What I Missed from Doing a Facebook Fasting and How to Do It

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I’m back, what did I miss? Maybe something important or maybe nothing at all.

For those who had birthdays  and I forgot because facebook didn’t notified me, happy belated birthday.

What did I miss from facebook?

I missed my facebook memories. I really enjoy going back in time, see how my children have grown, smile at the good memories shared with friends and family and more importantly seeing how far I have come to be the person I am today.

I missed posts from pages and people whom I value, whose posts inspired me with fresh ideas and motivates me to continue designing and living life exactly the way I want it. If you are reading this, you add value to my life.

It has taken me some time to organize facebook  in a way that brings value, without the drama and negative stuff that has no place in my life. It requires a major overhaul in the beginning but little maintenance afterwards.

If you’re interested, I have some suggestions that you can start doing to tailor facebook to your liking if facebook is something you want to keep your life.

You must decide first why are you doing it and what do you want to get out of it? No purpose equals no value. It will mean nothing if you don’t know why.

1. Go on a week-long Facebook fasting. This is no little task for the heavy user but it’s completely doable, trust me. Life will not end if you quit and your social life will continue with or without you. That is a fact .

2. Log off from Facebook and delete or uninstall the app. This is a must as Facebook will find a way to get back at you to tell you the wonderful things that you’re missing out and the hundred of notifications  you have pending to read from your friends and favorite pages.

3. Resist the urge to check facebook, period! First day is the worse as your natural habit of checking in kicks in, but as you find other things to do , it becomes a little easier to manage. It all depends the kind of stuff you’re hooked on.

By the time you finish your week long fasting you will realize where your time attention and priorities have gone and where are they now? What is important  to you now and how you will handle it should you decide to return to facebook?

One thing you learn for sure is that your time is much more valuable than you think it is.

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Meditation Scripts | Mindfulness Hamilton

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Here is a good source of mindfulness scripts to help you practice mindfulness whether doing it for yourself or helping someone else.

Mindfulness can be challenging in the beginning but it doesn’t  have to be.  The key is not to have any expectations but to let it happen by practicing every day . Start with few minutes each morning  before even getting out of bed. Later you can add it to your daily schedule,  5 minutes at a time. Be consistent and soon you’ll realize that it has become part of you. This is a great habit to develop for overall wellbeing.

Rememeber….” if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”.

http://mindfulnesshamilton.ca/meditation-scripts

Rewiring The GMAN: How I Reprogrammed My Brain

brain_cell-200x151It takes only one person to change your life and that person is YOU. I knew that despite the people around me, the counseling, all the self-help material out there, I was the only one with the power of change my life by changing my thoughts. No one could have done that for me. Many people will open the doors for me, but I alone had to walk through the threshold towards the light. Sounds dramatic but it’s true in some sense. Recognizing this power to change my thinking was vital to my journey of self-improvement. Putting into practice, to change the negative thinking with the positive, I realized was the work I needed to do to make my life better. But how? The quick answer is brain training.

To understand what it took for me to make that change, we will have to sit down for several rounds of beer and perhaps shed a tear. There is a bit of the story here.

Anyways, my current brain training program consist of the following:

imagesThis is my daily breakfast for the brain. Designed by neuroscientists, the Lumosity brain training program is designed to challenge core cognitive functions in the areas of problem-solving, memory, attention, speed of processing and brain flexibility. It is based on extensive research in the field of neuroplasticity or the ability of the brain to adapt. Here is the Wiki on Brain Neuroplasticity. There is a free version and paid subscription. I opted for the paid family subscription. Everyone has fun playing the games.

The program is so easy to use. It only takes about 10 minutes to play and it reminds you when to play. Also, I can tailor the program to meet my  needs. I do this training at least 3-4 times a week!

images (1) Learning a second language can have positive effects to the brain and even change it. More of that here. I love Rosetta Stone for language learning. It is fun and challenging. The program is broken down into lessons and training segments. You can do it online on the go or using the CD’s of the target language of your choice at home. I usually do this right after my Lumosity session. It only takes about 10 minutes up to 30, depending on you.

download (6)Playing musical instruments, like language learning, keeps my mental monkeys tamed. I use Songsterr an online guitar, bass and drums tab player. I started playing bass guitar right away using this software. Very easy to use. It has a free version but the paid subscription has many more features.

 

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Neuro-Programmer 3. NP3 is a software application to stimulating the brainwaves. I use it with the Proteus Advance Light & Sound Stimulation System. More about Brainwaves here, here and here.  This is the crown of my personal self -programming tools. It is portable and so easy to use. I can customize my sessions and add my own personal affirmations. Adding my own personal affirmations has helped to anchor my new beliefs and agreements. This is very important for self-programming.

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The light and sound stimulation system helps deepen my meditation sessions. I put the glasses and headphones on and let the device do the rest. The only thing I have to do is empty my mind by focusing on my breathing. As I roll my eyes back a little, I can visualize the lights pulsating like neurons in my brain.

Once the affirmations start to play, I allow them to flood my brain. I visualize the words sinking into my sub-conscious becoming part of my new self.

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Books, Audiobooks and Positive thinking. Like I have said before, it is a constant and never-ending process and it is best if it is practiced daily.

I believe that if I have what I need readily available and in plain sight, it will be an easier transition into a positive, fulfilling life. Therefore, I made the effort to have positive visuals throughout my house so I can see them all the time. This exposure to positive things like phrases, quotes and notes encouraged positive thinking and since there were posted in every imaginable place, I had no other choice but to look at it and read it. The result was that it diffuses any attempt of negative thinking to enter  my mind.

One warning to this measure is getting used to it and overlooking it like you would with any picture frame around your house. I had to make an effort to remind myself why they were there in the first place.

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Since I drive a lot, I don’t have much time to read a good book. Audio-books are my road companions in every trip I have made. It makes the journey much more enjoyable plus I learn while on the road. The audio-book selection should include fiction and non-fiction alike, self-help, and biographies. Whatever I’m interested in as long it is of added value to my life. More about the choice of audiobooks.

download (5)Understanding how the brain works was critical in my brain rewiring program. I wanted to understand how the brain works down to the neuron level. I read this insightful e-book called Brain in Balance by Fred J. Von Stieff. It goes in-depth about neurotransmitters which made a lot of sense in understanding how my brain works. If you would like to understand  how neurotransmitters work and what causes a chemical imbalance in the brain, this is a great book.

download (1)Systema or Russian Martial Art is my way of life. It is not just for self-defense; it can be very effective in saving my life or the life of others in any dangerous situation but what I like about Systema the most is how it influences my life every day. It offers many health and fitness benefits which help improve my overall wellbeing mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually. It signifies a lifestyle that compliments and applies to everything I do. From the very essential like breathing, to keeping a good form, how to stay relaxed and move properly and with purpose. More about Systema here.

download (3) I use Evernote to record my daily events, ideas, pictures and videos. I don’t hold anything back. I write everything that comes to mind and at the end of the day before going to bed, I collect and review to make sure I have accounted for everything that went through my mind that day. This is a good investment to unload or dump whatever dwells in my mind into a digital format that is easily accessible from anywhere. Journalism is a great tool for me. I feel I have accomplished something at the end of the day.

This is what works for me. Brain training and self-programming is a work in progress, not a short-term try. Through repetition and some self-discipline, it will pay great dividends in the long term.

The Alpha Numeric Spectrum: numerical and phonetic codes to memorize numbers and recall them with ease.

I have studied memory techniques to improve my memory and be able to recall things with ease. Just recently, I came across the work of Dave Farrow and purchased his Millionaire Mind audio-book program. Dave Farrow is the Guinness world record holder for being able to memorize 59 decks of cards in order. That’s about 3,000 cards so to me that was very impressive and worthy of recognition. In his program he teaches you to improve your memory using techniques that he had created, some from other notable people and others that are centuries old. He teaches you to remember words, how to spell them correctly, remember speeches, languages, recall someone’s name and numbers. Though Mr. Farrow’s techniques are extensive they’re made easier for people like you and me. I am going to cover the basics of the alpha numeric spectrum in this post as I understand it but will not elaborate on how to use it because I am just starting to apply the code and getting used to link things using colors and sound. I am in no way claiming that I am an expert in this field. There is a lot to learn, to practice and that is exactly what I am doing.

The Alpha numeric spectrum is used to link up information in a multitude of ways. You can use sounds and colors to link words, numbers or whatever you want to remember and then recall it with ease. It takes time to grasp all this information but once you understand how to use the code and memorize the colors and sounds you will be able to remember things , learn new languages, improve your education whether in school or at work. I particularly like to explore to use the alpha numeric spectrum to learn new languages. I am fascinated by languages! Of course I can make more use of my memory and be able to recall things with ease like remembering people’s names for a change.

Throughout the course there are key things to remember that will help with memorization and aid me to “paint a picture” of what I want to remember.

  1. Try to create a picture or movie in your mind with the first things you think of you want to remember or associate. Don’t worry about creating the perfect picture. Then connect that picture with the next one until you have your own wild story about that foreign phrase you want to remember or preparing you for a test.
  2. Make what you’re picturing in your mind big, larger than life; make it look ridiculous, illogical. Your logical thinking will get in the way for sure. My advice is to think like a child, let your imagination loose, be creative and go wild creating the association that first comes into your mind. The reason for this is that with time and practice, you’ll be more creative and will imagine things better without worrying whether it makes sense or not.
  3. Include yourself in the picture. Make a movie, colorful, outrageous, illogical but so vivid that will stick in your mind. This is paramount!
  4. Make a “peg” list of the phonetic alphabet and the numeric spectrum for easy remembering. Do your research online for more information or create your own system…whatever works for you.

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The Alpha Numeric Spectrum

1. ONE is for RED. Imagine a red single pole, a coat hanger, a single tree or whatever you want to use to represent the number one. Now imagine your object covered in ketchup, red paint, blood whatever you want to use that will stick in your mind. Make it big, ridiculous, but vivid as if it was real. The phonetic code for one is: T, D. You can picture red pole making the lines of the “T” or a tree in the shape of a “T” and covered in ketchup. Let your imagination run.

2. TWO is for ORANGE. Imagine yourself in the kitchen and you’re about put couple oranges in your brand new juicer which by the way is in the shape of a number 2. Can you picture that? Juice coming out of the top part of the number 2. Again you can use whatever you can think of just make it so vivid that it sticks. The phonetic code for two: N. Imagine the two vertical lines of the “N” bright orange and oozing orange juice. Whatever works for you? I am using the same picture that Dave Farrow created here.

3. THREE is for YELLOW. Picture a lemon in one hand, bright yellow and a number three in your other hand. The number three has three lines that end in spikes and you stick those spikes on the lemon. Imagine as if it was real. The phonetic code for three: M. Imagine the number three you just stuck on the lemon that has three lines, make it fit in your mind or try something else.



4. FOUR is for GREEN: Imagine a huge hedge in the shape of the number four. At the top of the hedge there is a golfer and he yells “four”. The phonetic code for four is R. Picture the golfer yelling ” fourrrrr”. That’s how Mr. Farrow described and it got stuck in my mind.

5. FIVE is for BLUE. Imagine a swimming pool shaped in the number 5. The phonetic code for five is: L. Imagine a blue L or using Dave’s creativity, the word ” aLive” or picture something with L5 and blue.

6. SIX is for PURPLE. Imagine a giant purple monster covered in grapes. Or a house in the shape of the number 6 and grapes are falling off the walls. Got that? The phonetic code for purple is: J,SH,CH. You can imagine the giant purple monster throwing grapes at you with one hand and with the other making a gesture to SHush you.

7. SEVEN is for BROWN. Imagine a huge hockey stick (resembles somewhat a 7) that fell in the mud and it’s covered in brown stuff. Remember, use whatever works for you. The phonetic code for brown is: K. How can you associate “K” with a hockey stick?  The bend of the letter “K” resembles somewhat a hockey stick or a number 7. You can picture yourself swinging the stick and making the sound “K” as you hit the imaginary puck.

8. EIGHT is for SILVER. Imagine a vast field and in the middle of it there is this giant silver building in the shape of a figure eight or the V8 emblem supersized. The phonetic code for silver is: V,F. Imagine the silver V8 emblem like a monster, creating havoc or the silver building being hit by the wind and making the sound “ffff”.


9. NINE is for GOLD. A gold building shaped like a nine. The phonetic code for Gold is: P. “P” somewhat looks like a 9. You can picture the nine and the “P” together as a big gold structure or talking to each other saying nothing but “PpPp”

Zero is for BLACK. Picture a black tire; that is simple enough right? Or a black hole.
Now that you have all this, it’s time to put it all together. This is where the experiment continues. I recommend checking out Dave Farrow’s Millionaire Mind memory program. He obviously is the expert and able to describe the steps on how to use this spectrum. Of course you can also Google it yourself and find out.

it’s much better to write it

Looking back on my last entry on this goal, everything I wrote 8 months ago happened, I DID IT! I wrote the book! It has been a unique experience of learning and doing, taking risks and facing adversity. I started to write this book right away without caring about organization and making sense. I discover that I have gone way back in my journey of self growth, sharing my experiences with other people, living life the way I wanted to be. My intentions were set to create my guide on personal growth based on the experiences I lived during this past decade. I thought that if it helped me , it can help anyone who would like to change and improve their lives. As expected, the rest DID unfold as I progressed over the months.

How to write a book

“a life changing experience”

How I did it:

  1. Write daily notes about everything you like, aspire or care about. Doesn’t matter if it makes any sense now.
  2. Put those notes on a MS Word document
  3. Organize your thought. Ask for help of friend or family. Don’t be too critical of yourself or others. Let it flow.
  4. Get help from the right people. Invest in what is worth for you. Never sacrifice quality over cheap.
  5. be grateful every day of your progress and let it show.
  6. Talk the talk and walk the walk. Your book is a reflection of you and how others will perceive you. Be real!

Lessons & tips: You never know what’s ahead until you get there.
Don’t let anyone tell you  why it can’t be done or talk you out of your goal.
Stay on the job until finish, but don’t stress too much about it. Live life 🙂

Resources: Go to http://www.selfpublishing.com. Download the publishing basics guide and read it.
Read any book or audio-books about self help, personal growth, motivation and inspiration…or whatever you’re into.
Keep a personal daily log for for accountability. You will be surprised how much this will help you.

It took me 10 years.

It made me feel accomplished

How to Free Yourself from an Argument

  1. Desist from judging others: you can follow this golden rule and be done with it. However it easier to say it than see it done. I see myself in this pitfall every day. Wherever I go, I am surrounded by situations and people challenging my convictions and my perspective in life. Passing judgment is nothing more than filtering the way you see others through your own prejudices or beliefs. What you see “wrong” or disapprove in others it may be a reflection of your internal makeup based on previous experiences. Sometimes, more often than not, we criticize others because we just don’t understand or won’t allow considering other points of view and use our own experiences or worst someone else’s experience to judge others. Thus we label others as different even inferior because it doesn’t go in line with what we believe being a fact or not. Instead see yourself in others and allow yourself to be open to a different perspective. What is ok for me it is a sin for others and vice-versa so strive to be neutral and replace any thoughts or feelings of judging others with positive thoughts. It could be as simple as saying: “I don’t have any facts, reason or proof to be thinking in that way towards this person” or “I am not in his/her shoes so I won’t allow opportunity for criticism”. Even if you have gone through a similar experience the circumstances are never the same for everyone and so are the results. Silence is the best choice when feeling the urge of being opinionated. Turn your volume down and listen to the other person rather than waiting for your turn to talk and make your point. To win an argument may cause temporary victory, but is a longtime defeat on your personal relations. Allowing listening to others builds compassion, humility and gain true understanding of the other person’s position. It really put things to consider on a balance and what’s best it allows you to appreciate yourself and others. This is an attitude shift that must be in check at all times. Do not be discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away as it takes practice to leave behind old habits and false beliefs. Just the fact that you’re catching yourself up in the act; about to pass judgment onto others is telling you that your sub-conscious is aware of it and you’re allowing the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. With daily practice and the ever present awareness of the moment, you will shift towards accepting others as they are.
  2. Be the first to say I’m sorry: another golden rule to enrich relationships and difficult for many to adopt because it involves dealing with our egos. In an argument the tendency for each party is to win, victory over defeat. Nobody likes being defeated; it has been embedded in our consciousness since childhood, to be the winner vs. the looser. Winning over an argument in a relationship is a temporary victory and more than likely will bring repercussions on the long run because the loser, your partner, friend, co-worker’s ego is being left defeated with no consolation. If you care about others and want to maintain a good harmonious relationship, go for a truce as soon as the argument arises. Instead of stating your argument, say “I AM SORRY” immediately and openly. Regardless of who is at fault saying these magical words will disarm the other person’s reason to argue and the argument will become null. You’re not giving in or being weak by doing this but you both become winners by allowing the opportunity to honor your relationship instead of letting inflated egos ruin a relationship for nothing. Saying “I am sorry for what is happening” will make you a stronger person because you value your relationship more than your ego and if the other person respects the relationship will also drop any intention to argue. Then both can work together for a friendly solution, saving and perhaps making the relationship stronger.
  3. Ask for advice: If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain. This proverbial idiom suggest that when things don’t change the way we want them to, then we must adjust to the way they are. When in the middle of a losing argument, one that it seems it will never end, if no solution is presented then go for rule # 2 and then ask for advice to find a solution and finish the argument. If you’re asking for advice with true honesty and good intentions, you will free from self and look in others for a solution that would benefit both parties. You are allowing the other person to be the first to offer closure to the argument by showing that you care and respect the relationship. This is one way to turn an argument to a friendly discussion. Forget self and seek help from others even if you think you have the best solution. Allow cooperation rather than telling what needs to happen.
  4. Ask the right questions instead of criticizing: Instead of “why you did that?” which allows room for an argument, say “I like to understand what make you to do that, can you explain?” this opens up for discussion rather than argument. Obviously if the person is not receptive you may want to wait until things cool off and suggest a better time to discuss or leave it where it is. Bowing out and leaving the mat instead of fighting a lost cause will only hurt feelings and will distance you from others. Timing is critical when conserving relationship. There is a time for action and a time of inaction. Being a good listener without uttering a word may be the best remedy to finish an argument. Try instead of suggest questions to allow the other person to find his/her own resolution to the problem or argument. See things from the other person perspective and use non-incriminating questions to find an amicable solution. If in doubt follow rule # 1 always!
  5. Detach yourself from the argument: It takes two to quarrel; see you as an outsider, the impartial mediator. Help the other person to save face by refraining any direct criticism or opinion to the subject. Abstain to offer your opinion unless is requested and even so be careful not to pass any judgment or go overboard expressing your views on the topic. Refer to rule # 1, remain silent and practice active listening, being compassionate with others.

    How to listen to a personal development audio-book

    For full engagement and understanding:

    1. Listen all for the first time without taking any notes. Just listen intently. If driving, just sit back and listen don’t worry at what you may have missed. If you have to leave your car, when you get back, start the material a few tracks before from when you left it, so that your mind can engage again in the material.
    2. Listen again and this time you will notice that you may have missed some parts or that you now understand it better. Write down whatever you think is important and take action right away. Create a plan; organize your ideas with key points of the material you are listening to. Start immediately, following all the material’s suggestions and recommendations. Be diligent with your plan.
    3. Listen again for the third time for reference, follow your action plan. You may have missed information before or that you really understand what the material learned can do for you and its true potential. There is a learning curve for this, especially if you are driving and cannot pay full attention to the material.
    4. Repeat this process until the material is part of you. As Tony Robbins will say, “repetition is the mother of skills”. You will be surprised at how much you may have missed, didn’t get right the first time or that simply you now understand its meaning.

    In my experience, I have to review the material an approximate of 16 times before it gets embedded into my subconscious. This is not difficult to me as I travel a lot and spend time just by myself.  This time is sacred to me for my own personal development and I enjoy it thoroughly. So enjoy it! Never think of it as a “have to” or an inconvenience. Think of it as quality, personal time with yourself and you will gain a lot for the time dedicated in education.