Monday, May 25, 2009

Too Poignant Not To Share!!!

The Speech That Never Was: This Is It

Posted: 25 May 2009 03:00 AM PDT

Something many of you will know about me by now is that I really try to make the most of life and take advantage of this opportunity I have on earth. Part of making the most of life, to me, is facing your fears and really going for what you want, even if it scares you. That is something I did around 6 months ago when I joined a public speaking club


A meeting at the club usually involves 4 people each giving an 8 minute speech and then 4 other members evaluating them. After that, everyone else who would like to speak is given a random topic which they have to speak about for 2 minutes.

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Being quite new to the club I had yet to make a longer speech, but my chance came when I was asked to put together a talk for the next meeting. Originally, I had written a speech about making goals and being able to achieve them; something I like to think I’ve been successful at. Within a few days I had put the whole thing together and just needed to start practicing it.

Around four days before the event, I was putting the finishing touches to my presentation and recording my efforts. It was at this time that I received a phone call to let me know that my gran, who had been in hospital for a few weeks, had sadly passed away.

It was at that moment that I decided to change the topic of my speech, aptly entitled: This is it. The meeting where I was supposed to give my talk ended up being cancelled so I never had the chance to present it. Therefore I’ve decided to share the talk with you all in this blog post in the hope that each of you can take something from it.

I have modified the speech slightly as text for a speech is quite different to text for a reader, but the main messages should still come across clearly.

Without further ado, here is the speech just after I had explained about my choice of topic

I didn’t want to speak about death for 8 minutes; instead, I want to focus on problems - the things that usually seem so small in times of serious matters.

In order to talk about problems effectively, I decided to look at the three phases of time that our perceived problems come in: the past, the future, and the present.

The Past

Something highly obvious, but often forgotten about the past is that it is nothing more than a memory in your imagination. You can only ‘relive’ the past by thinking about it; you can’t go there, you can’t change it, and it will always be as it is.

Yet, while the past is nothing more than part of our imagination, it still has a strong hold on people in this present moment.

First of all, people define themselves by their past. Someone might say: “people made fun of me at school so I must be a loser now” or “I’ve never had a boyfriend or girlfriend so why should I be able to get one now” or even “I’ve had no lucky breaks come my way so why would that change”. We use the past to create limiting beliefs thinking that we can’t do such and such now because we’ve never done it before, and so on.

Secondly, we hold on to problems of the past. Some people who have had a hard childhood never seem be able to forget about the struggle that they’ve went through and it makes them miserable. Even something more recent, like having an argument with a colleague a few days ago, can still bring us down in this moment. This happens simply because we’re thinking about it and those thoughts can bring the exact same emotions as the actual event.

Thinking about the past or letting the past control our present isn’t the only thing that holds people back. There’s also the future.

The Future

If the past is nothing more than a memory of what has happened, then the future is nothing more than some projected thought of what might or should happen.

There are two aspects to ‘future’ thinking that people allow to control them and create problems in their lives. The first is that we worry about a possible event. When I had finished my speech I was getting worried about the possible reactions and how well it would go. I was comfortable and in my home, with nothing bad going on, yet there I was creating negative future projections and letting them bring my mood down in that moment. I was getting stressed at nothing more than mind made projections.

Secondly, we hope for salvation in the future. We tell ourselves that the future will bring happiness and wealth and fulfilment or anything else we desire. We use the future as some kind of scapegoat. Thinking that as soon as a certain event happens that we can be at peace or start enjoying life and being happy. We spend this moment now waiting for good things to happen in some other moment.

The Present

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If we cling to the problems of our past, and worry about what might be in the future, where do we find happiness and live problem free? That’s simple…this moment, right here, right now.

Before I get into that, I want to look at our tendency as humans to label and react to things. Without trying to cause too much controversy, my personal view is that every situation is completely neutral.

To help you understand that, let me ask you a question:

If a young girl gets hit by a car, is that positive, negative or neutral (neutral meaning it is what it is) ? The obvious response to that is that it’s negative, the girl should not get hit by the car, it just shouldn’t happen. Now what if the girl getting hit by a car allowed doctors to find a tumour that they would haven’t of otherwise found out about and managed to save her life. Is the car crash still negative, is it positive, or is it…what it is.

Regardless of your answers to that, what I’m getting at is that it’s completely up to you how you look at and react to things. You can see things negatively, which we tend to do, we can see things positively, or we can accept things as they are, and deal with the things we can deal with.

Even today, there are probably so many irrelevant little incidents that got each of us in a bad mood. The learner driver in front of you was going too slowly, your boss gave you a task to do that you didn’t like, your child made a mess when making breakfast and so on. We resist these things, we resent people and we constantly complain internally because we’ve already labelled the thing or person as ‘bad’.

Did you know, most car accidents aren’t caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most car accidents are caused by drivers in emotionally charged states. For example, their football team may have just lost, they might have had an argument with their partner or something else that gets their adrenaline pumping before stepping into a car. They can’t let go of what has happened and be in the moment and instead hold onto their problems.

It is this kind of holding on to the past which causes fatal accidents.

Instead of holding on to incidents and let them control you, try to be here in the moment, as often as possible. Take in this situation, this moment, right now. You’re safe, you’re probably indoors and there are no problems you can have right now. You might think you had one 2 minutes ago, or you might think something will come up in 10 minutes, but right now, there are no problems. (See post

for more info)

What eastern philosophy and spiritual teachers have been trying to tell us for a long time is pretty simple: now is all there ever is. Now is the only constant, it is never not now. I have practically eliminated “problems” from my life by trying to live in the moment as often as possible and not letting my thoughts bring me down.

Instead of holding onto problems of the past, instead of disregarding this moment because you think happiness is found in some perfect future - come back to this moment. Take in your environment, be in it, soak it all up. You’ll be surprised when you find peace and happiness in the most simple of situations.

Just like with my gran, we never know when our time is up. Make the most of this opportunity that we call life: this is it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Do You Criticize Your Own Self As Well?

Dealing with Criticism

Written by Chuck Gallozzi

Any Fool can Criticize, and Most Fools Do

The Harm We Do

Imagine stabbing a friend in a fit of anger. As the knife blade sinks into his chest, your friend gasps in astonishment. Bewildered, his face contorts in excruciating pain. Losing blood and succumbing to shock, he collapses. Fortunately, someone called an ambulance, which soon arrives and rushes your friend to the hospital. Although he recovers, his chest is marred for life by an ugly scar.

Hard to imagine you would do that, isn't it? And if you did, I am sure after realizing the harm you have done, you would never repeat such an act. Yet, many of us, almost daily, stab the ones we love. We use invisible knives that do not draw blood. The weapon of choice is CRITICISM. The harm we do is just as vile as that produced by a real knife.

Our criticism tears down their self-esteem. They feel unloved and experience self-doubt. Before their wounds have time to heal, we stab them again and again in the same place. How can we be so cruel? Perhaps we are deceived because our weapon and the victim's wounds are invisible. Why are we so vicious? Because of our own insecurities.

How can we improve? The next time you feel like butchering someone with caustic words, pause for a moment, and in your imagination, make your knife visible. Once you realize the harm you are about to do, I'm sure you will stop.

Sometimes the harm we inflict is so subtle, we are unaware of it. An example is combining praise with the word "but." For example, Johnny says, "Look, mom, I got an 'A' on my report card." Mom replies, "That's wonderful, Johnny, BUT you have a 'C' in math." The use of the word 'but' cancels the praise that preceded it. With this is mind, let's 'translate' the above conversation to see what we arrive at. Johnny: "Look, mom, I'm doing well at school." Mom: "No, you're not!"

Compare the possible outcomes of the conversation between Johnny and his mother. What would have happened if his mother had said, "That's wonderful, Johnny. I'm going to tell Daddy how clever you are. Keep up the good work." Wouldn't that have inspired Johnny to work harder on his math, earning more praise in the future? Instead, Johnny feels that his hard work is not appreciated because his mom said, ". . . BUT you have a 'C' in math." Not much incentive for Johnny to try harder, is there?

What to Do When Criticized

What should you do when you are the victim of criticism? Here are some tips.

1. Use the criticism as a learning experience. That is, REMEMBER THE PAIN you feel, and vow not to do the same to others.

2. REMEMBER THEY ARE USING INVISIBLE WEAPONS, so are unaware of the pain they are causing. Forgive them.

3. REMEMBER THEIR PAIN. What do I mean by that? Here's an explanation by someone who's used to receiving criticism, Boy George, "When folks is mean, it ain't that they hate you personal. It's more likely because they are miserable about something in their inside. You got to remember how most of the time when they yell at you or get after you, it ain't you they are yelling at but something inside themselves you never even heard tell of, like some other person has been mean to them, or something they hoped for didn't come true, or they done something they are shamed even to think of, so they get mad at you just to keep their minds off it."

4. REMEMBER NOT EVERYONE IS EQUALLY ENLIGHTENED, or as John Wanamaker said, "I learned 30 years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence."

5. After being criticized, THANK THEM FOR THEIR ADVICE and promise to take it into consideration. By thanking them, you are disarming their antagonism and ending the conversation peacefully.

6. CONSIDER THE SOURCE. The person criticizing you may be incompetent, envious, or jealous. If so, after thanking them for their advice, just brush it off.

7. EVALUATE THE CRITICISM. Although the complaint is probably not objective, there still may be some truth to what they say. Try to use this as an opportunity to grow. Remember, you are imperfect and others may see your flaws more clearly. Learn from them whenever you can, but don't return the favor by criticizing others!

Final Thoughts

Here's a valuable point made by Judge Harold Medina, "Criticizing others is a dangerous thing, not so much because you may make mistakes about them, but because you may be revealing the truth about yourself." Also, Samuel Johnson said, "God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?" Finally, be patient with the faults of others; they have to be patient with yours.

© Chuck Gallozzi
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Friday, May 8, 2009

The Truth Is Coming Out....Finally

Study blames over-eating, not poor exercise for US obesity

AMSTERDAM (AFP) – Over-eating, not a lack of exercise, is to blame for the American obesity epidemic, a new study claimed Friday, warning that physical activity could not fully compensate for excess calories.

"There is no evidence that a marked reduction in physical activity has been a contributor to this epidemic in the United States," study leader Boyd Swinburn told AFP on the sidelines of an international obesity conference in Amsterdam, where the research was unveiled.

"The increase in energy intake... virtually explained all of the weight gain."

Swinburn, a professor at the health faculty of Australia's Deakin University, said American children had grown on average four kilogrammes (nine pounds) heavier over the past three decades with adults putting on an extra eight kgs (17 pounds).

The study calculated what Americans should weigh today based on their current, higher food intake, and comparing this to their actual weight.

If they weighed more than projected, this would suggest a drop in physical activity.

In fact, researchers found that American adults weighed less than could be expected from their diet, "which means that if anything over that period of time, the adults had been increasing their physical activity, not decreasing," said Swinburn.

Among children, the tests yielded a 100 percent match, leading researchers to conclude that changes in physical activity had had no impact whatsoever on America's children growing fatter.

The findings would "probably be similar" for other developed countries, Swinburn said.

For the US population to return to its leaner, 1970s self, children would have to cut their intake by about 350 calories a day -- equal to one can of fizzy drink and a small portion of French fries, and adults by about 500 calories -- the equivalent of a Big Mac burger.

Alternatively, children would have to walk for an extra two-and-a-half hours a day, and adults for nearly two hours, said Swinburn.

"Getting everybody to walk an extra two hours a day is not really a feasible option for countering the epidemic," he said.

"We need to limit our expectations of what an increase in physical activity can achieve."

Swinburn stressed that the findings did not seek to negate the value of physical activity for weight control and overall health.

"But if we want to influence the underlying drivers (behind obesity), we have to have our eye much more on the energy intake side than on the physical activity side."

In short, Americans must eat less, he said.

The World Health Organisation estimates that in 2005, about 1.6 billion adults were overweight, of which at least 400 million were obese.

The conference was organised by the European Association for the Study of Obesity.


Well, didn't we all grow up with being told to clean our plates or no dessert??? I still hear and see this cultural activity going on today. Children, usually, innately know when they are full and will stop. But those in authority will always override that behavior.

Parents, teachers, grandparents....your little kids know more than you about their own bodies. Feed them healthy foods and let them tell YOU when they are done and full.

Monday, May 4, 2009

See What I Mean!!??!!


Hydoxycut Products Recalled

K. Aleisha Fetters

Put down the Hydroxycut.

On Friday, the FDA recalled 14 Hydroxycut products that were linked to cases of serious liver damage and at least one death.

The dietary supplement, sold in grocery stores and pharmacies, is advertised as being made from natural ingredients.

The company has received 23 reports of liver problems, including the death of a 19-year-old boy. Other patients experienced symptoms ranging from jaundice to liver failure.

At least 9 million packages of Hydroxycut products were sold last year, according to the FDA. So if you own any, report any serious side effects to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. And make sure yours isn’t on the list:

Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
Hydroxycut 24 Hydroxycut Carb Control
Hydroxycut Natural

After you step away from the pills, take a step toward slimming down the safe way. We know you know, but regular exercise and smart eating strategies are the best way to get fit (and healthy).

Lisa Drayer, R.D., says, "Find an exercise program that works and restrict your calories, focusing on low-fat yogurt, lean meats, whole grains, and vegetables."

From Online Womens' Health Magazine