In The Fertile Fields / Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally / Friday: Engineering Week at the Museum of Science & Hist.

Status

In the fertile fields
of our thoughts,
our feelings
and our dreams,

Flowers

have been steadily
growing,
watered by tears
still flowing,
over the graves
of those who left
unknowing,
how very much
we Loved
them.

     Flowers have been steadily growing.

When I
consider all the Love
I have known,
I am brought to
tearful appreciation.

In the chilly hours
of uncertainty,
old memories
can burn,
and leave one
to yearn.

It is then
we need to remember,
the Door never
closes,
our fear of Death never
discloses,
that we are older
than our fears,
and
younger than our
years,
that Love
is always just a heartbeat away –
the Heart
that beats within
another,
for you.

“Just like a Flower
that can shatter a stone,
the same can apply to Love
that can shatter
a hardened and fearful
Heart.”

Debra Esterline

We appear to be
separated
by a common
destiny,
but the material
plane of illusion
only reflects
you and me.

Many decisions
seem to be based
more and more
on emotion,
rather than thought
and reason,
and Prayer
and
FAITH.

Our emotions are,
often,
inadequate for dealing with
the stress
induced by superficial
and illusory
expectations
and constraints.

Yes,
we do unreasonable
and dangerous things.
Unbelievably,
we teach to a
test,
and not
to the Heart.

             The material plane of illusion.

My Dear Friends,
it does not matter
what a child has
learned,
if that precious Child
abandons all Hope.

Nothing learned
will matter,
then.

As the world evolves
to become more complex
and irrational,
we fail to realize
how very fragile we are
and dependent
upon complex interactions.

We become
more and more ignorant
about what is truly happening.
We know next to nothing
about dependency,
or each other.

Rarely,
have we appreciated
our ignorance.

As our lack of awareness,
remains unchallenged,
we stagnate
in the infancy of understanding,
and do not know,
that we do not know,
the answers.

Nobody really knows.

But,
the answers

are there.

Awareness of ignorance is the beginning of Wisdom.                    – Socrates

From every moment,
and from this moment on,
we have been
truly Blessed.

Within
the folds and flow
of fervent Prayer,
lies
the Sweet Bright Body
of Truth.

Brightly shinning,
the Vibrancy of the
Word of God
leaves the colors
of lessor words,
to fade
without a sound.

The Sweet Bright Body of Truth.

We cannot
depend
upon our judgement
alone.
We
are only
Human.

God
is with you,
and within.

Place your
Trust
where it
belongs.

“Likewise
the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:

for we know not
what we should pray for

as we ought:
but the Spirit itself
maketh intercession for us

with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Romans 8:26

May God Bless you
and Abide with you
on your inner Journey,
through which we move
from sound to silence,
from plurality to unity,
and from the imperfections
of ourselves and our World around us,
to the Beautiful Presence
of the Divine within.

Goodnight.

       The Vibrancy of the Word of God

12 ways to reduce your blood pressure naturally
By
Chris Woollams
(Former Oxford University Biochemist
and founder of CANCERactive)

January 15, 2018

Do not smoke – there’s clear research showing this puts up blood pressure
Don’t be overweight – research shows that a controlled weight loss program reduces blood pressure. Your waistline size is also linked directly to blood pressure!

Take aerobic exercise – run, walk, jog, swim. Regular daily exercise for 45 minutes where you get out of breath is what’s required.

Avoid Stress – Stress has a devastating effect on blood pressure. Pinpoint your stress triggers, and try to cut those people and things out of your life. Make time to relax and calm down. Plan your week better, include times when you work, times when you relax, times when you are enjoying other interests.

Eat a Rainbow Diet – people who stick most closely to the Rainbow Diet avoid 11 chronic illnesses that beset the Western World – one being high blood pressure. Most notable factors are:

Avoid salt – higher sodium levels in the body are linked to higher blood pressure. You should cut foods such as Chinese meals, sausages, bacon, dried meats, salted nuts and crisps. You should focus on potassium-rich foods (avocado, banana, spinach, sweet potato, apricots, pomegranate) and magnesium-rich foods (almonds, figs, spinach, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds). Eat fresh, not processed or packaged foods.

Eat more colorful vegetablesGlutathione in vegetables and fruits reduces blood pressure; Beetroot, for example, has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels by 5 points, as it contains nitrate which converts to nitric oxide, which dilates arteries. Watermelon contains citrulline and does the same; arginine is found in pumpkin seeds and pulses and reduces blood pressure. Other nitrate containing foods include green leafy vegetables, celery, fennel and broccoli.

Eat more soluble fibre foodsoats, barley, nuts, seeds and legumes (pulses) are the favorite foods of good gut bacteria and their consumption is linked to lowered blood sugar, lowered estrogen levels and lowered blood pressure.

Eat more Mediterranean foodsExtra Virgin Olive Oil, oily fish, pomegranate, flaxseed, garlic, onions – all these have proven benefits in reducing blood pressure.

Enjoy Sunshine – We all know you increase blood levels of vitamin D if you lie in the sunshine. But did you know our levels of serotonin increase and that generates happy hormones, cutting stress, and nitric oxide reducing blood pressure.

Caffeine – think coffee increases your blood pressure? Actually, the jury is out. In some people it does; in regular drinkers it doesn’t seem to.

Rainbow Diet book and Heal your gut book, click here.

            God is with you.

IMPORTANT DATES
March 12 – 19                       Spring Break Holiday
April 13 & 16 (Fri. & Mon.)  Good Friday and Easter Holidays
May 1                                    Tuition Balance Due for 2018-19   
May 22- 25                            Adventure Trip
May 25                                  Last Day of Semester

Important dates are posted each Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.:
William’s Weblog at andersonschool.net

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

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Your Happiness Matters Most of All / 8 of the Worst Foods for Your Body / Friday: SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium

Can your eyes find the Sun?

Your happiness
matters
most of all.

When
you take a look
around,
can your eyes find
the Sun,
knowing the day
is not done?

All existence
seems
to fade,
like the dimming
of the Light
when the Sun
takes flight.

But,
as God in our
thoughts
becomes Prayer,
we come to know
deep in our Hearts,
that day
is never done,
and all things,
all thoughts
become One.

       When the Sun takes flight.

As long as
God
dwells in our Lives,
our Lives can be
truly lived.
.
My Friends,
the great Truths
are simple:
hold someone
by the hand,
and let the Light of Life
begin again.

It does not
take much Love
to keep you
warm
night and day.

We can Love
completely,
without complete
understanding.
Love
does that.
.
“Look at this man

So Blessed with inspiration.
Look at this Soul.
Still searching for Salvation.
I don’t know much,
But I know I Love you.
And that may be
all I need to know.”
Cynthia Weil, Tom Snow, Barry Mann
play song

             It does not take much Love.

    My Dear Friends,
a Life
left to chance,
may never
dance.

“I have no desire
to live comfortably,
nor do I wish
to be rich.
To be happy
is to wander freely,
to study the Book
of Nature
with my feet
over its
Leaves.”
Paracelsus

To taste the
Day,
it must be
sweet.
The bitter of Life,
is far too often
tasteless
defeat.

Use your Love
to exhaust
your Hate.

Your happiness matters.

“If
you stare into
the abyss
long enough,
the abyss
stares back at
you.”
Nietzsche

Both
Thomas Edison,
father of recorded sound,
and Alexander Graham Bell,
inventor of the telephone,
stared into the abyss,
and made these discoveries while
researching into the
Spirit World.

Edison wanted to
listen in on the
Spirits.
Television
was invented as a result
of trying to capture psychic influences
on gases fluctuating in front of
a cathode ray tube.

The origin of the television set
was heavily shrouded in
spiritualism and the occult,
writes author Stefan Andriopoulos in his book
Ghostly Apparitions.

The television was intended as an almost
magical box
through which we could watch distant events unfold,
a kind of technological
crystal ball.

 Andriopoulos’s book puts the TV
into a long line of other “optical media”
that go back at least as far as
weird Renaissance experiments
involving technologically-induced
illusions,
such as concave mirrors, magic lanterns,
disorienting walls of smoke, and other
ghostly apparitions”
and “phantasmagoric projections”
created by speciality devices.
.
These were conjuring tricks, sure,
but they relied on sophisticated understandings
of such basic things as light, shadow, and acoustics,
making an audience see –
and believe in
– an illusion.
read more
.
Understanding
the origin of technologies
may help us
understand the allure
and the effect
they have upon our
children.
.
Each new technology
is a whole new World.
And under every Flower there,
a serpent lies
coiled.
.
Goodnight.
.
“Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the Flower;

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears”
– William Wordsworth
“Intimations of Immortality
from Recollections of Early Childhood”.
.

8 of the Worst Foods for Your Body

Many people think of healthy eating as consuming a certain number of calories per day. But the truth is, it’s not just about how much you eat but the quality of the food you eat, and how safely it’s been produced. Read on for some of the worst foods you can put in your body –
you’ll certainly be surprised by a few!

Related: Top 10 Foods Most Likely to Make You Sick

1. Microwave Popcorn

Workers in microwave popcorn factories have actually developed an extremely rare form of lung cancer from inhaling fumes. If that isn’t enough of a reason to avoid the stuff, here’s another: the lining of the bags contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a substance that has been linked to several other forms of cancer and infertility.

Plus, so many microwave popcorns are loaded with bad fats and sodium. Homemade air-popped popcorn can actually be a health food, believe it or not, so stick to that for your next movie night.

Related: 25 Healthy Ways to Season Stove-Popped Popcorn

 2. Non-Organic Apples

Last year, apples won the dubious honor of being the most pesticide-laden produce. Because they aren’t very resistant to pests, apples tend to get sprayed more. They’re also treated with pesticides to extend their shelf life.  If you’re an apple lover, always, always, always buy organic  – or don’t buy ‘em at all. Your body will thank you!

3. Soda

Several studies have directly linked soda consumption to higher instances of cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, obesity—you name it. Diet soda isn’t off the hook, either. Here are 9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda.

Related: How to Quit Soda Now

4. Chips

Many brands of chips contain unimaginable amounts of sodium and fat—one bag can often be more than a day’s worth. But it’s not just the nutritional concerns to think about here – chips also contain acrylamide, a chemical that comes with an increased risk of several forms of cancer and infertility. You can also find the scary stuff in french fries.

Try these instead: Crunchy Kale Chips with Sea Salt & Sesame Seeds

5. Canned Tomatoes

Aside from being far less delicious than the real thing, canned tomatoes have the added “perk” of bisphenol-A (BPA) on the cans’ lining. This is the stuff nightmares are made of: BPA has been linked to fetal abnormalities, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, thyroid issues and even cancer. It’s been banned for use in baby bottles, and overall bans are being considered nationwide. You can get up to 50 mg of the stuff from canned tomatoes; the acidity makes them more difficult to package than most products, so a safe alternative has been difficult to find. Your best bet, though, is to avoid them all together. Stick to fresh tomatoes or, if need be, tomatoes packaged in glass jars.

6. NonOrganic Celery

Celery is one of the dirtiest of all vegetables—the Environmental Working Group has founded dozens upon dozens of different pesticides on the non-organic stuff.  As with apples, go organic or don’t go at all.

7. Milk with Artificial Hormones

Many farmers give their cows artificial hormones so they will produce more milk — good for their bottom line, not so good for our health. These hormones lead to higher rates of another hormone, IGF-1, which is thought to increase instances of cancer in humans. Look for milk that is certified organic, or labelled with either BGH-free or BST-free.

Also Check Out: Skim Milk Doesn’t Do a Body Good

8. Margarine

If margarine didn’t have any food dye in it, it’d be a delightful shade of gray. If that isn’t evidence enough, what is?!  Though margarine is often thought of as a healthier version of butter (there’s no cholesterol, right?) it’s also a wonderfully terrible source of trans fats – stuff that does, indeed, raise your cholesterol. Here’s your excuse to go back to the real stuff – or, of course, olive oil!

Related:
Butter vs Margarine
16 Ways to Use Asparagus
Over 10% Of the American Diets is Fast Food
5 Ways to Soothe Sore Muscles

 

“Many people are so poor
because the only thing they have
is money.”

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research.
Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit,
educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts/paintings
are property and copyright of their owners
and provided for educational purposes.

With Every Breath I Took / Folk Art Nativities at Museum of the Americas

“If you want your children
to be intelligent,

read them Fairy Tales.
If you want them to be more intelligent,
read them more
Fairy Tales.”
Albert Einstein

 My eyes were open,
but
might just as well

have been closed.
The air was humming,
lilting with the music
of Laughter,
as the day
seemingly flew away,
and I,
in quiet contemplation
could not deny,
someone laughed and smiled and cried
and their anger died,
it just
passed away.

Then I laughed
and cried.
And in my tears
of Joy
I came to realize,
with every Joyful breath
we take,
we come back to
Life.

                          Back to Life.

Death
does not require
us
to die.
So many
have lived devoid
of feeling alive.
It is a sad reality
we cannot deny.
But,
we knew that,
you and I.

“The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.”
Herbert Kretzmer from Les Miserables

To be truly alive,
we must live in
another
Life.
WE
must come to live
with the beat
of another

Heart.

   a wondrous moment that takes your          breath away. . .

Living is not
just taking a breath.
It is
a sigh,
  a wondrous
moment that
takes your breath
away.
It is,
in many ways,

tomorrow
lived
today.

“I don’t believe people are looking
for the meaning of Life
as much as they are looking
for the experience
of being alive.”
– Joseph Campbell

The past
is not in front
of you.
And tomorrow
never comes,
if what
remains of you,

is only
you.

“Let us celebrate Life and living,
for it is sacrilegious
to be ungrateful.
Let us play and be playful,
for it is sacrilegious
to be serious.
Let us celebrate imperfections
and make existence
proud of us,
for tomorrow is
death,
and this is an ode to life.
The anthem of the world.”
Kamand Kojouri

Our memories
dance ever gracefully,
as the Heart
remembers in December
how Love
kept us safe and warm,
when someone held you
tightly

during a Spring
storm.
.
Yes,
the reflection of

Life
is the mirror
of the mind,
but also
the echo

of a Heartbeat.
.
Our Sacred Memories
can bring us
back to Life,
so we can truly
reflect
upon that which
was,
and come to
better understand
what should be.
.
Laughter
is a delicious
Fruit of Love,
exposing
the Light of Life
to
parallel worlds
of logic,
and what is illogical
from the humorous
illusions of Living,
making the Truth
easier to forgive,
easier to see,
and as vibrant and alive
as you
or me.
.

“Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel.

As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills
of your mind.”

Marilyn & Alan Bergman, Michel Legrand
.

If what is behind us,
is in front,
then the truth
of what could be

is never
seen.

“Life is fleeting,
like a passing mist.

        It is like trying to catch hold of a breath;
    All vanishes like a vapor;
everything is a great vanity.”
– Ecclesiastes 1:2

Life,
My Dear Friend,
is indeed fleeting,
like the tiny Humming Bird,
hovering briefly,

and then
– the moment flew away.

As you travel
this narrow path,
tread lightly,
and truly live,
Love,
and laugh.

Goodnight.

Our Lives demand that we give a Hoot!

Oscar Wilde “Humanity takes itself
too seriously.

It is the world’s original sin.
If the cave-man had known how to laugh,
History would have been different.”
Oscar Wilde

.

Important Dates
Dec. 4, 5 & 6                         Inservice (No school)
Dec. 22 Friday                      Last Day of Fall Semester
Dec. 23 – Jan. 8                    Christmas Holidays
Jan. 9 (TUESDAY)                Second Semester Begins
Jan. 15 (Monday)                 Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Holiday
Feb. 19 (Monday)                 President’s Day Holiday
March 12 – 19                       Spring Break Holiday
April 13 & 16 (Fri. & Mon.)  Good Friday and Easter Holidays
May 22- 25                            Adventure Trip
May 25                                  Last Day of Semester

Trip Details are posted each Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.: William’s Weblog at andersonschool.net

                  Let us play and be playful.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research.
Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit,
educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts/paintings are property and copyright of their owners
and provided for educational purposes.

Finding Meaning In Existence / Eclipse of the Sun Aug. 21 / Go 12 Hours Without Eating

“Your bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you,
whom you have received from God?
You are not your own.
– 1 Corinthians 6:19

MORE REAL than material objects.

There is something
much more to Life,

than Life.

Now,
put your thinking caps on
and let’s go
for a walk.
Leave the Dog
at home.
He already instinctively
understands.

The existence of a Cosmic Consciousness
is put forward by Philosophers, Physicists and Theologians
based on the premises of non-materialistic explanations
of the mind,
asserting that consciousness is actually the

“Ground of ALL Being”.

In Quantum Mechanics,
the Grand Unified Field Theory
suggests that Reality
consists of eleven dimensions.
What are the Philosophical implications
of a Multidimensional Universe?
String theory now suggests
that the most basic substance
from which everything else is derived
is CONSCIOUSNESS!
This is a paradigm shift
in understanding the nature
of Ultimate Reality.
“If the Universe is a hologram,
in some sense it suggests
that there may be TWO
very drastically different levels of reality:

the concrete reality that we see when we look at [things],
and at some DEEP level
there’s a level of reality where everything dissolves
into an ocean of energy
that is holographically interconnected.

Consciousness generates a field effect,
similar to an electromagnetic field.
Like a magnet attracting a metal object
without having to touch the object,
consciousness is capable of interacting
with things at a distance. “
Michael Talbot:
Synchronicity and the Holographic Univers
e

An interview with Michael Talbot may be found
on Jeffrey Mishlove’s excellent online resource
Thinking Allowed.
I recommend you indulge your curiosity and visit this site,
or view Jeffrey’s Youtube Channel:
ThinkingAllowedTV.

Spend some time,
My Friend,
getting to know
what we can never
truly understand.

Life is a mystery.
Everyone must stand alone.
I hear you call my name,
And it feels like home.

Just like a prayer,
your voice can take me there.

Just like a muse to me,
YOU
are a mystery

Just like a dream,
you are not what you seem.”
– Madonna Ciccone, Patrick Leonard

ANDREI LINDE,
a Russian-American theoretical physicist,
professor of Physics at Stanford University,
and the father of “Eternal Chaotic Inflation”,
and one of the main authors of the Inflationary Universe Theory,
as well as the theory of the inflationary multiverse.

He considered that consciousness,
like space-time,

might have its own intrinsic degrees of Freedom,
and that one’s perceptions may be as real,
or even “MORE” REAL
than material objects.

Quantum Theory
is now used to explain certain properties
of the mind.
New hypotheses of consciousness and space-time
explain consciousness by describing
a “space of conscious elements“,
often encompassing a number of extra dimensions.
These are dimensions
we are just now becoming aware of.
But Poets
and writers of Song
have long been aware
that there is more to Life,
than Life.
.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there;
I did not die.”
– Mary Elizabeth Frye
Mary never copyrighted the poem. Her explanation:
“I thought it belonged to the world; it didn’t belong to me.
It was written out of Love
.”
  Emanating from a burst of compassion
and deep insight into the
Nature of Ultimate Reality,

it has endured and became famous.

Photo: Paul T. P. Wong

Allow me to recommend:
Paul T. P. Wong, a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor.
His research career has made significant contributions in learning theory, social cognition, existential psychology, and positive psychology. He is most known for his integrative work on death acceptance, meaning therapy, and second wave positive psychology.

Wong’s career straddles psychology and Christian ministry. He first served as the Founding Pastor of the Chinese Gospel Church in Toronto and started the Peterborough Chinese Christian Fellowship while teaching at Trent University. He was involved in resettling the boat people and started the graduate program in counseling psychology at Trinity Western University.

Wong’s integration of existential & positive psychology resulted in Existential Positive Psychology, which recognizes the existential concerns of human existence.
This was broadened and based on the foundation of
the co-existence of opposites
as essential for human development.

Wong has given positive psychology away through his
Meaningful Living MeetUp group.
Participants learn basic principles of meaning
and new ways of relating to each other.
This outreach program was intended
to improve mental health.

“When you’ve experienced everything
that this culture offers,
you will see how
empty it is,”

Pastor Greg Laurie
author of: Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon

Wong’s emphasis is on the importance
of cross-cultural perspectives
in stress and coping and positive psychology.

His research on death acceptance
and the meaning of Life
impacted Taiwan’s Life and Death Education.
He was awarded the 12th Global Love of Life Medal,
the Lifetime Achievement Award in Life Education,
and the Rising Great Compassion Award.
I invite you to
read more: http://www.drpaulwong.com/

“From this dark, cold hotel room,
and the endlessness that you fear

you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie.

In the arms of an Angel;
may you find some comfort here.”

– by Sarah McLachlan

  Viktor Frankl

Wong developed a pluralistic and integrative meaning therapy. And it was based on Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy, an existential analysis focusing on Kierkegaard’s
will to meaning.

Logotherapy was founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in Humans.

A short introduction to this system is given in Frankl’s most famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning,
in which he outlines how his theories
helped him to survive the Holocaust
and how that experience further developed
and reinforced his theories.
There are Logotherapy Institutes around the world.
click here for more information

Logotherapy is a form of existential analysis.
Man’s Search for Meaning
was published under a different title in 1959:
Nevertheless, Say “Yes” to Life:
A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp.

It chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate,
which led him to discover the importance
of finding meaning in all forms of existence,
even the most brutal ones,
and thus, a reason to continue living.

Remembering Olivia Penpraze February 2, 1993 – April 3 2012

I encourage you
to discuss
the meaning of this Life
with your precious children.
If you need a reason
click here.

Every child on Earth
wants to know
that there is deep meaning
for the Gift
of our existence.
The need to know that
Love exists,
and that
YOU
Love them.

Goodnight.
Logotherapeutic views and treatment

“A man hears
what he wants to hear

and disregards the rest.”
– Simon & Garfunkel

“Let me go where’er I will
I hear a sky-born music still:
It sounds from all things old,
It sounds from all things young,
From all that’s fair, from all that’s foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.

Emerson

It is not only in the Rose,
It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows.
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest meanest things
There always, always something sings.

’Tis not in the high stars alone,
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the red-breast’s mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
                                        But in the mud and scum of things
                                     There always, always
                                      something sings.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States
will see nature’s most wondrous spectacle
— a total eclipse of the Sun.
It is a scene of unimaginable beauty;
the Moon completely blocks the Sun,
daytime becomes a deep twilight,
and the Sun’s corona shimmers
in the darkened sky.

Going at least 12 hours without eating
has pretty amazing weight-loss benefits,
a new Salk Institute study has found.
There’s a growing body of research
that says when you eat
really does make a difference
in how much you weigh.
read more

“Your body is more prone to burn fat
at certain times of day and store fat at other times,”
says Satchin Panda, PhD, associate professor
in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory
at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.

New studies reveal that to burn the most fat,
you need to go 12 hours without eating
– say, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
So it’s smart to time your calorie intake accordingly.
Read on for the science backed rules
that will help you use the clock
to shed excess pounds.

To keep pounds off,
don’t eat after dark.
(Yes,
you may eat
during the eclipse!)

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research.
Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit,
educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts/paintings are property and copyright of their owners
and provided for educational purposes.

The Potter’s Wheel / Seven Ways to Experience More Joy / Thank You: Stage West Theater

“O LORD,
Thou art our Father;

we are the clay,
and thou our Potter;
and we all are the work
of Thy Hand.”
Isaiah 64:8

Round like a circle
ever spinning.
Infinite Love
Created you
and me.
When Sunlight never was,
and darkness
was ever to be,
the Light of God’s Love
penetrated all,
and from
the Potter’s Wheel
was Lovingly crafted

the beautiful Dream
we are.

Our footprints
found their way
into the sand.
And rings
found a Rainbow
to fall upon.

Like tide born
ripples,
spread upon the shores
of time,
we question
over and over again,

the moment of our
birth.

To whom
do we belong?

And the Autumn Leaves
of Life,
drifting past
so very many days that were,

make us suddenly
aware:
there is more
to Life
than can be seen,
more
to Love
than in a
Dream.
And the lessons
learned
found in-between:
include Forgiveness
God implores.
For now
quickly becomes nevermore
the moment
to explore.

  There is more to Life than can be seen.

And in this now,
our Friends in science say,
The Divine Book was right,
we are made
of Clay.
read more

“And the LORD God
formed man of the dust of the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life;
and man became
a living Soul.”
– Genesis 2:7
.
We never know
the value
of this moment in time,
until it becomes
the treasure
of a memory.

And then,
God calls your
name,
to take you Home.
He wants
to take you there.
To where
there is no end,
and the deep
Mystery of Love
is kept
by perpetual Prayer.

He
hears your voice,
feels you falling
through the breeze,

like the Leaves
of Autumn trees,
into His arms,
a Harvest of
Dreams.

The Promise
of God,
is to Love you
and never
let you go.

And in times
of doubt,
when you feel
you do not
know,
the Prayer
you secretly hold in your
Heart,
will show you
the way.
For your Father
truly longs to hear
you say:
I Love you.
I need you.
In my Heart,
I want you
to stay,

                 We have been Blessed.

My Friend,
during all this
Time,
you knew the
Way.
And the Path
is Beautiful,
and straight
and near.
It points directly
to your
Heart.

From this
Moment,
Life
can begin.
From this
Moment,
you
have been Blessed.
But this Moment
is all
that is left,
to Live
and Love
and let your Heart
take flight,
and accept your Gift
from Above

Yes,
we have been
Blessed,
with the Gift
of this Moment.

And
it shall not last
long.

Goodnight.

        You have been Blessed.

Seven Ways to Experience More Joy
by James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander
read more

James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander share their principles for building more joy into your daily experience.

Editor’s note: “Joy is not for just the lucky few,” says James Baraz, a longtime meditation teacher and cofounder of the renowned Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Calif. “It’s a choice anyone can make.” Each year since 2003, Baraz has taught a 10-month course, both online and at the center, called “Awakening Joy.” Its goal: to help participants increase their daily quotient of positive feelings.

The material is based on universal, nondenominational principles that draw on both Buddhist philosophy and on contemporary neuroscientific studies that show we can deliberately incline our minds toward greater happiness. The seven suggestions that follow will give you a glimpse of his joyful prescription and help you understand how to put it to work in your own life.

1. Imagine Happiness
Any activity, when performed repetitively, changes the structure of the brain. But even repeatedly imagining an activity has an impact on neural structure. Researchers at Harvard Medical School demonstrated this with an experiment where they asked one group to play a five-finger exercise on the piano over the course of a week. A comparison group was asked to merely imagine moving their fingers to play the same exercise. Though actively playing the exercise had a greater impact on brain structure than imagining it, by the end of the week, the same region of the brain in both groups had been significantly affected.

Each day, deliberately imagine yourself happy. Picture yourself in a situation with people you really like, or engaged in an activity that gives you a lot of pleasure. By actively imagining feelings of happiness or recalling happy experiences, you can help to encourage changes in your brain that will predispose you to creating more real-life joy in your daily experiences.

2. Memorize Happiness in Your Body
Even though the brain is strongly inclined to notice and retain negative experiences over positive ones (that’s our protective survival instinct at work), you can help level the playing field by strengthening your neurological happiness circuits. Whenever you’re experiencing a moment of joy or contentment — walking, listening to music, being kind, feeling grateful — don’t miss it! Pause to notice the feelings in your body and the state of your mind. Do you feel warmth in your chest? Does your mind feel light and open?

Now consciously intensify that sensation. Some psychologists call this “memorizing” the feeling. Either way, you are causing the same neural circuits to fire repeatedly, thereby strengthening them. Psychologist Rick Hanson calls this “taking in the good.”

“As with any positive state of mind,” Hanson says, “if you can develop a strong ‘sense memory’ of the experience, you can reactivate it deliberately when you want to.”

3. Reframe Your Fate Positively
Countless studies have shown the effects of gratitude exercises on positive outlook. One study conducted by positive psychologist Martin Seligman asked participants who considered themselves severely depressed to write down three good things that happened to them each day for 15 days. Ninety-four percent of subjects reported a decrease in depression, while 92 percent said their happiness had increased.

Because experiencing and expressing appreciation has such a demonstrable effect, we highly recommend course participants keep a daily list of things they’re grateful for.

Here’s another exercise that can incline the mind to gratitude even during unpleasant moments: Choose a task or situation in your life that feels like an obligatory burden. Try changing your “I have to” story to an “I get to” story, and see if you arrive at a different perspective. “Now I get to take out the garbage” could create an opportunity to feel grateful for your working legs, or your trash pickup service — instead of just feeling annoyed.

4. Strategically Diffuse Worry
Worry and rumination are chronic joy-killers, but they’re easy habits of mind for many. This excerpt of a March 2000 conversation between the Dalai Lama and a group of neuroscientists and scholars suggests a useful technique for heading off anxious episodes. The speaker is Matthieu Ricard, PhD, a geneticist and Buddhist monk:

“The basic way to intervene [when a troubling thought arises is to use a technique] called ‘staring back.’ When a thought arises, [instead of reacting] we need to watch it and look back at its source. . . . As we stare at it, its apparent solidity begins to melt away, and that thought will vanish without giving birth to a chain of thoughts. The point is not to try and block the arising of thoughts — this is not possible anyway — but not to let them invade our mind. We need to do this again and again because we are not used to dealing with thoughts in this way. . . . Finally a time will come when thoughts come and go like a bird passing through the sky, without leaving a trace.”

5. Experience the Bliss of Blamelessness
When we’re stuck in resentment, self-condemnation or guilt, our capacity for joy is severely limited. Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s important that we learn how to let go of blame — for others and for ourselves.

Resentment consumes energy, even when we’re entitled to it. If you’re trying to let go of blame toward someone else, try becoming curious about a hurtful experience, instead of taking it personally. Taking a more impersonal view of disappointments can reveal their hidden gifts.

When you’re trying to break the habit of self-recriminating thought, focus instead on how you want to feel. Rather than dwelling on a mistake, recall the pleasant feeling you have when you choose wisely or accomplish something successfully, and let that feeling be your guide.

It can take several months for neural circuits to consolidate fully in support of new habits of mind, so be vigilant. You are wiring your brain to fully experience happiness instead of just relief at avoiding error.

6. Let Go of Feeling Busy
One of the primary obstacles to joy is the feeling of being too busy. Even if we can’t pare down our schedules, it doesn’t mean we can’t feel happiness, peace or even joy in the midst of our busyness.

During intensely scheduled periods, try giving yourself “mini-breaks.” Take a brief moment between tasks and obligations to pause, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and feel what it’s like to be “outside of time.”

Even if you’ve just dashed down the hall at work from one meeting to another, stop for a few seconds before you open that next door. Close your eyes, let your body relax, take a breath, and come back to yourself. You may find yourself feeling substantially less harried and more capable of dealing calmly and consciously with whatever unfolds next.

7. Seek the Good in Others
There are a lot of reasons to feel joy observing other people — if we’re looking for the best in them. Seeing the goodness in someone else brings something real, alive and uplifting out of him or her. It allows trust to develop between people who scarcely know each other. And it allows you to truly enjoy your interactions with others without getting hung up on what you don’t like.

Try this: For one week, take on the practice of looking for the good in everyone you come in contact with. See in each person the desire to be safe, accepted, happy and loved. Even if you know someone’s shortcomings, keep looking for the positive qualities — creativity, humor, a caring heart, intelligence — any and all positive qualities you might admire. Notice what effect this has on how you feel toward others and on your interactions with them. Notice the effect it has on your state of mind. And enjoy it.

Our Shakespeare Production:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream,

was a beautiful success.

Our sincere gratitude to our marvelous Director
George X Rodriguez.
What a tremendous undertaking!

THANK YOU:
Dana Schultes
and the marvelous staff
of Stage West Theater,
Nick Meagher,
Virginia Rodrigues,
The Rodrigues Family,
Kayla Stone,
Michelle Smeller,
Nathan Pedneault,
Mac Cooper,
Christy Flanigan,
Alden Collins
and many others.

“Parents who overemphasize
achievement
are more likely to have kids
with high levels of depression, anxiety,
and substance abuse
compared to other kids.”
– Eric Barker

IMPORTANT  DATES:
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

“When our strengths
are exhibited at extremes,
they become our weakness.”
– Merrick Roserberg

.

Love Surrounds Us / Heart Healthy Diet / Friday: At School

The Miracle of Life blossoms into Beauty.

Thoughts of love
surround us.
And all around us,
in every moment
of every day,
with every beat
of every Heart,
the Miracle of Life
blossoms
into Beauty that
WE
can behold.

The Eternal Light
of Love

chases away the last vestige
of the dark
of night.

And we come to see
evermore,
the wonder of our Birth
into Hope,
into Love
and Life,
and into the
Light.

All
things become visible

when they are exposed by the Light,
for everything that becomes visible
is Light.”
Ephesians 5:13

We are remote
from the possibility
of comprehension.
But the Human Heart
can
take pleasure and delight

in the magic and the wonder
and the mystery
that is this
Life.

               A Many Splendored Thing.

Life
is at best,
but a brief journey
through Seasons
that come and go,
the passage
through which
few
are ever fully aware,
ever really know.

Yes.
Seasons come
and then they go,
and we are here

and gone.
Your smile,

faint in the glow
of beautiful memory,
much like
your Life,
seemingly long,
glimmering like a Rainbow,
but lasting
like the Dawn.

             Glimmering like a Rainbow.

But the Miracle
of this Life
lies in the Mystery
of the Clear Eternal Light,
that when you Pray,
will find you
and guide you,
and never
let you lose
your way.

“This is the message
we have heard from him
and proclaim to you,

that God is light
and in him is no darkness
at all.”

John 1:5

Let us
Dream the Dream,
and keep on
Living
to Walk
in the Beautiful
Light of God’s
abundant Love.

                      Lasting like the Dawn.

 Yes,
the tides of fortune
are awash and aplenty
upon our shores.
And the initial Life
of material existence
is filled with illusion.

“Our concept of Beauty
suggests a greater Meaning
in a Universe capable of producing beings
that not only appreciate Beauty
but strive to achieve greater and greater Beauty.
You are made to think, know, and create like God,
because God wanted to share
that experience of Being
with some other than Himself.”
Sarah Capello

But deeper
than the Ocean
is God’s Love
for you.

I Pray
you will come to see
the Peace and Hope
and the everlasting Joy
such knowing
will bring.

God’s Love
is truly
a Many Splendored
Thing.

Goodnight.

             Let us dream the dream.

Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease
read more

Ready to start your heart-healthy diet? Here are eight tips to get you started.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

 1. Control your portion size

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs.

Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions. Eat larger portions of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods. This strategy can shape up your diet as well as your heart and waistline.

Keep track of the number of servings you eat. A serving size is a specific amount of food, defined by common measurements such as cups, ounces or pieces. For example, one serving of pasta is 1/2 cup, or about the size of a hockey puck. A serving of meat, fish or chicken is about 2 to 3 ounces, or about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Judging serving size is a learned skill. You may need to use measuring cups and spoons or a scale until you’re comfortable with your judgment.

2. Eat more vegetables and fruits

 Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.

Featuring vegetables and fruits in your diet can be easy. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you’ll remember to eat it. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredients, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.

Fruits and vegetables to choose Fruits and vegetables to limit
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits
  • Low-sodium canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in juice or water
  • Coconut
  • Vegetables with creamy sauces
  • Fried or breaded vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup
  • Frozen fruit with sugar added

3. Select whole grains

 Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Or be adventuresome and try a new whole grain, such as whole-grain farro, quinoa or barley.
Grain products to choose Grain products to limit or avoid
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Whole-grain bread, preferably 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain bread
  • High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more of fiber in a serving
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, barley and buckwheat (kasha)
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
  • White, refined flour
  • White bread
  • Muffins
  • Frozen waffles
  • Corn bread
  • Doughnuts
  • Biscuits
  • Quick breads
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Egg noodles
  • Buttered popcorn
  • High-fat snack crackers

4. Limit unhealthy fats

 Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for how much fat to include in a heart-healthy diet:

Type of fat Recommendation
Saturated fat Less than 7% of your total daily calories, or less than 14 g of saturated fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet
Trans fat Less than 1% of your total daily calories, or less than 2 g of trans fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet

The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet is to limit the amount of solid fats — butter, margarine and shortening — you add to food when cooking and serving. You can also reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10 percent fat.

You can also use low – fat substitutions when possible for a heart – healthy diet. For example, top your baked potato with low-sodium salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter, or use sliced whole fruit or low-sugar fruit spread on your toast instead of margarine.

You may also want to check the food labels of some cookies, crackers and chips. Many of these snacks — even those labeled “reduced fat” —  may be made with oils containing trans fats. One clue that a food has some trans fat in it is the phrase “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.

When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in certain fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.

An easy way to add healthy fat (and fiber) to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have found that flaxseeds may help lower cholesterol in some people. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.

Fats to choose Fats to limit
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Vegetable and nut oils
  • Margarine, trans fat free
  • Cholesterol-lowering margarine, such as Benecol, Promise Activ or Smart Balance
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Avocados
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Gravy
  • Cream sauce
  • Nondairy creamers
  • Hydrogenated margarine and shortening
  • Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
  • Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils

5. Choose low-fat protein sources

 Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.

Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You’ll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.

 Legumes — beans, peas and lentils — also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting plant protein for animal protein — for example, a soy or bean burger for a hamburger — will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.
Proteins to choose Proteins to limit or avoid
  • Low-fat dairy products such as skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Eggs
  • Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon
  • Skinless poultry
  • Legumes
  • Soybeans and soy products, such as soy burgers and tofu
  • Lean ground meats
  • Full-fat milk and other dairy products
  • Organ meats, such as liver
  • Fatty and marbled meats
  • Spareribs
  • Hot dogs and sausages
  • Bacon
  • Fried or breaded meats

6. Reduce the sodium in your food

 Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
  • Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt)
  • People age 51 or older, African-Americans, and people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day
 Although reducing the amount of salt you add to food at the table or while cooking is a good first step, much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods, such as soups and frozen dinners. Eating fresh foods and making your own soups and stews can reduce the amount of salt you eat.

If you like the convenience of canned soups and prepared meals, look for ones with reduced sodium. Be wary of foods that claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt instead of regular table salt — sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt.

Another way to reduce the amount of salt you eat is to choose your condiments carefully. Many condiments are available in reduced-sodium versions, and salt substitutes can add flavor to your food with less sodium.

Low-salt items to choose High-salt items to avoid
  • Herbs and spices
  • Salt substitutes
  • Reduced-salt canned soups or prepared meals
  • Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchup
  • Table salt
  • Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners
  • Tomato juice
  • Soy sauce

7. Plan ahead: Create daily menus

 You know what foods to feature in your heart-healthy diet and which ones to limit. Now it’s time to put your plans into action.

Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and healthy fats, and limit salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices.

 For example, if you have grilled salmon one evening, try a black-bean burger the next night. This helps ensure that you’ll get all of the nutrients your body needs. Variety also makes your meals and snacks more interesting.

8. Allow yourself an occasional treat

 Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won’t derail your heart-healthy diet. But don’t let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy eating plan. If overindulgence is the exception, rather than the rule, you’ll balance things out over the long term. What’s important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.

 Incorporate these eight tips into your life, and you’ll find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind.

Friday:

We will meet at school
on Friday
from 8:30 a.m.
to 3:15 p.m.
and work with our Director,
George Rodriguez,
on our upcoming
Shakespeare production.

IMPORTANT  DATES:

May 5                 At School (Play rehearsal)
May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.

The magic and the wonder and the mystery that is this Life.

 

That’s All I Ask of You / Coping With Workplace Stress / Friday: At School (Shakespeare Play Rehearsal)

“We must know
that we have been created for greater things,
not just to be a number in the world,
not just to go for diplomas and degrees,
this work and that work.
We have been created in order
to Love
and to be Loved.”

–  Mother Teresa

God has been invited to come in.

My Dear Friends,
from this moment
Life can begin
again.

Imagine yourself
as another living Being.
And God
has been invited
to come in
and forgive you
of all your sin,
and rebuild the Life
that housed all your previous
days,
all the moments that for you
did exist.

             Life can begin again.

The first thought
that flies past you,
is that you cannot understand
what He is doing.

No.
No one can ever
really understand.

“Great is our Lord,
and abundant in power; 
his understanding is
beyond measure.”

Psalm 147:5

Because
the past
no longer exists.
Only tomorrow
is real again.

  The pain is no longer here to stay.

The pain,
from so many years,
that never
seemed to go away,
in one moment,
on one precious day,
is no longer
here to stay.

“For which cause we faint not;
but though our outward man perish,
yet the inward man is renewed
day by day.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16
 .
God is preparing
a place for your
Heart.

Far
beyond forever,
will He stay
in Love with you.
For
He will never
not Love you.
And all
He asks in return,
is that you Love
Him.

Is this
not what we ask
of others
in Life?

“No more talk of darkness
Forget these wide eyed fears.
I’m here, nothing can harm you.
My words will warm and calm you.

Let me be your freedom.
Let daylight dry your tears.
I’m here, with you, beside you,
To guard you and to guide you

Say you Love me
Every waking moment.
Say you Love me
Oh, I do Love you
that’s all I ask of you.

Anywhere you go
let me go too.
Love me,
that’s all I ask of you.”
–  Andrew Lloyd Webber

Yes,
finding a way
to be,
is as simple as
“I Love You.
Please Love Me.”

Goodnight.

               I Love You.

Coping With Workplace Stress
by Diana Louise Carter
read more

 in Esperanza
(Hope to Cope with Anxiety and Depression)

click here for more

Taking steps to strengthen your resilience, plus seeking treatment if necessary, will help you handle cranky customers, toxic co-workers, and other on the job stressors.

After a really stressful day at work, Katie, an RN, spends a little extra drive time in her car.

“Once I leave the office, work stays here. I try absolutely my best not to take it home,” says Katie, who lives in Alabama. “Even if you have to drive around for a few minutes by yourself.”

That’s what professional counselors call a “calming ritual” – something that may come in especially handy for nurses like Katie, home health workers, bus drivers, social workers, and people employed in restaurants, real estate, personal services, and manufacturing.

Those are among occupations with the highest rates of depression, as ranked by two studies – one published in 2010, the other in 2014. Authors of the later study identified “frequent or difficult interactions” with the public or clients, high levels of stress, and low levels of physical activity as characteristics the jobs had in common.

No matter the profession, strains like cranky customers, uncivil bosses, unpredictable work schedules, unreasonable deadlines, and the 24/7 electronic tether of our mobile devices can challenge anyone’s well-being.

In the American Psychological Association’s 2012 annual Stress in America Survey, 65 percent of respondents listed work as their top source of life stress – but only 37 percent said they were “doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.”

Katie says hospital nursing is so demanding it’s sometimes hard to take a break to regroup.

“You’re the person who goes between the doctor and the patient,” she notes. “All of it kind of gets put on your shoulders. If it all goes wrong … nurses just catch most of the blame.”

Katie prefers to practice in a small clinic where the pace and workload are more comfortable. A case manager for an outpatient mental health and substance abuse program, she’s a fan of adult coloring books— “they’re actually very calming” – and journaling for stress relief.

CREATIVE CHANGES

Expert advice for dealing with job stress tends to fall into two categories: steps you can take at work, such as using all your allotted breaks or advocating for different duties, and steps you can take outside work to better your health and enrich your life satisfaction—getting more exercise, for example, or pursuing hobbies that make you happy.

Steven implemented both types of solutions when the demands of his brewery job in upstate New York contributed to an anxiety diagnosis in 2007.

Steven, 57, had to follow complicated and precise recipes to craft huge tanks of “malternatives” like fruit-flavored alcoholic beverages and hard lemonade. Once he was formally reprimanded for using an ingredient from a new supplier that hadn’t been certified yet, which meant the whole batch went down the drain. He found himself overthinking all the steps in making beer coolers.

He was able to implement one creative change in his work flow to reduce his second-guessing: He would line up ingredients before he started and as each was added, he’d remove it from the bench.

There were other aspects of the job came he couldn’t control, however. His schedule rotated through day, evening and night shifts—a documented risk factor in depression and anxiety. He would frequently be called away from one task to attend a process elsewhere in the brewery complex, which made it harder to meet his production deadlines. Cost-cutting layoffs shrank his department from five employees per shift to three.

To counterbalance on-the-job aggravations, Steven pursued nature photography on his own and with a meet-up group.

“Photography helps,” says Steven, who took a disability retirement last year due to a bum knee. “Taking walks, occupying yourself, looking around. Your mind isn’t replaying all that went on in work again.”

RESTORING RESILIENCE

The American Institute of Stress notes that job pressures in and of themselves may be less important than how individuals fit with the work environment. For example, there are people who thrive in pressure-cooker situations while others have a lower tolerance for overload.

What’s happening outside of work can make a difference, too. At times, life stressors plus job stressors may add up to more than an individual’s natural resilience can handle. That’s when buttressing your reserves with activities that strengthen your physical self (especially good sleep), reinforce a positive perspective (such as reframing problems), and dilute tension (yoga, anyone?) become even more important.

Allison got caught in a period of institutional upheaval shortly after starting a new job at a prestigious music conservatory in Rochester, New York.

“We had to downsize my department. I had to fire people to cut costs. I had to outsource services at the same time I was learning the job,” recalls Allison, who was hired to oversee publications and public affairs.

In her personal life, Allison was dealing with her mother’s declining health and her marriage was slowly unraveling. Diagnosed with depression, she worked with her doctor and therapist to come up with coping tools.

“My doctor suggested maybe doing art or exercising. I swam laps. I would sit quietly at night and listen to the radio and draw mandalas. I would paint,” says Allison.

As the environment at work worsened, Allison decided on a more radical solution: Leaving that job to look for opportunities where she could be self-employed.

The “take this job and shove it” approach may be the best option in some circumstances, but for many it feels like an impossible choice. Robert W. McLellarn, PhD, often counsels people who are stressed out because of their jobs.

“They feel like they have to keep going to keep the paycheck,” notes McLellarn, a licensed clinical psychologist in Portland, Oregon, who specializes in treating anxiety.

McLellarn says that taking some sort of action short of leaving a bad job can be a stress reliever. For example, pursue the skills or training needed to get a more fulfilling job. The goal is to feel less stuck.

“Even giving people some strategies, some ideas, some hope that this can change is rewarding,” says McLellarn.

 WORKPLACE ALLIES

Assuming clear guidelines from human resources and a sympathetic supervisor, negotiating accommodations can be an on-the-job option. Opinion varies on whether it’s wise to divulge mental health challenges, and a lot depends on an individual’s particular situation and comfort level.

Genella of Brandon, Manitoba, coaches individuals on managing stress and advises companies on how to establish “psychologically safe” workplaces through her consulting firm Partners in Discovery. Although more employers are recognizing the bottom-line benefits of reducing burnout, she acknowledges that ignorance and stigma haven’t disappeared.

“People understand if you have a cast on your leg, but if you’re stressed, people still think it’s a character flaw,” says Genella, who has dealt with depression and anxiety herself.

Similarly, Genella points out, people can see that someone with a broken leg needs an elevator to go between floors, but they may not know what sort of supports to offer for a person with depression or anxiety. 

Genella says Canadian law acknowledges addiction issues, but hasn’t codified accommodations for mental health.

Protections assured by the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act may come into play if symptoms interfere with job responsibilities, according to Job Accommodations Network, a program of the U.S. Department of Labor and academic and industry partners.

Lisa of Brooklyn found an ally when she went to work part-time as an admissions coordinator at a law school in New York City nine years ago. Lisa, 46, has lived with sometimes disabling anxiety since her teens. Her department head allowed her to switch around her schedule if a panic attack erupted on a day she was due in.

When Lisa feels overwhelmed at the office, she takes a bathroom break to practice deep breathing exercises. She also finds prayer calming.

Having a strong support network at home keeps Lisa fortified for work demands. She finds that in her husband and parents, who live in the same apartment building. Weekly visits with her beloved nephews, ages 5 years old and 4 months old, have become a vital tonic.

“I call them my sunshine boys,” she says. “They should just bottle babies and give that as depression medication.”

Genella, meanwhile, thrives on the “unconditional gratitude, acceptance and love” of her dog, Tucker.

“When you have those, you can’t have a stress response at the same time,” she asserts. “I suggest that a person find out: When you are stressed, what works for you?”

WORKPLACE STRESS: SWITCH GEARS

It’s important to leave work and all its worries behind once you get home. Creating a destressing ritual can help you move into a new frame of mind. That could be something as simple as changing into more comfortable clothes or having a cup of tea while reviewing the mail.

DOLLARS AND SENSE

If it’s not addressed, chronic work stress can have a negative impact on physical health, family relationships, and life satisfaction. It can tip vulnerable individuals into depression or anxiety, or trigger those already dealing with mental health challenges.

Quite apart from the personal toll, there’s a financial backlash for businesses. One widely quoted statistic puts the annual cost of job stress to the American economy at $300 billion.

That includes the estimated burden of accidents due to fatigue and inability to concentrate, employee turnover, and loss of productivity due to absenteeism and “presenteeism”—in attendance bodily but unable to work at normal capacity.

According to the Harvard Business Review, studies show that presenteeism due to chronic illnesses—including conditions like allergies and arthritis – costs employers two to three times more than direct medical care.

Looking specifically at depression in the workplace, the advocacy organization Mental Health American cites a figure of $51 billion annually in indirect costs to the U.S. economy.

In Canada, more than 30 percent of disability claims and 70 percent of disability costs can be traced to mental health issues, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. However, such payouts may yield a rich payback.

In a 2009 survey of 3,000 Alberta workers found that 255 people (or nearly 10 percent) confirmed they’d had a depressive episode in the year before they were interviewed. Those who had received treatment were significantly more likely to report being able to function at a highly productive level at work compared to those who had not sought help

 TOXIC WORKPLACE ANTITOXINS

Sometimes job stress doesn’t come from the work itself but from the people you work with. In her book Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace, Christine Porath, PhD, chronicles the toll that a toxic workplace can take on employees and employers.

Productivity tends to decrease and work absences tend to increase. If workers burn out and leave, businesses face the expense of replacing them. People are likely to carry workplace stress home at the end of the day, with poisonous effects on their health and relationships.

Whether a single bout of yelling or constant “micro-aggressions” by a difficult supervisor, the effects “can stick with people for decades,” Porath says. “It takes a cognitive toll even if you just observe it.”

Minimizing face-to-face contact can be a legitimate strategy, such as steering clear of committee work with a co-worker who pushes your buttons. Some other recommendations:

For a reality check, discreetly ask co-workers whether they’re having similar problems. Try to evaluate where there’s an objective issue affecting everyone, like unreasonable deadlines or constant disrespect, or whether you are particularly reactive.

Try talking with your supervisor about specific behaviors and situations that are making you feel stressed. Some may welcome the feedback, others may react negatively.

If your supervisor is not receptive to your concerns, consider moving up the chain of command or turning to the human resources department or a union representative.

If unclear job expectations are creating stress, ask to work with your supervisor on developing written guidelines you can both agree upon

 FEEL THE BURN(OUT)

The Mayo Clinic lists these signs of job burnout:

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints? 

  No one can ever really understand.

Friday:
Our plan to travel this Friday
has been postponed due to
inclement weather.
We will meet at school
on Friday
from 8:30 a.m.
to 3:15 p.m.
and work with our Director,
George Rodriguez,
on our upcoming
Shakespeare production.

IMPORTANT  DATES:

April 28             At School (Play rehearsal)
May 1                TUITION DUE for 2017-18
May 15 & 16      Shakespeare Production at Stage West Theater
May 22 – 26       Adventure Trip
May 26               Last Day of Semester.

Copyright Disclaimer – Section 107 – Copyright Act 1976,
allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,and research. Fair use is permitted by copyright statute. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of “fair use”.

Lyrics/song texts are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes.