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Category Archives for "Human Potential"
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Adventures in Feng Shui

Feng shui is the ancient art of balancing energies in a space to bring health and good fortune for the inhabitants. Just as we want and need a healthy, balanced body, we need and should want a balanced living environment. This is what Feng Shui provides.

Developed in China over 3,000 years ago, today it is known and practiced throughout the world. It deals with placement of a building on land, location of doors, windows and rooms and objects within the rooms.

I am a believer because I study and teach about energy so feng shui makes perfect sense to me.

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What to do when bad things happen

More wisdom from Bear Heart in the Wind Is My Mother on what to do when bad things happen in our lives:

Not long ago a woman called me and I went to see her in the hospital. She was a very young mother who had just given birth to a child with no arms. He had webbed feet and scars on his face and she was wondering, “Why me? Why me?”

I had to talk to her a long time, pray with her, to show her that there was a blessing somewhere in her situation.

In our culture, when such children are born we say they are specially blessed. The Creator had a reason for bringing that child into the world and we are helping the Creator when we make the child as comfortable as possible in every way.

It’s said there is a special blessing when we help someone like that, although that’s not our reason for doing it. My people don’t even talk about the reasons, we just try to help.

I told her the story of a similar situation where a little boy was born without arms and the doctors asked her husband to stay by his wife’s bedside as she came out of sedation so he could tell her.

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Journey to emotional healing

I hope that the healed life is the goal of each of us: to work toward emotional healing, physical health and spiritual fulfillment.

Emotional healing includes learning what didn’t work and to no longer repeat our past, self-defeating patterns.

This lovely piece by Portia Nelson sums it up nicely.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE CHAPTERS

(1)

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost . . . I am hopeless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

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How to take charge of your life

The Creator gathered all of creation together and said, “I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality.”

The eagle said, “Give it to me, I will take it to the moon.” The Creator said, “No. One day they will go to there and find it.”

The salmon said, “I will hide it in the bottom of the ocean.” “No. They will go there, too.”

The buffalo said, “I will bury it on the great plains.” The Creator said, “They will cut into the skin of the earth and find it even there.”

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Memorial Day: Earn it!

“James, earn this… earn it.” Dying words of Capt. John Miller to Private James Ryan in the film, “Saving Private Ryan”

Officially, Memorial Day in the United States is a day for remembering and honoring all Americans who died in any war.

Unfortunately, Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of the summer holiday, with people focusing on shopping, family gatherings, picnics and sporting events. So we sometimes forget the real meaning behind the day.

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How’s your cup? How to learn to be optimistic

Can we learn to be optimistic?

I believe so, and researchers agree.

But it will take some undoing of early programming.

The average fourth grade child has heard the words “no, you can’t do that” over 70,000 times. So we have to work to overcome that negative imprint.

THE RESEARCH

Not only are optimists happier than pessimists, research shows they are healthier, live longer and make more money.

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Stop the presses! Pessimists throughout history proved wrong!

Today I’d like to offer some historical anecdotes about all the times pessimists were wrong. Hopefully it will give you more inspiration to hold onto your dreams in spite of the naysayers:

For starters, remember how absolutely certain people used to be that the earth was flat!

In 1847, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was the head of Vienna General Hospital’s First Obstetrical Clinic, which at the time had a mortality rate of 10-35%! When he suggested doctors and mid-wives wash their hands before attending mothers and newborns, he was ridiculed by the medical authorities of the time, and fired by the hospital that employed him. In 1851 he moved to Hungary where his theory was accepted and hand-washing reduced mortality to less than 1%!

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Can pessimism be helpful?

“Don’t ever let somebody tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you got to protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you that you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” Will Smith, actor

Can pessimism be helpful?

I think not.

Not that there’s anything wrong with critical thinking and trying to be aware of potential obstacles.

But I’m talking about people who are negative for the sake of being negative. Because they have not succeeded, they don’t want anyone else to succeed either.

AN EYE-OPENING COMMENT

I like to increase my odds of success by being a thorough researcher. So when I was working on The Wind Is My Mother, I took a class on how to get a non-fiction book published and did absolutely everything suggested. It worked.

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How to turn Road Rage into Compassion

“Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.” Native American proverb

Years ago, my friend Carol stopped at a gas station while driving through Oklahoma. Just as her car was approaching the pump, she was cut off by a big RV that pulled in ahead of her.

Carol was pissed and found another pump. When she went inside to pay, the woman who had cut her off was standing in front of her in line. Carol resolved to give her a dirty look when she turned around.

But her world was turned upside down when she heard the woman say to the cashier,

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Social activism: the good, the bad and the ugly

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Gandhi

I’m a big fan of peaceful social activism. Having marched in the 1970s in opposition to the Vietnam War, I’m proud that my generation helped end it.

We have even more opportunity today, with the advent of online petitions that are getting lots of results, fast.

UGLY SOCIAL ACTIVISM

But there is also un-social activism that causes me concern. I’m thinking specifically of Spike Lee’s ill-advised re-tweet of the supposed address of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

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How to meditate: 12 sure-fire techniques

It’s not hard to learn how to meditate. The secret is to find the technique that works for you.

Psychologists estimate the average person has at least 50,000 thoughts a day and 90% are the same as yesterday. Meditation is simply stilling the chatter of our mind to come to a place of relaxation and peace.

Here are a dozen methods for you to try. Start with five minutes once or twice a day and work up to 15-20 minutes.

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Meditation: even swans need to do it!

Last spring as I was walking around the lake near my home, I came upon a family of swans by the shore: two beautiful, huge adults and 10 little baby swans. Ten!

[Yes, I know they’re called cygnets but that word isn’t cute enough to do them justice].

The two parents were putting up a very loud squawk and, as I got closer, I saw that one of the babies had become stranded on the shore side of a big log and the parents were encouraging it to climb over.

The baby kept trying to get over the log but the log was too big and the baby too small. So the parents took turns stepping up on the log, turning around and squatting in the hopes the baby would grab on to them and be pulled out. After about a dozen attempts, they succeeded.

The irony was that if any of them had looked to the baby’s left, they would have seen it could easily have swum around the log to freedom! But they were all too focused on the problem right in front of them to look for other solutions.

It struck me that this was a perfect example of the benefits of meditation. Stop, take a break, relax, regroup and look around for a fresh perspective. That usually allows inspiration and new ideas to flow in.

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A New Take on April Fool’s Day

Traditionally, April 1 is “April Fool’s Day,” an opportunity to play harmless and fun jokes and tricks on others. Frankly, I’ve never been a fan.

Not much is known about the origin of this holiday. One popular origin tale is that when the Gregorian Calendar moved the first day of the year from April 1 to January 1, not everyone got the message, or simply chose to ignore it.

After all, there was no internet then to spread the word. Those who continued to view April 1 as the first day of the year were called “Fools”.

But this story doesn’t hold water because the history of pranking on April 1 started long before the Gregorian Calendar came along in 1582, and it also has traditions around the world.

Another theory is that the timing of a day of pranks is tied to the arrival of spring, when nature “fools” humankind with fickle weather. That explanation makes sense to me, particularly this year.

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Desiderata

The desiderata is a much loved poem written by American writer Max Ehrmann in 1927. Largly unknown during Ehrmann’s lifetime, It became well-known after being found at Adlai Stevenson’s deathbed in 1965.

In response to losing the majority in the Canadian Federal election in 1872, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau quoted the Desiderata in reassuring the nation that “the universe is unfolding as it should.”

While the writing may seem stilted by today’s standards, the sentiments expressed are profound. And our lives will be better if we embrace them.

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ADHD – is it over-diagnosed?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 5.4 million children ages 4 to 17 in the U.S. have been diagnosed at some time with ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ], and 66 percent of those with current ADHD take medication to control the condition.

Is ADHD perhaps over-diagnosed? Might Ritalin be over-prescribed? In my humble opinion, yes. Is there something to be done about it? Yes.

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Sleep solutions: 25 tips for a good night’s sleep

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker

There may be no better way to improve health and energy, and reduce stress, than getting a good night’s sleep. But that seems to be more and more difficult to achieve in our 24/7 world. Prescription drugs and over the counter sleep aids are plentiful but may not be our healthiest choice.

Counting sheep has never worked for me, but here are 25 tips that will contribute to a good night’s sleep, without side effects:

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Human potential – are you living up to yours?

Are you living up to your full potential?

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” Anne Frank

One of my earliest childhood memories is of sitting in my second grade class at Our Lady Help of Christians School in Brooklyn, New York during a lesson on the human body.

During the class, my teacher said something that knocked my socks off! It was that human beings only use 10% of the capacity of their brains [that was wrong; it’s now understood that virtually every part of the brain is active most of the time].

But when I heard that statement, I made a decision right then and there to get to using 100% of my brain power in my life. That declaration led me on a circuitous exploration of personal growth, alternative lifestyles and spiritual paths, much to my parents’ chagrin.

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What is a leader?

[quote]“In gentleness there is great strength. Power most of the time is a very quiet thing.” Sun Bear[/quote]

It’s President’s Day, and this is an election year, so my thoughts have gone to considering what makes a good leader. And I wonder if we really know in this country what a good leader is. Or, more importantly, do our own leaders know.

Here are some Native American teachings about leadership:

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