Tuesday, July 31, 2012

21 Rules for Everyday Senseless Joy, By Leigh Newman

21 Rules for Everyday Senseless Joy We know how to make ourselves happy—but the trick is getting ourselves to do these things. So, here are a few inflexible rules and regulations designed to help you on your way to spontaneous daily bliss. From: Oprah and the Oprah's Lifeclass: the Tour Teachers Live from Toronto: The Power of Forgiveness By Leigh Newman 1. After all clumsy, embarrassing moments, you must curtsy. 2. Call up your best friend once a month—and play her favorite song, anonymously without one word—making sure that you hear her rustle, sit-dancing in her office chair. 3. Close your eyes when you drink orange juice. It makes it taste better. 4. Make up a lovable name for your least favorite body part. Like Irene. Nobody hates a thigh named Irene. 5. While you're driving behind a school bus with kids at the windows waving to everyone in cars, you must wave back—and honk three times. 6. When in doubt, add extra garlic, extra butter or extra bubble bath. 7. Always scan your dimes for the date. Dimes, unlike pennies and quarters, do not tarnish. One that's three times your age gives you a whole new perspective on how to get older—without losing your shine. 8. To-do lists and angry letters to the phone or electric company must be written in silver glitter ink. 9. You may not leave the house without smelling the top of the head of your child, partner or pet. Inhale their scent (even if it's unwashed) for at least two breaths. 10. Once a year, take yourself out for a mandatory lunch at a restaurant with fancy waiters. Sit at a table for four. Order three courses, including wine and a dish that must be set on fire. 11. If you're watching a comedy, laugh. If you're watching a tearjerker, cry. If you're watching a ballroom dance show, dance—preferably in some kind of spangled, neon, rhinestone-bedazzled, midriff-baring outfit. 12. Keep your cat, childhood teddy bear or even one of those microfiber cleaning cloths (which, by the way, do work better than plain old rags) in reach at all times. Studies have proven that soft, fuzzy objects defeat the blues. 13. Prior to visiting your parents, you are required to watch Bruce and Esther Huffman from McMinnville, Oregon, test out their new webcam. 14. All stickers offered to you by someone under the age of 13 must be accepted, slapped on and worn for at least one hour. Preferably on your cheek. 15. Never delete accidentally dialed voice messages from family. Listening to your nieces and nephews sing "Jingle Bells" as they walk to school, for example—complete with thumps and breathing and indecipherable muttering about haircuts—turns a boring afternoon at work into a visit home. 16. Saying no to cotton candy is strictly forbidden. 17. If you hear a person crying in the bathroom, pass them a wad of tissue under the stall—without a word. 18. Each time you pass a street musician playing the instrument that you quit as a child, place one crisp, full dollar in the cup and wait until the absolute end of the song to applaud. 19. Always note how the foam on a cappuccino magically parts when you add sugar, then closes right back up. 20. At least once in your life, pour a bottle of dish soap into a bubbling outdoor public fountain. 21. Never go to bed without looking up at the ceiling and thanking it for keeping out the rain. Get Happy! Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Rules-for-Everyday-Senseless-Joy-Leigh-Newman/2#ixzz22F6IaVqK

Friday, July 27, 2012

The 5-Step Path to a Life of Love, By Deepak Chopra

The 5-Step Path to a Life of Love From: Lesson 21: Love Doesn't Hurt By Deepak Chopra Deepak Chopra, co-founder of the Chopra Foundation and co-author of the new book War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality, reveals how to create a life founded on the world's most generous and joyful emotion. Love has arrived at a strange crossroads. It seems very odd to say, "I want to be more loving. Is there a scientist who can help with that?" But in modern life, our notion of love has shifted. More and more we are told—in magazines, learned journals and media reports—that love can be broken down into medical explanations, that it is produced by reactions in the brain, both chemical and electrical. We may wish that love is divine, ideal and life-transforming, the news says, but to be realistic, we should throw out our old, unscientific notions and learn more about what the brain is doing to us. I strongly oppose such a view of love—in fact, it frightens me. On the spiritual side, there's a completely different and higher view of love, which goes something like this: Love is part of creation, woven into the very fabric of the universe. We love one another because we have tapped into nature at a deeper level. Yes, the brain is responsible for giving love its physical expression, yet ultimately, love comes from the soul. A catchy phrase from an old pop song said, "Love the one you're with." Although you can journey outside yourself, the person to give your love to (and who, in return, must return that love), in truth, the one you are with every minute of the day, is yourself. The more rewarding way to find it is to go inward to the very source of love. If you do not do this, your love will depend on your mood swings, on how others see you and on the lovable and unlovable traits you see in yourself and others. As soon as we measure people by what is lovable and unlovable, trouble arises. The unlovable person is labeled odd, an outsider, bad or an enemy. We create unhappiness instead. We practice nonlove, that voice inside that whispers in our ears, "They are different from us." Or, "Fight for what you want and don't quit until you win." Or, "When bad things happen to other people, it's their own fault." We need to restore love as the key to happiness—a difficult task. That's why we need a spiritual path, so that we can walk away from nonlove and its confusions. Here are five basic steps that can lead you to a new life where everyone, most especially yourself, is worthy of loving and being loved. Step 1: Believe in Love When you say, "I love my work," or "I love my partner," you are expressing belief and showing faith in something outside yourself. As good as that is, even better is to have faith in love as part of yourself. When anyone asks me, "How do I find the right one?" I always give the same advice: To find the right one, become the right one. Belief in love is a spiritual kind of belief. It holds that love exists as a universal quality, outside ourselves, that can never be defeated, only covered over. Thus love and nonlove are not equals. Love is permanent; nonlove is temporary. Step 2: Don't Limit Love to a Few People and Deny It to Others It's very common to say: "I love my own children, and I love my neighbor's children. But when it comes to my kids, I love them more." That's perfectly understandable. But there's a spiritual teaching, going back thousands of years, which goes "The world is my family." If love is universal, no one can be left out. To leave others out of your love is the same as inviting them to leave you out too. Step 3: Make the Search for Love an Inward Search Often we feel loved and insecure at the same time. The one we love is somebody we invest in emotionally, and emotions, by definition, are changeable. The one you love may turn indifferent or worse. The problem here is a kind of illusion. When you take someone into your heart, it's like filling a hole inside. If that person should spurn and reject you, suddenly the hole reappears as a terrible ache. Yet the hole was always there, and only you can fill it permanently. Ultimately, the inward journey is about finding your own fullness, something that no one else can take away. Step 4: Seek Other People Who Value Love As Much As You Do There's an old tradition: If you want to be wise, be in the company of wise people. I'd say the same is true about love. If you want to know about any human experience, seek out those who have walked the path of that experience. In our society, we are embarrassed to talk personally about truth, compassion, faith and love. This inhibition is part of our insecurity. Think of spirit as a community; it's not a talent you develop like a teenager learning to play the guitar. Perhaps community is too big a word, however. Perhaps you can start by finding one person who is wise in the ways of love, who knows what it means to live at a deeper level. That's a wonderful step in the right direction. Step 5: Believe in Love As a Powerful Force The first four steps depend on this one, believing that love has its own power. This is a power to transform. It's a power that cuts through doubt, suspicion, distrust and even hatred. Unless love has its own power, there are too many reasons to act from nonlove. We see all around us people who madly pursue pleasure or money or status because they don't trust in love. Without such trust that love can make a difference, of course you will pursue surrogates. Pleasure, money and status are compensations when love is absent or too weak to transform your life. No one has to give up on such surrogates, but it makes a huge difference to know that they are nonlove. The power of love is that it dissolves nonlove. That's the kind of power you find on the spiritual path. None of the steps is automatic. Each takes work and practice. But now, more than ever, it's all important to reinvent the spiritual side of love. The steps may not be easy, but they are not impossible either. You only need to follow them with all your heart. Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Deepak-Chopra-The-5-Step-Path-to-a-Life-of-Love#ixzz21r29iHeP

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

7 Steps to Making Better Decisions By Catherine Price

7 Steps to Making Better Decisions By Catherine Price A handy guide to weighing your options. 1. Identify your goal. As David Welch, PhD, professor of political science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and author of Decisions, Decisions: The Art of Effective Decision Making, explains, "People who aren't self-reflective are going to end up making bad decisions because they don't really know what they want in the first place." Before you switch jobs, ask yourself: Do I really want a different career? Or do I just want a different boss? Don't make a decision based on the wrong problem. 2. Eliminate choices by setting standards. If you're trying to buy a digital camera, list the features you'll actually use. Any camera that has them is therefore good enough for you; ignore anything fancier. Speaking of which... 3. Don't worry about finding the "best." How good you feel about your decisions is usually more important than how good they are objectively. 4. Be aware of biases. They can lead smart people to make dumb decisions. For example: We hate to lose more than we like to win, which can result in behavior such as holding on to a tanking stock instead of accepting a loss. We remember vivid examples better than facts, which is why plane crashes stick in our heads more than statistics on air safety. And we're susceptible to how information is framed—a "cash discount" is more appealing than "no credit card surcharge." Keeping these biases in mind can help you think clearly. 5. Try not to rush. People tend to make poorer choices when they're in a bad mood or under a lot of stress. When facing a complex decision, use your conscious brain to gather the information you need, and then take a break. Go for a walk. Spend a half hour meditating. Take a nap. Have a beer. The idea is to give your unconscious mind some time to do its work. The decision you make afterward is more likely to be the right (or at least a perfectly acceptable) one. 6. Don't sweat the small stuff. When possible, eliminate the need for decisions by establishing rules for yourself. You will go to yoga every weekend. You will not have more than two glasses of wine. You will buy whatever toilet paper is on sale. 7. Do a postgame analysis. After each decision you make, ask yourself how you felt afterward and what about the experience you can apply in the future. Catherine Price is the author of 101 Places Not to See Before You Die (Harper Paperbacks). Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Make-the-Right-Decision-How-to-Decide/2#ixzz21ZCRjheS

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why Choice Is the Way to Happiness, by Deepak Chopra

Why Choice Is the Way to Happiness By Deepak Chopra The world's wisdom traditions all point inward, stating that there is a level of the mind that serves as the source of happiness. When a person locates this core self, there is peace and silence. One feels safe and cared for. Love and bliss are available as normal aspects of life, not as intermittent experiences that arrive randomly. At present, many supporters of positive psychology seem to accept that happiness is a random event that cannot be relied upon; therefore, we should abandon our illusion about reaching a state of permanent happiness. Followers of this perspective further assert that happiness has nothing to do with "higher" notions of the self but is rooted entirely in brain chemistry. As you can see, the new kind of happiness could hardly be more different. And because our society is addicted to consumerism and popping pills for every malady, the road ahead is likely to become more unhappy, even as medical science promises the answers are just around the corner. A wisdom tradition isn't the same as a religion. It isn't faith or the grace of God that is needed to create the kind of happiness no one can take away from you. That is the ultimate goal—to be so established in your core self that external events cannot take away your own inner peace and contentment. Whether you turn to Socrates or Buddha, this is a matter of making choices along one road and not another. The first road is the road of pleasure. When you follow it, you maximize the nice things in your life while minimizing the painful things. Even though every wisdom tradition points out that pain cannot be eliminated from life and that pleasure is always temporary, millions choose this path. In the end it is actually a source of pain. Any addict can tell you that after a phase in which his or her drug of choice brings a high, there follows a period in which the fix is used merely to keep away pain. Even if your fix is a new car or a sugary dessert instead of heroin, the brain becomes used to its old fixes, requiring larger and larger doses to get even a fraction of the old high. (Video game makers also count on the thrill of the game quickly wearing off and leading to a craving for newer, more exciting games.) Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Why-Choice-Is-the-Way-to-Happiness-Deepak-Chopra/2#ixzz20AgqFIiF

How to Get What You Want, by Martha Beck

How to Get What You Want: The Four Ps Because I am capable of making only small moves toward personal improvement, I find it helpful to break down the process of clarifying desire into steps. I call them the four Ps: Pushback, Possibilities, Preferences, and Pinpointing. Let's consider them. Step 1: Pushback While visiting China, I heard a story of a wise man there who taught his acolytes by holding a little songbird on his finger. When the bird tried to leave, he'd drop his hand so it couldn't get enough lift to fly away. Lesson: The ability to soar often depends on pushing back against something you don't want. My feminist friends and I did lots of this; every time we identified things that felt wrong to us in a deeply authentic, visceral way, we were articulating the Pushback. Since most humans are expert complainers, I'll bet you're feeling some level of Pushback right now. Somewhere in your life there's a sense of resistance, resentment, discomfort. When babies feel this way about pureed liver, they clamp their mouths closed, shake their heads, hurl spoons. Though I doubt you do this at business meetings or parent-teacher conferences, maybe you should. Inwardly, I mean. Outwardly, you can nod and smile the way you always do, while noticing the feeling of Pushback. And when you're ready to start complaining—to your spouse, a cabdriver, the pope—don't just bitch and moan. Bitch and moan about precisely the things that bother you. Find the central flaw in the boardroom strategy session. Figure out what exactly about the teacher's condescending attitude makes you want to punch her in the kidneys. The more specific you are about what upsets you, and why, the clearer you can make your desires. Step 2: Possibilities Once you've complained yourself into a nice high dudgeon, release the energy of finding fault and take up the energy of imagination. Holding in your mind the situation that leads to the strongest Pushback, begin mentally playing out ways it might change. Emphasis on playing. If you feel confined in your tiny office, imagine working in Cinderella's castle, at the beach, on the moon. As Arthur C. Clarke wrote, "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible." Each time you feel your Pushback, ride that energy and use it to imagine outrageously awesome Possibilities. Step 3: Preferences If you stay loose and relaxed as you're conjuring Possibilities, you'll notice that some of them leave you feeling intrigued, curious, a bit lighter. These are your Preferences. Let them tiptoe into your consciousness. Don't think; just allow. (If you could already think about your Preferences clearly, you'd be creating, not complaining. As T.S. Eliot wrote, "Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought.") Let yourself form a vague impression, then go for a bit more specificity, as if you're slowly bringing a camera into focus. Allow, and watch. Step 4: Pinpoints If you're playful and patient, the Preferences forming in your consciousness will eventually become clear enough to describe in words. You'll begin articulating exactly what bothers you and scenarios you'd prefer to see. Don't jump the gun; hold on a bit longer and get maximum specificity by Pinpointing your desires. Thinking of a solution you'd like to see, ask yourself, What would be even better? After allowing an answer to come into focus, ask, What would be even better than that? Repeat this until you've got an image of a situation so perfect you literally can't imagine a way to top it. This is Pinpoint clarity. Now you're telling the waiter, "Please bring me two free-range eggs boiled for exactly three minutes, seasoned with a dash of sea salt and coarsely ground Tellicherry pepper." That kind of clarity may raise eyebrows, but guess what? It lets everyone and everything around you deliver exactly what you want. Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Figure-Out-What-You-Want-in-Life#ixzz20AVS42lT

Welcome to Weight Loss Coach Sherrie's Blog!

I am currently trying a new way of eating (forget about that nasty "D" word!). I am following the "Schwarzbein Principle" and learning ways to focus on creativity and taking care of ME. I am currently in Body Blissmas, a program started by Jill Badonsky. As I learn to focus on healthy eating and being happy and creative, I would like to help you do the same.

Are you currently trying to lose weight?