Animals P.2

Read part 1 here

I very much share the same fascination of wolves that has infatuated mankind for centuries, and always felt a greater emotional connection with dogs than other pets. So you’ll understand why I continually make references to canines in the scope of this piece.

The wolf has long been demarcated as the definitive primeval killer, the cerebral assassin of nature, buttressed by a rich history of indigenous American folklore and various mythological underpinnings.

Even to this day such deep rooted cultural superstition has traces left in the collective human psyche, despite the presence of documented research and expert opinion on their solidarity and lack of threat.

killerwolf 188x300 Animals P.2

Moreover, has this larger irrational fear we garner to creatures such as wolves over shadowed the clear fact that homo-sapiens have long been the most dangerous killer of the food chain? Whether it is shear ignorance, a self-assuring defence from accepting what we may find a scarier truth, or an inability to reframe ones perspective. A perspective which positions our species amid the totality of the earth and all its species.

species 233x300 Animals P.2

Become the observer, journey out of the peripheral illusion of your own life 

Gunpowder, mechanized weapons and other man made machinery long made the wolf redundant, and miniaturized it as a threat significantly in the larger scheme of things. (Gunpowder and the like was only one small step for us as well, mind you. Look at where we are now in terms of modern warfare).

warmeme 300x239 Animals P.2

Excuse the side track – this isn’t meant to be a political post.

Contemplating just the advancements of the military industrial complex over time alone, it’s strange that we don’t marvel the human psyche for the grand potential it exhibits.

It requires a sense of detachment and repositioning to be awestruck of the fruits of its inception – you’d have to take yourself out of your own little world, and observe nonchalantly the timeline of human history on a continuum almost like you’re watching some grandiose TV series…….. from fire to Ariel flight, to space voyage, and it’s all because of the gooey chunk of flesh we call our brains.

fictionreality 300x187 Animals P.2

That thing between your ears can contrive and deduce seemingly infinite possibilities, postulate grand schemes and give birth to marvellous ideas.

It is the spark of the flame of creativity, to every engineer, inventor, artist, musician and intellect of our time.

A gift to the universe and a reflection of it at the same time.

consousness 300x168 Animals P.2

In a cruel paradox, the mind can even imprison and destroy itself through its own devices (I’ve been alluding to this theme throughout both articles – dare I say, could this be some sort of catch 22 of the mind, an in built mechanism programmed by nature into our genetic code, to equalize the infiniteness and complexity of the human psyche capable of such unparalleled creation and destruction? Through evolution modern man has conquered the dangers of the savannah, but in the process created more elaborate threats. Thoughts to ponder..)

freedom Animals P.2

Just thinking of the possibilities to what diabolical idea could be conceived next should strike more fear into us than any indigenous myth or urban legend. From the atomic bomb, to missile coordination instruments and modern day killer drones, and even such disingenuous concoctions such as the ‘bolito’ entertained in Michael Fassbenders The Counsellor , there is no shortage to the destruction capable of mankind.

hirosshima Animals P.2

Not to mention the destruction on the earth, on its fellow species, and on each other.

waste 300x199 Animals P.2

sickbird 267x300 Animals P.2

warkids 300x229 Animals P.2

………..and might I add in summation, no other force in equal to this man made destruction, save for the beautifully orchestrated chaos of the intangible matriarch mother nature herself.

wave power 300x156 Animals P.2mothernature2 300x180 Animals P.2

mothernature3 300x280 Animals P.2

Although, that final assumption is worthy of further philosophizing, considering the ramifications of nuclear war, and the magnitude of developments such as the hadron collider.

earthvsman 300x285 Animals P.2

Have we exceeded the natural order of nature? I’m reminded of an episode of True Detective where Matthew McCoughnany’s character Rust Cohle adamantly touches on the topic:

“I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”

killerhumans 300x261 Animals P.2 

Being from a developed western nation and witnessing the ruthless neglect and lack of responsibility the greater public has to themselves, their land and fellow people is despicable. The incidence of one punch deaths, rape, individual pollution and alcohol induced violence speak for themselves, and should beg inquisition from all of us for what is truly an issue that deserves attention.

We should be examining the root causes of such behavior from a psychological and sociological lens to identify how in a developed nations these things happen – when you assume peoples live relatively easy and trouble free lives in juxtaposition to war torn nations such as Iraq for example.

Secondly, having been to a fair share of music festivals and nightlife spots in my town I’ve been disgusted by the careless abandon people display when littering. I’m no saint and I’m not ether to any of this, but seeing this waste on a mass scale and the obliviousness of people solidifies my agreement with the ‘toxic society/crisis in consciousness/culture in decline’ paradigm. Even more so based on the fact that being from Australia, a country where there is so much government opportunity, support, free education ect how individuals take it all for granted.

Large chunks of this article and its predecessor have gone off on a tangent about our species and human consciousness* in and of itself. Rest assured this isn’t a repugnant critique of mankind, and to save this piece from being cast aside as just that, or another existentialist rant, I’d like to return to the wolf to cast a light of optimism:

“As this drama plays out, wolves – curious, caring, and intelligent – return to the land they once roamed. Sharing strong social bonds, wolves watch over each other, nurture their injured, and raise their pups among their family groups. By hunting together to feed the pack, wolves redistribute elk and deer and allow overgrazed trees and shrubs to rebound. As wolves restore natural order to ecosystems, they undo damage done long ago.” From National Geographics The Hidden Life Of Wolves.

naturalbalance 300x207 Animals P.2

What I’d like to emphasize is the highlighted from the quote above, and the final point to make. The human race is continuing to cause a disbalance on the functioning of the earth.

Earth is one organism, and I truly believe we should be living symbiotically with the earth and all its inhabitants, as earthlings.

Moreover, I believe that having the great intelligence and technology at our disposal, we have a greater responsibility to ensure the flourishing of the earth, and given our advanced cognition, better judged to do so, but not in the way we are now through exploit and corporate selfishness.

wolfwild 235x300 Animals P.2 

 *Consciousness, for the sake if this article, as it is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary  “the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself”,  not in the way it is used so vaguely in new age and spiritual contexts.
small proofreadbot button1 light Animals P.2

Animals Pt. 1

As human beings, it is our highly evolved brains which give us an edge over all others in the primordial food chain, bringing great success to us as a species. Yet  ironically, it remains at the roots of some of our greatest suffering as well. The manifestations of the mind are endless, and you could go so far as to say that the human mind is the most dangerous weapon created by mother nature.

Animals meanwhile, despite not sharing such sophisticated cerebral architecture, are blessed with other distinct abilities, their uniqueness of intrigue to us. Consider for instance the:

-          Wolfs smell

-          Eagles sight

-          Snakes tongue

-          Orca’s sonar

-          Birds flight

It is a quintessential human dream to be able to fly, and in part because of this that birds hold religious and spiritual significance in many cultures and indigenous folklore. Many of us envy this ability, as we are imprisoned to a more mundane form of locomotion and existence.

I do ponder though, if birds were able to grasp and understand the power of the human mind, would they in turn carry this same desire – to be able to create complex languages, to engineer life prolonging technological constructs for the safety and flourishing of their kind, to have the power to access information instantaneously.

eagle silhouette Animals Pt. 1

To stand juxtaposed as a mere observer of this diversification between species does wonders to your appreciation of the earths innate beauty and how magnificently designed it is.

Moreover, it is this same ability to act as the observer which we are granted by harnessing the very gifts possessed by our species alone – our minds.

I truly believe that this ability of our conscious minds to act the observer is an amazing gift. You as the reader, and I as the author at this very moment are giving life to this very phenomena…..

In retrospect, the organisation of nature manifests a paradox which resonates poetic and allegorical significance. Whilst never being able to harness the great powers of creativity and expression capable of the intellectual mind, animals consequentially avoid the dangers and self-deprecating nature of the mind as a result.

In this sense, animals are truly free.

They are free of the malevolent nature of an unchecked ego, free of the burden of time, free of the walls of identity, free of social constructs and psychological pressures imposed by this concrete jungle of our creation that accounts for so much stress related death and disease.

Business Stress Man With Text Anxiety3 Animals Pt. 1

Although on average they live shorter lives, their lives are not fraught with these same ordinances.The very intellectual prowess we possess that affords us shelter from more primal dangers, has developed to the point where it can wreck havoc on itself by its own device. This is the very basis for Robert Sapolsky’s fantastic book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

It’s a strange paradox blotted with irony, and in fact triggered me to write this article.

We ponder at animals, and adore them for their playfulness and carefree nature. They seem to always be in the moment, at one with their senses.

The disparity between our subjective experience as humans and that of the common animal fascinates me.

Imagine having such sharpened senses, how you would take in the world, the magnification of taste, touch, hearing, sight and smell.

The intensification of bodily pleasure, the thrill of a hunt, to dive into waters deep, to soar in the sky so high.

orca 70M1434 09 Animals Pt. 1

It seems a fair trade off for the increased risk of imminent danger and shortened life span afflicted to those of the animal kingdom.

People often agree it is only in times of extreme fear, uncertainty, adrenaline and escape that they truly feel alive. Momentarily they are ‘in the zone’ or ‘in the void’.

 I’ve lost my mind…. and come to my senses

Eastern philosophy and spiritual practices very much center on this. There is in fact a whole train of though surrounding this notion of being in the moment – Meditation, enlightenment, nirvana, what Ekhart Tolle describes as the ‘no mind’, and it is gradually seeping into the Western world as a result of our incessant search for meaning and liberation from our stressors.

lyoto machida Animals Pt. 1

UFC fighter Lyoto Machida describing Mushin in martial arts

Are these all means to connect with our primal ways? to embrace the animals which we really are?  

At a fundamental biological level, most mammals exist just as we do, relying on the same natural resources to survive, and exhibiting very parallel Darwinian mechanisms for the propagation of their species.

Monkeys, Gorilla’s, a pride of lions, a graze of elephants and wolf packs all exhibit forms of social order and behavioral patterns.

pride%20national%20mara%20lions%20kenya%201920x1080%20wallpaper www.wall321.com 78 Animals Pt. 1

It is only a difference of degree, rather, that separates us from them. Our own sociology is merely a more extravagant incarnation.

Although there is the argument that animals too share a consciousness, it is not to the same extent.

Even ants, noted as being the great architects, carry away with work, almost mindlessly, failing to display any sign of free will, following only their primitive instinctual behaviors. It is the human mind which has achieved the highest extent to reason, compare and be astute over all others.

With increased cognitive functioning and exploit of the intellectual mind come’s increased choice, possibilities, complexity, confusion, disorder and risk of insanity.

The dangers of over-thinking, fear of the unknown, fear of what is to come, fear of what is, fear of what isn’t.

The mind is like a sponge continually absorbing information, data, if you will, from the environment and every experience, reaching conclusions, solidifying certain believes and refuting others, being at times self destructive and at times self developing.

The mind if harnessed can accomplish a many a great things, but it can also be a poor master to the wonderful machinery it controls.

I remember one anecdote describing the collective consciousness of our species, summarizing the current human condition akin to a child behind a Ferrari…….. think about that one until next time……………

To be continued….

evolutioncompare Animals Pt. 1

small proofreadbot button1 light Animals Pt. 1

Tom Hardy Bane Workout – Get Traps Like Bane

Tom Hardy Bane Workout- Get Traps Like Bane

Tom Hardy as bane was physically imposing and got a lot of people wondering how he got in such spectacular shape. Whilst the sheer size was impressive, the real vocal point of his physique was his colossal trap development.

Before you pull out the genetics card and turn green with envy, I have some tricks up my sleeve that’ll back you up on your pursuit of monster traps (pun intended) to rival the Tom Hardy Bane workout.

Why Your Trap Training Sucks

Simply grabbing a pair of heavy dumbells and shrugging your shoulders like you’re life depends on it is really only half training your traps (and it makes you look like an epileptic fish).

Oh,  you’re also setting yourself up for muscle imbalance, poor posture, pain and dysfunction by excessive shrugging work.

To find out how to really get traps like Gotham’s reckoning himself, read on.

The Anatomy

The Shrug exercise really only trains scapular elevation, and thus, only the upper and middle traps are really being hit.

What you have to understand is that the upper fibres of the traps are ONLY A SMALL PART of the trap musculature. It’s like a failing to recognize that the majority of an iceberg is underwater.

You know those thick pieces of muscle which run down your mid back and between your shoulder blades that look tumours? Those are the lower traps.

 

hardy+traps2 Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

Once you understand the anatomy of the traps (origin and insertion, functions, scapula mechanics) you’ll be better equipped to train them and devise more optimal training strategies.

….. Now if you don’t really give a shit about that you can skip my super dumbed down anatomy primer and go straight to the sample workouts/exercises detailed towards the end of the article…….

CRASH COURSE ANATOMY

Upper Traps

TrapUpperHalf Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

 

Origin: Base of skull, occipital protuberance and posterior ligaments of neck

Insertion: Posterior aspect of the lateral third of the clavicle

Function: Scapula elevation, Scapula upward rotation, extension and rotation of the head and neck

Middle Trapezius

TrapMiddleHalf Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

Origin: Spinous processes of 7th cervical and upper three thoracic vertebrae

Insertion: Medial border of the acromion process and upper border of the scapula spine

Function: Scapula elevation, Scapula upward rotation, Scapula retraction

Lower Trapezius

TrapLowerHalf Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

Origin: Spinous processes of fourth through to 12th thoracic vertebrae
Insertion: Triangular space at the base of the thoracic spine

Function: Scapula depression, Scapula retraction and upward rotation

 

SCAPULA MECHANICS 101

 

scapulae movements Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

 

Enter The Front Squat Hise Shrug

front squats  Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

 

From our little anatomy crash course earlier we know that the lower traps and rhomboids retract, depress and upwardly rotate the scapula.

In The front squat, the scapula are upwardly rotated and slightly protracted to maintain the rack position. This position alone stretches the middle and lower trapezius, and the deeper rhomboid muscles beneath them.

IMG 1413 Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

So what happens from the rack position when you shrug is that the scapular elevate, further stretching the traps and rhomboids, before depressing and downwardly rotating.

The Front Squat Hise Shrug is a fairly simple movement, you just get in the front squat position and you shrug.

If you have trouble getting into the front squat position because of inflexibility, spend a few minutes stretching your triceps, forearm flexors and doing some wrist and thoracic mobility drills. Mobilitywod.com is a great source on this.

 

Some Pointers

  • When you do these focus on maintaining the rack position by keeping the elbows up the entire time. Shrug your shoulders right up to your ears and hold for about a 2-3 count, and then lower slowly, for extra burn.
  • Your abdominals will also get some work as they assist in stabilizing the weight and supporting your posture.
  • I’d start off with about 55-60% of your front squat 1RM, but if you find that’s too light, then you can go a bit heavier, and you’re traps have my permission to die.
  • In my experience, high repetitions works best for these, as the traps and rhomboids are a postural muscle group which responds best to muscular endurance, and time under tension. Although the conventional wisdom for the front squat is to keep the reps under 10, there is minimal ROM in the front squat hise shrug and it’s a less complex movement, therefore the fatigue accumulated with higher reps won’t alter the form.

The Snatch High Pull

leadImage Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

N.B: If you haven’t done this movement or any derivatives of the Olympics lifts before, I highly suggest you get a qualified coach to teach you. The Snatch is a very technical life and if you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll end up ingraining shitty movement mechanics and set yourself for injury and pain.

The focus shifts slightly towards the middle and upper trapezius here, albeit, the lower traps still get plenty of action.

The snatch high pull will allow you to get a greater range of motion than the shrug, and the added boost from the powerful hip extension.

A properly executed Olympic snatch demands scapular stabilization and control.

A slack upper body will disrupt the kinetic chain and optimum force transference through the segments. In this regard it’s the same as any other pull off the floor, such as the deadlift, whereby a weak segment in the chain will lead to loss of force.

tumblr mkmteb6Su71qanqo1o1 500 Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

The wider grip places more stress on the scapular stabilizers to maintain rigidity of the upper body, compared to a closer grip exercise (such as a conventional deadlift) where the lats contribute more for stability. Having the scapular pinned back and down ensures a stable base for when the turnover occurs and one must catch the weight overhead, and reduces the moment arm.

deadlift Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

The same mechanics apply to the high pull, even though it’s not a ground to overhead, good scapular mechanics are required to rip the bar off the floor. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep the upper body tight and scapular retracted.

At the end range of motion, pulling the elbows up high and externally rotating will further stretch the traps. Aim to pull the bar up as high as your neck.

The better your technique is, the more weight you’ll be able to handle. Think about it this way, there’s probably some 56KG girl on the Chinese team who can snatch more than you ever could, but you can bench, squat and out deadlift her. The latter three exercises do take practice and technique, but are no were near the complexity of the Olympic lifts. That’s why just about everyone squats and deadlifts these days (well I’d like to think so) but besides crossfit gyms you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone doing Olympic lifts (properly)

 

If you plan to do these form the blocks, be explosive straight off the pull. Unlike the full snatch where the initial pull is patient and controlled before the violent hip extension, the reduced ROM from the blocks allows you to pull explosively from the start. You will be able to handle less weight though. Don’t try to control the weight back down, let it come down and go straight into the next rep. Be explosive!

Some Pointers….

  • Keep the upper body tight and scapula retracted from the start
  • Keep the scapula locked into position – the only movement should be from the hips and then the pull at the top following the violent hip extension
  • Arch the upper back at the set up – big chest -
  • olympic snatch Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

 

  • Be Explosive! pull hard and fast…
  • Pull the elbows up high
  • Aim to get the bar up to neck level….
  • Externally rotate slightly at the top
  • Don’t try to control the weight – let gravity bring it down
  • Reengage into the next rep immediately

Add These bad boys To Your Bag Of Tricks

T-raises

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r41uQdKfow

Y-raises

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXKTTEeC81E

Pull-aparts 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73Dm-j5wYIc

Put the puzzle pieces together and concoct your own devious plan. Here’s an example of how I’d string up my own Tom Hardy Bane Workout:

Tri-Set/Complex

A1) Snatch Grip High Pull from blocks x5

> Proceed immediately to A2

A2) Front Squat Hise Shrug x 10-15 reps

> Proceed immediately to A3

A3) Bane Pull Aparts, 3 second squeeze at top x 20-25 reps

Rest 2 minutes upon completion of all 3 exercises before repeating complex. Perform 2-5 rounds in total for pure trapalicious carnage.

Now you can add these goodies in anyway you like in your current workout plan, preferably on your pulling or back day. The sample complex/Tri-set I outlined above would go nicely in my 30 minute muscle building/fat burning super workout 

Always do the high pulls first, preferably before or straight after your primary/core lift (e.g on leg day or squat day for lifters, after ME squats). You don’t want to program them at the end of the workout once your fatigued, you need to do these explosively, heavy and most importantly with good form, and you need enough gas in the tank to do so.

Hit up your own Tom Hardy Bane workout. You have the knowledge, you have the tools.

Now go get it

The Dark Knight Rises Bane Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

small proofreadbot button1 light Tom Hardy Bane Workout   Get Traps Like Bane

21 Kick-Ass Cures for The Common Cold

 21 Kick-Ass Cures for The Common Cold 

Kick cold and flu to the curb this Winter with these 21 remedies.

1. Rest

Rest NEWSTART 21 Kick Ass Cures for The Common Cold

Out of all the cures for the common cold, this one is the least sexy and subsequently the one people give least attention to. We’d all much rather grab an over the counter medicine that we can take then go about our activities, instead of waiting it out idly.

This doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit all day, but you should sleep more and it will assist in overcoming the malaise and lethargy.

A study (Cohen et al., 2009) actually found reduced sleep duration (under 7 hours a night) to increase the likelihood of contracting a cold. Literature has also found sleep to be associated with optimum immune function and processes, including the regulation of antibodies, cytokines and killer cells (Vgontzas et al., 2004; Lang, Perras, Fehm & Born, 2003). In addition, sleep has a profound impact on endocrine function and hormonal status.

As the old adage goes, time heals all things, and as far as cures for the common cold go, provided you rest, it will be gone in 7 days or last a week.

2. Liquids

1301614590 water 21 Kick Ass Cures for The Common Cold

Water is vitally important in order to stay hydrated, and it also assists in the clearing of the mucous build-up along the respiratory tract. Water intake in addition replaces fluid lost from evaporation and fever.

As far as cures for the common cold go, water doesn’t possess any direct benefits, however it is important for general health and wellbeing and is worth being mentioned. Most people I know hardly drink enough water anyway, and are constantly dehydrated as they are loaded up on caffeine, sugary drinks, processed and sodium rich foods, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Stay hydrated people.

 3. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential in optimal immune function, with several studies linking vitamin A deficiency in both adults and children with susceptibility to a host of illnesses such as measles, gastrointestinal disorders, anemia and vision related dysfunctions.

Studies have shown Vitamin A deficiency impedes immune function and infection control, and prevents the regeneration of epithelial cells which form mucosal barriers.

Vitamin A deficiency decreases the ability of the respiratory system to combat disease and increases susceptibility to airway complications. This is because vitamin A supports the growth of epithelial tissue in the respiratory tract, and hence, mucus production

Vitamin A has also been found to increase serum amyloid A and C-reactive proteins levels, which are involved in the immediate immune response to inflammation.

Vitamin A is also recognized to increase lymphocyte count T-cell function.

The two main sources of dietary vitamin A are plant carotenoids (dark, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and ) and retinyl esters found in animal tissues (fish, eggs, liver).

4. Vitamin  B

The immune system is able to recognize oncoming infection because bacteria can synthesize vitamin B. Vitamin B group vitamin intake is crucial because it is not naturally occurring (our bodies are unable to create it).

Additionally, Vitamin B6 lays the foundation for cytokins and antibodies, as they are built up from amino acids and require B6 as a coenzyme in their metabolism, as well as playing role in cellular growth and hemoblogin production.

Sources of vitamin B include egg white, leafy green vegetables, meat, liver, kidney (riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate), nuts, mushrooms, poultry (vitamin B12, niacin, pantothenic acid), cauliflower, egg yolks (biotin),

5. Vitamin C

Orange and almond srping cake hero 58d07750 0952 47eb bc41 a1ef9b81c01a 0 472x310 21 Kick Ass Cures for The Common Cold

Vitamin C has been recognized to actively stimulate leukocyte production, synthesize immunoglobulins, t-lymphocyte proliferation and the regulation of the inflammatory response.

Plasma and leukocyte vitamin C concentrations plummet during the incubation of cold and flu, and thus it is important to increase intake during this period

One of the initial immune responses to infection is the generation of reactive oxygen species during phagocytosis. Reactive oxygen species destroy intracellular bacteria and invading organisms, but can also damage the cell membranes of healthy cells cellular communication. Vitamin C regulates reactive oxygen species and prevents them from immunosuppressive effects.

Vitamin C is also required to regenerate Vitamin E.

 6. Blueberries

Blueberries are nutrient dense and packed with antioxidants, which prevent free radical damage to cells during the infection period.

 7. Vitamin D

Research has shed light on the importance of vitamin D on improving immune function, enhancing the production rate of anti-microbial peptides, the clearance of bacteria, T-Cell activation (the cells which destroy antibodies) and boosting monocyte and macrophage function.

Vitamin D receptors have been found in significant concentrations in T lymphocyte and macrophage cell populations.

Research has also discovered that Vitamin D can activate antibacterial proteins called defensin and cathelicidin, which have a number of beneficial effects conducive to fighting the common cold.

Vitamin D can be sourced from nutritional intake of fatty fish, fortified dairy products and cod liver oil, as well as exposure to sunlight.

 8. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the major lipid soluble antioxidant present in all cellular membranes. It plays an important role in assisting immune function and responses, including T-cell differentiation and cellular activity.

Good sources of Vitamin E include nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, chilli, spinach, dried apricots and dried herbs.

 9. Wash Hands

Washing your hands regularly, especially when you get home, prevents the spread of germs and bacteria.

Cold and flu viruses can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, emphasizing the importance of routine cleaning and disinfection at home during home.

Good hygiene and sanitary standards have been associated with morbidity and mortality rates demonstrated in developing countries where there is a high rate of infection and low disease control.

 10. Stay Warm

Increased body temperature helps fight the cold, and boosts production of virus specific t-lymphocytes.

This is why you go into a fever, it is the body’s natural defence by increasing the core body temperature to fight the virus.

 11. Eat out less

During the cold and flu season the transference of germs and bacteria via utensils, saliva, and kitchen processes in restaurants and eateries is excessively high.

Kitchen towels, cloths and sponges are the most contaminated items in kitchens and have been tested positive for 450,000 microorganisms of bacteria.

 12. Eat more veggies

fruits and vegetables1 21 Kick Ass Cures for The Common Cold

Vegetables are extremely nutrient dense and rich in vitamins and minerals, serving as a good insurance policy against the contraction of the common cold during winter.

 13. Vaporizer/Humidifer

Steaming is another way to open up the airways and clear congestion, and a vaporizer is very practical means to do so, you just let it run and humidify the room.

 14. Herbal teas

Several herbal tea remedies are beneficial as cures for the common cold, especially effective for sore throats and cough and provide an analgesic effect.

Some good recipes can be found here:

http://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/recipes/recipe176.php

http://wellnessmama.com/5442/10-health-boosting-herbal-teas/

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/newsletter/11/january/herbsforcolds.php

15. Garlic

garlic3 21 Kick Ass Cures for The Common Cold

Garlic possesses antibacterial properties, is high in antioxidants, is anti-fungal and anti-viral. In Europe it is coined ‘Russian Penicillin’ due to its effectiveness in treating infections and viruses. The Russians were also known for chewing raw garlic, but you can always grind it up and throw it in your stir fry or veggie dishes if that’s not your thing.

16. Honey & Apple Cider Vinegar

garlichoneyvinegar 21 Kick Ass Cures for The Common Cold

This is an old remedy which helps neutralize bacteria especially in the upper respiratory tract, which is useful for sore throats and cough.

In addition honey has been recognized for its antibacterial properties, as it was once utilized as a skin treatment to prevent infection in ancient times. It also has a thorough analgesic effect when drank or swallowed, and is packed with minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and iron.

Apple Cider Vinegar is also known to be a powerful detoxifier and can improve cardiovascular health, cleansing of lymph nodes, the liver and removal of Candida yeasts.

 17. Take it easy on the dairy

Dairy jacks up mucous production, and whilst this is important for trapping bacteria as the first line of defence in the air passages, excess mucus will only increase congestion.

 18. Zinc tablets

Research has linked zinc deficiency to lowered immune response and regulation of specific immune cells. Zinc has been found to regulate the proliferation and function of T  lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, Natural killer cells, Neutrophils, and monocytes and macrophages.

Zinc is also noted for its antioxidant and cell protecting properties, protecting cells from the damaging effects of oxygen radicals generated during immune activation.

Zinc has also been found to help maintain mucosal lining and the integrity of skin barrier, the first protection against infection. Zinc is also known to function as an antioxidant and can stabilize cell membranes, cellular functions, activate cells, and is involved in DNA replication.

High amounts of zinc can be found in red meats, seafood, liver, nuts pumpkin seeds & watermelon seeds.

19. Consider reducing fish oil intake*

The jury is still out on this one, and the only research available has been studies on rats

The premise is that fish oil is anti-inflammatory, and thus may hinder the production of immunoglobuins and interferon which combats the virus. This hasn’t been substantially confirmed but you may want to consider it.

20. Treat the symptoms individually

All in one cold and flu treatments are very popular, but they are often loaded with plenty of other crap you can’t pronounce (just check the ingredients label) and usually aren’t good for you in the long run.

It’s beneficial to treat the symptoms individually in this regard.

Congestion: Nasal decongestants, steaming,

Sore throat: Salt n Vinegar gargle, lozengers, honey

General fatigue/Lethargy: Panadol, painkillers

21. Avoid certain drugs (which include more than 3 types of active ingredients that are designed to relieve a symptom)

908 pills 21 Kick Ass Cures for The Common Cold

Goes in point with above.

 

Whilst many of these cures for the common cold are highly effective, they are also powerful prophylactic means to prevent cold from occurring in the first place.

Considering all of the above, under-nutrition conclusive ly increases susceptibility for cold and flu. Combined that with exposure to the elements, excessive work/training, and the body’s defences against infection drop faster than Felix Baumgartner’s free fall.

The issue of vitamin and nutrient deficiency is multi-variable and often are interdependent (meaning deficiencies in one mineral often succeed the effects of deficiency in another).

Fortifying the body’s immune system through proper nutrition and preventative measures will stop cold and flu before it even starts.

References

Baeke, F, et al. (2010). Vitamin D insufficiency: implications for the immune system. Pediatr Nephrol, 25, 1597-1606

Byleveld M, et a (2000)Fish oil feeding enhances lymphocyte proliferation but impairs virus-specific T lymphocyte cytotoxicity in mice following challenge with influenza virusClin Exp Immunol.

Cohen S, Doyle W.J, Alper C.M, Janicki-Deverts D, Turner R.B. (2009). Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold. Arch Intern Med. 169(1):62-67.

Cohen,  S., Tyrrell,  D.A.J., Smith,  A.P. (1991). Psychological stress and susceptibility to the common cold. N Engl J Med 325 (9) 606- 612

Deluca, H.F., Cantorna, M.T. (2001). Vitamin D: its role and uses in immunology. The FASEB Journal, 15, 2579-2585.

Gerster H (1997). Vitamin A-functions, dietary requirements and safety in humans. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 67, 71–90.

Lange, T., Perras,  B., Fehm.  H.L., Born,  J. (2003). Sleep enhances the human antibody response to hepatitis A vaccination. Psychosom Med 65 (5) 831- 835

Ross, A.C., Stephensen, C.B. (1996). Vitamin A and retinoids in antiviral responses. FASEB J 10, 979–985.

Shankar, A.H., Prasad, A.S. (1998). Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection. Am J Clin Nutr, 68, 447S-63S.

Tomkins, A., Hussey, G. (1989). Vitamin A, Immunity and Infection. Nutrition Research Reviews, 2, 17-28.

Vgontzas, A.N., Zoumakis, E., Bixler, E.O.,  et al. (2004).  Adverse effects of modest sleep restriction on sleepiness, performance, and inflammatory cytokines. J Clin Endocrinol Metab  89 (5) 2119- 2126

Villamor, E., Fawzi, W.W. (2005). Effects of Vitamin A Supplementation on Immune Responses and Correlation with Clinical Outcomes. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 18(3), 446-464.

Wintergerst, E.S., Magiini, S., Hornig, D.H. (2006). Immune-Enhancing Role of Vitamin C and Zinc and Effect on Clinical Conditions. Annals of Nutritional & Metabolism, 50, 85-94.

small proofreadbot button1 light 21 Kick Ass Cures for The Common Cold

30 Minute Muscle Building Workout: Build Muscle & Burn Fat in 30 Minutes

30 Minute Muscle Building Workout

This brutally simple yet effective 30 minute muscle building workout has 2 parts.

The first part of the workout focuses on maximal strength(intensity) on one core/main lift.

The second part of the workout focuses on density and volume and getting the most ‘bang for your buck’.

It’s nothing new or revolutionary, but it works if you have 30 minutes.

This 30 minute muscle building workout is best if your NOT already on a structured program that your following consistently ( Click Here! for one) and need a quick, efficient, 30 minute muscle building workout, such as if your on holiday and have access to a gym, and need strength workout to go that will work.

This 30 minute muscle building workout is recommended for beginners.

superman 30 Minute Muscle Building Workout: Build Muscle & Burn Fat in 30 Minutes

The Plan

Part 1: First 15 Minutes

Pick a main exercise. This should be a compound lift, preferably barbell, such as a barbell squat, deadlift or bench press, as they allow for the most weight to be loaded.

The focus should be on maximal strength here. A few templates you can follow:

3×5@ 80%1RM

5×5@ 75% 1RM

3-3-3 @ 85% 1RM

This should take under 15 minutes to complete.

Alternatively, you can establish a 3-5RM on the desired lift within 15 minutes.

You can be flexible with this, as long as your resting under 3 minutes a set and keep it low volume. Intensity is key* You get plenty of high rep action in part 2 of the workout.

*Intensity referring to the % of your 1RM, not your rate of perceived exertion (RPE). 

Part 2: Last 15 Minutes

Part 2 of the 30 minute muscle building workout we flip things around.

Select 3 accessory exercises. For example, on squat/leg day you could choose leg press, walking lunges and good mornings.

Optimally, compound movements are better, as you get a better hormonal response which works twofold for muscle gain and fat loss, but you can add an isolation exercise if you wish.

You will complete the exercises as a tri-set/complex, one after another with no rest between.

If you where to do 10 reps per exercise, at a tempo of 3-1-1 (3 seconds to lower, 1 second pause, 1 second to lift) equates to just under 3 minutes to complete all 3 exercises in a row.

For the above example, I’d go with a weight that I could do 15 solid reps with (around 50% 1RM). The focus is not on maximal load here, but total volume within the timeframe.

Now given the first part took 15 minutes, we only have 15 minutes left, so arguably if you were to go with the scheme I provided above, you would be able to complete around 5 total rounds.

1 Round = The three exercises completed one after another (tri set).

You can experiment with the tempo and reps per exercise, but you want to limit it to a total of 3-4 exercises instead of turning it into a circuit.

This method is what crossfit peeps call ‘AMRAP’ which stands for as many rounds as possible. In this case however, our aim isn’t to achieve as many rounds as we can by focusing on speed of movement, but rather limiting the rest between exercises. Quality of movement, time under tension and limited rest are the goals here, in order to create an anabolic effect to build muscle with the 30 minutes we have.

This will create a massive lactate buildup and taps into the muscle glycogen stores considerably by moving beyond the anaerobic work zone.

You can use more ballistic movements (kettlebell swings, kettlebell snatches, medicine balls) however the total time under tension is a lot less, and you’d have to increase the reps substantially, making the workout more aerobic in nature.

The beauty of this 30 minute muscle building workout is you won’t be inclined to waste as much time as you normally do between sets, mindlessly looking around the gym, texting or  daydreaming…… it makes you work, your RPE (rate of perceived exertion) will be high.

You shouldn’t be gased after the 30 minutes is over, it isn’t cardio, but you will be breathing hard….…… treat it more like a hybrid bodybuilding workout, go for the pump and feel the burn, and just keep moving… embrace the pain.

DSC 0143 DISC 30 Minute Muscle Building Workout: Build Muscle & Burn Fat in 30 Minutes

small proofreadbot button1 light 30 Minute Muscle Building Workout: Build Muscle & Burn Fat in 30 Minutes

How to use Intuition and Reflection For A BETTER LIFE.

Your path to a better life can begin today, with you.

Intuition and reflection are seldom advocated among social landscapes engulfed in analytical thinking. We approach our jobs and activities of daily living as a means to an end, which often disregards individual autonomy and our greater sense of self.

The truth is life is a constant process of reflection. It is constant because without it, life would not continue to evolve and progress, it would become stagnant or regress. Taking this concept in its true essence and moving beyond the context of globalization and the derailment in its application in the outer world, and into the self, intuition and reflection is a much a part of being human. Without deep reflection, we would cease to grow, to learn, to gain a better understanding of our selves and the world we live in.

Reflection is critical in order to reach our full potential and manifest our inner sense of happiness and wellbeing. If there are things in your life you wish would be different, if you do not have a purpose for your life’s work or course of action, if you realize that you are unhappy, or could be doing better……. you must reflect deeply!

If you don’t you will continue to live in a state of disharmony, and coping mechanisms will develop unconsciously to prevent you from losing your mind and delving into despair and depression. You will seek temporary pleasures to fill this void of emptiness that has been created by you not living in congruence with your core values and true intentions. You may not be aware of this, as the subconscous mind is very sneaky and this can emerge in VERY subtle ways.

It is dangerous because addiction can result from abuse of these outlets, and addiction is in essence a form of slavery. Ultimately, external factors become the source of your happiness. You associated your happiness to this drug, this drink, this person,this weekend, this practice, and thus, it is objectified. This trend is extremely contagious in the western world where there is a surplus of distractions forever culminated by corporations and mass media to keep you dependent, in need. It is a form of mental slavery, because YOU are the one that created this prison for yourself, and as cliche as it sounds, you also have they key. Morgan Freeeman sums it up so eloquently in the movie se7en

 

I didn’t say I was different or better. I’m not. Hell, I sympathize; I sympathize completely. Apathy is the solution. I mean, it’s easier to lose yourself in drugs than it is to cope with life. It’s easier to steal what you want than it is to earn it. It’s easier to beat a child than it is to raise it. Hell, love costs: it takes effort and work.

 

On the other end of the spectrum however, intuition and our innate sense, the ‘gut feeling’ can lead us through avenues of liberation that give birth to beautiful things. I would not be writing this blog for instance, if something deep down inside of me had not conjured me to. The need to reflect, to express my thoughts, feelings, ideas and perspectives, because I could not allow them to bottle up within me. They are no good there, and will only find ways to release themselves. If I had not done so, so forth I would have continued, harboring these things, uncontent, carrying over into other facets of life.

Go with your gut feeling. Tap into it. Follow this intuition because it will lead you to what is best for you. It would not occur if you where living your life in accordance with your values, because then you would feel a sense of peace and contentment.

I would like to end with the quote from one of my mentors that caused me to begin to understand the importance of reflection

 

Go fourth, fearless, and always reflect on any experience of importance, it is how the human condition expands and raises its consciousness… Stefanos. S. Sifandos

 

small proofreadbot button1 light How to use Intuition and Reflection For A BETTER LIFE.

How To Find The Power Within!

You need to know that the power is in you!

All of us as inhabitants of the concrete jungle that we live in have taken on a false identity from society and the various roles we play, things we do and people we associate with. It’s a damaging concept few will examine or break free from…

Our cultural conditioning has masked us from who we really are, and the sublime truth that the power is in each of us to do anything we want to, and be who we want. 

Everyone, everything, all living organisms essentially are a product of their environment. This is fact not mere postulation. Studies in psychology, psychobiology, neuroscience, physiology and epidemiology have all confirmed this conclusively.

We respond to what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Monkey see monkey do.

I challenge you to step back, step away. Step away from what you normally do, the habitual patterns of your life. Take the day off work, skip your lectures for the day, do something meaningful….

I’m not saying your job is not meaningful, or your lacking true fulfilment and happiness in your life, I’m no one to say that… All I’m presenting to you is a different perspective…..

Isolation, specifically, the idea of social isolation was first introduced to me by a close friend preparing for a boxing match.

Professional athletes, usually fighters, capitalize on this concept and often stories circulate of secret training camps in remote areas far away from the rest of society.

This practice is much akin to when writers escape to cabins and establishments deep within the woods and forests in order to ignite creativity. I write predominantly in the later hours of night where I am usually not distracted by others and have done everything else that I need to, leaving me clarified mentally. It creates a domain for unadulterated  expression, and at night time, the silence accentuates this tranquility. A brief interlude before another day on the hamster wheel begins and society continues in it’s never ending race to satisfy what is unsatiable.

The idea of getting away from the rest of humanity, immersing oneself in an environment solely intended for a singular purpose or objective confers a spiritual undertone, much like a religious pilgrimage.

Religious practices often describe divine intervention, the immense power of God, the enlightening. 

pilgrimage chris 1676577c How To Find The Power Within!

Isolation provides a valuable opportunity to deeply connect with oneself, unmolested by external distractions, conflicts and nonsensical problems cluttering and adding unnecessary complexity to life.

Paradoxically, this platform of singularity enables many to realize that the answers we have been searching for for so long where actually within ourselves the entire time. Everyone has the power within…..

Isolation also tends to have re-stabilizing effects on people by bringing them closer to the natural world. Connecting with nature and living among the natural systems can juxtapose an individual in a position from which more optimistic and clarified thought patterns can be nurtured. In my experience, immersing in the vastness of the wilderness and the ambient inter-connectivity among all things a part of it helps realigns ones center, which can easily be shaken by the drudgery and pain in the world.

You feel connected and part of something which has great omniscience, something that is greater than it’s individual parts, each with it’s own purpose. You realize that you have a purpose, a role to play which goes far above and beyond your own personal interests and agenda’s.

Once you begin to resonate with this, you become less and less attached to the self. It’s gratifying and extremely grounding, and it dawns on you that you are not the center of the universe. You are just a small part of the universe. Your personal problems, internal conflicts, everything you think you are, who you try to come across as  and represent, all your notions of self, all seem to materialize against the backdrop of the natural world. This is where you gain true power, not the false illusion of it provided by the ego and all the manifestations of ‘you’ by society…..

It’s within this backdrop of the natural, where a stillness resides, and the almost unforgiving, seemingly harsh laws of nature and natural selection prevail to maintain beauty and balance. This is where I find resolution. It is not intrinsically good or bad, or influenced by any ulterior agenda’s. Emotions play no part here, no politics, espionage, blackmail or trickery of the human psyche. Nothing controls indefinitely. Nothing is permanent. It is because of this uncertainty and unpredictability that each passing moment is all the more captivating. The fragility of life makes it all the more precious.

I like to perceive life with the analogy of a pebble dropped in the ocean. You, the self, the ‘I’, and everything associated with it (your pride, your accomplishments, your ideals, what you achieved and who you think you are) is of minutia from the perspective of the universe. However, like a pebble dropped into the ocean has ripples, what you do in your time in this life reverberates onto others and can impact the world and everyone else on it for centuries to come…….

 How To Find The Power Within!

small proofreadbot button1 light How To Find The Power Within!

How To Find Yourself In The World

One must know thyself, before one can know thy world…….

Having a greater understanding of yourself is crucial to understanding the world and everything going on in it.

Making sense of your life amidst the turbulent nature of the society and its occupants is difficult. Introspection seldom is advocated in a western society where meeting deadlines and constantly climbing social and corporate ladders takes precedence.

Considering the current state of affairs, this is only compounded with the amount of inhabitants, each with their own agendas and pathways.

Paradoxically, if we slowed down and took time to examine the happenings of our lives and our interaction with the world and it’s inhabitants, things can be much easier. This way, negative experiences can be appreciated as avenues which have the potential to cultivate our own personal evolution………………..All too often in friendships and relationships people will leave scared and harboring negative programming and emotional baggage. This continues onto other interactions and the cycle continues.

One thing to be wary of with abused and abusive people is the burden they can thrust upon you by becoming involved in their lives. You can become a target and scapegoat for unresolved internal conflicts much in the same way alcohol and drugs are used.This can manifest in a number of ways, and unfortunately a coping mechanism at times will exploit itself in relationships harmfully. Both men and women can display excessive possessiveness in relationships stemming from a need to control.

Being wary of certain people can be useful if we detach from the hate, anger, resentment and narcissism which often underpins these judgement’s, and are usually manifestations of our own ego. Excluding the ego enables for a clearer scope, facilitating introspection to ‘look inside’ of ourselves and to ponder our own shortcomings instead of attacking one party. Thinking about a situation in terms of what you did to cause a reaction in the other person, considering the stance of the other party and their own disposition and what could be going on in their own lives require patience, understanding and tolerance. These often cultivate with time and experience. But simply appreciating the fact that everyone has their own opinion , shaped by their own unique set of circumstances and experiences makes them who they are

482377 445789762164378 2042063925 n How To Find Yourself In The World

The sooner we accept this, the easier and more fulfilling life will be, for ourselves and everyone else we interact with. New friendships and old ones will have much more substance and value as we learn to considerate, tolerate and respect others opinions like our own. There will also be more to gain when we start freeing from the ego and notions of self which may dictate our attitudes and actions. In turn, we will also be more receptive and benefit more ourselves without the volatile ego in the way.

What’s also crucial to be minful of is that not every person you meet will be congruent with your paradigm, and at such times it is when we find ourselves in confusion and carrying feelings of anger and frustration at the circumstances when things do not go our way. A classic case of cognitive dissonance.

In truth, it is nonsensical to expect to control every facet and nuance of our existence. How each of us constructs our own realities to match our dogma is highly personal. We can chose to omit and include certain things in our lives, and reduce or improve exposure to others, but it can never be materialized. Much in the same way, we should never impose  this on others, and let them come to their own conclusions based on their own free will.

Everyone is on different stages and pathways of this journey through life.

Ultimately, everything is part of a bigger picture and each plays its part in the grand scheme of things. Trying to force your own will all the time on everything is not feasible, and excessive control results in loss one way or another. It disrupts the natural harmony and balance of things. Dictatorships only last so long before those living oppressed under the doctrine of one will revolt. The order of the food chain in cohesion with natural selection will always balance the ecosystem so that no one species can live in abundance whilst others perish. The Yin and the Yan. Outdated systems and trains of thought are outdated simply because everything else is evolving.  Everything undergoes change and evolution. Sometimes, even extinction is necessary, as dystopian as it may seen.

Not only on an intrinsic and interpersonal level is this exhibited by the human condition, but on a global scale it has massive repercussions (foresting, pollution, culling, wars ect). Greed, power and control, all synonymous with the ego like anything else, needs to be inspected and recognized. It is much simpler to elucidate in a simpler context of interpersonal relations.

Another way to adopt this perspective is if we look at our lives in the third person. Next time you experience strong feelings arise within you, whether they make you feel good, or bad, or unsure, consider that your position is just a position. How you feel and the associated thoughts are exclusive to you. The bus times do not have to fit your schedule. Traffic does not have to match your liking.

Although you may feel that your existence and work is of great significance, on the other side of the planet, life continues nonetheless, to its own accord, irrespective of your feelings. This is not to say your endeavors are of no value and have no meaning, it is just show show how incoherent our own personal drama is. Notice that in a sense we are just cogs in a wheel, only a fragment of many which collectively constitutes this world. No different to a leaf of a tree, a tree in a forest, a drop in the ocean. Relatively, earth is like a grain of sand on the beach in contrast to the universe as a whole.

Emotion is extremely powerful and probably the centrifuge of the human condition, yet, it is all ambiguous.

Instead of becoming troubled over the simple fact that you may not necessarily like a particular person for whatever reason, approach it as an opportunity to know yourself better. There are no omnipresent forces at play which are responsible for this. Your own disposition and hard wiring as a human being has brought you to your own conclusions.

It is not anyone’s fault either- it is not the responsibility of that person whom you do not like to fit your ideals and be congruent with your values. It goes hand in hand with relationships and friendships, you cannot force someone to love you if their genetic hardwiring is programmed to gravitate towards someone with a different set of characteristics to your own. It does not mean that there is something inherently wrong with you just because someone else does not appreciate you for who you are.

580404 446218688788152 154261458 n How To Find Yourself In The World

Ultimately though, every person has their own purpose, none more noble than the next, and it is up to each one of us to find that purpose and pursue it. On the way we will be inspired by others, and we will inspire others to do the same.

small proofreadbot button1 light How To Find Yourself In The World

Eight Steps To Successful Change

The original aims of this piece are to instigate change in favor of environmental action, however the sequencing of these 8 steps can be applied to all walks of life in order to make change.

Whether you’re unsatisfied with your current situation i.e, a monotonous 9-5 job, dead beat friends that you feel are holding you back, or your struggling to kick a habit (smoking) or are chasing goals/ambitions, these 8 steps can hold merit for you if you take into  your own circumstances.

 

 

8 Eight Steps To Successful Change

Things You Can Do To Get Active

 

  1. Pay attention to where and how you spend your money. Is your money going to support companies that don’t care about you? Are they destroying the environment, killing animals, treating your friends who work for them like shit? Are they trying as hard as they can to sell you a product that gives you cancer? Are their advertisements designed to manipulate you, to make you feel insecure or make their product seem like more than it really is? You don’t need to give those motherfuckers your money! For that matter–do you buy many things that you don’t need? Soft drinks and junk food at convenience stores, for example? Do you end up spending a lot of money whenever you want to relax and have a good time? There are a thousand things you and your friends can do that are fun, creative, and don’t cost anything (having intense discussions, exploring hidden parts of your town, making music–instead of drinking at bars or going to movies and restaurants) just as there a thousand ways you can eat and live more cheaply (Food Not Bombs, building furniture instead of buying it, living in big houses with a bunch of friends). Once you experiment a bit, you’ll probably find that you enjoy life a lot more when you’re not always shelling out cash for it.
  2. Now that you spend less, you can work less, too! Think about how much more time that gives you to do other things. Not only will it be easier to do things that help you spend less, like volunteering at Food Not Bombs (the less you work, the more time you have to make sure you don’t need to), you’ll also be able to do all the things you never had time for before: you can travel, exercise, spend more time with your friends and lovers. When it’s sunny and beautiful outside, you can go out and enjoy it!
  3. And you’ll have time to do the other things you need to do to take back control of your life and your world. First, start reading. It doesn’t really matter what, so long as it makes you think about things and gives you new ideas of your own. Read novels about human beings struggling against their society, like J.D. Salinger’sCatcher in the Rye or George Orwell’s 1984 or Joseph Heller’s Catch 22; read the beautiful, dreamers’ prose of Jeanette Winterson or Henry Miller. Read history: learn about the Spanish revolution in the 1930′s, where whole cities were run by the people who lived in them, rather than by governments; learn about the labor union struggle in the USA, or the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley in the 1960′s. Read philosophy, read about environmental issues, read vegan cookbooks and underground ‘zines and comics and everything you can get your hands on. Here’s a hint: if there’s a university in your town, you can probably get a membership for about $10 a year–and most libraries include videos, too!
  4. Reading isn’t the only way you can expand your horizons and clarify your ideas. Talk to people about the things that interest you, arguing when you don’t agree, so you’ll get to know your own beliefs better. Write to the people who are doing the ‘zines you like, discuss and debate things with them, ask them for directions to find out more about your interests. Try writing about your own ideas, and sharing that with people, until you feel confident doing this. Travel to different places, try to learn about other cultures and communities, so you’ll have more than one perspective on the world and you can start to imagine what the world is like through other people’s eyes.
  5. Now you’ll know what you want, and you can go about getting it. Seek out other people and groups with similar goals, and figure out how to support them or participate in what they’re doing. Maybe you can copy fliers and give them out at shows; maybe you can organize benefit shows for organizations you want to support (women’s shelters, radical bookshops, local groups protesting against the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal or lobbying for protection of the environment). Maybe there are public protests and demonstrations going on that you want to be part of. Try to help find ways to make these more challenging and fun than just a bunch of people holding signs; everyone’s so bored with doing that that there must be a more effective and exciting way to go about it.
  6. You can start your own projects, as well, you know. If there’s no Food Not Bombs in your area, get a group of people together and find some local businesses that will donate their leftover food. If there’s something fucked up at your high school or college or workplace, try organizing a walkout to force the “authorities” to do something about it… and to show everyone that those “authorities” only have as much power as we let them have. If the main street of your town lacks life and excitement, try organizing an unexpected festival to take place in the middle of it one weekend. Shake up everyone’s lives and expectations, shake them out of their apathy and boredom so they’ll start thinking about things. Establish networks with other people who are also interested in having an effect on the world around them, so you can help each other do this.
  7. Through all of this, don’t stop questioning yourself and your assumptions. Try to see through all the social programming you’ve received throughout your life: consider how gender roles constrain the way you act, how your own relationships with people reproduce the same hierarchical order that your fighting in mainstream society. We’re not going to really change anything unless we can create new ways of living and interacting, new values that show themselves in the way we treat each other. Show your friends how much you care about them. Consider doing things you never thought you should or could do: dancing, singing, admitting things that you’ve been taught to be ashamed of.
  8. Now look to the future. How can you stay involved with these things as you get older? How can you construct your life so you will always be free to do what you want to? Talk to people older than you who haven’t given up and gone back to the daily grind of eat-work-sleep-watch TV. With a little input from them and a lot of resolve on your part, you can maintain your activities and your lifestyle as long as you want to. Idealism, adventure, and resistance don’t have to be reserved for youth alone. History is filled with men and women who refused to compromise or calm down, who went all out from the cradle to the grave. They are the artists, the leaders, the heroes and heroines even people from the mainstream respect. We can all have lives like theirs, if we’re brave and idealistic enough.If all of us demand control over what we do and what goes on around us, if all of us do what we can to make life exciting and fair for everyone, things are bound to change. A lot of people know that we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but persuade themselves that it’s hopeless to try to improve things because they’re afraid to commit themselves, to take any risks. But it’s that lack of ambition that is the biggest risk of all–for what if you do nothing, and nothing happens, and we lose our chance to make this world the paradise it should be? Don’t be shy or timid–there’s nothing more exciting than taking an active role in the world around you, and there’s nothing more worthwhile!This message brought to you by the
    CrimethInc. Special Forces c/o C.W.C., 2695 Rangewood Drive, Atlanta, GA 30345 USA

 

 

small proofreadbot button1 light Eight Steps To Successful Change

THE TRUTH about Mainstream Media

Are you really aware of the inherent danger mainstream media has? You may not know it but it lies at the heart of human consciousness today….

As I was browsing video’s in my youtube news feed the other night I came across some recent uploads by an athlete in the united states whom I had subscribed to. A young guy, a strength athlete, who also happened to be creating video’s on productivity and self improvement. His content is similar to mine, so you should check it out:

I noticed other related video’s on similar topics and watched them also, as I normally do. I came across a video on organization, and although it was on a particular topic I am not concerned with too much (home organization) I decided to watch it. What stood out to me really was all the negative comments made against the woman in the video.

I was surprised at how the majority of viewers where condescending and threw out blanket statements which where to the person. Especially as the video’s sole purpose was meant to give people improvement tips, I didn’t see why it was received so poorly and there was little positive said. Personally, from my vantage point, that lady was a bit extreme with her organisation of her home, but I didn’t see it as anything to look down upon, and if anything people should strive to be more proactive and appreciate the dedication put in.

Now everyone is entitled to their opinion, but my point is that it is not this type of extreme behavior which should be of concern (considering it is of no harm to herself or others). Rather, people should be more worried about the ever prevalence of harmful addictions to drugs and alcohol for example, which are damaging to society on so many levels.

It seems as if it is the easy thing to do to criticize others for face value, especially those that live differently to us. Does this response arise from the fear associated with the unknown? Like the hatred we harbor towards certain minorities which we do not reconcile with because their practices are  not congruent with the rest of the world (gays and lesbians,hippies,religious groups ect). For example in the video below, the particular sub culture put under the microscope and attacked are bodybuilders:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQGzlWgGxPw&w=420&h=315

We have extended our segregation beyond race, gender and socio economic status, (which previously stood as massive obstacles in the betterment of the human condition) and into whole new levels of differentiation and discrimination. Labeling has made us forget. Made us forget that at the core, despite the superficial differences (like our body type and how we choose to organize our homes, as per the last 2 examples) that we are all human beings who are here to experience this life through the same bodily medium, to feel the highs and lows, the pains and pleasures, and that it is all ubiquitous. We should strive to be grateful for differences.

In addition, I feel as if a lot of people these days are so confounded by so much excess bullshit in their lives that it has mitigated the ability to connect with each other, appreciate the beauty in simple things, and in turn be more in touch with their being. When did you last look up at the sky or a sunset and engross in the beauty of the natural world? to stop for a moment and forget about your worries and realize just how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things.

3994682187 c773a4229b THE TRUTH about Mainstream Media

I believe mainstream media has much to do with the culmination of this discriminatory mindframe due to its ever increasing presence in society. When I mention media I refer to the collective amalgamation of televison, radio, the news, newspaper, movies, commercials, billboard advertisements ect, and the value system it enforces. This is largely intertwined with the foundations of the economic system of greed, power and the incessant drive for more of everything. The two compliment each other and have become omnipresent in the framework of the western world that it is difficult to notice these connections and consequences.

The usual retort directed towards social commentators who condone this way of thinking (as I do) is often along the lines of ‘stop taking things so seriously’, ‘it’s a joke’, ‘don’t be so anal’ ect ect. But rarely do we consider the state of affairs of the world and the direction society is going with the current trends and dogma. What we can do to make it a better place?  We got too much bullshit on our minds and in our way. It all starts with the mind.

Where too concerned with our own bullshit. I’m guilty of it. Everyone is. We need to focus on mitigating this old train of thought (as previously discussed) and nurturing the next generation to be thinkers.

Consider the current state of affairs. One has to simply turn on the news any given day to affirm this. War, famine, disease, violence, crime. The underlying root comes back to the human psyche. As wisely stated by Joe Rogan:

“This country has a Mental-Health-Problem disguised as a Gun-Problem… and a Tyranny-Problem disguised as a Security-Problem.”

And his only speaking for America. People need to stop every once in a while, forget about the next episode of the hills/jersey shore, their designer cloths, interpersonal drama and other nonsensical first world problems and realize what is happening to the world. People have been dumbed down, consumed by the living for the weekends mentality, reliant on fast food, medication, drugs and alcohol as quick fixes for deep rooted problems, which consequentially make them a prisoner of their own device. As a result of classic pavlovian conditioning however, we live in an age where mediocrity and normalcy has become the status quo and these things are taken lightly.

Social norms must be broken in order for us to advance as a species. For humanity to evolve, we must make do with the old and what was not working before. A better future must be left for the coming generations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygl4ngvXGJM

small proofreadbot button1 light THE TRUTH about Mainstream Media