The Simple Truth about Becoming a Better Writer.

The first step to becoming a better writer is learning how to read

Learning how to read?

Yep, I’m not talking about consuming words to understand a story or to grasp an argument.

Let me explain what reading means.

As a creative side-project I’m currently learning how to draw cartoons. I’ve never had any artistic talent. I’ve never been able to draw. I even struggled with a simple stick figure.

You learn how to draw by tracing and copying

But you don’t just trace and copy. Instead, you learn how a figure is built up from simple shapes. Learning to draw means learning to see.

For 10 weeks I’ve been working on circles. I’ve learned to see the circles that create a cartoon figure. Some circles are small, some large, some are more like ovals, but it’s amazing how much you can draw with simple circles.

With writing and blogging it’s the same. You need to learn how to detect the basic shapes – how words, sentences, and paragraphs are assembled to create inspirational blog posts.

Learning how to read means analyzing

You need to analyze structures, paragraphs, sentences, and words. You need to find out what grabs and holds your attention. Discover how word choice impacts your emotions as a reader. Notice the things that are left unsaid.

For some time you may even lose the joy of reading, because you can’t read leisurely anymore. You can’t read without picking paragraphs and sentences apart.

Once you start analyzing texts, you start to detect various post structures. You notice how long paragraphs with undulating sentences are broken up by staccato-like sentences. You learn how specific words help you feel or visualize something.

Many assume that great writers have an innate ability

We like to worship our heroes. We think that they’re gifted, that they’re so much more special than we are.

But are they born with a talent to write epic blog posts? Or have they worked hard to hone their skills? Could it be that they’ve spent many hours reading and analyzing, and criticizing their own writing until they’re finally happy with the results?

In her book Mindset. How You Can Fulfil Your Pote\ntial Carol Dweck describes two different mindsets. People with a fixed mindset believe they’re born with certain talents. What they can and can’t do is already determined. Success for them is proving how gifted they are.

People with the growth mindset, however, believe that basic qualities can be cultivated, stretched, and improved through effort. They thrive on challenges and learn from their failures. Failure isn’t a sign that they lack talent, but an opportunity to learn more.

Some people may have more drawing talent than me. They don’t draw so many misshapen Snoopies. They don’t screw up when they draw Sid of Ice Age.

They may learn quicker. But if I persevere, I hope to get there, too. Maybe one day I can even illustrate my blog posts.

The simple truth about becoming a better writer

To create a successful business blog, you don’t require any special talent.

Analyze why you like certain bloggers. Read, and read, and read more.

Learn why some blog posts are boring as hell, and why others fascinate you and keep you waiting for the next update.

Forget about talent. Don’t think about creative skills. Stop telling yourself that others have more talent than you.

Instead get to work. Read more. Learn more. Write more.

Life is all about finding our true self.

find-your-true-self-600x330Life is a story we weave together from the thoughts, feelings, and emotions we experience each moment. Yet we live the majority of our life in the memories of our past and the expectations of the future. Rarely do we live in the purity of the present. These past memories and future expectations that we embrace throughout the course of our lives are what breed the stresses we feel in each day. In fact, the average person is a bundle of conditioned reflexes and nerves that are constantly triggered by situations and circumstances. Often the circumstances are simply the ups and downs of living each day. But there are times in our lives when the stresses, pressures, disappointments, and anxieties can seem overwhelming.

As we weave through life, some people find themselves in relationships that have become toxic or end unexpectedly; in other instances, life-long careers stop being nurturing or stop all together; and there are even times in our lives when imbalances in our health and well-being can suddenly start to manifest themselves as states of dis-ease. So often we have defined ourselves as the roles we play in particular relationships or jobs. For example, “I am a mother,” “I am a wife,” “I am a manager,” “I am a vice president.” When, for whatever reason, these roles and aspects of our lives—which we have used for so long to identify ourselves and to bring us self-esteem—stop satisfying our needs, we can feel a sense of loss, emptiness or confusion.

Fortunately, there is a timeless way to recapture this connection to our true self: the practice of meditation, which allows us to experience our own source. With this experience, we realize that we are not the patterns and eddies of desire and memory that flow and swirl in our consciousness. Although these patterns of desire and memory are the field of our manifestation, we are in fact not these swirling fluctuations of thought. We are the thinker behind the thought, the observer behind the observation, the flow of attention, the flow of awareness, the unbounded ocean of consciousness. We spontaneously realize that we have choices, and that we can exercise these choices, not through some sheer will power but spontaneously. Through meditation, we gradually bring harmony, laughter, and love back into our soul and, in the process, rediscover our unconditioned self, which can never really be lost.

By gently washing away the stress, tension, fear, and confusion that often accompany one who is at the crossroads, we can regain our connection to a calmer, more peaceful life. And from that moment on, a life filled with joy, harmony, balance, and peace is ours for the asking

– See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/find-your-true-self-through-meditation#sthash.SnXUDT2z.dpuf

When the Student Is Ready . . .

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Over the years, I have often been approached by people who tell me that after they had developed a meditation practice that lasted weeks, months, and even years, for some reason they just stopped meditating. In some cases, the routine of their lives took a new direction and they no longer felt they had time for a ritual that would connect them with stillness and silence. In other cases, they began a new job and they chose to commit all their time and energy to it rather than their meditation practice.

Some have complained that they found themselves falling asleep or getting frustrated with the lack of progress they were experiencing. Of course, this is all part of the process of releasing the thoughts and stresses that will ultimately connect us to pure consciousness—the magical bliss of the gap. But without proper instruction, there are those who misinterpret restlessness as an impediment rather than as a positive part of the process.

Then of course, there are those who have waited their entire life to begin a meditation practice and have now come to a point where they are ready to reduce stress, ease anxiety, bring calm to the chaos, experience peace of mind, and connect more closely with their inner voice on a path to higher states of consciousness. There is an ancient Buddhist expression: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This is very true in the context of meditation.

Whether you have: 1) meditated and enjoyed it but haven’t developed a regular practice; 2) taken a hiatus from meditation and are ready to return; or 3) have never before tapped into that stillness and silence within you, today can be the first step on the path to discovering your soul. Once you have glimpsed your soul, everything else that happens in life seems to shine with the brilliance of bliss.

How Does Meditation Work?

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We are all engaged in a continuous internal dialogue in which the meaning and emotional associations of one thought trigger the next, usually without our being consciously aware of the process. Buddhist psychology describes this process as samskara, which can be seen as grooves in the mind that makes flow thoughts in the same direction. Our personal samskaras are created from the memories of our past and can force us to react in the same limited way over and over again. Most people build up their identify on the basis of samskara without even realizing they are doing this.

In meditation we disrupt the unconscious progression of thoughts and emotions by focusing on a new object of attention, whether that is a mantra, our breath, or an image.

Meditation is one of the best ways to loosen the grip of sticky emotions and connect to our true self, which isn’t limited, angry, or fearful, but is infinite, pure consciousness. Meditation brings us home to the peace of present-moment awareness and gives us an experience of profound relaxation that dissolves fatigue and long-standing stresses and – as countless studies have shown – promotes both physical and emotional healing. The benefits of meditation include:

• lowered blood pressure and hypertension

• slower heart rate

• decreases cholesterol levels

• reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline

• more efficient oxygen use by the body

• increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA

• improved immune function

Beyond these significant health benefits, the greatest gift of meditation is the sense of calm and inner peace it brings into our daily life. When we meditate, we go beyond the mind’s noisy chatter into an entirely different place: the silence of a mind that is not imprisoned by the past or the future.

With a regular practice, the expansive awareness you enter during meditation begins to permeate your life outside of your meditation sessions. You might experience flashes of elation and notice feelings of well-being sweeping over you at unexpected moments. You will begin to walk with more buoyancy and feel a warmth and peace in your heart. Your thoughts, actions, and reactions are infused with a little more love and mindful attention. All of these are signs that you are living harmony with your true spiritual self, and the result is a deeper appreciation and a profound awareness of the divine quality of existence.

Primordial Sound Meditation: An Ayurvedic Practice for Inner Calm

Primordial Sound Meditation is a powerful meditation technique dating back thousands of years to India’s ancient Vedic tradition. It is said that the Ayurvedic sages were able to enter extremely deep states of meditation, in which they could hear the subtle vibrations produced by everything in nature―the sounds of the wind, thunder, butterflies, rushing rivers, and all creation. According to Ayurveda, these subtle vibrations are the expression of the infinite field of pure potentiality, which is the source of everything that manifests in the universe.

When you are instructed in Primordial Sound Meditation, you receive a personal mantra, which is one of the specific vibrations identified by the Ayurvedic masters. As you repeat the mantra silently to yourself, it creates a mental vibration that allows you to access inner silence and stillness.

As you meditate, the mantra becomes increasing abstract and indistinct, until you enter the field of pure consciousness from which the vibration arose. In the deepest meditative state, all thoughts and worries drop away and you experience the quiet that always exists beneath the noisy internal dialogue of the mind

– See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/find-your-true-self-through-meditation#sthash.SnXUDT2z.dpuf

2 States Movie and Book review

2_States_posterLi Europan lingues es membres del sam familie. Lor separat existentie es un myth. Por scientie, musica, sport etc, litot Europa usa li sam vocabular. Li lingues differe solmen in li grammatica, li pronunciation e li plu commun vocabules.

Omnicos directe al desirabilite de un nov lingua franca: On refusa continuar payar custosi traductores. At solmen va esser necessi far uniform grammatica, pronunciation e plu sommun paroles.

Ma quande lingues coalesce, li grammatica del resultant lingue es plu simplic e regulari quam ti del coalescent lingues. Li nov lingua franca va esser plu simplic e regulari quam li existent Europan lingues. It va esser tam simplic quam Occidental in fact, it va esser Occidental.

A un Angleso it va semblar un simplificat Angles, quam un skeptic Cambridge amico dit me que Occidental es. Li Europan lingues es membres del sam familie. Lor separat existentie es un myth. Por scientie, musica, sport etc, litot Europa usa li sam vocabular. Li lingues differe solmen in li grammatica, li pronunciation e li plu commun vocabules. Omnicos directe al desirabilite de un nov lingua franca: On refusa continuar payar custosi traductores. At solmen va esser necessi far uniform grammatica, pronunciation e plu sommun paroles.

The European languages are members of the same family. Their separate existence is a myth. For science, music, sport, etc, Europe uses the same vocabulary. The languages only differ in their grammar, their pronunciation and their most common words.
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Everyone realizes why a new common language would be desirable: one could refuse to pay expensive translators. To achieve this, it would be necessary to have uniform grammar, pronunciation and more common words.

If several languages coalesce, the grammar of the resulting language is more simple and regular than that of the individual languages. The new common language will be more simple and regular than the existing European languages. It will be as simple as Occidental; in fact, it will be Occidental.

To an English person, it will seem like simplified English, as a skeptical Cambridge friend of mine told me what Occidental is. The European languages are members of the same family. Their separate existence is a myth. For science, music, sport, etc, Europe uses the same vocabulary. The languages only differ in their grammar, their pronunciation and their most common words. Everyone realizes why a new common language would be desirable: one could refuse to pay expensive translators. To