Self-Improvement and Interesting Knowledge

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. “
— Frank Herbert, Dune

I like that quote. I like it because it is very true, fear is the little death;  it obliterates your mind and your common sense. Fear, if unchecked can destroy any good effort that you might achieve. Everyone gets nervous, anxious, and fearful. But if you let these emotions overpower you, YOU are lost…literally.

Let us take for example one of the biggest fears that people have; the fear of Flying. This fear is so powerful that many of us have had nightmares about it. According to the TIME magazine’s article What Are We Afraid Of?*  the fear of flying is our biggest present fear and it even outranks the dreaded fear of public speaking.
But how do we define fear? Dictionary.com defines fear as:

1.a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Simple enough to understand; you imagine or perceive danger and you become fearful of possible danger??
If you have an image of a snake eating itself, then you have a basic understanding of what most fear really is. What this means is that you correctly or incorrectly perceive or imagine danger. This is a healthy thing and it allows you to steer clear of things that might harm you or worse kill you. But if what you have perceived or imagined is wrong, then you are really fearful of self created illusions which build on themselves until the snake eats itself out of existence.

The fear of flying is like this; you perceive danger but in reality flying is far safer than driving. It is actually one of the safest forms of transportation that we can use. The average airline pilot has a decade of flying under his belt, he is using top of the line equipment that has to meet rigorous testing and your entire flying experience is coordinated by hundreds of trained professionals. Compare this to the average highway trip and you begin to get the basic idea.

But, what about if you perceive danger and there is danger. Let’s take a closer look at the fear of public speaking. What about if you have to give a speech in front of a large audience and your future depends on you doing a good job?

Then you have a righteous fear. You perceive an obstacle that can make you or break you. You have to stay aware and focused because if you screw it up, you are done. Certainly then fear is good , it keeps you focused?…Well yes it will make you very present orientated which is good, your sharp; but unless you have a great deal of mastery over yourself, fear will come on you like an avalanche and suffocate the life right out of you.

Fear does not have a dial. Its fight or flight, all go. Standing on a tarmac or on a podium, you have nothing to hit and nothing that you can run from.
So what do you do?

Well I hope that the following technique can help with this. It is very good and tried and tested, an old bald guy with a big moustache taught it to me. I like to call this technique ‘The Third Person’.

The best way to understand this technique is to think of the points of view that a story can be written in. A story can be written in the first, second or third person. If you write something in the first person, then you are writing about it from your personal point of view. Everything is me , myself and I. For example you can say, “ As I stepped on the stage, I saw the audience and I felt a nervous spasm pass over me.  I was instantly scared out of my wits!”

Writing from the second  person point of view involves talking directly to your audience. The writer will use a lot of ‘you’ language. For example, “You have to give this speech. It’s in your better interest so don’t screw it up!”
Lastly we have the Third Person point of view. Writers use more DISTANT language. There will be a lot of “he”, “she”, “it”, and “they” used. In this case, the writer is looking down on a scene, he is writing a report of what he sees from a distant position, usually seemingly above the epic scene below. “ As William stepped on the stage, he looked at his audience in fear and discomfort. He fumbled with his notes and prepared himself for his first words.”

Imagine if you could automatically put yourself into a Third Person perspective. What if you could get away from yourself, your fear, and from any terribly frightening situation in general? You could look down on yourself, separated from your emotions, seeing everything, and most importantly seeing everything with a clear vision that is not distorted by fear or anxiety. What you need to do to control your fear then is to start seeing everything in the ‘Third Person’.

To do this, imagine that you are having an out of body experience. Imagine that your consciousness flies up through the top of your head and in one instant you find yourself looking down at your body and the entire scene below.
From this position you can see everything that is going on around you and you can keep a special eye on your body below. Funny as it might seem, you can even control your body, sort of like a puppet master. Very cool.

HOW TO MASTER THE ‘THIRD PERSON’ PERSPECTIVE

I want you to practice the following exercise at home on your own until you feel very comfortable with the Third Person perspective. It will allow you to get into the third person very quickly, and through this technique, you will find that you will be able to conquer just about any fear. Actually as long as you have perfect concentration, there is no fear that cannot be conquered by this method.  The goal is to be able to put yourself instantly into this new perspective, at the drop of a hat, when you need it most.

To begin the exercise I want you to take a comfortable seat in a quiet area. This designated area can be inside or outside but it has to be in a quiet place away from others. After you have sat down in your quiet area, I want you to imagine, with your eyes open, that you are somewhere else in the room. For example; if you are sitting on the bed in your room, I want you to imagine that you are standing next to the far wall on the other side of the room.
I want you to imaginatively look at the world around you from this new perspective. If you are imaginatively standing by a wall, then I want you to imagine what the wall from your new perspective looks like. Perhaps you are right next to the wall in your new imaginative location, do imagine that you can actually see the wall really close up.

You can touch the wall from your new location, since you are imaginatively standing right next to it. So touch the wall with your imagination with your imaginary hands and imagine how the wall feels. Feel the wall therefore with your second imaginary hand. Is the wall cold and smooth perhaps? Imagine what things feel like to your second self.
Do this with all your senses so that there is a real you that is perceiving one thing and a pretend you that is standing a few feet away perceiving things from a slightly different angle.  You are creating a double for yourself. An imaginative double that can be anywhere you want him to be and can do anything that you want him to do.

This exercise will take time and good visualization skills but its fun and most people get good at it very fast. Keep your double close at the beginning of the exercises, no more than a dozen or so feet from you. The trick of the exercise is to try and imagine with each sensory organ what it would be like to be in the doubles position. See, hear, feel, smell, and taste through your double.

If the exercise seems to be too hard, close your eyes. Open them from time to time to get reference points so that you can picture yourself and your environment correctly but after you have taken a mental picture of your room, close your eyes and imagine yourself by the wall again.

Practice this exercise until you can keep your eyes open and still have two very different perspectives of your room. One is your actual physical perception and the other is the imagined perception from your double.
After you have become really good at seeing the things around you from your doubles perspective, I want you to look at yourself and see yourself as your double would see you. Weird stuff right! You are looking at yourself looking at yourself! Imagine again what it would be like to see yourself sitting on your bed from your doubles position. Practice looking at yourself from the new perspective until it becomes easy and second nature.
When you have a good grasp of the exercise above and are confident with your skill, I want you to go outside and imagine that your double is flying above in the air looking down on you. The double is not too high up, it’s about three to six feet above your head and a bit to the right.

Imagine once again what the world looks like to your double. Imagine what the world looks like through your doubles eyes, what and how does it see. What does the world feel like from your doubles position, what does your double hear and smell from up there. You certainly have a better visual perspective from your double’s point of view. Use this new visual perspective to your advantage, look at everything. Get a lay of the land.

When you are good at this newest variation of the exercise and are comfortable with your new imaginative doubles position, I want you to go for a short walk. Just a nice short walk around the block, but I want you to imaginatively see, feel, hear smell and possibly taste everything ONLY from your doubles point of view!
Try really hard to only keep the doubles point of view. This is a pretty hard exercise at first but with a bit of practice, you will be amazed at how good you can get at it. Practice this until you are good and can extend the length of your walk as much as you want without losing focus.

So let us tackle fear number one; You are about to get on a plane and you have cold sweats and there is a big possibility that you might lose your lunch.

Instantly get into Third Perspective. Hopefully you have practiced and are very good at imagining that a second you is flying three to six feet above your head and is looking down on you. Go to your double now. Imagine that you are up above looking down on your scared self.

Look through your doubles eyes, FEEL through your double. Look at all of the things around you through your double’s senses. Put most of your conscious self in your doubles place.

As you do this, and if you do this with enough concentration, you will notice that you will feel distant and detached from the scared person below. By changing your point of concentration, you will instantly change how you feel. By changing your point of view, you will see other angles and this will give you alternatives if you need them.

The you up above, your Double, is objective and detached. Maintain your focus on the perceptions of your double and forget about the feelings of the person below. You are an objective viewer of the happenings below. You are the puppet master controlling the avatar below+.

The idea here is to see your physical self like just one of many players on a play below. You are up above and you are watching the actors below. You can make the one main actor, your avatar, do anything you like, you have direct control over him/her. But during the duration of this trip and until you feel comfortable again, the real you, your conscious being is going to be seeing the world from the doubles perspective up above.
If it’s a long trip, then at anytime you can return to First Person position and see how you feel. If you feel panicky once you get back to first person, then go right back up to your double’s position. If you fall asleep, when you wake up you will most likely wake up in First Position and you can wake up a bit panicky again. If this is the case, instantly take a deep breath and go to Third position. Don’t worry, it’s that easy to quickly leave your First self and begin to see the world again from the Third perspective.

How about giving a speech in front of people? Well again you want to go into the ‘Third Person ‘ position.  You have hopefully rehearsed your speech so that you won’t have to look at notes too much but if you do; you will find switching perspectives is very easy. You can read something from your physical perspective for example but you can instantly return to the doubles perspective up above.

Remember how I told you to think of the person below as just another actor in a play or show, well using this premise, let you actor/avatar/physical self act below. This is an easy task with a bit of practice, and you will not believe the results that you will get.

If the avatar needs to wave at the audience then have him/her wave. See the avatar waving from your position up above. Have the avatar smile and make eye contact with the audience. Forgot a line of your speech? Then have the avatar look at his notes, see through his eyes and then return to your higher position and continue with the speech.

When the tension is over and you find yourself in a quieter place again, then go back to First person. You should be able to switch positions now at a moment’s notice.

With this method; properly mastered and extensively practiced, there is no fear that you won’t be able to overcome. I hope you well.

*Thursday, Mar. 29, 2007 By BILL TANCER

+Those of you that are video game players and gamers in interactive worlds like ‘Second Life’ will have a great time with this exercise.

If I were to give my very best friend a present, what would it be? Certainly money is high on the list but I am not a rich man and I doubt that lint from my change pocket would fool anyone.

If I were to give my dear friend the greatest gift that I could think of, then I would give him the gift of peace of mind and freedom. To me these things are worth more than money because money doesn’t necessarily provide these things. Money can also be fickle; here today gone tomorrow.

But what if I had a way to give peace of mind and freedom in a different way, doing a simple exercise that could be done by almost anyone and almost anywhere. Well that’s a present that I like and a present that I can give.

Please don’t think of me as being self centered and lost in my own feeling of grandeur. I truly wish to give this gift to you with a feeling of friendship and love. I don’t expect anything in return except a positive comment or two and the hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me. I would not be over exaggerating when I say that this technique has helped to keep me sane.

I must admit though that I will get large helping of personal gratification if this gift is to your liking. I give because it makes me feel good. I make no apologies for that.

The gift is a very simple one and it seems rather simplistic at first, but is has certain variables that give it great power.

My gift is this; I want to teach you how to take a walk, a simple walk that will help to ease all of that clutter in your head and help you to realize that freedom is just a matter of perspective. Or a better way to say it would be to say that freedom is really a matter of focus.

Find a nice quiet place where you can go for a nice long walk. Ideally the place for your walk would have a lot of nature and it is a quite peaceful area. Not everyone has access to this type of ideal walking area so if this is not possible for you, then a walk around your neighborhood will do.
Begin your walk and as you walk I want you to just begin to relax. All of the calamities of the day will naturally start to flood your mind and before long you will find that you have been thinking about a future deed that needs to be done or about a past experience that has become embedded in your mind.
So here is where the fun variable comes in; I want you to try with all your might to stay focused on your present moment. I want you to let go of the past and I want you to stop worrying about the future. I want you to begin to notice all of the things around you. I want you to look at the light from the sun and the shape of the clouds. I want you to pay attention to the noise around you. Weather it is a pleasant noise or not, I want you to focus only on the things right before you, right now.

If your thoughts wonder and you find yourself thinking about past or future events, I want you to strongly refocus your attention on the present moment. Walk and walk, taking one step after the other, concentrating only on the things that are before you.

After a while and when you find that you are getting pretty good and used to the idea that the only thing the exists right now is what is before you, I want you to also realize that you are only the you that is right here, right now.

If you do not look back in time or for that matter forward into what you have to do, you just become that which is here at the moment. The person that is here/now has no family, no friends, no responsibilities, no needs aside from taking one step after another.

All that you have and all that you are is right here, right now. If you must, I want you to pretend that you have amnesia and you do not remember who you are or where you come from. I want you to trick yourself then into believing that you are here alone and that the only thing that you really know is that you must be here and you must walk.

The best thing to do though is to just concentrate on the present moment and to forget about everything and everyone else.

Perhaps you think that this is a bad thing because you should not forget your children and your loved ones but believe me that when you help yourself in this way and you take the time to do this exercise, you are helping them. This exercise will rejuvenate you and it will allow you to find the peace that you need so that when you get back to “reality”, you will have the strength to carry on.
So please take the time, sometime this week and go for a walk and listen to the world around you. Use this gift to find freedom in your life.

 

We tend to hear a lot of terrible things about the ego. How the ego destroys your life by burying you selfish emotions and acts. I have written a few articles myself on how the placation of the ego can be a most draining and self defeating idea.

But I think that there can be a great mistake made if you pursue this to extremes. The problem comes when we get lost in semantics and when slight variations in language obscure the greater reality. This happens when as Alfred Korzybski said, we “confuse the map with the territory”.

Tomato and tomatoe might sound different yet be the same thing , while ego for the sake of self centered self importance might be one thing while ego for the sake of personal power, might be something all together poles apart.

The inability to write down in a coherent way, what you know and what you have experienced is a topic that has kept philosophical debates alive and well for centuries, and this subject matter is much to deep to pursue right now, it is also not the matter of this present article.

I want to discuss something that seems altogether simpler yet if understood in its profundity, if grasped beyond the map level to the point where you can make it your own at a personal level, it can change the way you function and can turn your efforts into truly grand endeavors.

The ego is a black sheep in the modern psychological cosmology.  The infusion of Eastern and specifically Buddhist thought, have put a black cloud over the ego and its selfish ways. Me culture is bad culture and we are reminded everyday about how terrible it is by watching the latest Hollywood star giving the bird to the cameras as they snort coke and mistreat everyone around them.
Sadly the poor ‘self’ sufferers from a case of simplification and before you know it; everybody wants to eradicate something that is literally holding them together. An explanation of the power of the ego is perhaps in order so that all the righteous ego killers can be somewhat appeased.

The ego as we understand it is the one thing that holds the being that you call (I) together.  Your ego is you. Within your psyche, you find an infinitude of individual thoughts, beliefs, ideas and selves that fight for dominance over your present being.  I am legion, means that you are made of a multitude of selves that are constantly asserting themselves for dominance over your individual being.
The Ego is the one cohesive factor that holds them all in place, and a healthy Ego maintains a living network of realities that coalesce into what you call ‘you’.  I am at times practical, while at other times I can be quite clever or subtle or loud or strong, etc. At each one of these moments, I assert a differ part of myself, a different part of the legion of me’s the exists within my psyche.
If my Ego is strong and healthy, then my selves are never over dominant, to anyone degree or another. I am balanced knowing that right now I might feel timid and afraid but that this is not the totality of myself; but just another facet that will most likely be replaced shortly by an equally powerful and dominating me.
Therefore thank your Ego for it is the lord of the manor and the holder of the keys to the castle. A person that has a weak Ego, or an Ego that has been damaged in some way by a traumatic experience, would show any one of the many symptoms that you see in an insane asylum.

But beyond this we must realize that a strong sense of ME identity is a very good thing. In order to face the world in a powerful way, you need to have a strong self presence. You need to believe in yourself, in your abilities and in your destiny.
I am that I am.

Certainly I will fall but I will get up to fight again because I am strong and I will prevail. I was meant to be happy, and wealthy, and I am here to see and feel all of the joys of this world. I am that which loves and I am that which hates.

It is the weak Ego that falls for the seven deadly sins. It finds that it cannot contain its desire to eat and eat, or rage and hate, or…pick your poison.

In order to be strong, the Ego must be made stronger. The old masters forever tell their pupils to let go of the self and attain perfection; this is a case of semantic error. The master does not mean eradicate yourself, what he is trying to say is that you must develop a more educated Ego. An Ego that can encompass the idea that there are times when it has to let go of the reigns ever so slightly so that ‘I’ can accomplish that which ‘I’ could not accomplish before.

I was scared and that scared self KNEW that it could not jump over that chasm but I let go of all those things in me that held me back until something inside me made me jump, and when I awoke, I was standing on the other side. Afterwards I knew that I was the one that was holding me back, but now I have become more than I was, and I now understand that I can be the scared person that will not dare and the person that can transcend that person who could not.

So the Ego was not terminated, and it is not the lack of Ego that will set you free. What will allow you to do the impossible is the ability to let your Ego grow in complexity and strength. To do this you will have to learn to stop your current self or selves from asserting their dominant beliefs upon you, ever trustful that your strong Ego will hold together the totality of your being. And when you act and are successful, a new self will be born that will understand that what it thought was impossible was just a limiting thought held by a different self, and at a different time. A self that is not the totality of your being but just one of the many aspects of your being, a wonderful being, with a strong and flexible Ego as its front line general.

So begin your journey towards a better you by loving yourself. Tell yourself that you are great and that you will do great things. That all the pleasures of the world belong to you and whatever hardship might come, you will overcome.

Realize that you are more than what you believe that you are. That even if you fell into the chasm of everlasting darkness, You will survive for you are never ending.

I am myself but I can also imaginatively be that tree over there. I will not stop being myself, for I cannot be destroyed, so I will learn to allow myself to be the tree completely, and the person that imagines that he is the tree completely. And in this way my Ego grows so that while just before I was just me, I can now be; me, the tree, and myself being me and the tree together.
I am that I am.

Improve Yourself and Find Peace

Sometimes, when we feel the full weight of all our insecurities and doubt, a little internal dialog starts that goes something like, “I wish I was somebody else.” More often than not, we think and believe that someone or rather, most people, are better than us… The reality of course is that most people are as insecure and scared as we are.

We are in a constant state of over and underestimating those that we meet as we make our way through life. If you are overconfident then you underestimate those that you meet and most likely critic everything that they do. But if you are feeling lost and the in the throes of self doubt then everyone that you meet seems to be perfect and content while you are the biggest loser on the planet.

Weather its the beautiful girl that we see across the room or the successful young man that drives past us in his cool new car. Our self image is always measuring itself against others and most often it is telling us that we are second best. If you could read the thoughts of others, you would find that their internal dialog is full of the same self recrimination and doubt that fills our heads and heart.

Do not judge yourself and you will find that you will lose the need to judge others. We are ALL filled with the same doubt and fear, so give other people a break. There is nothing better to improve your self image then to be able to distance yourself from it. Try to see your self in the bigger picture. So that you are not looking at the world from the inside out but you are looking at your being from the outside in. The best way to do this is to imagine that you are an author that is writing a novel on the story of you. The author, that is the new you, writes, “Bob is entering the room, he feels nervous about himself and has always had a complex about his large nose”. You are no longer Bob but the person looking down on Bob.

This new perspective will open your eyes to a new reality of being. ‘Life through the third person’ as I like to call it is the cure for all self doubt and fear. It will open your being and hopefully help you to become more empathic and aware. When ever you can’t handle it anymore or you think that you are about to go postal from all the stress; do a little ‘life in the third person’.

I have a friend who never gets tired of talking. And in most conversations, she is the only one who seems to be interested in the things she has to say. So all of our other friends tend to avoid her immediate circle whenever she’s around, and she doesn’t notice how she is effecting others negatively. The moral is that you must learn to be more self aware so that you know what needs change.

One key to self improvement is to LISTEN and TALK to those that would give you honest criticism. Find someone who you can comfortably open up to, someone that you can talk about anything. Ask your confidant questions like “do you think I have bad manners?”, “Do I argue too much?”, “Do I talk too loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore you?”. Once the other person stops laughing and poking fun at your obviously silly questions, and if you persist, they will realize that you are serious and if they are worthy of being your confidant, then they will give you some of the best advise of your life. Listen, and shut your yap for a while, to what your friend has to say, do not counter their comments, no matter how silly they might seem to you, with something like “Don’t exaggerate! That’s just the way I am!” Open up your mind, and heart . And in return, you may want to help your friend with constructive criticism that will also help her/him improve.

Unless someone asks you directly, do not go around telling people how they can improve themselves. Make yourself an example of personal contentment and self refinement and let others learn from you from example only.

Don’t ever think that you are less then someone else. Learn to love yourself truly. Stop that internal dialog that berates you. Stop that annoying voice at the onset of its nasty comments. Love yourself, heck adore yourself if you can and if it all gets to be too much and the voice seems to be winning then take a break from it all and do life from the third person for a while.

You can hold the belief that we all suck or that we are all perfect but the one thing that you must do is to stop comparing yourself to others. I personally think that all beings are amazing and I am just one more of those amazing little monsters living and breathing on this fantastic planet we call earth. Happiness comes from self acceptance, so accept yourself and learn to find true happiness.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines empathy as:

em•pa•thy
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em– + pathos feelings, emotion
1:the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this



Empathy is one of the most essential skills. With it you will find success in most walks of life. It will allow you to experience many different perspectives which are necessary for personal growth and understanding. In my opinion, empathy is the one skill that will begin to transform this world and create the type of societies that we all envision.

To empathize means to be successful with the opposite sex. Through empathy you can become a dynamic powerful speaker. You can become a great business person, and in general achieve many of the things that you set out to do in life.

The reason for this is that empathy allows you to understand what the other person or being is thinking. It allows you to know the desires of others so that you can do your best to meet them. If you are a businessman, you will be able to know what the customer wants, and by satisfying these needs, you will achieve success. As a lover, you will know what your partner needs, sometimes even before they consciously know it themselves, which will make you the best lover that they have ever had.

Being able to empathize with your environment and the people around you will keep you safe. By understanding the intentions of others, you will be able to steer clear of those that would harm you. You can also learn to empathize with a geographical area so that you can actually read subconsciously all of the signs that can warn you of danger. Through empathy you can learn to avoid that dangerous alley or stay away from a certain building or vehicle that might be doomed.

Empathy will also make you a better, more creative human being. Remember that famous saying that implores you to, “walk a mile in another man moccasins”, before you judge him. This is sound advice that will allow you to get into the perspective of someone other than yourself so that you might be able to understand their actions, feeling and motives.

The ability to empathize is really the ability to get outside of your ego. Another way to say this would be to say that empathy allows your ego to grow so that it learns to see through different eyes. In order to begin to understand what I mean by empathy, I want you to do the following exercise.

Empathy Exercise

Take a comfortable seat in front of a plant. A house plant would be perfect but if you don’t have one, you can always go sit outside in front of a bush or tree in a nice quiet area. You will want to place yourself in a position where you can comfortably gaze upon the plant. Hopefully you are indoors in a quiet room or outside in a nice place where you won’t be disturbed.

Next, lightly gaze at the plant. From this light gaze, I want you to slowly begin to focus exclusively on the plant before you. Without strain, I want you to try and see into the plant. That is I want you to pretend that you can see into the plant and into its inner soul. This exercise will take a number of imaginative leaps. These imaginative leaps should be performed without strain, think of them more as a child’s pretend game rather than any kind of work.

As you gaze into the soul of the plant, imagine that you feel a tug from the plant so that your soul and the plants soul are now directly connected. This connection that feels like a small almost surreal tug at your insides, allows you to send a piece of yourself directly into the plant. You are now imagining entering the plant with a small thread of yourself. This little thread becomes one with the plant so that now you feel that you are you but you are also the plant.

Imaginatively feel what it’s like to be this being that you are gazing at. How do you as a plant feel the world around you? Using your imagination, try and feel what the plant is feeling at this very moment. Plants do not have eyes but they can feel the world around them in a way that is most amazing. Plants are very sensitive to emotion, temperature and humidity. Their entire bodies are very complex receptors that can tell them about the most minute things in their environment. Imagine that you can see the world through the plants eyes. What do you see/feel?

Practice seeing the world through the plants eyes for a while. Through your empathic vision, you might begin to understand why it is a little droopy or why it’s starting to turn a little yellow. The plant might be able to show you the room or the environment it sees, which will allow you to see this environment in a whole new way.

 

This kind of exercises is basis for all empathic work. You don’t have to work with plants. Anything animate or inanimate will work. It is pure egotistical garbage that makes you believe that a chair or a pencil don’t share as much individual reality as anything else. All things are rich in information and experience that you can tap into.

As you grow in your empathic work and become better, you will start to see a greater depth of detail. You will have access to more information and understand some of the subtleties of that information better. Finally you might want to try this exercise with another person. Perhaps your lover or best friend. The intuitive understanding that you will develop with each other will blow your mind!

The body is flexible. It is supposed to be flexible. You must be able to bend and reach that something you dropped on the floor. You must be able to zip the back of your favorite dress on your own. You must be able to reach that book you need to read at the top shelf.

These are simple activities. Nothing grand about them, you merely stretched out a bit. However, if there are difficulties in doing such simple motions, then you have to stretch your limits. You already need a stretching program.

What is stretching?

benefitsofstretching-01Stretching is simply the act of extending to full length the body or simply a part of it. This activity involves straightening or stretching the structure or the limbs.

How do you stretch?

Stretching is fairly easy. As mentioned in the introduction, it is involved in the normal activities. It can be done by any people, regardless of age.

However the extent of stretching and flexing differs. The muscles tighten as a person ages. The range of joint movements can be minimized. This can very well obstruct an on-the-go lifestyle. That is why as the person grows older, bending or flexing becomes more limited. This is why stretching regularly, as part of a routine is very important.

Simple stretches can be done every day. It can be incorporated in the lifestyle and the daily activities. It does not require much of your time.

Stretching exercises can also be done while training. Actually, stretching is an essential part of any training or sport. It must be done first before anything else. Stretching the body and the limbs is a good preparation for a more rigorous activity.

Most athletes would do the sit and reach, wherein they position on the floor, extend their legs and reach the tip of their foot with the tip of their hand. Actually, most trainers actually require their athletes to really do the stretching before playing.

There is actually an ideal length of time in stretching. It is best to do it in 10 minutes. This will give the body enough opportunity to move and flex the muscles, thus preparing it for more complicated and strenuous movements.

Experts however would frown upon going way beyond 10 minutes. Stretching the exercise to 30 minutes or more will already wear out the body. This will not be favorable if you are preparing for a game.

What are the benefits of stretching?

Increase the Range of Movement

As you continue to do the stretching exercises, the length of the muscles and the tendons increase. This will help in increasing the range of your movement. Thus, the limbs and joints will be able to move, way before an injury can take place. You are definitely physically fit.

Increased Ability to Perform Skills

When you have a wide range of movement, the more you will be able to do more things. For example, you can jump high without feeling any pain when you land back on the floor. This will also help you start a new sport or improve more if you are in one. Stretching in this aspect also allows you to have a more active lifestyle.

Injury Prevention

You can prevent injury to joints, tendons and muscles with stretching. When the muscles and tendons are well-flexed, they are considered in good working order. This will help in a faster recovery and decreased soreness. The muscles of the body will be able to take more exhausting and rigorous movements with less probability of being injured.

Reduce Muscle Tension

If the muscles are given their regular exercises and stretching, it is less likely that they will contract. This will definitely relieve you of any muscle pain or problems.

Enhance Energy

Being able to move more will also give you more energy. Stretching will also help enhance your awareness, like knowing that you have a body that is capable of doing many things. As such, you are going to be more driven to move rather than sulk in the corner.

Reduces Cholesterol

Research also shows that doing prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, will help reduce the cholesterol in the body. This of course must be done with a healthy diet at hand. This could prevent and even reverse the hardening of the arteries, allowing you to avoid coronary diseases.
Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle. It has benefits you can’t say no to. It also does not require much. It can be your usual activities, bending and flexing every now and then. After all, your fitness is everything so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.

Self Esteem means staying positive about yourself, and having a real good Self Image. Self image is the idea that you have about yourself. When you look into the mirror of your mind’s eye, what do you see?

There are a number of things that can bite at our self esteem as we make our way through planet earth. Sometimes it even feels like the world is actually conspiring to give our self esteem a nice right cross. But we must realize that the way we perceive things has a great deal to do with how we perceive ourselves.

Knowing what you think of yourself, that is what image you have of yourself deep in your mind’s eye, can be a bit tricky. Usually when we introspect and try and catch a glimpse of our inner self, all we see is a mild mannered “just me”. It seems that the only time that we approximate seeing ourselves for what we really are, is when the world starts to throw pies at us.

So what I am trying to say is that we seem to have a really hard time knowing who we are as people until it hits the fan. Therefore next time that you find yourself driving down the road peacefully, and have some yokel do his best to send you to your early grave by driving his pick-up truck up your posterior, sit back, relax and watch the internal show. Certainly you will be perturbed and will most likely be very angry, but once that initial reactionary emotion wears off…What do you hear yourself saying to yourself?

Certainly you should not pay too much attention to your internal reality or you will be the cause of an accident yourself, but lightly observe your emotions and reactions to this bad situation. Emotions are a wonderful source of energy and most importantly they are a great way to reveal hidden personal beliefs.

A positive self image would be telling itself that this kind of stuff happens to everyone. That if you were the cause of some bad driving, then you will do your very best to do better next time so that you won’t endanger anyone in the future. And if you were not at fault in any way that people are not perfect and they are sometimes mad and in a hurry and it’s not up to you to judge or hate this person without first really knowing why they would be driving so erratically in the first place.

A positive self image also allows itself to feel anger or fear or any other thing without self recrimination. It feels what it has to feel freely and then it doesn’t make any judgments but if it does, it makes positive judgments about itself.

So when yo-yo yokel just tried to run you off the road, what did you feel? And what did you feel about what you felt? If you felt anything but a positive feeling about yourself; weather its recrimination about wanting to kill someone, or self hate at the fact that you are always bullied, or at the fact that you are such a terrible driver, and then you need to explore what belief you have about yourself that makes you feel this way. The idea is to not patch up yourself by putting on a fake happy face that will have you going postal in a week. Learn to explore yourself at these critical times, so that you can learn about yourself and the personal beliefs that you hold.

But what do you do when you find a very negative personal belief that you have about yourself? Well the simple answer is that you change it. You change it by realizing that the belief that you now have is wrong and its causing you grief. You change it by replacing it with a positive belief. For example if your belief is that you don’t have the right to get mad because you are a terrible person and a bad driver, then realize that you are not a bad person at all. Truly make the personal realization that you are not a bad person and that driving is a relative thing. Realize that you are always improving yourself and your driving in all ways. Every time that you find yourself having these thoughts of self deprecation, stop yourself and remember that you are a good person. Don’t let your inner rambling go unchecked. As soon as you start to have negative thoughts about yourself, change them. Change bad thoughts through the realization of how good you really are.

It might take a little while at first but if you persist and learn to always examine yourself and you personal beliefs about yourself image, you should be able to change those negative ideas in no time. I have witnessed people make extraordinary changes overnight, this usually happens when the self realization of themselves as being good decent beings is so overwhelming that there is no more room for a negative belief. Aspire to overnight but be content with the idea that slowly but surely you will learn to create and foster a wonderful self image.

Be aware that beliefs on self image tend to travel in packs. You could be working on one belief that you might have uncovered but there might be many others that are related and need be uncovered and changed as well.

Don’t give up, and stay persistent in yourself examination. Self Esteem is created from the inside out and not the other way around as some of the more popular self help books would have you believe. Stay with it and you will be very glad that you did. If there is one thing that is most important in life its self esteem!

Everyone, at some point of his or her life, has dreamed of being somebody special, somebody big. Who hasn’t fantasized about being the one who scores the winning goal? Who hasn’t dreamed of being the hero? And how many times have we dreamed of being rich, or successful, wealthy, and happy in our relationships?

Often, we dream big dreams and have great aspirations. Unfortunately, our dreams remain just that – dreams. And our aspirations sit around collecting dust.

This is a sad thing and the moment that we realize that we have given up on our dreams can be devastating. Instead of experiencing exciting adventures in self actualization, we lose ourselves in the routine of our everyday lives which can turn into no existence at all. Just surviving from one day to the next.

How does life get better? Aim High and stay positive!

The biggest and most common problem is that people listen to all of the negative talk that goes on in their head. I can’t do this, that’s impossible, I’ll never make it, others will see me fail, etc.

However, if everyone thought like that, there would be no inventions, no innovations, and no breakthroughs in human accomplishment.

If you don’t think that the impossible is possible; then go tell the bumble bee that it can’t fly. Aerodynamically it should not be able to get off the ground but it does. I suppose it doesn’t know any better.

Others have huge and outrageous dreams that they never act on. The result? Broken dreams, and broken aspirations.

If you limit yourself with self-doubt, and self-limiting assumptions, you will never be able to break past what you believe to be impossible.

Do this exercise. Take a piece of paper and write down some goals in your life. Under one header, list down things ‘I can do’. Under another header, write the things ‘I might be able to do.’ And under one more, list the things that that are ‘impossible’.

Now look at all the headers; strive every day to accomplish the goals that are under things ‘I can do’. Check them when you are able to accomplish them. As you slowly are able to check all of your goals under that heading, try accomplishing the goals under the other header, the one that reads ‘I might be able to do’.

Before long you will find yourself moving things from the impossible to the might be possible and then to the things that you know that you can do.

If you stick to this plan, you will soon realize that nothing is impossible and will discover within yourself those key actions that can bring the impossible into the realm of the very possible.

The trick is to let your imagination go and not bind it through personal fear. You also need to stay positive and not let negative ideas cloud the positive and joyful ones.

Those who just dream but don’t work towards that dream’s realization are always fruitless.

You would have been put in an institution for saying that men will land on the moon and that the World Wide Web will allow people to send information around the world in seconds, yet that dream is now a reality and everyone walks around with a modified version of the Dick Tracy watch (the cell phone). Sheer desire and perseverance have made these lofty dreams a reality!

Thomas Edison said that “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. He was probably one of the greatest inventors of all time. He basically was a master at taking the ideas that he had inside and making them real on the objective world outside. This is a man that all of us dreamers could learn a lot from.

Get out of your comfort zone. Let go of those limiting routines and begin to make the effort necessary to make those goals that you have a reality. Stay positive and have confidence in yourself and no effort will seem like too much.

Dream! Always dream! Never stop climbing until you one day find yourself at the summit of unlimited possibilities. All is possible, but only if we stay ever positive and never give up on our aspiration.

The best way to understand the energetic body is to think of it as a quantum biomechanical entity. What I mean by this is that the potential of any of its parts has a direct relation to the amount of attention that it receives. Your big toe has as much ability to create energy as does your head or heart. This attention is not located in any specific area, non local, and can be projected anywhere either inside or outside the body.

Chakra is actually a Sanskrit word that means wheel, which implies that there are certain energy vortices within the body. These energy centers are immovable and depending on their location in the body, exude a certain kind of awareness and energy. This energy can be tapped by the skilled practitioner in order to create some remarkable effects.

There is actually little similarity between the various oriental systems as to the location of these energy centers or Chakras. All these Mental Bridges (MB’s) are limiting to a greater or lesser extent in that they ask the user to accept a certain probability as fact and to refute everything that does not fit into its framework. As a result, these systems are incomplete and do not allow for the full potential of the energetic body.

Since all truth comes from sense data then one of the points of this article is; to create new sense data that is not at the whim of external circumstance but is controlled by internal intention. This allows the user to become free of the sometimes blind faith imposed by other systems of energy work or most MBs for that matter.

The concept of energy centers is quite useful though, I therefore wish to familiarize you with it if you are new to the game. I would also like to give some variance for those that are old pros.

Five is a very important number both physiologically and mentally. It represents the five limbs of the body, with five fingers in each hand and five toes in each foot. Intellectually it represents the five things that make up the universe; Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Void. Because of this, I shall designate Five energy centers in the body located vertically following the largest nerve canal which is the spinal column.

These energy centers shall be the head, throat, chest, stomach and reproductive region or feet as you prefer. If you wish to be more precise you can designate these centers as being the pineal gland(third eye), vocal cords, solar plexus, stomach[(!) see below](the individual organ) and the genitals.

I suggest that you do not give each of these centers a particular function. For example do not make the stomach the water center, blue and only responsible for good bladder control or the like. It is better that you start to see the energy that you are creating as a neutral entity that can be given function and purpose as you see fit. Think of it as a far more refined and powerful version of electricity and never forget that electricity can light your life or kill you.

As I mentioned earlier the more attention you give a certain area of your energetic body, the more potential that this area gains. Moreover this increase in ability is cumulative. By following a meditative regime where you train yourself in a given technique, you are then in essence working out. Working out a muscle that has too long been unused.

If you were to practice a certain physical movement over and over, you would not only develop a better musculature more suited for the task performed, you would also see an increase in the nerve tissue related to this task and an increase in the nerve speed. Similarly if you practice a mental task with the same intensity, you will see an increase in energetic power available as well as an increase in the nervous (nerve) energy and speed.

Therefore taking into account everything that I have outlined:

  • Begin by relaxing your body. Close your eyes and perform the Baby Breathing as outline in the How to Relax article until you have a relaxed glowing feeling throughout your entire body.
  • Imagine a warm tingling feeling in your third eye. The third eye is located between your two physical eyes, just above your brow ridge. If you were to drill a hole here, you would eventually hit your pineal gland.
  • This warm tingling feeling grows in intensity until you can barely stand the pleasure of it. At this time you begin to notice that this great feeling turns into a little vibration, a little vibration that grows in intensity until it has your entire head vibrating.
  • This vibration increases in power until it begins to produce a sound. The sound, like an electrical motor hums and grows like a great engine revving into higher and higher frequencies.
  • The noise increases until it obliterates all other sound. This vibration creates heat which can be felt exuding from your third eye. And as the noise grows ever more intense then so does the heat grow until the entire world seems to be boiling.
  • At the center of this universe, which is your third eye, there is a spark. This spark begins a fire. This fire begets a sun. And as the noise grows and the heat grows, this sun which is your third eye glows brilliantly white. a white so intense and powerful that all your thoughts are washed away and all that remains is this brilliant white sun.
  • With this sun there is joy. And as this sun burns brighter and brighter so does this joy increase. Let this sun which is your third eye burn brightly for five or ten minutes.
  • Unless you set some kind of timer and if you have done this exercise properly, I doubt that you will be able to keep time with any accuracy. Don’t worry since seconds in the intensity of this sun could seem like hours. keep going until you feel like stopping, worrying not about the time. Then when you feel like stopping, open your eyes stretch and move on to some other task.

This form of exercise may have some very intense effects upon your body. By concentrating on your pineal gland for example, you are flooding your brain with large amounts of blood. This alone can create some rather spectacular changes in your perception ranging anywhere from weird buzzing in the ears to seeing colored lights in front of your eyes and even reliving old forgotten memories. Then you add to this equation the increase in life force and the changes in your being can be earthshaking.

I mention the increase of blood in the area first because even medical science is willing to agree that this is possible and that these reactions then can be possible. But that is only the beginning of this exercise. Medical science is not yet ready to accept the existence of the ethereal energy of which I speak. Energy that has been accepted as fact by past western civilizations and modern eastern ones.

This energy goes by various names such as: prana, chi, ki, Vril, orgone, odic, mana and many others. It is basically bioenergetic; it can be produced by the body or gathered from the environment. This energy promotes health and will increase the potential of any place or thing where it resides. The more that you have the more that you can do but this energy must be channeled and balanced or else you can do damage.

Once this bioenergetic power begins to accumulate in you third eye, the effects to your being can become even more pronounced. You will begin to feel better and happier. Your mental capabilities will increase. Your memory will improve and your senses will seem more acute. Your focus will dramatically improve which is excellent since the more focus that you have, the better that you will become at the mental tasks promoted by this Site. If you develop this laser focus of which I speak and are able to concentrate on a thing to the exclusion of all other things then there is very little mentally or physically that you will not be able to do.

Imagine then as you start to perform this set of exercises on a regular basis, not only for the pineal gland but also for all of the five areas mentioned. As I have said, I do not believe in giving these energy centers any particular property but you will be generating large amounts of bioenergy in different areas of your body and as a result will be greatly stimulating the organs found in these areas. It is a wise idea to start a journal and begin a record of your feelings and experiences following the commencement of these exercises.

You can also use the Hara for the location of the stomach energy center. Take as accurate a measure of your body length as possible and divide this by half. Now measure the width of your body from shoulder to shoulder and divide that by half. X marks the spot to the location of your body’s center. This center is usually a little below the navel but there is variance depending on body structure. This is the Japanese Hara or Chinese Tan Tien and it is very important in the martial arts since it is where all movement originates.