SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

July 23, 2015

How d’ya pick a favorite color?

Broad interests make it hard to choose

Recently, I became aware of “BENEDICTA” a CD out now which is apparently all the rage and breaking sales records  – in America!  This confounds the experts, sorta — the voices on this are entirely monks; well trained, to be sure — all oriented in music and it shows.  The confusing part to the executive mind is this is ‘all chants’. . . solemn, devotional, heart-felt and sacred sounds from these monastic souls. . . and people are buying it up like its diamonds being given away for pennies.  

It’s not a secret – not telling tales out-of-school or anything like that;  but Americans are not the church-goers they used to be.  In fact, they are staying away from churches in droves.  .  .  .  this could make one worry about the so-called ‘body of Christ’.   (FRANCIS can’t do everything on his own, by himself!)   This has confused the experts, and I can see why.  If humanity has fallen away — how does one account for this evident but peculiar taste in music?  Why is this happening?   Well, “Stuff Changes” I’m prone to reflect.    

Our way of life may alter,  habits change,  affiliations take a different path. . .all varying externals over which we often have no control.  We can try to stay where we are – remain rigid, and perhaps shrivel,. . .or adjust and go with the flow and experience sometimes wonderful and/or exciting new dimensions.  However we travel down that path we’re on, there is inside  each of us  a longing, yearning or even a need for ‘something more’ — there always has been because that’s the way we’re built.  Humans are clannish – we tend to cluster. . we need to belong, somewhere, somehow.  We seek relationship in many ways; close others, peers, sex, family, and for many – the church. All of it works.  Sometimes. . . none of it works! Longing and reaching out or even [so-called] up remains and is with us.  We are peculiar and complicated animals, but so it is.  And we are still around, most doing the best we can.  If there happens to be someone sitting on a sparkling white throne way up there, my bet he/she looks around and chuckles at all the weird entanglements,  smiles and nods approvingly.   This schoolhouse ain’t easy. . .but we’re making it.

 Anyway, it makes sense to me that all of us do that which feels good where-ever and when-ever we can. Part of being sane and healthy.  For some, ‘beauty’ in any or all forms (the arts) draws them;  Music is the dynamic transporter for a great many others. So many choices. . activity of some kind – hobby, craft or other passion. . sports and so on.  

When I read about BENEDICTA, I knew that I needed to buy it for this was one of my dominant preferences for enhancing background ambiance in my home. So I went online and got it.  It is lovely.  Truly like it.    My CD player accommodates  5 CD’s and I have them scatter so that variation, tone and tempo suit me.  Won’t remove any of the five for I LOVE them all better than the new fella in town. . . so I gave it to my son.  He’s not blown away, but he likes it too.  

Just in case others may be kinda on my wave length too, and enjoy ‘soul music’ which lifts, is beautiful, can be used for calming or meditation or turn it up and let it penetrate your cells, whatever,  gonna tell you what I’m using for decades, so here goes:

CANTICLES OF ECSTASY (hildegard von bingen) . . sequentia  [so beautiful,  – orange and blue circles/cover)        

FROM HEART TO CROWN (Rob Whitesides-Woo). . Serenity    [once you hear it, U wouldn’t give it up either]

PATH OF THE HEART  (Max Highstein). . .Serenity       [ just plain magic]                                                                                                        

PENDULUM     (KEVIN KELLER) . . . Lectonic Soundscapes  1999    [Masterful  sounds seldom heard]                          

CHANT  ( Benedictine Monks) . . . Angel        [Mine is 1994,  original in 1973 and was  similar hit as Benedicta]

There you have it.   Try one of them, you’ll probably like it. . .mine is playing now. . you should hear it.                                                            Be happy,       .Jan   

July 17, 2015

Healthy-Hot “abs”? . .here’s how

Clear, doable info for sporting Hot Abs

So what’s the big deal with “abs”?     Plenty!  Unless we’re totally out of it. . .we ALL care.  If we’re 20, svelte and gorgeous – we care, regardless of gender.  As life gets more complicated and the decades pile up. . .perhaps we care even more.  Add to that the pressure to be ahead of the curve and not only remain relevant — but LOOK the part as well,  of course we care.  Maybe nothing says we may be losing it like the flabby gut, the beer belly or looking a few months pregnant all the time . .  .  definately not cool if one is shall we say of a certain age?   Stuff happens!  

Whether it’s lack of knowledge,  peer pressure,  lack of time or ongoing overload of responsibilities. . .which might prevent achieving our ideal self-image, we all care about our appearance because, like it or not,  how we ‘look’ is broadcasting to others ‘who we are’ and ‘how we are’ — what makes us tick and also, the things which matter to us.  Along with all that, we not only choose to look healthy, but to BE healthy as well.  So yeah,   more than hair-style,  our clothes we wear or the car we drive; our health and vitality are pivotal which IS  reflected in our overall reflection.  

What follows here in this email from Dr Mercola is a sharing from his personal trainer who keeps not only Dr Mercola and his entire staff – fit and healthy, but his extended clientele numbering in the hundreds.  It is far better than I hoped for,  as I am one of those ignoramuses who happens to intensely dislike ‘exercise’ – thus do very little of it. Pathetic, I know.  This guy has covered all bases tho, from beginners to super-advanced and he speaks clear, easy to comprehend language which isn’t off-putting at all, and he does all this with specificity to ensure  one understands the importance of each movement

 So I have bookmarked this episode and have high hopes.  If there is hope for me – anyone can give this a try.  Looks good!   Jan


6 ways to maximize push ups

Better Than Sit-Ups for Toning Your Abs

Believe it or not, this overlooked exercise may be better than sit-ups for building a strong upper body and midsection.          But you need to get it right – by following these five simple steps…

July 14, 2015

MANDATING “Vaccines”

Guess its just “Bad Karma” in California

Since I grew up in California, and considered it my home — it will always occupy a special place in my heart.  That is where my home, friends and beloved family were.  .  .  and life was good.   So good.  Probably, we took much for granted.  Our beautiful, incredible state was exceptional to say the least.   We had mountains, ocean and endless shoreline,  desert, open country, farming and citrus groves; world famous entertainment of all kinds.  Aside from my too-many-to-count roses, I had also trees;  a Magnolia,  Olive and  Eureka Lemon tree and a Navel Orange  as well.  I used to con my son into using his little red wagon filled with sacks of lemons up and down our neighborhood trying to give away my huge volume of lemons for free. Never could stand to see anything wasted.  Imagine!  Look what we are paying for those things now. 

Tho it may sound like we dwelt on some palatial estate – we didn’t.   We bought an early ’50’s ‘Aldon’ home for $15,275.00 for about 2.5% to 3% interest rate – Marty being a veteran, having the luxury of nothing down. Seems everything was possible then and we were blessed.  Also doers!  That 7500 sq ft property  did seem like our paradise.That same darling home sold over 30 years later for more than ten times that, and 7 – 8 years later – another $100,000.  I point this out to show that we were a know-nothing couple who had little more than a dream or two. We probably didn’t fully understand the meaning of all the choices and “rights” we were living with.  It was easy to be happy, law-abiding and hopeful.    

Los Angeles of course, was the movie capital of the world.   The night-spots of Hollywood were the stuff dreams were made of.  The Garment/Fashion industry was huge in L.A.  And of course, even today California feeds much of our nation.  How stuff changes!  They are dealing with droughts, crippling the farming industry. Pity.  While here in the eastern parts of U.S. we are being all but washed away.  We’re paying heavy costs for our planetary indiscretions. Lets hope “leaders” waken before its too late.  But this is climate change, not ignorant legislation.  

As to that,. . . the reason for this post,  I truly have always admired Jerry Brown.  .  .  a very good man, wise and ethical, devoted to the common good.   He was an excellent Governor back when I lived there.  It is impossible for me to understand [based on what I knew of him], how he could ignore the rights of parents to choose and make any decision they deem best for themselves – especially their children.  This isn’t just some ‘nice-to-have’ thing – – it is OUR RIGHT as citizens.  We aren’t unthinking cattle or waifs needing direction. We are fully functioning, voting THINKERS deserving of respect, choice and privacy!  Particularly in this case, based on unknown carriers “in the state of Florida.”  Since when do we ‘cede’ our rights and be forced to bow down to organized mafioso “Pharmaceutical Greed and Might”?  

It would behoove so-called authorities to understand that this nation of citizens, endowed with inalienable rights, who have means to put you in power, can as easily – can your butts out of power and set about cleansing our laws and procedures which have been eroding our rights and diminishing our way of life and enslaving us to systems not of our choosing.  There was never a time when BIG PhRMA had the power to inflict death and destruction upon our masses and not be liable for the damage they do.  But with their insatiable greed, they have managed to BUY their “untouchable status.”   It ain’t right and everybody knows it.  In the same way that they operate with immunity in manufacturing humanity’s “medicine,”  they claim their product is useful and SAFE.   Because they CLAIM it to be safe, doesn’t make it true – – AS WOULD BE PROVEN IN A COURT OF LAW.  But it never gets that far.  Their claims are phony and self-serving — lets call a spade a spade — TRUMPED up! (take that any way you want to).  But they ARE the best there is when it come to hyping their toxic remedies to the choice-less population. . .and to the Physicians peopling the AMA.  

If I were to touch on what I really think about why we are sick and tired and beaten down, . . . I might NEVER SHUT UP so,  please, don’t encourage me to even think about sterilizing our soil, GMO’s,  CAFO’s  ad-infinitum.  Besides, I wanted to ask you to get up-dated with informative Barbara Lowe Fisher and her latest video.   When is she NOT wonderful, honest and fair? Jan
california enacts vaccine law

It’s Like Playing Russian Roulette with Your Brain, Yet It’s Common Practice

Your health choices just vanished. And if you try to sidestep this new oppressive law, you’ll either need to homeschool your kids or get sent to jail. Don’t like those options? You could leave this state. But it may not help, based on these two trend lines.


Go for “happy” now, don’t wait!

My quirky nature demanded that I share this with you today, for I am in total agreement with the basic concept expressed herein.  This is an article I found in today’s Columbus DISPATCH and it struck a chord with me.  

Though I may have developed my personal lifestyle and way of being slightly differently,  I don’t really think its relevant to deliberate the issues and variables,  for we are each so unique and seem to attract those experiences to ourselves that enable our growth potential best.  In all things we have choice even when there seems no apparent control over circumstances.  For me, acceptance allows the development of gratitude which is akin to serenity, harmony and strength. . . one could call this happiness. . . the beauty of the blessings of the  “now.”  

How much sweeter life is when we aren’t busy comparing. .  . which  can seem to lead to a sense of lack or not enough.  How much more life is as we sense our oneness with others. .  .   .   and perhaps, align ourselves with activity which grants our nature to flourish and sing.          

I couldn’t agree more with Shawn Achor, the happiness researcher,  and believe the points he makes to be on target.  For I have seen far too many who toil away and yet not realizing their goals, remain unfulfilled, become jaded, negative — suggesting to me their purpose in life isn’t being realized.  Life is a gift and meant to be enjoyed. (NO MATTER WHAT)  When this happens, we are out of balance and probably can’t see the good even when it is there.   Mindset spirals downward disallowing freedom and/or fun.   Sometimes we just stand in our own way and don’t know what to do.   This following article on the benefits of  this process Shawn Achor has discussed here sound like a real winner to me.  Following this plan with those few points he makes can’t help but help turn one’s life around.    

Thank you Shawn,  this old lady is gonna incorporate your advice too.    Jan


To achieve happiness: 5 habits, 2 minutes

With anyone who thinks of happiness as a luxury or as something that occurs after a lifetime of sacrifice on the drive to a goal, happiness researcher Shawn Achor begs to differ.

His mission is to change minds, hearts and lives.   Being happy, he contends, isn’t just about feeling good.

His research has found that simple “happiness habits” — which take no longer than brushing your teeth — make you happier and, as a result, healthier, more creative and productive at work, and closer to loved ones.

Achor, the head of the Good-think research company and the author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, recently shared insights about his research.

Q: Talk about happiness seems all the rage. Why?

A: I think we’re living through twin revolutions. The high-tech revolution allows us to have information at our fingertips at any moment. And hidden behind that is a more powerful one: Because of that technology, we’ve been able to understand the human brain better than ever.

By changing our mindset and habits, we can actually dramatically change the course of life; improve intelligence, productivity; improve the quality of our lives; and improve every single education and business outcome.

Q: Many people see happiness as something to earn later, after you have found success. How do you make the case for the importance of happiness?

A: Happiness is such an incredible advantage in our life. When the human brain is positive, our intelligence rises; we stop diverting resources to think about anxiety.

Our creativity triples. Productive energy rises by 31 percent. The likelihood of promotion rises by 40 percent. Sales rise by 37 percent. These figures are all from studies we’ve done.

Most people keep waiting on happiness, putting off happiness until they’re successful or until they achieve some goal — which means we limit both happiness and success. That formula doesn’t work.

Q: What might readers do to create more happiness in their lives?

A: I’ve been looking at five habits that are akin to brushing your teeth — very short habits that, if you do them every day, will improve your health but also improve your levels of happiness:

• Three acts of gratitude. Spend two minutes a day scanning the world for three new things you’re grateful for. Do that for 21 days. . . . It’s the fastest way of teaching optimism.

• The “doubler.” For two minutes a day, think of one positive experience that’s occurred during the past 24 hours. Bullet-point each detail you can remember. It works because the brain can’t tell the difference between visualization and actual experience. So you’ve just doubled the most meaningful experience in your brain. Do it for 21 days. Your brain connects the dots for you; then you have this trajectory of meaning running throughout life.

• The fun 15. Do 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day. It’s the equivalent of taking an antidepressant for the first six months but with a 30 percent lower relapse rate over the next two years.

• Breathing. We did this at Google. We had them (employees) take their hands off their keyboards two minutes a day and go from multitasking to simply watching their breath go in and out. This raises accuracy rates, improves levels of happiness, drops stress levels.

• Acts of kindness. The final habit is the most powerful. . . . For two minutes each day, start work by writing a two-minute positive email or text praising or thanking one person you know. Do it for a different person each day.

People who do this not only get great emails and texts back, and are perceived as positive leaders because of the praise and recognition, but their social-connection score is at the top end of the scale.

Q: What happiness habits do you use?

A: My wife and I are both happiness researchers, and we’re on the road more than 200 days a year. So we have to put this happiness research into practice, especially with a 1-year-old.

I journal every day, especially when I’m on planes. I exercise every day.

I’m constantly investing in people around me, especially when I feel stressed, sad or lonely.

It’s not the macro things that matter, but it’s the micro choices for happiness that sustain happiness the best.

July 4, 2015

Cheap Meat costs us way too much!


Film covers the Many Dangers of the Cheap Meat Industry


Want to bring you a truly beautiful documentary done by PBS (via Dr Mercola) which not only speaks of, but actually shows us how and why these  ‘rare breed’  farmers practice their ethical and inspiring  way of life, and why, per their standards, it’s the only choice they find acceptable (even though it is harder and more costly for them to do.)  They are people with ‘humanity’ through and through.  I so enjoyed this and hope you do too.        Jan


Story at-a-glance

  • The documentary “Meat of the Matter” traces the trail of destruction left by the commercial meat industry
  • Many feedlots have filthy living conditions, poor handling, and improper slaughtering, which is not only inhumane, but stresses the animals and compromises meat quality
  • Growing numbers of ranchers are returning to traditional styles of animal husbandry that support the earth and preserve natural resources for future generations

meat of the matter

22% of All Superbug Infections Now Linked to This Popular Food

This growing concern poses a grave threat to your health. And it may be more serious than previously thought. Not only does it trash your immune system, but mounting research shows it can also trigger Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s. Use these 6 labels to steer clear…

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