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Your Keys to the Universe

Many years ago I engaged in educating myself in the philosophies of the east. I studied consistently for seven years, in order to gain an understanding of our humanity, and the nature of the human mind. I consider my education to be priceless. Particularly, my education in mindfulness was a milestone in my life. There were many catalysts for my study, and one of them was due to the fact that I was beyond unhappy. In fact, I was miserable. I knew that I was being ruled by my emotions, and sought advice from various people for healing, but nothing seemed to help. Interestingly, I would come to realize throughout my studies that the people that were giving me advice were in fact suffering due to a lack of insight into their own minds. They were on autopilot!

What do I mean by autopilot? Let me give you an example: One morning you are driving to work, and you start to think about an argument you had with a friend two weeks ago. You relive the incident in your mind, and your body begins to experience all the emotion, and stress associated with the incident due to your thinking. You repeat the statements you made justifying your position over and over in your mind, and in fact you may even refine the statements that you made in a new way in order to solidify your position. Meanwhile traffic starts to back up, and you begin to worry about being late for work, which results in more anxiety. Your job sucks, and so does your boss. You have to many bills, and and not enough time to enjoy the things you would like to engage in, and on, and on it goes! By the time you arrive at work you are completely stressed, and your attitude is anything but desirable. What a way to begin the day! Does any of this sound familiar to you? And what happened during the eleven miles, and twenty five minutes you spent travelling to work? Well, it was a beautiful morning, and your favorite song came on the radio, but you didn't hear it. You drove right by one of your co-workers who was walking because he had car trouble, and you never noticed him. That is autopilot, and unfortunately we spend most of our days this way. Either we are dwelling on our past, engaged in worry, or dreaming of a possible future, but we are rarely in the present. In fact we are not comfortable in the now because we don't know how to be present with ourselves. 

The Human Mind - A Busy Place

According to the National Science Foundation: The average mind thinks up to 50,000 thoughts per day. Do you think that the majority of these thoughts are positive or negative?
How much unnecessary stress are you experiencing as a result of your thoughts?

When I first learned the lesson of mindfulness, I looked back on my life in a complete panic due to all the time I spent lost in the content of my thoughts. At the same time I felt great sense of relief with the knowledge that I could practice mindfulness immediately, and truly live my life the way it was meant to be lived. 

The Benefits of Mindfulness:

Improve the overall quality of your life
* Reduce stress, and anxiety
* Reduce resistance to change
* Reduce negative thinking
* Achieve inner peace
* Improve your health
* Improve memory, and focus
* Respond to problems rather than react
* Gain insight with regard to yourself, and increase wisdom
* Increase life satisfaction, and happiness
* Experience reality rather than your projected version of life
* Improve self esteem

Learning Resources:

John Kabat Zinn is an authority on mindfulness, and wrote: 
which is one of my favorite books. is a comprehensive web site on the subject.

And finally I am including a video of John Kabat Zinn speaking on the 
"Healing Power of Mindfulness:

I wrote the following quote in relation to mindfulness after I engaged in practice:

“Through the practice of mindfulness we generate the quality of empathy. With empathy we generate compassion. With compassion we generate loving kindness, and the willingness to promote healing. When we help to heal the miseries, and afflictions of others we promote self realization, and wisdom, which naturally enhances our state of mindfulness, and well being. It is within this circle of energy that we find love, happiness, and contentment" - Craig Brando

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Happy Holidays

Whatever is beautiful,
Whatever is meaningful,
Whatever brings you happiness...
May it be yours this Holiday Season
and throughout the coming year! 

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The Benefits of Writing A Daily Gratitude Journal

OK, so who wants to be happier, and live a more meaningful life?   

When we actively take steps to recognize what we are grateful for, we become more conscious of, and focused upon the things that are meaningful to us. Overtime we generate a greater sense of value in our lives, and when we value something we naturally treat it with attention, and care. Ultimately we transcend the maintenance of our daily routines, and become the cultivator of our lives.

I recommend writing down 10 things each day that you are grateful for. The benefits to your well being are  are numerous.

Maintaining a daily gratitude journal:

  • * Promotes the well being of your relationships in your personal, and professional life.
  • * Promotes positive thinking.
  • * Guides you in identifying and, engaging in your passions.
  • * Fosters creativity, and growth.
  • * Promotes mindfulness - keeps you focused.
  • * Improves self esteem.
  • * Builds character
  • * Promotes spirituality.
  • * Reduces stress.
  • * Improves your health.

In the Words of Melody Beattie - Author

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." 

According to a study performed by Dr. Emmons - Professor, University of California Davis - People who kept a gratitude journal for just three weeks measured 25% higher in life satisfaction.

Oprah - " It was the single most important thing, (I believe) I've ever done."