Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

13 parenting resolutions for 2013…

In Inspiration, Mindfulness, Parenting on Sunday, 6 January 2013 at 12:10

13 Parenting Resolutions for 2013

By Claire Marketos


As the New Year begins we naturally look forward to better times with our family, pledging to make changes to improve our life in some way. Our hopes and dreams for a better future motivates us to optimistically move forward, yet we soon find ourselves succumbing to old unwanted behaviours wondering why it is so difficult to make the changes we desire.

Determination alone doesn’t seem to help when it comes to parenting, and despite our best efforts, we find ourselves at odds with our children. How then do we have the happy successful family we  dreamt of? The secret lies in how well we are able to meet the needs of our children. Here are 13 steps to start the connection.

  1. Wake up every day and decide on a small thing you can do to show your children that they are your top priority. You may want to tell them, send them an SMS, phone them during the day, or help them with something that is important to them.
  2. Set aside at least 10 minutes of one on one time with each of your children, where you make eye contact, and give them your undivided attention. Even with four children, this is less than an hour of your time each day.  Take their lead and engage in something fun they enjoy doing.
  3. Have at least one meal a day with your children where you all sit down together and chat. Share your day with your children, focusing on positive experiences, and how you overcame negativity during the day.
  4. Consciously listen to what your children are telling you, reflecting back what is important to them without criticising them. Know the names of their friends, teachers, favourite band, book, food and so on. Be excited about their dreams and hopes for the future, even if they are not the dreams you have for them.
  5. Notice what you do and say in front of your youngsters. It may be necessary to change the way you deal with anger for your children to behave differently.
  6.  Exchange Discipline for Discussion. When you are tempted to punish, find ways of discussing what happened and how changes can be made. Avoid taking sides, but rather mediate, encouraging your children to express their feelings and acknowledge the feelings of others.
  7.  Choose to be a “yes” rather than “no” parent. When you are tempted to say no, find a way to say yes.” Yes, I will take you to the movies this weekend but I can’t take you right now. Yes you may have that toy/ gadget. Place it on your Christmas/ birthday list. Help me work out a plan to save the money to buy you what you want. Yes, I will make a plan to watch one of your sport’s matches/ballet performance this week.”
  8. Decide to no longer act impulsively by smacking your children when you are angry, placing them in timeout or shouting at them. Remove yourself from the situation and calm down before discussing your feelings with your children. Every time you smack your children you change the connections in their brain, and consequently the potential of who they could be.
  9.  Play with your children every day. Laugh, make jokes, teach them a new board game. Let them see the fun, childish side of you.
  10. Teach them about life. Chat when driving in the car about morals and values. Show them how to problem solve, think creatively, and how perseverance in the face of failure leads to success.
  11. Help your child know who he is by defining the qualities that are his essence. Kind, caring, a good friend, helpful, diligent and so on. Knowing who he is protects him from bullies.
  12. Find ways to calm your home by rushing less, speaking quietly, and making time for relaxation, so your children know home is a safe place they can relax and destress.
  13. Hugging your children daily not only shows them that you love them but releases feel good hormones protecting them against illness, reducing stress and making them feel secure.

The greatest gift you have are your children. The greatest challenge you have in life is maintaining a positive connection with them. The greatest rewards you will experience in life is fulfilling relationships with wonderful adults whom you nurtured and who reflect your love.

Retrieved from: http://www.inspiredparenting.co.za/NewsCast.aspx?NID=102


autism night before christmas…

In Autism Spectrum Disorders, Inspiration on Tuesday, 25 December 2012 at 11:54

Autism Night Before Christmas
by Cindy Waeltermann

“Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract

The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift
The right color
And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come
But they don’t understand
The pleasure he gets
Just from flapping his hands.

“He needs discipline,” they say
“Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent…”
And on goes the attack

We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is moot
Let them all take a side

We know what it’s like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions…

But what they don’t know
And what they don’t see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity

He said “hello”
He ate something green!
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!

He peed on the potty
Who cares if he’s ten,
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!

Others don’t realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope

But what they don’t see
Is the joy we can’t hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride

We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred
Or even distaste,

But what they don’t know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.

We don’t get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings

Children with autism
Try hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don’t get it
Or can’t get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I’ll assure you

That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You’ll look at me
With respect, even shock.

You will realize
What it is I go through
And the next time you judge
I can assure you

That you won’t say a thing
You’ll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned…….”

Make Room for Negative Emotions

In Inspiration, Mindfulness on Saturday, 24 November 2012 at 07:23

Make Room for Negative Emotions (Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them)

It is generally agreed upon and taught to everyone since we are little that we should develop the “good” feelings in us and work on minimizing the “bad” ones. Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. We are so used to this that we go through life taking it for granted. We genuinely try to be “better” people, to overcome fear and pain and be braver, to overcome irritation and be non-judgmental, to disregard tiredness and occasional apathy and push on, never quit, to overcome feeling depressed or disappointed and to always think positively. Nonetheless, we still experience the “bad” emotions and feel guilty for it.

But I believe that negative emotions are a natural part of us, and in moderation, they are necessary.

However nice it is to be positive and think positive, we will not be able to exist without negative emotions, because they signal something is wrong, make us aware of the surroundings and thusprotect us.

For example, fear is a form of our survival instinct. To have no healthy fear is not wise and can bring our demise. Pain lets us know when we are in a dangerous situation. People who have a very high pain threshold (for example, with severe Diabetes) can step on glass without noticing and end up with infected wounds, or have a heart attack without feeling the chest pain and not seek medical help. Tiredness signals we need to rest and replenish our energy so that we don’t drop, and so on.

Negative emotions spur us on. When we do not like the present circumstances, it makes us work toward something better, something more acceptable, something more comfortable.  If we are not satisfied, it may help us become better and more successful. Oftentimes, growth and progress occur not in spite of unpleasant experiences but because of them.

Negative emotions are evidence of our sound mental health. We may dream about the perfect life, but in the real world the good and the bad mixed in together. And we have to react adequately. That means to accentuate the positive and to notice the negative, and adjust our behavior accordingly.

The trick is to be balanced, to match the negative reaction to the scale of the adverse event. We should distinguish between real tragedies and nuisances in our lives.

When we go through a life altering experience such as a divorce, onset of a serious disease, loss of loved ones, etc., it is normal to go through the stages of grieve[1] that include denial, anger, rage, envy, sadness, depression, regret, fear, detachment, and more.

If we get a traffic ticket or a bad grade in school, a lot of the above emotional responses would be an exaggeration that can throw us out of balance.

In his book How to Lose Control and Gain Emotional Freedom, Jerry D. Duvinsky, PhD writes that we are conditioned to think that emotions such as grief, anger, despair, helplessness, or loneliness are inherently bad, evil, dangerous, or wrong, so we feel the need to control them, suppress them, or disregard them. Granted, they are uncomfortable, powerful, and at times rather inconvenient. But our attempts to avoid them may produce deeper problems and lead to more suffering.

Negative emotions are intrinsic and indivisible part of us that helps us adjust, survive and improve ourselves. Instead of spending much effort to suppress them, we should recognize that unpleasant emotions are just symptoms of something else happening. Otherwise, we may give into them and behave in a destructive way. For example, quitting a job because of giving into feeling not appreciated by colleagues who did not invite you to an office party, or cheating on spouse because of giving into feeling angry with him for not putting the toilet seat up.

Instead, we should accept that life is not supposed to be perfect or easy. We will waste a lot of our vital energy wishing to never get hurt, scared, or disappointed. Rather, we should be glad that we have the ability to distinguish the good from the bad in our lives. We should acknowledge full range of our emotions as our faithful messengers of our environment, without labeling them “bad” or otherwise, and learn to recognize and deal with their cause, instead of focusing on the emotion itself.  For example, it is not the pain that is our problem, but the nail we stepped on. We can suppress the pain by taking pills, but we would be much better off removing the nail. Instead of being overwhelmed by an emotion, we should resolve its cause.  So if we get a bad grade in school, we should not mope around and feel stupid, but study to get a better one on the next test.

Negative emotions are a necessary part of us. So if we try to ignore them and smile despite anything, then firstly, our life can be endangered, secondly, we cannot react to circumstances adequately and wisely, and thirdly, we can develop personality disorders. If we ever will reach the mental state when we think only positive thoughts and smile all the time, it is possible we’ve gone crazy. So make room for some negative emotions in your head. And as always, remember that everything is good in moderation.

[1]The Kübler-Ross model (a.k.a., “the five stages of grief“), which hypothesizes that when a person is faced with a life altering or a life threatening event, he/she will experience a series of emotional “stages”: denial; anger; bargaining; depression; and, acceptance.

Retrieved from: http://olgarythm.blogspot.com/2012/11/make-room-for-negative-emotions-cant_23.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Olgarythm+%28OLGArythm%29

find your grit…

In Fitness/Health, Happiness, Inspiration, Mindfulness, Well-being on Thursday, 15 November 2012 at 16:55


STOP…and be happy!

In Fitness/Health, Inspiration, Mindfulness, Well-being on Saturday, 20 October 2012 at 07:50

Be Happier: Ten Things to Stop Doing Right Now

Jeff Haden

Sometimes the route to happiness depends more on what you don’t do.

Happiness–in your business life and your personal life–is often a matter of subtraction, not addition.

Consider, for example, what happens when you stop doing the following 10 things:

1. Blaming.

People make mistakes. Employees don’t meet your expectations. Vendors don’t deliver on time.

So you blame them for your problems.

But you’re also to blame. Maybe you didn’t provide enough training. Maybe you didn’t build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon.

Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn’t masochistic, it’s empowering–because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time.

And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.

2. Impressing.

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all “things.” People may like your things–but that doesn’t mean they like you.

Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.

Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

3. Clinging.

When you’re afraid or insecure, you hold on tightly to what you know, even if what you know isn’t particularly good for you.

An absence of fear or insecurity isn’t happiness: It’s just an absence of fear or insecurity.

Holding on to what you think you need won’t make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will.

Even if you don’t succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.

4. Interrupting.

Interrupting isn’t just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to you so I can understand what you’re saying; I’m listening to you so I can decide what I want to say.”

Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say.

They’ll love you for it–and you’ll love how that makes you feel.

5. Whining.

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better.

If something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you’ll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now.

Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.

And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t just be the shoulder they cry on.

Friends don’t let friends whine–friends help friends make their lives better.

6. Controlling.

Yeah, you’re the boss. Yeah, you’re the titan of industry. Yeah, you’re the small tail that wags a huge dog.

Still, the only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you’ve decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs.

Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure–none of those let you feel good about yourself.

Find people who want to go where you’re going. They’ll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships.

And all of you will be happier.

7. Criticizing.

Yeah, you’re more educated. Yeah, you’re more experienced. Yeah, you’ve been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons.

That doesn’t make you smarter, or better, or more insightful.

That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind, but in the end, just you.

Just like everyone else–including your employees.

Everyone is different: not better, not worse, just different. Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you’ll see people–and yourself–in a better light.

8. Preaching.

Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging.

The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything–and to tell people everything you think you know.

When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don’t listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.

9. Dwelling.

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.

Then let it go.

Easier said than done? It depends on your focus. When something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.

The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

10. Fearing.

We’re all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can’t change, or what we won’t be able to do, or how other people might perceive us.

So it’s easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.

Meanwhile days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.

And so do our dreams.

Don’t let your fears hold you back. Whatever you’ve been planning, whatever you’ve imagined, whatever you’ve dreamed of, get started on it today.

If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or offer new products or services, take the first step.

Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.

Otherwise, today is gone. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever.

Today is the most precious asset you own–and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.

Retrieved from: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-to-be-happier-work-10-things-stop-doing.html

The Hill and the Concrete Stairs

In Inspiration, Mindfulness, Well-being on Friday, 19 October 2012 at 06:57

The Hill and the Concrete Stairs

Posted by: Anoop Alex

I climbed up the stairs. Well, I have been climbing for a long time now. Still, the top was not seen. I was tired, moody and desperate. They call it the stairs to success and happiness. I read many books, articles and listened to great people talking about life and its intricacies. I was inspired, and really wanted to reach those heights they talked about. I wanted to realize my dreams, be happy and then fulfil myself. No time to rest, there was much more to go…

The sky was grey, the clouds were limping over the stairs as if they were old and impaired. I looked back at my shadow; it was long and reached many steps down. I wondered, “Is there really a topmost step? What happens when I reach there? Will I be really happy? Enlightened, shall I be?!”

No time for distractive thoughts, I lifted my legs as high as I could and consumed more of my strength and agility up the stairs. Still nothing in reach, I sat down and for once I looked around. That was the first time I looked somewhere else other than up and down.

Life unfurled around me. There were people, funny, nice, rude and all sorts; all of them around everywhere, but far from me. I did not care, for all I wanted to look was at me in the mirror on the topmost step, where I can be seen happy and successful.

As I rushed ahead, I became tired and frustrated. I was forced to sit down once more. I was so angry at all those who inspired me to become great and known. I wanted to despise all those who tried to motivate people. What do they give all those glowing quotes for? I sat in desperation; hopeless and sad. The night fell, and I did not know when my eyes closed.

The morning light knocked my eyes open; I could still see all those around me. I was not amused or astonished to see that they were not climbing. Well, everyone is not ambitious! For a second, their shadows caught my eyes; much shorter than mine! They looked joyous and in high spirits!

The next moment, I took a decision. Risky, but at least it should turn out adventurous!

For the first time, I took a step aside the stair. The moist clouds helped me down. The environment changed, so different from the concrete stairs! The ground felt less solid and rigid.  My feet were on soil, green and fertile. I started walking towards the house afar, feeling affluent and comfortable with every step I took.

The house looked familiar. The door was old and plain but had a soothing impression on me. I smiled and knocked on the door.

My parents were surprised but happy to see me. They have become old. Their loving eyes appraised me and I was in a warm embrace, one after another. My wife’s graceful eyes prayed silently how much she missed me. My kids’ cheers were genuine music to me.

My life so far had been very busy, and after a long time I got time for free. My breathing was slow and calm. The air I breathed in was soothing and replenishing. The food, homely and the moments were splendid.

My parents were very happy to see me, and half-heartedly let me go for a stroll. Not often I realized how patient and lovely my woman could be, she reminded me with a soft kiss. My children grew up fast I thought; they too understood me well and left me for a walk alone!

I walked, round and around the land. There were no specific lanes or roads. Far ahead, the vastness of the plain led me to a small hill. The hill was a favourite spot for me in childhood; my friends and I used to raid the area for different amusements then.

I was not ready for another climb up, but this time there was nothing impending. I felt light and the hill-top was awaiting me. The blue sky spread vast, as esteemed as always, and misted the horizon. Clouds, fair and white giggled tenderly at my coming.

The hilltop gave a wonderful panoramic view of the hemisphere. The breeze atop was refreshing and brushed past me gently. I closed my eyes for a while and all those lovely moments of life rushed in; my life in vista. The memories were sweet and I missed all my friends, teachers, neighbours, relatives and… myself. The bitter turned sweet, what I used to perceive hard became soft and comfortable, the anxious and worried times made me smile and the heaviness was lifted away. I accepted all that was left behind, the happy moments, those embarrassing incidents, irritating comments, fleeting love, hurtful breakups, sad and upsetting thoughts, the shame and pain. I no longer resisted. I accepted who I was. I forgave all those who hurt me. I cherished those memories where I felt nice, happy, confident and proud. I felt my body becoming relaxed, my heart was beating smooth and I breathed easily.

It was noon when I opened my eyes. I looked down. The rock where I stood bore no shadow on it! Once I was amazed, then I understood! The sun was just above me and I was enlightened. Realizing what I had missed, I felt happy and content in claiming what was mine – my own self.

Far in the horizon the concrete stairs were visible and I could see someone climbing up. More than the person, I could see a long shadow. The stairs were leading farther from the sun!

Striding down the hill, my legs carried me faster and further. The flowers smiled, the grass swayed at my go as if they were dancing and my feet were well welcomed by the mud. The stretch ahead was to home, I ran faster, gaining more and more upon myself and it was real. I was once again myself and the leap I took kept me happy and content.

Retrieved from: http://mindmattersindia.com/the-hill-and-the-concrete-stairs/

the bar just got set very, very high…it’s all about ACTION!

In Inspiration, Mindfulness on Wednesday, 3 October 2012 at 17:35

what an amazing example of a man.  he didn’t wait for reports to be written or the government to act, he acted.  he took initiative.  not to mention all his OTHER accomplishments.  i am humbled completely…

L.A.’s richest man ups the ante in fight against cancer

Published October 03, 2012


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/03/la-richest-man-ups-ante-in-fight-against-cancer/?test=latestnews#ixzz28H2MY1RW

As owner of 5 percent of the Los Angeles Lakers, Patrick Soon-Shiong could walk into the locker room of the storied basketball franchise any time for a chat with stars like Kobe Bryant. But the richest man in Los Angeles chooses to sit with the rest of his team’s fans.

“He’s not one of those owners who wants to be seen everywhere. He’s just one of the fans,” said Bryant. The NBA star gives his owner a hug before every game for luck “and maybe some of the success” of the slender Los Angles surgeon who built a fortune exceeding $7 billion as a biotechnology entrepreneur.

For all Soon-Shiong’s success, the South African émigré and son of a Chinese herbal doctor remains relatively unknown in Los Angeles, a city that thrives on status and celebrity.

That’s likely to change soon.

In recent weeks, he emerged as a likely bidder for fellow billionaire Philip Anschutz’s sports and entertainment unit AEG, owner of 100 venues worldwide and sports teams like the Los Angeles Kings hockey franchise and the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, not to mention a 20 percent stake in the Lakers.

And on Wednesday in Washington DC, Soon-Shiong and his L.A.-based NantHealth will unveil a joint venture with Verizon, Intel, Blue Shield of California and others to create a nationwide system for doctors to share DNA and other data on cancer patients. It will enable doctors to do genetic analysis of a patient’s tumor in less than a minute — a job that now can take from eight to 10 weeks.

“This is something the federal government should have done, but we waited and waited for them,” Soon-Shiong told Reuters in an interview.

“It’s unconscionable that cancer patients get the wrong diagnosis 30 percent of the time and that it takes so long to treat them with appropriate drugs for their cancer.”

Soon-Shiong emigrated to the United States more than three decades ago with his wife Michele Chan, an actress who had a starring role in 80’s CBS show “Danger Bay” and guest roles on ” MacGyver.” Since then, he has methodically climbed the ladder of success by adroitly mixing science and business.

He created drugs to fight diabetes and breast cancer and then sold the companies that produced them for a combined $8.6 billion.

In the four years since selling those companies, he quietly spent more than $400 million of his own money to build a national fiber optic network that would link cancer clinics throughout the country — the groundwork for the health superhighway.

High spending, low profile

Soon-Shiong’s philanthropy was in evidence at his West Los Angeles office. The new superhighway was illustrated on a flow chart in a conference room where staffers edited a video of it on a nearby TV set.

In the lobby was a model of the campus surrounding the Saint John’s Health Center, to which he has given $135 million to build a biotech research center and sports medicine clinic.

“There are few Patrick Soon-Shiongs in this world,” said retired General Wesley Clark, who has served with him on non-profit boards. “A brilliant doctor, a great businessman and someone who is very patriotic. He understands what it means to give back to his country.”

Elsewhere, Los Angeles bears the mark of Soon-Shiong’s largesse and his fixation on healthcare. He and his wife operate the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, which last year endowed a chair at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering to support research in engineering and medicine.

In 2009, after watching TV footage of a woman dying on the emergency room floor because doctors didn’t notice her, he guaranteed $100 million to underwrite efforts to reopen Martin Luther King Hospital. The hospital, which has since reopened, serves the city’s low-income population.

The coming months may mark the public convergence of his private passions: health, sports, philanthropy and his adopted city.

He wants to buy AEG in large part because he plans to build a $1.2 billion football stadium to return pro football to the nation’s second largest city.

A diehard basketball fan, Soon-Shiong is not particularly keen on football. But he said owning a National Football League team would give him a platform to promote wellness by having players mentor younger fans on exercise and healthy eating, and sharing training and medical techniques with local doctors.

Until recently, Soon-Shiong kept a low profile. He and his wife did not want their name in a press release when they first donated $23 million to Saint John’s in 2007 to build a biomedical facility, recalled medical center president Lou Lazatin.

“Finally, they agreed when I told them it would help my marketing,” Lazatin said.

Surgical eye for detail

Soon-Shiong’s business career started in the early 1980s with the help of the National Aeronautics and Spac e Administration, which gave him $2 million for stem cell research that could one day help treat injuries during space travel.

At the time, he was a surgeon at a hospital affiliated with the University of California, Los Angeles. With the money, he opened a small lab near a veteran’s hospital, where he developed treatments to reduce diabetes in pancreatic transplant patients and a cancer-fighting drug that doubled the response rate for the treatment of breast cancer.

His climb was not without bumps. In 1999, his brother Terrence filed a complex suit claiming Patrick Soon-Shiong neglected work on a diabetes drug being developed by a startup in which Terrence had invested. But an arbitrator found in Patrick Soon-Shiong’s favor, and he declined to answer questions about the matter.

By 2008, Patrick Soon-Shiong controlled 82 percent of APP Pharmaceuticals, the company he started to develop injectable drugs to treat cancer and other illnesses. Soon-Shiong sold the company for $5.6 billion to Germany’s Fresenuis Kabi Pharmaceuticals, netting him $4.6 billion.

In 2010, he sold Abraxis BioScience, which he had spun off from APP in 2007, to pharmaceutical company Celgene Corp. for $2.9 billion. His 82 percent stake was worth $2.4 billion.

Soon-Shiong paid Celgene $135 million for NantWorks, where he had begun the work of creating his planned high-tech health delivery network. He also bought or provided seed money to small technology companies to aid in that effort.

He paid $20 million to buy a controlling interest in KeyOn Communications, which provides wireless broadband service for rural markets, and another $10 million to a stake in Raptor Networks Technology, which makes switching equipment for high speed networks.

“He watches every detail. I get emails from him at 2:30 in the morning, said Stephen Berman, CEO of toy maker JAAKS Pacific, which is licensing technology from one of Soon-Shiong’s companies to make interactive toys.

He gives more than just money, says songwriter Burt Bacharach, whose son went to private school with Soon-Shiong’s daughter. Soon-Shiong showed up unannounced at Cedars Sinai Hospital one day, says Bacharach, to help doctors find the right combination of drugs to treat the musician’s son, who had a persistent staph infection.

For L.A.’s richest man, that patient visit was a brief return to the role of physician that he insists he one day will resume.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/03/la-richest-man-ups-ante-in-fight-against-cancer/?test=latestnews#ixzz28H2GmBuy

The effect of hate…~be love~.

In Inspiration, Mindfulness, Well-being on Monday, 1 October 2012 at 08:22

The Effect of Hate on Children

Dr. Asa Don Brown, Ph.D., C.C.C.

 “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Webster’s Dictionary (2012) defines hate as an “intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.  It is an extreme dislike or antipathy (and in most cases, there is) an object of hatred.”

Children who are exposed to hate are prone to a world of disorder, conflict, turmoil, strife, and an array of injustices.  Hate is the catalyst for human depravity and personal decay.  The typical foundations of hate begin in adolescence, they begin to blossom in the early life of a child.  Hate is rarely founded and always based on an indifference between peoples.


The National Association of Social Workers definition is:  “Hate violence crimes are those directed against persons, families, groups, or organizations because of their racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual identities or their sexual orientation or condition of disability.” (Barnes & Ephross, 2012, Online)

Hate knows no friend; it breaches the wellbeing of both the hated and the hater. Children who are taught to hate, whether implied or through an act of projection, are forced to live lives in constant opposition.   Hate stifles their ability to fully live a life engulfed with love and security.  Hate not only permanently skews their cognitive perceptions of the world, but it causes personal distress leaving a stain on one’s ideological viewpoints of that world.  Fortunately, while the senseless act of hate can have a permanent effect upon the emotional welfare of the individual; those who hate, or are being groomed to hate, can experience lifelong reprieve from the shackles of hate.


Hate’s effect can be passed down through the generations of a family, a community, or a civilization.  It is hate that acts as rust on the human mind and spirit.  Hate slowly causes an oxidation on the natural process of love, peace, and acceptance from within a person.  It is hate that transforms the natural order of the human condition, causing an internal and external strife within the very fabric of humanity.

Hate has caused wars and created rumors of wars; it has pitted children against children and adult against adult; it is hate that allows for teachers to bully their students and student’s to bully one-another.  Hate is often confused with pride, while genuinely positive pride, is “the consciousness of one’s own dignity,” (Webster’s Dictionary, 2012), as well as, having a source of intense approval for one’s achievements and personal successes.  Hate has no relationship to pride.

While hate is the decayer, love and acceptance are the cure.  Hate cannot know the light of the world, rather hate itself is an opponent of darkness.  What does darkness symbolize?  Darkness is the unknowing, the instigator of our greatest fears, the promoter of our worse nightmares, and the master of human dysfunction.   Darkness emphasizes our insecurities, our worries, our negative contemplations, and in general, anything contrary to our positive nature.  Hate in itself cannot force the hand of humankind, rather it entices the worst of the human condition to become the prominent player in one’s overall life.


Overcoming any negative emotion or thought pattern takes deliberate effort.  Children who are either taught or influenced to hate have a greater chance of changing their ideological viewpoints, than someone who has reached adulthood.  Sadly, adults who have hate as the foundation of their personal character; are all too often imprisoned by their hate.  Hate is the ultimate virus, infecting the very essence of the person.  However, hate is not a totalitarian regime, and fortunately because of human resiliency, hate can be overcome.  Overcoming hate starts with the individual.  Through a deliberate and conscious effort on the part of the individual, hate can be eliminated from the mind and very conscious of that individual.

The Steps to Overcoming Hate 

  1. Unconditional Acceptance:  Accept as though you were the recipient.  Do not place acceptance in a fish bowl, otherwise you are always limiting the amount with which you offer your hand.
  2. Unconditional Forgiveness:  When you forgive, forgive.  Do not shelter hateful thoughts, otherwise you have not allowed your unconscious and conscious minds to be free of the negative event or person.
  3. Unconditional Love:  Unconditional love knows no rights or wrongs.  Unconditional love says, I will love you beyond all words, deeds, actions, or reactions.  It is the sort of love that a father or mother should have for their child.  This sort of love is not offered up only in the good times, but excels to be exhibited in the bad times.
  4. Review your thought patterns.  How do you perceive the world around you?  What are the guidelines with which you judge your corner of the world?  Are you hyper critical of others?  Do you wear your emotional sleeve on your shoulder?  Do you see yourself as better than or superior to others?  If so, reevaluate your thought patterns, and consciously make an effort to eliminate them from your mindset.  Be a good steward of your thoughts, and helpful steward of your children’s thoughts.
  5. Move Forward: Do not be combative with the negative event or person, rather consciously drive your virtual mind down an opposite path of positivity.  Therefore, intentionally seeking positive messages, images, and solutions for your life.
  6. Be Diverse:   Be a model of diversity; teach your children through your verbal and nonverbal messages to be diverse.  Allow them to see you positively interact with others of cultural and gender diversities.  Do not limit your friendships, your acquaintances, or your associates to one cultural paradigm.
  7. Challenge Negative Thought Patterns:  Be willing to consciously and unconsciously challenge thoughts that are skewed or indifferent to others.  Question, the whybehind your biases or subtle discriminatory thoughts.
  8. Correct Negative Thoughts in Your Children:  If you become privy of a negative thought that your children may hold; be diligent to help your children to review their negative or hateful thoughts, replacing them with a more positive ideological viewpoint.
  9. Be a Proponent of Positivity:  Everyone deserves a right to live in a positively influential environment.
  10. Offering an Environment of Safety and Care:  The environment with which care and safety are provided should make a profound difference.

When there is hate, a child’s right of safety and care is breached.  Schools should intentionally and purposefully foster an environment of safety and care.  When a school avoids advocating for its children, it extinguishes their individual rights.  It is vital to recognize that “All students are harmed by being in a school environment where discriminatory behavior is allowed, not just those students who are singled out for such harassment and victimization.”  (Wieland, 2007, p. 241)  Children should always be provided an environment of unconditional love, acceptance, and approval.  Remember, what occurs in one’s childhood is often indicative of things to come.   If we avoid addressing messages of hate in childhood, then there is little deterrence for children from amplifying the same messages of hate in their adulthood.

Helping your children to recognize the verbal and nonverbal messages is critical for combating the hate.  Be certain to teach your children to recognize the key features ofhateful and violent messages; whether they are communicated verbally or nonverbally; casted disparagingly through stereotypes, stigmas, guilt, or shame; it is essential to know and recognize when other’s are offering us platters of hate.

“What are some general ways that hate speech can be used in the offline (or online) world? Sample responses:

  • Calling people names based on their race, religion, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or any other type of group that is disenfranchised in our society
  • Saying things about people that are based on social identity stereotypes.”  (Common Sense Media, 2012, Online)

Children who are not taught to recognize the clutches of hate, will often fall prey unto such messages.  As parents and teachers, we are obligated to gird up the loins of our children to protect them from the possibility of harm.  Moreover, it is equally important for children not only be taught to protect themselves, but to play a critical in offering positive lessons unto their classmates.  If so, such children will prove advocates not only for themselves, but for the lives of everyone they encounter.

We must be hyper-vigilant when training our children.  As parents and teachers, we should keep a watchful eye out for danger and difficult times.  It should be expected that teachers and parents use due diligence to protect their children.

Author:   Dr. Asa Don Brown, Ph.D., C.C.C.


American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, D.C.: Author

Barnes, A. & Ephross, P. H. (2012) The impact of hate violence on victims, Emotional and behavioral responses to attacks.  Retrieved September 22, 2012 fromhttp://www.socialworkers.org/pressroom/events/911/barnes.asp

Common Sense Media (2012) Lesson: Breaking down hate speech. Retrieved September 22, 2012 fromhttp://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/lesson/breaking-down-hate-speech-11-12

Wieland, J. (2007) Peer-on-Peer hate crime and hate-motivated incidents involving children in California’s public schools:  Contemporary issues in prevalence, response and prevention.  UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy 11(2), 235-269

Retrieved from: http://www.ccpa-accp.ca/blog/?p=2454


In Inspiration, Mindfulness on Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 16:34

i am completely humbled.


“My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body… by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can.”~Balreet Kaur


Is it a Pretty Ugly World?

In Inspiration, Mindfulness on Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 12:05

Is it a Pretty Ugly World?.

be happy, do nothing…

In Fitness/Health, Inspiration, Mindfulness on Thursday, 27 September 2012 at 11:42

To be Mentally Sound, DO NOTHING! Says Psychologist!

Practically the whole planet is on the move to find ways to maintain a sound psychological health. This can prove to be counter-productive according to a psychologist. In a recent report, Jamie Gruman says the key to a great mental well-being is to actually do nothing at all.

“Health: Social Psychologist Proposes Science of Positive Thinking”

Canadian social psychologist Jamie Gruman is proposing a new way of achieving nirvana: Do nothing.

Instead, live in the moment and embrace the “serene and contented acceptance of life as it is, with no ambitions of acquisition, accomplishment or progress toward goals,” said Gruman, co-founder of the newly created Canadian Positive Psychology Association, a network of scholars and academics studying human well-being and happiness.

Psychology has long focused on our inner torment: understanding why people get depressed or anxious, and how to alleviate it. The emphasis has been on “disorders,” “deficits,” “neuroses” and the need for “therapy.”

Positive psychology emphasizes strengths more than illness. It focuses on happiness, well-being, resilience, empathy, gratitude and forgiveness — how to “flourish” as a human. One idea, said Frank Farley, an Edmonton native and a past president of the American Psychological Association who studies heroism and personality, is that maybe it can inoculate people against mental distress.

More than a decade after its founding, the field is undergoing something of a revival. The neuroscience behind it is advancing. Researchers are finding links between positive emotions and a longer, healthier life span.

At the same time, the notion of a healthy national psyche is being embraced more openly by economists, politicians and political scientists around the globe, including in Canada, where, for example, Green Party leader Elizabeth May recently introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons meant to develop a set of indicators to measure “the real health and well-being of people.” A United Nations expert panel earlier this year called for nations around the globe to track the happiness of their people, arguing that economic wealth doesn’t equal psychological health.

Except for those living below the poverty line, “the correlation between money and happiness is almost non-existent,” said Gruman, an associate professor of organizational behaviour at the University of Guelph.

“We’re trying to find out what makes people happy,” Gruman said, “because we’ve learned it isn’t money.”

Science is searching for prescriptions for happiness at a time when North American adults increasingly are being medicated with anti-depressants.

According to new figures released exclusively to Postmedia News by market research firm IMS Brogan, Canadian pharmacists dispensed 40.2 million prescriptions worth $1.7 billion for anti-depressants in 2011 — a 7.5 per cent increase over 2010.

Over the last five years, the use of anti-depressants has increased on a per-person basis in every province except Prince Edward Island. Of the 40.2 million prescriptions dispensed across the nation last year, Quebec had the largest share (14.2 million) followed by Ontario (13.8 million) and B.C. (4.1 million).

In all, Canadians made 7.9 million visits to a doctor for symptoms of depression in 2011, according to IMS Brogan.

Gruman said positive-psych isn’t the Pollyannaish, “lollipops-and-rainbows” approach to living that some critics dismiss it as.

“It’s about living the best possible life. I don’t think that only understanding pathology and misery leads us to knowing how to live the best possible life we can.”

Humans have an innate tendency to focus on the negative, he said, and there’s an evolutionary reason for that.

“When you’re feeling good, that’s the body’s signal that everything is hunky-dory. When you’re feeling upset or anxious or scared, that’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. So it’s evolutionarily adaptive for us to be drawn to the negative — it helps us survive.

“When there’s a sabre-toothed tiger running after you, it’s healthy to be scared. You’re going to run away and you’re going to live.”

A healthy dose of pessimism is appropriate at times, he said, adding that life “necessarily requires admitting the negative and recognizing the negative and respecting the negative.”

“But it also involves trying to understand, when you’re not dying of cancer, when you’re not suffering your heart attack, when you’re not suffering depression, when you have a positive moment, how do you make the most of those moments?”

Dr. Adam Anderson is Canada Research Chair in Affective Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. Anderson said a part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex is activated in response to positive emotions. “You find it in jazz musicians improvising,” he said.

If that is the brain’s “positivity muscle,” can we cultivate it? In randomized, controlled trials, his team has found that mindfulness meditation alters the brain; it changes the activity in the prefrontal cortex.

“Some people are lucky and have the right genes, we think, to be able to live the good life. And, if you don’t, you have to exercise in some way to try to boost that,” Anderson said.

Some equate the good life with constantly seeking the next pleasure, which Anderson said is like an addiction. “That’s like saying a cocaine addict has a really good model for living the good life because they’re trying to maximize the number of pleasures they have.”

Thinking positive is easy when you know how. Gordon McInnis shares useful advice on how to have a positive mindset.

Anderson said it’s not about seeking out or wanting things, “but to explore. To be creative, to play.”

The function of happiness isn’t to be happy, said Anderson, who isn’t a positive psychologist but who will be a featured speaker at the Canadian Positive Psychology Association’s inaugural conference this month in Toronto. “It’s evolution’s way of saying, go out and discover new things. Go play, go explore.”

Not everyone is enthused by the rush to “positivity.” All of us struggle with a tension “between our own dark feelings and the grating call of the bright, shiny, happy world,” said Eric Wilson, author of Against Happiness. Self-help books can further guilt us into thinking, “I’m not happy enough.”

But Anderson said the word “happy” seems “so loaded and confused.”

Our economy is built on selling happiness through consumption, he argued — and that increasing depression could, paradoxically, be a fallout of seeking happiness.

“If you go out seeking happiness and you don’t find it — you desire something, you assume that’s going to make you happy, you get it and you’re not happier, or you’re happier for a little bit of time, ultimately, that will make you depressed,” he said.”

This news came from Vancouversun.com.

When you think about it, people indeed have the tendency to be very busy on things to the point that it becomes unhealthy. Slowing down to smell the roses, although a cliché, should be put to practice especially in a world that moves so fast that it leaves everyone behind scrambling and stressed out to keep up.

Please make sure everybody you know in Twitter and Facebook knows this information by sharing this article with them. Also, to make sure you get updates about psychology, remember to leave some comments and subscribe. Thanks and stay positive!

Retrieved from: http://psychologyonlinecourses.net/to-be-mentally-sound-do-nothing-says-psychologist/


how to look lovely

In Inspiration, Mindfulness, Well-being on Thursday, 20 September 2012 at 05:58

some days you’re the pigeon…

In Fitness/Health, Humor, Inspiration, Mindfulness, Well-being on Sunday, 16 September 2012 at 10:23

i can’t recall where i found this but i really like it!


A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes. And that’s the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.

So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. Relax; pick them up later after you’ve rested. Life is short. Enjoy it!”

And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

  • Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
  • Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  • Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  • Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  • If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  • If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  • It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  • Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
  • Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Melody:
  • Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird…sleep late.
  • The second mouse gets the cheese. (so, don’t always be in such a hurry)
  • You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  • We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
  • A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

The story of Mike Arms

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Inspiration, Life with dogs, Pets on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 at 07:33

Mike Arms has done so much for animal welfare.  I find the story as to how he came to the profession inspiring and touching.  I hope you enjoy!


Our president-Mike Arms


Helen Woodward Animal Center President Michael Arms is a pioneer in the animal welfare industry. He is recognized worldwide as the creator of both the International Pet Adoptathon and “Iams Home 4 the Holidays”.

Mike is credited with saving the lives of more orphaned animals than anyone else in the history of the planet.

Since his arrival in 1999, Helen Woodward Animal Center has grown dramatically. Pet adoptions have leaped to record levels. Our Education program has multiplied as we teach children about the unconditional love that only comes from animals. And our therapy programs touch the lives of tens of thousands of people each year.

Mike Arms. Just one more reason why Helen Woodward Animal Center is known around the globe as, “The Animal Shelter of the Future!”

The Story of Mike Arms

Mike Arms came to animal welfare in a most unusual way. He arrived in New York in the 1960’s ready to take on the world with an accounting degree and the desire to make it big. An employment agency suggested that he might take a position at the ASPCA because it would look good on his resume. Mike didn’t even know what an ASPCA was at that time, but thought it would be a good experience to manage the finances of such a large organization. The stress of seeing the horrors that mankind perpetrated against the animals of New York quickly became too much for Mike, as the ASPCA was killing over 140,000 innocent animals a year at that time. He gave his resignation and was running away from animal welfare.

With just six days to go until his last day, Mike got a call that there was a dog hit by a car on Davidson Avenue in the Bronx. There were no ambulance drivers available, so he took off his suit jacket and put on an ambulance driver jacket and drove out to the accident scene. Upon his arrival he saw a black and tan shepherd/terrier mix lying in the street. The dog had been hit with such force that his back was broken – he was literally bent in half. As Mike approached the injured dog two men came out of a nearby doorway and asked him what he was doing. Arms calmly explained that the little dog was dying and he was taking him to the hospital. The men told him that he wasn’t taking the dog anywhere. Mike inquired as to if it was their dog and they said, “No, but we are taking bets on how long it is going to live.” Arms told them they were sick and turned to lift the dog into the ambulance. As he bent to lift the injured puppy, the men attacked him with a bottle to the head followed by the smack of a baseball bat and the sharp pain of a knife thrust into his hip and shoulder. Mike was knocked unconscious and as he lay in the street bleeding the little dog, who should not have been able to move, crawled to Mike’s side to lick him awake.

It was a true epiphany for Arms as he spoke to God and said “Let me live, and I promise you, I will do everything in my lifetime to protect them.” Mike has remained true to his word as the man who has saved more animals than any other person, living or dead, in animal welfare history.

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