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Stress and work-life balance BY DR. SURITA RAO

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Stress and work-life balance BY DR. SURITA RAO

stressed, dr surita rao, voiceamerica

 

Stress, especially everyday stress seems to be a background theme of our times, a constant thread that run through our lives. We have both become somewhat desensitized to it and fearfully accepting of it’s presence in our lives. Time crunches are a constant source of low grade anxiety everyday stress, work and school deadlines, attending all the work and home meetings and events on time. In addition, our modern day world is a place with a lot of ongoing stress: angry drivers on the road, juggling home and work responsibilities, multiple competing priorities at work.

 

Let us consider atypical day for many people. We may start checking e-mail on our way in to work, even before we get in while waiting for our coffee in the coffee shop. At work as we check e-mail or work on project or document emails and phone calls comes regarding something unrelated from a co-worker. This continues al day as we constantly try and multitask. Research now shows that the human brain is not wired for multitasking and even those of us who are good at it actually perform much better when we do one task at a time. An example is not answering the phone while also replying to e-mails or working on a document.

 

Consider replacing multi-tasking with “chunking”. In “chunking” you do one task  at  time and set aside  a block of time ,  minimize interruptions as much as possible , then move on to the next task. The barriers to this are not always interruptions. Sometimes it is us trying to switch back and forth from one task to another, getting distracted as we remember yet another thing that needs to be done and switch attention to it, so as not to forget.  However this can actually impede creativity and flow of thought, add a low grade level of stress in the brain, almost like listening to several different radio stations at once.

 

Technology in our lives today is definitely a double edged sword. It has so many benefits for many of us. We can now leave the office at a reasonable hour on many days and catch up on things later in the evening by remote access. This is valuable to many people, not just parents. On the other hand, we never switch off, since we have constant access and are reading and replying to work e-mails even on weekends and vacations. The work and home lives have merged for many people, each flowing into the other. It gives us a lot of freedom and eases some of those time driven pressures but now the boundaries have become fuzzy and we have to make a conscious effort to have true downtime.

 

Constant low grade levels of stress in our everyday lives are bad for our health human beings. Stress can lead to a variety of conditions: abdominal obesity, lowered immune response, high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety disorders, ulcers and depression and anxiety. There are illnesses and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or baronial asthma that can be very sensitive to stress and people can have a flare ups of symptoms in response to life stress. 

 

Several hormones play a part in the effects of stress. These include cortisone, the “stress” hormone of the body. Chronically Higher circulating levels can lead to lowered immune response, abdominal obesity. Epinephrine/nor epinephrine [also known as adrenalin and nor-adrenaline]: these are the “flight or fight hormones of the body. In our prehistoric ancestors they flooded the body and brain when faced with a threat such as a tiger. The heart, rate, blood pressure and pulse go up. We are flooded with energy and an ability to run very fast. Today we are flooded with these with these hormones over and over with no real threat to life or limb. As a result women may develop hypertension, heart disease, anxiety disorders.

 

In general:  Women process stress differently from men. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone; it is associated with lactation and breastfeeding. In women Oxytocin is released in response to stress at times to calm the body down. This can result in us trying to “ make things better” by taking care of people around us at  the expense of our own emotional and physical needs. Women tend to be verbal and want to process stress by talking about it with friends, family and co-workers. This is different from men who may want more alone time or sometimes may express stress with increased irritability. Both groups can incorporate some skills from each other. Sometimes talking things over can help but we have to be mindful that rehashing things too much may keep us in the emotions of the negative experience. Sometimes it is better

 

Some of the steps we can take to counter stress are universal and some are specific to each of us as unique human beings. Quite time and down time, for instance is different for each person. Some people may want time to themselves to read, listen to music or sit in silence. Others may want to sit in a crowded bookstore with the um of activity around them, reading or having a drink.

 

It is important to not schedule every moment of each day and to try and not be constantly over scheduled at work. Some of this is not in our control but we can try and change the parts that we do have control over. Connecting with nature is a way to calm the brain down. Exercise, even simply waking can be an excellent stress reliever. Spending time with family, friends, your children or a pet can be very relapsing for many people. Simple, unstructured time such as daydreaming or going to the bookstore to just browse or read and have a drink and a snack can do  a lot to lower stress. It is important to be kind to other people and also take time to savor the small happy moments in life that balance out the sadder more anxious moments. Spirituality can be a support in life for those who take comfort in it and have beliefs that are helpful to them.

 

What we eat is important too. Stress can increase our appetites and also make us reach for sugar or refined carbohydrates, foods that cause immediate mood altering but may leave us crashing later on. It is helpful at times of stress and in general to reduce processed food and sugar in our diets. One way to do this is to add in things like vegetables, fruits and lean protein before trying to take things away.

 

Just being mindful of the stress in our lives can help as we try and build little ways to reduce everyday stress whenver possible for ourselves and those around us. 

 

 

Surita Rao, M.D. is the physician leader of the Behavioral Health Services at Saint Francis Care. She completed medical school at Bankura Sammilani Medical College in India and did her psychiatry residency training at St.Vincent’s Hospital in Staten Island, New York and the Yale University School of Medicine. She did her addiction psychiatry fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine. She has been on the faculty at both Yale and Emory Universities. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Her clinical work has focused on addiction psychiatry, including both substance use disorders and dual diagnosis issues. She has worked with impaired physicians and other health care professionals.

 Upon completing her fellowship training, she worked as the Medical Director of the methadone maintenance clinics at Yale University School of Medicine. She has been the Chair of Behavioral Health at Saint Francis since 2002 and is the President of the Saint Francis Behavioral Health Group.

Dr. Rao is on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Addiction Medicine and is co-chair of their national membership committee. She is also on the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Chapter.

 Dr. Rao is chair of the physicians’ health committee at Saint Francis. She also serves on the Board of the Saint Francis Foundation and has been appointed as a Corporator for Saint Francis Care.

 

Nothing in Your Life is Random… Nothing! BY SIMRAN SINGH

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7th Wave
Nothing in Your Life is Random… Nothing! BY SIMRAN SINGH

book simran singh

 

As of 7 years ago, my life no longer operated from the same paradigm as most others. What does that mean? Well, I began leaping into the things I desired to do and somehow despite the odds, they began growing, touching people in many places. However, from the traditional – practical – business point of view… I was a failure. I wasn’t making any money… did not even have a revenue stream. Bankers would look at me and say, ‘What are you doing?’ This venture is in the ‘red’. 

All I knew is that I was compelled… I had been given a mission in a way most others would not understand. It would look like I had gone out on a limb. What they did not know is I was supported. Somehow everything that mattered showed up, it may not have been in the measurements that most grade by… but I had all I needed… and I was doing it by following the signs and symbols… the messages… the Conversations With the Universe.

It makes no logical sense that a woman with no prior magazine experience would be able to create a top notch, award winning publication, featuring the leading people in the worlds of inspiration and motivation. It make no practical sense that this ended up in stores across the country, that a radio network would turn it into a show, it would be given the Nautilus award or that the radio show would achieve 850,000 listeners as of two months ago. But…I was just following the Conversations With The Universe. 

Nor does it make sense that I would publish a book and on the day it released hit #1 in a category on Amazon and 5 and 7 in two others. I tell you this because there is something going on here… and it goes beyond trying to figure out God or a bridge between science and spirituality… it is about being the experience… ‘experience’ experiencing itself… being ONE with the mighty presence… ( God – Universe – Source ) and its rhythm which is anything but random. It is reflective of engaging deeply in Conversations With the Universe. 

I urge you to get my book. You will never look at life the same way… you will never see yourself the same way… you will finally truly understand your life purpose. Don’t believe me… read the book. In Love, Of Love, With Love… I am Simran Singh, Host of 11:11 Talk Radio 7th Wave Network – Voice America 

Special Note, when you begin reading, access the free support tools at http://www.ConversationsWithTheUniverse.com/ including 2 meditations, a video series, and audio introduction, a free lifetime subscription to 11:11 Magazine and 30 days of my Wake-Up Call program. Enjoy! Also every copy purchased anywhere is a chance to win a 10-Day/9-Night experience in Machu Picchu with me engaging in Conversations With The Universe! All details on website. 

 

READER REVIEWS

Already, I’m suggesting to my students and friends that they ‘run, don’t walk’, to get Simran Singh’s new book, Conversations with The Universe: How the World Speaks to Us. Simran teaches how to recognize messages of the soul, of the Higher Self in a most personal way. She makes the relational conversation of the universe very tangible. She emphasizes how the language of interpreting signs that are unique to YOU is indigenous and completely natural. I say this ‘language’ could/should be taught in primary school. Finally someone has written a book that teaches how to get in touch with the guidepost of their very soul. BRAVO Simran! This is a book and a message that has finally arrived. I’m keeping a copy for myself and an extra one on hand to give to a friend….when I get a sign to do so! -Jamee C.

When you finish the book, you will never see the world around you the same way again, you will not see anymore you will stare, you will not hear any more you will listen….the signs. If you are hurt you will heal, if you are troubled you will find peace, you will never be the same again you will be YOU. This is where Simran Singh’s book is taking you….TO YOU. – Florence

Video Link http://youtu.be/gLtkEUdc4D8

 

Simran Singh—a creative visionary, transformational catalyst, and humorist in the realms of metaphysics, spirituality, and motivation—is the award winning publisher of11:11 Magazine. She hosts the #1-rated, syndicated 11:11 Talk Radio on VoiceAmerica 7th Wave.  As author of Conversations with the Universe, Simran walks her talk by letting all go in order to live boldly during the experience of a “one-year, one woman live-streamed RV-tour around the country.” The Rebel Road  is her vision of freeing people from their self-imposed limitations to live life fearlessly, boldly, and in the full, passionate adventure of the heart’s desire to awaken the infinite possibility and creative flow that is our natural inheritance. www.ConversationsWithTheUniverse.com  www.Simran-Singh.com

 

A fiscal cliffhanger? Of course, it’s in our nature. BY REBECCA D. COSTA

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A fiscal cliffhanger? Of course, it’s in our nature. BY REBECCA D. COSTA

fiscal cliff cartoon, rebecca costa,

 

Rebecca Costa is the author of â€œThe Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse,” which describes the earliest symptoms that have led to the demise of societies, institutions and organizations.

Let’s face it, we love a good cliffhanger. Our hearts pound, our bodies flood with chemicals, and within seconds we’re ready to flee or fight. It doesn’t matter if it’s a snake in our path or a dangerous â€œfiscal cliff” â€” we’re hard-wired to take action when a threat is near.

But what about threats farther down the road? Say, nuclear proliferation? Climate change? Pandemic viruses, overpopulation and an unstoppable demand for energy? Is there some reason we continue driving toward these cliffs, even though we know what’s coming?

It turns out, the answer was staring me in the face as I sat down with my 20-something son for a birds-and-bees chat about his financial future. With no assets to speak of, he’s strapped with a student loan that may dog him until he retires. He has years of payments remaining on his car, and if financial institutions keep bombarding him with “free” credit cards at 29 percent annual interest rates — well, you can see where all of this is heading and why a parent might worry.

Yet, when I tallied up all the risks of living on borrowed money, my son didn’t seem bothered. Maybe I didn’t make the consequences clear enough. Maybe the “cliff” needs to be taller, more frightening, more something.So I tried again, conjuring up former Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill’s warning a decade ago that if the George W. Bush administration stuck to its plan to extend its tax cuts, the nation’s annual deficit would climb to $500 billion ($1 trillion wasn’t on the radar then), and every American would face the equivalent of a 66 percent income tax increase to close the budget gap.What did O’Neill’s report get him? An invitation from Bush and Vice President Cheney to step down.

I’m a sociobiologist, so whenever I see irrational behavior, I reflexively look to our prehistoric history for an explanation. And when it comes to the fiscal cliff and other cliffs like it, I don’t have to look far.

We are, by virtue of nature’s roll of the dice, an organism at war with itself. The vestiges of ancient genetic imperatives — territoriality, dominance, hoarding, fight and flight — clash with our ability to look ahead and take action to avert calamity. What? You thought our problems were political? Rooted in economics? Caused by inept leadership?

Welcome to the club.

Somewhere along the line, talking heads, politicians and experts decided that every problem we face is caused by politics and economics. So the only solutions we hear about are along these lines. In other words, a kind of narrowing has taken place: We blame our government, we blame the economy, we blame foreign competition, we blame Wall Street and big business.

But consider this: Every country in the world is struggling with a similar list of problems — job creation, wild fluctuations in financial markets, climate change, clean water, terrorism and so on. And yet, they each have their own political and economic systems, as well as vastly different cultures. At some point, a light bulb ought to go off. The reason the cliffs keep looming, one after the other, isn’t just politics or economics. What we have is a species-wide problem.

So, for the sake of science, let’s put what we know on the table.Long before we developed a frontal cortex — the CEO of our brain, which enables us to generate accurate scenarios, prioritize them in order of likelihood and circumvent dangerous long-term outcomes — we, like other creatures, survived by relying on embedded instincts, such as fight or flight.
As best we can tell, our frontal cortex began expanding 3 to 4 million years ago, around the time we became bipedal. It grew so fast that it now occupies about a third of our gray matter, equipping us with foresight and ingenuity that no other species on Earth comes close to. And it is this remarkable asset — the ability to preempt danger — that has been largely responsible for catapulting humans to the top of the living world.Yet, time and time again, we surrender to the lowest instruments of our genetic inheritance. Instead of applying rational thinking, which has been millions of years in the making, we surrender to bickering, blaming and boasting as we sail toward the edge of this, or some other, cliff. In the words of famed sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson, “We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and God-like technology.” He concluded his 2009 Harvard lecture by remarking: “And it is terrifically dangerous.”Wilson is right.

Based on this simple biological truth, we can predict with some certainty that our leaders will follow the example of the Mayan, Roman and Khmer civilizations, and more recently, Greece and Spain: They will run the clock out. When the cliff is upon us, and our hearts pound and our bodies fill with ancient chemicals, we will spring into action with the same urgency we have when encountering a snake in our path.

It’s a story as old as humankind itself.

As the nation braces for yet another heroic ninth-inning save, perhaps it’s time to examine our precarious predicament from 30,000 feet. Perhaps if we stopped making heroes out of those who reach out and snatch us from the jaws of disaster, we wouldn’t need quite so many last-minute rescues. Perhaps one day our leaders will set aside their primitive instincts in favor of leveraging our greatest evolutionary advantage. Perhaps they will choose preemption over panic. Perhaps.

 

Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist who offers a genetic explanation for current events, emerging trends and individual behavior. A thought-leader and provocative new voice in the mold of Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell and Jared Diamond, Costa is the foremost expert in “Fast Adaptation” tracing everything from terrorism, debt, epidemic obesity and upheaval in the Middle East to evolutionary imperatives.

Retiring at the zenith of her career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. In her book, Costa explains how the principles governing evolution cause and provide a solution for global gridlock. When asked why the book has special significance today, Costa claims, “Every person I know, wants to know why our government gets more in debt, our air and water more polluted, our jails more crowded, our security more tenuous and our children more violent. We seem to have lost our ability to solve our problems. The Watchman’s Rattle offers a genetic explanation for our paralysis, and prescribes a way out.”

The success of Rebecca Costa’s first book led to a weekly radio program in 2010 called The Costa Report onVoiceAmerica.com. The Costa Report is currently one of the fastest growing radio programs on the West Coast.

rebecca costa

Santosa By Mary Meduna Ph.D.

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Variety
Santosa By Mary Meduna Ph.D.

santosa, mary meduna, VoiceAmerica

 

Do you have days (or weeks, or months, etc.) where you look around and you realize that what you see and experience is not what you want to see and experience?

I know that as an administrator I was typically engaged in conversations like this with myself and others around this time of year. Did I/we make progress toward the goals I/we set out in August? Did I move forward on the unexpected projects that came up since then? What does this all mean for us as we plan for next year? Will we ever really find a way to achieve these goals?

There was a time when I thought that if I wasn’t unhappy or dissatisfied with the present situation that it meant that I had given up or sold out. If I was happy about any progress we made, it meant that I was settling if that progress was anything short of the finish line.

This is a terribly miserable place to be and I experienced the consequences of this prolonged catabolic energy. I developed painful swelling in my joints and I gained weight. I know that I couldn’t have been much fun to be around because there were days where I wish I could’ve gotten away from myself! I was tired all the time and I didn’t have the energy or the imagination to go out and have fun. I was staying committed to my goals and I was miserable in the process.

So what happens when you get tired of being sick and tired? How is it possible to be happy in the present moment even when the present moment isn’t exactly what you want it to be?

I found myself in this icky, frustrated and irritated space again this week. Projects I am working on have not been moving forward as I want them to. It’s hard for me to stay motivated and moving toward completing these projects when it feels like I just keep running into roadblocks. The difference between me now and me then is that now I am able to be at least slightly more objective about it and observe what I am perceiving as I experience it. However, this ability to remove myself from situations and observe reactions doesn’t make me feel any better.

Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder to get ourselves back on track. That reminder came to me this morning in my yoga class. The suggested theme for the class was santosa—“ To be at peace within comes from fostering contentment with one’s life, even while experiencing its challenges”. During class, our instructor reminded us to be at peace with where we were in our practice and in our poses. On the way home, I wondered how I could be at peace with my projects.

As I considered what I wanted and the status of the projects, I found myself trying to look at the situations from a different point of view. Then it hit me—I have an interesting point of view—about all of these things, and it’s just that—an interesting point of view.

The most common theme of my points of view was that these projects needed to be done in a timely manner (aka, NOW). But what if I applied this principle of santosa? What if I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be with each and every one of these projects? What if what I am judging as delay is really an opportunity for me to pause and take a balcony view of what I am engaged in? What if this is an opportunity to pause and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather we enjoyed this week?

So what was the impact of these new points of view? Well, I did enjoy the sunshine in the backyard and I allowed myself to take a few bird walks on the internet to explore. As a result of this exploration, I did find a possible solution to one of my challenges. But perhaps the biggest benefit was that I didn’t feel so irritable and icky. I didn’t feel like the gods were conspiring against me and I didn’t feel alone. In fact, because I was in better spirit, I was able to engage with others with more joy and optimism.

So, I did find peace among the challenges and I didn’t feel like I had settled or given up on any of my projects. I hope that I will remember the principle of santosa the next time I start to think that nothing is going my way and if I don’t maybe my family and friends can remind me.

 

Dr. Meduna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education from Wayne State College, Master of Science in Community Mental Health Counseling from the University of Tennessee, and an Ed.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University.  In addition, Dr. Meduna is also certified in Reality Therapy through the William Glasser Institute, and earned her coaching certification through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.  

Dr. Meduna also currently co-hosts a talk radio show with Margaret Ruff called, Educational Leadership.  What else is possible on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel.

BIG HANDS By Rebecca D. Costa

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BIG HANDS By Rebecca D. Costa

big hands, Rebecca Costa, VoiceAmerica

 

We’ve all heard the joke about men with big feet.  And science has proven that large breasts combined with a narrow waist means greater fertility among women. 

But what about a big nose? 

A big head? 

More specifically, big hands?

Not long ago, when my daughter was in seventh grade, she grew to be six feet tall. She towered over her classmates and overnight, coaches at her school began encouraging her to try out for basketball.  Other parents suggested that I look into modeling and her dad trotted out an article that showed that most CEO’s are over six feet tall.  For a while it seemed that every activity and profession associated with tall people was up for discussion.  Though I had no idea why my daughter suddenly sprouted up, I was pretty sure it had nothing to do with bettering her opportunities in a pageant, play-off or board room.

One day I told her that I had a similar experience when I was a young.  My hands started to grow ahead of the rest of me.  No one knows why.   And, at the time, no one was sure if the rest of me would catch up.

Then someone told my mother that large hands were extremely useful for playing the piano.  So my mother – up in arms over what to do with her daughter’s freakishly big hands – signed me up for piano lessons at the local music school.  I had no particular affinity for music, but I dutifully followed my piano teacher’s instruction for many years – always reminded that I was born with an “advantage” and I was obligated to capitalize on that advantage.  It didn’t matter whether I liked music or the piano – the point was to use the gifts I was born with.  Which in this case meant relentlessly playing scales, faster and faster and faster.

I do not play the piano today.  And my daughter does not play basketball, nor has she ever walked in a beauty pageant.  What’s more, there is no evidence to suggest big breasted women are dropping babies faster than those who, through the miracle of plastic surgery, now offer the appearance that they are just as fertile.

Still – there are days when I look down at my big hands and I wonder if they are going to waste.  I bring my groceries in from the car.  I type on my computer keyboard.  I plant flowers in my backyard and chop and dice and stir in the kitchen.  I brush the dog and roll the garbage cans to the curb – ever aware that my hands are large because this offered my prehistoric ancestors – from whom I descended – some evolutionary advantage.  But what advantage?  Were they able to carry more food?  Clutch a spear with greater force?  Dig faster?  Use their palms as efficient bowls?  My mind goes wild imagining the reason for my big hands.  Reasons I will never know.

Evolution is fickle.  If large hands offer no utility today, this trait will eventually atrophy over time.  It will take many generations, but if other than playing the piano, big hands offer no advantage there will be fewer and fewer women with big hands.

On the other hand (no pun intended), it’s fun to think that I may be the first of more women with big mitts to come.  Perhaps they have some purpose, some benefit, I am not aware of.   And perhaps my daughter marks the beginning of taller seventh graders.  And my son, more boys with big feet.

Did I mention he has big feet?

Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist who offers a genetic explanation for current events, emerging trends and individual behavior. A thought-leader and provocative new voice in the mold of Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell and Jared Diamond, Costa is the foremost expert in “Fast Adaptation” tracing everything from terrorism, debt, epidemic obesity and upheaval in the Middle East to evolutionary imperatives.

Retiring at the zenith of her career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. In her book, Costa explains how the principles governing evolution cause and provide a solution for global gridlock. When asked why the book has special significance today, Costa claims, “Every person I know, wants to know why our government gets more in debt, our air and water more polluted, our jails more crowded, our security more tenuous and our children more violent. We seem to have lost our ability to solve our problems. The Watchman’s Rattle offers a genetic explanation for our paralysis, and prescribes a way out.”

The success of Rebecca Costa’s first book led to a weekly radio program in 2010 called The Costa Report on VoiceAmerica.com. The Costa Report is currently one of the fastest growing radio programs on the West Coast.

 rebecca costa

 

Daily Diary 5/21/13 BY Simran Singh

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Daily Diary 5/21/13 BY Simran Singh

 

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The risk of not living this dream is greater than the risk in the unknown of this dream. The beauty and intention of this experience is breaking apart all structures, beliefs and ideas that keep us from expansion and expression. The greatest risk is in staying who we are. Let us now to walk into the wide open nebulous unknown to experience the timelessness, boundlessness and ecstasy of the soul meeting its call answered. 

WHY WOULD YOU PLEDGE MONEY FOR MY VISION? 

LOOK AT MY WORK FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS… 

ITS COMMITMENT, ITS BEAUTY, ITS INTENTION, ITS MISSION, ITS LOVE, ITS CLARITY… 

I CAN ONLY TELL YOU I PROMISE TO DO NO LESS! 

MY DEVOTION IS TO HUMANITY… TO THE LOVE I HOLD FOR EACH AND EVERY SOUL.  

THIS NEXT MISSION IS IN HONOR OF THE DIVINITY IN EACH ONE OF US! NAMASTE…

 Pledge here: http://kck.st/185HCXM 

In Love, Of Love, With Love… I am Simran Singh, Host of 11:11 Talk Radio 

 

Simran Singh—a creative visionary, transformational catalyst, and humorist in the realms of metaphysics, spirituality, and motivation—is the award winning publisher of11:11 Magazine. She hosts the #1-rated, syndicated 11:11 Talk Radio on VoiceAmerica 7th Wave.  As author of Conversations with the Universe, Simran walks her talk by letting all go in order to live boldly during the experience of a “one-year, one woman live-streamed RV-tour around the country.” The Rebel Road  is her vision of freeing people from their self-imposed limitations to live life fearlessly, boldly, and in the full, passionate adventure of the heart’s desire to awaken the infinite possibility and creative flow that is our natural inheritance.

Break the Procrastination Habit By Marcia Zidle

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Break the Procrastination Habit By Marcia Zidle

procrastination

Most of us procrastinate at least occasionally and some of us do it more often than we like and it causes us problems. Yes, procrastination may be human, but it’s not very rewarding in the long run for your business success.

 So why do we procrastinate?

According to The Procrastination Equation: How To Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Things Done by Piers Steel – a procrastinator himself at one time – suggest there are three types of procrastination. 

1. Expecting Too Little
When we have low expectations about the outcome- either getting rejected or not doing well – we tend to put off the experience. Then a vicious cycle ensues: we don’t do it – we feel bad about it – our confidence goes down and we keep saying I’ll do it later.

 What are you postponing because of fear of rejection or low performance? What would be the benefit to do them today instead of waiting until tomorrow?

 2. Devaluing the Task
When we fail to value a routine or a boring task, we allow ourselves to defer necessary crucial chores that are important but routine-and reinforce a dangerous tendency to ignore the basics – like paying your bills, doing expense reports, getting the car serviced, etc.

 Everyone has routine tasks that need to get done but are put off until later? What are yours?

 3. Wanting Immediate Gratification
The rewards and goals that can be achieved right now often seem far more appealing than those that require us to wait. It seems most of us are wired for short-term satisfaction. For example, responding to emails instantly, clearing every minor item off our to-do lists, checking the news, watching the funny video on You Tube, etc.

 What things do you do impulsively that give you short term gratification, but hinder your long term goals?

Start Breaking the Procrastination Habit

  • Identify what you put off. When you find yourself ignoring or delaying task, ask yourself why. Knowing what you tend to delay can help break the cycle and prevent future procrastination.
  • Build your confidence. Practice “success spirals,” small steps of achievement that take you outside your comfort zone-such as trying an adventure sport, or learning a new skill through a course
  • Complete little things before moving on to big things. For a particularly daunting project, start with a mini-goal or easily doable or enjoyable task to ease into the difficult terrain. By completing it, you will be warmed up for the more complicated or demanding aspects.
  • Use blatant bribery. Kids get stickers for going to the dentist. Why shouldn’t you get a reward for doing something you don’t want to do? When you knock off your dreaded task by the set deadline, treat yourself to a coffee break, have ice cream for lunch or even a long walk outside. Whatever will give you a positive feeling.

Smart Moves Tip:

For some situations procrastination may be okay. For example, when starting a big project take the time to plan it out or work out potential solutions. But if procrastination is hindering your performance, causing relationship problems (boss, colleague, spouse, etc.) or affecting your personal satisfaction, then it’s time to stop, examine possible causes and develop potential solutions. If you don’t deal with it now, then when?

 

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge  on the VoiceAmerica Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.

 

 

Be Apart of the Nation, The Communication Nation With Jill Schiefelbein

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Be Apart of the Nation, The Communication Nation With Jill Schiefelbein

communication nation, Jill S

 

1.       Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Pittsburg, KS–a small town in the Southeast corner of the state.  I moved out to Arizona in the summer of 2000 to attend ASU.

2.       How big is your family?

My family is small, but close.  It’s just me, my younger brother, and my parents.  And now I have a sister-in-law, which is great.  My parents just relocated down to Arizona for retirement, so I’m a pretty happy camper.

3.       Where did you go to school?

High School: Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg, Kansas (the purple dragons)

College: Arizona State University (B.A. and M.A.)

4.       How did you decide to move from Kansas?

When I was nine I told my favorite aunt that I wanted to leave Kansas when I was older.  It trickled down to my parents, and they told me, in a matter-of-fact way, that if I ever wanted to go to college outside of the state, that I would need to get a full-ride schoarlship, because they weren’t going to help with any of it.  So, at a young age, I started doing things that would get me to that goal.  Once I hit high school, I did every leadership, academic and athletic venture imaginable, and in the last two years I honed in on a few leadership positions that really put me at a competitive advantage.  I got awarded one of four national spots in ASU’s Leadership Scholarship Program, and got a full-ride to attend ASU.  Needless to say, I left Kansas and came to Arizona.  I’ve been here ever since.

5.       When did you know you wanted to work in communication?

When I was 16 I started doing public speaking on a small scale.  And during my junior and senior years I took up two state-level leadership positions, where I traveled around the state and country facilitating leadership and motivational workshops, and doing keynote speeches.  I learned that the power that words have to change things for the better was astounding, and I knew then that I wanted to work in some way with communication.  I learned about the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at ASU, and wanted to go that route.  My original (overly ambitious) 18-year-old-Jill goal was to major in Communication, minor in Spanish, and open up a company that does motivational speaking and leadership conference facilitating for underprivileged youth in Spanish-speaking second- and third-world countries.  I quickly realized that four years of high school Spanish in Kansas didn’t nearly measure up to the level of Spanish I needed in Arizona, and I also realized that I enjoyed studying organizational and business communication.  So that goal changed.  When I graduated and was offered full funding to stay and continue graduate work, I took the offer and focused in strategic and computer-mediated communication.  It was then that I taught my first class at ASU, public speaking, and realized that while I love speaking, I also have the potential to help change people’s lives for the better by helping them become more confident communicators.  It was empowering.  After finishing my graduate work, I was offered a full-time faculty position and decided to stay on instead of leaving to start my own business.  After five years of teaching and working in higher education administration with online education, I decided it was time that I officially go out on my own and start Impromptu Guru.  That was June 2011 and I haven’t looked back since!

6.       What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

Seeing the change in people as they realize that they CAN speak well.  That they CAN communicate with confidence.  And that their words really do matter.  I love helping others and making a positive difference in their lives.

7.       Do you have a memorable success story?

The moment that I realized I was meant to help others communicate and present well goes back nine years to first semester I ever taught at a university.  I was teaching a public speaking class and the students were getting ready to do their first graded speech.  One student, we’ll call him Tom, walked to the front of the room, visibly distraught.  He started to give his presentation and, within 30 seconds, stopped talking and left the room with tears in his eyes.  He waited outside until the class break, where he asked if he could talk to me.  He told me he was too embarrassed to go back into the class, but that he wanted help.  I told him I understood, and to come see me in my office hours the next day.  Tom showed up the next day, asking for help and ready to work.  Week after week he would come visit me and we would work on presentation skills and, most importantly, on his confidence.  By the end of the semester, this young man who couldn’t make it through his introduction stood up and gave a legitimate “B” quality speech (and I’m a tough grader).  Seeing the change in Tom was incredible, and knowing I had something to do with it was even more humbling.  What really solidified this career path in my mind, though, was when I got an email a week later from this student’s mother saying, “I know you probably don’t have parents emailing you to talk about their kids who are in college, but I had to write to you. I’ve noticed such a change in my son this semester, and he tells me it’s because of your help.  Thank you.”  I’ll never forget that moment.  

8.       Is there any person or company you have been excited to work with? Or would be?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of outstanding people and companies, so to single out one would be hard.  But I will say that right now I’m really excited to be the communication and media coach for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.  I’ve played sports since I could run, and to be working with women who are empowering others on and off the court, and to help them gain confidence with the media and public relations is a fantastic experience.  I hope to continue working with professional athletes and sports teams in the Phoenix area and beyond in the coming months and years.

9.       Why did you decide to do a radio show?

I truly believe that communication has the power to promote positive change.  It’s my hope that by listening to Communication Nation, my audience will take away information that they can immediately implement into their businesses and their lives that will make a positive difference.  Small changes can have big effects.  

10.   What to you hope to achieve doing your radio show?

My goals are two-fold.  First, as I mentioned above, I want to help people make changes in their communication behaviors that can positively affect their lives.  Second, I want to increase the national presence of my personal and business brand, so that hopefully I can gain new clientele and also get new opportunities in other media fields, such as television.  I believe that this platform is a great way for me to extend my reach.

11.   Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Happy.  It’s that simple.  But I’m guessing you wanted more than that.  I see myself still running my business, but only taking on selected clients. I see myself doing more large-scale keynote speeches and workshops.  And I see a complete digital product line by Impromptu Guru so that people all over the world can learn how to communicate more effectively with affordable products and solutions.  Some of these things are already in the pipeline, and I’m excited to see what lies ahead, but I’m enjoying my time in the present.

 

Jill Schiefelbein is an accomplished speaker, author, professor, and business owner. She is the owner of Impromptu Guru, a communication consulting company that was named Gilbert Arizona’s 2012 “Rookie of the Year” less than a year after its inception. She is also the host of “Communication Nation,” a business communication talk show on VoiceAmerica’s Business Channel. She works with professional athletes, politicians, business executives, and groups to improve their communication and messaging strategies. Learn more at http://impromptuguru.com

Daily Diary 5-20-13 By Simran Singh

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Daily Diary 5-20-13 By Simran Singh

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You know I get some interesting visions but I always say YES. Well, here is a doozy! The Rebel Road is no different. Let me give you a brief summary and then please watch the video because I want you to truly understand it is about the WE. 

I want you to say YES even though I have no clue what you are saying YES to. How is that for finally releasing control… C’mon surprise yourself. ‘What is it with this need to know’? 

Over the next 11 Months, beginning August 4th in Raleigh NC and going through June 2014, I am touring North America in an RV with 4 women, 2 kids and a one woman show dedicated to the ‘Journey of the Soul… Connecting the Dots From What Was to What IS’ and it will include spiritual humor, original songs and storytelling. This will be performed in 66 cities in the United States & Canada. Have I ever done any of this before? Heck no! But how else can “I” illustrate that we can do anything… be supported… and discover the UNKNOWN about ourselves!

The purpose is help people realize that there is NO EXCUSE not to live our dreams no matter what they are. We have become a society of excuses.  

We are supposed to be the ‘Land of the Free and Home of the Brave’ … What Happened??? 

We have imprisoned ourselves with excuses, routine, obligation and practical thinking… In doing so, we have let fear overtake us and courage slip by the wayside. Why? Because, most are afraid of the unknown.  

This experience is intended to inspire, to unite, to create a vast community and a support framework for those willing to say ‘NO MORE EXCUSES’. It may look like it is all about me but that is the illusion. In reality, THIS is all about YOU! I am here merely as the example with an extended arm asking, ‘Are you ready… Will you dive into the UNKNOWN to discover your own expansiveness… your real heart’s desire… how truly supportive the Universe can be?’

If the thought of the UNKNOWN terrifies you… then you probably are ripe and ready! Because that is the only place to go. The fact is … What we know about ourselves is not going to take us in a new direction… it is actually keeping us stuck, limited and smaller than the truth we are. It is also keeping us from allowing the expanse of possibility when we are willing to know connection with others, creativity, fun, joy and laughter as the ongoing experience of being in the human experience… instead of an occasional experience. 

Do you really want to settle in life? Really? Aren’t you tired of not going for what you really want???

JOIN THE MOVEMENT… PLEDGE… SHARE WITH OTHERS… ASK THEM TO PLEDGE… BE WILLING TO CREATE.. WILLING TO COLLABORATE… WILLING TO SHOW UP AND BE CELEBRATED FOR WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT GENIUS YOU BRING TO THE PLANET? PLEASE PLEDGE HERE: Pledge here: http://kck.st/185HCXM 

 

Simran Singh—a creative visionary, transformational catalyst, and humorist in the realms of metaphysics, spirituality, and motivation—is the award winning publisher of11:11 Magazine. She hosts the #1-rated, syndicated 11:11 Talk Radio on VoiceAmerica 7th Wave.  As author of Conversations with the Universe, Simran walks her talk by letting all go in order to live boldly during the experience of a “one-year, one woman live-streamed RV-tour around the country.” The Rebel Road  is her vision of freeing people from their self-imposed limitations to live life fearlessly, boldly, and in the full, passionate adventure of the heart’s desire to awaken the infinite possibility and creative flow that is our natural inheritance.

Stop the Blame Game By Marcia Zidle

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Stop the Blame Game By Marcia Zidle

blame, VoiceAmerica, Marcia Zidle

 

“Some favorite expressions of small children: “It’s not my fault. . . They made me do it. . . I forgot.” Some favorite expressions of adults: “It’s not my job. . . No one told me. . . they did it, not me.”

What do you see in your business – people taking responsibility or pointing fingers at others? If it’s the latter, how do you stop the blame game and how do you start getting accountability?

The word ‘accountability’ seems to stir up frustrations for many managers. I have seen how it’s been used by some to assign fault and mete out punishment. But I have also seen how it’s been used to propel an individual, a team or company to great success.

What is Accountability?
My simple definition of accountability is the person’s, as well as the team’s, responsibility for the outcome(s) of what they do. People look beyond their narrow job description and focus on results – the completed product or service- their work is contributing to. When people adopt a sense of accountability, they recognize that their participation can and will make a difference. They go the extra mile because they know what to do and they know how their job and their actions will drive results.

How Do You Create It?
So, how do you lead so that personal accountability is accepted and embraced by your employees?  Here are three steps to take to stop the blame game and start getting accountability.

  • People Have to See it:
    Because reality frequently changes – what worked yesterday may not work today- a leader needs to stay alert and be flexible. This means obtaining others’ perspectives ideas and feedback. A leader must not only acknowledge but, most importantly, help others understand the what – the who- the when and the why of what’s being asked of them.
  • People Have to Own it:
    A leader also helps others to be personally invested in desired outcomes. It’s done by linking their specific tasks and responsibilities with key priorities first of the team, then the department or the business unit and finally up the line to the company. You need to demonstrate the value and importance of what they do.
  • People Have to Solve it:
    Obstacles can always get in the way of achieving results. Yes, as a leader, the “buck stops with you”. However you don’t always need to be the one to find the solution. Ask them “What else can we do so this gets resolved?” By tapping into their wisdom and their participation, you create a sense of personal responsibility for the solution to succeed.

Smart Moves Tip:

The payoffs for greater accountability are better products and services, but perhaps more significant is the impact on your people. When people participate more fully in their jobs, they create meaning and fulfillment. Work becomes more pleasurable. That’s a crucial step toward high employee engagement and performance.

 

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge on the VoiceAmerica Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.

 

 

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