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I have heard that a house was on fire and the owner was crying and weeping. He was going mad.

Then somebody said: "Why are you weeping and crying? I was present just yesterday and your son has sold the property. It is no longer yours." The man said: "Yes Is it so?" Tears simply disappeared, and he was enjoying the whole scene just like a spectator. Then somebody came and said: "Yes, it was talked about. There was talk of selling it, but nothing has been decided. Why are you laughing and enjoying? It is your property." Again tears welled up. He started beating his chest and he said: "I cannot live any more! This is my whole life, my whole life's effort."

And then the son came and he said: "Don't be bothered, everything is okay. The money has been given and the man is not aware at all. He lives in another town, he is not aware. The moment the house caught fire, I ran to the other town. Everything is finished; I have taken the money." Again the father began laughing and enjoying.

This is your world, this is how you are behaving - just thoughts; just thoughts and then you cry and weep, just thoughts and then you laugh and enjoy, just thoughts and you are happy, just thoughts and you are miserable. Somebody tells you: You are beautiful - and you are so happy; somebody says: You look ugly - and you are so unhappy. Just words! What are you doing?

-Rajneesh

By Anthony Tyler

Many people today have heard about the scientific explanations that quantum theory provides – such as the vibratory densities of all physical objects, showing that in a very real sense, the physical reality that encapsulates the human experience is nothing more than one large vibratory collage – a song with infinite variety. Hence the common explanation given from the Book of John, “In the beginning, there was the Word…”

While there are a lot of individuals who simply think, “Wow, what a cool idea this is”, and leave it at that, there are more deeply probing, inquisitive minds that have begun pondering more fundamental questions that this proposes, such as: If life is a song, then what is its tuning? And if there is a tuning, then how does a human determine what it is – and can we tune ourselves to this key signature? 

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It’s so often said “the people who really run the world.” But what does that mean and look like exactly? Recently, even in the mainstream, the word Deep State has come to mass attention as the governing body that ‘lurks in the shadows’ that secretly runs our world.

Beyond presidents and their administrations, these are the true people and interests making decisions. So as we complain about politician this or that, we’re really just putting our attention on someone who truly doesn’t have the control, allowing the true rulers to do what they need without anyone knowing.

This of course isn’t a new idea, it has been said for hundreds of years that there are secret interests who call the shots from behind the scenes, and that who we vote for doesn’t really matter.

In the short film below, writer, producer, and director — Lubomir Arsov — explores our world in a beautifully revealing way that allows us to see the truth. Typically when we learn of these sorts of secrets, we might feel fearful or that this can’t be true. But I truly believe we are in a time where we can’t continue to turn a blind eye to the reality of these shadowy governing bodies.  We must begin to have the courage to see the truth and ultimately change our future as a result. Leaving our heads in the sand no longer serves us.

In the animation below, Arsov exposes the insanity of our modern society and brings incredible wisdom to the ‘dark shadow’ or ‘deep state’ that quietly manipulates in the background.

How our politicians are under control of the shadow government…

Politicians under the control of the shadow government

How our education systems’ content was influenced by the shadow government. It trains us for their agenda..

How it’s our spiritual challenge to move beyond their control and illuminate ourselves…

It is through film and art that we can often learn things in a profound way, and I believe this piece below helps us all to explore these truths more deeply.

This makes me recall an article I just recently wrote about the Pope’s Audience Hall. I draw attention to this now because of the sheer truth and blatant symbolism throughout this building that tells a story that is right in front of our eyes. The Pope speaks from the mouth of a reptilian… and there is a reason for that. Read more here.

Finally, you may be wondering why in some cases the elite puts so much symbolism right in front of us. Why would they show us this stuff if they want to remain a secret? The elite play by certain rules that have been confirmed by a number of insiders. They must get ‘our consent’ so to speak. We interviewed David Wilcock to explore this question more deeply.

You can watch our full interview with David here.

I always say, if you try to see the world through very dirty glasses you will not see things clearly. However, if you clean those glasses, you will see what’s actually going on.

This metaphor applies beautifully to viewing the reality of how our world works. If the mainstream media, history, and the education system are your lenses into the way the world works, your glasses are dirty. If however you are utilizing critical thinking, alternative news outlets and personal research to dig more deeply on how our world actually works, you will have much cleaner glasses – provided you can set aside all political bias’ of course.

Recently the JFK files were released to the public and of course everyone would suspect that the truth about what actually happened that day may come to light in a way like never before.

For those saying ‘No way, they would never let that truth out,’ I hear you. The Deep State probably wouldn’t. But then again how did we get all the leaks about the DNC corruption, the Snowden leaks and the truth about the Clinton’s around election time? Insiders in the US security agencies of course.

So perhaps this time around maybe it was possible that some ‘white hats’ inside these agencies would again reveal some interesting secrets to the people. But it appears it didn’t happen that way.

After 54 years of waiting for these files, not all are being released. This likely means that a person(s) is still living today, that has information related to the death and/or the cover-up of John F. Kennedy, who was killed on November 22, 1963.

Who might that person be? George H. W. Bush. A man coming from one of the most Deep State protected families out there.

The video below dives into this story and data omission deeply. Check it out:

God said:

There is no one path to Godwriting I can hand to you. No definite step to Godwriting exists unless We call Surrender the One Step. This may well be so.

As for laws of Godwriting, the only law for Godwriting that exists is naturalness, which means letting Godwriting be what it is. Otherwise, no laws, yet there is letting go of the extravagance of your individuality and your say-so and the extent of your participation.

Surrender to your Wholeness. This is to say to Surrender to Oneness. Surrender isn’t holding on tight. Surrender is letting go of your individuality. Let go of all that you may hold onto. Drop out of the past. Carry it no further. Let go of all you insist Life has got to be or should be according to your individual will. My Will, not thine, Beloveds. Let go of presumptions. Let go of fears that Surrender may take anything away from you, except, perhaps, short-sightedness.

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So many enlightening human beings have been through challenging times where they have been abused, dismissed, used, and taken for granted. This is a core wound that many of you are working on healing.

The first step is to understand that many of you are on the planet with service contracts. This made being a giver very natural to you, but receiving felt far less comfortable. Shifting into a better balance of giving and receiving, of loving and being loved, of supporting and being supported, is key for you moving forward.

Many of you tried to embody unconditional love without remembering to include yourselves in your own tender care. It is never loving to let someone continually treat you with less respect than you deserve, for that is supporting them in showing up in less than their highest selves and enabling poor behaviour, which is disempowering for everyone involved.

As you are learning to love and honour self as much as others, you are stepping into far better boundaries and balance than ever before. You have learned that unconditional love serves and honours everyone in moving into their highest version of self. You have learned the importance of creating a safe space to support that healing and evolution. And you have accepted the fact that you absolutely deserve the same love and support back that you have so willingly given others.

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Your perceptions are going to change as you grow and learn.  Some of those closest to you may not understand this and react in not so favorable ways.  That is perfectly okay, my love!  Some cannot and will not embrace change the way you do…it may even be challenging in the beginning.  That is okay too!  Just know you are doing the best you can with what you are given in this moment and remember you are infinitely loved by The Universe. ~ Creator

https://thecreatorwritings.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/changing-perceptions/

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Do you want to be a better person? Do you believe you aren’t reaching your full potential, and know you can do better? What’s stopping you? Is it anxiety? A lack of drive or ambition? Or are you a procrastinator? Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure: You can always do better. Perhaps all you really need is some tough love. I mean, someone has to tell you the truth if you aren’t getting it, so allow me.

Here are five brutally honest truths you need to hear in order to get your shit together.

1. Worrying Does Nothing

“Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Another good quote that really puts things into perspective says, “worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.”

The fact is, worrying does not change anything, no matter how much you do it. If you are caught up in your mind worrying about what might or might not happen, you are missing out on what’s happening right now, right in front of you. By making an effort to be more mindful and enjoy the present moment, you can break this habitual practice of worrying. This is just your mind/computer trying to keep you safe, so thank the mind, move on, and tune in to the heart.

2. We Need to Actively Accept Change

“Buddhism holds that everything is in constant flux. Thus the question is whether we are to accept change passively and be swept away by it or whether we are to take the lead and create positive change on our own initiative. While conservatism and self-protection might be linked to winter, night, and death, the spirit of pioneering and attempting to realize ideals evokes images of spring, morning, and birth.”

— Daisaku Ikeda

Change is a fact of life. Everything in our lives is constantly changing, and there is nothing we can do to stop it, no matter how much we might try. You’re born and then you die, spring turns into summer, into fall, into winter. You can’t escape change, so the real question here is, how well do you adapt to it when it comes? When you try to keep things the same by resisting change, you are drastically limiting yourself, your experiences, and your potential. Learning to embrace change and to accept it is an extremely powerful tool to assist you on your journey.

3. In Order to Truly Be Happy, You Have to Look at Reality as It Is

People tend to pick and choose what they like about the world and ignore the rest — ignorance is bliss, after all. The main problem here is, without having awareness, how can we effectively create change on this planet? We have to take a deep, hard look at what’s going on around us, not so we live in fear, but so we can understand what is playing out here and why.

So many are trying to stay positive at all costs, to avoid looking at the darkness or feeling negative emotions. But we have to accept these dualities and embrace them if we ever want to be truly free. Buddhist master Pema Chödrön says, “We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs — or we don’t. Either we accept our fixed versions of our reality — or we begin to challenge them. In buddha’s opinion to train in staying open and curious — to train in dissolving assumptions and beliefs is the best use of our human lives.”

He also says:

Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.

Once you embrace and overcome the challenges and darkness, you come out better equipped to handle the next thing life throws your way.

4. The Root Of Suffering Is in the Constant Pursuit of Temporary Feelings

“The real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction.”

This is something that I am FINALLY starting to understand, after years on the spiritual path and doing the inner work. In the past I would compare myself and my situation to others who appeared to be happy. Why can’t I have that? I would often think. But I’ve since learned that striving for happiness can do more harm than good, because once it’s gone, you feel even lower than before. Yet all around us, we are being encouraged to be happy, to live a life full of excitement and adventure, to live our passion every second. On the other hand, when someone expresses emotions or sheds some tears, people are quick to tell them they must be stronger than these emotions, and if they feel sad they must simply not be trying hard enough to be happy. Why do we strive for certain emotions and deny the others?

This is not to say that you can’t experience joy or bliss, because, just like pain, sadness, and suffering, they are a part of life and arise whether you will to them or not. What you can control is whether you attach to your emotions or let them pass. It’s important to realize that finding inner peace brings true happiness; this peace comes from within, and no external thing can change it. When you’ve found this, you are able to accept things as they come — both the good and the bad.

5. Meditation WILL Help Reduce Suffering

This is another that is finally starting to make sense to me. For many years, despite being told over and over again Meditation will help, just try meditation, I would become beyond frustrated because I never really felt that I could do it, had extremely high expectations, and could not stop my thoughts from arising. Nowadays, my perspective toward meditation has shifted, as I’ve learned to drop all the expectations altogether, to accept my thoughts and let them be as they are. I wish someone would have told me the following years ago: “Meditation is not an effort against the mind. It is a way of understanding the mind. It is a very loving way of witnessing the mind.”

Meditation teaches us how impermanent everything is, especially our feelings. If nothing else, it gives us a chance to stop, connect with our breath, and relax, if only for 5-10 minutes a day. By connecting to your breath, you connect to the present moment; it can be as simple as that. All we ever have is now, so don’t miss it.

According to Yuval Noah Harari:

This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realize how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing joy, anger, boredom, lust — but once you stop craving particular feelings you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasizing about what might have been. The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it.

Much Love

The cover picture for this article features an alleged human-looking extraterrestrial, but of course, it’s impossible to say whether it’s real or not. You can read more about that story, and the source, here. 

Evolutionary biologist Simon Conway Morris has shared his belief that aliens are not only real, but look just like us, and notes how interesting it is that we have yet to find or come in contact with human-like beings, given the number of Earth-like planets we have discovered so far.

Professor Conway Morris is best known for his study on the Cambrian explosion, which saw a sudden evolutionary burst of complex animal life occur around 542 million years ago. Morris, a man of both religion and science, has also been challenging popular scientific theories with an open mind for quite some time. He feels that many theories, when pulled together, can help explain how we all got here, but on their own paint only an incomplete picture.

Given his history, it’s unsurprising that Morris also delves into the ET realm. He feels that because many of the planets we have discovered are similar to our own, harbouring the distinct possibility for life, it is likely life has already emerged:

I would argue that in any habitable zone that doesn’t boil or freeze, intelligent life is going to emerge, because intelligence is convergent. One can say with reasonable confidence that the likelihood of something analogous to a human evolving is really pretty high. And given the number of potential planets that we now have good reason to think exist, even if the dice only come up the right way every one in 100 throws, that still leads to a very large number of intelligences scattered around, that are likely to be similar to us.

He continues:

Fermi’s paradox seems to be coming rather sharply into focus. If I’m on the right track then the likelihood of intelligence is evolving and actively engaging in some sort of transgalatic expeditions doesn’t seem to be completely beyond the realm of possibility.

What Fermi didn’t know when he asked that famous question was that the number of Earth-like planets is absolutely gigantic now. More problematic is that many of these solar systems far, far pre-date our solar system. They would have, in principle, a major head start of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of years.”

The problem is exceedingly acute: we shouldn’t be alone but, famous last words, all the evidence suggests we are. Maybe [aliens] are hiding, the Arthur C Clarke idea, or as Stephen Baxter mischievously suggested we live in a virtual world. I don’t honestly know. My suspicion is we have only begun to scratch at the surface of reality, for want of a better word.

But are they hiding? There’s been so much evidence of “someone else” that the statement “maybe they’re hiding” seems misplaced.

Valid Theories?

Can we take his theories seriously? Given the amount of research that has gone into this subject over the years, enough evidence, case studies, and experiences have been documented to suggest it’s not at all unreasonable to believe that aliens not only exist, but could be among us already. Even Harvard professor John Mack says, when it comes to alien abductions, “Yes, it’s both. It’s both literally, physically happening to a degree; and it’s also some kind of psychological, spiritual experience occurring and originating perhaps in another dimension.” 

Even popular scientists Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye believe aliens and ETs exist and are intelligent.

Former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer also believes ETs exist, and further asserts that “at least four known alien species have been visiting earth for thousands of years.” In an interview we did with Hellyer at Toronto City Hall, I asked him outright about the existence of different species, and he told me that at some levels of military and government, it’s such a known fact that it’s not even surprising to them anymore.

Exciting Time for Disclosure

Ultimately, this topic is so widely discussed now that it’s only a matter of time before big answers will come. Some believe the answers are already there , while others are waiting for more tangible proof, and they are of course entitled to wait. I do believe, however, that instead of being rash, angry, or condescending about the probability of alien life, we could be more curious, excited, and open. It’s a very real and practical possibility, and the days of thinking it’s something only crazy people would believe should be long gone.

For more of our articles on this subject, you can click here.

That is the difference between belief and faith; A woman knows who the mother is - that is faith; and a father simply believes that he is the father but he doesn't know. There is no way of knowing it. Fatherhood is a belief, motherhood is a faith. Faith depends on knowing, belief depends on just believing. There is no base to it.

-Rajneesh

God said:

In order to Godwrite, easy does it. Let go of ideas of grandeur or perfection. Have no expectations of being dazzled. Simple Godwriting is good. Simple Godwriting opens yourself to the Heights where you really are.

On the other hand, you may have great anticipations anyway. I don’t ask you to strain to banish your anticipation and dreams. Effort to refrain from your desires is no less effort than having to have superlative Godwriting.

Do We understand effortlessness more effortlessly now?

There is nothing for you to be concerned with about Godwriting. If I am the Godwriter, this relieves you of responsibility. Lean back and Godwrite. Put your feet up and Godwrite. Recline in bed and Godwrite. Be at ease with Godwriting.

You don’t have to be dressed to the nines. Nor is your Godwriting a test of any kind. I do not look for a stellar performance from you, not at all. I look for no performance from you whatsoever. None.

The best you can do is to relax with Me. You can’t force yourself to relax with Me, of course not. Force is trying. Nor can you try hard not to force yourself.

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On this day where many of you celebrate thanksgiving, we hope that, wherever you are, you will remember to give thanks for yourselves – for your tender, courageous hearts, the love and care you so generously give others, your tenacity, your humour, your mindfulness, and your commitment to healing and growth that is driving the grand shift on your planet. Please take a moment to acknowledge that none of it could happen without you, and that your hard work is indeed making a difference, for the evolution of the one can only serve and support the evolution of the whole. ~Archangel Gabriel through Shelley Young

http://trinityesoterics.com/2017/11/23/daily-message-thursday-november-23-2017/

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Dr. Mercola, Guest
Waking Times

Thanksgiving — celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November — is perhaps one of the most cherished of American holidays; it’s a time when family and friends gather over ample amounts of food and give thanks for the blessings in life, including each other. As explained by University of California psychology professor Robert Emmons, one of the leading scientific experts on gratitude and author of several books on the topic, gratitude involves two key components:1

  1. It’s “an affirmation of goodness;” when you feel gratitude, you affirm that you live in a benevolent world
  2. It’s a recognition that the source of this goodness comes from outside of yourself; that other people (or higher powers, if you prefer) have provided you with “gifts” that improve your life in some way

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An Attitude of Gratitude Fosters Health and Happiness

The practice of openly sharing what we’re grateful for is by many accounts one of the healthiest aspects of our annual Thanksgiving festivity. According to psychologists, it’s a ritual that fosters both happiness and health. It’s unfortunate that most people reserve this gratitude ritual for Thanksgiving Day only. While giving thanks once a year is beneficial, doing it more often could be life changing.2 At least that’s what science suggests.

Studies have actually shown that the psychological state of gratitude has beneficial implications for every major organ system in your body.3 So, if you’re serious about your well-being you’d be wise to increase the frequency at which you feel and express gratitude. Adopting the ritual of saying grace at every meal, for example, is a great way to flex your gratitude muscle on a daily basis,4 and will also foster a deeper connection to your food.

When you reflect on all the things that went into its creation, from the sowing of the seed, to the harvest and the cooking, you’ll realize just how much work — by both nature and man — went into creating the meal before you that will now provide you with nourishment. Considering a breakdown anywhere along that chain would result in scarcity and hunger, there’s a lot to be thankful for in each plate of food.

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The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is celebrated in remembrance of the first recorded feast between the British pilgrims and Native Americans in Plymouth. The year was 1621, and the pilgrims had just reaped their first successful harvest in the New World. While the history of this first Thanksgiving celebration is sketchy, eyewitness accounts claim:5

  • The feast was attended by at least 50 English pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians, the latter of which walked for two days to attend. In addition to food, marksmanship games and running races were also enjoyed.
  • The celebration lasted three days.
  • Venison was the highlight of the meal, brought by the Wampanoag tribesmen. Other meal selections included fish and fowls (wild turkeys, ducks and geese).

At the time, the get-together was not called “Thanksgiving,” and it did not become an annual, national holiday until 1863, nearly a century and a half later. In fact, the feast in 1621 appears to have been a singular event. Unfortunately, the peace between pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe was short-lived, and Thanksgiving is for many Native Americans a controversial holiday tainted by ancestral pain. According to Time:6

“Early European colonizers and Native Americans lived in peace through a symbiotic relationship for about 10 years until thousands of additional settlers arrived … Up to 25,000 Englishmen landed in the New World between 1630 and 1642, after a plague drastically cut the native population by what’s believed to be more than half … The arrival of new settlers prompted a fight for land and rising animosity. War exploded in 1675 …

Many Native Americans have long marked Thanksgiving as a day of somber remembrance. Jacqueline Keeler, a member of the Dineh Nation and the Yankton Dakota Sioux … observes Thanksgiving with her family but doesn’t think of it as a national holiday … ‘Thanksgiving tells a story that is convenient for Americans. [But] it’s a celebration of our survival. I recognize it as a chance for my family to come together as survivors, pretty much in defiance.'”

Be Sure to Keep the ‘Thanks’ in Thanksgiving

Depending on the kind of year you’ve had, you may or may not feel like you have a whole lot to feel thankful for. Whether or not you should express thanks if you feel you have nothing to be thankful for is addressed in a previous New York Times article. In it, Arthur C. Brooks writes:7

“It’s best to be emotionally authentic, right? Wrong. Building the best life does not require fealty to feelings in the name of authenticity, but rather rebelling against negative impulses and acting right even when we don’t feel like it. In a nutshell, acting grateful can actually make you grateful …

Evidence suggests that we can actively choose to practice gratitude — and that doing so raises our happiness … If you want a truly happy holiday, choose to keep the “thanks” in Thanksgiving, whether you feel like it or not.”

One way to flex your gratitude muscle when life events leave you uninspired is to identify and express gratitude for seemingly “useless” or insignificant things. It could be a certain smell in the air, the color of a flower, your child’s freckles or the curvature of a stone. Over time, you’ll find that doing this will really hone your ability to identify “good” things in your life. In fact, you may eventually find that “bliss” is closer than you imagined.

Health Benefits of Gratitude

Aside from making you feel better about your life, feeling and expressing gratitude has been found to have a wide range of beneficial health effects, including:8,9,10

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Stimulating your hypothalamus (an area of your brain involved in the regulation of stress) and your ventral tegmental area (part of your brain’s “reward circuitry,” an area that produces pleasurable feelings)11 Improving your sleep12 (especially if your mind has a tendency to go into overdrive with negative thoughts and worries at bedtime) Raising the likelihood you’ll engage in healthy activities such as exercise Raising your relationship satisfaction Raising your work performance (in one study, managers who expressed gratitude saw a 50 percent increase in the employees’ performance) Reducing your stress13 Enhancing your sense of general well-being14 Improving your heart health15, reducing the likelihood of sudden death in patients with congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease Producing measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, including the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine (involved in mood regulation), inflammatory cytokines, reproductive hormones, the stress hormone cortisol, the social bonding hormone oxytoxin, blood pressure, cardiac and EEG rhythms, and blood sugar levels 10 Practical Strategies to Build and Strengthen Gratitude

Like a muscle, your sense of gratitude can be built and strengthened with practice. Here are 10 gratitude practices you can experiment with:

Keep a daily gratitude journal

This can be done in a paper journal, or you can download a Gratitude Journal app from iTunes.16 In one study, people who kept a gratitude journal reported exercising more, and had fewer visits to the doctor compared to those who focused on sources of aggravation.17,18

Write thank you notes or a thank you letter19

Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank you letters or notes can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside.

Nonverbal actions

This includes smiles and hugs, both of which can express a wide array of messages, from encouragement and excitement to empathy and support.

Be sincere, and choose your words wisely

While it’s easy to say words like “please” and “thank you” in passing, these courtesies can become potent acknowledgments of gratitude when combined with eye contact and sincerity. In other words, say it like you mean it.

Research20 also shows that using “other-praising” phrases are far more effective than “self-beneficial” phrases. For example, praising a partner saying, “thank you for going out of your way to do this,” is better than a compliment framed in terms of how you benefited, such as “it makes me happy when you do that.” The former resulted in the partner feeling happier and more loving toward the person giving the praise.

Focus on the benevolence of other people instead of being so self-centered

Doing so will increase your sense of being supported by life and decrease unnecessary anxieties. Cherishing the kindness of others also means you’re less likely to take them for granted.21

Avoid comparing yourself to people you perceive to have more advantages

Doing so will only erode your sense of security. As Emmons notes in his book, “The Little Book of Gratitude,”22“Wanting more is related to increased anxiety and unhappiness. A healthier comparison is to contemplate what life would be like without a pleasure that you now enjoy … Gratitude buffers you from emotions that drive anxiety. You cannot be grateful and envious, or grateful while harboring regrets.”

Prayer and/or mindfulness meditation

Expressing thanks during prayer or meditation is another way to cultivate gratitude. Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. A mantra is sometimes used to help maintain focus, but you can also focus on something that you’re grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze or a lovely memory.

Create a nightly gratitude ritual

This suggestion was given by Dr. Alison Chen in a Huffington Post article.23 “My colleague has a bedtime routine with her [3-year-old] and it includes recognizing what you are grateful for. When this part of the night comes, you can’t shut him up,” Chen writes.

“There are so many things that we take for granted and when you listen to the long list that a child can come up with you realize the possibilities for gratefulness are limitless! Take a couple of minutes each day to stop and reflect; taking regular pause is an excellent way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life.”

One suggestion is to create a gratitude jar,24 into which the entire family can add notes of gratitude on a daily basis. Any jar or container will do. Simply write a quick note on a small slip of paper and put it into the jar. Some make an annual (or bi-annual or even monthly) event out of going through the whole jar, reading each slip out loud.

Spend money on activities instead of things

According to recent research,25 spending money on experiences not only generates more feelings of gratitude than material consumption, it also motivates greater generosity. As noted by co-author Amit Kumar, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Chicago, “People feel fortunate, and because it’s a diffuse, untargeted type of gratitude, they’re motivated to give back to people in general.”26

Interestingly, generosity has also been linked to happiness, which may seem counterintuitive since giving to others means sacrificing some of your own physical or emotional resources. This experience has now been validated by science showing that generosity and happiness are actually wired together in your brain. 27

Tap forth gratitude

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a helpful tool. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure based on the energy meridians used in acupuncture that can quickly restore inner balance and healing, and helps rid your mind of negative thoughts and emotions. In the video below, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap for gratitude. Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude Year-Round

Your future health and happiness depends largely on the thoughts you think today. It’s worth remembering that each moment of every day is an opportunity to feel and express gratitude. Doing so will, over time, help you feel happier, strengthen your relationships and support your health. By focusing on what’s good right now, in the present moment, you become more open to receive greater abundance in the future.

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Jon Rappoport, Guest
Waking Times

Note: I’m reprinting a piece I wrote about a year ago. In it, you’ll see a CIA mind-control document that calls for drugs fulfilling certain specific requirements.

OPIOIDS SATISFY A NUMBER OF THESE REQUIREMENTS PERFECTLY.

“Long ago, I interviewed John Marks, author of ‘Search for the Manchurian Candidate’, the book that exposed the CIA’s MKULTRA mind-control program. He told me that in 1962, when MKULTRA supposedly ended, the CIA actually transferred the program to its Office of Research and Development, where it went completely dark. A CIA representative told Marks there were a hundred boxes of material on the ‘new’ MKULTRA, and he, Marks, would never see any of it, no matter how many FOIA requests he made.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

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“Plans for guiding the world can be formed and launched a long, long time before we see the results. Don’t assume cause and effect are merely and only short-term. That’s an unwarranted idea.” (The Underground)

Drugs to transform individuals…and even, by implication, society.

Drug research going far beyond the usual brief descriptions of MKULTRA.

The intention is there, in the record.

A CIA document was included in the transcript of the 1977 US Senate Hearings on MKULTRA, the CIA’s mind-control program.

The document is found in Appendix C, starting on page 166. It’s simply labeled “Draft,” dated 5 May 1955.

It begins: “A portion of the Research and Development Program of [CIA’s] TSS/Chemical Division is devoted to the discovery of the following materials and methods:”

What followed was a list of hoped-for drugs and their uses.

I’m printing, below, the list of the 1955 intentions of the CIA regarding their own drug research. The range of those intentions is stunning. All statements are direct quotes from the “Draft” document.

Some of my comments gleaned from studying the list:

The CIA wanted to find substances which would “promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness.” Serious consideration should be given to the idea that psychiatric medications, food additives, pesticides, and industrial chemicals (like fluorides) would eventually satisfy that requirement. [OPIOIDS WORK FOR PART OF THIS AGENDA]

The CIA wanted to find chemicals that “would produce the signs and symptoms of recognized diseases in a reversible way.” This suggests many possibilities—among them the use of drugs to fabricate diseases and thereby give the false impression of germ-caused epidemics.

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The CIA wanted to find drugs that would “produce amnesia.” Ideal for discrediting whistleblowers, dissidents, certain political candidates, and other investigators. (Scopolamine, for example.) [OPIOIDS CAN DO THIS]

The CIA wanted to discover drugs which would produce “paralysis of the legs, acute anemia, etc.” A way to make people decline in health as if from diseases.

The CIA wanted to develop drugs that would “alter personality structure” and thus induce a person’s dependence on another person. How about dependence in general? For instance, dependence on institutions, governments? [OPIOIDS ARE A PERFECT FIT]

The CIA wanted to discover chemicals that would “lower the ambition and general working efficiency of men.” Sounds like a general description of the devolution of society. [OPIOIDS ARE A PERFECT FIT]

As you read the list yourself, you’ll see more implications/possibilities.

Here, from 1955, quoted verbatim from the Agency document, are the types of drugs the MKULTRA men at the CIA were looking for:

* Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public. [OPIOIDS PROMOTE ILLOGICAL THINKING]

* Substances which increase the efficiency of mentation and perception.

* Materials which will prevent or counteract the intoxicating effect of alcohol.

* Materials which will promote the intoxicating effect of alcohol.

* Materials which will produce the signs and symptoms of recognized diseases in a reversible way so that they may be used for malingering, etc.

* Materials which will render the induction of hypnosis easier or otherwise enhance its usefulness. [OPIOIDS ARE PERFECT FOR THIS PURPOSE]

* Substances which will enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion during interrogation and so-called “brain-washing”.

* Materials and physical methods which will produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use. [OPIOIDS ARE USEFUL FOR CREATING AMNESIA]

* Physical methods of producing shock and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptitious use. [OPIOIDS PRODUCE CONFUSION]

* Substances which produce physical disablement such as paralysis of the legs, acute anemia, etc.

* Substances which will produce “pure” euphoria with no subsequent let-down.

* Substances which alter personality structure in such a way that the tendency of the recipient to become dependent upon another person is enhanced. [OPIOIDS ARE PERFECT]

* A material which will cause mental confusion of such a type that the individual under its influence will find it difficult to maintain a fabrication under questioning. [OPIOIDS POSSIBLY USEFUL]

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* Substances which will lower the ambition and general working efficiency of men when administered in undetectable amounts. [OPIOIDS PERFECT BUT RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN]

* Substances which promote weakness or distortion of the eyesight or hearing faculties, preferably without permanent effects.

* A knockout pill which can surreptitiously be administered in drinks, food, cigarettes, as an aerosol, etc., which will be safe to use, provide a maximum of amnesia, and be suitable for use by agent types on an ad hoc basis. [HIGH DOSE OPIOIDS]

* A material which can be surreptitiously administered by the above routes and which in very small amounts will make it impossible for a man to perform any physical activity whatsoever. [OPIOIDS OUT IN THE OPEN, IN HIGH DOSE]

That’s the list.

If you examine the full range of psychiatric drugs developed since 1955 [plus opioids], you’ll see that a number of them fit the CIA’s agenda. Speed-type chemicals, which addle the brain over the long term, to treat so-called ADHD. Anti-psychotic drugs, to render patients more and more dependent on others (and government) as they sink into profound disability and incur motor brain damage. And of course, the SSRI antidepressants, like Prozac and Paxil and Zoloft, which produce extreme and debilitating highs and lows—and also push people over the edge into committing violence.

These drugs drag the whole society down into lower and lower levels of consciousness and action.

If that’s the goal of a very powerful and clandestine government agency…it’s succeeding.

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About the Author

Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALEDEXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29thDistrict of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrixclick here.)

This article (The CIA Documented Long-Range Planning for a Drugged and Debilitated society: Opioids are a Perfect Fit) was originally created and published by Jon Rappaport’s Blog and is re-posted here with permission.

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Markab Algedi, Guest
Waking Times 

Henry Luce could be titled the “father of mainstream media.” He was referred to as “the most influential private citizen in America of his day.”

The person behind LifeFortune, and Time magazines, his cooperation with the powers of his day perfectly demonstrate what “the elite” is, and how power works today. His influence, connection to American industrialists, and membership in the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University make him a relevant character to learn about.

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Luce’s Time magazine was founded in the mid-1920s with the help of money from J.P. Morgan figures, Rockefeller’s Standard Oil associates, and other influential individuals and entities. It seems his career was seeded by the “robber barons.”

Henry Luce married with two separate ceremonies: one regular wedding, and one “Skull and Bones wedding.” He married Lila Ross Hotz, who belonged to a wealthy Chicago family similar to the McCormick family that connected Luce to power.

Henry was born in Tengchow, China, the son of a Presbyterian missionary named Henry Winters Luce on April 3rd, 1898. In 1905 he was sent to the United States. In Chicago, his family met Nancy Fowler McCormick, the wealthy widow of Cyrus McCormick: a powerful man from the McCormick family.

The story goes that Nancy was “so impressed with the seven year old Henry that she asked for permission to raise him in America.”

That line reads like a page out of the robber baron descendant David Rockefeller biography, in which David just happens upon some of the most prominent positions a man could find.

Nancy McCormick’s husband Cyrus was a member of one of America’s robber baron families. According to Wikipedia:

Cyrus Hall McCormick (February 15, 1809 – May 13, 1884) was an American inventor and businessperson, the founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which later became part of the International Harvester Company in 1902. From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, he and many members of his family became prominent residents of Chicago.

He was born to inventor Robert McCormick who was essentially the patriarch of the family, having invented a version of the reaper. Robert’s father Robert McCormick Sr. was an American Revolutionary War veteran: power is passed on.

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The well-connected Nancy McCormick introduced him to opportunities, and another member of that family, Robert R. McCormick, was the owner of the Chicago Tribune.

He spent time in many regions of the world in his childhood, attending China Inland Mission School in 1907, St Albans school in England in 1911, and also in Switzerland. By 1913 he was in Connecticut, where he attended Hotchkiss school. In 1916, Henry Luce was trying to publish writing in the Yale Daily News, and by 1919 he became a member of Skull and Bones.

According to Spartacus Educational:

Luce and Hadden both wanted to become members of the Skull and Bones group. Only fifteen students were allowed to join each year. They achieved the honour in 1919. Other members of this secret society include William Howard Taft, Henry L. Stimson, William Averell Harriman, Clarence Douglas Dillon, Frederick Trubee Davison, James Jesus Angleton, William F. Buckley, McGeorge Bundy, Robert A. Lovett, Potter Stewart, Lewis Lapham, George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush.

Skull and Bones is of course one of the most well-known fraternal orders or secret societies in America. As Thomas Jefferson was a member of the “Flat Hat Club,” Skull and Bones birthed notorious figureheads of power.

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In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush and John Kerry went against each other: both members of Skull and Bones at Yale. The two both openly admitted they didn’t want to talk about it, in a characteristically similar way.

The big picture about the importance of secret societies in understanding the way power works was explored in this documentary.

By 1920, his connections seemed to broaden. Around that time Nancy Fowler McCormick introduced Henry Luce to Victor Lawson, owner of the Chicago Daily News. He didn’t work there for long. After a few more brushes with power, including a meeting with John Wesley Hanes, an experienced figure on Wall Street, Time magazine was first published in 1923.

Time magazine was founded when Henry Luce and his partner Briton Hadden “used their contacts through the Skull and Bones secret society,” to directly quote a mainstream source about Luce, to get connected to the real echelons of power: J.P. Morgan figures, Standard Oil figures, and the like.

Henry Pomeroy Davison, a senior partner at J.P. Morgan, began to invest money in the new Timemagazine, and convinced his associate Dwight Morrow to buy stock in it.  Louise Harkness, daughter of William L. Harkness, a leading figure in Standard Oil, invested money in Time magazine after she inherited $53,439,437. Luce and his partner raised about $85,675 by 1922 (a lot of money back then), and the first edition of Time magazine was published on 3rd March, 1923.

The history of Time magazine supporting the elite they were in alliance with is worthy of an article in itself. They epitomized the relationship between media and the powers-that-be, and it works similarly today.

A few noteworthy moments include Time’s promotion of Adolf Hitler as “man of the year” in a 1939 edition, and the promotion of vaccine producer Merck’s president in a 1952 edition, after he was involved with a secret biowarfare program for the War Research Service. These are just interesting bits of info on a complex timeline.

Time simply pushed the propaganda line for the complex of powers that apparently gave him funding in the first place: basically how mainstream media works today.

The Life magazine he purchased was an instrument of the CIA at times. They published a 1957 editionwith ex-Chase banker R. Gordon Wasson, promoting psychedelic mushrooms for the CIA, and the CIA’s correspondence with Wasson was well documented. Although they eventually banned psilocybin mushrooms because they are more medicinal than useful in controlling people, at the time the agenda was to promote them, as MK Ultra was in full swing.

The CIA’s Operation Mockingbird may have taken Luce’s magazines to a whole other level as propaganda mouthpieces: it seems very likely that his magazines were a part of this. The CIA has always been connected to the wealthy industrialists in America, from the J.P. Morgan people to the Rockefellers.

Henry Luce used Time to fight viciously against the policies of John F. Kennedy, and in favor of a Cuban conflict. Eventually, parts of the JFK story were buried as a result of their actions.

A final ode to the man’s history can be garnered again from Spartacus Educational:

Soon after the assassination [of JFK] Charles Douglas Jackson also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. Peter Dale Scott argues in his book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1996) that Jackson, on the urging of Allen Dulles, employed Isaac Don Levine, a veteran CIA publicist, to ghost-write Marina’s story. This story never appeared in print.

Hopefully this article provided insight into what we mean when we say “the elite.” “The elite” is a non-complicated way to describe this web of people: bankers, intelligence agencies, and wealthy industrialists in the era of Henry Luce.

There are different factions of “the elite,” and different categories one could place an elite individual or entity into, such as corporate power, or governmental power, or institutional power. Even “occult,” or hidden power exists, and secret societies play some role that isn’t easily understood by outsiders. The elite today seems to function in an even more consolidated fashion than in the era of Henry Luce.

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Article provided by: Dea @ I Nourish Gently

I have to admit when I saw this recipe, my heart started pounding.

I won’t believe it if you say you’re looking at the image right now and NOT salivating… A LOT!

I’ve always said I’m all about simplicity, but once in a while recipes like this one deserve the time and effort needed to put them together.

I am a huge fan of roasted veggies, and when they intermingle beautifully with lasagna sheets and creamy, cheesy sauces in a richly delightful recipe like this one, my excitement just goes over the top!

I won’t go into further detail as to how AMAZING this tastes, because you just have to try it yourself (and come back to tell everyone else in the comments below).

The recipe is courtesy of forward.com, excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones. (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 8-12

4 red or yellow bell peppers (about ¾ pound)
4 large zucchini (1½ pounds), sliced on a diagonal about ¼-inch thick
1 large Italian eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 large onion (about ½ pound), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the grill pan
6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped from the stems and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herb Ricotta (recipe follows)
2 cups Basil Pesto (recipe follows)
Puttanesca Sauce (recipe follows)
1 pound lasagna noodles, cooked in boiling salted water just until al dente, then drained, and rinsed (I use gluten-free)
10 ounces soy mozzarella, preferably Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet, shredded (4 cups)

1. Put each pepper directly on a gas burner over high heat and char, turning periodically with tongs, until the skin is wrinkled and blistered on all sides, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can roast the peppers using a broiler, turning them occasionally. Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let them steam for about 10 minutes to loosen the skins.

2. Pull out the cores of the peppers and remove the seeds. Pull off and discard the blackened skin. Dip your fingers in water as you work to keep the charred bits from sticking. Cut the roasted peppers into ½-inch-wide strips and put in a large mixing bowl, along with any juices that have collected. Add the sliced zucchini, eggplant, and onion, tossing to combine.

3. Combine the oil, basil, thyme, garlic, and shallot in a small bowl or measuring cup, season with salt and pepper, and whisk to blend. Pour the marinade over the vegetables, tossing to coat evenly. Set aside for 10 minutes so the vegetables can soak up the flavour.

4. Preheat an outdoor grill and coat with oil, or coat a grill pan with oil and put over medium-high heat. Alternatively, preheat the broiler.

5. Arrange the peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and onion on the grill or grill pan (if using a grill pan, you will have to do this in batches) and grill, turning the vegetables once, until they are tender and lightly browned and have released most of their moisture, about five minutes per side. Or, if using the broiler, arrange the vegetables in a single layer on two nonstick baking sheets and broil in two batches. Set the vegetables aside.

6. Mix together the herb ricotta and 1 cup of the basil pesto in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Once you have the sauce ready, the vegetables grilled, and the filling made, you can start assembling the lasagna. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

8. Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, to just cover the bottom. Slightly overlap six lasagna noodles crosswise so they completely cover the bottom of the dish, with no gaps. Top the noodles with one-third of the ricotta-pesto mixture, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 1 cup of the soy mozzarella over the ricotta. Shingle one-third of the roasted peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and onion in an even layer on top. Repeat the process, layering sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta-pesto, soy mozzarella, and vegetables two more times. Finally, top with the remaining six lasagna noodles and sauce.

9. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until bubbly. Remove the foil and top the lasagna with the remaining 1 cup soy mozzarella. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into eight squares.

To serve: Divide the remaining 1 cup pesto among 8-12 plates, spreading it out with the back of a spoon. Set a lasagna square on top.

Herbed Ricotta

Makes about 4 cups

We add fresh herbs to the almond ricotta to bring a little something extra to the pasta filling.

Also check out this Creamy-Dreamy Herb Cashew-Hemp Cheese

4 cups Kite Hill almond ricotta
6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Mash together the almond ricotta, basil, parsley, garlic, and shallot in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. The ricotta can be prepared in advance, covered, and refrigerated for up to five days before using it as a pasta filling; leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Basil Pesto

Makes 1 cup

Pesto, among the best-known sauces to come out of Italy, is simple to make, requires no cooking, and has only a few ingredients. Yet it adds the most delicious pop of colour and flavour to pastas, soups, and roasted vegetables.

2 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes (see Note)
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
4 garlic cloves, smashed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine the basil, parsley, nutritional yeast flakes, nuts, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a food processor and pulse until a paste forms, pushing down the basil and parsley as needed. With the motor running, pour in the oil in a steady stream, making sure it directly hits the blade (this is the best way to distribute the oil and emulsify it evenly and quickly). Transfer to a container. If you’re not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to keep it from oxidizing.

Note on Nutritional Yeast FlakesNutritional yeast may not sound like the most appetizing ingredient, but it has a cheesy, nutty, savoury quality that gives any dish extra oomph. Just a tablespoon or two adds a creamy, salty richness to dips, soups, and sauces. Look for nutritional yeast flakes in the supplement section of the market or health food store. Be sure to select flakes instead of granules, which will deliver a bit of texture to whatever you add them to.

Puttanesca Sauce

Makes 8 cups

Puttanesca is a robust old-school Italian red sauce made from pantry staples — olives, capers, and red pepper flakes.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups Scoty’s Marinara Sauce (recipe follows) or store-bought sauce
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup capers, drained
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Put a medium pot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the shallots are translucent, two to three minutes.

2. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes to evaporate some of the alcohol. Stir in the tomato paste and marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the olives, capers and basil, and season with salt and black pepper. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.

Scoty’s Marinara Sauce

Makes 6 cups

Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, finely grated (about ½ cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch of baking soda
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter stick

1. Working in batches, put the tomatoes, along with their juice, in a food processor or blender and puree just until semi-smooth; you want a little bit of chunky texture.

2. Put a medium pot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, and carrot, season with salt, black pepper and the red pepper flakes, and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the pureed tomatoes, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes. Season the sauce with more salt and black pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda, making sure it dissolves, and add the basil and butter substitute.

Once cooled, the sauce can be refrigerated covered for up to three days or frozen for up to two months.

How often do you overlook the most beautiful thing about you? Why, all the time! You are you and that is the most beautiful thing about you. ~ Creator

https://thecreatorwritings.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/beautiful-you/

Category: 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 400 million people, of all ages, suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability worldwide.

This is a massive target market for pharmaceutical companies, and that’s no secret. There are huge profits to be had, and drug companies are taking every opportunity to make the most of this seemingly limitless source of income — at the expense of the consumer. It is not difficult to find evidence to support this notion, and a recent study published in the British Medical Journal is just one of many compelling examples. The study showed that pharmaceutical companies were not disclosing all information regarding the results of their drug trials. Researchers looked at documents from 70 different double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) and found that the full extent of serious harm in clinical study reports went unreported.

And it’s not the first time this has happened. To read more about that and to find the study, click here.

Not feeling well can take a toll on your physical health in a number of ways; when it comes to the brain, episodes of constant depression can actually reduce the size of your hippocampus — an area of the brain involved in forming and regulating emotions and memory. This is especially concerning for teenagers, given their brains are still developing in significant ways.

There is good news, however: the damage can be reversed, and you can change your brain in a number of different ways, but to do so requires you to make the decision to help yourself and then act on it.

Depression and Your Brain

Several studies have stated that depressed people tend to have a smaller hippocampus. According to Professor Ian Hickie of The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute:

[The] more episodes of depression a person had, the greater the reduction in hippocampus size. So recurrent or persistent depression does more harm to the hippocampus the more you leave it untreated.

This largely settles the question of what comes first: the smaller hippocampus or the depression? The damage to the brain comes from recurrent illness…

Other studies have demonstrated reversibility, and the hippocampus is one of the unique areas of the brain that rapidly generates new connections between cells, and what are lost here are connections between cells rather than the cells themselves.

Treating depression effectively does not just mean medicines. If you are unemployed, for example, and then sit in a room doing nothing as a result, this can shrink the hippocampus. So social interventions are just as important, and treatments such as fish oils are also thought to be neuro-protective.  (source)(source)

It’s also noteworthy to mention here that feelings of sadness and negativity can code different information into the heart’s electromagnetic field, and the heart will actually send signals to the brain that can create chaos in the nervous system. These findings come from the scientists at the Institute of HeartMath, who investigate heart and brain interaction. You can read more about that here.

Scientists have also used brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data to test the hypothesis that depression changes the brain. For example, an international team of researchers found  those who suffered from recurring depression do indeed have a smaller hippocampus.

Chemical Imbalance or Not? 

Joseph Coyle, a neuroscientist from Harvard Medical School, perhaps sums it up best when he explains that this idea of a “chemical imbalance is sort of last-century thinking. It’s much more complicated than that.” And it’s true; depression cannot truly be reduced to the commonly accepted notion of  a chemical imbalance in the brain. Posed in the late 1950s, this theory essentially posits that depression is a deficiency of select neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) at critical points, like synapses. One of these neurotransmitters is serotonin; others include norepinephrine and dopamine.

As Scientific American reports, “much of the general public seems to have accepted the chemical imbalance hypothesis uncritically,” but “it is very likely that depression stems from influences other than neurotransmitter abnormalities.”

Harvard Medical School also put out a press release a few years ago stating it’s “often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn’t capture how complex the disease is.” Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, a prominent author and British psychiatrist, explains further:

Of course, there are brain events and biochemical reactions occurring when someone feels depressed, as there are all the time, but no research has ever established that a particular brain state causes, or even correlates with, depression. . . . In all cases studies yield inconsistent results, and none have been shown to be specific to depression, let alone causal. . . . The fact that more than 50 years of intense research efforts have failed to identify depression in the brain may indicate that we simply lack the right technology, or it may suggest we have been barking up the wrong tree!

The most commonly cited evidence to support the chemical imbalance theory is the ability of some drugs to increase and decrease mood in human and animal models. While many antidepressants increase the amounts of serotonin and other neurotransmitters at synapses, they do not address the underlying issues or help the brain heal itself. And what we fail to realize today is that just because mood can be artificially manipulated with drugs does not mean that depression cannot be treated in other ways, or that the chemical imbalance theory is true.

We are simply incapable of saying with certainty that a human being has a chemical imbalance (to whatever extent) or identifying what neurotransmitters are involved. This is why the chemical imbalance theory of depression remains a theory. Chemical levels in the brain cannot accurately be measured or ‘looked at,’ either.

Yet much of the general public still accepts the chemical imbalance theory. A survey conducted in 2007 of 262 undergraduates at Cleveland State University found more than 80% of the participants found it “likely” that chemical imbalances cause depression. Yet according to Jonathan Leo, an associate professor of neuroanatomy at Lincoln Memorial University, this really has yet to be proven: “At best, drug-induced affective disturbances can only be considered models for natural disorders, while it remains to be demonstrated that the behavioral changes produced by these drugs have any relation to naturally occurring biochemical abnormalities which might be associated with the illness.

It’s important to keep in mind there are probably many chemicals involved, working both inside and outside of our nerve cells. As Harvard Medical School points out, there are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system responsible for your mood, perceptions, and experience of life.

Jonathan Leo further points out that “the cause of mental disorders such as depression remains unknown. However, the idea that neurotransmitter imbalances cause depression is vigorously promoted by pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatric profession at large.”

As I hope I have made clear, the theory that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin, along with similar such theories, came into existence because scientists were able to observe what drugs do to the brain. It is a hypothesis that attempted to explain how drugs were able to fix the problem, but whether or not depressed people actually have lower serotonin levels remains to be proven. You can read more about the science here.

“The serotonin theory is simply not a scientific statement. It’s a botched theory – a hypothesis that was proven incorrect.”

– Dr. Joseph Mercola (source)

Not only is there no solid scientific proof to back up the chemical imbalance theory, many depressed people are not even helped by taking antidepressants like SSRIs. For example, a review done by the University of California in 2009 found one third of people treated with antidepressants do not improve, and a significant portion of these people remain depressed. Scientific American too points out that “if antidepressants correct a chemical imbalance that underlies depression, all or most depressed people should get better after taking them.”

That being said, there are many who do report positive benefits, but there is no way to tell if the drugs are working or if they are just working like a placebo.

Think about this for a moment: So many of us are made to believe that depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, when there is actually little scientific evidence to support that statement. Association between various brain changes and depression is large, and no studies have established a solid, cause-and-effect correlation between the brain and the disorder.

Depression science has one focus — brain chemistry — despite it being a multi-faceted problem. Focusing on this one theory and then dishing out drugs that alter brain chemistry is, as Scientific American puts it, simply “shortsighted.”

“In spite of the enormous amounts of money and time that has been spent on the quest to confirm the chemical imbalance theory, direct proof has never materialized.” (source)

I am astounded that people fail to see the irony in the situation. The only chemical imbalances we can prove exist in people’s brains are the ones being inflicted upon them by psychiatric drugs.

There Are Other Biological Factors Implicated in Depression

As Dr. Mercola points out:

Contrary to popular belief, depression is not likely caused by unbalanced brain chemicals; however there are a number of other biological factors that appear to be highly significant. Chronic inflammation is one such factor.5

Scientists have also found that your mental health can be adversely impacted by factors such as vitamin D deficiency and/or unbalanced gut flora — both of which, incidentally, play a role in keeping inflammation in check, which is really what the remedy to depression is all about.

He also talks about sugar, which is extremely toxic to the body and a catalyst for multiple diseases. You can read his article on depression and these other biological factors here.

Some Great Ways to Combat Depression 1. Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity refers to the idea that the brain can change and adapt. The concept is now being used to treat learning disabilities, brain damage, chronic pain, and more. A great person to learn more about this from is Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself. He writes:

The idea that the brain is plastic in the sense of changeable, adaptable and malleable is the single most important change in our understanding of the human brain in four hundred years. Neuroplasticity is that property of the brain that allows it to change its structure and its function, it’s a response to sensing and perceiving the world, even to thinking and imagining. Human thoughts and learning actually turn on certain genes in our nerve cells which allow those cells to make new connections between them.

Simply put, the way you think can change your brain. This is not a new idea, and it has been demonstrated by a number of experiments, ranging from quantum physics, where factors associated with conscious can change the behaviour of an atom, to placebo studies, which demonstrate the power of the mind.

For example, a Baylor School of Medicine study, published in 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at surgery for patients with severe and debilitating knee pain. Many surgeons know there is no placebo effect in surgery, or so most of them believe. The patients were divided into three groups. The surgeons shaved the damaged cartilage in the knee of one group. For the second group they flushed out the knee joint, removing all of the material believed to be causing inflammation. Both of these processes are the standard surgeries people who have severe arthritic knees must undergo. The third group received a “fake” surgery; the patients were sedated and then tricked into thinking they had actually undergone knee surgery. Doctors made the incisions and splashed salt water on the knee as they would in normal surgery, then sewed up the incisions like the real thing. All three groups went through the same rehab process, and the results were astonishing. The placebo group improved just as much as the other two groups who had surgery.

“My skill as a surgeon had no benefit on these patients. The entire benefit of surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee was the placebo effect.”

– Dr. Moseley (surgeon involved in the study) (Lipton, Bruce. The Biology of Belief. Hay House, Inc, 2005)

The power of the placebo effect was also clearly demonstrated in a report published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 1999. It discovered that half of severely depressed patients taking drugs improve compared to the 32% taking a placebo. Considering all of the side effects and dangers associated with antidepressant use, this marginal difference hardly seems worthwhile. And let’s not forget that the antidepressant industry is a multi-billion dollar one.

A 2002 article published in the American Psychological Association’s Prevention & Treatment by University of Connecticut psychology professor Irving Kirsch titled “The Emperor’s New Drugs” made some more shocking discoveries. Kirsch found that 80% of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect. This professor even had to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get information on the clinical trials of the top antidepressants. Kirsch found the difference between the response of the drugs and the response of the placebo was less than two points on average on this clinical scale that goes from 50-60 points. That difference, as Kirsch points out, is clinically meaningless.

Researchers all over the world have found that placebo treatments can stimulate real biological and physiological responses — everything from changes in heart rate to blood pressure and even chemical activity in the brain. It’s been effective with a number of different ailments, from arthritis and fatigue to depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s, and more. Why are we not utilizing our brain’s own remarkable ability to heal itself more often?

2. Food

Take a look at these factors.

  • Added sugar and high fructose corn syrup
  • Genetically engineered (GE) ingredients (primarily corn, soy, and sugar beets) which, besides their own unknown health risks, also tend to be heavily contaminated with glyphosate—a Class 2A carcinogen that can also damage your gut microbiome and has been linked to antibiotic-resistance. Most conventional (non-GE) wheat is also treated with toxic glyphosate prior to harvesting.
  • By altering the balance of your gut flora, pesticides and herbicides also disrupt the production of essential amino acids like tryptophan, a serotonin precursor, and promote production of p-cresol, a compound that interferes with metabolism of other environmental chemicals, thereby increasing your vulnerability to their toxic effects.
  • Artificial sweeteners, along with thousands of food additives, most of which have never been tested for safety
    Chemicals in the food packaging, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates, which can migrate into the food
  • Trans fats
3. Exercise 

Exercise has been shown to  effectively combat depression and help rebuild the hippocampus, and studies have shown very clear links between inactivity and depression. As Dr. Mercola tells us, women who sit for more than seven hours a day have a 47% higher risk of depression than women who sit for four hours or less per day. Furthermore, women who do no physical activity whatsoever have a 99% higher risk of developing depression compared to women who exercise.  Studies have shown its efficiency typically surpasses that of antidepressant drugs, and it also helps rid your body of stress chemicals that can lead to depression.

4. Meditation

As Forbes points out:

The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the ‘me’ centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. . . .

Skeptics, of course, may ask what good are a few brain changes if the psychological effects aren’t simultaneously being illustrated? Luckily, there’s good evidence for those as well, with studies reporting that meditation helps relieve our subjective levels of anxiety and depression, and improve attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being.

Related CE article: Harvard Study Unveils What Meditation Literally Does to the Brain

For more helpful ways to overcome depression, you can check out this article.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

A study conducted by researchers from RMIT university, published in the journal Environmental Research, found that following an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide exposure in adults.

Thirteen participants were randomly selected to consume a diet consisting of at least 80% organic or conventional food for seven days, afterwards crossing over to the alternative diet from which they started. Scientists analyzed urinary levels of pesticides and discovered that urinary dialkylphosphates (DAPs) measurements were 89% lower when participants ate an organic diet for seven days compared to a conventional diet for the same amount of time.

The researchers also discuss the complicated history of pesticide use:

To understand this controversial issue it is helpful to look at the history of pesticide use. Prior to World War II, the pesticides that we use now did not yet exist. Some pesticides currently in use were in fact developed during the World War II for use in warfare. The organophosphate insecticides were developed as nerve gases, and the phenoxy herbicides, including 2,4-D (the most commonly used herbicide in Canada), were created to eradicate the Japanese rice crop, and later used as a component of Agent Orange to defoliate large areas in jungle warfare. After World War II, these chemicals began to be used as pesticides in agricultural production, for environmental spraying of neighbourhoods for mosquito eradication, and for individual home and garden use.

Conducted by Dr. Liza Oates as part of her PhD project and supervised by Professor Marc Cohen from RMIT’s School of Health Sciences, the study was supported in part by a donation to RMIT University from Bharat Mitra, co-founder of Organic India Pty Ltd.

The study has big implications for children:

“Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate (OP) pesticides, which can have negative health effects, while organic food is deemed healthier because it is produced without these pesticides. Studies suggest that organic food consumption may significantly reduce OP pesticide exposure in children who have relatively higher pesticide exposure than adults due to their different diets, body weight, behaviour and less efficient metabolism.”

Related Video

Below is a very interesting clip titled “The Organic Effect” from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Watch what happened when this family decided to switch to organic food. Here is the full report.

Related CE Articles

We’ve written about this topic and other related ones extensively. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to check out the selected list of articles below:

Federal Lawsuit Forces The US Government To Divulge Secret Files on Genetically Engineered Foods

What The Body of A Pregnant Woman Eating Organic Looks Like Compared To One Eating Conventional

Study Shows How Glyphosate & Aluminum Operate Synergistically To Destroy The Human Brain

More CE Articles on Glyphosate & Roundup Herbicide

The Science Behind What Happens To Your Body When You Go Organic

We recently came across a great article about sleeping at Healthy Holistic Living (HHL), and wanted to archive it on our website alongside a few that we’ve already posted on this subject. Sleep is still somewhat of an enigma in the scientific world — from the correct way to sleep to why we need it, the study of sleep still has a long way to go before we fully understand its intricacies.

As HHL points out, approximately 85% of all mammalian species sleep more than once a day, and scientists still question whether humans are naturally monophasic, or if we’re really polyphasic. Has modern society conditioned us to be so, just as it has influenced so many other aspects of our health?

If we examine the topic from a historical perspective, the work of historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech is a good place to start. In 2001 he published a paper that included over 15 years of research and cited an overwhelming amount of historical evidence showing humans used to in fact sleep in two separate blocks of time. You can read more about that (and access the paper) here.

Regardless of our historical sleep habits, however, it’s clear many human beings suffer from a lack of sleep for various reasons, one of which very well may be that we don’t take time out during the day to nap.

Various studies have outlined the many health benefits associated with napping. For example, a 2008 study showed that naps are better than caffeine for improving verbal memory, motor skills, and perceptual learning.

A NASA study from 1995 looked at the beneficial effects of napping on 747 pilots. Each participant was allowed to nap for 40 minutes during the day, with the average pilot sleeping for about 25.8 minutes. Nappers “demonstrated vigilance performance improvements from 16% in median reaction time to 34% in lapses compared to the No-Rest Group.”

In a study carried out in Greece, researchers found that adult males who took an afternoon nap at least three times per week were 37% less likely to die from a heart-related disease compared to men who never take a short afternoon nap.

The health benefits of napping are clear and substantial. You can find out more of those benefits from the HHL post here.

Below is a great TEDx talk by Dr. Sara Mednick, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Her work on sleep research continues to shape the way we understand the importance of healthy sleep hygiene. In her talk, she argues for everyone to take a break.

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