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.

-ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

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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.

Tips to Help Create a Positive Mental Attitude


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

1. Remember that you are powerful.

Most of the time we have no idea what we are supposed to be doing, or who we are supposed to be imitating. I say “imitating” because this is what we do: We conform to the external environment.

We play roles and cover up our true selves by identifying with “things” that end up defining who we think we are. I’m a doctor, a salesperson, a secretary, a lawyer; I’m sad, happy, lonely, or miserable. I’m angry, jealous, afraid, and I can’t help it—it’s who I am.

The truth is, though, we are none of those things. They are symptoms of the sleepwalking disease. You are more important than any label. We are not our professions. We are not our feelings. We are not our circumstances. We are not even our mind.

What we are is far greater, far superior, far more important, and far more mysterious than our conceptual mind tries to define. This is why we are far more powerful than we think we are.

2. Choose to embrace life.

Let go and embrace the moment, whether it contains an obstacle or an opportunity. Stop fussing over trivial matters and start focusing on what’s really important to you.

Don’t go through life expecting things to change. Life becomes hard and unfair when we decide to complain about things rather than trying to change them ourselves. Wake up to the truth that life is not a practice-run.

Be bold and courageous, and make decisions that benefit your growth. Put yourself on your imaginary death-bed and realize that time stands still for no one. Start as soon as possible to make any necessary changes you may need to.

Take the first step before more time gradually passes by while you stand still stagnating. Your choice. Your life. Your responsibility. Your power.

3. Realize that you get to control your reactions.

We create our outside reality by the thoughts and beliefs we maintain about life in general. What we believe in our inner world, we see in our outer world—not the other way around.

We all have problems, and we’re often tested by circumstances outside of our control. Even though you may not be in control of what’s going on outside of you, you most definitely can control your reaction to those situations.

We have the power because our inner world (cause) affects the influence we allow the outer world (effect) to have on us. So next time you hear somebody mention that you have great personal power, know they are 100% correct. You have more control than you think.

4. Know that no one is better qualified.

We place far too much emphasis on other people’s opinions about us, often to the exclusion of our own. This takes away from our own personal power. No matter what anybody says about you, it doesn’t hold any significance to who you truly are unless you identify or agree with them.

Stop identifying with other people’s opinions and become aware of how you see yourself. Nobody knows you better than you do. Never accept another person’s reality as your own. Always believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. And, most importantly, never let another person’s opinion of you affect what you believe about yourself.

5. Believe that you are more than enough.

If you have to compare yourself to someone else, let it be a person who is less fortunate, and let it be a lesson to learn just how abundant your life truly is. It’s just a matter of perspective.

You may find that you are not entirely grateful for what you possess. You may believe that you need more than you have right now to be happy. If this is the case, then you are absolutely right—you will need more, and you will continue to need more.

This cycle will perpetuate as long as your mind believes it to be true. If you focus on what you have, and not on what you lack, you will always have enough, because you will always be enough.

6. Love yourself.

You have arrived. Everything you need is right here. Cut out the distractions, open your eyes, and see that you already have everything in your possession to be happy, loved, and fulfilled.

It’s not out there. It never was out there. It’s in the same place it was since the day you were born. It’s just been covered up by all the external things you have identified with over the years.

Be yourself. Love yourself completely and accept everything that you are. You are beautiful. Believe it, and most importantly, remind yourself often.

7. Stay cool.

If someone cuts us off in traffic or skips the queue at our local cinema, we may feel our blood pressure begin to rise and feel the need to react in a negative manner. We get uptight with other people’s actions, and in the end we punish ourselves for their bad behavior.

We and up losing control over our own actions because of the way other people act. But we are responsible for our own action, regardless of how rude other people may act. If it’s hard to stay cool, remember: you are the one who loses in the end, if you lose the lesson.

8. Journey well.

We know life is about the journey and not the arrival. We don’t need to arrive if we accept that we are already here.

Be content with where you are today and don’t make the mistake of putting off being happy because you are waiting for the right moment to shine. Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to enjoy the journey.

Not everyone woke up this morning and not everyone will go to bed tonight. Life has no guarantees. Every minute you are living is a blessing that has to be experienced in the moment. It’s not always easy, but it’s always an option—a choice. Your choice