Adventures in Amsterdam

Coat of arms of the Dutch municipality of Amst...
Coat of arms of the Dutch municipality of Amsterdam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hallo!!! Is Amsterdam runner friendly? Yes and No! It’s flat, fast, and furious. I ran exclusively in Vondel park. Not only was the scenery and weather lovely, but I also felt fantastic because my body, which is used to running up hills at altitude, was delighted to run on even ground at sea level. Getting to the park was, however, somewhat hazardous. On foot, I had to dash from brash motorists, tipsy cyclists, and charging trams. Escaping bone shattering collisions on my way to the grounds only revved me up. I flew across the park. As I sprinted over the bridges and footpaths, some people did stare at my paper thin running sandals and tattooed legs, but no one said anything; people were intrigued, not disdainful–Amsterdam is, after all, not known for its intolerance.

When I wasn’t running in Vondel park or touring museums, I wandered through the city in barefoot shoes with an international group of brilliant film photographers. I am blown away by the shots that the other pinhole photographers made. I can hardly believe that the photographs were taken with nothing more than a tiny hole in a  light-tight box. The photographs they created are a feast of color, contrast, movement, and composition. Gazing at the images inspires me to learn more about the obscure and magical art of pinhole photography. Please visit the group’s pinhole gallery and check out the stunning pinhole photos.

My pinhole photo for World Pinhole Photography Day.
My pinhole photo for World Pinhole Photography Day.

To the left is my pinhole photo submission for World Pinhole Photography 2014. Here’s its story. As we winded our way through the canals and aftermath of King’s Day, we came across a gallery that featured the work of a digital photographer. He created images of cities in Africa. His process was to shoot a photo of a deserted cityscape, then he took pictures of people going about their daily tasks. After collecting enough images, he combined them to create extraordinary composite images. I enjoyed his subtly anachronistic compositions very much. Because the gallery was large and because pinhole cameras are usually good at capturing depth, I decided to take a shot. In my mind’s eye, the image was supposed to depict space. Everyone else used light meters or a cell phone app to set their exposure time; I didn’t use a light meter or a cell phone app., I used an uneducated guess. Before taking the gallery shot, I used my wife’s phone to meter a shot: it was for 3 seconds. Inside the gallery my wife’s phone was in my wife’s pocket, so I reckoned that 5 seconds would do the trick. Why? Because both 3 and 5 are odd numbers. At the time, it made perfect logical sense. Of course, my exposure was way off, but it turned out to a happy accident. Instead of capturing depth, I got this dramatic contrast, which resulted in the weird voyeuristic image above. I was absolutely shocked to discover that the bright room I was sitting in had become completely dark. Thank you pinhole gods for sparing my photo, thank you Monica for developing the negative, and thank you fantastic pinhole photographers for making our time in Amsterdam absolutely magical. I am already looking forward to next year’s World Wide Pinhole Day.

Valen Longfeather’s stepbrother uploads his pinhole photos. 

Tot ziens!





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The One Minute Miracle

Virginia opossum
Virginia opossum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My 10% incline treadmill makes me feel like a rodent. I don’t like feeling like a rodent. I hate rodents. When I lived in Santa Cruz, there was this ornery opossum who used to scratch at our backyard sliding glass door. He’d put his ugly yellow teeth against the window, leaving a trail of opossum slobber on the window. I would kick at the window, but, as I said, he was an ornery opossum, he’d just hiss at me and scratch his twisted, yellow claws against the glass. One time, I made the mistake of opening the door as he approached. I was hoping to eschew him away before he reached the door. The beast immediately rushed at my leg, I kicked at his filthy white belly, but he dodged the blow and headed for my bedroom, where my dear wife lay asleep. I slammed the bedroom door shut just in time to ceil the opossum with my sleeping wife. When I opened the door, the creature was on my side of the bed crawling up the covers towards my wife. Luckily she was not awake. As soon as the opossum saw me, he again leapt at my leg. I moved just in time to let him scoot out the bedroom door and into the hallway. He quickly scurried into the kitchen. I kicked at his foul jaw. But he dodged my attack, then he made a fatal mistake. He rushed at the fridge; it was the wrong move because we kept the broom on the gap between the fridge and the wall and that gave me a powerful  household weapon. I grabbed the broom and smacked the opossum, until at last he was swept out into the murky night.

The next day my friend, Toby, told me that my critter wasn’t a opossum. He said, unless they have rabies, opossums aren’t aggressive.

“It was prolly a wharf rat,” he said. Whatever it was it was a disgusting rodent.

How running on a treadmill feels.
How running on a treadmill feels.

But this post isn’t about rodents, it’s about running on treadmills. So, let me introduce my treadmill. It’s a 10% incline dominatrix. If it wore clothes, it would wear whips, chains, and a leather face-mask. It knows not forgiveness nor pity. It simply runs it preset routines without love or mercy. Most of the routines are innocent enough. Each one divides the run into two or one minute blocks, depending on the routine. For instance, a forty minute routine will have forty one minute blocks, but a sixty minute run may have only thirty two-minute blocks. The blocks are a terrible visual. They’re so uninspiring. They seem to stack against you and  they take forever to advance. They’re this wall of gut wrenching discomfort. I once ran on a hotel treadmill that had a digital lap counter. It was wondrous. I felt so lucky to be running on that machine. It gave me hope. Each step was visibly represented on the track with tiny blinking LED light as you advanced the light stopped blinking, when all of the lights around the track were lit, the entire track blinked in unison. It was like having a personal cheerleader every time you finished a lap. My machine doesn’t offer that kind of hope, it just presents whose cold and unrelenting blocks and it’s 10% incline.

There is one routine that I have never been able to complete at full speed. It features 40 one-minute blocks. 40 minutes may not seem long, but it’s an eternity when you’re running at top speed uphill at a 10% incline.

My treadmill doesn’t care that I’m gasping for air or that my calves are crying out, it just keeps going. In the past, when it got to be too much for me, I would simply slow down to catch my breath. But lately, that has seemed very much like a pussy move. So I decided to put my zen practice to the test. I set the machine to the forty minute insanity block routine. After three minutes, I was ready to slow down, but this time, instead of slowing down, I looked at my minute block and said to myself, “I can do this minute.” When the minute ended, I said, “I did that minute!!!!!!”. Then when the new block light up, I said, “I can do this minute.” Whenever I looked ahead at all of the blocks ahead, I immediately felt drained of energy, but when I focused on the minute I was running, the task became achievable. Minute by minute, I ran each block. When I finished the run for the first time without slowing down, I was exhausted, swimming in my own waters, bent low, and gasping for air, but also excited. I discovered a secret: never trust a possum and always focus on what you can do and then keep doing it.

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How I Kicked Coffee in 2 Easy Steps

Caffeine junky--morning hit.
Caffeine junky–morning hit.

Ever since the ninth grade, I’ve been hooked on coffee. In the beginning, it was just a cheap cup of instant Folgers crystals–that’s what my dad drank–well actually my dear old dad drank an even cheaper, toxicer imitation of Folger’s instant coffee crystals that he bought in bulk from a discount store called “Mac Frugrals” in San Jose, CA. I quickly discovered that he didn’t drink the hot black beverage for its taste. When I first sipped the nasty sludge, I shuddered as it slid down my throat into my gut.  It was terrible. I tried to kill face puckering taste of the “coffee” with whole milk and lots of sugar. It worked. Soon I was happily addicted to caffeine.

Years later, when I hit De Anza Community College-, the instant coffee-like drink, just wouldn’t do. I moved onto properly brewed and roasted coffees. I discovered many exciting roasts and exotic blends. I had no idea that coffee could actually have flavor.  One cup a day quickly turned to three, especially on exam days. Then when finals hit, I was up to five. And that’s where my intake remained for decades, until, quite by accident, I decided to eat fruit for a week.

The fruit diet cleansed my palate and  ended many unhealthy food cravings. It also gave me a naturally simple way to kick my caffeine habit:

I stopped adding creamer and sugar to my morning cup.

That trick automatically decreased my intake. Instantly, I dropped down from three cups in the morning to one. I drank one cup of bitter black coffee for about a week. And then….

I switched to tea.

A properly brewed cup of tea has less caffeine than a cup coffee. I sipped the tea without cream or sugar. The rigid, earthy flavor of tea is not much for the taste buds, yet much more interesting than black coffee. The first day, I drank one cup, but I got a headache about half an hour after finishing it, so I had another cup–I drank it tepid. By the second day, just one cup was enough. Towards the end of the week, I cut myself down to half a cup tea. Eventually, I just forgot to brew my tea in the morning.

For me, the trick to kicking the caffeine habit was NOT to go at it cold turkey. Every time, I’ve tried to go cold turkey, the headaches sent me back to the barista. All in all, it took me slightly over two weeks to completely quit caffeine. It’s been over a year since I stopped drinking caffeinated beverages. I still enjoy the delightful aroma of coffee, but the craving to drink it is gone.

Toy Company lets toddlers build lego like meth labs--outrageous.
Toy Company lets toddlers build lego like meth labs–outrageous.

You might be wondering why I choose to quit coffee. After all, research shows that it can be good for you. First, coffee is an expensive daily beverage. I was spending at least $15 a week on coffee. That’s $780 a year! Second, I HAD to drink it or suffer terrible headaches. I didn’t like having that level of addiction in my life. And quite frankly, it surprises me that society is comfortable with it. Caffeine is sanctioned addiction. At the library where I work I see twelve year girls drinking tall coffees right next to mom and dad. No one thinks it strange that these preadolescents are already physically hooked on a meth-like-substance. The parents of these caffeine junkies would probably not let their children play with “Bricking Bad”, a lego knock-off that lets toddlers build their very own meth-lab. Yet they allow their kids to gulp down liquid crypto.

Is it really worth the buzz? 

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Barefoot Running Tales of the Undead Sole. Twilight Finally Put to an End.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A friend of mine, Jerry, had a great idea for a novel.

“It’s entitled Tales of the Undead Sole,” he said.
“It spins around a pre-teen vegan boy. The boy’s name is Balthazar Gracian (aka Baltasar Gracián),”
I almost slapped his face for choosing such a proto-existentialist name. But I just listened instead,
“One day, Balthazar suddenly wakes up to find that he can no longer wear shoes and that he is also a deadly vampire. It’s a real Harry Potter-meets-Dracula-with-a-little-Teen-Wolf-action type deal. “
“Indeed!”, I replied in a very classy tone of voice.
“Well,” Jerry continued, “After much vomiting of ridiculously over-priced, microwavable soy products and some nasty third degree sun burn, Balthazar learns to live off the warm, salty, noctural life juices of mortals. But he misses the sun, surfing, and the whole going from being a hardcore vegan to a bloodthirsty supernatural cannibal is slightly distressing. But the poor lad has no choice but to resign himself to his lifeless life. As time tic tock tic tock tic tocks onward, Balthazar falls desperately in love with a mortal girl, Rebecca Black.  Yes, the same one who wrote every so popular song about the days of week in which her world class dilemma is choosing in which seat, front or back, she will rest her firm teenage hiney. Aside from her inability to choose seating, there’s another problem. Her dad hunts vampires for a living! And he’s on to Balthazar.

Worst of all, Rebecca isn’t what she seems; she wears striped socks!!!! And is also a powerful black magic evil witch who eats toenails–many time has she been caught with her foot in her mouth

Can Baltazar discover who turned him into a life sucking vampire and thereby reclaim his humanity? Will Rebecca find her way into his heart or will her father’s wooden stake beat her to it?”

In the end, I did manage to slap Jerry in face. I used his blood to season my quinoa (everyone’s a cannibal some of times); it tasted a little less bitterer than the bestselling, box office smash, The Twilight Saga.

As you may have guessed, Jerry works at the cheap theater–you know the kind of theater that shows regular movies that are a few months old during the day and those other movies–the ones you watch alone, online with your privacy set to “a weird guy wearing a fedora, a trench coat and over-sized sunglasses”–at night;  it was he, Jerry, who set me up with a bag of nutritional yeast and pop-corn before allowing Stephani Meyer ‘s terrible writing to feast on the very life force of my brain cells. To say the characters were one dimensional and drab would be to give them four dimensions more than they deserve and twice as much color.

Jerry, you owe me 999 IQ points and a few more drops of your delicious blood.

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What’s the Big Dirty Lie about Juicing?

English: A bundle of organic beets from a loca...
English: A bundle of organic beets from a local farm food co-op program. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever stood up way too fast? Remember how the room fades to black? Sometimes, you had to reach for a wall or chair to stable yourself. It sucks doesn’t it?

What if that fatigued feeling lasted all day?

That’s exactly what can happen if you drink TOXIC juice combos or have allergies.

Recently, Runners World posted an article about a pre-run beet juice cocktail for super endurance.

Raw beet juice is NOT something you want to drink before you run. It contains oxalic acid–a mild toxin that can damage the liver. Some people are highly sensitive to it.

My girlfriend made a beet concoction, like the one in Runner’s World, before her morning run. Five minutes into her run, she bolted back inside the house and vomited in the toilet. But the agony didn’t stop there. The drink robbed her of energy all day long; she also suffered severe stomach cramps and chills.

“I feel like I drank the flu,” she said.

According to the idiotic Internet factoids about beet juice, she was just “detoxing”. Detoxing? Really!

Detox is Hippie Bullshit speak for OOPS you accidentally ate some poison or you had an allergic reaction or your starving yourself of essential nutrients so we can brainwash you into our cult.

While juicing can be a fun way to add extra vitamins and sassy flavors to a boring diet, it SHOULD NOT be used as a food replacement!!!!! The movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, which was available from Netflix and Amazon Instant Prime at the time this post was written, re-popularized juicing.

While there are some excellent benefits to juicing (such as effective delivery of phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals) juicing strips away the precious fiber from veggies & fruit. Fiber is good for you. Not only is it Nature’s magic broom for sweeping away the dirty crap in your guts, it can also prevent cancer. Furthermore, since fiber also allows the stomach to feel full, it can even help you lose weight.

I enjoy a morning glass of juice, but I also make sure I eat a handful of the delicious fiber when I clean my juicer.

So, what’s the big dirty lie about juicing?

The lie is that can replace real food. It can’t. For sensible, healthy eating take a look at the Engine 2 Diet. It’s an excellent, essentially vegan diet.

All RECIPES ARE FREE. Rip shows you how to eat healthy. His recipes are really good too. Check them out, they’re FREE.

This All Natural Drink Can Save Your Life & Keep You Healthy

making coconut water
Traditional Healthy Coconut Water from the Source.

Deep within the warm and juicy blood pulsing through the four chambers of your throbbing heart, you love this quirk of my mine. Which quirk? The one where I list my brilliant, yet discarded blog titles: Tap into the Fountain of Youth–too spammy, Discover an Easy Trick to Lose Weight, Boost Energy, and Increase Stamina–too long, This Drink Will Keep You Healthy–too lackluster, Drink This to Boost Energy & Lose Weight–too bossy and somewhat spammy. Attention! Trolling ghosts, dry and drained of joy, skip the first paragraph of my posts for there is where I lay my quirks.

So what is this miracle drink that restores energy, decreases appetite, and saves lives? 

Coconut Water from a Green Coconut
Super Healthy All Natural Energy Drink

Coconut water! Not coconut milk. There is a HUGE difference between coconut water and coconut milk. Coconut WATER is the liquid inside unripe, green coconuts. 

Coconut milk is the juice from the flesh of a ripe coconut. It’s much sweeter than coconut water and it lacks the beneficial properties of coconut water.

How Coconut Water Boosts Health:

  • Turbo Charged Re-hydration, which prevents death from fluid loss.
  • Instant Electrolyte Replenishment, which eliminates post exercise blues.
  • Appeases Appetite, which leads to HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS.
  • Imparts Critical Vitamins, which decreases the signs of aging.

How to Tap into the Health & Energy Properties of Coconut Water:

Drink it after a work-out. I like to cut it with water; my stomach rebels against viscous fluids after longer runs. Occasionally I’dd add some stevia to sweeten it. I also sip coconut water BEFORE I run or workout. It’s always a great idea to start exercising when you’re well hydrated.

How to Use Coconut Water as a Diet Aid:

Simply drink undiluted coconut water and then wait five minutes  BEFORE each meal. The vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the coconut water will significantly cut appetite.
Most craving for (junk) food are really urges for water or for essential nutrients lost through perspiration. Drinking coconut water before meals replenishes many of the key nutrients; it also quickly re-hydrates, which satiates the appetite, thereby resulting in the consumption of fewer calories. Coconut water also flushes out toxins, thereby choking out the urge to eat sugar and strangling cravings for salty foods.

Where to Buy Packaged Coconut Water:

  • At the semi-racist “Ethnic” Food or the “Health Food” sections of your local Grocery Store.  MAKE SURE your coconut water HAS ONE AND ONLY ONE INGREDIENT: 100% Pure Coconut WATER. Here are some brands–that should be paying for endorsing them, but aren’t, but which I still like anyway: Vita Coco, ONE Coconut Water, & Zico. (One container will last a few days. Believe me, you won’t want to over drink coconut water. It has a rich, healthy taste.)
  • From Overpriced Health Food Stores run by Hippies or Big Corporations disguised as Hippies.
  • Online from Amazon.Com!

    Excellent Source of Pure Coconut Water
    Great Source of Pure Coconut Water
Do It Yourself DIY Coconut Water:
Buy a fresh coconut. Make sure it’s a “young” coconut, not the old hairy brown coconuts sold at the grocery store. The water in the mature brown, hairy coconuts lacks vital nutrients. Instead buy a whole young coconuts from a tropical vendor or in the REFRIGERATED veggie section & fruit isles at your local overpriced health food store. The coconut should still have the thick fibrous, white husk intact. Use a machete to cut open the top. See first image above. (Don’t chop it in your hand like the man above, unless, of course, you think you have too many fingers.)

Weird Facts about Coconut Water:

  • “Coconut” stems from Spanish and Portuguese word “coco,” which means “grinning face.” Spanish and Portuguese explorers noted the peculiar resemblance of the three holes at the base of the shell to a human face.
  • In the literature of India, Kalpavriksha (Devanagari: कल्पवृक्ष), also known as kalpatarukalpadruma and kalpapādapa, is a mythological, wish-fulfilling divine tree. The tree provides wealth, health, and enlightenment. In many coastal sections of India, the coconut tree takes sacred name Kalpavriksha because the tree easily transforms into shelter, food, water, and even comfort in the form of  a makeshift palm leaf fan.
  • Coconut Water is so nutritive that World War II, doctors used it intravenously, when regular IV fluid was unavailable. Before you shoot up coconut water, read below.

The World famous Coconut Water IV Drip is great story, but only partially true. Coconut water was used ONCE in place of saline solution IV Drip during the Second World War. It did save the soldier, but it was NOT and IS NOT commonly used to for IV Drips. It’s not an optimal IV solution for re-hydration because it doesn’t have enough sodium content to stay in the bloodstream. Using it as an IV drip could cause dangerously high blood levels of calcium and potassium. Drink it, don’t shoot it up.

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3 Ways to Disinfect Your Emotions

English: The Whore of Babylon by Lucas Cranach...
English: The Whore of Babylon by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the September, 1522 publication of Luther's translation of the New Testament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can your emotions be infected?

Absolutely. First, consider the media. Imagine it as a pig with open sores, its lips flushed with warm salty blood, its teeth worming with brains, its tongue staining the crisp air with the brown pocked sewage of its breath. That image is almost as unpleasant as the true story about a cannibalistic attack:

Real Life Zombie Attack

Why do these horror stories get press? Advertising revenues are the main reason. But the media’s obsession with the Zombie Apocalypse also epitomizes mindless emotional contagion. What is a Hollywood zombie after all? A stupid being that thrives on contaminating others with its stupidity.

Since fantasy and fiction are based in reality, it’s not surprising that emotional contagion is real. (There is also a real life zombie fungus that controls the minds of ants.) Mimicry is the foundation of emotional movement between people. Humans are hard wired to imitate others, but we don’t have to be held captive or allow others to control our feelings.

Don’t let the media’s emotional terrorism paralyze you. Learn to kill the germs that spread emotional contagion.

Here are three ways to disinfect your emotions:

  1. Be aware of your emotional state, especially as it relates to your surrounds. Pay attention to your emotions and the identify the emotional states of other people. When around other persons, ask yourself, “Is my mood changing?” When you discover that it is changing. Ask the next question “Am I mirroring someone else?” Just asking these questions will prevent the lower brain from taking over. By asking the questions, you give yourself a choice about how you will feel.
  2. What if you discover that you are gravitating towards someone else’s state? First, recognize that you have a choice. Simply identifying the shift will keep you in control. To stay in control do the following: Physically or psychologically separate yourself from the influence. If separating yourself from the other person is not feasible, ask yourself the following question, “How can I put a positive spin on what I’m hearing?” You might also want to have a list of thoughts, memories, or goals that instantly shift your mood. When you ask yourself a question your brain will go to work and finding an answer. So have some questions ready. They should be OPEN ENDED, such as “What can I do right now to feel happy?” Or “What’s the funniest joke I’ve ever heard?”
  3. Realize that all human to human interactions are just a GAME. No one can control how you feel. You are in control. Other people will try to use guilt, fear, shame, and other emotional triggers to manipulate your behavior, but YOU DON’T have to let them control you. YOU ARE THE SOURCE OF ALL YOUR EMOTIONS. As long as you’re mindful, emotional zombies cannot infect you.


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Now You Can Out Run Father Time

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Centenarian Sikh runner Fauja Singh poses for pictures after being the first person to officially enter for next year's Edinburgh Marathon on September 1, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. A world record holder, aged 100, Fajua Singh has run seven marathons, all after his 89th birthday. He officially opened the entry process by signing up for his last ever 26 mile event in Edinburgh. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Just how old is too old for the spine rattling sport of long distance running?

The astonishing answer comes from a “loser.”

Fauja Singh didn’t start running marathons until he was 89. At age 100, he came in dead last for Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (October 2011), but he won first place in the Guinness book of World Records for being the oldest human to run a marathon. Losing and wining at the same time; that’s so very Zen, isn’t it?

Singh credits his longevity with his healthy lifestyle: he not only walks or runs 10 miles each day, but he also eats a vegetarian diet, and refrains from drinking or smoking.

The moral? If father time is going to chase you, Make Him run Marathons.



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5 or Six Ways to Beat the Blues

Image via Wikipedia

The Winter doldrums can try to dim the brightest hearts. But Winter doesn’t have to be a somber time of sadness.

Here are five or six things I do when I’m feeling a little down. Of course, I do them without shoes on. So, the first step to feeling good is to take off your shoes! It’s the only way to feel the world.

  1. I Gobble Grateful-Fruits:
    I force myself to think of good things in my life–those are the grateful fruits. Sometimes, I think about this blog. Lately, I’ve been getting more visitors and more visitors. Knowing that other people value my thoughts, dumb jokes, and rants makes me smile. Other times, I think about how wonderful it is be healthy enough to run and hike barefoot in the Northwest.
    I hunt for anything in my life that I can be grateful for. When I do this, my mind automatically focuses on other things that make me feel good. It takes a little effort, but it works. And it sets my thoughts on the path to happiness.
  2. Project my Personal Powerhouse
    Over the years, I’ve realized that some people are miserable. For whatever reason, they have chosen dark over light. Unfortunately, when chronically miserable people enter a room, all the plants and my heart seems to wither. It can be draining to be around such people. Whenever possible, I remove myself from their presence, but if that is not feasible, I simply don’t take anything they say to heart. They are miserable. They want everyone else to be miserable. I don’t partake in misery. I hate feeling miserable.
    In general, I make it habit not to take ANYTHING personally. I fob off criticism onto bad behaviors. Behaviors change. Yes, some of my behaviors suck, but I AM MORE THAN MY BEHAVIORS. Whenever someone says, “You always….” or “You are….I ignore what follows. They are simply describing my bad behaviors. Sometimes, the person is right about the negative behavior, but I don’t bind my identity to it. True, I can be mean, cruel, and even a little evil at times, but I’m NOT and will never be a MEAN,CRUEL, or EVIL PERSON. Those behaviors aren’t my true nature. So, I NEVER attribute negative comments or behaviors to my nature. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and absolutely perfect in my own way.
  3. Overpowering Optimism
    This one takes practice and effort, but it’s worth it. Basically, I eliminate negative pervasive explanations. Negatively pervasive explanations steal my power. As soon I start attributing behaviors to deep personal flaws, I lose all control. It becomes an excuse to stagnate. For example, if I miss a deadline, I don’t beat myself up about it. I admit my shortcoming, but focus on all of the other times when I did make the deadline. I also focus on the end result, the client wants quality work; so, rather put inferior work on time, I had to delay to put out something worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, missed deadlines are NOT something I’m proud of, but I don’t allow them to chip away at my self-esteem. I don’t let flukes or even patterns of behavior for that matter parade as my chemical make-up. When I’m the world’s most optimistic person, I put a positive spin on EVERYTHING; then, it becomes impossible to frown.
  4. Shower & Shave
    This is very important, I used to neglect my personal appearance when I was depressed; now, it’s the first I tend to when I’m feeling down. There’s something invigorating about taking the time to look good. The cleansing ritual also serves as a distraction, it’s difficult to think negative thoughts when you’re proactively making yourself look better.
  5. Positive Pictures
    This is another one that takes effort, but it works. I visualize myself smiling and happy. I also force a smile–sometimes its painful, but it gets easier the longer it’s there. I also see myself on the beach or surrounded by wealth and beauty. If I’m really feeling down, I’ll go ahead and Google images for “wealth” “happiness” “joy”, etc. I also make sure that  I have the “strict” image search filter on; otherwise, I usually end up viewing porn. OK, that last two words of the previous is Secret Number Six 😉
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