Back in July I posted about new research that found most stress we feel is not bad for us.
Yeah! Not at all!
The problem? This only works as long as we truly believe it.
It's the worrying about being stressed that actually narrows our arteries and causes our illnesses.
This is so amazing, I thought I'd mention it again and pass on this TED talk about it.
Before my training in self mastery, I found it impossible to change my stress response. And it was doubly hard to convince myself my stress wasn't bad for me. Because it FELT so bad back then.
It doesn't help either when someone tries to remind us the stress we're feeling is nothing to worry about. Calm down? Really?
Nope. Doesn't help at all.
But I know it IS possible to change. And now I choose to love the way my body prepares me to act when I think anxious thoughts.
It can be quite a revelation to watch myself when those wild stress hormones turn up.
We really shouldn't be so hard on them. They're only doing their job......
I'm sitting by the computer and, even with the windows closed, I can hear the nightingales singing outside. I so look forward to this time of year - first it's the frogs and not long after we get the crickets and then the nightingales, as well as all the other birds, warbling their little hearts out.
But it's that nightingale song gets me deeper than the rest. Right down, into my heart. There's just something about it.
I have friends who hate the sound because it keeps them awake at night, but I'm mesmerized by it's tone and variability. I love the whistley parts best. It actually sends me to sleep at night. Doesn't disturb me at all. To me it's a hopeful and positive song, not grating or annoying in any way. In fact, I open the window wider at night to hear it even more clearly. It says to me "don't worry, everything's fine, sleep well".
If you'd like a reminder of the wonderful song of this special bird, then click on the video on this RSPB page. That's exactly what I can hear right now. And it's LOUD!
There's one thing that does slightly concern me. How does this little bird keep singing 24/7, for what must be well over a week now, without getting a sore throat?
They're real stayers, these nightingales and I, for one, love them all.
Have you read this most wonderful Derek Walcott poem "Love after Love" on those mindful moments when you stop that mind chatter, engage directly with your senses and rediscover yourself for a while?
My most favourite poem! Ever!
It's like a warm hug.
And it feels even more powerful when I read it aloud.
Wonderful, wonderful words........
I've got another nomination for President of the World. And the nomination is (drum roll please):
He's a guy who made a monumental mistake, admitted it and now is spending the rest of his life trying to make up for it.
And if his discovery about reversing desertification is a fraction as great as he suggests and if it's not too late already, he may just have saved our climate and ourselves from ourselves.
Have a look at his bravely honest and refreshingly insightful TED talk and see what you think.
I found it hugely inspiring and uplifting to see this guy turn what was a terrible mistake into hope for all.
That there is always hope, even when the day seems impossibly dark...
He likes to sleep on his back and, if it's too light for him, he hides his eyes behind his paws.
Big bear's paws.
He is the biggest cat I've ever seen and he turned up at our house one day and decided to stay. He'd sleep under our van and used to eat Spot's leftovers.
At first, we used to shoo him away, because our cat, Spot, has a very nervous nature.
But we noticed that Spot quite liked Tommy. They would sit together outside.
Never seen her act like that before.
We'd joke that he was like Kevin Costner to her Whitney Houston in "The Bodyguard". He became her rock and she felt safe outside when he was around.
She even started chasing after intruding cats herself - finally got herself some brazen courage!
We put an advert on the internet in case someone was missing Tommy. We even had a lady come round to see if he was her lost cat "Vega", but Tommy legged it down the road and hid until she left.
We were worried that we'd never see him again, but he came right back as soon as her car turned the corner.
He wasn't going anywhere.
So Tommy joined our family and now another 3 stray cats have adopted us at our new home in the countryside - it's a crazy cat-filled life!
Spot & Tommy - sleeping like two book-ends!
Having a companion animal can also ensure we live longer and reduce stress - see this article about the health and even social life benefits!
And if we can adopt a homeless animal, then we're doing something really amazing.
Here's a short, but unforgettably wonderful clip about the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of a stray, blind dog they named "Fiona".
Brings a happy, hopeful tear every time I watch it.
Us humans can be amazing animals too, can't we?
Janet Echelman designs and makes the most amazingly beautiful fluid sculptures and then puts them in the sky where everyone can enjoy them.
See some of her work and her talk about how she creates them here. It's quite a story from someone who was rejected by art school.
So she went ahead and made her art anyway.
This made me gasp with astonishment, so I thought I'd share it.
We all hear a lot bandied about regarding the amount of money owed by one country to another and the size of the national debt and suchlike.
An example is this amazing diagram of how billions of dollars were spent, owed, earned etc. in 2009. It certainly puts the credit crunch cost in perspective.
But I could never really get to grips with what a millon or a billion, let alone a trillion, dollars really look like.
For example, I assumed that I'd need a pretty big bin liner to hold a million, but I was wrong. Apparently a small grocery bag would do it. No problem at all.
So knowing that, what do you reckon a billion looks like? And what about a trillion?
Help is at hand. It's been worked out and put it on the internet for us.
The difference between a billion and a trillion. Wow! You have to see this.....
Mind blowing ....
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