuming a mixed drink, then you should also take into consideration the alcohol content of each of the ingredients, then adjust your drinking accordingly.
Watch Your Portions
There is a reason why wine tasters only pour a small amount and spit out the majority of their sample. It just makes sense that the larger your portion is then the more you will drink. Using the correct glass for your alcoholic beverage is one way to manage your portions. Standard portion sizes, such as 12-ounces for beer and five-ounces for wine should always be used. For hard liquors, use a standard shot glass to measure your pour.
Eat a Full Meal when Drinking
When you have an empty stomach, alcohol will be absorbed quicker leading you to become inebriated with less alcohol than you may normally consume. Try to eat a full meal before an evening in which you anticipate drinking, or you can simply sip your glass of wine with dinner. If it has been a while since your last meal, having a handful of nuts or pretzels can also be a way to put food in your stomach to absorb some of the alcohol.
Know the Role of Gender
If there is one form of gender inequality that cannot be fixed, it is that women tend to get drunk faster than men. Research has proven this to be caused by women having less water in their body and bloodstream than men. With less water, a woman’s body is slightly less capable of diluting the alcohol. Body height and weight can also affect the amount of alcohol that goes through the bloodstream. Generally, people with a smaller stature will need to pay extra close attention to how much alcohol they consume.
Notice Your Environment
Fast-paced and loud music has been used in shopping centers for years to encourage people to spend more money. It turns out that this same effect can also cause people to drink faster. During a recent study, it was found that men who were exposed to loud music drank their beers an average of three minutes faster than those in a calm environment. Cold or hot temperatures, social situations and being alone are other environmental triggers that could cause you to drink too much.
Knowing the reasons why you may over-drink can help you to enjoy your alcoholic beverages in moderation. Although having a drink or two is a normal social activity, it is important to be aware of when it begins to be too much. Now that you are aware of the factors that play a role in your body’s ability to process alcohol, you can begin to implement a plan that will keep your drinking within moderate limits.
Derek Whitney is blogging for Aligned Signs, an astrology match making site that helps connect like minded people while getting to know yourself better. When he is not blogging, he enjoys relaxing with his girlfriend
Sunday, October 20, 2013
However, my plucky, little granddaughter’s bravery melted like a candy bar when she encountered a cackling witch at the local hardware store. Rosannah buried her head into her mother’s shoulder and whimpered, “no, no.” When she looked up, she saw another display – a werewolf. She smiled at the item and said, “doggy?” Then the eyes of the beast turned red. This elicited another whimpering “no, no” and she buried her dimpled face into her mother’s shoulder once again. Even something as innocuous as a skull on a glass elicits a quick retreat.
I’m not sure why the symbol of a skull is so frightening to Rosannah. It makes me wonder if there could be universal phobias that are buried deep within our collective consciousness. I read somewhere that snakes are feared in many cultures – including those areas that have never seen one of the slithering reptiles.
Other phobias are not so universal. For instance, my friend, Michele, has a 36-year-daughter who is afraid of dryer lint.
I reminded her of this quirky habit. I assumed she had outgrown it. Nope. If her husband wanted a divorce he could chase her around the house with the lint, much like how her brother used to do when they were kids. But, like I said, the man wants to remain happily married so he takes care of the lint disposal. My normally logical sister, Diane, gets squeamish touching balls of cotton. I always felt I had a sense of power over her as I would valiantly pull the wad of the white padding from bottles of aspirin. Recently I reminded her of this childhood fear. Well, guess what? She still won’t touch the cotton balls.
The point is, there are many things that strike fear into the hearts of humankind. However, there is one demon that, unlike dryer lint, has caused tremendous harm, but holds free reign in society – negativity.
These pessimistic messages take various forms – news reports, gossip, complaints, lack of gratitude, judgmental thoughts, as well as stinging criticism of ourselves and others. Unfortunately, negativity has become so pervasive that many of us accept it as a normal part of life. This is especially true because we are bombarded with negative news 24/7. The reality is there are many more happy incidents in a day, but no journalist is going to lead the 5 o’clock news with a story of good cheer. As the old adage goes, “if it bleeds, it leads.”
As dismal as this may seem, the good news is we still have a choice on whether or not we are going to allow negativity to stain our lives. There is no law that says we have to watch depressing news. We should not feel compelled to listen to others say disparaging things about others. And we should never repeat gossip…period.
Living a happy life is not that difficult. Even in the most depressing situations there are things to be grateful for. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Every morning I recite several things that I appreciate in my life before I get out of bed. This only takes a few seconds, but it creates an attitude of gratitude that I try to embrace throughout the day.
For those who have a little more trouble adopting a positive attitude, there are little tricks you can perform to shift into an attitude of gratitude. I outline several in the my book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within. I’m also happy to provide customized advice to those who contact me through my website, EraseNegativity.com.
In the meantime, you can always adopt an adult version of Rosannah’s technique when confronted with negative messages. It’s the same thing we teach children who are tempted to take drugs. Turn away and just say no.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Have you ever felt so worried about the future that you no longer find happiness in today?
You’re too bent trying to solve issues that are yet to arise.
There’s nothing wrong being considerate about what lies ahead, but to let ourselves be consumed by things that are yet to happen is harmful. It only makes the future more terrifying.
Practicing mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment. Doing this helps alleviate stress, promote happiness and positivity.
Let us talk about few ways how you can be more mindful each day.
Focus on routinary activities.
Has typical daily activities such as taking a shower, brushing your teeth or washing dishes ever appeared interesting to you?
If you strive to be more mindful, then these things can turn out enjoyable too.
Brush your teeth in front of the mirror and observe the stroke of the brush every time you push your arms up and down, then sideways. Listen to the sound of the brush against your teeth.
When taking a shower, meanwhile, feel the first drops of water falling on your skin. Listen as well to its sound. Indulge in the sweet smell of your shampoo and soap. Play with soap suds forming on your skin while you’re gently scrubbing.
Observe the plates and glasses you’re washing and take delight seeing it looking like new again. Enjoy the clean scent afterward.
Be mindful when waiting.
You arrive at a fastfood chain and notice the long queue.
In the fast-paced world we’re living in, waiting is somewhat a luxury. Being stuck in one place for a long period can easily annoy or piss off a person. But truth is, it depends how you look into the situation. You have a choice whether to let it get on your nerves, or use the opportunity instead to bring peace into your mind.
Will you tap your foot on the floor, look into your watch every time, cross your arms and frown to everyone whose eyes meet yours? Or will you be mindful of your reaction when the line moves forward or when you check your phone or talk to the stranger next to you?
Learn to accept.
Stop being a worrier. If you will focus your mind to the present then the future is likely to turn out good for you. Our actions work in a domino effect.
Think about what’s making you worry.
Is it because your salary today isn't enough to raise your own family in the future? Don’t you think by the time you settle down, then your career experience must have improved a lot, and hence your income might have already increased as well?
Accept the situation you’re in right now. Many others are probably enduring a tougher circumstance. Yours cannot be the worst.
Be extra considerate and patient when commuting.
You’ve hit the rush hour yet again.
There you are, standing in a bus exhausted from work, jealous of those comfortably sitting, reading a book or taking a nap, trying hard not to feel annoyed by those talking too loud or getting off the bus hitting your shoulders or stepping on your feet.
And you say to yourself, “Thought I could start to write my papers within an hour, and turn it in earlier.”
Like being stuck in a long queue, commuting also tests your patience. Resist the urge to unleash rage or scream out loud. Be mindful of your reactions. Think of the possible consequences first before doing anything.
Nettie Gray finds dishwashing relaxing. After working on the household chore, she feels as though her mind had been as well cleared.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Let me start off by saying that I don't presume to have discovered a magic cure for all of our human psychological and emotional faults. I simply wish to share with you my experience in tackling a problem with which I have been struggling for quite some time; more precisely for the best part of my life.
And I would probably still be under its spell had there not been a friend who recommended hypnosis.
At first I did not take the idea seriously, but I eventually decided to give it a go, thinking it cannot do any harm. I am glad to say that the decision paid off. But, let me start from the beginning.
I was not born into plenty nor have I been spoiled in any way either. I have gone through life following a beaten middle class path, went to college, found a good job and wanted to find a girl and get married. But I was overweight and it bothered me more and more.
At some point I became increasingly aware that the negativity created by my physical appearance simply overcomes me from time to time.
It came in a form of an irrational conviction that everything I set out to do will end up as a failure. I felt that way simply because I thought I was unattractive.
It would just creep up on me and I would find myself thinking something will end up badly. It rarely did though, but that did not seem to discourage my problem.
Moreover, the fact that it kept coming back no matter what I did brought on another layer of negative emotions.
In other words, I was in a vicious loop of being negative because I was negative (all because I had some extra weight on), which simply started to piss me off even more as I felt helpless. And people around me started to notice, as negativity is contagious
I've tried all three types of exercises recommended for weight loss. I've running, I've tried going to the gym and taking all the supplements the guys there recommended, the fat burners, the proteins, the vitamins... and I've even tried playing various sports. And they all did help. But they could only help me if I was actually doing the workouts. I could never keep myself going to the gym for an extended period of time, I just couldn't keep myself motivated.
When everything else failed, I started getting into meditation and hypnosis on the recommendation of a friend.
I am an engineer, and above all a practical man who never bothered much with anything that can't be fully explained, and trying out hypnosis or meditation was the last resort.
What I found out about hypnosis is that, contrary to popular belief, hypnotic states are by no means uncommon, nor is there magic behind it.
Whenever we are in a state of deep concentration, our mind is opened to receiving information without censoring it first. For example, this deep concentration happens while you are fully focused on a good book, or while you are watching your favorite characters in a TV show.
Every such state is a form of mild hypnosis. And basis of every hypnosis is deep breathing. Hypnotherapy is, to put it in layman terms, a way for an expert to help you amplify that state and help you remove any thoughts from the mind, thoughts that yearn for status quo.
How it All Came Together
Willingness to admit to having a problem is always the first step that makes everything easier.
First I had to learn to achieve that hypnotic-like state where the mind is blank. The main tool is deep breathing, on which you focus on until that breath going through you is the only thing you are fully aware of.
Of course, it wasn't just that simple, it rarely is. It took more effort to learn to block specific (negative) emotions about the physical state of my body. Gradually, I felt I was able to control those emotions and started feeling good about working out, which I never seemed to pull off before. That control eventually helped me become an active, fit man who is proud of himself.
Negativity I used to feel now sometimes seems far behind me. It still catches up with me sometimes, as it is a persistent pest, but I can chase it away relatively easily. I know that it will go away once and for all sooner or later.