Archive for the Mind and Body

We are born, grow up…fast…way too fast…zoom through school…start work…work for a seeming eternity…and finally retire…thinking that now we have all the time in the world to do all the things we always wanted to do…now we can finally travel and explore the world and now we can finally pick up tennis or learn a new language…but once retired we soon realize that boy o boy, there is much, much less time left in our hourglass and then regrets start…I should have, could have…and eventually we pass on…

 

In between the being born and the passing on there is: time…time filled with an incredible amount of experiences, some of which we still might remember: first day at school, first love, first job, first hangover, first broken heart…but most we really don’t: I don’t remember what I had for lunch the other day, neither do I remember my high school grades nor how many people I have met in my life…

 

This experience-laden time between the being born and the passing on is called: life.

 

Which at times can be beautiful and wonderful and exciting and at times dull, disillusioning and even frightening.

 

It doesn’t matter what we experience and what we think of or feel about that experience, we still experience it…and the one constant that all experiences have in common is the passing of time. Whether I love what I am experiencing – the very first kiss that I wished would never end or whether I dread what I am experiencing – the dentist drilling a hole in my tooth where the piercing noise of the drill alone makes me crap my pants…the seconds that go by are the same.

 

My life has been filled with quite a few incredible experiences: I have traveled the world and seen God knows how many countries, I have lived in several different countries on several different continents, I built up a multi-million dollar business to then see it collapse, I studied hard and went all the way to get a PhD, I fled from a revolution as a child, where we lost absolutely everything, I wrestled with cancer for several years, I was hit by a car and last but not least ended up in the ICU just two years ago as a virus had attacked my heart and my lungs and nearly got the better of me.

 

Despite the chaos and the seeming randomness that we call life, I have come to realize that indeed there is a system hidden behind the madness. In my world, my life and my experiences are created by the way I go about them. Many, many years ago I started to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life, literally everything, even the things that I possibly could not be held responsible for: revolution, cancer, car accident…

 

So now you might be asking yourself what on earth any of this has anything to do with my Birthday Month?

 

It is the one life that I have. Irrespective of how I feel about any part of my life, it is still my life. I can choose to own it or be a victim. I chose to Ride My Horse and to own my life. I am not a mere Bouncy Ball that is being tossed around by the seeming randomness of life.

 

I was born on March 31st. During the entire month of March, I celebrate my life. The simple fact of being alive. Nothing outrageous or extravagant, quite the opposite. My sole aim is to CONCSIOULY live every single hour of my day irrespective of my experience. When I eat: then I consciously eat. When I am stuck in traffic: then I am consciously stuck in traffic, and when I kiss, I consciously kiss ))

 

Every single moment I try to capture consciously as I know that it will never come back again. And this is anything but an easy endeavor. Even though I have the fullest intention of breathing in all that life has to offer me, I catch myself over and over again that hours have gone by without me consciously acknowledging me being alive.

 

Life is so fragile, so tender, so effervescent. There is no guarantee about any of it! None!

 

This active act of stepping back and quieting my mind is the most powerful way I know to show gratitude. To show appreciation. To remind myself how beautiful and wonderful and exhilarating life is – simply because I am alive!

Namaste!

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At a time where the world seems to be going completely crazy: from the beheading of innocent people by ISIS fanatics in the Middle East and the atrocities committed by Boko Haram in Africa to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, I thought it was about time to focus on and write about something positive.

As I just finished spending two weeks in Abadiania, Brazil where the world famous medium Joao de Deus does his jaw dropping healing work, I wanted to seize the opportunity to write about this incredible man.

I am not here to write about faith based healing, or what God can or cannot do. I am also not here to challenge your belief system about miracles and alternative methods of healing. No, not at all! But after spending two weeks in an environment of healing, I simply want to talk about the unbelievable impact one single man can have.

I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed at age 16 with cancer of the lymph nodes, also known as Hodgkin’s disease. My battle lasted some three years. I had surgeries, radiation-, and chemotherapies. I “won”. I was officially proclaimed cured almost 25 years ago. I was released back into the world to lead a “normal” life.

Although, after such an experience, there is no “normal” life anymore; there cannot be. Surviving cancer taught me that there is much, much more than meets the eye. The question of why I survived and some other’s did not, has not let go of me since. So, since then, I have been studying the body-mind-spirit connection and trying to find out if I could pierce the veil and look behind what is hidden to the naked eye.

And this is where the medium Joao de Deus, which means John of God in English, comes into play. Joao Teixeira de Faria was born into a simple family on June 24th, 1942 as the youngest of six children. He only was able to finish second grade, as he had to leave school and start work to help support his family. Joao has problems and shortcomings and is faced with challenges like any other human being. Joao actually never finished school, still not knowing how to read or write until this day.

At age nine he had his first mediumship experience and from then onwards he dedicated his life to curing and healing people. As a medium, benevolent spirits utilize his body – one at a time – to perform extraordinary acts of healing, which includes both physical and psychic surgeries or interventions, as they are now referred to. When Joao is acting as a host, he is referred to as Joao de Deus. He is an “unconscious” medium, because he has no memory of what he does when he is a host to an entity.

In his over sixty years as a medium he has helped millions of people to get healed from cancer and blindness to AIDS and mental diseases. Despite his incredible success rate and all the attention he gets, he has helped Oprah, Dr. Wayne Dwyer, the president of Brazil, and Paul Simon, just to name a few, he continues to humbly say that “it is God who heals and not I”.

I bow my head to a man, a man from a very humble background, who, despite his tough upbringing and a life filled with opposition, challenges, persecution and jealousy, stood firm to his beliefs. Giving people hope. Giving the seemingly “written-off” a second chance. Creating a universe where the sick and the wounded but also the lost and the confused could come to and seek refuge.

Irrespective of how he feels, he shows up at the Casa de Dom Inacio, the place of healing he created in 1976, where he sees up to 3,000 seekers of help per day.

His work has attracted an army of healers, helpers, mediums and light bearing volunteers. Everything that has been built, the whole operation actually, is based on donations! Let me repeated it, just to make sure: Joao does his work for free!!

If the world had more people like Joao, the world most certainly would be a better place. Joao gives me hope. He shows me that one single man can indeed have a positive impact and make a huge difference in the world.

My hope is that through this article more people will learn about him and that his work will get spread even more so that more people can benefit from his healing and work.

May he continue to remain healthy and in good spirit so that he can carry on his work for many, many years to come. May his light shine bright and strong and his love be passed on to millions more.

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I am currently in Abadiania, Brazil, visiting the most famous medium alive: Joao de Deus. Without going too much into details about my actual experience – I will do so in a separate blog post – I would like to focus on a random act of kindness that I have experienced here. Which proves to me once again that what goes around, comes around!

I came to Abadiania by myself and, not knowing any better, did not organize a local guide. Now I know that it is recommended to have a local guide who helps understand and interpret all the rules at the “Casa” – the place where Joao does his healing work – as well as the deeper meanings of all the healing work that goes on. It is a lot more intricate than one might think, which I wasn’t aware of before I came. (I was introduced to Joao’s work by a friend who has been to the Casa many, many times, but regrettably forgot to mention that I should organize a guide).

To cut a long story short: at my pousada (that’s how bed and breakfasts are called) I am lucky enough to meet a group of Norwegians with their guide. From the get go, we gel well and the group adopts me as one of their own. Without looking for anything back, as you know, I have a big helper’s gene in me, I start helping and assisting the Norwegian guide and her group. I am just being me, kind, friendly, chatty and giving. Lo and behold, the Norwegian guide, her name is Ann Kristin, gradually also becomes my guide. She starts treating me as one of her own, explaining me everything I would need to know to get the maximum out of my stay in Abadiania.

When you do your healing work with Joao, you could end up having a so-called  “spiritual intervention” done on you – this basically would mean having some spiritual or energy surgery done on you. After such an intervention you are supposed to stay in room for 24 hours avoiding, if possible, any contact with the outside world. You are supposed to rest and keep your eyes closed. But you are also supposed to eat. Since you are not allowed to leave your room or interact with other people, you would need someone who brings you food to your room. This would be done either by a person you travel with or by your guide. And I have neither. So Ann Kristin simply took charge and brought me food. She even asked me, before I went to my room after my surgery, what it is that I like or not like to eat! Can you imagine!? A person who barely knows me, whom I am not paying or have hired, and who is busy with her own group of clients, goes the extra several miles and also takes me under her wing! Now this is what I call selfless love. I am still so touched by her kindness that I get all teary eyed.

When I lied in bed after surgery, I of course was thinking about her acts of kindness. And I had to realize that it was very hard for me to be on the receiving end. But I also realized that most likely I would have done the same thing for her.

It feels good to give, but boy, does it feel good to receive. And it indeed does put a smile on my face to experience first hand that when you give, you ultimately will also receive.

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In the United States, each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family. The feasting consists of a gigantic turkey, potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all sorts of other junk food. Once everyone is stuffed like a turkey the TV is switched on and the nation’s favorite sport takes command: football. And because you eat and watch TV and spend the day with your loved ones, Thanksgiving is considered as THE holiday in the U.S.

But allow me to backtrack here for a moment: the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly traced to the year 1621. Thus, way before the U.S. actually had become a nation state. In that year, the colonists in Plymouth, that’s in todays Massachusetts, invited the local Indians to an autumn feast, which was prompted by the first successful harvest.

While today’s Thanksgiving celebrations have very little in common with the way it was celebrated by the pilgrims – for example, neither the pumpkin nor the potato had yet been introduced to the New England of the 1620’s – one aspect though remains at the core of this tradition: Giving Thanks.

After the meal has been put on the table the family gathers around the table and a member of the family either speaks a short prayer or simply thanks the Lord for the food that has been provided. Among my family and friends, everyone then has an opportunity to give thanks for something that is dear to their heart. Be it that they are either grateful to be at the table on that day or that they found a new job or a new love or have overcome an illness.

This year is the first year for me in many, many years that I did not have a formal Thanksgiving. No turkey, no beer, and, thank God, no football. I wasn’t even in the U.S. I was in Vienna, Austria. I actually went to Bikram yoga. That’s a hot yoga routine I have been practicing for nearly 15 years.

While I was lying on the hard floor and pulling my right leg toward my chest with both hands, I realized that right then and there was THE most perfect opportunity to give thanks.
This realization had hit me because I was lying on the floor without the usual pain and stiffness in my body while pulling my leg toward me.

Not even 2 years ago I found myself in the hospital. A nasty virus had been doing its destructive work, gradually incapacitating me. After a chills and fever attack I went to the hospital to find out what was going on. The results were rather shocking: you are terribly sick, I was told by the cardiologist and that I was lucky to be alive. The virus had attacked my heart and my lungs. I had an inflamed heart and water in my heart sac as well as pneumonia and water in my lungs. To make matters worse, nothing the specialists did, made me get better. My condition actually got much worse so that I even ended up in the I.C.U.

Obviously I survived as otherwise I wouldn’t be able to tell you this story today. But being practically tied to my hospital bed for nearly a month while being pumped full of drugs my body literally stiffened up on me. My shoulders froze, and my neck and back hardened up. Not to mention that I hardly could even walk a 100 yards.

A strenuous, lengthy and painful time of recovery began. A time that is by far not over yet, I should add. Had I stuck with conventional medicine I might still not be able to move my body in a somewhat acceptable way. Instead, I launched into holistic medicine empowering my body to heal itself. My journey of recovery has taken me to TCM practitioners, as well as from acupuncture and acupressure to chiropractic sessions, has made me endure incredibly painful myofacsial release treatments, where the tissue that surrounds your muscles is cracked open with brutal pressure and force, to reflexology and osteopathy therapies. In between and during all of my therapies I have taken everything from Tibetan herbs to homeopathic supplements.

Lying on the floor in that Bikram studio in Vienna my roller-coaster ride of healing and getting myself back to where I was before the virus had hit me was rushing through my mind. And for the first time I consciously appreciated that my efforts were bearing fruit. Not only are my pain levels going down and my stiffness is receding but I actually can start thinking about jogging the way I used to and picturing myself back at the gym and rebuilding my muscle strength again.

As you can see, there is a ton of things that I am deeply grateful for. Thanksgiving or not, every minute of every day provides a perfect opportunity to simply give thanks and to be grateful, even for the smallest of things in one’s life.

Namaste!

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First of all I would like to start this new blog entry with an apology. I let you down, as I was not there for you as much as I wanted to, to support and to motivate you. I failed in sharing my vibrant energies and my love with you through my blog entries and my videos and newsletters. I know that many of you have been wondering why I haven’t published anything in over a year. No videos, no blog entries, no newsletters. The reason for my hibernation is spelled out below, but upfront, I would like to promise you to better myself and get back on my horse again and be there for you the way you have been used to for so many years.

2013 was a very special and important year for me. Not to say a very challenging one as well. Health wise it was the most challenging since my cancer days so many years ago. In the beginning of last year life per se was seemingly going well for me again. I had finally fully recovered from my company’s collapse, which had led into my own personal bankruptcy, and was back again on solid financial ground. Emotionally I finally had processed the loss my life in the US – company, girlfriend, house, dogs, etc. – and my coaching was doing better than ever before.

And then BAM! While directing my first trip of the season in mid April, I started to feel really, really bad: fever, chills, extensive sweating, whole body aches and pains and complete and utter exhaustion all day long. I have no idea how I was able to finish the trip and fulfill my duties as a travel director. The day after the trip was over I took the metro to the hospital I always go to when I have health issues, thinking that maybe I had some cancer related problems again. Once I got checked out in the hospital they did not let me out anymore. I was diagnosed with an acutely inflamed heart muscle, water in my heart sac, pneumonia and water in my lungs. You can imagine the shock I felt when I was presented with my state of health. I was told that I had a dangerous virus infection and that there was apparently not much they could do apart from pumping me full with antibiotics and have me not move so that my body could recover. Well, to make matters much worse, nothing helped my case so that after a week in the hospital I was rushed into the ICU. For some 24-48 hours I truly thought that indeed I had reached the end of my journey on Planet Earth. But lo and behold, after a month of fighting my fight, I was released from the hospital barely able to walk a mere 100 yards in one go. After a further month in rehab and lots of self-healing work I actually recovered so beautifully that I could already work again as a travel director in mid July – a true miracle indeed!

After surviving a revolution, cancer, a bad car accident, and a total financial collapse, I may now also claim to have survived a virus attack! Hurray!

My struggles have made me a better person living my life with more passion and appreciation than ever before! I am the best guide and the best coach than I have ever been – and it simply brings me deep joy and satisfaction when I can bring joy and happiness to people around the world!

Folks, it doesn’t matter how big the challenge and how stressful the situation, you always have the power to overcome your challenges and stresses and consciously create a life filled with love, happiness, and purpose.

I am currently working on a complete overhaul of my website, my newsletter, my social media channels as well as the programs that I am offering. I will send you periodic updates about my progress.  

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of you for the love and support that I have received throughout the year and promise to be there for you with all of my heart and passion – thank you, Danke, merci, grazie, dekuje and köszönöm!

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When I read this short autobiography, I simply had to share this with you. May Nyoshul Khen's wisdom be of help to you as much as it has been to me!

Autobiography In Five Chapters

1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

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Panta Rhei – everything flows.

This famous quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus – has been one of my life's main mottoes for many, many years and one that has served me well especially during very hard and challenging times. Heraclitus, who lived around 500 BC, realized that nothing ever remained the same and everything was in a permanent state of change, while observing the seemingly constant and steady flow of a local stream in his hometown of Ephesus in Ancient Greece.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2007 my life seemed on the ever permanent up and up – my travel company was put on Entrepreneur magazine's list of the “500 Fastest Growing Companies” in the US. I had a girl I wanted to get married to and have kids with, a house and two dogs that brought me joy simply by being dogs.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2009 my life was about to be turned inside out and upside down – my travel company had become insolvent, forcing me, as the owner and guarantor of my business, to file for personal bankruptcy. The girl I thought I would be getting married to confessed that she didn't want to have any kids after all and that it wasn't really working out between us and I that I should be thinking of moving out – business gone, house gone, girl gone, dogs gone – the life as I had known – gone!

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

My cancer doctor, right before retiring, and we are still in 2009 btw – suggested to have my heart checked out, as studies had shown that heart valves in a number of cancer patients who had radiation therapy got calcified and would eventually need to be replaced. After getting my results back, I was informed that I was amongst those “lucky” ones with a calcified and malfunctioning heart valve which eventually had to be replaced. “But don't worry” my cancer doctor said, when she broke the news to me, the surgery is not that bad, there is worse in life. Little did she know. And as the icing on the cake, my dad decided that this was the perfect time for him to pass away.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

My mom lives in Vienna. Vienna, Austria that is and not Vienna, Virginia ; )

She is the ultimate mom. She is a mom machine. She was born to be a mom. She is an über-mom and everyone who meets her instantly falls in love with her and wants to have her as their mom. She is a rock in my life and always there for her sons. No matter what the issue; no matter what time of day.

When life threw this major curve ball at me I of course stayed with my mom – after all we had a father to bury. She flooded me with TLC, cooked for me, did my laundry, and even darned my socks and my underwear for me. Given the financial collapse I was facing I had reduced my spending practically to zero – and that included not buying any underwear.

I had plenty to begin with and with a caring mom like that I had nothing to worry about, right?!

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2011, when things finally started to improve for me again, she fixed one, let's say, well utilized underwear of mine.

When I put on this particular piece of clothing, I realized that in her eagerness to help and support me she literally must have “dismantled” the whole thing to then sow it all back together piece by piece – imagine the amount of love and work put into fixing a bloody underwear – only that when she put it all back together parts of it were turned inside out – so parts of the outer side are now the inner side and vice versa. For example, the little brand label that is usually on the top front side, is now facing my belly as opposed to my pants, if you know what I mean.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

Now, as we are approaching the summer of 2013, and while my heart valve still is waiting to be replaced, I still miss my dogs, am still not married – although my girlfriend is here tonight visiting me from Europe – I still have no kids, I may proudly say that not only all of my debts have been paid off, I am making more money than ever before in my life – let's say I am earning twice as much as my surgeon brother while only working half as much as he does and with only a quarter of his stress level – and this, I am telling you, is pissing him off on a major scale, to say the least; actually I am on the road to total and complete financial independence – if all works out as envisioned, we should be arriving there within the next couple of years already. What an incredible journey, and were I not the main proponent here, I would have a hard time believing this myself.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

Rest assured, all of my underwear has been renewed since. As I travel so much, I actually own so many, underwear that is, that I could go for weeks and weeks without ever having to look for a laundromat. But one single item you will still find in my closet. One that gets to travel with me wherever I go. And on the days when I randomly pick it out of my suitcase, that day, becomes a special day of appreciation for me – I think of my mom and everything she has done for me, her love and support throughout my life, no matter what the challenge. That day is the a day where I am consciously aware of the underwear that I am wearing and everything this underwear represents for me – the constant change of life.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

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Many of you know that I also guide tours through Europe. Given the great health challenges I had prior the start of the tour, I thought I would share my little story with you showing you again what we are capable of if we set our mind to it.

My last tour started on December 14th in Munich and ended on December 23rd in Munich again; ten days through Central Europe with 52 guests on a coach. But let's start at the beginning. For several weeks my stomach had been acting up and I felt low on energy with a bad cough and some fever. I didn't think much of it, but still made sure to keep a nice diet, give myself plenty of rest, get plenty of vitamins and give my body time to heal itself. Since my symptoms started in early November I never was worried that I would not be fully recovered by the time I had to guide my tour.  A few days before the tour commenced I started to feel really bad – my muscles ached more, I had light fever again and my bloated stomach acted up stronger than ever. Finally I realized that I really had to do something as I only had a few days before I had to lead a large group of people through Europe. On Monday, December 10th I had some blood work done, my lungs x-rayed, and my stomach sonogramed. As the doctors couldn't really find anything, apart from believing that I was at the tail end of an untreated flue, and my symptoms worsened, I was urged to have a gastroscopy done. The only day available was Wednesday, December 12th, a day before I had to board my train from Vienna to Munich.

So on Tuesday, December 11th, I packed my suitcase and prepared for the tour as best as I could since I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the procedure the next day.

Since my cancer days I have always been a little nervous when I have to go to the hospital. In light of this, I meditated before going to bed, picturing that my day at the hospital would run smoothly and pain-free and that I would know what it is that had made me feel sick for such a long time.

As I was given a heavy sedative I didn't feel a thing and when I woke up, I was told that I had a gastric attack and had to take heavy antibiotics for a week and all should be well again. With a big smile on my face I left the hospital as I was finally on the right track of full recovery of my, by then six week long ordeal. But it seems that things have to get worse before they can get better again, so in the afternoon after my examination, I started to get the chills and my temperature rose to a dramatic 103 within a few hours. Sweating, aching and moaning I was shaking my head really, really wondering, whether I could even board the train the next day, let alone execute a tour. Having had no food all day, and pumped with drugs, I finally fell asleep at midnight.

On Thursday, December 13th, I woke up totally exhausted and drained of my energies as I had sweat out whatever toxins were in my body during the night. Somehow I now had to get to Munich as I was determined to not let my being sick keep me from doing what I had promised to do when I accepted to direct the tour several months prior.

Tired, slightly feverish and achy, I dragged myself to Munich, traveling for six hours and changing trains twice while shlepping a heavy suitcase and two bags; filled with all the things I needed to conduct a successful trip. Finally, at 11:00 p.m., after a full day of traveling and then preparing for the trip at my hotel in Munich, I switched off my lights believing I was about to embrace a peaceful and restful night. Far from it! At 2:00 a.m., after having tried every single technique I know of trying to fall asleep, I gave up, switched on the lights and started to watch TV in the hope that my mind finally would give in allowing me a few hours of rest before I had to get up at 6:00 a.m. Well, for reasons unknown to me, my mind simply did not want to rest at all, forcing me to start a tour without any sleep for 24 hours, still achy and slightly feverish. Before leaving my room for the airport I sat down and told my body that if it helped me to carry through this day, I will give it all the rest it deserved and pamper it as much as I possibly can. All day long I welcomed guests at the airport and transferred them to the hotel, smiling and being as cheerful and as engaging as I possibly could be. My day was busier than usual, with more check in problems and flight delays than on any other tour this year, but my body, soul and mind carried me through the day allowing me to conduct a city tour, give a welcome reception and take care of all of my guests smaller and bigger problems always with a smile on my face, never giving away that I was far from being OK.

At night, when finally back in my room, I thanked my body and my spirit for having been there for me when I needed them. I promised that I would take care of myself by giving myself plenty of rest and plenty of downtime as soon as this tour comes to an end. I continued to talk to my body, and to thank it every day while making plans for a very relaxed Christmas and New Year's period. I cancelled all of my engagements for the holiday period and created an environment where I really could rest and my body could get all the healing support I had promised it.

Needless to say that at the end the tour ended up to be a fantastic program with people being more than 100% happy and satisfied. Here I am now, writing these words to you, just as I had promised myself eight days of total and complete relaxation ready to embrace the New Year with new found energies. My body healed, my mind at peace and my spirit ready to dive into 2013.

This episode has proven to me again that our bodies and minds are capable of so much more than what we at first sight believe are capable of. If we really set our mind to get something done and believe in ourselves then the rest will fall into place.

Am wishing you all a most wonderful, happy and fulfilling 2013!

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“The monk who sold his Ferrari” is one of the best spiritual tales I have read to this date. I thought I would give you a recap hoping it would entice you read this book as well:*

This fable provides an approach to living a simple life with greater balance, strength, courage and abundance of joy. It makes the message being conveyed linger in our minds. Although most of the principles dealt with can be found in countless other books on self-help and spirituality, there is a difference in the way how Robin S Sharma has put things together.

This story is the tale of Julian Mantle, a lawyer, brought face to face with a spiritual crisis. Julian’s spark of life begins to flicker. He embarks on a life-changing odyssey and discovers the ancient culture of India. During this journey he learns the value time as the most important commodity and how to cherish relationships, develop joyful thoughts and live fully, one day at a time.

The eleven chapters are meticulously planned and flow seamlessly from one to the next. Julian Mantle, a very successful lawyer was the epitome of success. He had achieved everything most of us could ever want: professional success with an seven figure income, a grand mansion in a neighborhood inhabited by celebrities, a private jet, a summer home on a tropical island and his prized possession a shiny red Ferrari parked in the center of his driveway. Suddenly he has to come terms with the unexpected effects of his unbalanced lifestyle.

John, who is a friend as well as co-worker of Julian, narrates the story. He begins by describing Julian’s flamboyant lifestyle, his exaggerated courtroom theatrics, which regularly made the front pages of newspapers and his late night visits to the city’s finest restaurants with sexy young models.
Julian Mantle, the great lawyer collapses in the courtroom, sweating and shivering. His obsession with work has caused this heart attack. The last few years Julian had worked day and night without caring about his mental and physical health. That helped him become a very rich and successful lawyer but took a toll on his health and mental state. At fifty-three he looked seventy and had lost his sense of humor. Julian refused to meet any of his friends and colleagues at the hospital. One fine day he quit his law firm and took off without saying where he was headed.

Three years passed without any news from Julian. One day he paid a visit to his friend and former colleague John, who was now a cynical older lawyer. But Julian, in the past three years, had been miraculously transformed into a healthy man with physical vitality and spiritual strength.

Following his heart attack Julian Mantle had sold all his property (Yes, his Ferrari too) and left for India. The author tells us about Julian’s Indian odyssey, how he met the sages of Sivana who had a life changing effect on him. Julian Mantle shares his story of transformation, his secrets of a happy and fulfilling life with his friend John. Julian describes Sivana- a small place located in the Himalayas, the land of rose covered huts, placid blue waters with white lotuses floating, youth and vitality, beautiful glowing faces, fresh and exotic fruits. He tells John about the sages of Sivana who knew all secrets of how to live life happily and how to fulfill one’s dreams and reach one’s destiny.

Julian relates his experiences with yogi Raman the leader of the sages of Sivana and the person who taught Julian his secrets of a happy and fulfilling life. He narrates to John the fable that contained the seven virtues for a life abundant with inner peace, joy and a wealth of spiritual gifts. He tells John the techniques that he learned from yogi Raman on how to master our minds with simple techniques like “the heart of rose technique” and “the secret of lake technique”. He tells John how to cultivate the mind and how to use setbacks for expanding knowledge of the self.

He talks about setting and following our own purpose and teaches John the ancient art of self-leadership with techniques such as “do the things you fear” and “the 5 step method for attaining goals”. He waxes eloquent about the value of self-discipline and respect for time. He describes techniques such as “the ancient rule of 20” and “the vow of silence”. He teaches how to focus on the priorities and thereby maintain a balance and simplify life. He gives examples that prove that willpower is the essential virtue of a fully actualized life.

Julian teaches John the virtue of selflessness in serving others. He asks John to embrace the present and live in the present – “Now”, never to sacrifice happiness for achievements and to savor the journey of life and live each day as his last one. At the end he asks John to spread these secrets for the benefit of other people. Embracing John like the brother he never had, Julian leaves.

May this story bring you as much inspiration and joy as it has brought me.

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*Taken from: http://www.chillibreeze.com/bookreviews/ThemonkwhosoldhisFerrari.asp

I recently had the incredible pleasure of attending some of Jan Hargrave's seminars on body language. She also delved into the jury selection process in court hearings which gave us an incredible insight into how much thought, work and energy is put into simply selecting the right jurors for a specific case. She then moved on to talk about how much you can read from a witnesses body language as opposed to the spoken word and how much a witness really remembers or simply believes to remember, and this is the topic that I would like to write about today: is reality seen through our eyes or created in our brain whether we have actually seen/heard something or not?

Part of the problem is that the brain does not have a knack for retaining many specifics and is highly susceptible to suggestion. Our memory is weak and usually overloaded with information. An event usually happens so fast that when we are asked to recount specifics of the event we can hardly remember any details as we never focused on the even in such detail. Hundreds of studies have already shown that memories are malleable and, contrary to popular belief, don't work like a video recorder but rather like a grainy slide show.

And here are some examples: in a 1974 study at the University of California, Irvine, participants were asked to view films of minor car accidents in which no glass was broken. When the subjects were asked how fast the cars were driving when they 'smashed' into each other – as opposed to 'hit' – they were more likely to describe shattered glass they never saw. In 1999 researchers at Harvard University showed a video of people dressed in either black or white passing a basketball. The participants were asked to count the number of passes made by players in white. During the test, a woman dressed in a gorilla suit strolled through the players. She remained unnoticed by about half of the subjects. And finally, just to make my point, distraction is not limited to the eyes: at the University of London a 69-second long audio recording of two men and two women preparing for a party was played to a group of participants. Almost all the subjects instructed to listen to the women did not hear a third man repeating 'I am a gorilla' for 19 seconds during the conversation.

These are very powerful findings: if you tell your mind to focus on something – anything – it will filter out everything else, just like a computer.

You can utilize this feature to create the most fulfilling, healthy and happy life for yourself – simply program your mind to see what you ultimately would want to see. Visualize it, bit by bit. Scientists have already proven to us that our brain cannot distinguish whether we saw an object or a situation with our own eyes or whether we 'only' imagined that object or scene by thinking about them. Why not take advantage of this most powerful feature of our brain/mind/computer and program it so that can experience life the way we would want to?

Now most of you might sigh and ask – but how am I supposed to do that?! This is much, much easier than you might think: simply visualize, in every possible tiny detail, the outcome or result you would want to see happen. And allow the rest to simply unfold for you.

Have fun programming your mind into creating the best life ever for you!

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