Stuffs I Read

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There Is No Such Thing As Failure August 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah @ 10:39 am

No matter what kind of limitations we live with or create, the labeling of these as failure diminishes the intrinsic respect that needs to be given not just to the outcome of our efforts to improve ourselves and change our lives, but also to the ways in which we strive to overcome what stands in the way. The process of overcoming limitation is a spiritual practice in itself, worthy of respect and dignity, worthy of being viewed as an essential part of the journey toward greater wholeness.

Many people judge themselves because they are not further along on a spiritual path or because they have emotional residues from the past that they carry with them that cannot yet be put down. Often, there is a part of the self that refuses to let go, and a part that wants to embrace the new. This state of tension between the two must be considered not only as a handicap, but also as a productive arena in which a new balance and equilibrium is being worked out that will produce a different assessment of what the self needs.

Such a re-balancing cannot be hurried. It has to happen in its own way and in its own time, for this is the nature of purification – the bringing of all limitation and darkness to the light. It is also the nature of healing – the eradication of symptoms and patterns of behavior that do not represent who we are and who we wish to be.

What needs to be remembered is that ‘failure’ is not the opposite of success. Rather, the opposite of success is indifference. For indifference places us on a road of unconsciousness where the striving to reach toward a new and for the moment unattainable goal does not matter. It is not given importance. And so there is a kind of retreat into the comfortable and the familiar, rather than a movement forward toward a goal that is just beyond reach. If the goal is just beyond reach and we are trying with all our might to reach toward it, then success lies in the process, in the reaching itself, in the integrity with which body, heart and mind are joining to pursue an aim that is wanted by all three.

In relation to spiritual growth, we cannot judge progress along a spiritual path by the amount that yet remains to be accomplished. For we have no way of knowing how many lifetimes have been spent preparing us for the one particular challenge that we must meet today – a challenge that though it looks easy, is actually quite hard, and represents a significant step in the maturing of our soul’s expression upon the earth. Certainly, we cannot know how far along we are on a spiritual path based on how far along someone else is. The reason is quite simple: it is that the person whom we observe as being able to accomplish things that we cannot, may have significant difficulties in other areas that we know nothing about. Because they are invisible, we assume that they are not there. This is never the case.

Every being at every level of development is overcoming something and moving toward something in a movement from level to level of spiritual truth and light. There is no other path of growth than this. It is not given. It is attained. And it is not attained by virtue of a simple mental decision to attain it. It is attained through the experience of the soul as it grows in the soul-qualities that are necessary for movement to the next level.

What are the levels of transition from failure to success? They are the levels which constitute the maximum amount of freedom from limitation in a particular area. This does not mean that success looks like a particular outcome according to the world’s standards. It means that success represents the outcome of being true to oneself – the outcome of being free to become exactly who we are and to express as exactly who we are within our deepest self. Success that looks like it in the world’s eyes has more to do with popularity than with truth. What is currently popular in a culture or society is awarded a label of success. Yet, in the next moment, the next year, the next generation, or the next phase of spiritual evolution, it will no longer be considered success. But the expression and expansion of the truth of who we are will always be a measure of success because it is a measure of truth, and this truth can only move from freedom to greater freedom – from light to greater light.

By Julie Redstone

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Do You Believe, Or Do You Laugh? August 17, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarah @ 10:40 am

Many of us do not believe fully in superstitions, but we may follow some because we think it is safer to do so. A superstition is a belief based on fear and not on the laws of science. Science tells us that everything which happens has known cause and effect. Here’s an example of this:

Cause: You put your car keys in a coat pocket that has a hole.

Effect: The car keys drop out the hole and become lost.

Superstition doesn’t consider the real cause and effect of what happens. Instead, superstition tells us that certain things happen because of luck or chance. A superstitious person might say you lost the keys because you got up on the left side of the bed and jinxed your day.
Many superstitions are so old that we don’t know exactly how they started or where they came from. How do you know that the number thirteen is unlucky? You just know it. How do you know that finding a four-leaf clover is lucky? It just is.

Some people have studied the history of superstitions or how they began. These historians believe that superstitions have probably existed as long as people have existed.
Today, we can explain why many things happen in the world around us. But thousands of years ago people didn’t always understand why these things happened, so they made up ways to explain them. Historians say that these old explanations have become our superstitions.
More than a million superstitions still exist in the United States today. Here’re the histories of some that you may believe in or laugh at.

The unlucky number thirteen

In some European countries, you can’t live in a house with number 13 address. The address No 13 doesn’t exist. Instead, the address 12 is followed by 12 ½ and then by 14. Many office buildings in the United States skip the thirteenth floor. Some airlines refuse to wear the number thirteen on a sports uniform. Some people will not start a trip on the thirteenth day of any month. Others will not buy or use the thirteen of anything.

How did the number 13 get such an unlucky reputation? Historians can only guess at the reasons. One explanation is based on event from the Bible. Thirteen represents the number of men present at the Last Supper before Christ was put to death. Another explanation goes back to an old North tale. The tale is about twelve gods who were having a party when the evil spirit Loki dropped by. Loki, the thirteenth to join the party, killed one of the gods.

Walking under a ladder

This superstition has some truth to it. You could get a bucket of paint dumped on your head if you walk under a ladder! But the old belief is that if you walk under a ladder, bad luck will follow. To curb the bad luck, you must quickly cross your fingers and make a wish.
Historians say that this superstition may have started because a ladder, leaning against a wall, forms a triangle. The triangle is a symbol of the Holy Trinity in Christian religions.

Getting out of bed on the wrong side

The act of getting out of bed on the left side is believed to make a person’s entire day unhappy. You are supposed to rise from the bed and place your right foot on the floor first. This superstition has to do with an ancient belief that right was good and left was bad.

Meeting a black cat

Superstition says that if your path is crossed by a black cat, you’re really going to be in for bad luck unless you return home immediately.

The Egyptians believed that cat was a god, and they punished anyone who killed a cat. Europeans, however, believed the cat was linked to witches and the devil.

Spilling salt

If this happens, you’re supposed to take a pinch of salt and toss it over your left shoulder into the face of the devil.

This superstition may have come from the ancient belief that salt was magic because it could stop certain foods, such as meat, from turning bad. People began to believe that salt could keep anything bad from happening. Salt on the table came to stand for justice and goodness. If person spilled the table salt, bad luck was supposed to follow.

Breaking a mirror

This is good for seven years of bad luck, or it could cause a death in the family. If a mirror breaks, you are supposed to get the pieces out of the house quickly and bury them.
Before the invention of mirrors, people discovered what they looked like by gazing into ponds and lakes. If a person’s image was distorted by the water, bad luck was sure to strike. In those days, a sneaky person could probably ruin someone’s day by pitching a stone into the water!

Water was replaced by first using shiny metal mirrors and then glass mirrors. But the belief about bad luck being caused by a distorted image did not give way to some other notion. After all, a broken mirror can make a person’s image look just as distorted as moving water can.
Why does seven years of bad luck follow a broken mirror? Historians think that the number comes from a Roman belief. The Romans thought that a person’s body renewed itself every seven years.

Knocking on wood

If you mention good luck, you are supposed to knock on wood three times. This will keep your luck from turning bad.

Historians have traced this superstition to ancient times when people believed gods lived in trees. For example, the god of lightning and thunder was thought to live in trees because that’s where lightning often hit during storms. People came to believe that they were touching magic when they touched wood.

The lucky horseshoe

You should hang a horseshoe, with its prongs pointed upward, above your door if you want good luck.

One explanation of how the horseshoe came to be a good-luck charm has to do with the fear of witches. People used to believe that witches rode broomsticks because they were afraid of horses. A horseshoe, therefore, was good protection against witches.

Dressing boys in blue and girls in pink

This practice goes back to very early times when people believed that evil spirits lurked around babies. They also believed that the spirits would avoid certain colors, especially blue. For this reason, baby boys were dressed in blue.

Why then were baby girls dressed in pink? Historians think it may have been because parents didn’t want to waste blue on their daughters. Parents used to believe that daughters were not as important as sons therefore, they thought evil spirits would not be too interested in their baby girls.

By Sharon White

 

Improve Your Memory August 15, 2007

Filed under: Tips — sarah @ 10:37 am

During exams preparation period students need to remember quickly and qualitatively. Good memory here may play the primary role in order to succeed in exams passing.

It is said that there are people with bad memory and there are those who are born with good memory. Indeed some people do not need to get their memory trained, they can remember incredible number of things in details within the shortest time. Others have to spend hours to remember a few terms but cannot succeed yet. However, like any other human abilities the memory can fail its functions if not being trained; and it can be developed and improved due to sufficient training. The first thing you should know about your memory is that you are able to develop it while treating it carefully and courteously.

Memory training exercises include outlining, explanation and discussion. Outlining process can help students break the information bulk into well-planned and clear tasks. Once you have planned how much information you should remember during the estimated time period you do not fear to not pass the exam anymore. The best exams preparation study outlining should include two hours with three breaks of daily study.

During these two hours of study start speaking aloud from time to time, especially while learning terms which are not exactly clear to you. It is a very good practice because you simultaneously involve two memorizing aspects – hearing and watching. Besides, speaking the new information aloud helps their understanding, once you can understand what you are remembering you would never forget it. While speaking aloud you should not only repeat but paraphrase and develop the terms you remember. So, read-repeat-paraphrase-develop exercise gets you involved into four-step memorizing and guarantees you will learn at least half of information.

Discussion is better to be provided just after two hours of study. Have an hour-break and call your friend or classmate to discuss what you have learnt today. Do not stretch your discussion, try to make it short but effective – 30 minutes-discussion would be perfect.

Remember that your memory is the gift given to you by the nature. Students often go mad on training their memory having sleepless nights and fast snacks to save time for memorizing. Good memory is the part of good health. Hamburgers feed your stomach but they do not reach the brain! Eat fruit, vegetables, greens and nuts every day. Sleep for at least eight hours at your last night before exam day.

If your brain is not fed well and it is refused to work freely and independently while you are sleeping you are going to fail your exams.

By Sharon White

 

Lamp Gives Light, Tree Gives Shade August 10, 2007

Filed under: Stories — sarah @ 10:34 am

The greatness of an individual lies not in what he accumulates but what he gives. Jesus is great because he suffered on the cross so that we are saved. Gandhi was great as he fought for freedom and equality. Mother Teresa was great as she spent her life serving poor, sick and destitute.

You need not be someone of great means to give. A lamp burns its own existence till the last moment to fight darkness and give light. Tree never asks anything for itself, but give flowers, fruits and shades to all who needs it. This kind of sacrifice is only possible for those, whose heart his filled with love and compassion for others. Their spirit has a passion for serving and an ability to feel pain of others in their own soul. It requires a go-give attitude more than a go-get attitude.

Dashrath Manjhi, a poor, illiterate, landless laborer, who lives in a backward village called Gahlore situated in the sate of Bihar in Eastern India. What a person like him could give to others?

Dashrath worked on a field near the hill that rose near the village. This hill stood between his village and civilization with only a treacherous pass between it. Since most of the cultivable land and shops were on other side of the hill, the poor villagers had to brave the dangerous pass number of times in a day. The authorities kept turning a blind eye towards the problems for decades.

One day, his wife slipped and got injured while crossing the pass on the hill, while bringing lunch for him. The incident disturbed Dashrath so much that he decided to do something about it. He sold his goat, to purchase a chisel, hammer and a rope. And with these simple equipments he set of to dig a tunnel through the mountain, all by himself. He dug for 22 years to create a passage that is 360 ft. long, 25 feet high and 16 ft wide, enough for a vehicle to pass.

People called him mad, but he was a man with a purpose. Today, because of him the life of his fellow villagers has become easier. He has thrown the doors open for the development of his village as the passage reduced the distance between two districts from 50 km to just 8 km. The state government rewarded his achievement by giving him five acres of land.

But his story does not end here. Unfortunately, his wife did not survive to witness the miracle her husband has created. She died of an illness without treatment because of lack of proper medical facilities. So, now he wants to build a hospital on the land he got as reward. After unsuccessful attempts to get assistance from the local government in this regard, he decided to meet the President of India. Since he did not have enough money to buy a railway ticket he walked on foot a distance of nearly thousand kilometers. Somebody rightly said that when dreams are big enough facts don’t count.

This poor, illiterate gentleman, belonging to the most unprivileged class of Indian society is a perfect example of success. His go-give attitude, his compassion, dream, courage, faith in himself, determination and perseverance raises him to level of greatness.

In our mundane life full of rat race for accumulation of wealth and worldly pleasure, let us take out some time to give a bit of ourselves. Let us become a slightly better human being than what we already are. After all the supreme purpose of our lives is to spread happiness and help others and that is the greatest gift of all.

God Bless You!!

By Vivek Ray

 

Questions to Ask for Speed Dating August 7, 2007

Filed under: Love — sarah @ 9:51 am

So, you’ve decided to try speed dating, but you have no idea what you are going to ask your speed dates? Here are some speed dating questions that will help you get the information you want out of potential long-term partners:

Do you believe in love at first sight?
What do you think is the most important value in a relationship?
When was your last relationship? How long did it last?
What are you looking for in a relationship?
What you don’t want in a relationship?
Which is the one job in the world that you would really like to do?
If you had three wishes, what would they be?
If you were an animal, what would you be?
If you had only six months to live, what would you do first?
If you could travel through time, what mistake would you correct in your life?
What do you do for fun?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Who was your hero as a child?
What makes you laugh and what makes you cry?
What are you most proud of in your life?
What is the one thing you would most like me to know about you?
What words would your friends use to describe you?

It’s not a good idea to ask your prospective date where she or he lives until you know them a little better. If possible avoid sensitive areas such as religion or politics. Remember to maintain eye contact during the conversation. Also, don’t turn the conversation into an interrogation.

It is important that you trust your gut instinct. Asking the right questions combined with your intuition will definitely help you find the man or woman of your dreams.

 

Elderly Men, Happiness is Easy to Achieve August 5, 2007

Filed under: Life — sarah @ 10:42 am

Elderly men, when they reach the golden age, are supposed to be already in a state of happiness and living a purposeful life; but this may not be the case all the time. Enjoyment in life, a sense of purpose, and happiness can still elude elderly men, making these all the more important to attain, especially in one’s advanced years.

It’s not easy growing old. Most times, depression affects elderly men, especially because they tend to feel unproductive and inactive after retirement, with their role as primary provider having been terminated.

But then again, there are the elderly men who still walk with a spring in their step, enjoy traveling, engage in sporting activities, and even take on easy jobs. These are the ones who want to live in the present and keep busy despite their golden age.

What are the keys to helping elderly men derive more happiness and satisfaction in life? If you’re a “senior” in need of a lift, you can get an attitude boost simply by evaluating your life, knowing what you need to do to enjoy life’s pleasures, and looking at what you’ve accomplished in life.

Elderly Men’s Happiness Booster #1: Fulfilling dreams and trying new things

Do you have a project you wish you’d worked on in the past? Are there places you want to visit? It’s not too late, and now is absolutely the perfect time for you to start making your dreams a reality. Even if it will take some effort, you’ll be happy you gave it a shot.

Elderly Men’s Happiness Booster #2: Getting fit

Moving around, doing exercises, and keeping active can help elevate your spirits and keep your body in shape, too. Studies show that even mild exercises and activities like ballroom dancing keep elderly men happy.

You don’t have to engage in strenuous sporting activities right away. If you enjoyed swimming when you were younger, you have all the time in the world to get started once again. You can also take up golf, which is commonly preferred by “more mature” adults. The important thing is to get moving and keep yourself from living a sedentary lifestyle.

Elderly Men’s Happiness Booster #3: Keeping your mind sharp

Even at your age, you’re still an important member of society. That’s why there’s no reason for you to be idle. Studying new things, reading, and keeping up with current events, shows that you are still in touch with the world and ensures that you stay alert. By keeping your mind working, you’re on your way to realizing that you might have grown older, but you’re still as smart and incisive as ever.

Elderly Men’s Happiness Booster #4: Traveling

Who says traveling is only for younger people? Look up groups working for the welfare of retired people or senior citizens. They can offer good rates, packages, and tour groups for elderly people. Getting out of town and experiencing different ways of living can give you a fresh new perspective in life.

Elderly Men’s Happiness Booster #5: Enjoying the company of friends and loved ones

Feeling down about life? Don’t alienate the people who love you. Being alone and shutting out people will only make you feel more depressed and hopeless. Stay in touch with old friends, cultivate new relationships with people around you, and be involved in the lives of your family. Even if they’re grown up and living their own lives, it will be a comfort to know that you’re still the parent they can turn to.

Getting through with life during the senior years need not be a challenge. If you’re committed in achieving that all-important happiness for elderly men, simply apply the happiness boosters you’ve read above to lead a happy and meaningful life.

By Michael Lee

 

Use Mind Power – Do You Know How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself? August 4, 2007

Filed under: Life — sarah @ 10:33 am

Everything is going well. You’ve been working hard, and staying focussed. Now you’re on track for your latest goal… Suddenly you find yourself doing or saying something that completely ruins your chances of hitting your target…

You shake your head in amazement and frustration with yourself – why did you do that? Why did you sabotage yourself again?

You are not in control of your mind

One of the most common reasons that people fail to reach their goals is that they sabotage themselves. Self sabotage usually happens when you are trying to do something that is outside your normal comfort zone. It is almost as if your unconscious mind is using it’s power to pull you back into your comfort zone.

Your mind power is so great that it can completely determine your success in anything that you try.

Self sabotage can be caused when what you are trying to achieve or do contradicts some deeply entrenched conditioning. The subconscious mind will take control and find a way to make sure that your previous conditioning will win out. You may not want this to happen, but you are powerless to stop it.

A good example is lottery winners who end up blowing all their money. They bought a lottery ticket to get rich. The prize money they win is vastly more money than they are conditioned to and they are now outside their well established financial comfort zone. Their subconscious mind finds a way to return them to the financial level that they have been conditioned to – usually pretty quickly!

Use your mind power to overcome self sabotage

You’ve probably got the message by now that self sabotage is bad. The question is: can you overcome your past conditioning and stop self sabotage by using your mind power?

The answer is yes you can – but it might take some effort! Here are some hints to help you.

Be aware of self sabotage. You may be sabotaging yourself without even knowing it. Awareness of self sabotage can be very helpful. When you find you are repeatedly failing to achieve something that is really important to you, think about what happened. Did you sabotage yourself?

Exorcise the demon that is driving you. Some aspect of your mind power is driving you to this behaviour. Think about what you do to sabotage yourself and why you do it. Something as simple as knowing the past conditioning that is driving you can help to diminish its hold on you.
If knowing about your past conditioning is not enough, you may need to take action to work on eradicating it.

Focus on the benefits of achieving your goal. Filling your mind with the benefits that you are going to enjoy when you achieve your goal will create an army of positive thoughts that can overwhelm the negative conditioning that is causing you to sabotage yourself.

Don’t beat yourself up. OK you messed up again, and you did it to your self for no good, logical reason. But it’s happened and there’s nothing you can do to change the past. Don’t waste energy beating yourself up. Instead strengthen your resolve to lay this demon to rest for ever.

Self sabotage one of the most common reasons why people fail to get out of their comfort zones and achieve their life dreams. Knowing about self sabotage and taking positive action to eliminate it will help you to avoid this major pitfall.

By Kevin John