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Monthly Archives

January 2010

The Trouble With Fish

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If you haven’t heard, our oceans are not as plentiful with fish as they once were many years ago. In fact, many populations of fish are nearly decimated due to over-fishing. As a fan of the NPR radio program, Living on Earth, I am often reminded of the many problems facing our oceans (from our coral reefs that are dying to areas of plastic waste, the size of Texas, floating in the Pacific. Last Sunday Living On Earth aired a special program called “Good Fish, Bad Fish” (see link below), which deals with wild vs. farm-raised salmon, the result of which is not good news. Coincidently, the latest issue of National Geographic has a story about the hundreds of salmon fisheries in Chile that are causing so many environmental problems in the waters off Patagonia. The vast majority of salmon consumed in the US is farm bread salmon, and this is not without its problems, to the fish and to we who eat them. Caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware!

• Stress Tip of the Day
We have all heard about how important it is to include fish, particularly cold water fish, into our diets (for the consumption of Omega 3 oils). This is an excellent idea, BUT experts warn us that the fish you wish to consume should be wild fish (e.g., wild Salmon) as the farm-raised fish is anything but healthy (see story via links worth noting). In the category of FYI, the majority of restaurants that serve salmon, serve farm-raised salmon (its’ cheaper) yet this fish may be loaded with toxins including the carcinogen, PCB’s. When you purchase fish (in the store or a restaurant), inquire where the fish came from. If they cannot tell you, consider buying somewhere where you know exactly where the source is. Learn to vote with your checkbook!

• Links Worth Noting:
Here is a transcript of the story mentioned above. Do yourself a favor and read this story.
Good fish, bad fish
http://www.loe.org/shows/shows.htm?programID=10-P13-00004#feature5

• Photo of the Day:
One of my favorite memories of swimming with ocean fish occurred while snorkeling in Tahiti decades ago. Not long ago, with an underwater camera in hand, I was able to recapture that moment a few thousand miles away in Kona, Hawaii. Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:
“There is but one season of the year when salmon should be served hot at a choice repast; that is in the spring and early summer, and even then it is too satisfying, not sufficiently delicate. The man who serves salmon during the winter, I care not what sauce he serves with it, does an injury to himself and his guests.”—Ward McAllister

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Stress and Stupidity

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Stress can bring out the worst in people, as exhibited by the inappropriate comments of Pat Robertson regarding the plight of the Haitian people after the devastating earthquake last week. The following is a reply to Mr. Robertson comments that I thought was just too good not to share. The ‘Devil’ Writes Pat Robertson A Letter: January 15, 2010.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune published a letter from Satan to evangelist Pat Robertson, responding to his comment that Haiti’s persistent troubles, including the earthquake, are due to a pact the nation made with Mephistopheles. Actually, it wasn’t Satan who wrote the letter but Lilly Coyle of Minneapolis writing in the persona of the hellish one. I think she got it down pretty well. What say you?

Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I’m all over that action.
But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I’m no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.
Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth — glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven’t you seen “Crossroads”? Or “Damn Yankees”?
If I had a thing going with Haiti, there’d be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox — that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it — I’m just saying: Not how I roll.
You’re doing great work, Pat, and I don’t want to clip your wings — just, come on, you’re making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That’s working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best, Satan (LILY COYLE, MINNEAPOLIS)

• Stress Tip of the Day
Sure, the world has its share of problems, but there is not need to add to the confusion with our own levels of stress (or stupidity). Consider following the sage advice: “Respond, don’t react.” And to this we can add, try to find the humor in every situation.

• Movies Worth Noting:
I finally got around to seeing the movie, The Blind Side last weekend. Seeing this movie gave me optimism for the future of Hollywood (unlike all the “end of the world” flicks out or coming out soon). You cannot help but walk out of this movie feeling good…and inspired! If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it!

• Photo of the Day:
I don’t have any photos of Haiti (or Pat Robertson: LOL), but this photo (taken from a plane flying high over the Bahamas last fall) gives a slight Caribbean feel to the story (enjoy). Please keep the people of Haitin in your thoughts and prayers.

• Quote for the Day:
“An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh.”
— Anonymous

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

A Smile is Your Umbrella in Stressful Times

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When the chips are down, you have a secret weapon… your smile. Research shows that a smile can disarm the harshest critic. Research also reveales that when store clerks smile at their customers, they are less likely to be robbed. People today are showing signs of being overwhelmed and burnt out. They could use a smile. We all could use a smile. As the Irish say, “A smile costs nothing and everyone benefits,” so make a smile your umbrella in stressful times.

• Stress Tip of the Day
Share a smile today to someone who really needs an emotional life.If you cannot think of anything to smile about, here is a joke for you (and apologies up front to all USPS postal workers).

A Letter to God!
There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses. One day, a letter ca me addressed in a shaky handwriting to God with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about. The letter read:

Dear God, I am an 83-year old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension payment. Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with, have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can you please help me ? Sincerely, Edna

The postal worker was quite moved. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman…The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends. Christmas came and went. A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read:

Dear God, How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me ? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift. By the way, there was $4 missing. I think it might have been those bastards at the post office.

Sincerely, Edna

• Links Worth Noting:
The Amity Turkish Cultural Center co-sponsored my trip to Jacksonville, FL last week. The exchange resulted in meeting some WONDERFUL people from Turkey and I am honored to accept an invitation to Turkey this summer as guests of the Amity Turkish Cultural Center (thanks, Akif). Please check out this link which contains a beautifully produced video of Turkey.
http://atccenter.org/toturkey/

• Photo of the Day:
Imagine walking down the street and seeing your movie title on a theater marquee. That’s what happened to me last Friday night as I was in Jacksonville, FL for a screening premier of Earth Songs. I call this photo, “Me and George Clooney (kinda).” Seeing this sure put a smile on my face! I hope it does the same for you too. Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:
In light of the Supreme Courts ruling Thursday that has basicall legalized political corruption, I offer this quote from Mark Twain:
“If the world “pro” is the opposite of “con,” what is the opposite of progress? ”

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Lipids: Fat is Where It’s At!

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Some foods, or lack thereof, can be a stress to the body. Let’s take the nutrient fat, for example. There are two kinds of fats that your body cannot make. These are called essentials fats , specifically, Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. If you do not consume these in your diet, your body’s physiology becomes stressed and various physiological functions cannot occur. Some organs might perform less optimally. Eventually they might not perform at all. By and large, Americans consume too much Omega 6’s (e.g., various cooking oils) and not enough Omega 3’s (found in cold water fish and flax seed). This imbalance can lead to several problems including inflammation of the joints. Food companies have figured out that by chemically tweaking lipids (liquid fats such as oils) they become solid at room temp (the dreaded hydrogenated oils or trans-fats). This prolongs shelf life of the products that contain these fats so they won’t go rancid, but as the saying goes, bacteria are smart, they won’t go near this stuff. Once in the body, trans-fats destroy cell membranes and this causes all kinds of physiological problems, most notably setting the stage for cancer and heart disease.

• Stress Tip of the Day
Getting a good source of Omega 3 oils is essential to your body’s health. Today you can find Omega 3’s in almost everything from eggs to cereals, but the best source is its most natural source: Flax seed oil (found in the health food section of your grocery store) and cold water fish (e.g. salmon). Make it habit to eat fresh caught salmon as farm salmon may be less expensive, but has many serious health issues. Also light and heat can make fats go rancid (which then act like trans fats in your body). Keep all oils in a cold dark place (like your fridge), not above the stove!

• Links Worth Noting:
No blog could do justice to the topic of lipids …and that’s why we have favorite links.. Here is one from Dr. Andy Weil..whom I feel is a great source of knowledge on the topic of nutrition

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400149/balancing-omega-3-and-omega-6.html

• Photo of the Day:
I didn’t have any photos of bottles of olive oil (perhaps next time). This photo of an tropical hummingbird was taken in St. Lucia last spring. Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:
“God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.” Bumper sticker seen in Boulder

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Bitch, Moan & Whine?

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When people get stressed they tend to bitch, moan and whine—A lot! America, it seems, has become a nation of whiners (A bumper sticker in Boulder reads: Stop Global Whining!) It’s OK to complain every now an then, but not ALL the time! People who complain all the time are really grieving. While grieving is good, grieving all the time is not good. And it certainly isn’t healthy! People who bitch, moan and whine all the time tend to claim victimization about their lives. As the expression goes, “one a victim, twice a volunteer.” A recent news report on NPR cited that over 85 % of the blogs today are nothing more than rants: Angry people who are spewing their anger everywhere. Comments on varoius websites also contain this catharsis of frustration. News events in Haiti should remind us just how good we have it here in America. So give it a rest. Cathart your feelings, but then step back from the whirlpool of negativity (before you fall in) and focus on the positive aspects of your life… and there is much to be happy about.

• Stress Tip of the Day
Eavesdrop on the conversations you engage in and notice how often you fall into the trap of non-stop grieving. Remember, its OK to grieve, but at some point it becomes necessary to let it go—whatever it is. Learn to put a healthy boundary on your bitching (5 mins is a good amount to time to get it out. Anything after that and you hang a sign on your head that says “ I am a victim.”). Anything more than that and you might here the expression, “Would you care for some cheese with your whine?”

• Links Worth Noting:
Sometimes giving to others who are in greater need than we find ourselves lifts us out of our funk. People in Haiti need lots of help… if you are in a position to do so, considering giving whatever you can. Google has organized many legitimate websites…including this one:
http://www.unicefusa.org/?gclid=CMyu_YqOsZ8CFRHxDAodUzvZ1Q

• Photo of the Day:
On a nice winter day, I thought it might be nice to gaze upon the Colorado mountains for inspiration. Enjoy!
• Quote for the Day:
“Don’t keystroke unless you can improve the cylience.”
—Brian Luke Seaward

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Alone, But Not Lonely

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People today have an urgent, if not compulsive, need to stay connected with others. This may explain the perpetual use of cell phones and constant updates on Facebook and Twitter. Being connected and having a strong support group is essential for health and well-being. So is having some quality alone time. Balance is the key. Also known as soul-searching, taking time regularly to sort out your thoughts and feelings (discarding that which no longer serves you) is not only a good idea, it’s essential for peace of mind. We live in a world where there is a cacophony of all kinds of noise, much of it self-inflicted. Quality time to do soul-searching is best done alone… in a quiet space and atmosphere. Balance is the key!

• Stress Tip of the Day
Do you make space in your day for some quality alone time? Where can you carve out a few minutes each day to unplug from the world (no cell phone rings, no television, no emails, websites or tweets) and collect your thoughts… so that when you do reconnect, you are fully present with those who are in your circle? No matter where you live, what you do for a living or how many kids you have, finding that balance is essential each and every day. If you don’t make this time for yourself, no one else will either.

• Links Worth Noting:
Have you seen the movie Avatar yet? (3-D and IMAX is the best.
A whole book could be written about the content of this link (click below), but suffice to say that at some level, people are recognizing that they need to cultivate a better relationship with nature. Alone time in nature is the best!
http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/11/avatar.movie.blues/index.html

• Photo of the Day:
This is a photograph (of me) taken in Illulisat, Greenland observing the beautiful icebergs. Some of you may recognize it from the Earth Songs movie. I filmed this iceberg for 20 minuets and then speeded up the film and you can actually see the iceberg rotate about 45 degrees from the ocean currents over time. Pretty cool. The alone time was nice too, I even saw two humpback whales.

• Quote for the Day:
“What’s the difference between fiction and reality? When you write fiction, it has to make sense.” — Tom Clancy

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Carpe Diem…Seize the Day!

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Having just received word recently that a good friend of mine has stage 3 cancer, gave pause for thought. Hearing news like this brings up several thoughts and emotions actually, including facing one’s own mortality. There is one school of thought that suggests that we live each day as if it were our last. The implied message is that life is too precious to waste, and sadly many of us do waste time, or simply kill time. Ironically, when people learn they are going to die soon, many do an about-face and LIVE. The truth is, most of don’t know when we are going to die. As a result, we take much for granted. Living a life with no regrets isn’t easy, but its worth a try every now and then to take a risk (and calculated risk taking is an advocated coping technique for stress, for it give you a sense of empowerment.) So seize the day today, or a part of it and hold up your hands in victory for living your life in the present moment, which in truth, is really all we ever have.

• Stress Tip of the Day
Make a list of five things you always wanted to do in life. Add to this list five simple things that you could do right now (e.g., call a friend, see a matinee movie, etc.). Pick one thing on this list and DO IT! Don’t wait till tomorrow. Enjoy life now!

• Books Worth Noting:
I may have already mentioned this, but its worth mentioning again. Go out and pick up the book, The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. Its more than a book about arm-chair travel, it’s a book about focusing on what really matters in life. AND… its really informative, creative and funny—an excellent read.

• Photo of the Day:
While visiting Sitka, Alaska, last summer, I ran into a college friend of mine (small world) whom I hadn’t seen in some 35 years. Tamma knows the meaning of carpe diem. After a very serious health issue in which she nearly died, she’s back on her feet and shown here in the victory pose from climbing a mountain in Sitka, something she never thought she might do again. Thanks for the inspiration, Tamma!

• Quote for the Day:
“If you’re not living on the edge… you’re taking up too much room.”
—Anonymous

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Let the Banker Beware!

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There is a lot of stress around money these days (perhaps there always has been), but since Congress tightened the regulations of credit card companies last year, banks (many of which are in trouble financially) are now scheming other ways to make money by adding even more service fees and finance charges to your hard earned money. A recent program on NPR’s Fresh Air highlighted many of these “hidden” service fees, most of which the average person is totally unaware. Below in the heading Links Worth Noting I including the link to the transcript of the show. I encourage you to read it, and follow up with more information. By the way, cell phone companies, auto dealerships, cable companies and other business are taking similar approaches to sift money away from you into their coffers. Don’t get stressed. Get informed. Let the buyer (that’s you!) beware!

• Stress Tip of the Day:
Read your bank statement (and credit card statements) carefully. Question all charges and service fees. Shop around…including credit unions (which for the most part are supposed to be non-profit). Don’t hemorrhage your money!

• Links Worth Noting:
Here is the link to the NPR interview… Please take some time to read through this.
http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=122212229

The following link was made by a filmmaker regarding the economic crisis after a dinner conversation with Arianna Huffington. Food for thought:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Icqrx0OimSs&feature=player_embedded

• Photo of the Day:
Right now it’s very cold in Colorado with snow in the forecast…in fact, it is cold in many parts of the country…Brrrrr! Today’s photo is of Long Bay Beach on the island of Tortola, BVI. Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:
“Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.” — Ben Franklin

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

The Art of Happiness

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New beginnings start with a fresh attitude. What does it take to be happy? The answer isn’t money. Nor is it material possessions, family or lots of friends. First and foremost, happiness begins with a decision to be happy. Happiness starts with an attitude to see the beauty in life, recognize the good in people, to focus on the light rather than the darkness and appreciate the simple things life has to offer. Happiness is another word for good stress (also known as eustress). Happiness is a state of mind. Granted, in a world that often seems filled with angst, it takes a little more to stay focused on the mantra of bliss, but it’s not an impossible task. When I worked with Olympic athletes years ago, we called this “mental training.” Regardless of whether you’re an Olympic athlete or merely an essential planetary citizen, we all need to train our minds (both at the conscious and specifically, the unconscious levels). Over the holidays I shared many great hours with friends and family. One such event ended with the consumption of fortune cookies (smile). My favorite fortune cookie saying was this: “If you do not run your subconscious mind yourself, someone else will.” Declare independence today from personal and social angst and be happy! It’s only a thought away.

• Stress Tip of the Day
Happiness starts as a perception. Plant a seed in your unconscious mind tonight as you lay your head on your pillow and remind yourself of your desire to be happy…by doing so, you calibrate your mind to this perception (keep in mind, it might take several nights to germinate). Make a goal each day to find one thing that reminds you of your happiness perception (also known as an attitude of gratitude). Finally, practice smiling and see how often it is returned from people who, like you, might be having a very stressful day. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend the book, The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. It’s excellent!

• Links Worth Noting:
I was sent this video link over the holidays and it put me in a great mood for several dayas. By sharing this with you, it is my intention that it will do the same. I hope so. Enjoy! and…Happy New Year!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh7D2g5v-Sg

• Photo of the Day:
Pictured above is a photo of my dog, Logan, who escaped (much to my horror… and stress… smile) Christmas Eve morning. He had one heck of a romp in the foot of snow that fell the previous night. You never saw a dog so happy! All attempts to capture him succeeded (thank God), but not until he had frolicked for over an hour, teasing me (huskies are VERY SMART dogs) and getting to the know the neighbors three Llamas. Boy was I happy to get him back (he’s now under house arrest…smile). All in all, he seemed extremely happy to be back home too.

• Quote for the Day:
“Every situation has a good side and a bad side… each moment… you decide.”
— Anonymous

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.