how to heal

Your body is not small.

The total surface area of the human heart could be spread to the height of the Sears tower.

If you want to heal,
you must first
find every bruised place.

Your body is not obvious.
It sheds forty thousand cells
every minute,
and who knows how many of those
were the last to remember
the bruising?

Just in case,
count their ancestors
in your census
of pain.
Even a cell can inherit a wound.

Next,
you must tell somebody
where it hurts.

You have to be specific,
and this may take some time.

The human heart beats 100,000 times per day.

If you want to speak to someone about the beat that was broken,

they will want to see it. They will have to search for it.

They will sift through everything you keep in the pockets of those rhythms.

Together, you may find some old cuts.

Add those to your census, too.

Some days it will seem that you are getting more wounded for the searching,

but this is healing.

Step one, the tally.
Step two, the telling.
Step three, the treatment.

All steps happen at the same time, but you have enough elasticity for this.

Your body is not small.
Your body is not slow.
Your body is not helpless.

It will be healing itself
as you search for what needs healing.

A cut will become a scar, a bruise will become a perfectly healthy cell afraid of the dark.

The human body is made of ten trillion DNA cells. You could be stretched to the moon and back again,

1500 times.

In a lifetime, it will feel like this is exactly what has happened to you.

Fifteen
hundred trips to the moon and back,
and boy,
are your cells tired.

Tired, but not small.

You will have to lean into yourself. All of yourself. To the top of the dinosaur and back. To every expanse of you.

Take a close look.

This is a treatment.

You will have to step into a dark room,
give yourself roses and chocolates and promises you can keep.

The cells don’t need to forget the dark.

They just need to forgive it.

This is a treatment.

You will have to apologize for every time you kicked yourself.

A body deserves more than to be afraid of itself, ashamed of itself.

This is a treatment.

In the accounting,
make a note of the muscles
that wish they could cry.

Let them.
Stretch them.
When they sob so hard it feels like aching,
soothe them.

This is a treatment.

Tell someone that you hurt. Where you hurt. How you are healing. Where you beam with delight.

Let them bring more joy to you.
Accept it. There is room.

You have many more trips to the moon to make.

Your body is not small,
but you can only carry so much.

Let the telling empty you of bruises.
Hollow the pockets of your heart of everything except the memory of how you care for you.

Pack your cells with joy until it is what they know best, and what they trust most.

Be abundant.

Joy is light.
You can lift so much more of it than you can imagine.

Imagine.
Imagine.

This is healing.

How living with an open heart creates hope

When I read James Doty’s New York Times bestseller, Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain, I was thoroughly enchanted. His story inspired me to believe that my future could be brighter than I can currently imagine.

Doty is a medical doctor and a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University, and also the founder and director of The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). His work and accomplishments in this field put him squarely in the company of spiritual and religious leaders, such as the Dalai Lama, who is also a founding patron of the center.

It was a bright Monday morning when I went to visit Doty in his Stanford hospital office. After walking through a short, nondescript hallway, I arrived at a sparse waiting room. Doty was punctual; before I could finish reviewing my notes, I heard soft, jingling chimes approaching. A young and lanky golden retriever with a collar of bells bounced through the door, and then Doty himself stepped through. He is a bear of a man, imposingly tall with a shock of thick white hair. His wide face glows with a quiet kindness, softening the initial impression of his intimidating size.

He exudes a regal but disarming energy. It is a curious combination that made me wonder how I felt alert and at ease at the same time. The unexpected blend of his humanness and other-worldliness gave the impression that he somehow exists on another plane, yet firmly (and oddly) in our midst. He seemed like someone who has clearly transcended the mundane challenges of human life. He grew up in a poor, dysfunctional home, and as an adult he struggled with common issues like divorce, loneliness, and a financial downfall. He had the immense good fortune of having met Ruth, the woman who taught him the magic of harnessing his mind when he was 12 years old. It should be no surprise that the inherent power and mastery within him is beyond anything that we encounter in everyday life. After all, how many of us meditated for two to three hours on a daily basis during our adolescence?

Doty firmly believes that practicing kindness and compassion without dogma allows us to look at each other eye-to-eye as equals. He is a veritable evangelist of this belief, both preaching and living the example of walking on this earth with an open heart. Trying to live in this way has become his proudest achievement. In his book, he writes that mental training is the tool to open your heart for meaningful relationships; to give yourself positive affirmation, kindness, and compassion; and to reframe the events in your life in order to practice equanimity.

Doty speaks about all this with great enthusiasm, giving multiple examples and emphatically gesticulating with his large hands. He is also surprisingly comfortable with showing his emotions; his voice cracks and he holds back tears while turning red and clearing his throat.

We covered a lot of ground in the hour and a half we shared, and had a seemingly rambling conversation about everything under the sun. Still, the theme was clearly a lesson in creating the life of our dreams. Our conversation gave me even more conviction in his book’s promise that it is possible to fully live up to our potential. We all can connect to the incredible magic—the realm of infinite possibilities—inside each of us.

Opening your heart

Doty met Ruth in her son’s magic shop during the summer of 1968. He was looking for a trick thumb when she engaged him in conversation and offered to teach him the most powerful magic of all. The lessons he learned at that time informed much of his thoughts on happiness and compassion. Ruth taught him “that really deep, lasting happiness is about connecting with people: being kind to people and being of service to people.”

Many of us are confused about what sustains us. We think the new flashy car will make us happy, so we get caught up in a cycle of conspicuous consumption. Doty woke up to how empty his life was when he lost over $70 million during the financial crisis. He had built a fortune through his surgical practice and investment in several medical-device businesses and had reveled in acquiring luxury cars and an oceanfront pad. When his considerable net worth collapsed, he was forced to sell his house and most of his cars.

On his last morning in his mansion, he received a call from his lawyer who explained that the paperwork for an irrevocable charitable trust that he set up was never executed. The millions of dollars set aside for it were still available to him. He faced a choice of either keeping the money or keeping his promise. Doty had just rediscovered his old notes of his sessions with Ruth while packing up the previous night. With the fresh reminder to open his heart, he decided to meditate before making a decision, and ended up honoring his commitment.

Referring to this experience, he said, “That’s where I went from having this emptiness, even though I had all of these things, to sort of giving everything away, but then actually being fulfilled, and not being empty.”

Doty pointed out that there is an ever-growing body of science showing that you’re both happier and healthier when you practice generosity and gratitude with intention. Additionally, he believes that caring and connecting is at the core of being human. We are hard-wired for kindness and compassion. This is one reason why we rear our offspring for twenty years.

At the same time, we have evolutionary baggage that blocks our natural way of being. Our DNA is fundamentally unchanged from 200,000 years ago, so we continue to react to the world with a flight, fight, or fear response, even though there is no imminent grave danger. In other words, we walk around as if being attacked by a lion. Due to the demands of modern life such as artificially extended hours or incessant work obligations, our sympathetic nervous system is chronically engaged. Since we don’t have the ability to adapt to the rapid changes in technology, we are plagued by stress, anxiety, and depression.

Doty explained that high levels of constant hormonal release have deleterious consequences, as they affect the peripheral vascular system, cardiac function, and the immune system. “Ultimately, it has an impact on your longevity,” he said.

Changing the narrative

Doty spoke ardently about how we manifest things in our lives. Creating a positive narrative in our minds is imperative: We can take the first step only if we believe we can. We must drown out our own downbeat discourse as well as that of nay-saying friends or family. “I don’t ever use can’t. I don’t ever use never,” Doty said. “They just don’t exist in my vocabulary. The only time that is reality is when you say it, and it becomes you. And this is this whole idea of changing this dialogue because the dialogue that goes on in so many people’s heads is not a positive one. It’s a negative one. It’s one of being hypercritical. It’s one of not being kind to yourself. It’s one based on the negative judgments of others.”

We internally criticize ourselves for a variety of things, and very often for making small mistakes or forgetting something inconsequential. Doty explained: “The part that you’re beating yourself up about might make up 1% and you’re focused on that, and not looking at the 99%, which is beautiful, wonderful, caring, giving, and has the potential to change the world and change every life around yourself. When you can change that narrative to understand this reality and change it to one in which you’re overflowing with gratitude, goodness, kindness—where you want to embrace everybody—remarkable things happen.”

Understanding this perspective was the greatest gift that Ruth gave Doty. She taught him how to change his narrative to one of self-affirmation and kindness.

“The only thing we have is this moment. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next moment, so to sit there and say nothing is going to change… We have no knowledge of that.”

He admitted that he did have anger, feelings of failure and hopelessness, despair, and shame, but Ruth taught him how to change his interaction with his life circumstance. Doty’s parents failed him in many ways—his father was an alcoholic and his mother was deeply depressed—but he forgave them because he could see that they were nice people without the proper tools.

“This is why I didn’t carry that same degree of anger. I accepted the reality of my situation but did not put the emotional response to it,” he said.

Practicing equanimity

Being free of attachment to any emotional situation enables us to have a calmness of spirit no matter what happens. We can learn to practice equanimity through mental training and by shifting the perspective of how we view the world. The idea is to have an appreciation when things are going well, and also an understanding when they’re not going that well. Feeling down and vulnerable are transient states. As Doty expressed: “We cannot prevent experiencing suffering or pain. It gives us a depth of character. It gives us wisdom. It gives us insight. It’s to keep perspective of how life is.

At the same time, when we look at the world in general, we can have gratitude for what we have, because “most of us are actually extraordinarily blessed.”

After Doty lost his fortune, he was often told how his life must be ruined. He brushed these comments off with a simple retort: “What are you talking about? I have my mental faculties. I’m a neurosurgeon. My worst day in the world is I’m a neurosurgeon who gets paid more than 99.9% of people.”

He continued: “How can I complain about anything? I’m the most blessed, blessed person in the world, and I’m so thankful that I’ve had the opportunities that I’ve had. You know, it’s just reframing.”

In fact, we can practice compassion by reframing any frustrating situation. Doty talked about the common experience of being cut off in traffic. It would be normal to either use an expletive or a hand motion, but what if we were told that the person in front of us was a man whose pregnant wife next to him was bleeding, and her water broke? When we can acknowledge that a person is probably going through life events that result in certain behaviors, then we don’t have that same emotional response. “So,” he said, “when you always look at the world that way, you’re almost never unhappy. Happiness or unhappiness comes from within. It’s not because of external events. When you recognize this and allow yourself to truly be happy that is always manifested by caring for others, then you’re happy every day.”

The narrative becomes about how we react to the event, and not the event itself.

Meditation

Doty considers meditation the foundation for creating your dream life. Inner reflection allows us to be much more thoughtful and discerning about how we react to our life experiences. I told him that I’ve been meditating for a few years, but that I struggle with being consistent. I aim for ten minutes twice a day, but I often fail to meditate at all. When I asked him what his advice is to people who are starting out, his answer surprised me.

“Well, I think one of the problems is when people think of meditation, they start thinking of a monk and somebody spending hours in a room that’s semi dark, and they have to sit there motionless. The reality is that that’s not true at all.”

His recommendation is to just sit for a few moments and reflect on the best person you can be, and think of images of having love, and giving it away freely.

“The more you do it, the more it manifests. You know, there is a Buddhist saying that—and I’m not a Buddhist, as you know—if you can’t take 20 minutes to meditate, that means you need to take an hour to meditate.”

He continued: “Most people have hours of aimless time. In fact, they’re wasting time. Either they’re texting people about nonsense, they’re on Facebook, or they’re daydreaming. There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming because it can actually be very creative, but my point is that all of us have some time. It doesn’t have to be hours of time. As you said, ten minutes. There’s not a single human being that does not have ten minutes, no matter what your job is.”

It boils down to creating the narrative of what you can and cannot do, as well as what is important to you. Time is not the issue.

Nowadays, his meditation consists of sitting on the side of his bed every morning and going through the mnemonic aid he invented to distill the essence of opening his heart. He repeated that it’s simply focusing on good thoughts about yourself and having love for everybody.

“Turning yourself off,” he said, “being self reflective, slowing down, breathing, and just being with yourself, and not trying to process anything, not trying to solve any problem, just being there and thinking of your best self.”

He picked up his meditation beads and showed me how he meditates—with intention. He breathed deeply and recited the Alphabet of the Heart:

  • Compassion for self and others
  • Recognizing the Dignity of every person
  • Practicing Equanimity
  • Practicing Forgiveness
  • Having Gratitude
  • Being Humble
  • Having Integrity and personal values
  • Our responsibility to those who are most vulnerable, Justice
  • And then Kindness, the act of caring
  • And then all contained by Love

And you just all have that. And, that’s it.

Sitting in the chair across from him, I could sense that the energy in the room shifted, powered down somehow, slowed, and became thick. It is inexplicable exactly, but nothing else in the world mattered. I felt as though I had shrunk into the office’s corner while the mantra’s magnanimous energy filled the room. It was magic.

Can Data Mining Benefit Your Company?

Data mining casts a net out into the world wide web, returning to it’s caster an abundance of useful data ripe or interpretation.  The immense amount of information is produced by businesses, consumers, and now also bots and IoT devices…and this data is not relegated to just purchases or liked posts on social media. Thematic motifs that are proven to be more appealling to viewers than others can play into the development of the marketing done by a variety of companies, including those invested in the film industry. If a company of any sort is looking to improve its relationship with its consumers, data mining has proven to be of assistance. Data mining is done using code to retrieve public data that matches certain criteria, which are established by the requestor of the information.

The term “data mining” was coined in the early 1990s, but, like other internet buzzwords, it has since expanded past it’s original meaning.  Data mining  today is likely to involve complex  statistics and machine learning alongside ever improving artificial intelligence. The connections that data mining elicits from its sources of data enable data scientists to move beyond the mass of the seemingly unrelated data they gather. Data mining, in this way, has accelerated the decision making process behind all forms of business, allowing the appropriate associates to determine which consumer practices are outliers and which are more relevant in the predictive process of consumer address. Data mining information can be retrieved from a variety of sources – including, but not limited to, historical data, surveys, and social media on a single or multitude of websites.  Within social media websites, for example, a user’s likes (or equivalent) can be collected based on the choices a user makes over the course of a session.  With this information, a company like Netflix can recommend appropriate films for that user to watch and can ensure that the user is entertained, thus retaining them as a customer and generating  positive word of mouth advertising for the products and services provided by Netflix.

The appropriate films offered through user specification is the result of machine learning; it is the direct impact of data mining and user specialization, and is meant to aid both the company and user in order to promote an improved relationship between the two.  This kind of individual assessment is meant to be beneficial, as it allows for improved engagement between a user or consumer and the company they are interacting with.  Sale forecasting sinks deep roots into the practice of data mining, using the habits of consumers to base a company’s products around popular trends that will result in greater profit for said company and greater relevance for its consumers. This forecasting is based not just in a consumer’s past involvement with a company, but also on that consumer’s location, availability, and the commonality of their interactions with a company and its products. Improved marketing and personalization indicates to consumers that a company is willing to interact with them as unique individuals that interaction  andwill have a greater chance or being useful to the consumer personally, rather than all consumers everywhere.  The styling of a product, event, or service based on the aforementioned wants simultaneously allows a company to remain as relevant as possible in their planning of merchandise, website updates, or product development.

The interaction between data mining and film oproductionduction is very important to those individuals behind the creation of a film, as they must consider audience interest based on the audience’s previous involvement with said company, the proposed film’s content, and similar content that has been already produced.  Using data mining’s predictive ability, a film’s gross income can be predicted well in advance of its premier, and the company producing said film can determine whether or not particular artistic choices will make the film more or less profitable.  The marketing of a film is also tied up in data mining; if certain images, actors, or thematic motifs elicit a stronger reaction from an audience, data mining will indicate as much through its assessment of patterns, and advertisements for an upcoming film can make use of the most effective techniques in order to establish the film’s appeal.  Data mining has a powerful impact on a number of industries and has become nigh inescapable with the prevalence of consumers online.  Through the specialization of its use, data mining has taken the chaotic pool of information garnered from users and consumers, and translated it into an individualized experience for each member of a company’s audience.  The benefit of data mining for a company is unquestionable in its ability to keep said company ahead of the economic game.

Perhaps the most common form of data mining, a company can examine its users’ previous purchases, attended events, liked posts, or so on in order to determine a pattern within the users’ choices.  Once that pattern has been determined, the content or products that said user is exposed to can be tailored to them using that pattern as a foundation for the cultivation of similar taste or that taste’s evolution.  Much in the same light, if a consumer group has indicated interest in a particular product, a company can suggest content or products that are correlated with the originally expressed interest.  Despite a company’s best efforts, however, trends and interests change. Data mining and churn work together in order to determine the speed with which consumers will lose interest in a topic or product.  This measurement ensures that a company will be able to limit its sales of out-of-date items and that consumers will be able to remain on the crest of said company’s development.  This constant evolution, rooted in data mining, requires the assistance of artificial intelligence in regards to the increased speed at which it occurs.  Machine learning partnered with churn can allow companies to become predictive, as well, creating products, events, or content based on trends that are on the rise as opposed to presently occurring.  Data mining has a powerful impact on a number of industries and has become nigh inescapable with the prevalence of consumers online.  Through the specialization of its use, data mining has taken the chaotic pool of information garnered from users and consumers, and translated it into an individualized experience for each member of a company’s audience.  The benefit of data mining for a company is unquestionable in its ability to improve a company’s aility to improve the quality of it’s consumer interactions.

Quickly Build a Website with WordPress

WordPress as your business or blog website solution.

Namecheap will make the process as simple as possible for you.  The following steps will guide you from start to finish, giving you the most professional start possible.  You’ll find that WordPress gives you effective options to build your site, easily add more content, and allow you to focus on your customers, clients or readers.

Heard of WordPress?

WordPress powers over 26% of the top one million websites worldwide.  Because it’s one of the most stable, easy to use, and robust programs, it’s a clear favorite among website designers.

For those aren’t developers, WordPress is perfect for those that want to build a website without knowing any code. It allows you to build a professional site that takes advantage of advanced features such as social media integration and that works on all browsers, including mobile devices.

Web Business Basics

The first thing you need to do is register a domain.

Your domain name is the anchor that defines your brand.  You’ll add this to all your marketing materials, including your email signature, for maximum exposure.

There are many types of domain extensions (also called TLDs, or top level domains) such as .com, .org, and .net.  Those three basic TLDs are still the most recognized, but you might also consider others like .travel, .mobile, or .coffee.  You can also consider protecting your name or brand by registering multiple names that point to the same website, called “parking.”

Best Practice:  Choose domain name that’s as short as possible, that reflects your business or brand, and probably a .com  (they’re still the gold standard).

Still need help? Check out our article on choosing the best domain.

Where To Host Your Site

Website Hosting:  Once you’ve carefully chosen your domain name, you’ll need to decide where you’ll host your website. Hosting comes with all kinds of options and features.  Keeping with our theme of keeping it simple, look for secure email administration and point-and-click installation of WordPress.

Best Practice:   Hosting with Namecheap includes cPanel, a popular and robust management system, and email administration and WordPress installation are included, along with dozens more features. Be sure to check out their  Knowledgebase article  if you need help getting started with a Namecheap domain plus hosting.

Reaching your Community or Customers

Email Addresses:  If you’re like most Internet visitors, before taking action on a website, you need to have a certain level of trust. Having a free email address like gmail.com, hotmail.com or aol.com doesn’t help with that confidence factor.  With Namecheap hosting you have professional email included.  You can use the point-and-click method to set up your email addresses, or you can take it even further using private email to synchronize things like shared calendars and staff tasks.

Best Practice:  Set up boxes for yourself or employees by name.  You can also set up a general email box called “info” or “hello” that forwards to yourself or a staff member.

The Installation Process

Install WordPress:  You would think that this step would be the longest and most detailed, but Namecheap uses a simple point-and-click method of installation.  There’s no need to know SQL or PHP, or even what those are.  Just open your cPanel, click on the “Softaculous” icon, and  follow our easy steps.

Best Practice:  Be sure to choose something other than “admin” as your username for the most secure installation, and let the system assign a strong password.  Be sure to write this username and password down and keep it safe.

Extra tip: If you’re brand new to WordPress, there are lots of websites with free tutorials to get you started. However, why not start with the  handy tips at WordPress.org?

….and You’re On!

Once you’ve gotten WordPress installed on your website, you’re ready to login to the administration and make a few final edits.

  • Edit the default “about” page that WordPress automatically creates for you. Just open it and edit it with your own information using the text editor that comes with WordPress.
  • Edit the default “post” that’s also installed with WordPress.
  • Secure your WordPress installation.  Here’s a handy step by step guide.
  • Choose the look and feel of your site by clicking on “Appearance” and choosing from one of the many themes.

Best Practice: Look for “responsive” themes  that have built-in mobile versions.  Since mobile traffic is exploding, insuring that your site is ready for mobile traffic keeps you one step ahead of the curve.

WordPress has endless features to explore after these steps, including widgets, plugins and theme frameworks, but stopping here gives you a professional and basic platform to jump from and take your website anywhere you want to go.  You’ll have a great domain name, professional hosting, a point-and-click website management system and the security you need.

Get Going!

Register your new domain and purchase hosting at Namecheap.com.  For Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they have unbelievable deals on domain registration for up to 98% off regular prices.

 

A girl’s story

Breaking Moulds

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was given a heart to call her own. It was the prettiest thing she had ever seen: large and bright and made of something like glass. She was very happy and she had lots of adventures, and with each adventure her heart sparkled brighter.

One day, the girl met a boy. They were very happy when they were together, and they went on lots of adventures. The girl realized her heart sparkled more than ever before whenever it was near the boy, and so she decided to give it to him to take care of. And the boy promised to share his heart with the girl as well. They got married and moved overseas for their grandest adventure yet.

But about halfway through their time overseas, the boy had an injury…

View original post 1,105 more words

A girl’s story — Discover — reneamadorpontazablog

“But the boy had not been able to stop giving away the pieces of his heart, you see. And he had run out. There were none left to share with the girl.” A sad (and true) tale of depression, adultery, and divorce, made all the more moving for its simple storytelling style. a través de A […]

via A girl’s story — Discover — reneamadorpontazablog

Diigo yourself out of your browser bookmarks

A few weeks ago, some colleagues and I were making fun of the number of tabs we each keep open simultaneously in our browser on a daily basis.  We found it humorous that we had been excited at many awesome tools we’d seen on Twitter, at a conference, or heard about through a friend — bookmarked — and then immediately forgotten.

Even when browser bookmarks are recalled at a later time, finding them is a daunting task through a forest of – oh, look- a squirrel!  Trying to find something I had bookmarked was almost impossible in the moment it was needed.  My bookmarking system wasn’t organized, searchable, or shareable.  I needed help.

I may have found it in Diigo.

  mydiigolibrary
Look at all Diigo can do!

If you have an eye for organization, annotating, and sharing, Diigo is gorgeous.  It can be fully integrated into your life with access through their web site, iTunes appGoogle Play app, or Chrome Extension.

You are able to save sites, resources and PDFs to your Diigo library.  You can tag, highlight, write, annotate or add a sticky note on your saved resource – what an improvement over hastily named bookmarks in a multitude of folders!  All of these annotations show up in your library — you don’t even have to access the resource to see them!

Best of all – resources in your library can be compiled onto an outline – which research has shown to dramatically increase your retention.  This outline can be given to anyone you need to share with or shared with a group (think research starters for your students or an informational email of valuable resources for your colleague to complete a project).

So download Diigo everywhere you can.  Save your open tabs there, and experience the clean surfing that comes from an empty browser cache.  Annotate your thoughts in the moment.  Use what you’ve found.  Share with others.  Upgrade your brain with external storage.

icon_diigo
The Chrome extension icon for Diigo – isn’t it ‘d’-lightful?

SharePoint Online 2013 Settings Page Descriptions

Site Collection Features – select optional features for use at the site (i.e.

Source: SharePoint Online 2013 Settings Page Descriptions

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft Salaries

Only 28 women out of 400 who specified gender!  Girls where are you?

Over the last month, we’ve seen a lot of compensation data provided anonymously by tech employees. We compiled and standardized some of this data to improve our understanding of what companie…

Source: Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft Salaries