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Showing posts from March, 2019

The Four Hour Work Week

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The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss Many people believe we need to live more simply, consume less and build more space into our lives. But how can we achieve simplicity with stressful jobs, endless bills, and families to raise? I’ve heard people say “that’s just for millionaires!”. Of course the realities of modern life do not make it easy for most of us. Whatever your downsizing plan is it needs to be unique to you. My husband and I have been trying to simplify over the past few years. One book that has been surprisingly helpful is “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss. It has become something of a cult hit. The author claims to have reduced his work week to 4 hours, creating time to achieve his life fantasy of becoming a Latin Dance champion. He did it by learning to work smarter rather than harder. The success of the book is that it is not snake oil, but sensible, practical and well thought through. I can’t summarize a whole book in a single blog but here are some nuggets: The 80…

Let’s All just Slow the $#@! Down!

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Why has being busy become such a virtue in our culture? Eavesdrop on a chat or listen to a conversation on radio or podcast and notice how often people outdo each other with how busy they are. We can have little time to spend with those who mean the most to us and yet we still wear our busyness like a badge of honor. We don’t have time to nourish ourselves and our families with healthy meals. We don’t have time for loved ones struggling who need someone to talk to. We are so wound up we don’t sleep.  No time to be still, relax, de-stress and connect with mind, body and spirit, to reflect and ponder, restore, imagine and day dream. To play, adventure and be creative. Maybe we have been on the treadmill so long, many of us actually fear that solitude and stillness will reveal how empty we and our lives are. Now don’t get me wrong. I struggle with this as much as anyone. I am presently in a pretty busy season of life. But I think we need more balance. I think endless busyness is problem…

Is God Green?

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Last blog I looked into the latest scientific research on the amazing healing benefits of Mother Earth. This week I explore what yogic philosophy and other wisdom traditions have to say about the importance of nature. With 8 out of every 10 people on this planet subscribing to some sort of spiritual perspective of life, its worthwhile to consider how this might impact the way we treat our natural environment. I have sometimes heard religious people denigrate “greenies.” However my survey of some of the biggest religions in the world reveals that every faith tradition’s holy scriptures are “green.” If you follow a spiritual path you may want to look deeper into what it has to say about nature and conserving natural resources. Yoga has become synonymous with a certain form of exercise but Asanas (the postures that are practiced) are only one aspect of yoga. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali written almost two thousand years ago, yoga is explained as having 8 limbs (or steps). Asanas are …

The Nature Fix

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We’ve all had a gut feeling that time spent away from technology - fully immersed in nature - is good for us. There is plenty of evidence now that our brains are “hyper-stimulated” by technology. This is leaving our neurons chronically fatigued. In fact, Dr. David Strayer, Professor of Cognition and Neural Science at the University of Utah, says digital multi-tasking depletes neurotransmitters.  Is it simply that nice, picturesque settings are pleasant and make us feel good or is there something more going on? “The Nature Fix” by Florence Williams presents a surprisingly large body of hard scientific research that “nature bathing” (spending time in natural spaces) has physiological benefits way beyond the obvious. The lack of regular exposure to natural settings has been associated with anxiety, depression and ADHD. There have been programs to take subjects suffering from these conditions into the natural world with measurable improvements. Interventions that immerse people in nature…

How Gratitude can change your life

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Many say you can “think” your way to success but did you know you can also “thank” your way - that’s right, being thankful can change your life. Researchers discovered that when the going gets tough, the mentally strong tend to exchange self-pity for gratitude. For example, the more grateful the survivors of September 11 terrorist attacks tested, the greater their resilience (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2003). Long ago in India a man called Patanjali wrote down a collection of beliefs early yogis discovered through meditation and pondering. These men chose to slow down and live very simply often withdrawing to natural places to think about life. Patanjali and his fellow yogis recognised the importance of being thankful:                           “Joy is attained through the practice of gratitude.” This is an interesting statement because it suggests that gratitude is a skill that can be practiced and improved. Modern research agrees. Neuroscience demonstrates that o…