Monday, November 30, 2009

What Are you Grateful for During this Holiday Season?

The image of the praying hands is familiar to most people. The original praying hands were painted by Albrecht Duerer of Germany. Both he and his brother Albert grew up in a large family. Both brothers were very talented, and since the parents didn't have money to pay for art school for their boys, they made a plan on their own. They drew a lot and it became Albrecht's turn to go to academy first and Albert went to work as a laborer in the coalmines to support both of them. After four years, they would exchange the lot and Albert were to go the art school while Albrecht would support both of them.

When Albert's time came, his hands had become arthritic and crippled and he could hardly hold a brush. In gratitude to his brother, Albrecht Duerer painted this beautiful image of the praying hands. I am reading a lot of different stories about the origin of the praying hands, still this one appeals to me because of the deep lesson of gratitude.

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." ~~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer~~

Just like with prayer, gratitude can alter our state of mind. More so, it can raise our vibrational frequency to a level of higher consciousness. Being thankful is an attitude of giving. By being grateful and appreciative for everything we have, we make room for more to come.

Practice the art of gratitude:
• Say thank you more often
• Appreciate your home and the warmth of the house
• Be grateful for your family, husband, wife, children, parents, brothers and sisters, etc.
• Feel obliged to take care of your health
• Feel indebted to your creator for being here, love yourself
• Welcome new ideas and activities into your life
• Enjoy the refreshing taste of your favorite foods, dark chocolate, a cup of coffee, etc.
• Be gratified by the creation and the beauty of nature
• Make your own list for being grateful

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Power in Praising People

By Chris Widener

One of the keys to success is to have successful relationships. We are not islands and we can't have successful relationships by ourselves. And one of the key ways to grow successful in our relationships is to be "life-giving" people to others.

Every person we meet, we either give life to or take life from. You know what I mean. There are people who encourage you and when you are done being with them you feel built up. Then there are others who you feel torn down by.

Successful people are people who have mastered the art of building others up.

One of the ways we build people up is to praise them. There is power in praising people! Something begins to happen in them, in you, and in your relationship when you praise someone.

Remember a time when someone told you something about yourself in a praising manner? It was great, wasn't it? You probably liked that person more after they praised you, didn't you?

Now I am not talking about praising people for the sake of praising people. I am talking about honestly looking for and praising positive character traits and action of others around you. Don't lie to people. If they have done something wrong, correct it, but when they do something right, Praise it!

With that said, here are some benefits of praising people and some ways to start doing it.

-> Your relationship grows. Life is about relationships: family relationships, friends, and co-workers. When we begin to praise people for their positive aspects, our relationships grow. It puts them, and us, on the fast track. Your leadership and influence grows. Who is going to have greater leadership and influence capacity in the lives of their followers, the one who tears down or the one who builds up?

-> Stronger relationships and loyalty. When the person is appreciated and praised, they become fiercely loyal, because they know that you care for them, love them, and appreciate them. This will take you to success.

->Happier, more fulfilled people. I truly believe it is our job to build others up and that they need it. It is a good thing, in and of itself to invest in the lives of others by praising and encouraging them. Even if we never get anything in return, it is the right thing to do to build up other people. Someone else will always come along to tear them down; the successful person will instill in them the power of praise!

Some Ways to Praise
-> Character traits.
Is there someone you know who is joyful? Hard-working? Honest? Then let them know how much you appreciate that in them. You can do it with a word or a card, or a phone call. Say something like this, "You know Tom, I think it is great that you are such a hard-worker. It seems like you are always the first one here and the last one to leave. You really set a good example and I want you to know how much I appreciate that." Simple!

-> Action. Same idea as above. "Sue, I don't know if anybody else has told you this, but your work on the Johnson account was excellent. You have a wonderful ability to communicate the vision of the project and that helps all of the rest of us out in our roles and tasks. Thanks for that. It is greatly appreciated."

Other ways you can show praise and appreciation is with a card, a gift, or time off from work.

Make it your goal to praise at least five people a day. If you can, then praise ten people a day. Or perhaps you can try to praise everyone you come in contact with. It will take work, but it is possible. It just takes discipline and a little effort.

Any way you cut it though, there is power in praising people. First for them, then for you!

Chris Widener's website is:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Give Your Brain a Workout

"A strong mind always hopes, and has always cause to hope."

- Thomas Carlyle

Do you have senior moments? Or you just forget things? Try some of these 83 Neurobic Exercises, suggested by Dr. Lawrence Katz, a professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, and Manning Rubin, author of 60 Ways to Relieve Stress in 60 Seconds.

In their book Keep Your Brain Alive, they suggest mental and physical exercises which involve all five senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting. The idea is to use your senses in a new and unexpected way. It stimulates the brain with natural growth factors called neurotrophins and build new neuropathways. Neurobics not only save brain cells, they also help grow new ones as well.
E.g.:. If you brush your teeth with the right hand, try brushing with your left hand. Or if you drive to work a certain way, find a different route. Or try to eat from another country with spices you never had. Or smell the flowers in the supermarket. Or listen to classic music if you listen to country most of the time.

The idea for these neurobic exercises is that they:
* Involve one or more of your senses in a novel way.
* Engage your attention.
* Break a routine activity in an unexpected, nontrivial way.
* Create new habits for yourself in a playful and childlike way.
* Get out of your comfort zone.

The book is grouped into six subject:

Starting and Ending the Day
  1. Commuting
  2. At Work
  3. At the Market
  4. At Mealtimes
  5. At Leisure

If you like playing games online, there is a website which is very stimulating and challenging to the brain: Or you can also try crossword puzzles or Sudoko.

Monday, November 9, 2009

20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Because of the brave decision of my parents, my family fled East Germany in June of 1961, just two months before the wall was build. We watch in horror, when on the morning of August 13, 1961, German soldiers and construction workers brought out the cinder blocks and the barbed wire and cut Berlin in half. According to the borderline that meant, cutting through houses, streets, properties and most of all the subway.

The Berlin Wall became the physical division between West Berlin and East Germany. On the larger scale it was also the symbolic boundary between democracy and Communism during the Cold War.

Just as my family, between 1949 and 1961 2.7 million East Germans had fled to Western Germany, including a considerable numbers of professionals which the home nation found hard to replace. The idea of the wall was to keep the East Germans hemmed in. Before East Germans were still allowed to work in West Berlin and vice versa. Now, that was all stopped overnight. I remember, flying ones into Berlin (the airport is right in the city near the borderline) and while we were going down (still over East Berlin) we could see the gray parts of the city with few light, few cars on the roads and little activities in general.

History behind the Fall of the Wall:

In the late 1980s Russian leader Gorbachev decided to abandon Russia’s satellite states to try and save his crumbling nation, allowing democracy to filter through, as it did in Poland. There were anti-government protests in East Germany and, after some initially stern words by East German leader Honecker which threatened violence, Russia refused to back him and he resigned. The new leader, Egon Krenz, decided against violence and instead ordered a relaxation of travel restrictions to the West in order to try and defuse rising tensions. However, when a politburo member called Schabowski briefed the media on November 9th, 1989 on the swiftly written decree he misinterpreted what it said, announcing that East Germans could freely use all border crossings to "permanently exit" the nation. Word soon spread and people gathered at the border crossings. Although the guards had no orders to do so, they reopened the borders with the rest of Germany, allowing people to cross freely. The wall ceased to function from that day forward, and people were soon chipping away at it, eventually knocking it down. The East German government withered away.

Here are some photos because words can hardly dscribe the picture of what Berlin looked like for more that 28 years:

Just recently, November 3, 2009, the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, gave a moving speech to the joint session of our congress, thanking the Americans for their role during the cold war and reflecting on the fall of the wall.

It is good to remember historical events. By remembering the past we can learn the lessons and hopefully create a better future where people can live side by side in harmony with each other.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dorn Method - adjusting the length of your legs

One thing my orthopedic doctor didn't pay any attention to or give me any guarantee that the length of my legs would be adjusted through the Hip Resurfacing operation. In the back of my mind I was always looking for a solution since my right leg had become about 1 1/2 inches longer than the left. My chiropractor had put a lift in my left shoe to correct it somewhat but it was not a permanent solution and only worked in my sneakers.
My massage therapist also worked on the trigger points of the leg muscles. Through the Dorn Method I actually discovered that it is pretty common and most of all that it is very easy to correct it.
The Dorn Method was first applied by a German layman after he had injured himself at work. Dieter Dorn followed the directions of a folks healer to get over his back pain and later developed this method into a healing modality which is now taught all over the world, mainly in Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and the Philippines, where Dr. Thomas Zudrell started a school to teach this method.

There are also ways I can help myself with this method, in fact, even after treatment with a practitioner, I have to keep up with the exercises myself to reeducate my muscles. This is important especially if the injury which caused the misalignment is an old one. It takes a while to adjust the pelvis to go back to its original place.

I took the information to my massage therapist and he applied it for me. I am working on walking without a limp.

Randy Dellosa: ... the dorn method for spine alignment and leg length balancing ...

Randy Dellosa: ... the dorn method for spine alignment and leg length balancing ...