Friday, July 14, 2006

Shit happens - What do you do about it?????

I got a chance to walk my talk today.

I'm a trainer and master practitioner of NLP and Neurological repatterning. For anyone who doesn't know what that is, in a nutshell, it's the ultimate in being in charge of your thoughts and getting learnings from events in your life and in discovering & co-creating what you really want in your life.

"Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well."

- Josh Billings

You may have seen some version of this quote before and it's this quote I thought of today.

I woke up this morning to my husband telling me that all four wheels had been stolen from our car.
We (my husband & I), own a Subaru Liberty - only 9 months old and right now it us up on jacks out the front of our apartment.

Words don't describe how I felt this morning when I saw the car like that - it all felt a bit surreal.

So I asked myself this morning, "why did this happen to us" - not a particularly empowering question I have to admit. I had all these old feelings rush up from when our house was broken into when I was in year 12 (almost 20 years ago). All those feelings of intrusion of personal space and violation. It took a verbal "slap" from Warren to wake me up and get my thinking back on track. So a better question was "what can I learn from this?"

I still went to my workshop this morning and Warren eventually got to work.

I am grateful for our insurance - there will be a tow truck coming tomorrow to pick the car up and the wheels will be replaced. I got to meet some new people that live in our local area - obviously a car on blocks is quite an attention grabber.

And I'll get to do some extra walking tomorrow before we pick up a hire car on Sunday.

All in all, the day turned out ok - after all it is just a car (no matter how much I love driving it).


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

If prescription drugs are so good, where are all the healthy drug takers???

Written by Mike Adams, July 15 2004

Reprinted with permission from News Target - to view original article click here

When observing the state of modern medicine and the unprecedented influence of pharmaceuticals, an interesting paradox arises. The drug companies claim that pharmaceuticals can do wonders for people: lower their cholesterol, end clinical depression, reverse osteoporosis, eliminate allergies, calm your children and many other similar promises. But if prescription drugs are so good for people, where are all the healthy medicated customers?
There aren't any to speak of. There's nobody taking twelve prescriptions who has a clean bill of health. In fact, the more prescriptions a person takes, the worse their overall health. And if you approach the healthiest people you can find in a local fitness center and ask what prescription drugs they're taking in order to be so healthy, they'll give you a rather confused look: they don't take prescription drugs!.

So how is it that the pharmaceutical industry can be claiming to make people healthier in the first place? And what happened to common sense here? A rigorous scientific view of the whole situation can only conclude that prescription drugs are, in fact, making people sicker. It's like a massive clinical trial, and the results of the trial are rather obvious: we're swallowing more drugs than ever, and we're getting sicker. In fact, the more drugs a person takes, and the longer they take them, the more rapidly their overall health deteriorates.

So why are drugs approved in the first place?

During development, prescription drugs are designed to target a single measurable marker, such as cholesterol levels or bone density. There are thousands of such markers to target in the world of modern medicine, and if a specific drug can alter any measurable marker in a positive direction -- without killing too many people during the clinical trials -- the FDA eventually declares it to be "safe and effective" and the drug is unleashed for public consumption.

Indeed, the drug may effectively impact that one marker. But here's where the problem starts: every drug has a systemic effect, and these systemic effects are not accurately measured (or admitted) in clinical trials. For example, statin drugs do, in fact, lower bad cholesterol levels. But they do this by compromising the ability of the liver to create all types of cholesterol, including the "good" cholesterol and important hormones that the body manufactures from cholesterol. Statins may have one measurable, positive effect according to the medical charts, but they simultaneously throw off the body's healthy physiology in a hundred other ways such as blocking your sex drive.
Clinical trials don't pay much attention to these other effects; they're just looking to prove one particular thing and get FDA approval to market the drug as a miracle cholesterol fighter. What other effects the drug has on the human body are largely ignored. And when clinical trial participants start showing these severe effects, they are typically "dismissed" from the trial in order to ensure that trial results look positive. In this way, extremely toxic drugs are actually approved by the FDA as "safe."

Prescription drugs represent a war on the American people

This situation means that, right now, prescription drugs are killing 100,000 Americans each year and injuring more than two million. Those are the statistics from the Journal of the American Medical Association, and that figure doesn't include the 40,000 or so who are killed each year by over-the-counter pain medications. These are staggering figures: it's like having twenty-five 9/11 attacks each year, but instead of terrorists flying the airplanes, it's pharmaceutical company CEOs. There are more deaths and injuries caused each year by pharmaceuticals than in any U.S. war or conflict since World War II.

And yet pharmaceuticals continue to be marketed as miracle drugs that can help people be healthy. But as I've mentioned, there are no extremely healthy people taking lots of prescription drugs!

The counter argument

The obvious counter to this argument is that people only start taking prescription drugs after they're already sick. But that's not true: statins are now being pushed onto perfectly healthy people who have cholesterol levels of 115, for example. They're supposed to start taking statins as a preventative measure, even though there's nothing wrong with them. With a similar lack of wisdom, the American Diabetes Association has recommended that all diabetics start taking statin drugs even though there is no scientifically proven benefit to doing so just in case some benefits are someday discovered!
And statin drugs are already known to cause an alarming number of dangerous side effects. After being consumed for just a few days, statin drugs start interfering with normal liver function. Within a matter of weeks or months, the patient often shows new symptoms or disorders. Upon visiting a western medical doctor, they are diagnosed with another disease or condition and -- guess what? -- given another prescription drug to take in combination with the statins. In the business world, this is called "upselling the customer" -- getting the same customers to buy more stuff, thereby greatly increasing your profit margin.

And so it goes: one prescription after another, like boxcars on a train, until the patient is: 1) financially depleted, and 2) suffering the ravages of extreme chemical toxicity from prescription drugs. By the time a typical patient finally dies from complications caused by the prescription drugs, they may have spent $100,00 or more on drugs alone. And that number can be multiplied even further if "heroic drugs" are prescribed during the patient's last surviving days.

Dangerous drug interactions are rarely tested

There's another factor to consider here, too: prescription drugs are rarely tested for dangerous interactions with other drugs. In other words, even though the FDA might have approved drug A for one thing, and drug B for another, nobody ever tested what happens in human beings when both drug A and drug B are taken together. Far too often, the combination is toxic, and many prescription drug combinations are fatal. Those that are not fatal may cause other injuries, meaning they will destroy the patient's liver or pancreas, which will of course create demand for even more prescription drugs to deal with those issues.
In this way, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you visit a western medical doctor and take even a single prescription, you're caught in the spiral of pharmaceutical dependence. The only way to escape this trap and actually restore your health is to give up all prescription drugs and, instead, make radical changes to your diet and lifestyle -- and seek our naturopathic or holistic treatments -- to restore your health. This is the only way to create lasting health.

Where are all the healthy, happy, athletic prescription drug takers?

Getting back to the main point here, doesn't it make sense that if prescription drugs made people healthy, there would be all sorts of healthy, happy, athletic people walking around touting the benefits of all the drugs they're taking? If drugs were good for you, there should be hundreds of thousands of such people right now. They should be mentally sharp, have low body fat, high bone density, healthy digestive tracts, healthy blood chemistry, vibrant skin, high energy, excellent moods, and so on. And yet this is not at all the case.

Typically, when you meet a person who is taking multiple prescription drugs, they are overweight or obese, chronically fatigued, mentally depressed, sickly in appearance, mentally clouded, suffering from several blood chemistry problems, burdened with weak immune systems, suffering from low bone density, and emotionally unstable. Sadly, this is not only the typical prescription drug patient I'm describing here, this also describes many doctors and health care workers who dole out the drugs in the first place.
Given this reality, it takes a great leap of imagination to believe that prescription drugs are somehow good for you. It's almost like walking into a Michael Jackson video, seeing a roomful of half-dead zombies drooling on each other, and shouting like Jim Carrey, "I want whatever they're taking!"

The promise of drugs is seductive

It's seductive, of course, to imagine that perhaps your state of mental anguish is simply a "brain chemistry imbalance" that can be corrected with antidepressant drugs. It's tempting to treat your osteoporosis with a doctor-recommend pill rather than getting into the habit of daily walking. It's convenient to live on heartburn medications instead of having to make healthy food choices for a change. Popping pills is always easier than changing your life, but popping pills is like making a deal with the Devil: you always end up losing.
When you take prescription drugs on a long-term basis, you're sure to come out worse than when you started. Prescription drugs are only appropriate for short-term interventions that save a patient's life while they make radical changes to their diet, nutrition and lifestyle that correct the underlying imbalances. For example, an obese middle-aged man suffering from extremely high cholesterol is obviously at risk of a sudden heart attack. Statin drugs might be legitimately used for a few weeks or months just to keep the guy alive while he makes radical lifestyle changes that will ultimately bring his cholesterol (and his body weight) down to reasonable levels.

The legitimate uses for prescription drugs

That's a reasonable, legitimate use of prescription drugs. But that's not the way they're being promoted today. Thanks to the culture of greed and widespread lack of ethics at pharmaceutical companies, statins and other drugs are being pushed as lifetime medications while any mention of diet, nutrition or exercise is either completely avoided or, at best, glossed over. The result is that patients are told drugs are the only answer.
Doctors are culpable in this as well: most don't even understand nutrition 101, and few bother to take the time to work with patients on lifestyle changes in the first place. Of course, most doctors would say that it's the patients who aren't interested in making changes, and they're right about that, but there's also something rather negligent about the fact that the vast majority of doctor visits result in a 90-second conversation and a prescription for the latest brand-name drug. (If you're a doctor and don't fit this description, good for you! But make no mistake: your colleagues are miserable healers...)

So why are prescription drugs so popular?

The only reason prescription drugs are so popular today is not because they work, but because they are extremely profitable. It's profitable for the drug companies who mark them up as much as 500,000% over the cost of the raw ingredients, it's profitable for retailers like Walgreens who mark them up even further (and whose business relies primarily on drug profits), it's profitable for newspapers and magazines who gladly cash checks for millions of dollars in drug advertising, and it's even profitable for doctors who receive all sorts of free vacations, "consulting fees," and other not-so-subtle bribes in exchange for writing prescriptions for brand-name drugs.

The system is extremely profitable to everyone... everyone except you, that is. You suffer devastating health consequences when you participate. You get stuck with the medical debt. Your insurance rates go sky-high. And to add insult to injury, you're sicker now than before you started taking the drugs!
Our system of modern medicine is a sham, folks. It's primarily a drug racket that's dominated by Big Pharma. The science is largely distorted (and often outright fraudulent), the ethics have all but disappeared, and the long-term price of all this is going to be enormous. We have an unprecedented problem on our hands that's sickening an entire generation and creating stratospheric long-term health care costs for the next round of working taxpayers unlucky enough to stumble onto all this.

But don't worry: when everybody's sicker than ever, the drug companies will promise they have the next big cure. All you have to do is pop daily pills at $200 each, and all your health problems will be solved!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A new drug is available today - Part 2

Vytorin - a new drug for lowering cholesterol has been added to the PBS today (see media release below)

There are so many things wrong with this - where do I start?

Does anybody really care anymore about their health or has it become so easy to just go to the doctor and get a pill prescribed?

Firstly, I think someone got their sums wrong. The media release tells us that the Vytorin will cost the PBS $1689 per patient and they are expecting 130,000 people to be treated in the first full financial year. That equals $229,704,000 not the $100 million quoted in the media release.

That's close to $230 million the government will be paying to a pharmaceutical company so that people can take a pill rather than actually taking care of themselves through healthy eating and exercise. Imagine that - such a foreign concept - someone actually taking care of their health.

When did 130,000 people suddenly become deficient in Vytorin? Oh sorry, I forgot, our bodies don't make Vytorin nor is it essential to our molecular and genetic makeup.

What the body does need is vitamins and minerals, from real food - fruits and vegetables, meats and fish, real butter, virgin coconut oil and olive oil - preferably all organic (we definitely don't need extra pesticides and hormones found in regular food).

The body also needs exercise if for nothing else but to keep the heart muscle strong and healthy.

What about Cholesterol - is it really as bad as the doctors and pharmacuetical companies make it out to be?
I wonder how many people have actually looked into the reasons why the body produces cholesterol.
You might want to read the article at the following link to learn something new about cholesterol

and then you might want to read about the side effects of this new drug directly from the Merck Pharmaceuticals' product sheet

because it's unlikely a doctor will tell you the whole story.

A new drug is available today - The Media Release

Minister for Health and Ageing
Tony Abbott MHR
19 December 2005 ABB171/05

New PBS drug for cardiovascular diseases

The Commonwealth Government has decided to subsidise a new drug through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to help people with heart disease.

Vytorin® will be available through the PBS from 1 February 2006 for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease, one of the government’s national health priorities, affected 3.7 million Australians (about 18 per cent of the population) in 2003 and caused more than 38 per cent of all deaths.

Rising blood cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes is another major risk factor as it magnifies the effect of elevated cholesterol. Drug therapy can assist patients to reduce their cholesterol levels.

Vytorin® is a combination of two drugs (ezetimibe and simvastatin), both of which are already available through the PBS. Vytorin® will be listed for the management of high cholesterol levels in patients with coronary heart disease and/or diabetes when cholesterol levels are not adequately controlled with a statin (the usual treatment for high cholesterol).

Access to this drug under the PBS will depend on compliance with sound lifestyle management. The combination tablet will be more convenient and less expensive for patients. It is expected that over 136,000 people will be treated with Vytorin® in the first full financial year of listing and more than 300,000 by 2009-10.

The annual cost to the PBS will be approximately $1,689 per patient for Vytorin®. The listing of Vytorin® is expected to add about $100 million to PBS expenditure between 2005-06 and 2008-09.

Media contact: Kate Miranda, Office of Tony Abbott, 0417 425 227

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Magic Story - Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey

Table of Contents

The Magic Story - Introduction

Part 1 - How the Magic Story was found

Part 2 - The Magic Story

Part 2 - The Magic Story

Inasmuch as I have evolved from my experience the one great secret of success for all worldly undertakings, I deem it wise, now that the number of my days is nearly counted, to give to the generations that are to follow me the benefit of whatsoever knowledge I possess. I do not apologize for the manner of my expression, nor for the lack of literary merit, the latter being, I wot, its own apology. Tools much heavier than the pen have been my portion, and moreover, the weight of years has somewhat palsied the hand and brain; nevertheless, the fact I can tell, and what I deem the meat within the nut. What mattereth it, in what manner the shell be broken, so that the meat be obtained and rendered useful? I doubt not that I shall use, in the telling, expressions that have clung to my memory since childhood; for, when men attain the number of my years, happenings of youth are like to be clearer to their perceptions than are events of recent date; nor doth it matter much how a thought is expressed, if it be wholesome and helpful, and findeth the understanding.

Much have I wearied my brain anent the question, how best to describe this recipe for success that I have discovered, and it seemeth advisable to give it as it came to me; that is, if I relate somewhat of the story of my life, the directions for agglomerating the substances, and supplying the seasoning for the accomplishment of the dish, will plainly be perceived. Happen they may; and that men may be born generations after I am dust, who will live to bless me for the words I write.

* * *

My father, then, was a seafaring man who, early in life, forsook his vocation, and settled on a plantation in the colony of Virginia, where, some years thereafter, I was born, which event took place in the year 1642; and that was over a hundred years ago. Better for my father had it been, had he hearkened to the wise advice of my mother, that he remain in the calling of his education; but he would not have it so, and the good vessel he captained was bartered for the land I spoke of. Here beginneth the first lesson to be acquired:

Man should not be blinded to whatsoever merit exists in the opportunity which he hath in hand, remembering that a thousand promises for the future should weigh as naught against the possession of a single piece of silver.

When I had achieved ten years, my mother's soul took flight, and two years thereafter my worthy father followed her. I, being their only begotten, was left alone; howbeit, there were friends who, for a time, cared for me; that is to say, they offered me a home beneath their roof - a thing which I took advantage of for the space of five months. From my father's estate there came to me naught; but, in the wisdom that came with increasing years, I convinced myself that his friend, under whose roof I lingered for some time, had defrauded him, and therefore me.

Of the time from the age of twelve and a half until I was three and twenty, I will make no recital here, since that time hath naught to do with this tale; but some time after, having in my possession the sum of sixteen guineas, ten, which I had saved from the fruits of my labor, I took ship to Boston town, where I began to work first as a cooper, and thereafter as a ship's carpenter, although always after the craft was docked; for the sea was not amongst my desires.

Fortune will sometimes smile upon an intended victim because of pure perversity of temper. Such was one of my experiences. I prospered, and at seven and twenty, owned the yard wherein, less than four years earlier, I had worked for hire. Fortune, howbeit, is a jade who must be coerced; she will not be coddled. Here beginneth the second lesson to be acquired:

Fortune is ever elusive, and can only be retained by force. Deal with her tenderly and she will forsake you for a stronger man. (In that, methinks, she is not unlike other women of my knowledge)

About this time, Disaster (which is one of the heralds of broken spirits and lost resolve), paid me a visit. Fire ravaged my yards, leaving me nothing in its blackened paths but debts, which I had not the coin wherewith to defray. I labored with my acquaintances, seeking assistance for a new start, but the fire that had burned my competence, seemed also to have consumed their sympathies. So it happened, within a short time, that not only had I lost all, but I was hopelessly indebted to others; and for that they cast me into prison.

It is possible that I might have rallied from my losses but for this last indignity, which broke down my spirits so that I became utterly despondent. Upward of a year I was detained within the gaol; and, when I did come forth, it was not the same hopeful, happy man, content with his lot, and with confidence in the world and its people, who had entered there.

Life has many pathways, and of them by far the greater number lead downward. Some are precipitous, others are less abrupt; but ultimately, no matter at what inclination the angle may be fixed, they arrive at the same destination - failure. And here beginneth the third lesson:

Failure exists only in the grave. Man, being alive, hath not yet failed; always he may turn about and ascend by the same path he descended by; and there may be one that is less abrupt (albeit longer of achievement) and more adaptable to his condition.

When I came forth from prison, I was penniless. In all the world I possessed naught beyond the poor garments which covered me, and a walking stick which the turnkey had permitted me to retain, since it was worthless. Being a skilled workman, howbeit, I speedily found employment at good wages; but, having eaten of the fruit of worldly advantage, dissatisfaction possessed me. I became morose and sullen; whereat, to cheer my spirits, and for the sake of forgetting the losses I had sustained, I passed my evenings at the tavern. Not that I drank overmuch of liquor, except on occasion (for I have ever been somewhat abstemious), but that I could laugh and sing, and parry wit and badinage with my ne'er-do-well companions; and here might be included the fourth lesson:

Seek comrades among the industrious, for those who are idle will sap your energies from you.

It was my pleasure at that time to relate, upon slight provocation, the tale of my disasters, and to rail against the men whom I deemed to have wronged me, because they had seen fit not to come to my aid. Moreover, I found childish delight in filching from my employer, each day, a few moments of the time for which he paid me. Such a thing is less honest than downright theft.

This habit continued and grew upon me until the day dawned which found me not only without employment, but also without character, which meant that I could not hope to find work with any other employer in Boston town. It was then that I regarded myself a failure. I can liken my condition at that time for naught more similar than that of a man who, descending the steep side of a mountain, loses his foothold. The farther he slides, the faster he goes. I have also heard this condition described by the word Ishmaelite, which I understand to be a man whose hand is against everybody, and who thinks that the hands of every other man are against him; and here beginneth the fifth lesson:

The Ishmaelite and the leper are the same, since both are abominations in the sight of man - albeit they differ much, in that the former may be restored to perfect health. The former is entirely the result of imagination; the latter has poison in his blood.

I will not discourse at length upon the gradual degeneration of my energies. It is not meet ever to dwell much upon misfortunes (which saying is also worthy of remembrance).

It is enough if I add that the day came where I possessed naught wherewith to purchase food and raiment, and I found myself like unto a pauper, save at infrequent times when I could earn a few pence, or mayhap, a shilling. Steady employment I could not secure, so I became emaciated in body, and naught but skeleton in spirit. My condition, then, was deplorable; not so much for the body, be it said, as for the mental part of me, which was sick unto death. In my imagination I deemed myself ostracized by the whole world, for I had sunk very low indeed; and here beginneth the sixth and final lesson to be acquired, (which cannot be told in one sentence, nor in one paragraph, but must needs be adopted from the remainder of this tale).

* * *

Well do I remember my awakening, for it came in the night, when, in truth, I did awake from sleep. My bed was a pile of shavings in the rear of the cooper shop where once I had worked for hire; my roof was the pyramid of casks, underneath which I had established myself. The night was cold, and I was chilled, albeit, paradoxically, I had been dreaming of light and warmth and of the depletion of good things. You will say, when I relate the effect the vision had on me, that my mind was affected. So be it, for it is the hope that the minds of others might be likewise influenced which disposes me to undertake the labor of this writing. It was the dream which converted me to the belief - nay, to the knowledge - that I was possessed of two entities: and it was my own better self that afforded me the assistance for which I had pleaded in vain from my acquaintances. I have heard this condition described by the word "double." Nevertheless, that word does not comprehend my meaning. A double, can be naught more than a double, neither half being possessed of individuality. But I will not philosophize, since philosophy is naught but a suit of garments for the decoration of a dummy figure.

Moreover, it was not the dream itself which affected me; it was the impression made by it, and the influence that it exerted over me, which accomplished my enfranchisement. In a word, then, I encouraged my other identity. After toiling through a tempest of snow and wind, I peered into a window and saw that other being. He was rosy with health; before him, on the hearth, blazed a fire of logs; there was a conscious power and force in his demeanor; he was phisically and mentally muscular. I rapped timidly upon the door, and he bade me enter. There was a not unkindly smile of derision in his eyes as he motioned me to a chair by the fire; but he uttered no word of welcome; and, when I had warmed myself, I went forth again into the tempest, burdened with the shame which the contrast between us had forced upon me. It was then that I awoke; and here cometh the strange part of my tale, for, when I did awake, I was not alone. There was a Presence with me; intangible to others, I discovered later, but real to me.

The Presence was in my likeness, yet it was strikingly unlike. The brow, not more lofty than my own, yet seemed more round and full; the eyes, clear, direct, and filled with purpose, glowed with enthusiasm and resolution; the lips, chin - ay, the whole contour of face and figure was dominant and determined. He was calm, steadfast, and self-reliant; I was cowering, filled with nervous trembling, and fearsome of intangible shadows. When the Presence turned away, I followed, and throughout the day I never lost sight of it, save when it disappeared for a time beyond some doorway where I dared not enter; at such places, I awaited its return with trepidation and awe, for I could not help wondering at the temerity of the Presence (so like myself, and yet so unlike) in daring to enter where my own feet feared to tread.

It seemed also as if purposely, I was led to the place and to the men where, and before whom I most dreaded to appear; to offices where once I had transacted business; to men with whom I had financial dealings. Throughout the day I pursued the Presence, and at evening saw it disappear beyond the portals of a hostelry famous for its cheer and good living. I sought the pyramid of casks and shavings.

Not again in my dreams that night did I encounter the Better Self (for that is what I have named it), albeit, when, perchance, I awakened from slumber, it was near to me, ever wearing that calm smile of kindly derision which could not be mistaken for pity, nor for condolence in any form. The contempt of it stung me sorely.

The second day was not unlike the first, being a repetition of its forerunner, and I was again doomed to wait outside during the visits which the Presence paid to places where I fain would have gone had I possessed the requisite courage. It is fear which deporteth a man's soul from his body and rendereth it a thing to be despised. Many a time I essayed to address it but enunciation rattled in my throat, unintelligible; and the day closed like its predecessor. This happened many days, one following another, until I ceased to count them; albeit, I discovered that constant association with the Presence was producing an effect on me; and one night when I awoke among the casks and discerned that he was present, I made bold to speak, albeit with marked timidity.

"Who are you?" I ventured to ask; and I was startled into an upright posture by the sound of my own voice; and the question seemed to give pleasure to my companion, so that I fancied there was less of derision in his smile when he responded.

"I am that I am," was the reply. "I am he who you have been; I am he who you may be again; wherefore do you hesitate? I am he who you were, and whom you have cast out for other company. I am the man made in the image of God, who once possessed your body. Once we dwelt within it together, not in harmony, for that can never be, nor yet in unity, for that is impossible, but as tenants in common who rarely fought for full possession. Then, you were a puny thing, but you became selfish and exacting until I could no longer abide with you, therefore I stepped out. There is a plus-entity and minus-entity in every human body that is born into the world. Whichever one of these is favored by the flesh becomes dominant; then is the other inclined to abandon its habitation, temporarily or for all time. I am the plus-entity of yourself; you are the minus-entity. I own all things; you possess naught. That body which we both inhabited is mine, but it is unclean, and I will not dwell within it. Cleanse it, and I will take possession."

"Why do you pursue me?" I next asked of the Presence.

"You have pursued me, not I you. You can exist without me for a time, but your path leads downward, and the end is death. Now that you approach the end, you debate if it be not politic that you should cleanse your house and invite me to enter. Step aside, from the brain and the will; cleanse them of your presence; only on that condition will I ever occupy them again."

"The brain has lost its power," I faltered. "The will is a weak thing, now; can you repair them?"

"Listen!" said the Presence, and he towered over me while I cowered abjectly at his feet.

"To the plus-entity of a man, all things are possible. The world belongs to him, - is his estate. He fears naught, dreads naught, stops at naught; he asks no privileges, but demands them; he dominates, and cannot cringe; his requests are orders; opposition flees at his approach; he levels mountains, fills in vales, and travels on an even plane where stumbling is unknown."

Thereafter, I slept again, and, when I awoke, I seemed to be in a different world. The sun was shining and I was conscious that birds twittered above my head. My body, yesterday trembling and uncertain, had become vigorous and filled with energy. I gazed upon the pyramid of casks in amazement that I had so long made use of it for an abiding place, and I was wonderingly conscious that I had passed my last night beneath its shelter.

The events of the night recurred to me, and I looked about me for the Presence. It was not visible, but anon I discovered, cowering in a far corner of my resting place, a puny abject shuddering figure, distorted of visage, deformed of shape, disheveled and unkempt of appearance. It tottered as it walked, for it approached me piteously; but I laughed aloud, mercilessly. Perchance I knew then that it was the minus-entity, and that the plus-entity was within me; albeit I did not then realize it. Moreover, I was in haste to get away; I had no time for philosophy. There was much for me to do - much; strange it was that I had not thought of that yesterday. But yesterday was gone - today was with me - it had just begun.

As had once been my daily habit, I turned my steps in the direction of the tavern, where formerly I had partaken of my meals. I nodded cheerily as I entered, and smiled in recognition of returned salutations. Men who had ignored me for months bowed graciously when I passed them on the thoroughfare. I went to the washroom, and from there to the breakfast table; afterwards, when I passed the taproom, I paused a moment and said to the landlord:

"I will occupy the same room that I formerly used, if perchance, you have it at disposal. If not, another will do as well, until I can obtain it."

Then I went out and hurried with all haste to the cooperage. There was a huge wain in the yard, and men were loading it with casks for shipment. I asked no questions, but, seizing barrels, began hurling them to the men who worked atop of the load. When this was finished, I entered the shop. There was a vacant bench; I recognized its disuse by the litter on its top. It was the same at which I had once worked. Stripping off my coat, I soon cleared it of impedimenta. In a moment more I was seated, with my foot on the vice-lever, shaving staves.

It was an hour later when the master workman entered the room, and he paused in surprise at sight of me; already there was a goodly pile of neatly shaven staves beside me, for in those days I was an excellent workman; there was none better, but, alas! now, age hath deprived me of my skill. I replied to his unasked question with the brief, but comprehensive sentence: "I have returned to work, sir." He nodded his head and passed on, viewing the work of other men, albeit anon he glanced askance in my direction. Here endeth the sixth and last lesson to be acquired, although there is more to be said, since from that moment I was a successful man, and ere long possessed another shipyard, and had acquired a full competence of worldly goods.

I pray you who read, heed well the following admonitions, since upon them depend the word "success" and all that it implies:

Whatsoever you desire of good is yours. You have but to stretch forth your hand and take it.

Learn that the consciousness of dominant power within you is the possession of all things attainable.

Have no fear of any sort or shape, for fear is an adjunct of the minus-entity. If you have skill, apply it; the world must profit by it, and therefore, you.

Make a daily and nightly companion of your plus-entity; if you heed its advice, you cannot go wrong.

Remember, philosophy is an argument; the world, which is your property, is an accumulation of facts.

Go therefore, and do that which is within you to do; take no heed of gestures which would beckon you aside; ask of no man permission to perform.

The minus-entity requests favors; the plus-entity grants them. Fortune waits upon every footstep you take; seize her, bind her, hold her, for she is yours; she belongs to you.

Start out now, with these admonitions in your mind.

Stretch out your hand, and grasp the plus, which, maybe, you have never made use of, save in great emergencies. Life is an emergency most grave. Your plus-entity is beside you now; cleanse your brain, and strengthen your will. It will take possession. It waits upon you.

Start tonight; start now upon this new journey.

Be always on your guard. Whichever entity controls you, the other hovers at your side; beware lest the evil enter, even for a moment.

My task is done. I have written the recipe for "success." If followed, it cannot fail.

Wherein I may not be entirely comprehended, the plus-entity of whosoever reads will supply the deficiency; and upon that Better Self of mine, I place the burden of imparting to generations that are to come, the secret of this all-pervading good - the secret of being what you have it within you to be.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Part 1 - How the Magic Story was found

I was sitting alone in the cafe and had just reached for the sugar preparatory to putting it into my coffee. Outside, the weather was hideous. Snow and sleet came swirling down and the wind howled frightfully. Every time the outer door opened, a draft of unwelcome air penetrated the uttermost corners of the room. Still, I was comfortable.

The snow and sleet and wind conveyed nothing to me except an abstract thanksgiving that I was where it could not affect me. While I dreamed and sipped my coffee, the door opened and closed, and admitted - Sturtevant.
Sturtevant was an undeniable failure, but, withal, an artist of more than ordinary talent. He had, however, fallen into the rut traveled by ne'er-do-wells, and was out at the elbows as well as insolvent.

As I raised my eyes to Sturtevant's, I was conscious of mild surprise at the change in his appearance. Yet he was not dressed differently. He wore the same threadbare coat in which he always appeared, and the old brown hat was the same. And yet there was something new and strange in his appearance. As he swished his hat around to relieve it of the burden of snow deposited by the howling nor'wester, there was something new in the gesticulation.

I could not remember when I had invited Sturtevant to dine with me, but involuntarily I beckoned to him. He nodded and presently seated himself opposite to me. I asked him what he would have, and he, after scanning the bill of fare carelessly, ordered from it leisurely, and invited me to join him in coffee for two.

I watched him in stupid wonder, but, as I had invited the obligation, I was prepared to pay for it, although I knew I hadn't sufficient cash to settle the bill. Meanwhile I noticed the brightness of his unusual lackluster eyes, and the healthful, hopeful glow upon his cheek, with increasing amazement.

"Have you lost a rich uncle?" I asked. "No," he replied, calmly, "but I have found my mascot." "Brindle, bull or terrier?" I inquired. "Currier," said Sturtevant, at length, pausing with his coffee cup half way to his lips, "I see that I have surprised you. It is not strange, for I am a surprise to myself. I am a new man, a different man, - and the alteration has taken place in the last few hours."

"You have seen me come into this place 'broke' many a time, when you have turned away, so that I would think you did not see me. I knew why you did that. It was not because you did not want to pay for a dinner, but because you did not have the money to do it. Is that your check? Let me have it. Thank you. I haven't any money with me tonight, but I, - well, this is my treat." He called a waiter to him, and, with an inimitable flourish, signed his name on the back of the two checks, and waved him away.

After that he was silent for a moment while he looked into my eyes, smiling at the astonishment which I in vain strove to conceal. "Do you know an artist who possesses more talent than I?" he asked, presently. "No. Do you happen to know anything in the line of my profession that I could not accomplish, if I applied myself to it? No. You have been a reporter for the dailies for - how many? - seven or eight years. Do you remember when I ever had any credit until tonight? No. Was I refused just now? You have seen for yourself. Tomorrow my new career begins. Within a month I shall have a bank account. Why? Because I have discovered the secret of success."

"Yes," he continued, when I did not reply, "my fortune is made. I have been reading a strange story, and since reading it, I feel that my fortune is assured. It will make your fortune, too. All you have to do is read it. You have no idea what it will do for you. Nothing is impossible after you know that story. It makes everything as plain as A, B, C. The very instant you grasp its true meaning, success is certain. This morning I was a hopelss, aimless bit of garbage in the metropolitan trash can; tonight I wouldn't change places with a millionaire. That sounds foolish, but it is true. The millionaire has spent his enthusiasm; mine is all at hand."

"You amaze me," I said, wondering if he had been drinking absinthe.

"Won't you tell me the story? I should like to hear it."

"Certainly. I mean to tell it to the whole world. It is really remarkable that it should have been written and should remain in print so long, with never a soul to appreciate it until now. This morning I was starving. I hadn't any credit, nor a place to get a meal. I was seriously meditating suicide. I had gone to three of the papers for which I had done work, and had been handed back all that I had submitted. I had to choose quickly between death by suicide and death slowly by starvation. Then I found the story and read it. You can hardly imagine the transformation. Why , my dear boy, everything changed at once, - and there you are."

"But what is the story, Sturtevant?"

"Wait; let me finish. I took those old drawings to the other editors, and every one of them was accepted at once."

"Can the story do for others what it has done for you? For example, would it be of assistance to me?" I asked.

"Help you? Why not? Listen and I will tell it to you, although, really, you should read it. Still I will tell it as best I can. It is like this: you see, - - -" The waiter interrupted us at that moment. He informed Sturtevant that he was wanted on the telephone, and with a word of apology, the artist left the table.

Five minutes later I saw him rush out into the sleet and wind and disappear. Within the recollection of the frequenters of that cafe, Sturtevant had never before been called out by telephone. That, of itself, was substantial proof of a change in his circumstances.

One night, on the street, I encounterd Avery, a former college chum, then a reporter on one of the evening papers. It was about a month after my memorable interview with Sturtevant, which, by that time, was almost forgotten.

"Hello, old chap," he said; "how's the world using you? Still on space?" "Yes," I replied, bitterly, "with prospects of being on the town, shortly. But you look as if things were coming your way. Tell me all about it."

"Things have been coming my way, for a fact, and it is all remarkable, when all is said. You know Sturtevant, don't you? It's all due to him. I was plumb down on my luck, - thinking of the morgue and all that, - looking for you, in fact, with the idea you would lend me enough to pay my room rent, when I met Sturtevant. He told me a story, and, really, old man, it is the most remarkable story you have every heard; it made a new man out of me. Within twenty-four hours I was on my feet and I've hardly known a care or trouble since." Avery's statement, uttered calmly, and with the air of one who had merely pronounced an axiom, recalled to my mind the conversation with Sturtevant in the cafe that stormy night, nearly a month before. "it must be a remarkable story," I said, incredulously. "Sturtevant mentioned it to me once. I have not seen him since. Where is he now?" "He has been making war sketches in Cuba, at two hundred a week; he's just returned. It is a fact that everybody who has heard the story has done well since. There are Cosgrove and Phillips, - friends of mine, - you don't know them. One's a real estate agent; the other's a broker's clerk, Sturtevant told them the story, and they have experienced the same results that I have; and they are not the only ones.

"Do you know the story?" I asked. "Will you try its effect on me?"

"Certainly; with the greatest pleasure in the world. I would like to have it printed in big black type, and posted on the elevated stations throughout New York. It certainly would do a lot of good, and it's as simple as A, B, C: like living on a farm. Excuse me a minute, will you? I see Danforth over there. Back in a minute, old chap." If the truth be told, I was hungry. My pocket at that moment contained exactly five cents; just enough to pay my fare up-town, but insufficient also to stand the expense of filling my stomach.

There was a "night owl" wagon in the neighbourhood, where I had frequently "stood up" the purveyor of midnight dainties, and to him I applied. He was leaving the wagon as I was on the point of entering it, and I accosted him. "I'm broke again," I said, with extreme cordiality. "You'll have to trust me once more. Some ham and eggs, I think, will do for the present." He coughed, hesitated a moment, and then re-entered the wagon with me. "Mr. Currier is good for anything he orders" he said to the man in charge; "one of my old customers. This is Mr. Bryan, Mr. Currier. He will take good care of you, and 'stand for' you, just the same as I would. The fact is, I have sold out. I've just turned over the outfit to Bryan. By the way, isn't Mr. Sturtevant a friend of yours?" I nodded.

I couldn't have spoken if I had tried. "Well," continued the ex-"night owl" man, "he came in here one night, about a month ago, and told me the most wonderful story I every heard. I've just bought the place in Eighth Avenue, where I am going to run a regular restaurant - near Twenty-third Street. Come and see me." He was out of the wagon and the sliding door had been banged shut before I could stop him; so I ate my ham and eggs in silence, and resolved that I would hear that story before I slept. In fact, I began to regard it with superstition. If it had made so many fortunes, surely it should be capable of making mine. The certainty that the wonderful story - I began to regard it as magic - was in the air, possessed me. As I started to walk homeward, fingering the solitary nickel in my pocket and contemplating the certainty of riding downtown in the morning, I experienced the sensation of something stealthily pursuing me, as if Fate were treading along behind me, yet never overtaking, and I was conscious that I was possessed with or by the story.

When I reached Union Square, I examined my address book for the home of Sturtevant. It was not recorded there. Then I remembered the cafe in University Place, and, although the hour was late, it occurred to me that he might be there. He was! In a far corner of the room, surrounded by a group of acquaintances, I saw him. He discovered me at the same instant, and motioned to me to join them at the table. There was no chance for the story, however. There were half a dozen around the table, and I was the furthest removed from Sturtevant. But I kept my eyes upon him, and bided my time, determined that, when he rose to depart, I would go with him.

A silence, suggestive of respectful awe, had fallen upon the party when I took my seat. Everyone had seemed to be thinking, and the attention of all was fixed upon Sturtevant. The cause was apparent. He had been telling the story. I had entered the cafe just too late to hear it. On my right, when I took my seat, was a doctor; on my left a lawyer. Facing me on the other side was a novelist with whom I had some acquaintance. The others were artists and newspapermen.

"It's too bad, Mr. Currier," remarked the doctor; "you should have come a little sooner, Sturtevant has been telling us a story; it is quite wonderful, really. I say, Sturtevant, won't you tell that story again, for the benefit of Mr. Currier?" "Why yes. I believe that Currier has, somehow, failed to hear the magic story, although, as a matter of fact, I think he was the first one to whom I mentioned it at all. It was here, in this cafe, too, - at this very table.

Do you remember what a wild night that was, Currier? Wasn't I called to the telephone, or something like that?

To be sure! I remember, now; interrupted just at the point when I was beginning the story. After that I told it to three or four fellows, and it 'braced them up,' as it had me. It seems incredible that a mere story can have such a tonic effect upon the success of so many persons who are engaged in such widely different occupations, but that is what it has done. It is a kind of never-failing remedy, like a cough mixture that is warranted to cure everything, from a cold in the head to galloping consumption. There was Parsons, for example. He is a broker, you know, and had been on the wrong side of the market for a month. He had utterly lost his grip, and was on the verge of failure. I happened to meet him at the time he was feeling bluest, and before we parted, something brought me around to the subject of the story, and I related it to him. It had the same effect on him as it had on me, and has had on everybody who has heard it, as far as I know.

I think you will all agree with me, that it is not the story itself that performs the surgical operation in the minds of those who are familiar with it; it is the way it is told, - in print, I mean. The author has, somehow, produced a psychological effect which is indescribable. The reader is hypnotised. He receives a mental and moral tonic.

Perhaps, doctor, you can give some scientific explanation of the influence exerted by the story. It is a sort of elixir manufactured out of words, eh?" From that, the company entered upon a general discussion of theories.

Now and then, slight references were made to the story itself, and they were just sufficient to tantalise me, - the only one present who had not heard it.

At length, I left my chair, and passing around the table, seized Sturtevant by one arm, and succeeded in drawing him away from the party. "If you have any consideration for an old friend who is rapidly being driven mad by the existence of that confounded story, which Fate seems determined that I shall never hear, you will relate it to me now," I said, savagely. Sturtevant stared at me in wild surprise. "All right," he said. " The others will excuse me for a few moments, I think. Sit down here, and you shall have it. I found it pasted in an old scrapbook I purchased on Ann Street, for three cents and there isn't a thing about it by which one can get any idea in what publication it originally appeared, or who wrote it. When I discovered it, I began casually to read it, and in a moment I was interested. Before I left it, I had read it through many times, so that I could repeat it almost word for word. It affected my strangely, -as if I had come in contact with some strong personality.

There seems to be in the story a personal element that applies to every one who reads it. Well, after I had read it several times, I began to think it over. I couldn't stay in the house, so I seized my coat and hat and went out. I must have walked several miles, buoyantly, without realising that I was the same man, who, in only a short time before, had been in the depths of despondency. That was the day I met you here, -you remember." We were interrupted at that instant by a uniformed messenger, who handed Sturtevant a telegram. It was from his chief, and demanded his instant attention at the office. The sender had already been delayed an hour, and there was no help for it; he must go at once. "Too bad!" said Sturtevant, rising and extending his hand.

"Tell you what I'll do, old chap. I'm not likely to be gone any more than an hour or two. You take my key and wait for me in my room. In the escritoire near the window, you will find an old scrapbook bound in rawhide. It was manufactured, I have no doubt, by the author of the magic story. Wait for me in my room until I return."

I found the book without difficulty. It was a quaint, homemade affair, covered, as Sturtevant had said, with rawhide, and bound with leather thongs. The pages formed an odd combination of yellow paper, vellum and homemade parchment. I found the story, curiously printed on the last-named material. It was quaint and strange. Evidently, the printer had "set" it under the supervision of the writer. The phraseology was an unusual combination of seventeenth and eighteenth century mannerisms, and the interpolation of italics and capitals could have originated in no other brain that that of its author. In reproducing the following story, the peculiarities of type, etc. are eliminated, but in other respects it remains unchanged.

The Magic Story - Frederick Van Rensselaer Dey

I came across this book during my travels on the internet (I spend a lot of time researching various health issues). It is a Public Domain book, which means that the original copyright has expired and is now freely available to do whatever you want with it.

This book will be part of a section about how our thinking creates our reality.

I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

The Magic Story - Introduction

An immediate worldwide sensation was created after The Magic Story first made its appearance in 1900 in the original Success Magazine. After numerous reprints, it is finally available in electronic form so that you may benefit from its powerful message.

It is claimed that many who read or hear this story almost immediately begin to have good fortune so it is worth a few minutes of your time to find out if it works for you.

The book is in two parts. Part 1 reveals the story how The Magic Story was found by a starving artist named Sturtevant. Everyone he told the story to prospered by it. It seemed to change people's lives for the better.... like magic.

Part 2 is the actual Magic Story as found by Sturtevant.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I started Bikram Yoga

Today I have officially committed to my Bikram Yoga journey.

I started with a trial pass (10 consecutive days) on Monday 2nd January 2006 - a good way to start the new year.
Out of the 10 days, I participated in 7 classes - pretty good for me considering my previous "stop, start" attitude toward fitness.

The first four trial classes were great - energising and tiring all at the same time. In the last two classes, the fear started creeping back in. The little voices in my head were really playing havoc with me, so much so, that I wondered if I should just quit - maybe Bikram wasn't for me.

It took 3 days of no yoga at all to realise that I wanted to get into that hot room again, that I deserved to care for my body and allow all of the emotions that have been stored in my body the chance to finally be released.

So today we went (my husband & I) and it was great - I tackled all except one posture and today I have energy to burn after class (during the trial period I was so exhausted after the classes that I didn't get anything done and wondered how I could justify continuing with this).

My intention is to complete at least 3-4 classes per week, more if I'm so inclined. Bikram suggests that beginners start at 6 classes a week for life changing results - that's what I'm working towards.

Visit the frequently asked questions section on the main Bikram Yoga site:

Bikram's Yoga College of India

I know that to do the 6 per week is more of a mental challenge for me than a physical one. My body is perfectly able to complete six sessions per week, but past conditioning and a bit of negative self talk has had me believe that I can't do that much.

Who says it's too much? The current suggestions by most gyms and personal trainers would have you believe that 6 sessions per week is too much.

Then I have to ask, do you eat every day? Do you practice basic hygiene every day? Then how about yoga every day?

Who to believe? I like to see what results people have - because it's really the results that people are after, not the theories.

I am aiming for results - results that have eluded me for quite some years as far as my physical fitness is concerned. Instead of focusing on weight loss (no-body likes to "lose" anything), I am now focussed on flexibility, strength and a lean, healthy body.

"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape."

- Anonymous

Take care

Helena :)

Friday, January 13, 2006

What is this all about?

Imagine a life where health and wellbeing come easily to you.

Imagine having complete clarity in the areas of activity, nutrition, mindset and your external environment and trusting yourself to choose the things that work best for you - after all you are a unique human being and you know best about you.

A person can get in touch with their own inner knowing and choose the areas that fit best.

Don't change too quickly though - why? Because you want to enjoy every step of the process toward a new healthy, happy you!

Eventually, this new way of living will become natural to you, you wont even need to think about it.

To your new, healthy life