Marie Grace Gaffud Antonio is an Open Source advocate working with Bluepoint Foundation as Executive Director and Director of Operations. Magie and Engels are proud parents of Psylocke & Phoenix.
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“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” ~Albert Einstein
The Power Of Now
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, 8:34 PM
Understanding The Power Of Now

Let's face it the only thing that exists is what is happening right now. The past does not exist - it's over with and should be nothing but a fading memory. The future does not exist - it simply hasn't happened yet. Both the past and the future are merely concepts which consists of thoughts and memories. The only thing that really exists right now is the very present moment that you live in and from this present moment you can draw tremendous power - the kind of power that can change your life and allow you to achieve your goals.

Now you may say that you don't like the present moment - but that's only because you're thinking
about what you feel the present should be. You're either allowing your ego to dominate your present
moment, or you're focusing on mistakes of the past, or your consumed with the future that you're forgetting to live in the present moment.
I know some of you may say: "Right now I don't have a job and the bank is about to foreclose. Plus my wife/husband just left me and I'm stuck with 3 kids. My present is not exactly pleasant." If you're present or current situation is not pleasant then you are comparing it to something else - you're probably thinking about what the now should be instead of dealing with what is going on.

In the above case I would say if you don't have a job then it's time to look for one - I know you probably are but don't focus on the fact that you don't have a job, don't focus on how difficult it may seem to get a job, don't focus on why don't have a job, simply concentrate on going out and getting a job. At the end of the day - see where you are and focus on what needs to be done next. If your children need attention right now - then give them attention. If you need to go out and look for work right now then do it. Don't compare your present situation to anything - accept what it is and make the most of it with the intention of making the present better with each step that you take.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying accept your present situation and don't do anything to improve it. I'm saying deal with your present situation and do everything you can to improve your life. Once you begin working on the present moment with the intent of improving your life you begin to utilize the power of now - you leave the past in the past, you don't concentrate on the future and instead you start living in the present moment doing everything that you can to improve your life now.

When you do this you send a powerful message to your subconscious mind. You tell your subconscious that you are here now and ready to get to work to improve your life. It then begins working for you because your subconscious only understands the present moment - your subconscious does not understand the future or the past - your subconscious only lives in the now - in the present moment.

Now I know this concept is easy to understand but the challenge is in applying it. While many of you
will be able to grasp and understand the concept of living in the now and working with the power of the
present moment - practicing it is quite another thing. In order to do this you have to first start working
with a process that involves getting your mind to work differently - something that it is not used
to and through that process you'll begin to live in the now while moving forward and improving your life.

The Present is All That Exists

You may have memories, you may have feelings when you think about the past, you may worry about the future - but let's face it the past no longer exists. You can't step back in time and go into the past. Star Trek fans may disagree - but as far as we know - there is no way of going back in time and re-living or altering the past experiences. The past is done with. It doesn't exist.

Similarly you can't step into the future and see what happens - despite what so called psychics and
astrologers say - there is no way of seeing the future or living in the future. It hasn't happened. One day that future will arrive and if you're not paying attention - if you're too focused on the past or still worrying about the future - you'll miss it completely.

The only thing that is taking place right now is the present moment. As you read this - that's all that you are doing. When you are done the moment that you are currently experiencing will never happen again! The now will never happen again! Your present moment will never happen again!

Even when you think about the past - you do so in the present moment. You don't go back in time and
remember the past - you do so in this present moment. When you think about the future you do it in the present moment - not in the future - you do it now. When you think about the past and the future you are wasting the valuable time and power that you have in the present moment. The only reason people are unhappy is because they fail to live in the present moment, they fail to embrace the now. Instead, they often think about what their present moment should be and allow their ego to dominate them - thus the unhappiness sets in.

It is impossible to have a problem and live in the present moment at the same time. When you live in
the present moment your attention is completely focused on what is happening at that very moment. There are no thoughts of the future or the past. If you are at work - focus on work. If you are at home - focus on the home. If you are with friends - focus on your friends. When you do this your subconscious mind is released and free to start working on improving your life.

When you are focused on the past or worried about the future - the subconscious is lost in confusion.
It doesn't know what you want and is forced to go from present to past and present to future without being given the time or ability to create the situations you need to improve your life in the present moment. In short - you never allow your subconscious to function in the present moment - which is the only place that it can work.

Many of you may be seeking answers, trying to make decisions or just hoping to discover a passion that you can follow. All of these answers come when you live in the now - when you are focused on the present moment you will receive your answers. You can't step back into the past or step into the future to receive these answers, they only come in the present moment. But if you're focused on the past or consumed with the future then when the answer arrives you'll miss it. Why? Because you were not living in the present moment - this is where you can receive the answer.

If you want to start directing your subconscious mind and if you want to stop living in the past and start living in the now then you need to take control of your mind and subconscious mind.

How To Live In The Now

The reason you have trouble living in the now is because your mind is simply not used to doing this.
Your mind is used to remembering the past or worrying about the future - it can't live in the present because it doesn't know how. But you can teach your mind how to do this and I'm about to outline some simple steps that you can take to start living in the now.

First take a look at your present situation and ask yourself what's wrong with the very moment you are in. Don't think about what happened yesterday or sometime in the past. Don't focus on what might or might not happen tomorrow. Take a look at the very moment you are in not 5 minutes from now - and see if there is anything wrong. If you are at home - is there something wrong?

Don't say you are out of work - that's not the present moment because you are looking at what is not
happening. I want you to focus your mind on what is happening - then see what is wrong with that picture. My point is you should find nothing wrong with the present moment - it is what it is - and once you accept it - you can start living again.

Let's face it you can't turn your mind off - but you can get it to work differently and that's what you should start doing. Because if you don't take control of your mind your mind will control you - and that's not going to help you improve your life.

Ask yourself these next questions.
Do you find yourself waiting for something to happen?
Are you waiting to get some more time?
Make more money?
Meet the right person?
Are you waiting for the right opportunity?

Waiting is another game the mind plays because it doesn't want to live in the present moment. If you answered yes to any of the above questions then you are not living in the present moment - you are focusing on anything but the present moment. I know you can't focus on the present moment or live in the now 24 hours a day. But start by doing this for a few minutes a day and then continue expanding the exercise everyday. Then track your progress.

See how you feel when you only focus on what is happening right now. As you continually do this you'll see yourself starting to enjoy the process. Here's a suggestion. The next time you are driving or walking pay attention only to what is happening around you. Listen to the sounds, observe the people. Don't think about what you have to do or what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow or what might happen in five minutes. Focus your attention only on what is happening right now. Doing this will get your mind to start living in the present moment and before you know it you'll be able to focus your mind and utilize the power of now.

Have Some Fun!

The final step in the process is to start having some fun. Start enjoying your life. Start doing things that you enjoy. Act like a 6 year old - don't try to be an adult all of the time. Forget about your troubles and just do something completely different - and have some fun. Once you start doing this you'll see things begin to fall into place. If you have a passion for sports then start playing a sport you like. If you have a passion for cooking - make a meal or two over the next couple of days. Do what you enjoy and you'll start attracting more positive situations into you life.

Learn more at
Battered Women
Sunday, Dec 19, 2004, 11:36 PM
My daughter asked me to place a disclaimer about why I posted this particular article in my blog. Psy said visitors might misinterpret that I am a victim of it -- which is very unfair for my good husband . Anyway, I'm just making this handy to understand people whom I know as to why they dwell in such predicament.

Battered Women
by Aubrey Hammack

Violence against women continues to be a major problem in this country. It is nothing new. It has been with us for ages.

Who is the battered woman? What does she look like? We are told she doesn’t come from any particular socio-economic class. She is normal with no special attributes many times that make her stand out in a crowd.

Some characteristics of this woman are:

1) Low self-esteem
2) Usually is a traditional wife or girlfriend and believes in strong family unity
3) Accepts responsibility for being battered
4) Suffers guilt from it
5) Presents herself to the world as a passive person, but has enough strength to prevent herself from being killed or severely injured many times
6) Believes her situation is hopeless
7) Is financial ly dependent on her husband or boyfriend

These women do not choose to stay in the relationship because they enjoy the beatings and abuse. Most of them stay for economic, legal or social-dependence reasons. Many simply have no place to go. Most people can not understand why a woman would not leave the man who treats her so cruelly. A lot of women feel guilty and ashamed and feels the abuses they realize are punishment for their sins.

Women that are on welfare are usually more successful at leaving these men because they can control to some degree their own finances. They stay in the abusive relationships for several reasons. They stay for companionship, fear of aging, or having to face being a single parent. They are many times afraid that they will be harmed or killed if they leave.

Also, many women will leave the abusive relationship many times before she finally makes the break. With this in mind, the caregiver must not give up on them when they go back to the abuser. They have not become strong enough to make the final break.

Evidence suggests that the men who batter women learn this behavior from a significant male in their own life. They have many times grown up in families where they witnessed their dad’s abuse of their mothers. Many times these fathers have been abused themselves. He has grown up with a strong authoritarian type of male ruling the house. These men focus on weak, dependent females and seek them out. When in this position, he has a sense of power, which makes him feel better about himself because usually this is the only power he has in life. He will have low self-esteem and has learned that he can boost his ego by bullying those weaker than himself.

He usually will express a lot of jealousies to his lover. He is extremely suspicious of she does, whom she sees and whom she talks with. He will accuse her of having sexual affairs with almost any male she comes into contact with from her father to the salesclerk at the supermarket.

Lenore E. Walker, in her book on the Battered Woman, talks of three stages of the battering cycle. They are Phase I- The Tension Building Stage, Phase II- The Acute Battering Stage and Phase III- The Kindness and Contrite Loving Behavior Stage.

In Phase I the woman usually does all she can to calm down the batterer. She may nurture him or simply attempt to stay out of his way. She accepts the abuse because she thinks this will keep matters from getting worse. She here is seen to have sleeplessness, loss of appetite, overeating and sleeping, and constant fatigue. Phase II sees the explosion. It is here where she is usually beaten. She anticipates this is coming. Phase III is characterized by extreme loving, almost kin to the honeymoon stage. The batterer shows affection and kind behavior that resembles a newly wed. He knows what he has done is wrong and tries to make it up to her. He begs forgiveness and promises never to do it again. He is like a little boy promising that he won’t do it again.

So, what is the answer? No one plan or method seems to be working that allows battered women to get away from the man described above. Interesting enough, this woman may actually love this man. A lot of understanding from a care provider must be given, whether it is a professional counselor or another significant person. We must all become more sensitive to the battered woman, realizing that it may seem very simple to us, but it is terribly complex problem for these women.

But most important of all, these males need to be taught as children that physically, sexually, and verbally abusing women is wrong and can not be tolerated. The education system itself can be used to meet this objective.

I believe that the social conscience has to be raised concerning this problem. When this is done, we will start seeing a decline in this problem.
Age-Defying Diet Secrets
Saturday, Dec 18, 2004, 11:00 PM
Prescription for Aging Beautifully
Secrets to an Anti-Aging and Health

Dr. Nicholas Perricone shares his secrets for healthier skin, and a mind and body makeover to boot!

Inflammation is at the basis of age-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, auto immune disease cancer and wrinkled, sagging skin. The wrong foods, such as sugar, processed foods, pasta, breads, pastry and baked goods, can increase levels of the pro-inflammatory peptides.

+ Sugar is the number one enemy. It causes inflammation that destroys our bodies and attaches to collagen, which results in stiff, inflexible, sagging skin. Controlling our blood sugar level and insulin levels will improve our health and give us beautiful, youthful skin.

+ The anti-inflammatory diet consists of high quality protein, like that found in fish, colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, and adequate amounts of good fat, like that found in salmon, flax, nuts, seeds and olive oil.

+ Our skin is a perfect reflection of our internal health and when our skin visibly improves from this anti-inflammatory lifestyle, we automatically reduce our risk of age-related disease and body weight normalizes.

+ Eating hot peppers can relieve various types of headaches, such as cluster headaches, migraines and sinus headaches.

+ Essential fatty acids are necessary for elevated mood, beautiful skin, healthy immune system, increased mental clarity and normalizing weight (you need to eat fat to burn fat).

+ Coffee (and its not the caffeine) can result in elevated levels of cortisol and insulin, leading to weight gain. Remember, elevated insulin puts a lock on body fat. If you substitute green tea for coffee, and do nothing else differently, you will lose 10 pounds in six weeks.

+ We must drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to maintain health and beautiful skin, as all biochemical reactions in the body take place in the presence of water.
Boost Your Self-Esteem
Thursday, Nov 11, 2004, 3:59 PM
Skyrocket Your Self-Esteem

Beverly O'Bryant, in her book entitled Celebrate Yourself, writes that "what is important is that groups, individuals, systems and institutions see the need for dealing with self-esteem and realize that how one feels about oneself directly and proportionally impacts their success in whatever task they're going to perform."

The importance of self-esteem is finally catching on. Our greater awareness now enables us to acknowledge our egos as something positive (as long as we don't display them to others excessively or obnoxiously).

The higher your self-esteem, the more you like yourself, the better you get along with others, and the more you accomplish.

Small successes give us greater self-confidence, which leads to the pursuit of bigger challenges, and then bigger successes.

There's nothing wrong with being proud of what we've done, of what we think we can do, or of who we are and where we come from.

Margaret Thatcher once said, "I wasn't lucky, I deserved it." This pride is necessary if we are to improve our present situation.

Dr. Anthony Greenwald, a psychologist at Ohio State University, as quoted in Harvey Mackay's book Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive, describes the "egocentricity bias"--the reinterpretation of events to put ourselves in a favorable light and the belief we have more control over events than we actually do--as a sign of mental well-being.

Mr. Mackay then identifies this as "optimism"--a quality that consistently delivers results.

He goes on to say: "Optimism involves self-delusion, a belief that our own abilities are superior to the obstacles that logically should overcome us. But that's exactly what's needed to perform any heavy-duty assignment. It's a hell of a lot more productive than humility."

Never underestimate your potential. Look for new and significant challenges. Look to open new horizons.

There might be a degree of security in repeating the same little tasks that you know backwards and forewards, but that doesn't raise your opinion of yourself.

It's the unusually difficult task that instills a sense of accomplishment and raises self-esteem. If the challenge is great enough, even failing can leave you with a positive feeling about yourself, as long as you gave it your best shot.

Top performers in athletics, business, or any other career are always convinced they can be heroes, and it shows. But if you're not already a top performer, there are things you can do to help you feel like you are.

Look for opportunities to open new horizons. Try something new without being afraid of failing. When you concern yourself with an issue, make sure it's something you can impact.

It really bothers me to see people get depressed or angry over something they can do nothing about. It's senseless. Don't get hung up on the weather, your age, thinking you have big feet, or (my favorite) THE PAST. You can't change them anyway.

Concentrate your energy on the things you can directly improve. Figure out what needs to be done and then act.

Always be a positive person. At the risk of sounding trite, every cloud has a silver lining. Look for it. You just had a terrible round of golf? Well, it was better than going to work or being laid up in a hospital.

Get the idea? Nobody likes to be around a negative person. If one person in a group acts annoyed or sulks, it detracts from the fun of everyone else around him or her.

There are two other ways to feel good about yourself.

Feel good about your appearance. That doesn't mean you have to wear a suit all the time, but you should feel like you fit in well with the crowd you are with. You should feel like your clothing is clean, unwrinkled, and in style.

Feeling clean, well-groomed, and not sloppy looking will help you feel more assertive and sure of yourself. Most of the time, you'll know the people you're going to see and
know what "appropriate appearance" is.

Before you leave the house, you will either feel good about yourself, or not. If not, don't leave until you fix it. Why spend the whole night feeling self-conscious and trying to hide whatever it is that bothers you?

Finally, do something nice for somebody else. This is a very effective way to feel good about yourself, and it's so easy.

Next time you give someone a gift for a birthday or holiday, don't go about it with the thought that you're obligated to do it and you just want to get it over with.

Take the time to think about what that person would enjoy receiving. When it's opened, you'll see sincere appreciation, and you will benefit from that by feeling satisfaction in your ability to make someone else happy.

Here's some ideas for boosting your self-esteem:

--Participate in a community service event.

--Join a club or group that does things for charity.

--There are plenty of old people living in nursing homes that would appreciate a visit.

--Teach an illiterate person how to read.

--Be a big brother or sister.

--Give your seat on the train to an elderly person.

--Offer directions to tourists.

This list could go on and on. Do something nice for somebody and the person who benefits most will be you.

Feeling good about yourself comes from within.

It comes from correct principles deep in your mind and heart.

It comes from living a life of integrity in which our daily habits reflect our deepest values.

A life of integrity is the most fundamental source of personal worth. Peace of mind can only be achieved when your life is in harmony with true principles and values.

Another important source of intrinsic security (self-esteem) is your work, when you see yourself in a contributive and creative mode, making a difference.

You can accomplish these things without fanfare and acknowledgement. Self-satisfaction, not recognition, becomes the motive.

Over the next few days make an honest effort to do some of the things described in this lesson. If you don't act, you won't change. If you do act, you'll be amazed at the results.
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