Archive for the 'simplified lifestyle' Category

DNA Is Not Destiny

Friday, August 8th, 2008

“If you believe you can, or if you believe you can’t, - you’re right.” Henry Ford

I just finished a fascinating book titled, “The Biology of Belief,” by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. Lipton is former Stanford University biologist whose work focused on cloning. He writes that, unlike what most of us learned in life science class, the nucleus is not the brain of the cell. The membrane or what he calls the “mem-brain,” which is outer skin of the cell, is the actual brain that turns on the release of certain proteins in the cell depending on the information that the “mem-brain” receives from its environment.

This is a real break-through in understanding how thoughts control your life, and physiology because what he’s saying is that cellular function is not hard wired by DNA, but influenced by stimuli, or thought fields, in the environment. The stimuli trigger one of two states; growth or protection, and a cell cannot be in both states simultaneously. It’s either growing, or it’s not.

Lipton gives the example of how thought energy can activate or inhibit the cell’s function. When you’re scared, or fearful your body produces cortisol the stress hormone. When the stress hormone is registered by the cell membrane it goes into the protection response and puts up a barrier to keep out foreign substances – even nutrients – which it likens to invaders. Over time if the level of cortisol remains high that cell will starve and become sick, or die because the protection response is one of shutting down and barricading itself against the enemy. It is the opposite of growth. When the body is in a relaxed state it’s in a growth state and the membrane easily allows nutrients to pass through to nourish the cell.

What this means is that our thoughts, or state of mind, directly affects us on a cellular level. If we let fears and negative thought patterns control us we inhibit our cellular growth and can eventually produce disease, or dis-ease, in our bodies and our minds. And, it makes no difference if the fears are unfounded either, because the cell will go into protection response regardless of whether the thoughts have a basis in truth, or not. Also, we cannot shout, “I am fine!” if deep down we believe we aren’t. Either way, our deeply ingrained subconscious beliefs win out every time. So, it’s really important to weed our minds of unfounded fears and beliefs if we want to succeed.

By learning to control our thoughts we will also be taking control of our health. The best way I know of to turn off negative mind chatter and clear negative belief patterns is to meditate. If you get into the habit of doing it everyday you’ll see a dramatic reduction in your stress level and tremendous increase in your happiness quotient.

Do Your Work With Your Whole Heart

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed. (from my fortune cookie)

I love this fortune. It’s so simple yet very meaningful.

The best way to deal with these challenging times is to find the joy in what you do - and put your whole heart into it. If the job isn’t you’re idea of perfect, and you have no other choices, find something, even the smallest part of that job and find the joy in it. The more you focus on the joy, the more things you’ll find that you enjoy in that job.

It’s no different than when we were little and we would tense-up when the doctor went to give us an injection. Tensing up only made it hurt more, but no matter how many times Mom told us that we continued to tense-up when were given injections. Now, as adults we know to look away and remain relaxed when the needle is inserted and we barely feel the pinch, if at all.

When you put your whole heart into something it becomes a joy to do. And, whatever is a joy to do flows with ease. When we tense up with negative emotions such as fear, or anger, for example, we dam-up the flow and actually end up making things worse in our lives.

When in doubt follow the path of least resistance. Resistance is painful, acceptance peaceful.

Walking the Path of Least Resistance

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Today on my morning walk something unusual took place. I started out going down hill, which isn’t at all unusual since I live on the top of a hill. But, about 15 minutes into it the sun filtered through the trees above a particularly lovely stone house with beautiful landscaping, and fell upon the right side of my face. At that moment the world around me changed. I can only describe it as being similar to an episode of The Dead Zone where the main character places his hand on someone and then he’s transported into a scene from the other person’s world. Suddenly I was there walking, and then the warmth of the sun hit my cheek, and then I wasn’t.

I felt connected to everyone and every living thing, and a thoroughly magnificent joy welled up from within me. All the colors were brighter- the trees were greener, and the sky bluer. While I knew I was still walking I felt as if I were floating. I was still me, but aware that I was part of something greater. I also knew that this place – this joy – was the place where life emanates, and the ‘stuff’ from which we create our lives. I also understood that thought patterns such as fears and worry were false distractions that veiled my consciousness from this primal state of being. And, I realized that great accomplishments spring from this joyous source; not from a place of lamenting the conditions of our lives.

It lasted only seconds but for the remainder of my walk I was exuberant and full of energy. I never slowed down – not even climbing several more hills. I just kept thinking of how all the energy spent focusing on our problems actually dams-up our consciousness, preventing us from accessing answers from that sublime pool of joy. It also occurred to me that when fear and worry block the natural flow of our energetic thought patterns it drains us, whereas joy and happiness are energizing because they flow unobstructed along the path of least resistance to manifest in our lives.

I would characterize loving your life, doing what you love and loving what you do as following the path of least resistance.

From now on I’m walking the path of least resistance.

Now Is The Time to Do What You Love

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Recently, I dreamed of aunt who’d passed away that I’d been very close to.

I was driving around the old neighborhood in Yonkers when I saw her standing outside a local delicatessen, laughing and speaking animatedly to a friend. I was so excited to see her again and at the prospect of hearing her laugh - an infectious laugh she was famous for. I rushed to find a parking spot so that I could go to her immediately.

When I arrived at the deli her face lit up at seeing me, and she smiled warmly. I was about to embrace her when a business colleague appeared out of no where saying he needed my immediate attention. I was annoyed, but felt duty-bound to help him with this work related problem. I turned to my aunt and gestured that I’d be with her in a minute. I hoped to be able to deal with the work issue as quickly as possible so I could get on with spending some quality time with her.

After a few moments with my colleague the crisis was solved and I turned my attention back to my aunt, but she was gone! I was heart-broken to find that she’d disappeared and furious with the work colleague who’d diverted my attention.

When I awoke I was very disturbed about the dream. I decided I would meditate on it to see why it had upset me so much. As I relaxed an answer came to me.

I was upset because, once again, I’d allowed work to interfere with something I loved dearly. I realized that this dream was just a short-hand for my entire working life. I’d never allowed myself to pursue what I loved doing, except for the 3 years I took off to pursue my education, which were 3 of the happiest years I can remember. I’d always placed my passion for writing on the back burner and thought it insignificant compared to the “real” work that paid me well. I also realized I had no one to blame but myself - I could have told my work colleague to wait, but I hadn’t.

I’ve decided my dream is very important and urgent message I must listen to. It’s time to put all my energy into doing what I love - do it or die trying! I’d been contemplating going back into Private Banking again since it would give me a healthy and steady income, but when I think about actually having to do it, I feel weighted down and horribly depressed. I feel the message for me is, “Do what you love - and do it now.”

Has anyone else had a similar experience, or dream they’d like to share?

Repay! Repay! How to Find Hidden Money in Your Budget

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

The Sunday edition of The New York Times had an excellent article titled, Given a Shovel, Digging Deeper into Debt, about the dangers of using credit cards and cash-out refinances to live beyond your means. The story focuses on a woman, who like millions of homeowners in recent years, refinanced her home several times to pay off credit card debt, until she ended up $271,000.00 in debt; $129,000.00 more than the original loan amount she’d taken to buy her house. Her financial house of cards came crashing down when she had a serious medical emergency, and then later lost both her jobs. Her home is now in foreclosure.

The article also placed some of the blame on lenders’ policies of easy access to money for both mortgages and credit cards, and their strategic marketing campaigns designed to ease the guilt associated with spending money and increasing debt. The woman in the article says what she regrets most is all her needless shopping. She said if she had it to do all over again she would learn to deal with her emotions instead of using shopping as therapy.

I’ve written several similar posts on this such as; Is Advertising Making up Poor?; Creating Kindergarten Consumers; Will We Ever Learn When it Comes to Mortgage Lending?; and How to Reduce Credit Card Debt all dealing with the issue of living beyond your means, and our addiction to consumerism. The road to financial solvency and real wealth begins with reducing, and then eliminating credit card debt.

To find the extra cash needed to pay off credit cards take a hard look at where your money goes each month:

1. Bottled water. Buy a water filter instead and “make” your own.

2. Don’t use paper towels for everything from cleaning to spills. Buy some good dishtowels and micro-fiber cleaning cloths that can be washed and used over and over.

3. Do not waste another cent on disposable ANYTHING from paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, coffee filters, toilet scrubbers, to mop cloths. Buy permanent and reusable items instead.

4. Go through your pantry once a month and pull everything out. You’ll probably find you already have 2 or 3 of everything you keep buying each time you go grocery shopping.

5. Cut back, or cancel your cable television entirely. You’ll be surprised how much time opens up to do other things in your life.

6. Stop shopping for clothes for every occasion. Go through your closet and find all the clothes with tags on them, or that you rarely wear – and start wearing them. Everyone will think you bought new clothes anyway.

7. Use up all the shampoos and conditioners you have lining the shelves of your medicine chest before you go out to buy more.

8. Don’t pay to have others do the things you can do yourself such as house cleaning, manicures, or hair coloring. Cancel the fancy landscaping and fertilizer service. Scale back to just a mowing service, or better yet cut the grass and trim the bushes yourself.

9. Wait a day and think before making a purchase on credit. Many times the impulse to buy fades within a day or two and we realize we really don’t need the thing as much as we thought we did anyway.

You’ll be surprised how much more money you’ll have to pay down credit card debt when you cut back on just a few of these things. Look around there are probably more things you can cut. Commit to buying with cash from now on and you’ll be on your way to attaining real wealth.

To read the NYT article paste this link into your browser:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/business/20debt.html?th&emc=th