Tuesday, May 31, 2016

20 profound quotes from Carl Jung that help us better understand ourselves

Article c/o Bright Side

Carl Gustav Jung was a positive psychologist and a philosopher. He saw an impulse for expanding one’s consciousness in virtually any manifestation of neurosis or depression.

We here at Bright Side would like to share with you 20 of the most insightful quotes of this disciple of Sigmund Freud, which we’re convinced can help us all to understand and accept ourselves the way we are.

1. Don't hold on to someone who's leaving, otherwise you won't meet the one who's coming.

2. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

3. If you are a gift person, it doesn't mean that you gained something.  It means you have something to give back.

4. The meeting of two personalities is like contact between two chemical substances: both elements are transformed by even the slightest reaction.

5. The heaviest burden for a child is the unlived lives of its parents.

6. Everything about other people that doesn't satisfy us helps us to better understand ourselves.

7. Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.  Who looks outside, dreams.  Who looks inside, awakens.

8. Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.

9. Show me the sane man, and I will cure him for you.

10. We reach for the past to our parents and for our children in the future, whom we will never see but whom we want to take care of.

11. What you resist, persists.

12. Depression is like a woman in black.  If she urn up, don't shoo her away.  Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.

13. Quite often, the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.

14. A dream is a small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens up to that primeval cosmic night that was the soul, long before there was the conscious ego.

15. A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.

16. Your perception will become clear only when you can look into your soul.

17. I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

18. We may think that we fully control ourselves.  However, a friend can easily reveal something about us that we have absolutely no idea about.

19. "Magic" is just a different word to describe a psychological designation.

20.  Our personalities are part of the world around us, and their mystery is also boundless.

Find more articles at www.transcendct.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mindfulness in Schools Endorsed by Dept of Ed

Story c/o Andrea Rice
for Yoganonymous.com

U.S. Department of Education
Endorses Mindfulness

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which means that classrooms everywhere are exploring the ways fitness can cultivate healthier, happier, and more productive students.  

On a recent trip to the Brightwood Education Campus in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Education (ED) observed an entire student body committed to mind-body awareness and health. Many schools around the country and beyond have already incorporated yoga and meditation into their curriculum, so this news might seem old hat for those of us in the mindful community. But how often does the Department of Ed actually drop by these mindful classrooms and experience the effects first-hand? While we’re not sure if this is the first time... the visit made a big enough impact to appear on ED’s blog.

In a post written by an intern, ED staff watched young students use mindfulness practices to stimulate their brains after nap time. He noted a positive “peer influence” among students; when one student would lose their attention span in the exercises, classmates would encourage them to focus and get back on track.

“After the exercises the students had a chance to sit up tall, close their eyes, and breathe in unison,” the intern wrote. “Beyond just physical fitness, students and teachers participated in meditation and stretching in order to ease their minds and connect with other people around them."
The intern also claims that it is the emphasis on mind and body awareness that has enhanced school culture. He wrote that students ranging from K–12, the staff, and even parents are all invested in their own well-being and approach their peers with more empathy as a result. Noting the cultural diversity of Brightwood, he felt that the common mission of health and wellness is what draws everyone at the school closer together. Even better is that the teachers are evidently practicing the mindfulness exercises right alongside the students.

"Planting the seed of healthy living at an early age will allow the students to feel more supported as their lives become more stressful both academically and personally," the intern wrote.
One more reason Nama-stay in school, kids!

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Raising Mindful Children

The Mindful Child

Article c/o The New York Times

It’s long been known that meditation helps children feel calmer, but new research is helping quantify its benefits for elementary school-age children. A 2015 study found that fourth- and fifth-grade students who participated in a four-month meditation program showed improvements in executive functions like cognitive control, working memory, cognitive flexibility — and better math grades. A study published recently in the journal Mindfulness found similar improvements in mathematics in fifth graders with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And a study of elementary school children in Korea showed that eight weeks of meditation lowered aggression, social anxiety and stress levels.
These investigations, along with a review published in March that combed the developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience literature, illustrate how meditative practices have the potential to actually change the structure and function of the brain in ways that foster academic success.

Fundamental principles of neuroscience suggest that meditation can have its greatest impact on cognition when the brain is in its earliest stages of development.
This is because the brain develops connections in prefrontal circuits at its fastest rate in childhood. It is this extra plasticity that creates the potential for meditation to have greater impact on executive functioning in children. Although meditation may benefit adults more in terms of stress reduction or physical rejuvenation, its lasting effects on things like sustained attention and cognitive control are significant but ultimately less robust.

A clinical study published in 2011 in The Journal of Child and Family Studies demonstrates this concept superbly. The research design allowed adults and children to be compared directly since they were enrolled in the same mindfulness meditation program and assessed identically. Children between 8 and 12 who had A.D.H.D. diagnoses, along with parents, were enrolled in an eight-week mindfulness-training program. The results showed that mindfulness meditation significantly improved attention and impulse control in both groups, but the improvements were considerably more robust in the children.

Outside of the lab, many parents report on the benefits of early meditation. Heather Maurer of Vienna, Va., who was trained in transcendental meditation, leads her 9-year-old daughter, Daisy, through various visualization techniques and focused breathing exercises three nights a week, and says her daughter has become noticeably better at self-regulating her emotions, a sign of improved cognitive control. “When Daisy is upset, she will sit herself down and concentrate on her breathing until she is refocused,” Ms. Maurer said.

Amanda Simmons, a mother who runs her own meditation studio in Los Angeles, has seen similar improvements in her 11-year-old son, Jacob, who is on the autism spectrum. Jacob also has A.D.H.D. and bipolar disorder, but Ms. Simmons said many of his symptoms have diminished since he began daily meditation and mantra chants six months ago. “The meditation seems to act like a ‘hard reboot’ for his brain, almost instantly resolving mood swings or lessening anger,” Ms. Simmons said. She believes it has enabled him to take a lower dose of Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug used to treat bipolar disorder.

Whether children are on medication or not, meditation can help instill self-control and an ability to focus. Perhaps encouraging meditation and mind-body practices will come to be recognized as being as essential to smart parenting as teaching your child to work hard, eat healthfully and exercise regularly.

To learn some meditation techniques you can teach your child, read Three Ways for Children to Try Meditation at Home.

Find more great articles at: www.transcendct.com

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sagging Skin? Try These Natural Remedies...

Due to aging, the collagen and elastin structure of the skin loses elasticity which causes sagging of the skin. Skin can also loose its structure due to several other factors like harmful radiations of the sun, smoking, bad food habits, obesity, use of harsh chemicals on the skin and more. Now, there are several cosmetic procedures available in the market that are expensive and painful which offer natural skin tightening. The best option would be to try these simple skin tightening home remedies that’ll help tighten your skin naturally:

Home Remedies For Sagging Skin

Egg Whites
Egg whites consist of hydro lipids that lift the skin. They also act as a natural astringent and nourish the skin. Egg whites also have the ability to wipe away premature wrinkles from the face, remove eye bags and give you a youthful radiance and firmness. You could whisk one or two egg whites until a foamy texture, and then apply it on your skin. Leave it for 20 minutes and then wash it off. You could also add a spoon of plain yogurt to egg whites and then apply it on your face and neck. This will leave you with fresh, nourished and radiant skin.

Tomatoes can be an effective astringent toning up the sagging skin on the face and neck. Apply a thin coat of tomato juice on your face and leave it for 20 minutes and then rinse it off. It will tighten the face skin, and leave your skin hydrated.

Almond Oil

Almond Oil is rich in Vitamin E, and is known to contain skin tightening properties. It is also a very strong anti-oxidant and can repair as well as renew the skin tissues.

Cucumber and Avocado

Cucumber is widely known for its anti-aging properties and is used in the cosmetic industry. It is also very effective in tightening skin pores and nourishing the skin. Cucumber can also be used as an exfoliator, as it removes dead and tanned skin. Avocado is known as a great moisturizer and a mixture of these two ingredients can do wonders for your sagging skin. Blend one cup of chopped avocado with cucumber and apply it as a mask on your face and neck. Leave it for few minutes and wash it off. Do this for a few weeks to see the difference.

Baking Soda

Use baking soda paste, (baking soda with water) as a scrub and tightener. Baking soda is an alkaline substance that tightens the pores, softens the skin and moisturizes it. Before trying this, apply a small portion of it on your elbow to see that there’s no allergic reaction.


Article c/o Dr. Janardhana Hebbar

for curejoy.com

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Learning to release trauma before passing it onto the next generation


Can Trauma be Passed on through our DNA?




PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions. ― Susan Pease Banitt
Intergenerational Trauma is the idea that serious trauma can affect the children and grandchildren of those who had the first hand experience, due to living with a person suffering from PTSD and the challenges that can bring. What’s new is that, thanks to the emerging field of epigenetics, science is discovering that trauma is being passed down to future generations through more than simply learned behaviors.

One widely reported example is of holocaust survivors passing on the effects of trauma to children and grandchildren. It seems that trauma or its effects are being passed down through our genes, and it has enormous consequences for us as a species.

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Science is showing that intergenerational trauma is a reality


What are we Passing on our Children?

The single most dangerous idea I learned in school is that the genes you get from you parents are passed on to your children, and nothing you do in your life changes them. Thankfully, however, the findings of the new scientific field of epigenetics is starting to change this dangerous attitude. We do indeed pass on the exact same chromosomes from parent to child, however the quality they are in when we receive them can be improved or diminished according to what happens to us and the choices we make during our lifetime.

The reason why it’s dangerous for us to believe otherwise is that it has lead to entire generations of people believing that their choices concerning their own body and the environment affecting it have no detrimental effect on the genes of future generations. In short it has the potential to see us devolve, simply out of ignorance. Fortunately, as awareness of epigenetics spreads, it’s helping people understand that how we live our lives can change the quality of our own genes for the better and those we pass on to our offspring.

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Is trauma passed down through our DNA?


What Is Epigenetics?

We all know the image of a DNA double helix. Imagine now that each of the thirteen rungs in the spiral ladder that makes a chromosome is not simply a rung, but a binary, amino acid on/off switch. You may have received an exact same chromosome that your mother or your father carried, but this chromosome has been changing according to the way you’ve been living your life Some rungs in the ladder are off where they were once on and vice versa. Your genes are responding to the environment like you are, because like you are, they are alive.

Our DNA exists at the heart of our cells and provide the instructions for new cells to be created, so better quality DNA equals better quality instructions for cells to be created and in turn a happier, healthier body. On the other hand continued degradation of the epigenetic structure of our genes could be leading to lowering of immunity and fertility, and increased susceptibility to cellular mutation.

When Emotional Trauma Becomes Overwhelming

In simple terms trauma occurs when we reach a point where we can’t cope, we are overwhelmed and we don’t have the tools or skills to find our way through. We find ourselves in a state where our sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and we can get stuck in fight or flight mode for far longer than our body is designed to remain that way. Sustaining this state of high alert causes depletion and disruption of the normal functions of our system. In our culture we refer to acute cases of this as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

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PTSD is widespread among survivors of war and other traumatic events

Thanks to this diagnosis, we have this somewhat arbitrary boundary which almost says that the truly traumatized people are on one side and the rest of us are on the other. The reality is that the boundary between those who suffer from PTSD and everyone else was invented, created, made up by the human mind with little regard for the fact that trauma is carried within us all in varying degrees. Each of us is on a sliding scale that goes all the way up to and past the line that tips a person into being diagnosed with PTSD.

The kind of trauma we all carry can include the smallest things like the time we were laughed at for not knowing the answer to a question, or other seemingly insignificant things like being teased as a child. It can include any moments of pain and tragedy that have occurred throughout our life, but by far the biggest factor of whether the pain remains with us as trauma is whether it was overwhelming, and whether it continued to be overwhelming.

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We need support to be able to feel and process our trauma

According to transpersonal psychologists, when the trauma is so overwhelming that our only defense mechanism is to avoid feeling it, then we continue to carry it until someday we have the courage and strength to finally feel all of it and come to emotional completion, though the physical event may have ended long ago. A number of problems can prevent this: a person may not feel like they are in a safe enough environment, or not supported enough to go into the vulnerability of feeling their old pain in order to release it. The person may struggle with being re-traumatized by going back in to the memory of what happened.

Releasing Our Trauma So It Doesn’t Get Passed On

For some people, it’s enough to explain to them that they simply need to accept and allow the feelings of pain and discomfort to exist instead of trying to hide them, avoid them or push them away. As soon as a person judges and labels their inner pain as something bad or something they don’t want or don’t like, they are inadvertently and unwittingly grabbing and holding their pain and preventing it from leaving.

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Learning to release trauma before it is passed on to our children

Allowing the pain to flow instead of trying to stop it from happening is how we allow it to leave us and be released, however there is considerable risk of re-traumatization. In my opinion, this occurs when a person wakes up their old pain and trauma to try to release it, but then instead of accepting and thereby allow it to flow out of them they contract around it with their judgment that this is something they don’t want. So they experience the pain again, but do so without actually releasing it.

For many at the extreme end of the trauma scale known as PTSD, these experiences of past pain and trauma coming up in order to be released are uninvited and involuntary. During these bouts which can be triggered by anything that remotely resembles the original trauma or nothing at all, re-traumatization is occurring repeatedly and compounding the problem.

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Re-traumatization can compound the problem


What Happens When We Can’t Release Our Old Pain and Trauma?

If a person experiences trauma and they are never able to come to emotional completion because it is simply too overwhelming then the environmental influence of those events on the body through immense amounts of stress hormones signal to the genes that the environment is hostile and unsafe, and this has an effect on the epigenetic quality of the genes. The epigenetic structure of the genes changes and these genes in this state can then be passed to subsequent generations.

The worst examples of intergenerational trauma occur when a generation is born carry the trauma of their parents, and their parents and now the children as well are still living in circumstances that are traumatic. In some cases this can go on for generations, particularly in cases of ongoing war, colonialisation and genocide. Prof. Judy Atkinson speaks about her work helping entire indigenous communities heal from transgenerational trauma in her book Trauma Trails, and the traditional approach she works with can be found in the following Uplift article. Techniques such as breath work and vipassana have also been successful as well as severe cases of PTSD having been healed through psychedelic means such as MDMA assisted psychotherapy, or ceremonial use of Ayahuasca.

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Can trauma be passed between generations?


Evolving, Not Devolving As A Species

I like to think that the epigenetic structure of our DNA can be like either a rock or a crystal. The molecules in a rock can be identical to those found in a crystal with the only difference being that the molecules in the rock are jumbled and those in the crystal are more aligned allowing light to pass through. In the same way, perhaps there are more jumbled and more aligned states that the those amino acid on/off switches in our DNA can find themselves in. The good news is that if our epigenetic structure can become relatively jumbled due to challenging and painful environmental factors, they may also become more aligned as we make healthier decisions about exposing ourselves to less environmental contaminants and, if possible, less emotional contaminants like stress and trauma.

My personal theory about life is that the reality we live in is a rigged game; that all paths lead to learning and growth. The less gentle path may be for the quality of our DNA to degrade, perhaps increasing the likelihood that a) those that can’t adapt fast enough don’t survive, as well as b) sudden mutation jumping us to a different sub-branch of the evolutionary tree. The more gentle path to evolution may be by bringing our epigenetic code into higher states of alignment by healing our past pain and trauma and perhaps even healing the trauma that was passed to us from our ancestors. The only question that remains is: what kind of species do we wish to be?

Article c/o Jonathan Davis
for upliftconnect.com

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