Thought for the day

Life is so ironic, it takes sadness to know happiness, noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence. Everything has a lesson for us to learn. So stay open and say #yes to it all and then let go!

-Make your mark


Quote of the day

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.


Trust your gut

I found this article and thought I’d share

At some point we’ve heard that ‘little voice’ whispering unexplainable reasoning and guidance from within. It’s called our instinct or ‘gut’ feeling. And although it’s a widely known phenomena: what is it exactly, how can we use it effectively? And can we trust it?

What is intuition?

Tricia Brennan, intuitive counsellor and author of The Map of the Soul, says intuition is your means of getting information instinctively rather than through your rational mind and conscious reasoning.

“The messages you receive through your intuition are whispers from deep within – the language of your inner self. Your unconscious mind communicates through your imagination and feelings, which is why you occasionally have intuitive flashes, strong hunches or ‘gut feelings'”.

How the mind processes intuition

As you accumulate knowledge, your brain unconsciously organises data into blocks of information. Over time, your brain stacks these blocks into linking patterns and then stores them in your long-term memory.

According to research conducted at Leeds University in England, when you see a glimpse of a previously stored detail, your brain instantly links it to a larger composition and gives you a ‘flash’ of intuition.

In other words, the study found intuition to be the brain drawing on past experiences at a subconscious level – and it happens in a split second. So fast in fact, you aren’t aware your ‘intuitive feeling’ is actually stemmed from previous logical thinking.

Our natural ability

As children we were all sensitive beings that were naturally receptive. Before our ego and rational mind fully developed, we relied more on our feelings and were free to explore the fullness of our imagination says Tricia.
“Although rare, some adults continue to be perceptive and use their ‘sixth sense,’ however we have the capacity to hone in on that skill. It’s just a matter of using those senses regularly to bring them to life.”

Four steps to strengthen intuition

1. Get in touch with your feelings

Use them as a gauge to know when you are following your intuition. When you are moving in a positive direction your emotions will be expansive and your life will unfold gracefully. If you steer off course, your feelings will be constrictive and you will encounter difficulty or struggle.

2. Try meditation

Meditation is a simple, practical way to clear your mind and enter a receptive state. By stilling you thoughts, you can connect more deeply with your intuitive senses. On a regular basis, take 30 minutes of quiet time to let your mind be still and shift your attention to your deepest feelings. Let go of any preconceived ideas and allow yourself to simply take on the information coming to you.

3. Keep a journal

Recording your insights, thoughts and dreams in a journal will help to strengthen your connection with your inner-self. Your subconscious communicates through pictures. So be receptive to symbols, spontaneous memories or visions that come to you through your imagination. They will ultimately guide you.

4. Trust your intuition

Take small steps in the beginning to slowly build your trust with your intuition. Using your ‘gut’ feeling, practice with day-to-day decisions to sharpen your skills. Then when it comes to making an important decision, you will be more comfortable and less doubtful in your abilities to listen to your instincts.

Tricia Brennan is an author, intuitive counselor and spiritual teacher. The Map of the Soul – Discovering your true purpose is available now.

The Victor

The Victor

by: C. W. Longenecker
If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you like to win but think you can’t, It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.

For out in the world we find Success begins with a fellow’s will.

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are out classed, you are.

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of your-self before You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go To the stronger or faster man.

But sooner or later, the man who wins Is the man who thinks he can.

How to Fight Depression and Anxiety

This post was published a few years back but the advice given I think is still current today. Hope you enjoy, any thoughts, feelings or discussions feel free to reply!

By Hara Estroff Marano , published on July 09, 2007

What’s the best way to deal with depressiona and anxiety? Quickly and definitively. Whatever kicks them off, depression and anxiety both are maintained by styles of thinking that magnify the initial insult and alter the workings of the brain in such a way that the longer an episode exists, the less it takes to set off future episodes.

Anxiety and depression are probably two faces of the same coin. Surveys have long shown that 60 to 70 percent of people with major depression also have an anxiety disorder, while half of those suffering anxiety also have symptoms of clinical depression.

The stress response system is overactive in both disorders. Excess activity of the stress response system sends emotional centers of the brain into overdrive so that negative events make a disproportionate impact and hijack rational response systems. You literally can’t think straight. You ruminate over and over about the difficulties and disappointments you encounter until that’s all you can focus on.

Researchers believe that some people react with anxiety to stressful life events, seeing danger lurking ahead everywhere—in applying for a job, asking for a favour, asking for a date. And some go beyond anxiety to become depressed, a kind of shutdown in response to anticipated danger.

People who have either condition typically overestimate the risk in a situation and underestimate their own resources for coping. Sufferers avoid what they fear instead of developing the skills to handle the kinds of situations that make them uncomfortable. Often enough, a lack of social skills is at the root. Some types of anxiety—obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia—are particularly associated with depression.

The fact that anxiety usually precedes the development of depression presents a huge opportunity for the prevention of depression. Young people especially are not likely to outgrow anxiety on their own; they need to be taught specific mental skills.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) gets at response patterns central to both conditions. And the drugs most commonly used against depression have also been proved effective against an array of anxiety disorders.

Although medication and CBT are equally effective in reducing anxiety/depression, CBT is better at preventing return of the disorder. Patients like it better, too, because it allows them to feel responsible for their own success. What’s more, the active coping that CBT encourages creates new brain circuits that circumvent the dysfunctional response pathways.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people to monitor the environment for the troubling emotional landmines that seem to set them off. That actually changes metabolic activity in the cortex, the thinking brain, to modulate mood states. It works from the top down. Drugs, by contrast, work from the bottom up, modulating neurotransmitters in the brainstem, which drive basic emotional behaviors.

Treatment with CBT averages 12 to 15 weeks, and patients can expect to see significant improvement by six weeks. Drug therapy is typically recommended for months, if not years.

Exercise is an important adjunct to any therapy. Exercise directly alters levels of neurohormones involved in circuits of emotion. It calms the hyperactivity of the nervous system and improves function of the brain’s emotion-sensing network. It also improves the ability of the body to tolerate stress. What’s more, it changes people’s perception of themselves, providing a sense of personal mastery and positive self-regard. It also reduces negative thinking.

However, just telling a distressed person to exercise is futile, as depression destroys initiative. The best thing a loved one can do is to simply announce: “Let’s go for a walk.” Then accompany the person out the door.

The game of life

Here’s a passage I found and I thought I’d share. I hope you enjoy

Here we are, afraid of losing what we have all the time, holding on to it so tight that not a soul can touch it. We think by hiding it from the world, it’s hidden and it’s ours.

If you think there is anything that you have, that’s yours, be it money, a house, a job, or a girlfriend… it’s nothing but an illusion. It’ll all disappear… in one blow. One blow, my man.

Here we are, so insecure that we are afraid of re-starting our lives, so we just carry on trying to sort out the current mess. The thought that we should give it all up and just start all over – with nothing – might cross our minds some time, sure, but we get scared and we push away anything that scares us.

There is nothing I can ever achieve or gain that I cannot lose, in a matter of seconds. You have never gained enough to not be able to lose it all, in just a few minutes. What you think is yours, was never yours and will never be yours. Whatever you make here, you leave here. You came naked and you’re going to go back naked.

So what are you afraid of?

Let all be lost. Let them take away everything. As long as you have your heart beating strong, as long as you have your nostrils working fine, as long as the blood flows in your veins, you will live, you will breathe and you can get it all back… again and again. For, if you can do it once, you can damn well do it again. It’s just a game we play – Life.