Thinking Power

man facing sideways

Maybe you have heard of  affirmations. The word can conjure up several images in the mind but this post is specifically about self help and self improvement. The dictionary definition of AFFIRMATION is – The action or process of affirming something – A formal declaration by a person who declines to take an oath – Emotional support or encouragement.

 

This post is going to look at the type of affirmation used to improve or change a person’s thought process. The habit of negative thinking is unproductive and can become a habit, almost an addiction. Positive affirmations can be used to break the habit. The affirmations can be specific to a particular aim, or more general, such as “ I am always happy and contented”. The positive affirmations can be written, spoken or listened to and can be produced by the individual or another person.

 

Most people have similar aspirations, happiness, wealth, health, happy relationships etc. and so it is easy for one person to create an audio file with multiple affirmations that would be useful to many people. The one important point when using affirmations is to repeat them. Affirmations are also used by many business and sports people to improve performance in whatever field they may be involved in, sales, soccer, MMA, running etc. Sometimes they don’t even know that they are using the technique.

 

Subliminal affirmations work by bypassing the conscious mind and speak directly to the subconscious. I have found these are very good for changing habitual negative thought processes.The affirmations are usually embedded in music or other sounds and cannot be consciously heard by the listener. This allows the subliminal messages to access the unconscious mind in a powerful way.

 

Another method is to repeat the affirmations to yourself as as many times as you can throughout the course of the day. The theory is that the repetition will eventually encourage you to believe the message and embed the thought in your mind.

 

I have heard of people who place Post-It notes with a written affirmation in prominent places throughout their home so that they will read the message frequently every day.

 

It is the repetition that gets the message across to you. There is software that allows a person to write or create an audio file of positive affirmations that will play in the background on the computer while you are working or browsing. The text and audio is not noticable, it is subliminal and can be very beneficial if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen.

 

It could be seen as brainwashing yourself, (for positive effects of course). Some messages are paired with binaural sound beats for a more powerful effect. Binaural audio can be simply described as 3D hearing, binaural beats are basically two different frequencies,one to the left ear and one to the right.The brain will process the two frequencies and perceive the sound as one new third frequency. There are several frequencies that are said to allow the brain to accomplish things such as relax, concentrate, sleep, meditate etc. The binaural beat is thought to help the brain/mind absorb the message of the affirmation(s).

 

You can buy affirmation software which allows you to record your affirmations and then play them back to you throughout a session. To test the power of affirmations, there are plenty of free resources on sites such as YouTube, just search for the affirmation that you want and play it.

 

There is also the theory, mixed in with stuff like quantum physics, belief systems and the like, that suggest we all have the power to create everything that we need and want and that thought itself is the creating force. In general terms, it suggests that everything that exists is energy, or a frequency and that if we concentrate our thoughts on a particular outcome, item, wish and so on that we send out our intentions into the world, and because of this, the desired result must materialize. It is said that this takes a concentrated effort over time. It is also believed that what we think about most will materialize, so it is very dangerous to think negative thoughts all of the time because if this is true, you will ensure that negativity materializes.

 

Whether you think that this is all hippie nonsense or not, it is more healthy to think positive thoughts than negative, so experiment and see what happens. If you wonder why you see or hear the same advertisement over and over again on every TV  commercial break then you may now begin to see why. The same goes for political messages and more. People are attempting to influence us to take a certain course of action by repetition. The same is true of pop songs. The first time that you hear the song, it may sound unremarkable but by the time that you have heard it 50 times in the last 2 days, is begins to “grow” on you and you start to think that it is great, has that ever happened to you????.

 

Positive things can’t occur without action from the individual. Affirmations and positive intentions that are embedded in the subconscious tend to move a person toward taking actions that will lead to the desired outcome as stated in the affirmation, so there is a more down to earth element to affirmations that may be attractive to people who have no interest in anything other than what their senses convey to them.

 

As long as you are in control of your affirmations and intentions, and you make sure that they are positive in some way, there can only be 2 outcomes, either nothing or a good outcome. We are exposed to many influences and influencers in the world, some of these may not be too interested in improving us as a person, many just want to sell us something. Why not use these techniques to improve your life.

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SAD

person walking on road between trees

Many people suffer from fatigue, depression, greater need for sleep and lethargy during the winter months and this could be due to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  I can relate to a few of these. I have the vague idea that SAD has something to do with lack of sunlight, although the exact cause is still officially unknown. I don’t know whether I can say that I am affected by SAD, but I moved from an area of the country where there is a lot of sunlight to an area with less sun . I also worked outside in the sun frequently until about a year ago. I feel the difference.

 

I have noticed the lack of sunlight, even in the summer here, so I am going to assume that SAD has a lot to do with the sun and its effects on the body, such as:

Your biological clock. Less sunlight in fall and winter may cause SAD. The decrease in sunlight could interfere with  your body’s internal clock.

Serotonin levels. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, affects mood, and a reduction in sunlight could result in a drop in serotonin levels.

Melatonin levels. Seasonal changes may interfere with the body’s melatonin levels. Melatonin plays a part in sleep patterns and mood.

 

SAD seems to appear more frequently in people who live further away from the equator. Once again, this could be because of less sunlight in these areas.

 

Symptoms of SAD can include:

Fatigue

Weight gain

Need for more sleep

Less energy

Greater need to eat

 

Remedies

To counter SAD, a person should get out into the sun, if you can find it, every day for a reasonable period of time.

Light therapy can also be used. This involves a full spectrum light shined into the eyes indirectly, for an increasing amount of time over days or longer. Ask a doctor about this treatment.

 

Vitamin D

I have found that vitamin D3 supplements help. This vitamin is naturally manufactured in the body by exposure to sunlight.

Lack of vitamin D in the winter due to less sunlight seems to fit in with my feeling that it has a lot do do with SAD. Supplements can come as vitamin D2 and D3, but vitamin D3 is believed to be more effective.

 

It is best to get outdoors during the early morning hours, and the light itself even without direct sunlight shining on a person is believed to help. I expect people could suffer from some or all of the symptoms of SAD year round, due to many people working in buildings. I am not sure that the light absorbed by a 30 minute drive to work would do much to help, direct exposure to the light without any barriers seems to be best.

If you find that the symptoms still don’t ease up, there is always the doctor.

Naked Retirement

Politicians

person dropping paper on box

I don’t have much faith in professional politicians, and I haven’t for a long time. I am talking about  politicians throughout what is called the western world, and not restricted to any one particular country. In the early 1990s in the UK, it became clear to me that the policies touted by the politicians running for office (any office, from local to national level), that were popular with, and beneficial to the electorate, were never implemented, and what is worse is that the policies that were implemented, were not popular and were sometimes detrimental to the voters. The unpopular policies would  have been implemented to a greater or lesser degree by whoever won the election, left/right, conservative/liberal etc etc. It seemed that there was a controlling and coordinating force behind the scenes, issuing directives to these elected frauds, regarding what they could and should do and also what they couldn’t and shouldn’t do. I expect that the situation has been like this for a longer time than I have been on this planet, but they don’t seem to try to hide their total disrespect for the electorate any longer and they don’t care what the people think or say. There seems to be an effort to change the nature of the countries in the western world, and for us non-politicians and other unconnected people, the “change” won’t be anything that we have “hoped” for.

 

Elected officials are public servants and this should give politicians a clue that they are supposed to serve the public interest. It is clear to any thinking person that this is not the case. I don’t think that it  has ever been the case, but these people are more brash nowadays and they don’t seem to care what the population thinks. Voting seems to have been compromised and I doubt that many people have faith in the integrity of the process anymore. Fraud is so easy with these electronic voting machines. It was easy on paper too, but not anywhere near as simple and convenient as creating a program for a desired outcome, no matter what buttons are pushed.

 

It is time for us to stop falling for the divisive tricks. Most people (non politicians) are reasonable and logical when making decisions. Unfortunately, certain politicians use hard sell sales tactics (among other tricks) on a population in order to make the voters think that they are getting what they want. Research the Hegelian Dialectic for more insight. What is called the mainstream media play a role as the publicists for chosen politicians and they also seem to have an agenda. They should really be impartial in their political stance, but the past presidential election showed them to be all of the same mindset and all of them pushing the same candidate. I expect that they were very confused regarding the results,  after their massive efforts to get one particular candidate elected.

 

I don’t consider myself liberal or conservative.

I think that everyone should have access to quality healthcare and a national healthcare system could be beneficial if it was administered properly, unfortunately, we know that we can’t trust any government to administer anything properly.

 

I think that the people of a country have the right to have secure borders, the polls suggest that the majority of the citizens of  the U.S.A. do want secure borders and the number of politicians who object to this, and sabotage the efforts of the President, proves the case that they ignore the people’s wishes.

 

I believe that there is a place for honest, ethical trades unions, and the way in which many employees are treated today is facilitated in part  by the lack of strong unions. Unfortunately, union officials  past and present have followed the lead of professional politicians in allowing themselves to be “influenced” by pressure groups at the expense of their members.

 

I am all for helping people in need but I am not in favor of communism or hardcore socialism. I think that these systems are just feudalism under a different name.

 

Politicians seem to believe that they are the new feudal landowners, and governments act more like monarchies than public servants. I don’t have a solution for the issue but I believe that the root of the issue is greed. Once these individuals have enough money, they are still greedy for power and influence. Why else would these multi millionaires stay in politics, it’s not like they do anything worthwhile.

A Different Way To Earn

blackboard business chalkboard concept

Why would anyone want to downsize their job from full-time work to part-time?.

There are several good reasons: –

Less stress

Less time spent at work

More time to do things that you want to do

The career/job isn’t what it once was, disillusionment

Concentrate on building a business

More time for hobbies, (that may, or may not turn into a business)

The list can go on and on, and each person who takes this approach has their own reasons. Of course, there are also disadvantages, such as: –

 

Less money (at least initially)

Possibly starting a new job, including the application process and all that it entails

Less prestige, in certain professions

Loss of identity for people who have been in one field for a long time

Possible loss of benefits, such as medical/dental/vision

Loss of seniority, influence and authority

 

Sometimes, a career field that a person started in, changes so much over the years that it is no longer attractive. If you find that this is you, then consider doing something different. This is mainly written with the older person in mind, as a younger person doesn’t need to downsize, but rather completely change career tracks and  a younger person may not have the resources to consider downsizing anyway. It would still be wise for a young person to have more than one source of income though.

However you feel about money, you need it to survive in the world. Before downsizing from full-time to part-time, whether in the same field, a completely new field or just an easygoing part time job to supply a bit of cash and maybe some benefits, you need to evaluate your finances.

I went from a high prestige career to a part-time job and some online contract work. What enabled me to do this was mostly a pension that I could claim several years before the normal retirement age of most people.

I had an idea that I would move several hundred miles from where I was working, to a more rural area and continue in  the same field there, maybe with less pay, but I expected the pension to cover the shortfall. I succeeded in this, but not long after starting, I found that it was not what I thought it would be and I left. I then went to what would be seen as an unremarkable part-time job. This job however, was enjoyable in a strange way. It was simple enough, it required a reasonable amount of physical exertion and I could finish work every day without having to think about it anymore until I went to work the following day.

I am lucky enough to be in good physical condition and I like to work out, so the part-time job is an extension of my workouts with the added bonus of getting paid for it. The pay isn’t as much as I am used to, but the people who I work with seem to think that the pay is quite reasonable for the area.

I have found over the months that the amount of money flowing into my bank account from all sources,  equals and generally exceeds my previous full-time net monthly income. I haven’t quite got to the stage where I do exactly as I please, but it gets closer every day.

I have found that the loss of status is a minor issue and it does not bother me, but that is because I always knew that it was coming and I have prepared myself over the years. I have never really been one for completely buying into  an identity that has been manufactured for me by someone or something else. I once did when I was younger, but it was so difficult to re-adjust after leaving the job that I was determined never to allow it to occur again, and I have been successful in that.

If you have other resources to draw on and you feel that it is time to do something different, I would do it. Resources such as pensions, business income, contract work, investments, expectations of future pensions etc are very liberating. Nobody should rely on one entity for their income, it is very precarious, especially in today’s work environment. The world of work is not the same as it was in the 1950s, 60s, 70s or even the 80s. No employer has a duty to you. Many good employers do feel and act in a responsible manner towards employees, which is admirable, but sometimes they find that they have no choice but to let employees go. It is wise to not put all of your eggs in one basket, don’t rely on only one source for your income.

 

My income percentages from various sources is –

Pension – 46%

Part time employment – 31%

Online contract work – 15%

Business interests – 8%

 

Some of the income can be called passive, about 54% if you class a pension as passive. It is passive income now, but it has to be earned over time.

My aim is to increase the online work and business interest percentages to at least 70% and get the part-time employment and pension percentages down to about 30% of total income, and have at least 7 sources of income while investing as little of my time as possible. This will also result in more money flowing in.

 

A younger person can take this approach but will normally have to become an entrepreneur as opposed to working several low paid part-time jobs, because you still have to invest at least 40 hours a week total in your part time jobs to make a living wage. The whole goal is to generate as much money as you want,  but also minimize time spent working for someone else and maximize time spent on doing what you enjoy. Also, a younger person won’t generally have the bonus of a pension.

 

Work out your figures and see if it is possible for you. You don’t necessarily need to equal the money that you are earning at present (initially) if you are willing to make do with less, smaller house, cheaper car etc.

 

Let me know what you think.

Black Friday

group of people

Well, today is the day that many people have been waiting for, the day that the big box stores sell off their old stock at what appears to be huge discounts. My first experience of this day led me to believe that there were just too many people out there that were very easily influenced. People who could be enticed to sleep outside stores all night in order to grab the best deals, people who were willing to place themselves in the middle of large jostling, aggressive, greedy crowds just to “save” a few dollars on some shoddy electronic garbage that the don’t need anyway, people who love the chaos of the initial openings of these stores. I will not be partaking, I never have and I never will. I don’t like crowds and I don’t want to tempt fate by putting myself in a position that tests my patience. Cyber Monday is more my style, but it is very unlikely that I will buy anything on that day either.

 

It is interesting that there is a field of study called consumer psychology and the behaviour of some “bargain hunters” suggests some form of mind control to me. I don’t know the origins of this event but there is definitely some manipulation of public perceptions going on. I do believe that it is a chance for retailers to sell off their aging stock before they take delivery of newer updated products of the same type.

 

Maybe I am just not a good little consumer, but I would rather do my own thing on this day, even if it means that I miss the chance to buy some item at a discount.

I must admit that I don’t like shopping at the best of times and this could be a reason that I am not attracted to Black Friday. The whole affair is somewhat distasteful to me.

 

If you do enjoy Black Friday, I wish you well and hope that you get the deals that you hoped for but be nice and don’t compromise your character  just to save a few dollars.

Benefits of DIY

beige wooden d i and y freestanding letters

There are many jobs that we once did ourselves but find that we now pay people to do for us. Assuming that you are in reasonable health, there may be some good reasons to go back to completing these tasks yourself.

 

There are some tasks that we come across where we have a knowledge/skill barrier but by using books, and especially the internet, just about any small task is achievable. From a knowledge perspective, large tasks are also possible in theory, as long as we have enough people to assist or enough time and money to rent or buy the required equipment to take the place of helpers.

 

The internet, especially YouTube is a wonderful resource for gaining the required knowledge to complete a physical task. Completing tasks yourself increases your knowledge, independence and skill level. Doing the job yourself also saves you money in most cases but sometimes when you count the time spent on a task, materials needed and time spent learning a new skill, it may not be as much as expected.

 

The best example I can think of here is changing the oil in your vehicle. You need to buy the oil, a drain pan, a ramp or jack, an oil filter and an air filter, and tools that will do the job. This will all cost more than the quick oil change garage, but the upside to this is that when you have done it once you will have the knowledge, and the next time, you will be faster. The tools (hand tools are all that are needed), drain pan and ramps are a one time expense. You will also be confident that your oil has actually been changed, your oil and air filters have really been replaced and the threads on your oil plug haven’t been stripped.

 

Another example is taking care of your own yard. The advantages are that you will get some exercise and at the most basic level of cutting and edging the lawn, it is not hard and the initial outlay is worth it as lawn care companies are very expensive now. Maintaining the lawn mower can also become “interesting”. I have a gas operated walk behind mower that has powered wheels, front and back. The wheels are powered by drive belts and they tend to stretch, fray and sometimes break, this results in no power being transferred to the wheels and you end up with an extra heavy human driven push mower. The first time that this happened, I went online to see if there was any information on fixing the issue as I hadn’t come across the problem before, because I used to pay a lawn service. I found all the information that I needed to replace a drive belt and gained knowledge. It doesn’t take me any time at all now to replace a drive belt because I know how it works and what bolts and screws to remove to get to the parts that I need. My most recent front and back yard is modest but not tiny, the quote I got from a local lawn care company for cutting the lawns and edging  was $130 twice a month and that is just too much when I am able-bodied and I can easily do it myself. I have never been a garden enthusiast but it does seem to give me some sort of satisfaction to do it myself. I am also increasing my knowledge about plants and landscaping topics to make the property attractive.

 

A while ago, I took on a project that took me some time to research. I built a new shower stall in my bathroom. There was an existing stall, but the base was leaking and it was getting moldy. The tiles were also getting moldy too quickly and were not very attractive. The glass shower door was about 20 years old and did not look good at all. I had to research the project in stages as I hadn’t completed this task before. I found all the information that I needed online.

The job began by ripping out the old stall, down to the wall studs and then rebuilding it, stage by stage. It did take a while, but it was completed 100% by myself, so it was slow going.

The end result was very attractive and while there were places that could have been better on the tile work, I was the only one who noticed. I increased my knowledge and skill level and I was very pleased.

As for the money saved, I may have saved a few hundred dollars by doing it myself and I also know that I could do the job faster and better if I had to complete another similar task.

 

Any task around the house can be completed by the homeowner with the knowledge that is freely available online. The only things that I will not tackle at present are electrical rewiring and work involving gas lines. I have confidence in my abilities but I will leave those to the professionals due to liability issues.

 

There are other topics that we can look at, such as stop ordering carryout or going out to eat all of the time and start cooking. Once again, if you aren’t very knowledgeable about cooking there are plenty of books on the subject and a load of information online. You will be able to choose your own menus and ingredients for health and taste reasons. Everyone has a cooker and refrigerator in the house and if you use it, you will be getting your money’s worth out of it.

 

I have also been my own plumber, plasterer, drywall installer/repairer, concrete work repairer and more. I didn’t know much about any of these issues until I researched them and then put that knowledge into action.

 

The main point of the topic is not so much “saving money”, although completing tasks yourself will achieve that in many cases, it is more a quest to increase knowledge about practical work and become more self-sufficient. Other benefits are that it gives a person a sense of achievement, which is good for mental health, and practical issues involve physical exertion, which is always good, especially if you earn your living in a sedentary occupation.

The Credit Score

master card visa credit card gold

The truth of the matter is that everyone should strive to use as little credit as possible because credit equals debt. Having said that, most people find that they need to use credit on high ticket items such as vehicles, buying a house, home air conditioning systems, furniture, home repairs etc.

 

The three main credit bureaus in the U.S.A.  are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and the  Creditors and lenders will normally use one of these bureaus to check your credit rating when you apply for credit. The credit bureaus operate by collecting and continuously updating a consumer’s credit rating and then selling that information to businesses in a credit report. Each credit bureau operates independently and issues it’s own rating. Consumers normally know this as their credit score, one number that represents your reliability as a borrower.

 

Credit scores generally range from a low of 300 (poor)  to a high of 850 ( excellent) and the score has a major impact on your credit options. Each individual business has their own model of credit score generation but the final ratings usually fall within a few points of each other. A lower credit score will put you at a disadvantage. You will find that you have less credit options, and the options that are available to you will come with a high interest rate and normally give you less time to pay the loan off. I think that it is always a good idea to get as high a credit score as you can, because you never know when you may need it.

FICO

The Fair Isaac Corporation formulated FICO credit scores. They are an amalgamation of the information found in the major credit bureau files on you. These scores are used by more than 90% of lenders when it comes to granting loans. They are also used when setting the interest rates, monthly payments, terms of each loan and loan approval. The FICO score is something that is normally supplied to many credit card holders on their monthly statements.

 

How To Get And Maintain A Good Credit Score

The first thing you will need is a credit history. If you have never used credit, you will have no credit rating and you will probably find it hard to get a loan.

The easiest way to begin your credit history is by getting a credit card. My suggestion is to use the card and either make sure that you pay it off every  month or keep a low balance on it. The credit history uses data from you “on time” payments, use of the card and length of credit history. You normally find that if you pay off the whole card balance in full every month, you will not be charged interest, but that depends on the individual lender and you should read the small print on your agreement.

After you create a credit history, make sure that you make all of your loan payments by the payment “due date” and keep your debt to 30% or less of the total credit available to you.

The categories generally used to determine your credit score is:-

Payment History – 35%

Credit Utilization – 30%

Length of Credit History – 15%

Mix of Accounts – 10%

New Credit Inquiries – 10%

 

The two most important factors, according to the above figures are the payment history and the credit utilization. Payment history is self explanatory – pay on time, every time. Credit utilization is a calculation of the total available credit you have versus your total debt. If you can keep the ratio of debt to credit below 30% then you should be in good shape.

Example –   Total Available Credit = $30,000

                     Total Debt = $9000

                     Credit Utilization = 30%

 

You never know when you may need credit and it doesn’t hurt to build yourself a good credit score for potential use.

If you can build and maintain a good score you will be able to take advantage of the best offers, such as:-

0% interest  finance loans for several years with no prepayment penalties

18 month + 0% interest credit card offers

9% or less APR credit cards

4% or less mortgage loans

And more

 

People with bad credit can still obtain credit but the interest rates are normally extortionate. Unfortunately,  the people who pay the most interest on loans are the people who can least afford it, or the people who have neglected to cultivate their credit score.

I once saw a 70 point drop in my credit score due to one minor monthly payment that I forgot about. The minimum payment was so small that I could have easily paid the amount many times over. The payment was to a store type credit card, and I paid the forgotten payment the following month. I had been an account holder for several years, and I had used it, and got to a zero dollar balance several times over that time. This was the first time that I had missed a payment. This didn’t matter to the company. It took about a year to rebuild the credit score to a very good level. The company involved, was so fast to react to this one missed payment in my history of being a reliable customer that I payed off the whole thing the month after that and shredded the card, never to be used again. These things happen and it is inconvenient, try not to let it happen to you.

 

Yes, the system has the advantage. I am not advocating the system and I am not advocating borrowing money, but if we are diligent, we can use the special offers that are available to a person with an excellent credit score as a useful financial tool.

Flaxseed For Weight Loss

bunch of nuts served on bowls

Flaxseed is considered a “superfood” as it is nutritionally dense. It has been used for nutrition since ancient times. Flaxseeds contain high amounts of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, These are the fats that are considered beneficial. Lignans, which contain plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed has 75 to 800 times more lignans than many other plant foods. Fiber, flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.

 

Studies have suggested that flaxseed may protect against:-

Breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.

Cardiovascular disease and promotes lower blood pressure.

Lowers LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol.

Helps regulate blood sugar.

Reduces inflammation.

Reduces the incidence and severity of hot flashes.

The studies are not conclusive, but seem to hold a lot of promise.

 

Flaxseed contains:-

55 calories for each tablespoon of whole seeds.

This breaks down as 42% fat, 29% carbs and 18% protein.

It is generally considered more effective to take flaxseed rather than flaxseed oil and it is also better to take ground flaxseed as the whole seeds can pass through the body in their whole form. This results in the flaxseed being unable to pass on it’s beneficial components to the body.

Flaxseed can be bought in ground form or you can grind it yourself using various methods. The simplest method is to grind the seeds in a blender or coffee grinder for a few minutes.

The ground flaxseed is sold under various names such as milled, ground or flaxseed meal, they all mean the same thing.

As always, buying organic is preferable.

 

Daily Intake

At this time the suggested dose is 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed 2-3 times per day.

 

Side Effects

Taking large amounts of flaxseed could block the intestines due to the laxative effects of flaxseed. Flaxseed should be taken with lots of water to prevent this from happening. It is best to check with your doctor before taking flaxseed if you are taking medications for any condition. For a full list of possible side effects and drug interactions, CLICK HERE

 

Benefits of Flaxseed For Weight Loss

Inflammation hinders  weight loss and flaxseed can help reduce inflammation.  Flaxseed is high in phytochemicals including several antioxidants. The fiber content in flaxseeds can help to regulate the digestive system and possibly make you feel fuller for longer. Fiber can also help to regulate blood sugar, which has an effect on weight when it is not stable.

Flaxseed promotes good nutrition, which is essential for healthy weight loss.

 

How To Take Flaxseed

Ground flaxseed can be added to whatever foods you wish, but would be a useful component in a meal replacement shake, combined with other ingredients such as Chia Seeds, Protein Powder, fruit etc. You can also take flaxseed oil.

 

Flaxseed is another supplement that can assist you in losing weight. Like anything else, it is not a solution on it’s own. Flaxseed may help with weight loss due to the theory that proper nutrients balance the body, and when the body is in balance, it will be much easier for you to lose weight naturally and safely.  

Home Security

pexels-photo-1166415

A person who has their house burglarized feels violated. Their oasis from the crazy world has been breached and many victims never feel the same sense of comfort when in their home as they did before the burglary.

Burglary is considered a property crime and it is therefore not very high on the agenda of law enforcement, especially in large Cities. The headline grabbing shootings, stabbings robberies etc are what law enforcement concentrates on because they are crimes against persons and they are a threat to lives.

Everyone should take some security measures in order to prevent burglary. The harder the task seems to a burglar, the less he/she will target your home. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you because you are poor, appear poor or have nothing to steal, many burglars are chancers and are willing to take a risk on breaking into a house or apartment that is easy, in the hope that something of value will be obtained.

You don’t want to find yourself in a burglary/home invasion situation. Technically, this situation occurs when a burglar enters your home and you or another authorized person is in residence. It is very dangerous and if you have never considered what you would do in such a situation, you will be at the mercy of the criminal. You may end up at their mercy anyway, but if you have a plan, you have a better chance of a favorable outcome. The best thing to have in your home for such a situation is a firearm, although the usefulness of the firearm depends on the particular laws in your State of residence. Bats and clubs can also be a good defence tool.  If you do possess a firearm for such a situation, make sure that you know the law pertaining to this situation, you are sufficiently familiar with the weapon that you can use it and most importantly, if the situation dictates, be mentally prepared to use it in defence of yourself and family. I know many people are anti gun and that is ok. It’s your personal choice if you want to take the chance of becoming a helpless victim. The criminals don’t have these negative feeling about guns, or any weapons. Just remember that even if you manage to call 911, the police response time is going to be measured in minutes, not seconds. If you do have firearms in the house, don’t tell anyone about them.

 

Security Measures

Starting from the outside, get some light on your front yard, motion sensor flood lights are good. Trim any bushes so that people cannot hide behind them, trim the bush from the base, up to about 2 ft, so that you can clearly see the base. You could consider planting thorny bushes and hedges around the perimeter of your back yard, if the bushes are large and thorny enough, they may be enough to make a burglar think twice. Motion sensor lights in your backyard are also advisable.

Because most people like a private backyard, they fence the yard with fencing that blocks the view of people looking in from outside. This achieves privacy, but is also attractive to the burglar, as he/she can break into your house in privacy. The rear of a house is a popular entry point for burglars. With apartments, unless it is on the ground floor, there is only one way in, the front door. Many people would be surprised at how quick and easy it is to kick in a front door, or pry one open. I prefer a reinforced door frame which will withstand a lot of force. The door frame is normally the weak point.

Windows are also a favored entry point for burglars, they are easy to force and as a last resort, the burglar can just break the glass to gain entry. I think that windows are the weakest part of the house. There really isn’t very much you can do about this situation except to fit security bars on your windows. Many people don’t like security bars because they are ugly and they also stop you using the windows as an emergency exit, in case of fire etc.

Security cameras, recording to a DVD, can be fitted to your house internally and externally. These systems can now be self installed reasonably easily, many work on WiFi and they are not too expensive. The cameras can be motion activated and will record the burglar. Cameras will not give any specific protection against burglary unless you place signs or stickers in your yard. The cameras should really be covert, so the burglar doesn’t know about them. The recordings can be used for the apprehension and prosecution of the burglar. Catching a criminal after the event is not as desirable as preventing the burglary in the first place.

Alarms may put some burglars off, but most know that they have a few minutes to get in and out before any response to the alarm activation, but it does place a limit on their time. If the burglar has planned the crime, they will know exactly what they want to get and where it is, so they can be quick. This is why you should limit your visitors to highly trusted friends and family and people carrying out essential work on your house only.

When you are in your house, you can use devices like security door wedges and door braces to give extra security to you doors, or place the devices on all doors giving access to the outside, except the front door of course.  If you have windows that lock, keep them locked when not in use, consider installing security glass and consider having ground floor windows alarmed.

It all sounds like living a life under siege and I understand the feeling. You should evaluate your local crime maps (they can normally be found online, try the local police website) and decide what measures you think you need. Being prepared is better than being a victim. Don’t be afraid of reporting suspicious people in your area. The suspicion begins with strangers seen walking slowly along the street, casually looking at the houses as they go. The walk appears aimless and there should be no reason for a person who doesn’t live in the area to be shuffling along the street, glancing around at houses. If you see one of these shufflers suddenly start to walk towards a house with a purpose and disappear into the back yard, call the police. Sometimes the suspicion is generated by seeing an unknown vehicle cruising slowly in your residential neighborhood, especially during the day, after people who work the traditional 9 AM to 5 PM have gone to work. If you are wrong, don’t worry, you have a right to be suspicious. The police should respond, and maybe that alone will encourage burglars to find somewhere else to target.

The 40 Hour Work Week

gray scale photo of gears

The 40 hour work week is not a permanent fixture.. Although it is now commonly accepted and people are so used to it that anything less is seen as part time when working for an employer, and  is penalized. Lower pay, no benefits, no sick time, no vacation time, no overtime pay and the list goes on.

 

The 40 hour work week came into being during the industrial revolution, when people were previously working up to 100 hours per week  on tedious, dangerous, repetitive tasks while being paid a pittance. The 40 hour week was seen as wonderful.

 

Before the industrial revolution, people worked a more nature based schedule, because many were involved in agriculture and there was also a lack of good artificial light. The work day would begin at first light and finish at last light. The work conditions were physically intensive, but at least people could work surrounded by nature rather than the miserable, dangerous, depressing and unhealthy conditions of the industrial revolution factories. When I read of the conditions that many people had to live and work in, “living death” is the only thing that I can think of.

 

There seems to have been a golden age of the employee, roughly between the early 1940s and the early 1970s. Well paid work was plentiful and while not always satisfying, it would offer a good lifestyle to many, one person could support a whole family of 4 or 5 on their pay and people seemed happier with the 40 hour work week model. I don’t know what happened, but that age is long gone. Real wages have been stagnant for a long time, while prices have risen and job security is a thing of the past. Something has messed up the benefits system where you now find that your employee medical/dental/vision insurance is becoming worthless but premiums have risen dramatically.

 

It seems that we have been in the tech revolution for a while now. Since the advent of computers, many jobs that were once considered industrial are now technology based and require fewer people and less or different skills. A good example is  the printing industry which was very labor intensive and was seen as a skilled and well paid occupation not so long ago. It required many people who specialized in different skills such as typesetters and book binders, machine operators etc. Technology has led to a 43% drop in print industry employment in the last 20 years alone. Part of this decline can be attributed to digital books and digital methods of communication, desktop publishing, where a person can now produce his/her own business cards at home, direct to press typesetting systems where a computer operator can design the print job on screen and then send the job direct to a printing press, cutting out several jobs in the process. The industry was very unionized, but even the powerful print unions couldn’t disrupt advancements in technology.

 

It seems that some time soon, we will be forced to rethink our relationship with work and the 40 hour work week. The technology to shorten the work week exists now in many areas of work but the issue is that in today’s society,  less hours mean less paycheck. Artificial intelligence and robots are developing rapidly and once an android type of machine like “data” in Star Trek can be built, it will be able to put a lot of humans out of work. There is already a lot of speculation about driverless vehicles, personal, taxis, trucks and the like. Some testing is already underway. One could speculate that a passenger aircraft could now fly itself but the public is not ready to trust such a machine yet. Pilots, don’t get too complacent and elitist about job security.

 

What can replace the 40 hour work week? What can replace work itself?.  It is not so much a question of what activities will replace work but what will allow us to earn money. Many European countries already have a less than 40 hour work week, generous vacation allowances of  a minimum 25 days and they still find that business can be profitable. A universal basic income is attractive in theory, but because humans are human, they will find a way to mess that up somehow for the benefit of a few, to the detriment of many.

 

The 40 hour week model is at least 100 years old now and probably needs to be revised. Most people dislike work and dislike being there, although there are plenty of people who can convincingly lie that they like their work, very few do. I haven’t got a solution yet,  but I think that earning money will not look like the current 40 hour week model 100 years from now. As for the androids, we will have to discover their limitations and exploit those limitations to earn a living.

 

I think that the two words that sum up the current trend is “greed” and “need”. The ones that “have” are greedy and the ones that don’t have, still need to earn that pittance in order to survive. It is up to the individual to find his/her solution to this. If you are waiting for politicians, (of any flavor) to find a solution for you, you will be waiting forever.

 

An additional thought, I acknowledge that the industrial revolution sweatshop system of production still exists in many parts of the world and I feel for them. Part of the blame is us in the developed world wanting and buying the products that are produced, and ignoring the fact that these companies have offshored their operations for only one reason, to maximize already record profits….are there any limits to greed?.

Manifest Your Desires, The 2 Cup Method

clear water drops

There is a method of manifesting your desires called the 2 cup method. The method is based upon the idea that we have many different parallel realities running at the same time and the idea that in quantum physics, a particle can be in more than one place at the same time.

There is also the strange situation that the outcome of a quantum experiment can change, depending on whether or not the person decides  to measure some property of the particles involved. This suggests that it is the observer that is exerting control over the behaviour of particles. Quantum theory also hold that an entity can be particle and wave at the same time.

 

Dr Masaru Emoto conducted studies on  water for a long time He published a series of photographs in his book which are said to be frozen water crystals that have been subjected to human intentions/thoughts, some positive and some negative. The crystals subjected to positive thoughts appeared attractive and intricate. The crystals subjected to negative thoughts appeared ugly, polluted and unhealthy. This finding led Dr Emoto to conclude that thought can affect matter.

 

I have seen several variations in the manner of conducting the 2 cup method. The consistent factors are:-

 

one should get 2 cups, fill one cup with water and think about your present situation regarding what you want to manifest.

 

One should then pour the water slowly and deliberately into the second cup.

 

Once the water is in the second cup, the person should then concentrate on what he/she wants to manifest regarding the situation.

 

Once a person thinks that they have projected the positive outcome into the water, drink it all in one go.

 

Other variations include writing the current situation on a sticky note and putting it onto cup number one. Write the desired outcome on another sticky note and put it onto cup number 2 and then continue as above.

 

If you are going to do this, I would suggest using glass cups and use spring or purified water. I haven’t found these suggestions mentioned, but it makes sense to me that if you want the best results, you should do your best to ensure that impurities in the water and the receptacles are minimized.

 

Does it work?

I have tried it once recently, and while the immediate result wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I did get a communication the following day,  that will lead to the desired manifestation. Without that communication, the manifestation could not hope to come true. I had been waiting for such a communication for several weeks. I can’t say for sure that the 2 cup method brought this about, but it certainly appears that way to me.

 

The information that I have seen on this method generally states that you shouldn’t expect immediate results, although it is possible that you could get them. Be patient and don’t keep repeating the 2 cup method too frequently, give it a few weeks to manifest first.

 

The theory is that by transferring thoughts of your current situation into one glass of water, and then pouring the water into another glass and stating your desired outcome of the situation, you have completed a shift into another parallel reality where your desire does exist, a quantum leap.

 

Make of this what you will, it won’t hurt to try it and the least you will get is a positive………one of your eight, eight ounce cups of water that you should be drinking every day for health.

Maybe we could try this for weight loss too!

Things That Cats Like

What is a cats favorite singer?…..Cat Stevens

 

What is a cats favorite insect?……Caterpillar

 

What is a cats favorite type of sailing craft?…..Catamaran

 

What is a cats favorite fish?…….Catfish

 

What is a cats favorite area of London UK?…..Catford (look it up, it even has a cat statue)

 

What is a cats favorite capital city?…… Catmandu (Kathmandu, capital of Nepal)

 

What is a cats favorite medical instrument?……Cat scanner

 

What is a cats favorite weapon?…..Catapult

 

What is a cats favorite event?……Catastrophe

 

What is a cats favorite car?…….Catillac

 

What is a cats favorite region of Spain?……Catalonia

 

What is a cats favorite musical show?……Cats

 

What is a cats favorite type of gun?……Catling Gun

 

What is a cats favorite religion?……..Catolic

 

What is a cats favorite vehicle part?……Catalytic Converter

 

What is a cats favorite organisational method?…….Categorization

 

What is a cats favorite type of Roman relic?……Catacombs

 

What is a cats favorite verbal insult?……..Catcalls

 

What is a cats favorite plane?……. Catalina (flying boat)

 

What is a cats favorite super hero?…… Catman

 

What is a cats favorite French meal?……..Catatouille

 

What is a cats all time favorite food?….Meow Mix of course, everyone knows that cats ask for it by name

 

What is a cats favorite band?…..The Stray Cats

 

What is a cats favorite movie?……Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 

What is a cats favorite livestock?….. Cattle

 

What is a cats favorite animal?…….A Cat of course.

This is very important information. It will keep your cat happy.

A stupid post?  maybe but cat fans love these, and so do cats.

Feel free to add to the list.

Security, How To Stay Safe

vehicle security tips

Everyone needs to take responsibility for the safety and security of themselves and their families. There are many things that you can do to minimize your chances of becoming a victim of crime. These steps are usually small and reasonably effortless. I will cover several areas of concern over a series of posts.

It is all very well to say that you pay for police protection via your taxes but the reality is usually that the police are not around when crime occurs. There are various reasons for this, most are not the fault of the police. It is rare for a police officer to have a crime occur in front of him/her The criminals are looking out for a police free area to commit the crime in the first place and it is easier for the criminal to see the marked police vehicle than it is for the police officer to see the criminal.

A venue with security is better than one without, but professional criminals know that on the whole, the security officer is there to observe and report rather than prevent and apprehend, so the well prepared criminal can commit a crime without too much concern over (immediate) arrest.

 

vehicle security and safety

Today’s post will concentrate on vehicles.

Your vehicle feels like an extension of your residence, but it is not. First and foremost, don’t have provocative car stickers or license plates. Strangers don’t need to know what you support or like. The worst type of sticker to have on your vehicle is the pro gun sticker, the gun range sticker, the gun manufacturer sticker or any other hints that you support firearms. The major reason for this is that criminals love guns and pro gun stickers lead them to suspect that you have a firearm in your vehicle. Criminals will break into your vehicle just on the chance that they may find a gun. Political bias stickers or license plates may invite vandalism or worse. The same principle applies to this, why tell strangers who you are and what you are thinking anyway.

 

prevent criminals breaking into your car

Christmas shopping season is not so far away. When you go to the Mall, try to complete all of your shopping in one go. Don’t go back to your vehicle multiple times, loading it up with merchandise on every trip back to the car. If you don’t follow this advice, at least make sure that the items that you buy are not visible in the unoccupied vehicle. Put the items in the trunk, or at least cover the items up to hide what they are if you put them in the passenger compartment. You can be sure of this one thing, someone is watching. It is all common sense, but you would be very surprised to find out how many people have never thought of such simple preventative steps. Of course, always lock your vehicle when you are away from it, always, no excuses, regardless of how close you may be to the vehicle.

 

stay safe when driving

Lock your vehicle doors at all times when you are driving. Most vehicles now do this automatically and you have probably never thought about it. Check the doors the next time you drive your vehicle, see if they lock automatically and if they don’t, get into the habit of locking them. It would be wise to check the doors anyway because some auto locks are a little quirky. If you are a passenger and stay in a parked vehicle alone, as may happen if the driver makes a pit stop at a store etc, lock the doors while you are in it.

 

park  your car in a safe place

When you park your vehicle in a public place, try to park as close to the building doors as possible. This ensures a constant flow of people past your vehicle, criminals don’t like this and they will go to an easier target in a more quiet area. In the evening or at night, also find the area with the most light. Directly under a light is best. Security cameras are ok, but they don’t deter criminals as much as you may think.

 

check out your parking space for suspicious people

When you approach a place that you will be parking your vehicle, be aware of who is around, if you feel at all suspicious, keep driving. Although this post is about vehicles, it also involves  driver and passenger safety. Sometimes the criminal is interested in people rather than property and sometimes people are just mentally ill and will do the unexpected for no reason at all.

 

How to avoid road rage

Don’t insult other drivers on the road. Don’t give them hand signals that convey your displeasure, no matter how much you think they deserve it. This also goes for verbal messages, yes, the other driver can not hear you, but most derogatory words when accompanied by facial expressions can cause offense, and your message is easily understood. This behaviour can sometimes result in a violent response, even from otherwise law-abiding people.

 

Don't go to suspicious gas stations

When you park up at the gas pump, don’t leave your purse, cell phone, wallet or any other desirable item in plain view on your passenger seat, and make sure that your doors are locked while you are filling up. If you don’t like the vibes of the gas station that you pull into, trust your instinct and go somewhere else. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is.

 

Why you should park in your garage

If you have a garage at home, use it. It will add an extra layer of protection to you vehicle. When you park in your garage, close the garage door before you get out of your vehicle.

 

Don;t leave your car running

Don’t ever leave your vehicle running when it is unoccupied, regardless of where you are. There is no reason for this and it is an offense in most places anyway.

 

 

My advice is to drive an inconspicuous vehicle, do a little research into areas that you may have to go to, ones that you don’t know well, and be aware of what is going on around you. Take simple precautions like locking the vehicle, keeping packages out of view and keeping your doors locked, and remember that everything is always alright until, suddenly it isn’t, especially in areas that you know well and feel comfortable in.

 

In the next post, I will look at home security.


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Sulky Sunday

woman in red lipstick opening her mouth

This is a little rhyme that I wrote for my wife because she used to sulk so much on Sundays about having to go to work on Monday.

I am not a poet, I don’t know how to formulate poetry and I am not about to learn any time soon, it is what it is.

She seemed to think that it was funny.

 

 

The big day is here, it’s called sulky Sunday,

It’s not too much fun but it’s better than Monday,

 

The day starts off well, but the clock moves so fast,

She wants time to slow, she wants it to last,

but in the blink of an eye, the day has now passed.

 

To bed she must go, with feelings of sadness,

This Monday feeling is total madness,

 

She closes her eyes and before she is rested,

She is torn from her slumber by the number so detested,

 

It’s 6am, the alarm is ringing, and the ears are stinging,

 

With one thought in her mind, she crawls out of bed,

It’s another DAMN Monday, she screams in her head.

What Is Money? How Can You Attract It?

business close up commerce conceptual

What is money?

And how can you attract money?

Is money is just paper, metal or figures that give a person the ability to obtain goods and services or is there more to it?.  

Money has been described as energy, the transfer of energy, energy storage and many more definitions. People have different ideas on what money actually is, but it is a fact that money is a convenient form of exchange for services and goods. Money is more convenient than a direct exchange of goods or services between people. Having as much money as you need is good, having more money than you can use is freedom.

money pink coins pig

Money is a form of energy storage, nobody can obtain it without some effort, expending some energy. People don’t exchange their energy for pieces of paper or cheap metal disks, they exchange their energy in order to acquire the items that they need or desire. The paper, metal disks and numbers showing a credit on a bank account store the energy until the owner is ready to exchange it for goods and services. There are of course, positive and negative energies that one can choose to use to accumulate money, and if you believe in the big picture principle that what you send out into the universe is what you will receive (reap what you sow), then it would be wise to expend good, honest energy in your quest for money.

bullion gold gold bars golden

Money was once aligned with gold and the value of money was dictated by how much gold was held to validate the currency. For various reasons, this is no longer used and is seen by many people in the financial world as a limiting factor. There would have been no “quantitative easing”  if the value of the dollar was backed by gold.

 

What we have now is the fiat system where a government orders that a currency is legal tender and makes it law that the currency must be accepted as payment for goods and services with no underlying commodity of value to back the currency. When other countries also agree to accept each other’s currency for exchange, you have the current global system. The value of one currency to another varies daily for many reasons, and to give an example, not so long ago you would get two U.S. Dollars (USD) in exchange for every Great Britain Pound (GBP) that you exchange, but at present, you may get around $1.30 for every pound. This is a very simplistic explanation.

 

Whatever you think of money and it’s systems, you need it to survive in the world, if you think that you don’t, then someone is supporting you and you only need to look at the reason that they are able to support you for your answer. You will find that money is being supplied to you by someone.

sky space dark galaxy

Quantum physics suggests some very interesting theories on many topics. The basics are that at their core, all things and living beings are vibrating frequencies which give the illusion of solid objects, and give form to the universe. Along with this goes the theory that we are spiritual beings living in a physical body and world, and that we can influence our environment by what we think. The phrase  “ what you think about is what you become” springs to mind.

 

If the above theory is true, then money is just a frequency and one must harmonize with the frequency of money in order to attract it. The world that we live in demands that we have to give something of value in order to receive money in exchange. It is believed by many, that the act of giving money to people in need of it will ensure that the donor will receive money in return somewhere down the line, and not necessarily from the person who originally received the money.  There is a theory that we live in a kind of elaborate computer game or matrix, created by our spiritual selves in order to give us experiences and teach us lessons. The theory suggests that we can “will” anything that we desire into existence by the power of the mind but we just don’t know it and we have been stripped of the memory of this ability because if we knew of it from birth, then life would be too easy and it would not fulfil it’s function of furnishing experiences and lessons.

 

Money is not good or evil, it just “is”. People can use money for good or evil and some of the acts that various individuals will commit in order to accumulate money may be evil in certain cases. Money does not cause people to act in a bad way, people decide to act in bad ways for themselves. Gold fever is really greed and fear.

 

I see money as a convenient method of exchange for goods and services. There are people who do manipulate the system for personal gain but if you allow yourself to be negatively influenced by hearing, reading and thinking about such people, you will not attract any yourself. Accumulate money for yourself and do good with it.

person holding string lights photo

We all want money, so what is the frequency of money?

Well, it’s not so much about the frequency of money as the frequency that you broadcast from your mind in order to attract it. Your brain produces an electrical field and it would not be so far fetched to believe that you thoughts are a sort of radio broadcast that interact with other frequencies outside of your body.

It is generally accepted by practitioners of the use of thought to manifest desires, that in order to attract your desire, you must go as far as to  truly believe that you already have your desire. To use you mind to “want” something is to attract the “wanting”, so you will be left continually wanting your desire. If you use manifestation techniques to make yourself believe that you already have your desire, then you will attract the desire. The theory is that the “universal field” will pick up on your broadcast, it will see that you believe that you already think that you have your desire and will therefore be obliged to supply the desire.

There is also a belief that people limit themselves financially by the way that they think. A person who earns $50,000 a year and believes that this is the maximum amount that he/she is worth will never earn more than that. Unconsciously, they will limit their job searches to $50,000 as a ceiling or maybe they won’t attempt to start a business because they “know” that they won’t make any money.

 

Many people who study manifestation techniques suggest that a mindset of general abundance already attained and gratitude for that abundance are the correct approach to get to be on the frequency that attracts money.

 

Do something positive to achieve abundance. Some people believe that nothing is required in order to attract abundance except to get into the mindset, but the mindset produces ideas and ideas put into action (brought into physical being) are what produces results.

 

Conclusion

Don’t let yourself believe that money is bad and that it is not attainable by you. Have faith in yourself, develop your skills and go and get some. The existing system is not perfect but it is what we have to work with. We need to find ways to achieve wealth honestly, from within the system.

A person must have faith in their ability to earn an abundance of money in order to make money.

 

The ideas discussed here are all elements of large areas of study in their own right and there is an abundance of information about all of the ideas online and in books. Each idea would be worth further investigation. I can’t say whether manifestation produces results, but most of the alternatives are not positive, and practicing some of these ideas would not do any harm and may produce something positive.

What Can Help You To Lose Weight?

close up measure measurement number

 

What can help you to lose weight?

As I have mentioned before, the major principle for weight loss is to expend more energy than you receive. In this post I will look at some consumable substances that may aid healthy weight loss. None are proven to be effective for every individual because each person’s body responds to different inputs in a unique way.

 

 

woman girl silhouette jogger

Traditional Exercise

Not a consumable, but very important, exercise has always been a major component of weight loss programs, in combination with diet. The practice adheres to the major principle, as it burns off large amounts of energy. A person who is significantly overweight may have to start with an exercise regime that is not too severe at first. Walking, swimming and light weight training is ideal, and build up to more strenuous exercise if desired.

For a person who only wants to lose a few pounds and is reasonably fit, jogging (progressing to running) aerobic classes and weight training should produce good results.

It is not necessary for a person to drive himself/herself into the ground with exercise, the main function of exercise when considering weight loss, is to help get the right balance of energy input/output by following the major principle of expending more energy that one receives.

The chosen exercise program should be used in conjunction with a sensible diet plan that contains healthful supplies of all of the main components, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. I advocate a diet that is not so severe that it completely cuts out one of the three elements although such diet plans have worked for some people, and as always you will have to experiment and see what your particular body likes. One of my concerns for such diets is the fact that they may not be sustainable in the long-term which is why I prefer the more traditional approach. There is a great Diet plan called “Beyond Diet”, it is not really a diet plan as we think of them, it is more of a total long term eating lifestyle change. I am not an affiliate of Beyond Diet, I just think that it is very sensible and one of my family members uses it to good effect.

Your food should be as healthy and natural as you can possibly get it, and be sure to double-check the claims of “Organic” and “Non-GMO” on all of your food.

Diet and exercise should be the foundation of any weight loss program. The following is a list of extra assistance that may or may not be of use to you, depending on your psychological tendencies and things that your individual body responds to.

 

 

clear glass mason bottles with apple juice

Apple Cider Vinegar

The major active ingredient of ACV is acetic acid. Drinking ACV diluted in water, is said by some to reduce hunger pangs and reduce fat storage. Studies on rats that were given acetic acid seems to have shown a reduction of belly fat. ACV is said to have many benefits, I personally use it as a treatment for spots and it works great. The reader will need to experiment with ACV to see if it works for them, but remember to get the natural unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar containing “the mother” . The mother is a cloudy weblike substance within the vinegar which is believed to hold the key to the substance’s properties.

For more details click here

 

beverage breakfast caffeine close up

Green Tea

Green tea is said to have several health benefits, and it is believed to be very effective for losing weight. Green Tea has a high level of catechins, natural antioxidants that can improve metabolism and increase the burning of fat.

It also contains the substances caffeine and EGCG, which can have a positive effects on

metabolism. Other components in green tea increase the levels of hormones that are responsible for fat burning in our system and they release more fat into the bloodstream.

 

 

assorted spices near white ceramic bowls

Herbs That are Believed to Assist With Weight Loss

 

Fenugreek, believed to reduce appetite and food consumption.

 

Cumin, believed to accelerate the burning of fat and thus assist weight loss.

 

Cayenne Pepper, a form of chili pepper containing capsaicin, which is believed to increase metabolism, it may also reduce hunger and calorie intake.

 

Cinnamon, made from tree bark, this popular spice is high in antioxidants and could reduce blood sugar levels, resulting in appetite and hunger suppression.

 

Ginger, may help lower weight by increasing metabolism and fat burning and may also decrease fat absorption and appetite.

 

Ginseng, frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine for many complaints. It may encourage weight loss, slow fat absorption and modify fat formation.

 

Oregano, This herb contains a substance called Carvacrol. Animal studies have suggested that mice taking Carvacrol showed less weight gain and less fat gain than mice who were not fed the substance.

 

Black Pepper, is a common kitchen ingredient. It contains a compound called piperine which is believed to have a positive effect on weight loss.

 

 

yellow health medicine wellness

Weight Loss Pills

There are many pills on the market that claim to promote, assist or cause weight loss. The wise potential buyer would research each brand to discover the ingredients and read reviews. Some pills contain herb extracts and some contain a lot of caffeine. There are prescription pills for weight loss and they may be effective but the ingredients and side effects should be reviewed before taking them.  

 

 

basket board calcium cheese

Foods For Weight Loss

Real butter from grass-fed cows, full fat dairy products and beef (preferably grass-fed) all contain high amounts of a compound called conjugated linoleic acid, CLA, which is a polyunsaturated fat. The human body does not make this substance. CLA is believed to be beneficial in weight loss because it may decrease body fat mass and increase lean body mass. These food also find approval with myself, as I believe that some full fat foods have gained an undeserved bad reputation over the last 30 years or so. People who lived 100 years ago were eating all of these full fat products and there was not an obesity problem like there is today. The CLA found in food is thought to be superior to supplements containing it. AS always, try to eat organic and natural products.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids and it can  help the body burn fat for fuel and use up more energy. Coconut oil have also been found to be very satisfying for hunger and may support thyroid health, which is important for keeping your metabolism working correctly. I use coconut oil exclusively when I need to cook food in oil. The oil comes in a solid form but melts under heat and can be used for frying. I cook my burgers and eggs in coconut oil and they taste wonderful.

Foods High In Protein

These foods make the body work harder to break them down than low protein foods and that requires more energy. As you are eating you are also burning energy. High protein foods also help to make you feel full so you may eat less.

 

 

sliced lemon fruit in glass picher

Water For Weight Loss

Water is essential for everyone, so you are going to have to drink it regardless. Most studies suggest that a normal healthy water intake is 8 ounces, 8 times a day. If you are exercising, then you may need more.

Water is said by some, to be a nutrient in it’s own right and it performs various functions, such as eliminating waste via urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Water keeps your temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints and protects sensitive tissues. Water is also believed to boost metabolism. If you are in a weight loss program, all of the above functions of water are extremely useful to you.

I believe that the type of water that is consumed is also important. Distilled water has its uses but I would not recommend it for a weight loss program. Despite the fact that in general, plastic bottles are used to supply us with the natural spring water found in stores, I believe that this is the best option for drinking water. Filtering your own water is probably the ideal, but the equipment is very expensive if you want to do it right.

 

 

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

So, what can you do with all of this information?  Here’s a suggestion:

 

  • Sit down and either buy a diet plan or formulate your own, incorporating several of the foods that are discussed above. In my opinion, the food and drink must be as natural as you can get in order for the plan to work to best effect. Because of the modern way of life, if you are formulating the plan yourself,  it is advisable to plan out every meal for the whole week, every week.

 

  • Research exercise routines, pick one that you like the sound of and start it. I would recommend some aerobics and also a weight training routine because muscle burns more energy than fat and the aim is to burn energy. You don’t necessarily need to invent your own plan, you can look for existing plans that incorporate aerobics and weights and buy the plan.

 

 

If after a few weeks, the plan isn’t working for you, add something to it or replace an element of the plan.

 

It takes a lot of effort and knowledge for a person to effectively devise their own weight loss plan. The easy way is to buy a diet plan, buy an exercise plan and incorporate the herbs and foods (all or some) discussed above, into the plans.

 

The bottom line is that whatever you do, you have to follow the plan. You will also have to tweak the plan to fit your body, expenses and schedule.

 

I also think that a mindful approach to weight loss will help enormously. Meditation, affirmations and yoga are all great.

Yoga

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Yoga is believed to have  originated in India several thousand years ago, before any religious systems.  The word Yoga is said to be Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a documented history of nearly 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, and the main philosophical language of Hinduism. Some Buddhist and Jainism texts are also in this language.

The word Yoga means to join, yoke, unite, referring to the unity of mind and body and also that of man and the universe.

Most people associate Yoga strictly with Hatha Yoga and the Asanas, but these are only components of Yoga. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a collection of 196 sutras or general truths/principles. Yoga is a very large subject and many people have written books on this subject alone.

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The Popular Hatha Yoga Types

Hatha Yoga is the term for physical Yoga practices, most popular in the West.

 

Iyengar Yoga

A slow style of Yoga that grows strength, flexibility and awareness.

 

Restorative Yoga

Practising stillness or slow movements and mindfulness for therapeutic purposes and to center the mind and body. Props are used to assist the body in each pose.

 

Hot Yoga

Carried out in a heated room, normally in a class situation. The heat encourages detoxification by sweating out the toxins. Hot Yoga is said to increase the heart rate and ease arthritis and joint pain.

 

Vinyasa Yoga

Flowing movements of the body, synchronized with breathing,  producing a type of moving meditation sequence. There are no set sequences.

 

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a style of yoga created  by K. Pattabhi Jois in modern times. It is considered as an up to date form of classical yoga. Ashtanga means eight limbs or branches, of which asana/physical yoga posture is only one branch, breath/pranayama is another. All eight limbs are practiced in six set sequences and have various stages.

 

Kundalini Yoga

Is both spiritual and physical and is supposed to release the kundalini energy in your body that is trapped in the lower spine. This style works your body and breathing with fast paced postures and breathing exercises. The practice can also incorporate chants, mantra, and meditation.

 

Yin Yoga

A slower style of yoga with seated postures that are held for longer periods of time. Each posture can be held for up  to two minutes. As this type is slower, meditation can also take place while practicing the postures.

 

Bikram  Yoga

Bikram Choudhury developed this type of yoga. Classes are held in a heated room. You will work  through a series of 26 poses. Bikram always follows the same sequence, although a Bikram sequence is different from an ashtanga sequence. Bikram is very popular and is an easy class to find.

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The 8 Limbs Of Yoga

At the heart of Patanjali Yoga Sutra is the eight-limbs that create the framework for the practice of yoga. No one element holds more importance than another . Each limb makes up a system which is said to bring a completeness to the practitioner as they find their connectivity themselves, nature and the universe.

 

Yama:   Universal morality

Niyama :  Personal observances

Asanas :  Body postures

Pranayama :  Breathing exercises

Pratyahara :  Control of the senses

Dharana :  Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness

Dhyana :  Devotion and Meditation

Samadhi :  Union with the Divine

man wearing white pants under blue sky

 

The Benefits Of Yoga

  • Helps with mood and depression issues.
  • Increases spinal flexibility.
  • Improve chances of conception for females.
  • Improves cardiovascular function.
  • Eases the symptoms of asthma
  • Helps ease the symptoms of arthritis
  • Eases insomnia.
  • Can increase flexibility, strength and posture.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • Increased energy.

 

Yoga can be practiced by people of any age and can be completed in a class setting with a teacher,  leader or guide or you can study the topic and become your own guide and maybe even adapt the principles to create your own system.

There is no doubt that people who have practiced Yoga, feel that they have derived great benefit from the practice.

Most of the hatha Yoga programs seem to be aimed at women, especially the class based Yoga sessions, but they can be practiced just as effectively by men.

 

Resources

Yoga Burn

Shapeshifter Yoga

Progressive Yoga, From The “World’s Smartest Workout ” Coach

6 Week Beginners Guide To Yoga

Alignment For Healing: Yofa Jhe Sessions

Meditation Expert

Organizing Your Finances

person holding coins

Everyone needs to have some type of system for their finances. Everyone (almost everyone) has monthly bills to pay, and missing a payment is a bad thing as it can affect your credit rating. The credit rating is very important as it affects the interest rates that you are eligible for when applying for a loan, mortgage or a credit card.

 

Bill Payment Systems.

One system that can be used is to set up automatic payments from your bank to your creditors. You don’t have to keep up with due dates and everything is automated. The problem is that if you have an unexpected payment that you have to make then you may end up with an overdrawn account or the bank may not honor the payment due to insufficient funds. This could also be an issue for a business person, contractor or freelancer who does not get a regular set amount deposited into their bank every month. The system is not good for a person who does not have regular scheduled payments into their bank account.

Another system, preferred by myself, is to receive paper bills/invoices. I organize the paper bills by stacking them on top of each other after sorting them by date, with the closest date to the present on top. Keep the stack in a place that catches the eye regularly and get into the habit of checking the top bill frequently, not a very high tech system, but it is a system, and it works. This system allows a person to either wait for the “due date” to pay the bill or pay it early if sufficient funds are in the bank at the time that the person checks the stack. It may not work for everyone and I suppose that the system relies on habit and a good memory, but it is useful when you have income that is not received on a regular date, the system also aids the cash flow. Cash Flow is not the same as a general lack of cash.

I have noticed that some banks and credit card companies are attempting to charge for paper bills. When that becomes common, I will probably go to a paper stack of printed email reminders.

 

Another option is to have no system and hope for the best. This doesn’t work and usually results in missed payments, late fees and a less than impressive credit score. Many people think that they will not have to borrow money and that the credit score is of no interest to them, but it is always wise to be prepared for the unexpected and ensure that your credit score will allow you to get a good interest rate, just in case you need it.

People qualify for interest rates on loans based on their credit score. It is very unfair, but the bottom line on this is that the people who need credit the most and who have the least amount of wealth, end up being offered loans with the highest interest rates as their only option.  I have seen credit cards offered with a great 6% APR (only with an excellent credit score), but I have also seen credit cards with a crazy 25% APR, these are generally the store charge card types of deals. I would not take that deal, I would rather walk around in worn out clothing (or whatever else they are offering at the store).

 

Should You Use Savings or Credit on an Unexpected Expense.

It would be nice for a person to have enough cash reserves to be confident that they could cover any eventuality, but for most people, this is not reality. The use of cash or credit depends upon the credit deal that is being offered and the cost of the unexpected expense. I have used credit when there has been a 0% deal on offer for the amount that I require, but before I accept the offer, I always check the APR on the loan, in case I don’t finish the payments in time. I always calculate the minimum monthly payments that are required to pay the loan off before the 0% APR expires.  I have sometimes ignored the 0% deals in favor of a low interest rate when the expense is so large that I know that I will not pay it in time. Most of the time I will take a 0% loan offer on an expense even if I have the reserves to pay cash, as long as I can be sure of paying the loan off before the interest takes effect.. Taking a loan helps with cash flow, and I suppose that some of it is psychological, because I still have all my reserves in place for emergencies.

Sometimes the offer is very good, such as an 18 month 0% APR for purchases. The thing is, you must be aware of the “ 0% for 18 months, then 22% (example) APR” statement in the offer.  The interest usually encompasses the whole loan amount after the special rate expires, not just the outstanding balance, which means that you will have to pay all of the interest if you don’t pay off the loan in time. If you are considering a credit card offer, make sure that you start with a zero balance, because your monthly payments are usually applied to your original balance first, until it is paid in full. The original balance will still be subject to your normal APR, so you could end up making purchases under the 0% offer but never actually enjoy that offer because your monthly payments will go to something else. As long as you can be sure of paying off the loan in time, the 0% APR deals are worth taking advantage of and they will also help to build an excellent credit score.

Using loans in this way takes a lot of discipline and a constant awareness of what you are doing. If you lose track of things, you will be worse off in the end. Sometimes people have no reserves and have absolutely no option but to take a loan for an emergency, to buy a car (to get to work), new HVAC system to stay warm or cool , medical bills, help a family member etc.

APR is Annual Percentage Rate of Charge.

Credit is a bankers game, either avoid it or learn to use it to give you as much benefit as you can squeeze out of it. Have you ever wondered why you are offered 1% interest on your savings account, with banks advertising this as a great rate,  but their best offer to you is a loan with 15% interest on the total value of the loan? I sure have, but most of us have to play this game at some time.

 

Achieving a Good Credit Score

Achieving a good credit score is not that hard, and a payment system helps greatly.  Try to keep your outstanding balances on credit cards low. You must pay the monthly bills on time, even if you can only afford the minimum payment, make sure that you pay it somehow. The same goes for all bills. Beware of small medical bills and store charge cards that can easily be overlooked, they will report a person to the credit agencies in the blink of an eye for one missed payment, even if you have been making regular payments for months. Once reported, a late payment could result in a loss of 60 points or more on your credit score. I don’t advocate this credit score system, but play the game, to give you more options and a good interest rate just in case you do need a loan at some stage.

 

Live Within Your Means

The best option for having enough money and avoiding credit is to live within your means. I have read that many wealthy people do this, maybe this approach helped them to become wealthy. Don’t spend money that you don’t have on a flashy new car, be happy with a reliable one (for now). Don’t feel the need to keep up with other people. I have never understood people who feel forced to buy things just to keep up with neighbors, friends etc. If someone thinks less of you because you don’t spend a crazy $200 on a pair of already ripped jeans, so what. The tennis shoe fad is really puzzling. I refuse to pay more than $60 for a pair of tennis shoes, and when I do buy a pair, they need to be well designed running shoes. I also know that a $60 pair of running shoes is overpriced but I have found that this is about the cheapest quality shoe available for running at this time in the U.S.A.

Don’t be influenced by advertisements. This is hard because ads are specifically designed by some very clever people to have a psychological effect, that effect being to get you to buy what you don’t need or sometimes don’t even want.

 

Save Money

This is a good habit to acquire. The act of saving will help you to feel better and it is the starting point for building a cash reserve. Set a figure or percentage for yourself to save every week, pay period or month and don’t break into it except for extreme emergencies. Buying stocks or shares with savings is ok, but one needs to be aware that they can lose value as well as gain value and it is really a long term strategy, unless you have a significant amount of money to invest.

 

Insurance and Pensions

I would suggest that it is wise to get life insurance of some type while you are still young. The younger a person is, the cheaper the rate and the more coverage you can get. Ideally, life insurance should cover 2 people such as a husband and wife  in a mutual agreement. The actual product does not have to be the same one, but the benefit amount should be equal for both parties (to be fair). If the worst happens, the person left here will not have so many financial problems. There are plenty of different products available with various rates and terms.

Pensions are not usually a high priority for young people but this is the best time to begin planning. You don’t know what you will be doing in the future and the work that you do may not offer anything other than a 401k. The longer you invest in your own scheme, the more you will have when it comes time to claim the pension. If you are young and you are reading this, take a few hours over the next few days to investigate this. Normally, the employer contributes a certain amount of cash into a 401k, which makes it more valuable and a 401k is portable from one job to another, but you will have to work for an employer for a certain amount of time to be able to keep the employer’s contribution. This is called vesting and each employer has their own time period for the employee to be fully vested. Once you are fully vested, you can get another job and take 100% of the employer’s contributions with you in the form of the 401k. From the employer’s point of view, the vesting period encourages employee longevity, from the employees point of view, if they want to keep that employer contribution to their 401k, they will have to stay with the company for a set period of time. You could have to spend between 3 to 8 years or more with a company before you are fully vested.

Planning for  pensions too late could result in a person relying on social security alone in retirement. Pensions are seen as an old person’s issue, but early consideration of this topic is advisable.