In today’s world, where the internet spews out all kinds of information from rumors to gossip and horror, how can we believe everything out there, when anyone can say anything they want about another person with no restrictions. People with personal vendettas have the freedom to destroy the life of another person, just out of spite. The Romans watched their gladiators die in the arena, we watch movies with blood practically pouring out of the screen. What is the matter with us?
For many years now I have been the target for online slander by someone who doesn’t even know me, or the truth behind the false facts portrayed about me. I wonder if this person has a life of his own, since he seems to spend so much time making sure these lies are prominent.
Jesus said to love your enemies, and pray for them that untruthfully accuse you. Well, I can’t say I love my enemies, but I do send them a prayer, whoever they are, and hope one day all wrongs can be righted and the darkness in their hearts wiped away by some wonderful event in their lives. I believe the truth will prevail no matter how much the lies are promoted. One day, we will search for the truth above all.
Daphne, my dog. Did you know about oxytosin? That’s the chemical in your brain that makes you happy when you are with your pet. There’s some kind of connection between us, that sets of a chemical reaction and makes life nicer. Daphne is half Akita, half German Shepherd. That sounds fierce, but she’s the sweetest, most playful thing you can imagine. When another dog wants to pick a fight, she lies down on the ground and looks up at him like she’s saying, “What the heck, life is too short for fussing and fighting my friends, lets just play.” And she gets her way. Even the meanest will end up having the time of his life, romping with Daphne.
She’s currently in heat and lying on the ground with that forlorn, abandoned look. Soon, she’ll be her playful self again. Thank you Daphne for making us all so happy. I don’t know about oxytosin, but I know she’s an alchemist, doing something to those brain chemicals to make life a little sweeter.
Posted by asophiad | Filed under Uncategorized
A Perfect Way to Live Life? Dalai Lama
“Perfect? One hundred percent perfect is difficult,” said the Dalai Lama. “But I think I can say, among 7 billion human beings, everyone has the potential for good quality. This is the most precious thing. If you keep affection, a sense of concern for others’ well being, that’s the ultimate source of satisfaction. That brings peace of mind.
“There is a Tibetan saying: ‘When things are difficult, then let yourself be happy.’ Otherwise, if happiness is relying on others or the environment or your surroundings, it’s not possible. Like an ocean, the waves always go like that but underneath, it always remains calm. So we have the ability as well. On an intellectual level, we may see things as desperate, difficult. But underneath, at the emotional level, you can keep calm.”
It’s funny how much we think we know. How can we set ourselves up as experts in so many fields, give advice on this and that, and believe we are the knowledge keepers of all time. After all, spending one’s life trying to be right will only waste the time we have to listen and learn. Politicians think they’re right, scientists think they’re right, husbands and wives fight to be right, even little children fight to defend what they think isn’t fair and want everything to go their way. Each religion thinks its got more truth than the other.
Well, it’s always good to be in situation where we can’t possibly have the answers. I just became involved in the business world where interesting and prepared people go about with airs of assurance and “savour faire” seem to be their daily bread. I am learning. Mostly, I’m learning about how ruthless and competitive the world of money can be, and although I believe in what I’m doing, there is so much I don’t know and hesitate to take on out of insecurity. How do you make a business flourish? How do you set a price on what you do and not bring it down, even though you know others are bidding lower and may very well undersell you? How do you get good, solid clients who won’t leave even when there are more attractive offers? How do you know if you can trust people? The questions go on and on. I admit I know very little. What did someone say, “The wise man knows he knows nothing?” Well wise I must be then, because most of the time I feel like a complete idiot when it comes to swimming with the sharks out there in the ocean of business and money. But I trust its not to late to learn, and something can be said for honest, solid criteria that attracts blessings in the long run, just because honesty, fairness and good intentions always pay off.
Its not only about what one doesn’t know, its about not knowing what one doesn’t know. In other words, I know there is so much I don’t know, but perhaps I don’t even know a fraction about what I really don’t know. Mind boggling to say the least. I tell myself to be patient, to be quiet and listen. The answers are in the wind and in the heart.
As life goes by, and I get closer to the knowledge that I won’t be walking planet earth forever, there is the temptation to cram to get everything done that I haven’t been able to do all these years. The inner conversation tends to be, “If life is passing by so quickly, then get moving.” At the same time, I find more meaning in stopping each day to find the immediate course of action, with patience and trust. Yes, its true, we have to keep on giving until the very last breath. But perhaps its more important to eliminate useless, temporary issues that only feed worries and add stress to life’s beauty.
Someone said that watering plants, cooking a meal, loving your pet, cleaning your house are sacred duties and fill your days with apparently small, but very important acts of love, that in the end, stroke by stroke, make up the painting of your life.
In a world that in my opinion is overly achievement-oriented, and steeped with the yearning for recognition and material success, just taking it day by day doesn’t seem to cut it. But what about all the generations before ours’, the people who had no other choice than to sit for hours and read, write, embroider or think. There was no way to speed up physical action, no airplanes to catch, no Iphones to answer, just life, survival and resorting to inner resources that produced some of the greatest artists, musicians and thinkers that have impacted our society starting thousands of years ago. Our surroundings have evolved, but have we, as a people truly evolved? Or are we still infants, looking for more, grabbing more and over indulging in the luxuries that spend our days with distractions and keep us from the true purpose of it all?
I want to live intensely until God sees fit to take me home. But I now realize, that true living is to feel, imbibe and enjoy every minute of every day. Each breeze, each hug, every word, every meal, every chance to live with intense awareness of life’s blessings will escort me to the great doors of eternity, where I am sure that all things, big and small are recorded and will be re winded for me to see.
It happens to be Bod Marley’s birthday…
“Don’t worry, be happy……every little thing’s gonna be alright.”
A wave of difficulties came upon us recently, my husband’s back problem left him in bed for more than a month, our son is far away and suffering depression, situations that threatened to stop our foundation from progressing, and general discouragement on all sides.
Al throughout my lifetime, when things get tough, its time to get serious and desperate with the universal energy, name it what you may. Superficial goals vanish when life changing occurrences destabilize and provoke panic. Emotions run high and innumerable questions arise about the future.
But the spirit of life, God’s gift of faith and the promises that have come down through the ages to lift and encourage, strengthen and deliver the human race time after time, are still available today.
I have spent many hours in prayer. The kind of prayer that shakes you down into the bottom of your soul, that kind of prayer that expresses the deepest fears and petitions for absolute miracles in the face of surging difficulties. I brings to mind that people who have suffered earthquakes, storms and destruction. Sometimes, life just brings around some heavy duty tests. We don’t want them, we prefer comfort and ease. But only in the throes of crises can one truly touch the divine and eternal promises, and make the effort to reach inward, into the soul to find the resources to go on.
I accept that this life is not forever, but there is a forever where all the pieces of the puzzle will come together in one grand answer to each trial and pain. I trust that as I learn to rise above the ruts in the road, and keep my eyes on my destination, come hell or high water, it will not take me out.
“During my adolescence, my older brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and because of my father’s political career, my parents were very rarely at home. It was a terrifying time in my life.
My relationship to music became my guiding light. My thoughts and feelings flowed into the perfect and ethereal world of Paul Horn’s recording of flute arpeggios in the Taj Mahal, (about the Taj Mahal) a place that was built in honor of the love of a woman and sacred worship.
In the dome of the Taj Mahal, the notes remain in the air for 27 seconds. Similar to pebbles dropped into a smooth pond, the waves circle outwards to form crisscrossing echoes. Such audible perfection conveys immeasurable comfort.
My heart stood still on Easter morning, the old Episcopalian Church full of lilies, violins and trumpets and the old pipe organ bellowing deep chords while we, the choir, sang the Hallelujah Chorus. As a rebellious teenager, spirituality was not a part of my agenda, but music made the connection between the mundane and the divine.
Later on in life, my husband and I founded the Healing Colombia Foundation. Both of us had been crippled by drug addiction, sexual abuse and depression in our youth. When we chose to follow a higher power, we experienced inner healing that transformed us into useful and dedicated adults. Our musical education came to the fore as we sought for effective ways to extend this healing to others. Somewhere in between our healing and our faith, we stumbled upon a tremendously powerful tool. The next step was to harness and apply it more efficiently in order to master the full effect of its healing nature. The desperate situation in Colombia was the catalyst for the evolution of our programs.” Alice Sophia Dow
It’s not about being perfect or trying to be someone you’re not in order to lure a person into a superficial friendship. It’s about communication. With a friend, you can let it all hang out, but you learn to respect the dignity and space of the other. If a relationship is all about “me…me…me” and what I get, then it’s not a relationship.
Over the years, my real friends have been whittled down to a handful. Some, I haven’t seen in many years but I know when I leave a comment on Facebook, or “like” their comments, we are there for each other. It’s an attitude of the heart. I think its a mixture of trust, appreciation, recognition, honesty, freedom to be oneself, and not shunning the responsibility of saying whats on your mind regarding someone else’s condition.
As the Bible says, “The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of a traitor”.
Trust is to put your heart and mind in the hands of another, and know they have no second agenda because they truly care and wish for your success. But you can’t find this unless you give it. Sorry to say, in this world, most of us wait until the other takes a step forward to grant this kind of unconditional love. But if you are fishing for friendship, then bait your hook with authentic values, stoic heartfelt patience, acceptance and truthfulness. The strength of friendship goes beyond the “right and wrong” or “She should have….”; “Why didn’t he?…..”. Its there all the time. It weathers the storm of mistakes and even offenses. It takes the value of the person to another level where no matter how badly they behave in one circumstance, you know them well enough to believe and love them anyway, and vice versa. Friendship doesn’t betray; it wishes the very best, celebrating the others’ success, rejoicing in their happiness and letting their tears wet our own cheeks.
To find a true friend, that are so few and far between, means to find a great treasure. Let us lift our glasses and sing three cheers to friendship. How sad, how lonely we would be without it.
Listening to Complainers Is Bad for Your Brain
By Minda Zetlin, Inc., Aug. 20, 2012
Do you hate it when people complain? It turns out there’s a good reason: Listening to too much complaining is bad for your brain in multiple ways, according to Trevor Blake, a serial entrepreneur and author of Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life. In the book, he describes how neuroscientists have learned to measure brain activity when faced with various stimuli, including a long gripe session.
“The brain works more like a muscle than we thought,” Blake says. “So if you’re pinned in a corner for too long listening to someone being negative, you’re more likely to behave that way as well.”
Even worse, being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you dumb. Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity—including viewing such material on TV—actually peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus. “That’s the part of your brain you need for problem solving,” he says. “Basically, it turns your brain to mush.”
But if you’re running a company, don’t you need to hear about anything that may have gone wrong? “There’s a big difference between bringing your attention to something that’s awry and a complaint,” Blake says. “Typically, people who are complaining don’t want a solution; they just want you to join in the indignity of the whole thing. You can almost hear brains clink when six people get together and start saying, ‘Isn’t it terrible?’ This will damage your brain even if you’re just passively listening. And if you try to change their behavior, you’ll become the target of the complaint.”
So, how do you defend yourself and your brain from all the negativity? Blake recommends the following tactics:
1. Get some distance. “My father was a chain smoker,” Blake confides. “I tried to change his habit, but it’s not easy to do that.” Blake knew secondhand smoke could damage his own lungs as well. “My only recourse was to distance myself.”
You should look at complaining the same way, he says. “The approach I’ve always taken with complaining is to think of it as the same as passive smoking.” Your brain will thank you if you get yourself away from the complainer, if you can.
2. Ask the complainer to fix the problem. Sometimes getting distance isn’t an option. If you can’t easily walk away, a second strategy is to ask the complainer to fix the problem.
“Try to get the person who’s complaining to take responsibility for a solution,” Blake says. “I typically respond to a complaint with, ‘What are you going to do about it?’” Many complainers walk away huffily at that point, because he hasn’t given them what they wanted, Blake reports. But some may actually try to solve the problem.
3. Shields up! When you’re trapped listening to a complaint, you can use mental techniques to block out the griping and save your neurons. Blake favors one used by the late Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros during a match against Jack Nicklaus—a match the crowd wanted Ballesteros to lose. “He was having difficulty handling the hostility of the crowd,” Blake says. “So he imagined a bell jar that no one could see descending from the sky to protect him.”
Major League Baseball pitchers can sometimes be seen mouthing “Shields on!” as they stride to the mound, he says. He adds that his own imaginary defense is “more like a Harry Potter invisibility cloak.”
A related strategy is to mentally retreat to your imagined favorite spot, someplace you’d go if you could wave a magic wand. “For me, it was a ribbon of beautiful white sugary sand that extended out in a horseshoe shape from a private island,” Blake says. “I would take myself to my private retreat while people were ranting and raving. I could smile at them and nod in all the right places and meanwhile take myself for a walk on my private beach.”
Blake first saw the picture of the island in a magazine, and the image stuck with him. Eventually, he got a chance to try it for real. “It turned out the island was for rent, and it was the same one I’d seen,” he says. “So I rented it for a week. And I got to take that walk.”