Monthly Archives: September 2010

Healing and Hope in The Blogosphere or One Blogger’s Birthday Wish.


 

Voices in The Blogosphere

Before I start, I just want to say…. don’t go….stay, have a read, sit down – I need some company!

Phewww…you’re still here. That’s good, ‘cos I thought you were leaving and this post is important, so I’d love you to stay.

I’ll begin first by telling you this:-

IComLeavWe

This past week I joined an idea called IComLeavWe, a week where you sign up as a blogger to participate in a kind of commenting marathon. There is a list and you are encouraged to visit the people on that list and comment on their blog. Sounds like fun. A good way to meet other bloggers and share their experiences and thoughts. This I expected. And looked forward to. (BTW If you were also a part of ICLW, a big HI and thanks for sharing last week 🙂 )

What I didn’t expect was the way I would feel after I had read so many blogs and heard so many voices, many of whom were bearing their soul, speaking about loss, heartache and unfulfilled dreams and hopes. Some were even written by homeless people, trying to break the stereotype of people on the streets. One post I read, from an author who did not have a home, began with “I am not a drunk nor am not mentally ill. I am a mother….”  Needless to say some of the stories I read broke my heart.

Tears and Comments

I wished I could help. Their need for healing and replenishment spoke to me, but what could I do? All I could think of was to leave a kind comment, hoping to cheer their day maybe a little. Still this felt like little.

It still does and all I can say to anyone who maybe reading this, who recognises themselves in what I have just said, is that, my heart is with you.♥

Another Blog Post

Okay so the next thing that happened was that I read (as I always do) the blog of cyber mentor, Craig Harper. If you don’t read Craig’s blog,you’re missing out. His articles are almost as good as mine Confused Okay, maybe better. Possibly. Maybe. Okay, time to shut up, Mon.Lips Are Sealed

Anyhow it was Craig’s birthday this week, as it was mine. And for his birthday, Craig asked that his subscribers donate $2 – to a charity called Door of Hope Australia, a group that you can read more about here.

The Birthday Giving Idea

I donated and kind of got hooked on Craig’s birthday giving idea and wanted to do what I could to extend and build upon the donations already begun on his site. And so…..yes, I am asking you (and I don’t feel real comfortable about asking, ‘cos most people have their own ideas about helping the poor, but anyhow……) to perhaps consider a small donation to this charity.

I know donating to this charity does not help or contribute to the wellbeing of any of the people I talked about at the beginning of this post, but it will help someone, somewhere, namely a group of kids in Africa, some of whom were misfortunate enough to have been born HIV positive (and, as Craig says, and we thought we had problems).

A Birthday Wish

So that’s it – for my birthday (okay, so you don’t even know me and you weren’t going to get me a present anyway –  good point), nevertheless, if you have plenty of what you need and want in life, then perhaps a little donation ( just $2 is the going rate) toward helping the lives of some kids who have nothing, may be something you would consider doing today? It would be appreciated and I guarantee would make a big difference to someone.

You can check out Craig’s article here and donate to the charity we have talked about, Door of Hope Australia, here.

Also if you have a charity or cause that is close to your heart, please feel free to give it a ‘shout out’ here or if you’d like to share your views about helping those less fortunate than most of us, I’d love to listen to them.

Listening is my latest obsession. You can learn so much when you stop talking (even just for a little bit) and just listen. 🙂

Happy Giving and Many Thanks in Advance,

Mon ♥

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Communication, Weight Loss and The Food Marketing World (And How To Beat Them At Their Game)


 

 

Words and Communication – What Are We Really Saying?

The other night as I was cooking dinner, the familiar ‘you’ve just received a text’ sound echoed from the phone in my handbag. I ignored it (didn’t want to burn the chicken!) and later discovered that this particular message required some unexpected deciphering. Try as I might, I just didn’t (fully) understand what the person had said.

It wasn’t so much the symbols they had used. It was just that the overall message was not clear enough for me to know how to exactly how to respond. Unlike in a real conversation, where one person might say ‘So what do you think  or  feel about x, y or z ?’ and the other can respond appropriately, a text message often fails to include true emotion.

Many experts say that in this modern communication age, where we fail to include true emotion in much of what we communicate, we are damaging rather than the building foundations for good relationships. In the multitude of short ‘sound bites’ we send out, which do not include the face to face co-communicators of facial expression, body language or voice tone (as with txt, twitter, email, etc…) meaningful discourse, they say, is lost.

Of course we’re all getting good at fixing that problem with the inclusion of emoticons and other such symbols to convey our feelings. 🙂 Nothing wrong with that. 🙂 🙂

The Psychology of Words And Your Food Choices

Anyhow all this new awareness about words and communication has led me to notice the types of words used by marketers and manufacturers of certain food products. Recently, on one box of ice creams (single serves) I noticed all of the following words – heart, golden, heavenly, indulgent and perfect. All of these words described the moments you would feel or experience if you ate one of the above said ice creams.

 At one time in my life, I would have been fully swayed by such words. Many times after a busy day’s work, I was a hapless victim at the corner shop. Back then, I would always buy the snack, ice cream or confectionary item fully believing (at least at a subconscious level) that the food item called ‘Lift’ or ‘Heavenly Moment’ would actually produce the exact same effect in my life. Naive, I know.

These days however, being the food detective that I now am, I instead choose to look at the nutritional labels on items and understand the real facts. I know now that advertisers are playing a game with me.

How many of us would still be drawn to, for example, a plain box of ice-creams (no pictures, no attractive illustrations) with the words – regret, 400 calories, high sugar, high fat, little nutritional value?

No positive emotion conveyed there and quite possibly, no ice creams would be sold 😦

Debunking The Hype

Of course marketers know this and have become extremely adept at capturing our attention and manipulating our choices.  Whilst I admire their clever creativity, I know it’s all hype and rather than fall prey to their cause, I prefer, these days, to debunk their marketing hype, even as I read it. It’s kind of a habit now, but a good one and kind of fun.
I know in reality that the sugar marketeers can not improve my day or make me feel good, in any way shape or form. 

Only I can do that.

 I also know that there is no particular food which is better ‘for my busy lifestyle’ or ‘fun to eat’ or any of the other common food messages I frequently hear and read.

So how do you handle those ubiquitous ads for food? Do you find yourself persuaded by the words advertisers use and thus enticed to buy certain foods?  Or, do you ignore them and base your food choices on nutritional information rather than anything else on the box?

Also, what do you think about children being targeted with such advertising? What are our kids really learning about how to choose their foods?

I’d love to know what others think about this issue. What are your thoughts?

From The Blogosphere To The Beach or Why I’m Not Blogging This Week


From The Blogosphere To The Beach or Why I’m Not Blogging This Week.

From The Blogosphere To The Beach or Why I’m Not Blogging This Week


From The Blogosphere To The Beach or Why I’m Not Blogging This Week.

From The Blogosphere To The Beach or Why I’m Not Blogging This Week


 

I am not sure I should publish today’s post.  I mean, some one might read it. And someone might ridicule a blog post on the topic of er….not blogging. As well they may, because there certainly is a distinct irony in writing a post about why you’re not writing a post.  But never mind, here it goes anyhow….

A Badge of Blogging Silence

Call me weird ( I heard that !) but sometimes I just like a little silence in my life. A little solitude and reflection. A little time to just be. I know I’m not alone in this desire. It’s the reason that we all enjoy, every now and again, an escape to somewhere where routine just doesn’t exist. To a place where it doesn’t matter if  you’re late for a meeting (‘cos there are none) or you get the kids to school late (‘cos there is none) or if any of the other expectations or activities (basically called life) are not met or carried out…..

It is that deep longing for silence and peace that beckons us and leads us to somewhere ‘quiet’. It is why young surfers sit on their boards after sunset, long after the best waves are gone. Why mothers of young children hide away in the smallest room in their house.  And it is why I am not blogging, this week.

Finding ‘somewhere quiet’ is Australia usually means a trip to the beach. Which is where I am right now. Waves crashing and rolling only metres in front of me. A view of the beach and the ocean my only vision, apart from the screen in front of me, which I will soon close.

Eat, Pray, Love

So that, in  brief, is why I’m not blogging this week.  That and because I have my head buried in a little book called EAT, PRAY, LOVE (subtitled, One Woman’s Search For Everything). 

You may have heard of it.

I was going to say that I am totally absorbed by this book, but that would probably not even hit the mark. Totally sucked into a ‘reading vortex’ is probably a more accurate description. I love this book. It has totally absorbed me.  I won’t turn this post into a review of it, but I will share with you one excerpt that stood out for me, as I pondered what or whether I would blog today.

Several ideas had crept into my mind as I thought of writing today. Quite a few actually. As they usually do before I write, these ideas swirled around my head. Yeah, that sounds okay, I reply to a few of the ideas that stand out the most. I could research this ….and then, I could write about A,B or C…. Yes, that could be good.

Yet somehow, I just didn’t want to disturb my new-found peace that much to really flesh out my ideas into the form of a blog post. I just wanted to be still. And quiet. Yet my mind still nagged me to write a post.

So, to distract myself, I picked up my latest absorption and two paragraphs into the book, I read this:-

“Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.”

So that was it. I was not writing a blog post today. Not one word.

But I will next week . No doubt by then my words will be spilling out of me, through the rupture of my mouth (or this keyboard) , but for now….I am on retreat. In blogging silence. I don’t know that this will necessarily fill the world with serenity, peace or bliss, but from this end of the blogosphere, things will be okay.

I may be on a temporary blogging hiatus, however I would still love to hear your comments. How do you find a ‘quiet space’ in your life? Do you need it? Long for it? Does having ‘a little time out’ restore your energies or creativity? Or maybe you get too much silence? Maybe connection and people are what you long for most? Or maybe, you’d just like to share how your day has been. I would love to hear about it.

I will be back blogging again, next week. I think I will miss the blogosphere too much if I take any more time off. It’s a pity cool place 🙂

What Is Weight Loss – Just a Slim Body or A Healthy, Vibrant and Fully In Charge of Yourself Way To Be?


I thought today I’d pose a few questions to you, about what we conceive the journey of weight loss to be.  So many of us think of weight loss only in terms of the slim, attractive body we may gain. Yes, one plus. However, in my humble experience, it has been so much more.

Active Aging

One of the most wonderful benefits, in changing your lifestyle to a more active and nutritionally centred one, is the anti-aging effects it has on your body.  We all know some older people who do things in their later years that amaze us and seem to defy their ‘years’. Similarly, we all know young people, who simply seem to have ‘gotten old before their time’.  Regular activity and exercise seems to be the differentiating element here.

Furthermore , did you know that:-

1) Nutritionally nourished skin sags less. 

2) Regularly exercised muscles get stronger and do not atrophy (NB: muscular atrophy is a common and debilitating ailment of old age).

3) An exercised heart pumps more effectively and efficiently. 

4) An regularly exercised body will cause blood pressure to drop and cholesterol levels improve.

More Energy, Better Moods

Your body’s positive responses to exercise do not end there, however.

Two of the less known side effects are the release of neurochemicals that enhance your mood and the corresponding reduction in stress hormones, both which lead to greater feelings of wellbeing.

In short, take up regular physical activity and you will be more energised physically and emotionally! One of the further benefits is that this leaves you more time for other life enriching activities, which you previously avoided or simply, ‘didn’t have the energy’ for !

Biological Age versus Chronological Age

In addition, all of the individual enhancements when amalgamated and calculated as a whole, can also define your new biological age. Yes, that’s right – a healthy, active lifestyle can reduce your age (biologically speaking)!!  Now you may be thinking – nah, a 40 year old is a 40 year old, end of story.  Well, not really.  When the determinants of health which we have described above – ie blood pressure, cholesterol readings, heart health etc..are collated and examined,  no two 40 (or 50) year old are ever the same!

A healthy, fit and active 40 year old can have readings and reports that equal that of the average 25 year old, whilst his inactive and overweight counterpart may have results that equal that of the average 70 year old!

As a motivational tool on your weight loss journey then, my humble suggestion is that next time you have a “I need to lose weight” thought that crosses your mind, allow yourself also to reflect on the long-term and wide ranging benefits to your longevity, your well-being, your energy levels and quite possibly, your personal happiness. 🙂

 

How old were you when you took up fitness training or a new physical activity? Do you agree that age is something not defined by the calendar but rather our attitudes and behaviours regardless of our age ‘number ? Do you know any older friends or relatives (or maybe it’s you!) who are defying the expectations of their age and doing something extraordinary?

Musings on Seeking (and Finding) More Happiness and Peace


  

“You are only one thought away from a good feeling.”

Happiness! It’s something we all want but  struggle to find.  We could be happy we tell ourselves, if only we had fewer thoughts to analyse, fewer reactions to tame and no bad habits to change. Basically we’d all like to be more in charge of our lives. Maybe then we could be truly happy.

But perhaps all of the above just kind of ‘goes with the territory’ of living? Maybe we’d better just get used to it, ‘cos perhaps it is an inevitable part of the whole ‘being human’ thing ?

A while ago in my life I had to ponder those questions myself and if I wanted to stay on track with my weight loss efforts, I had to get some answers. What I found was that staying healthy psychologically was a real boon to staying healthy physically. We are, after all, not one-dimensional, but multidimensional beings, with many parts to heal, restore and transform.

So today’s post is about a few of the ideas that I’ve discovered and found to be effective (for me) . I hope they are for you too.

You Can Be Happy

I’m talking here mainly about a few principles I have learnt and now practice myself and that basically all come from a little book called, YOU CAN BE HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT. Great title, huh?

The principles are simple, but once you start to practice them, they can be quite powerful. Okay so here they are briefly described.

1) Stop taking every thought seriously. I think the average human mind produces about 60,000 thoughts a day, so not every one of those thoughts is something you need to take notice of, particularly if the thoughts are negative. Instead you can simply acknowledge them, choice to regard them as temporary and move on. In other words, don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis.

2) Feelings are like thoughts. They will arise, sometimes out of nowhere it seems, but they will pass, if we allow them to, simply  by giving them less of our attention. Giving  your mind’s full attention to your thoughts by ruminating over things, hanging on to regrets or ‘if only’s’, is only going to make you more frightened by your own thoughts and….lead to more bad feelings. Sometimes we just have to let things go.

The book also suggests that we view our feelings as our built-in warning system, a system that alerts you via your uneasy feelings that you are heading down the wrong track with your thinking and may need to make a slight mental adjustment or at least, to give your negative thoughts less of your attention and focus.

Stress Reduction

All sound a little hard? Then perhaps you need to become less tolerant of the stress you are under. By that I mean stop being so hard on yourself and take a break. Book a massage. A tank float. A pedicure. Whatever it is that will relax and revive you – and distract you from those continuous and annoying thoughts. Another great tip suggested in the book is to remind yourself that your thoughts are harmless – they are just thoughts. Stop focussing on them, on each and every detail of them and you will be on the road to better psychological health and fewer destructive habits. The opposite behaviour – thinking about something all the time, which I used to do, only makes a problem grow in our minds and  make it appear more formidable.

We all deserve more happiness in our lives. Do you have any techniques or practices that have helped you become a more relaxed or happier person ?

I would love to hear about your own experiences with seeking happiness. Is feeling peaceful an intermittent thing for you – something that comes and goes? If so, what do you do to restore your inner calm? Is it effective? Or perhaps there is another practice or technique that you would like to share?