Make That Change

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Man in the Mirror by Micheal Jackson

I’m gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It’s gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right…

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,
a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya’ know
‘Cause they got nowhere to go
That’s why I want you to know

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me,
pretending that they’re not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be
That’s why I’m starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways – ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)
CHANGE!

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror – Oh yeah!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)

(Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
(You gotta get it right, while you got the time)
(‘Cause when you close your heart)
You can’t close your… your mind!
(Then you close your… mind!)
That man, that man, that man, that man
With the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah!)
That man, that man, that man,
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
You know… that man
No message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna m
ake the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself and then make the change
(Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah
(Ooooh…)
Oh no, no no…

I’m gonna make a change
It’s gonna feel real good!
Come on!
(Change…)
Just lift yourself
You know
You’ve got to stop it,
Yourself!
(Yeah! – Make that change!)
I’ve got to make that change, today!
Hoo!
(Man in the mirror)
You got to
You got to not let yourself…
brother…

(Yeah! – Make that change!)
You know – I’ve got to get
that man, that man…
(Man in the mirror)
You’ve got to
You’ve got to move! Come on!
Come on!
You got to…
Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!
(Yeah! – Make that change)
Stand up and lift yourself, now!
(Man in the mirror)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Aaow!
(Yeah! – Make that change!)
Gonna make that change…
come on!
You know it!

This song is indeed about people suffering and the cruelty of the world, but it goes way deeper.  It says the only way that you can change the world is if to change yourself! Why is it that we care more about Paris Hilton in jail than the child soldier in Uganda? Why is it that it’s more important to watch the Grammy’s than to go on an AIDS walk? Ultimately, we have to face ourselves and change our attitudes for the world to be a better place. If we as a society were more sympathetic to others around us, if we put others first before ourselves, then with that, a change will occur.

You know it!
You know it!
You know it…
(Change…)
Make that change.

Man in the Mirror MP3

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New Year’s Resolutions

happy_new_year_fireworksNew Year’s Resolutions

I hope you all are enjoying the holidays and no matter where you live, I hope you have a happy and festive new year.  New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Did your New Year resolutions make this top-ten list?

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends

Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year.  Work shouldn’t always come first!

2. Fit in Fitness

The evidence is in for fitness. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better.

3. Tame the Bulge

Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, and the key to success for those millions of Americans who made a New Year’s commitment to shed extra pounds.

4. Quit Smoking

If you have resolved to make this the year that you stamp out your smoking habit, over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life!

5. Enjoy Life More

Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions of Americans, it is no wonder that “enjoying life more” has become a popular resolution in recent years. It’s an important step to a happier and healthier you! Just get out and try something new! Take up a new hobby or try your hand at skiing. Go to a theater performance, or head to the local spa.

6. Quit Drinking

While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available. E-mail me if you want more details.

7. Get Out of Debt

Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Join the millions of Americans who have resolved to spend this year getting a handle on their finances. It’s a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year ahead.

8. Learn Something New

Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year’s resolutions to keep.  Most local colleges and universities offer distance and adult education programs.

9. Help Others

A popular, non-selfish New Year’s resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or building a house, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help. If your time is really in short supply, maybe you can at least find it in you to donate the furniture, clothing and other household items that you no longer need, rather than leaving them out by the curb to fill up our landfills.

10. Get Organized

On just about every New Year resolution top ten list, organization can be a very reasonable goal. Whether you want your home organized enough that you can invite someone over on a whim, or your office organized enough that you can find the stapler when you need it, these tips and resources should get you started on the way to a more organized life.

If this isn’t one of your New Year’s Resolutions, please leave a comment to let others know what you’re doing to improve your life throughout 2009.

My Memorable Blog Posts from 2008:

The Last Autumn Leaf

Beyond the Storm

The Calling

Harmony of the Worlds

Staying Positive in Tough Times

Turn Around the Negative Self-Talk

Anima Mundi

The Optimism Test

Flow

The Key

The Breakthrough


Foods and Tips that Relieve Stress

Strawberies calm stress and reduce anxiety.

Strawberries can calm stress and reduce anxiety.

Good foods to help relieve stress:

Avocados
Nuts
Bananas
Oranges
Soy
Spinach
Strawberries
Turkey

For more look here: http://www.freesamplesite.com/ydf/sh….php?p=1324255

Stress hormones:

trigger back pain
weaken the immune system.
make blood sugar rise and can promote diabetes.
increases your chances of developing gum disease.
Can cause depression.

80% of fatigue is from stress. Get a 20-30 minute cat nap before 4 pm.

Stress can be produced by drugs, chemicals, infection, surgery, noise, excessive fatigue, psychological upsets, resentments, hatred and hundreds of other factors.

Job Stress Fuels Disease

Studies have shown that workplace stress can lead to serious ailments such as an increase in rates of heart disease, flu virus, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure.

Some studies have found stress can cause unhealthy behaviors, such as eating poorly or drinking more alcohol, which can then lead to health problems. In the new study, the researchers suggest stress can have a more direct effect, disrupting the body’s ability to process glucose, leading to diabetes. Those who are chronically stressed are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. The results held even when factors like age, sex, exercise and obesity were taken into account.

Stress leads to emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue or exhaustion and cognitive weariness (slow thinking).

________________________________________________________________

Affection signals the brain to release oxytocin, a hormone that boosts feelings of affection and is a buffer against stress–and has even been used to treat depression.

We all need to be touched several times a day. Hug family and friends to raises level of Oxytocin that slows the body’s response to stress. Smooching signals the brain to release oxytocin, a hormone that boots feelings of affection and is a buffer against stress–and has even been used to treat depression.*This is why we al need to be touched several times a day.

One of the best weapons against tension is laughter which lowers levels of the damaging stress hormone cortisol. (Cortisol will cause us to crave comfort foods like chocolate cake.) Laughter reverses the constriction of blood vessels, helps protect brain cells and helps us get rid of the fat stomach that cortisol gives us in times of stress.

Stress is detrimental to the immune system and laughter has the ability to strengthen the immune system. Laughter helps boost the immune function by raising levels of infection fighting T-cells, produces a general sense of well being. It works as a prescription drug but is entirely natural and has no negative side effects.

People who get enough sleep feel significantly more cheerful the next day (plus it helps get rid of the damaging stress hormone cortisol in your stomach which makes you look fat). Lack of sleep can lead to strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, psychiatric problems, weight gain, decreased alertness, impaired memory and cognitive ability and along with the increased stress.
Get plenty of sleep.

Go to bed early (at 9:00, if you have to) and try to wake naturally without an alarm clock. Unplug the phone in your bedroom so you can’t be bothered. Drink milk at bedtime to sleep better and be significantly more alert the next day. Any variety even lactose-reduced, skim, full-fat or flavored will work.

Siberian Eleuthero (aka Siberian ginseng) helps keep you sharp and alert. It helps support the adrenal glands which become depleted during stress. 200 mg capsule twice daily (health food stores)

Vitamin C helps reduce the physical and psychological toll of stress, and even lowered stress-induced high blood pressure as much as 10% when taken regularly. Orange juice is proven to lower levels of cortisol, 1000 mg Vitamin C- completely wipes out elevated levels of stress hormone cortisol.

Grapefruit and oranges and whey protein contain a stress busting ingredient and will help you stay calm tension free. Whey contains alpha lactalbumin that boosts the body’s level of tryptophan, a building block of the feel-good hormone serotonin by as much as 43%. (Serotonin is a brain chemical that reduces hunger and boosts our sense of well being. When serotonin is low (which happens when you go “low carb”) you become increasingly dissatisfied with both food and life, making it harder to stick to a diet. Low serotonin levels make us much more prone to nighttime munchies but when serotonin levels are high we just don’t crave sweets. We need the right cards to get thin.

Foods that are considered sources of tryptophan (a natural sedative) are dairy products, beef, turkey meat poultry, barley, brown rice, fish, soybeans, and peanuts.

600 mg. of Valerian daily for a week. Valerian is a natural muscle relaxant, so it also is an excellent remedy for stress induced insomnia.

Lemon balm- Drink lemon balm tea or take an 80 mg. capsule three times a day (health food store)

10 minutes of sun

Orange scent- a drop calms people and puts them in a more positive mood.

Relaxing also helps you *to unlock fat stores caused by the stress**hormone cortisol.*

Read something fun*instead of stress-inducing “thrillers”.

Chew gum to relieve muscle tension (preferably Big Red, which contains cinnamon which naturally kills bacteria in our mouths for up to 30 minutes after*wards)

5-10 min walk to help reduce stress by boosting feel good endorphins in your body. Stress constricts blood vessels and lowers our immune system and ability to fight off disease.*Just 30 minutes, three to four times a week will keep your stress hormones down. Anything that gets your heart rate up–even heavy cleaning–will work.*

Deep breathing calms the nervous system, lowers blood pressure and heart rate and reduces the level of cortisol.*

Nuts, rich in magnesium , a mineral proven to instantly help people feel calm and content or a cheese plate– the protein boosts serotonin levels in the brain, putting you in a happier, more relaxed mood. Serotonin is a brain chemical that reduces hunger and boosts our sense of well being. When serotonin is low (which happens when you go “low carb”) you become increasingly dissatisfied with both food and life, making it harder to stick to a diet. Low serotonin levels make us much more prone to nighttime munchies but when serotonin levels are high we just don’t crave sweets. We need the right cards to get thin. V-8 stops the munchies Protein helps prevent high levels of the stress cortisol. (Good sources eggs, fish, chicken tofu and beans.

Magnesium rich foods- tofu, cashews, almonds, turkey, spinach, avocados and Brazil nuts-*
strawberries
apples

Wear the calming color of blue (the color red can actually make you feel stressed.)

Listen to 25 minutes of relaxing music daily can lower stress hormone by 25%.

Make sure you are taking a multi-vitamin daily.

Avoid alcohol as it depletes your body of B-Vitamins and magnesium.
B vitamins are very important and should be taken in a complex with all of the other B vitamins. (B-150 at Wal-Mart is a good one.)*Molasses, Brewer’s Yeast and wheat germ are rich in “B” vitamins

Fact: If you exercise to lose weight chances are you won’t stick with it. But if you walk or do other exercise to lower stress, chances are that you will.*

The easiest way to solve any problem is to simply let it go. Let go of the struggle and you will be released.*

Stress increases your chances of developing gum disease.

Lavender, rose and jasmine oil are all natural stress relievers.*

Before entering a stressful situation take a moment to reflect on what’s most important you–ex: your faith. It will tame your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol.

FACT: There is a link between everyday stress, tension and excess stubborn belly fat. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol can cause lots of excess body fat to accumulate around your waist and tummy…(that weight gain that gives us a big basket-ball like stomach) creating a bulging midsection and destroying your figure. It is a health threat to an estimated 47 million Americans. The harmful combination of everyday stess, overeating, and excess cortisol…all conspires to keep us overweight, tired, and thick around the middle.*

Cortisol, which has also been linked to Alzheimers, causes us to crave comfort foods like chocolate cake.

* Ok….stress–> cortisol –> Alzheimer’s and now they are showing Alzheimer’s has a link to diabetes! .

Chronic stress triggers major biochemical changes that practically give our bodies no choice but to gain weight. When Cortisol is consistently released into the blood stream the digestive system becomes weak and unable to alert the liver that the stomach is full. Cortisol causes a blood sugar flux that sparks carb cravings so intense that sticking to a diet is nearly impossible.

A tongue that is red and bumpy it is a sign of cortisol overload.

Protein (beans, chicken, eggs and fish are foods that counterattack the cortisol.) and helps prevent high levels of the stress cortisol. (Stress slows down metabolism which causes weight gain.)

To ease stress, try this acupuncture trick: Hold out your right arm, wrist straight and fingers relaxed. Measure two fingerwidths down from your wrist; press that point for 10 seconds, then release for 10 seconds. Repeat nine times. Pressing this point sends a calming energy flow to the heart and triggers a 22 percent drop in cortisol almost instantly.

Stress can slow down your metabolism. When the body is faces with stress of any kind–a traffic jam, an illness, an over-wrought boss or even the stress of dieting –it releases anti-stress (adrenal) hormones, particularly norepinephrine. In a well-nourished, fit person, the body recovers quickly from the stress and goes on as before. Most average Americans are existing on what can be termed a “fast food” that depletes their reserves of micro-nutrients. When this happens, the body’s fat-burning ability is impaired.*

To reduce the effect of stress on your body and get your metabolism in high gear you need anti-stress vitamins and minerals (which can also help you control hunger and cravings and help you control stress) and you need to be active. (You may not even feel like being active now but once you get your metabolism corrected you will start losing weight and feel so good about it you will want to be more active to burn more calories.)

The Department of Health lists caffeine along with nicotine and heroin as an addictive substance. Caffeine is also a real stress on the body–one that has a negative effect on your metabolism. The anti-stress hormones are the substances that prepare your body for an appropriate reaction to stress.*

Caffeine causes the release of these anti-stress hormones. Eventually the body’s supply of these hormones is depleted. When that happens you begin to notice symptoms: fatigue, headaches, irritability and a general run-down feeling. What you aren’t noticing is that due to the depletion of the anti-stress hormones, your metabolism is slowing down and your ability to burn calories has been compromised. You simply can’t lose weight effectively.

Anti-stress formula vitamin will help you lose weight because stress slows your metabolism. Get a good quality multiple vitamin and mineral compound containing 10,000 IUs of beta-carotene and approximately 50 mg of each of the B vitamins plus 1,000 mg of Vitamin C, 400 IUs of Vitamin E and 50 mcg of selenium.*

When we eat a candy bar–which contains more sugar than a body can use in a week– blood-sugar levels goes up and the pancreas overreacts, producing an excess of insulin. This flood of insulin depresses your blood sugar severely. In response the adrenal glands release anti-stress hormones, which in turn release the sugar that is stored in the liver for emergencies.

The ultimate result is that you get a brief burst of energy from the candy. Then your insulin level goes up and your spirits fall. Suddenly you feel tired, irritable, moody, depressed–and you don’t know why. But finally your adrenal gland kicks in and you experience feelings of anxiety, including nervousness and sometimes even palpitations. The extreme rise and fall of insulin levels makes you hungry. Sugar is causing symptoms of energy followed by depression followed by anxiety and a constant feeling of hunger.

*Make sure to talk to your doctor about the foods that you eat and the level of stress that you have. I am not a doctor

Happy Merry Everything!

happy-holidays-webcopy1

Happy Merry Everything!

Happy holidays, incredible people!

No matter how you choose to celebrate the season, I hope you’re staying warm and feeling loved and remembering to honor your own sweet and shining self.  I am going to try to increase my blog posts where I can have more reader inflow.  If you like my blog, I encourage you to subscribe, comment, and even tell others about this blog so that you can share the optimism throughout this wonderful holiday season.

Thank You!

Jacob

The Key

buffalo2007_page_25_image_0001The Key

Jacob Vinson

I feel as though I am in a room of mirrors, yet instead of my own image being in them, I see several different people- several different aspects of my personality. I see the happy, the sad, the downright evil, and even the unrelenting kindness that I try to portray- as well as my many other moods and personality traits. I wonder how all of these attributes could possibly come together into one human being. Behind my grin, my frown, my smirk, and my warming smile, I see locked doors, all with compelling decorations adorning them. My smirk is the most noticeable mirror, taunting me to just give up and fail, fall into the darkness, and disappear.

I have the key to one of these doors- unfortunately, I don’t know where it fits, but I am certain it is for a door that will open and leave me facing in awe at the radiant beauty inside- a passageway that will finally set me in my place. When I pass through it, I’m sure that I will be totally and forever content with my life. When I do find this door, I will shun the bad things that my past has wrought, hold on to the good things and glide freely into the abysmal yet radiant gateway.

It sounds so nice, but realistically to accomplish a path to my correct setting, I must go through my life, morally face all of my emotions, and continue on my worldly journey for happiness. They say the journey creates the man, as does the man create the journey, and every journey begins and ends. It has its ups and downs, from seeing loved ones thrive, and others tragically perish. A journey also includes seeing nations fall and rise like the seasons, seeing the flowers blossom, grow and die, seeing the sun, feeling the rain, breathing the cold winter air, but never in vain– all in a seemingly magical and wondrous cycle.

The vanity of vanities would be to live one’s entire life without purpose, and I will fight to make sure that my own life does not end up this way. I have the key- that much is certain- and I pray that along the journey I may pick up clues that will eventually guide me to the end of my voyage- to a door in which my key fits.

As I said, every journey ends- some unfortunately end badly, but others end well. I have the power to control my destiny. I have the power to defeat the pessimism that is in my heart and soul- to destroy that demeaning smirk behind my hazel eyes and change it into a warm and calm smile- a smile that is content- for then I will no longer need a key- I will have found the place to which I belong, and in that moment, with relief, everything will be clear.

With life being so unpredictable, the two things that I would want most would to be able to live my life clearly and contently- to never have to worry if I’ve taken the wrong step, to never regret the choices that I have made, and to never doubt my next move. One day I will be free from the tangling grasp of anxiety and depression.

With the key held firmly to my heart, I press on.

Winter Warmth

Cold is invading my temperamental shell as I fade in and out of consciousness. Winter has arrived, for the night at least. I don’t really mind the cold, but there is an unmistakable lifeless feeling that encroaches me when I think of the foliage, trees- almost nature itself- dying. It’s still beautiful though, the cold is. It’s something that can inspire togetherness. One warm body can warm another in times of chilliness, and it’s that simple transaction- from cold to warm, from lost to found, from unwanted to loved- that throws a little spice into the dreary mix that winter portrays.

The sun is slowly churning its way away from us for the season as the winter solstice approaches. It’s leaving us temporarily, but we will continue to search for warmth, just as birds do as they migrate across the country towards the South.

Scientists can’t seem to make or find perpetual motion, but all they have to do is look around. The universe in itself is always moving, and will continue to move until the end of our time. It exists in nature as life cycles as well. Harnessing perpetual motion is an impossible ideology that we created to try to soothe our wanting minds. We cannot harness the universe or the complete cycle of life, but we can observe these things and use what we observe to benefit us to the greatest extent.

Flow

My paranoid aura is beginning to fade beyond my calming yet manic eyes- as I divulge into worlds unknown, tearing apart my world from above, analyzing my flaws and faults upon a melancholy backdrop of sky and ocean. The stars shine and glimmer about, flashing through unknown waters- below the vast seas I travel, wanting to feel the radiance of the sun, wanting to hear more than silence, wanting to forget my ghostly past, just wanting- just flowing in a monsoon of thoughts and worries- going with the flow.

No one tells you that the flow isn’t actually a flow at all. It’s a blowing, ferocious storm, and it is a part of you. Once you decide to let it control you, it will certainly do so. The earth is beautiful, but society is not. Take people off of the earth, and you have a living, growing – thriving world – a world that shines, smiles, and rebounds from its own storms. You put people on those shores, and let them fight against the wind and rain, against storms and hurricanes, and you are eventually left with chaos.

However, it’s not the people’s fault that they live where they do when these horrid things happen. It’s just life. It’s unforgiving, it’s cruel; it’s life – just life. We make life choices that change how we live, where we live, what we have- usually not what others have, and that is one of our greatest flaws. It’s all about us, not about anyone else. We close our eyes and turn away from the truth that some unfortunate people have to face. We refuse to volunteer our time and money to help something or someone that is in a less-than-fortunate situation. Why? It doesn’t benefit our income, our way of life, or our possessions.

Luckily, some people do see the truth- the truth that it’s not about what we have, it’s about what all of us have, and until we agree to come together- to fight, breath, and live as one, then we fail to improve our morality and our purity, and continue to dive into the realm of poverty and economic and global stress. Since we choose to live on this earth, shouldn’t we do something to help, just one little thing- just something?

My eyes close as I end writing that thought, still thinking, still flowing. Although hard, I’m trying to make as much sense of this world as I can. The world is so beautiful in a lot of ways, but so horrible in others. It’s just life, but hopefully the beauty will have its day to shine above the darkness that lies within. Perhaps the good will defeat the evil completely. Until then, I live on in a motionless torment, below the sky and sea, yet above everything. One day I’ll walk on a beach of pure white and sun- when the fight is fought and when the fight is won, or lost- depending on which side you’re on.

Regardless, it’s always darkest before the dawn, and the dawn sprouts life and warmth, which will heal us all, and perhaps bring us together for good. But, who knows, everything is chance, and in a world of chance, it’s hard to find motivation to live. That’s just my opinion, but I am optimistic that things will change for the good, and I’ll find my place somewhere in the world one day, once I’m out of this unforgiving flow. Time is the only thing that can heal us, yet it’s also the only thing that can kill us.

Time is almost as unforgiving as the flow of life, but it’s the only thing that you can count on to be there, when everything else stops, when your heart skips a beat, time still moves on, and it’ll bring you where you’re supposed to be. So just live for yourself, live for others, live for improvement, just live. Everything will figure itself out in the end. When the storm is over, you’ll land where you belong.