Monday, June 29, 2009

Lessons I learned from Gardening

"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."
George Washington (1732-1799)

My favorite time of the year is fall with all its splendid colors, milder and warm days, and harvesting. Unless we live out in the wild, without planting in the spring, there will not be a harvest in the fall. A garden has to be prepared in the spring, amended with fertilizers and composts.

Then we can sow the seeds, plant and water and … wait. We can do some cultivating during the summer, remove weeds and rocks coming up and … wait.

That is the greatest lesson that at times, like in life, we have to wait. During the first few weeks, the seeds are in the ground, there is no physical evidence that anything will grow there. With faith and trust in nature, we’ll see seedlings come up shortly. Time is on our side, we can see the process of growth after a while.

Then the nurturing and protecting starts: against bugs, critters, birds and other predators. Again we can only … wait. After many weeks and a lot of work, we can start harvesting and we’ll see the fruits of our labor. It is somehow predictable, but still depends on the weather and other external circumstances. I guess, that’s why most plants have such plentiful results, like you plant one seed of corn and harvest about 4-8 corn cobs with hundreds of new seeds. Nature is good and rewarding, by putting in just a little it gives you a lot.

Other Benefits of Gardening
- good moderate exercise
- builds stamina, strength and flexibility – the three keys to overall fitness
- stress relief
- better nutrition from local grown (organic) produce
- be part of the rhythm of life, get your hands in the dirt, get grounded
- be in the sun and get benefit of vitamin D

- grow organic
Organic fertilizers like seaweed or alfalfa meal are the best way to grow healthier plants. Often the residues from chemical fertilizers find their way into our ground water.
- composting, natural fertilizer, recycling
- garden composting creates usable material from your organic kitchen scraps and other garden waste.
- catching rainwater in barrels
Plants do better if given water free of mineral and chemical deposits. Using rain water is the purest way to irrigate your crops and ornamental garden.

- connect with neighbors and other people
- connect with nature
- connect with rhythm of life, get sunshine

- Gardening requires you to use your head and your creativity. The time spent planning the garden and researching different plants is a great brain workout. I do it during winter when I can’t go outside. Gardening gives me a chance to be creative. It involves our whole personality and give us a chance to let get results year after year.

Gardening is fun. Do you know where the expression "you have a green thumb" comes from? Gardeners snip off dead flowers or leaves which leaves a green residue on your thumb.

Relax --- it doesn’t have to be picture perfect. I like the surprise plants which suddenly grow and turn out to be another tomato plant or a lost squash or some of the beautiful Cleome which come back year after year even in places where I don’t want them. With their large pink, white, rose or purple flower heads, they grow 3-4 foot high plants.

I always leave some room for these surprises. Just like in life, you can plan everything perfectly, but you always have to be flexible and leave room for changes. As it says in bible, 1 Cor. 3:7 "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth."
Here is a side with beautiful pictures and directions on planting a garden:

Monday, June 22, 2009

A T T I T U D E - acronym

by: Charles Swindoll
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines attitude as the position or posture assumed by the body in connection with an action, feeling, mood, etc. or a manner of acting, feeling, or thinking that shows one’s disposition, opinion, etc.

How does one controls or changes one’s attitude?
We are not born with either a positive or negative attitude. Most kids have an upbeat outlook on life or can be easily persuaded in a positive way. When we go through the course of life not everything goes our way and some people feel entitled to an “attitude.” I believe it is an accumulation of negative emotions which bring us down and hold us down if we let it.

I am using an acronym for the word attitude:
· Awareness is the ability to perceive a situation, to feel or be conscious of an event, a circumstance or a pattern. It is the beginning of changing one’s attitude. Once we are aware of a difficulty we can take the necessary steps for changes. If we don’t know how to do it we can always ask or get help.
· Thinking is a mental process. It is one part of our mind faculties: intellect, emotion and will. Sometimes it can help to just stop and think through a situation before we make a choice and consider the consequences of our actions.
· Therapy can help if a diagnosis has been made and a treatment is necessary. Again, it is a matter of choice and dependent on the severity, a plan can be developed. Regarding attitude, it is sometimes possible to create some helpful conditions such as three-week retraining of behavior. To create new habits takes about 30-40 days where one can focus on a new practice. This can be applied to lifestyle, giving up smoking or anything else we do every day. Napoleon Hill, (Think and Grow Rich) dubbed it the R2A2 practice.
· Recognize a principle or improvement that will benefit you.
· Relate the improvement to your own beliefs, experience, business or life.
· Assimilate the improvement into your daily routine.
· Apply and take action and make the improvement a new HABIT.
· There are many identities, but for simplicity I am referring here to our human identity. Our identity come from our creator who purposed us to be good, gave us choices and responsibilities. He gave us unlimited potential and a desire to grow and learn. Our conscience still directs us that way. By focusing our condition of being created in the image of God, we can inherit all of His characteristics and Divine nature.
· Trust is a relationship of reliance, a spiritual value which is essential in relationships. We put IN GOD WE TRUST on our money because we want God to be part of our financial life. Trust in a relationship is both emotional and logical. Emotionally, we make ourselves vulnerable by being open and honest. Logically, we speculate a certain behavior from others. In trusting others we have experienced their trustworthiness and have faith in human nature. Trust is a feeling which includes friendship, love, agreement, and comfort. Steven M.R. Covey, wrote a book on the Speed of Trust.
· Understanding is a psychological process of relating to an abstract or physical object such as a person, a situation or a message. More than using concepts, real life experience brings true understanding. Wisdom growths with years of repetitious activities, and building habits of discipline. Therefore, understanding is crucial to having a good attitude.
· Some people believe that attitude is a talent and we were born with it. Most of us have discovered that when we are down and out on our “luck” it is not any talent or aptitude which helps us out but a very down right decision which can change things around. Taking a different look at a situation or relationship can bring a whole new perspective. It is never wrong to enlist the help of our heavenly father or a trusted friend.
· Emotions are physical sensations in our body, felt as tingles, hot spots or muscular tensions. Human beings are spiritual before we are flesh and blood. Emotions are energy in motion. They are transfered by our mind to express certain feelings and attitudes. The nervous system transmits messages to the muscles which move our arms and legs and make us act a certain way. If these emotions are directed in a positive and constructive way, guided by principles and values, we experience joy, happiness, and peace. On the other hand, if we repress the flow of emotions either by being told we are worthless, stupid or talentless, these sensations turn to resentment, fear, anger, guilt, etc. As long as we carry any of the negative emotion with us, we go up and down, being moody and can never experience a life of true fulfillment. The easiest way of releasing these negative emotions is through Emotional Release Therapy.
Emotions are the most influential to our attitude. Unfortunately, most of us are not aware of our emotional state or misinterpret feelings. Without developing our Emotional Intelligence, which is not something we are born with according to Daniel Goleman, we cannot balance life properly. We can raise our Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) by learning new skills. EQ is a term that describes the ability, capacity, and skill or a self-perceived ability, to identify, assess, and manage the emotions one's self.
Therefore, without developing our ability to manage our attitude we cannot grow to love and engage in human relationships.

Victor Frank wrote: “The last of the human freedoms is to change one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”

To learn more about the Leadership Development System of the TEAM, please visit our website at:

Monday, June 15, 2009

OSU Commencement 2009

Yesterday, I was part of a historical event. It was the 388th commencement ceremony, the largest commencement ceremony The Ohio State University ever held, with 8,162 students graduated this spring semester. Our daughter, Yusun Kim, was part of it and we therefore didn't mind to spend 2 1/2 hours in the arena with some 30,000 other participants. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

I must say, I was curious what a famous politician and astronaut would tell young people at the doorstep into the "real" world. Senator John Glenn spoke at the heel of all the awards including one honorary doctorate for his wife Annie Glenn, for public service.

That was also the focus of the Senator's message which focused on three points:
1) Why not?
2) You are part of something bigger than yourself.
3) Serve others.

At the first point he reminiscent on the progress of humankind in his own lifetime. He inspired the audience to keep an inquisitive mind and always be curious by asking "Why not?" The infinite probabilities of our modern world have put men on the moon, advanced medicine to find penicillin, technology to develop computers, cellphones among just a few conveniences.
That took him to his second point to remind us that we are part of a larger community. Senator Glenn told the crowd:
"No person lives solely as an island unto himself, particularly in a democracy such as ours."
"Those whose world is centered just on themselves live in a very small universe. We are fulfilled when we are part of something bigger than ourselves."

Glenn was referring to society at large, saying that a democracy such as the U.S. requires people to get involved and not just focus inward. He said that's also the way to find personal fulfillment.

That's why he inspired the audience to serve others. Young people need to get involved. By serving others, they can gather their best experiences and memories.

He also mentioned that June 14th is Flag Day: "Beautiful as that waving red, white and blue piece of cloth may be, it is what it stands for, what it symbolizes on this Flag Day, that stirs our feelings, our allegiance and our willingness to support the greater cause it represents -- even at personal risk."

Glenn finished with a familiar, “And in this stadium remember the teams and outstanding individuals who played here ... and now you, just like the OSU teams will represent The Ohio State University. To you, the class of 2009, make yourself proud, God speed, and to each and everyone of you, Go Bucks!“

The Ohio State University President Gordon Gee told students to dream, and dream big.
“If you cannot dream, you will not achieve it. Never, never let a bigoted remark stand.“ President Gee gave the advice especially in regards to high unemployment and a questionable economy. He told the graduates, that with a big dream anything is possible.

At the end of the ceremony we gathered our family and friends and waited for our graduating daughter. She finally arrived, waiving her certificate proudly, "Mom, Dad, I got my certificate, I did it." We had no doubt about it, since she had worked hard and truly deserved the reward.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Emv - MonaVie's New Healthy Energy Drink

At the TEAM convention in Louisville, Kentucky, this past weekend, June 5-7, 2009, Jeff Graham from MonaVie headquarters introduced the new energy drink. Emv is like no other energy drink on the market.
Great tasting and lightly carbonated, this healthy formula increases performance, endurance, and concentration by kicking up your energy level and keeping it there.
Emv contain 80% fruit juice, combined from seven fruits: Acai, Apple, Acerola, Camu camu, Cupuacu, Grape and Pear. Additionally, it contains a Proprietary Energy Blend: Isomaltulose, Guarana, Green Tea, Maca, Yerba mate, Ginseng, D-Ribose, and L-tyrosine.
Isomaltulose is a novel and natural carbohydrate energy source. It is found naturally occurring in honey and sugar cane extract.
Guarana is a Brazilian herb which contain a mild form of caffeine.
Green tea is popular due to its antioxidant polyphenol content.
Maca has been long known in folklore for its aphrodisiac and energizing properties.
Yerba mate is popular among the tropical population as a tea and promotes mental state of wakefulness, focus and alertness.
Ginseng has known medicinal qualities and is used to promote longevity and improve quality of life.
Emv energy drink gives you: clarity, focus, vigor, vitality and a long lasting energy supply.
The official date of release is June 20, 2009. Please visit my website to get more information and to order:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mind Your Own Business

"Make somebody happy today. Mind your own business." ~ Ann Landers

Mind Your Own Business or get rid of a pain in the butt.

MYOB roughly means: attend to your own affairs; keep your nose out of other people's business. Stay focused on your own work. Focus on productivity and excellence for your work responsibilities.
Most of us want to be involved with other people. It is a true human nature to build relationships and to be interested in others.
This is an important lesson I learned recently after I felt self-righteous enough to correct a co-worker's "wasteful, territorial and unnecessary work habits." She told me I was harassing her and complained to the boss. I never could see the whole situation from her point of view and felt unnecessarily conformed. By minding my own business and focus on the work I have to do, I got rid of a pain in the butt (or at least I am on my way to get it healed).

Where does the self-righteous behavior come from?

I like to tell you a short story which in some way affects all of us:
Once upon a time there were two young people, a boy and a girl. While they were growing up they had a lot of fun together and since they had the same parents, they behaved very much like all brothers and sisters. Sometimes they teased each other, sometimes they played and ran and sometimes they just discovered their environment which was very beautiful. A big wild garden surrounded their home. Their favorite game was to name all the animals, trees and flowers, etc. Since it was always warm, they didn’t even have any clothes on.
Everything went very harmonious, until one day, when their servant suddenly had greater interest in the girl. He took her away on some outings and different activities, but the boy didn’t think anything of it. The girl also had no clue why the servant had more interest in her and didn’t want the boy around anymore. But the girl was very trusting and believed everything the servant told her. Then one day, he said: “Did your father say, you should not eat of any tree of the garden?”
By now you probably realize that the story I am telling you is the oldest story (Gen. 3:1-23) in history. The serpent being Lucifer, the archangel of knowledge, first put doubt into Eve’s mind. Then by seducing her, she inherited fear and a whole lot other dysfunctional behavior.
There are four basic dysfunctional behaviors (fallen natures) we all inherited from our first human ancestors (read more in detail about the Fall of Man):
1) Failure to see things from God’s point of view.
2) Leaving ones proper position.
3) Reversal of dominion.
4) Multiplication of evil.
I am assuming that you don’t believe that our ancestors ate a fruit and suddenly became messed up.
We all live with an emotional baggage which comes from the original human parents. Here are some of the emotions connected to the four fallen natures (see page 23 in the link):

1) Failure see things from God's point of view
---- not knowing our true identity
---- not knowing our true purpose
---- unworthiness
---- not accepting ourselves
---- jealousy
---- self-righteous
---- judgemental
---- opinionated
2) Leaving ones proper position
---- not keeping our boundaries
---- being envious
---- controlling others
---- enslaving others
3) Reversal of Dominion
---- various disorders
---- being tutelage
---- disharmony in the family
4) Multiplication of Evil
---- gossiping
---- motivating others to do evil
---- motivating others to smoke/drink/etc.
---- persuading others to addictive behavior
---- multiplying fear

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." ~ Peter Drucker

Emotional Release Therapy
The purpose of the emotional release therapy is to see the whole picture and to understand the goal of the providence of God. We want to live in the presence of God to feel his love and to share that love with others. The ERT is very easy to learn and easy to do for oneself and others. Walter Weston wrote in Emotional Release Therapy - Letting Go of Life's Painful Emotions "Emotional pain produces a destructive energy that blocks you from learning and growing and from achieving personal and vocational success. Through releasing that pain, you may acquire the happiness and satisfaction you have long sought."

Result of emotional release:

* Feel closer to God
* Be grateful
* Greater inner awareness
* Be more intuitive
* Be more forgiving
* Focus on who you are
* Care more for people
* Be a better listener
* Complete healing

To learn more about Emotional Release Therapy, please visit Walter Weston's website: I met with Walter and experienced a wonderful release session. He also gives telephone consultations.