Twelve Commitments To Life book intro

The posts on this page are written by Rich or his short video posts. The topic is: strategies for living an exceptional life. Please feel free to comment.

Videos and other digitized content starring outstanding speakers, coaches and healers are categorized by topic on the sites home page. Please comment and share. We all have something to learn from each other.

I hope you enjoy these!

Below, Rich gives a book overview for The Twelve Commitments To Life, a short and easy to read book that can help improve love, sense of purpose, health, concentration, growth, relationships and more.
 


 

Rich’s book is available at Amazon.com
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I am that

Gurus for centuries have spent years meditating on the meaning of “I am that.” It is a profound concept when fully discerned. Full of nuances of meaning, I offer a quick insight I recently had in hopes you might consider contemplating “I am that.”

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Our Brains Are Plastic, Post 1

“Our brains are plastic. Every experience alters our brain’s organization on some level.” The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness

Neuroscience is not just for scientists. Nor is it simply theories developed by brainiacs. These days there is a lot the average person can learn about the workings of the brain, things that will help them thrive as human beings in modern times. And in my estimation, understanding just a few simple points that neuroscience gives us, will make us part of the next shift into a better future.

The take-away: Our brains are “plastic.”

One of these simple points we get from neuroscience is that our brains are plastic. I don’t expect anyone not in a scientific field of study to appreciate what a wake-up call this point was for the scientific community. The point for us non-scientists is that we can always learn because the brain is always adapting. And with the longer lives we live, we may want to notice the phases of life we go through and use our ever-adapting brain to make the most of those particular situations.

For instance, many educators are studying how brains develop so they can be more effective teachers of their subject and of their humanity. We all know that young minds are impressionable, and the kind of people we become starts with our earliest role models. If our teachers are strict and stern to us, and subservient to their masters, that can affect our perception of what it means to be human, or about fairness or the need for retribution.

There are other phases of life, too, that form our brains. Early work experience, being young and sexual, the dynamics of our group, becoming responsible for family or co-workers… these all will develop different parts of our brains. The particular challenges develop different neuronal pathways and centers of activity.

Over our years of adaptation, we develop habits that we carry over into our next phase of life, whether those strategies work or not. And when we get into the last 20 to 40 years of our lives, we can find ourselves challenged because the habits have had a long time to establish themselves.

Then, “one day,” we wake up and discover wrinkles, aches and other limitations. We need a new set of brain skills for this phase of seniority! How do we stay connected, active and find meaning when our physical abilities are significantly compromised, our work responsibilities have shifted to a lighter load, and we experience more distance from the responsibilities of running a family? We find what we need by utilizing the brain’s plasticity.

The Five Most Important Life Skills for Seniors

From my reading on recent developments in neuroscience, I feel certain that if we can focus on five areas of activity, our years as elders can be fruitful and satisfying. These five areas are: stress reduction, mental engagement, nutrition, physical activity and mindful wisdom (learning overall balance and sharing this with our communities).

Stress Reduction

Stress reduction at any age is beneficial to brain development and adaptation. We simply are more attuned and able to respond when we aren’t stressed. Modern living has afforded us many ways to reduce our stress. Police that keep our communities safer from criminal activity. Judges that are paid well enough to not take bribes. Firefighters and paramedics that respond to local emergencies. Locksmiths that help us more safely sleep and store our valuables. Electricity that runs through our homes to give light and heat without the need of open flame. Books that help us learn about the world and dangers to avoid. Medicine, clean water, sewage and garbage disposal that reduce the likelihood of plague…

Yet our egos still find time to create stress for us. We worry about bills, politics, missing our flight, losing our jobs, mates or keys… And the result is that our brains are less able to thrive. After four or five decades of stress, we are in a stress habit. Our brains may be less responsive to dynamic growth and more responsive to the pattern of self-initiated stress. It’s a downward spiral that can lead to more forgetfulness, poor judgment and fewer meaningful connections.

But because “every experience alters our brain’s organization,” it isn’t too late to put the brain back on a healthy path. Each of the other four factors that seniors can focus on will contribute to brain health: mental engagement, nutrition, physical activity and mindful wisdom. Do some research on these topics…or wait for my next post on this subject.

Your comments are welcome.

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Longevity Personified

I am so impressed with the centenarians interviewed for the Georgia Centenarian Study. Watching them, , I wept and felt like I had found “my people.” They are beautiful! They inspire me. They get my head in a better space. Lively centenarians are life models, full of experience and practical wisdom. Engaged, but flexible. Connected, but somewhat alone. Fearless, positive, concentrated energy. They are proof that we are not here for physical beauty but for balance. Please watch. Let your heart swell and have gratitude for being alive.

Centenarians are the real experts on longevity. They are longevity personified.

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Brain Fitness, Day One

I’ve started a blog post on “Brain Fitness,” over at Life Forever Now.com. “Brain Fitness” is the program for improving brain function by Posit Science. For more introductory information, see LifeForeverNow.com. See my day-by-day progress here.

I encourage you to watch for the next few posts and even subscribe for ease of delivery. Especially if you’ve noticed more forgetfulness, brain fog or confusion, depression or lack of motivation. These are signs of things to come. Don’t accept them. Find a solution to brain drain. It doesn’t have to be your problem.

July 25, 2012, the day I opened the software to install. I see it is by Posit Science as ordered and it is version 2.0.1.

After installation, the introductory video began. Here I was reminded that in the future, I could watch for improvements in “better remembering, sharper focus, quicker thinking and increased alertness.” Later, I was told, and thought it worthy to remember, “The goal is to apply focus to achieve your best. Not to win.”

The first session wasn’t really an exercise. It was probably less than ten minutes, very easy, presumably for familiarity with the basic design. To begin, the program handed me the task of distinguishing between two sliding notes, like bird whistles. Do they go up? Or down? The program indicated that the first session is designed for calibration and that it is designed to adapt to my learning process.

Starting easy is a great learning tool as it builds trust and confidence. Not too long into this short calibrating session, it became more challenging as the whistles became shorter and faster. (Oddly, one of my first reactions to the program, writing just a couple of minutes later, is that I am noticing that I am making more spelling mistakes than usual. Is it due to brain stress?!)

The task was simple enough. Two whistle sounds were presented, and my task was to respond, via the mouse, indicating if the notes were both upward, sliding downward, or first up then down or vise versa. I think it is important to start here. Some people considering a brain fitness program may want something immediately more challenging. But I think we should start with the basics. Especially if it is fun and promising. If it gets boring, I will re-evaluate.

I am glad that the set up was easy on my Windows XP. They must have anticipated that many users are not all that computer savvy and so they put extra effort to make this program user-friendly. The introduction used a kind male voice (though it is possible this is not always the chosen voice-over). My experience of the voice was that it was friendly and inviting, though it told me to expect some challenges ahead. (“Good,” I thought. “I got this to be challenging!”)

The voice-over shared some basic information about the structure of the brain and identified which parts would be strengthened from the program. Further trust was established by listing several universities from the US and abroad that were included in the design and testing of “Brain Fitness.” I got the feeling that the high quality of the program did not raise the profit margin, just the expenses of creating it.

Tomorrow, I will begin the first training session. I am excited about stopping (or slowing) the usual symptoms of an aging brain.

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Freedom, the Final Frontier

Americans celebrate their freedom in many ways. After all, aren’t they the inventors of freedom? Not really. And we Americans have much to learn about freedom yet.

Freedom is often perceived as freedom from dictators, freedom to voice one’s opinions, freedom to select the best leaders and freedom from economic, racial, religious and gender bias.

Thich Nhat Hanh relates in his book The Art of Power that the ultimate form of power is freedom to choose peace, no matter the circumstances. He achieved this freedom during a time of war, when his country was at war with France and he observed war atrocities in his own village and family.

I think it is instructive to observe that he also learned freedom from bitterness, ignorance and hate.The Twelve Commitments to Life Book Cover

Through my practice of commitment to life (Link to the book, sold on Amazon.com) I have discovered and been blessed by these kind of freedoms. I am amazed to witness my own freedom of spirit. I stress less and breathe easier, like I have been let out of a cage. I am free of bitterness over what people do or have done to me. I am freeing myself from the ignorance that comes from denial. The hate, too, is gone.

In gratitude for this freedom, my commitment to life is strengthened and because of this new feeling, I recommend it to you.

We are overwhelmed with messages from our government and authority figures that our freedom depends on sacrifice, that it always has and always will. But the kind of freedom I’m talking about depends on commitment, commitment to life and only life. Check out my plan for your freedom on Amazon. The Twelve Commitments To Life. The release date is July 4, 2012. Free Chapters are available here at LifeForeverNow.net and and LifeForeverNow.com.

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Three Steps for Focus- Ride the LUGE

This is the first of our posts and interviews on Life Forever Now. This six minute video is about a simple three step process I use to get back in the game of life.

 

In short:
1. I check my emotional and mental status by projecting it out for my day, week and life. Is this what I really want?

2. Remind myself what I am all about. I believe that my true self is a LUGE. Love, Understanding and Gratitude Energies.

3. Project out into my day and week (preferably with detailed examples) being Loving with those I will be living with and working with; Understanding those same people; having Gratitude for them, for the situation we found ourselves in, for having the opportunities life brings our way.

My image of the Olympic Winter sport called the Luge, reminds me that what I center on the Energies of Love, Understanding and Gratitude, I get to the future quickly, smartly and victoriously.

 

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