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31 Aug

Rule the World From Your Couch

Intuition.  You’ve got it, we all do, but do we use it?  Do you know how to use it?  Let me introduce you to a woman who has intuition down to a science.  Laura Day is the New York Times bestselling author of “Practical Intuition.”  In her new book, “How to Rule the World from Your Couch, she teaches us how to create success in any area of our lives by using the brain in unique and compelling ways.  Yes, it is all up to us, and we have the power to find ourselves a great job, a perfect partner, a better investment opportunity, and even to lose weight – all from the comfort of our own couch!  Laura has systematically made is possible for us to tap into our intuition with step-by-step exercises.  Laura says: “Intuition allows you to experience yourself and the world in its totality.  Your actions (when guided by the various realms of your intuition) become commensurate with your skills, your skills then find the information to improve, and you will start to make choices to create and achieve goals.  You will save time by predicting mistakes and avoiding them, as intuition works on your past to create a happier, better functioning present, poising you for a more peaceful future – all of your separate parts working together to the benefit of the whole.”

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1439118205?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1439118205

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31 Aug

The Kind Diet

Alicia Silverstone is a beautiful and successful actress, and a dedicated advocate on behalf of the planet and its animals.  In 2004 she was voted “Sexiest Vegetarian Alive.”  This woman walks her talk!  She is now the author of a wonderful new book called “The Kind Diet.”  It’s a cookbook, with amazing recipes, and it’s also a guide to the vegan lifestyle.  Alicia shows us how going meat and dairy free doesn’t mean suffering deprivation, introducing delicious food that satisfies on every level, including amazing desserts!  She also addresses the nutritional concerns faced by those who are new to a plant-based diet.  Going vegetarian has many benefits for the body, and also for the planet, as we preserve our precious resources.  So, if you want to drop a few pounds, boost your energy and metabolism, or just save the world, The Kind Diet provides the encouragement, the information, and the tools you need to make the transition to a plant-based diet deliciously empowering.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605296449?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1605296449

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31 Aug

The Life-Expectancy Gene

Once again science has proven what we’ve known all along – that by reducing stress, with meditation, yoga and relaxation, we can enjoy a longer and healthier life.  New research from the University of California at San Francisco (the same team that won the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology) has identified an enzyme that plays a key role in cell function, including aging and most cancers.  It’s called telomerase, and it makes small units of DNA that seal off the ends of chromosomes that contain the body’s genes.  The DNA units that telomerase produce are called telomeres. Telomeres help to protect the quality of the gene, which ultimately determines the lifespan of the cells.  When telomeres are lengthened they prolong cell life and also treat age-related disorders.  And the big news is that the way we lengthen our telomeres is by reducing stress!  With our hectic lifestyles, we have to work at reducing stress.  We need to build time for relaxation and meditation into our day, every day. 

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31 Aug

Find Your Strengths

My son Brian is a business major in college and for Christmas he gave me a terrific book called “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath.  The premise is that when we know our strengths, or natural talents, we can better implement them in our work, and express ourselves more positively and effectively.  Benjamin Franklin said: “Hide not your talents.  They for use were made.  What’s a sundial in the shade?”  Too often we focus on our shortcomings, on what we need to improve about ourselves.  But this strategy shows us that our strengths can teach us a lot about ourselves.  The system that Gallup has come up with lists 34 different themes and ideas for ways to take action.  You have to get your own copy of the book, because each one has a code in the back that you use to take the online assessment.  There are 170 questions that must be answered, each one in 20 seconds or less.  You have to go with your gut instinct.  At the end of the assessment you are given a list of your top 5 Themes.  Mine were: Strategic, Relator, Connectedness, Maximizer and Empathy.  If you have the book then you know what this means!  My son told me that there’s so many combinations that there’s only a 1/500,000 chance that someone else will have the exact same five that you have.  It’s very interesting to look at the theme descriptions and compare with others.  Let’s make this a discussion topic on our CoffeyTalk facebook group page.  I’d love to hear about everyone else’s findings! 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TKA4IS?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B001TKA4ISThe

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31 Aug

The Science of Attraction

Some might call it chemistry.  It’s that certain something about someone that causes us to look more closely, for our heart to skip a beat, or to get those butterflies going.  Why does this happen with one person and not another?  There is a science to attraction, and you might be surprised at how some of it shows up.

-Scent.  It’s a kind of primal instinct – to be attracted to someone we have to like the way they smell.  This is built into our biology so that we choose a mate who will be faithful and help us to produce healthy offspring.  I guess you could say the nose knows and will lead us in the right direction.

-Voice.  Generally, men prefer higher voices in women and women prefer deeper voices in men.  It’s kind of a hormonal thing.  Voice tends to be an indicator fertility, health and attractiveness.  By improving our voice, with practice or with vocal lessons, we can enhance how our looks are perceived.

-State of Mind.  Our own mood affects how we see another person.  If we’re bummed out, we won’t notice even the most charming person.  What attracts us is when someone sees us as we want to be seen.  We like when feel that we are our best self, when someone else “gets” us.

-Matching Stature.  People are generally attracted to those whom they feel are at the same level of attractiveness as they are.  For example, someone who rates himself a 7 on an attractiveness scale will mostly likely be attracted to someone he would also rate as a 7.  We tend to wind up with partners who share our size and similar build.  We also tend to be attracted to people who share a similar social stature.  This is because we feel they’ll share our interests and opinions, and validate our choices and values.

-Confidence.  We are attracted to people to both feel and look confident.  People who have good posture, who speak up, and who are interested in other people, all exude a confidence that we are naturally drawn to.  We are also attracted to the person who smiles, and has a good sense of humor.  Women are more discriminating when it comes to humor and jokesters, while men value humor appreciation, which they see as an indicator of sexual receptivity.  Laughing together is one of the best ways to promote marital bliss.

The Evolution of Desire on amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/046500802X?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=046500802X

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31 Aug

Generation We

“The Millenials” are those born between 1978 and 2000.  This generation, the largest in history, includes 95 million people.  All of my children fit into this category, and I have seen some remarkable contributions from this group.  They are leading a period of sweeping change in the US and around the world.  The book “Generation We,” winner of the Montaigne Medal for most though provoking book, takes a look at how these young people are inheriting a world of war, environmental degradation, dysfunctional health and educational systems, and a sagging economy.  And it shows how this same group has the intelligence and innovation to move the world beyond these issues to some of our greatest achievements.

My son Brian is a college student.  One might expect college students to spend their downtime hanging out at parties and goofing off.  But many of these students feel that there is a greater purpose to their lives, and they want to make good use of their time by helping others.  Brian and his friends spend one day a week making sandwiches in their dorm rooms, and taking them downtown to deliver personally to homeless people.  The people they meet express their gratitude, and say that more than the food, they enjoy the company and the conversation.  I love it that this new generation is setting a good example for all of us.

Generation We – on amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0982093101?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0982093101

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31 Aug

Narcissism Run Rampant

The dictionary defines a narcissist as “someone who is in love with himself.”  Psychology identifies Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as “a pattern of traits and behaviors which signify infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance and ambition.”  Interestingly, more narcissists are men, and Westerners, and about 1% of the world population suffers from NPD.  Pathological narcissism was first discussed by Freud, and is currently being written about as an “epidemic.”  There are a variety of ways that NPD expresses, but generally, narcissism is present if five or more of the following criteria are met:

-Feelings of grandiosity and self importance (exaggerated achievements and talents to the point of lying).

-Obsession with fantasies of unlimited fame, power, success, love.

-Conviction of being special, unique, and only understood by other special, unique or high-status people.

-Demands either admiration, attention and adulation, or fear and notoriety.

-Feeling of entitlement.  Expectations of automatic priority treatment.

-Uses other people to achieve his or her own agenda.

-Devoid of empathy.  Cannot, or will not, identify with the feelings of other people.

-Feeling of envy for others, and the belief that he or she is envied as well.

-Arrogant attitude and behavior, and anger and rage when frustrated or confronted.

Narcissistic people live tumultuous lives based on falsehoods and few people can tolerate being around them for long.  Relationships with narcissists are very difficult – they start out intensely and are more gratifying in the beginning, because the narcissist can be charming and self-confident, and well-groomed.  They can also be complimentary, because narcissists look for people who will reflect favorably on them, either good-looking or successful people whom they think they deserve to associate with. But the relationship can be draining and exhausting toward the end.  Because the narcissist is blind to his own faults, this can often lead to much pain and dysfunction.

The Narcissism Epidemic – on amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416575987?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1416575987

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31 Aug

Brain Games

The same exercise that we give our bodies can also benefit our brain.  For example, doing yoga on a regular basis actually thickens and improves the functionality of the brain’s cortex, which plays an important role in memory and attention.  What we eat helps brain health, too.  Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent dementia, and we can find them in tuna and other oily fish like salmon and also in fish oil supplements.  Games are a great way to exercise the brain, and they’re so easy to have with us to play during those “down” times.  I’ve got some downloaded onto my iPhone.  My stepdaughter has the BrainAge game on her Nintendo DS and she plays Sudoku on the train as she travels to work and back.  Shake things up by using your nondominant hand when you eat, or brush your hair, or even write.  These little challenges help the brain to work in a different way and keeps it in shape.  And we’ve got Solitaire and Sudoku up on the website, so you can take a break and play anytime you want!

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31 Aug

The Power of Slow

I admit it, I’m a multi-tasker. And although I can get a lot done, it does stress me out.  My friend Christine Louise Hohlbaum has a new book out that has me reevaluating my habits.  It’s called “The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in our 24/7 World.”  Christine claims that everyone has their own personal bank account of time.  While we cannot control time itself, we can manage our activities within the time we do have.  Regarding multi-tasking, she says that we cannot do two comparably difficult things at once, and yet we still try.  That must be where my stress comes in!  Christine says: “Technological gadgetry has alleviated and introduced a lot of challenges in our lives.  We can now find someone in a crowd with a quick text message, but we also interrupt conversations with real-life people to answer our mobile phones.  We need a new standard of etiquette to teach our kids how to behave.  Simply because you can doesn’t mean you should.”  Putting the power of slow into action actually makes us more productive!  It frees us up from purposeless things and allows us time to pursue what we truly love.  We can be wired, but we can choose to unplug for awhile, too.  Slowing down helps us to consider the impact we have on ourselves and our surroundings.  This is a more mindful way of living, and it makes sense!

The Power of Slow  http://www.powerofslow.wordpress.com

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312570481?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0312570481

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31 Aug

A Spiritual Place

A study in “Annals of Epidemiology” found that people who attend religious services tend to be healthier than those who do not.  And those we attend weekly have a lower risk of death than those who never attend a service at all.  There is much scientific evidence coming out that links spirituality and both mental and physical health.  The Journal of Affective Disorders reported lower suicide rates among people who regularly attend religious services.  There are many reasons for these findings.  Some say that people who are more religious take better care of themselves, they are less likely to smoke or drink, and they see their doctors on a regular basis.  Another reason is that people who attend a place of worship, whether it is a church, synagogue, mosque or temple, are more socially integrated.  They have a support system of friends and a community to help them cope with the stresses of life.  And of course, there is the whole mind, body, and spirit connection.  When we work on one, then the others improve as well.  Whether we spend time in prayer, meditation, or attending a religious service, these activities help us to feel better, and have a more positive outlook on life.

Ayurveda is the Science of Life from India, and it shows us many ways to use the mind-body-spirit connection to be our happiest and healthiest.  Check out my 8-week e-course with Daily Om. 

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