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Who are you really?

A great article by Carnivore Aurelius!

Meditation is important for 2 main reasons: (1) to get you familiar with your inner life and thought patterns. (2) to figure out the nature of who you truly are.

I’m going to write about 2 briefly and give you something to try…

Partially owing to the scientific revolution and the cultural depravity today, everybody in the modern west is trained to be a separate individual their whole life.

Life is a process of self aggrandizement and separation. You are taught to look at the world as tools to be exploited for your gain and live your day to day existence trying to improve “yourself and be a better person”.

But what if the you that you think you really are is not real? This is what most eastern traditions and some of the more mystical western ones realized.

The you that you think you are is actually an illusion. And this ignorance is the source of all suffering.

Taking yourself to be something you are not leads to all the desires, fears and suffering in the world.

What do I mean?

Take what you think to be yourself, for instance. A true self needs to be permanent. It cannot disappear, or you’d be dead

There has to be something constant. It’s just not what you think it is. The self you currently live your life as is constantly changing…

Lose your job? Lose your partner? Don’t live up to your expectations? Get insulted by someone? All of these change your sense of self…and this is why they hurt so much because you’re holding onto something that was just damaged.

But holding onto the self is like holding onto a radioactive, decaying isotope. It is the source of all your suffering and makes you a slave to desires and fears.

It is not real. You cannot actually locate a single sense of self. It’s just a composite of what the buddhists call the five aggregates: thoughts, memories, emotions and perceptions. And because it’s not a real physical thing, it’s always insecure and trying to prove itself as being real.

This is what meditation can uncover. This may sound pessimistic but it’s really the exact opposite. In fact, it’s the first step to freedom.

Realizing that you are not the person you think you are frees you up from having to try to defend and satisfy a fictitious delusion at all times. It frees you up to live and to simply be present. And it gives you the capability of truly loving without the mess of your ego blocking the light within you.

This takes a lifetime of work…but hopefully that can start today for you (if it hasn’t yet).

But first some starting premises…

First premise: something that appears and disappears cannot really be you because if it were you’d be dying in every single moment….

For instance, if you take yourself to be your thoughts, what are you when all those go away? Are you still you? What about if you take yourself to be your body. What if you lost a leg? Would you still be you? There’s clearly something else to this…

Second premise: something is there that witnesses and perceives everything.

Third premise: that something behind all that you perceive is the real you…and it takes relentless meditative work to realize this.

Here are some things to try:

  1. Close your eyes. Ask yourself, who am I? Who is sitting here? Look for the self you think you are. Can you find it? Keep looking…
  2. Now ask yourself: without thoughts, memories or perceptions, who are you?
  3. Try a gratitude practice at the end of meditation. Be grateful for what you already have. This will help you realize that no matter what your circumstances are right now you can be happy. It’s a pointer to the truth: the external world has nothing to do with happiness.
  4. For a week, take a vacation from your mind. Don’t give into all its desires. Detach from it. View it as a dream playing on the screen of consciousness. DOn’t trust it so much. Be more spontaneous.

This article was originally published at

7 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence (EI)

source: http://www.success.com

EI determines how well you do at work. Do you have the traits that define it?

Rhett Power April 2, 2015

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

At least that’s what Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., well-known writer and researcher on leadership who wrote the best-seller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, says. Goleman has dedicated his work to finding out what makes people successful. And, his title spoiling the surprise, he says it comes down to their emotional intelligence. That’s what drives a person to excellence.

What exactly is emotional intelligence (EI)? Psychology Today says it’s:

1. The ability to accurately identify your own emotions, as well as those of others2. The ability to utilize emotions and apply them to tasks, like thinking and problem-solving3. The ability to manage emotions, including controlling your own, as well as the ability to cheer up or calm down another person

The concept of emotional intelligence has been around since 1990, when Yale psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey presented the concept to the academic world. But Goleman has gone on to study it further—and he found a direct relationship between the EI of a company’s staff and the company’s success:

• Employees with a high level of EI have self-awareness that helps them understand co-workers and meet deadlines.• When people have high EI, they are not bothered by client criticism; they remain focused on outcomes, rather than feeling offended.• If two job candidates have similar IQs, the one with the higher EI will likely be a better fit for the company.

Like Goleman said, no amount of smarts will make up for a lack of the ever-important emotional and social abilities, especially as part of the professional world. Not sure how to recognize this essential trait? Here are seven characteristics of emotionally intelligent people:

1. They’re change agents. People with high EI aren’t afraid of change. They understand that it’s a necessary part of life—and they adapt.

2. They’re self-aware. They know what they’re good at and what they still have to learn— weaknesses don’t hold them back. They know what environments are optimal for their work style.

3. They’re empathetic. The hallmark of EI, being able to relate to others, makes them essential in the workplace. With an innate ability to understand what co-workers or clients are going through, they can get through difficult times drama free.

4. They’re not perfectionists. While extremely motivated, people with EI know that perfection is impossible. They roll with the punches and learn from mistakes.

5. They’re balanced. Their self-awareness means that they naturally know the importance of and how to maintain a healthy professional-personal balance in their lives. They eat well, get plenty of sleep and have interests outside work.

6. They’re curious. An inborn sense of wonder and curiosity makes them delightful to be around. They don’t judge; they explore the possibilities. They ask questions and are open to new solutions.

7. They’re gracious. People with high EI know every day brings something to be thankful for—and they don’t see the world as “glass half-empty” as a lot of people do. They feel good about their lives and don’t let critics or toxic people affect that.

Emotionally intelligent people know how to make work, and the world, a better place. Are you one of them?

Source: http://www.success.com/article/7-qualities-of-people-with-high-emotional-intelligence

7 Entrepreneurial Traits to Teach Your Child

source: http://www.success.com/

Jen Prosek August 6, 2015

I own an international PR firm and my brother is an artist, writer and naturalist. We both became entrepreneurs in our early 20s. People often ask if our parents did anything special in raising us. When I had my daughter in 2007, the question took on new meaning—I wanted to know if parents could influence their child’s entrepreneurial IQ.

To help answer the question, I contacted Richard Rende, Ph.D., who studies child development, and together we identified a number of areas where parents can have a great impact.

Why does it matter? In our fast-changing world, kids need a whole new set of skills to succeed. Helping children gain entrepreneurial traits will give them a solid foundation for defining, pursuing and achieving their own success.

Here are seven entrepreneurial traits well worth cultivating in your child:

1. Openness to Experience

Babies and children are born to explore. They are open and curious about the world around them. Free form “playful learning” is a proven way to advance academic readiness and lifelong curiosity. Let your kids follow their instincts and discover—and reinforce that with enthusiasm and wonder. Adults who are open to experiences have their “radar screens” on all the time. They see opportunities where others don’t and welcome challenges, hallmarks of success in the workplace and in life.

2. An Innovator’s Perspective

Innovation isn’t just for people who will create new technologies or businesses. Kids growing up today will need to be perpetual innovators, devising new solutions and approaches to problems. Permit kids to test out their ideas when playing or doing schoolwork (without critique). Coming up with their own solutions helps develop and reinforce creativity and critical thinking skills. And make sure to cultivate an environment where failure is tolerated. Innovators embrace experimentation and know that you must fail in order to succeed.

3. Optimism

If there’s one trait associated with entrepreneurs, it’s optimism. Successful entrepreneurs believe they can change things for the better through their own efforts. Being optimistic confers real life, career and health advantages. To encourage optimism, frame the day in a positive way, model optimistic thinking and problem solving and cultivate gratitude. And remember that optimism is contagious. If Mom and Dad’s outlook on life is positive, it will rub off on the kids.

4. Industriousness

Whether they’re children or adults, successful people get their hands dirty, sometimes literally. To help kids develop a strong work ethic, they need to learn the intrinsic rewards of a job well done. Parents should resist the urge to smooth their child’s path or do for them what they can do for themselves. One time-tested way to build industriousness is by giving kids chores. Researchers have found that participating in chores early in life was strongly associated with personal and academic success 20 years later.

5. Opportunity Seeking

Children need to feel comfortable seeking out opportunities—academic, social, personal and physical—without fear of negative consequences. When children feel secure and supported, they develop the self-confidence they need to trust their judgment and instincts and are free to embrace opportunity when they see it.

6. Likeability

Likeability in childhood translates to success in adulthood. It’s important to note that likeability is not the same as popularity. Likeability is about getting along well with the people around you. Parents play a big role in helping kids develop social proficiency. They can help them negotiate conflicts without becoming disagreeable, model how to collaborate with others and boost their communication skills.

7. Empathy

There is one tendency above all others that entrepreneurs endorse as key to achievement: serving others. In any endeavor, if people don’t contribute something that is wanted or needed, they can’t succeed. Kids today can have extraordinary “résumés,” but having a sense of entitlement and a lack of empathy will ultimately hinder them. Talk about your emotions and help your child understand that the feelings of others matter.Compassion and empathy will change their world and their lives for the better.

Not every child will grow up to be an entrepreneur but every child can benefit from having entrepreneurial skills to help navigate our complex world. As traditional life and career paths disappear, children will have to be able to adapt and learn at every stage of life. Like entrepreneurs, they must make their way in the world with no roadmap to guide them. Parents can help set them on a path to use their talents and abilities to create success for themselves and others.


Source: http://www.success.com/article/7-entrepreneurial-traits-to-teach-your-child

Mapping human emotions shows strong mind body connection

Posted June 27, 2014Source: https://www.technology.org/2014/06/27/mapping-human-emotions-shows-strong-mind-body-connection/

Understanding and controlling emotions mean paying attention to our overall happiness and well-being. Besides, emotions control our thinking, behavior and actions. Feelings affect our physical bodies as much as our body affects our feelings and thinking.

Researchers from Aalto University, Finland found that different emotional states have different effects on bodily sensations. They revealed maps of bodily sensations associated with different emotions using a unique topographical self-report method.

People who ignore, or just ventilate their emotions, are setting themselves up for physical illness. Being emotionally stable also important for our life-style – people with good emotional health are resilient in the face of challenges, find ways to express their creativity, and understand the importance of social connections.

The authors of the study used over 700 participants from West Europe and East Asia, who were shown two silhouettes of bodies alongside emotional words, stories, movies, or facial expressions. After that the participants were asked to color the bodily regions whose activity they felt increasing or decreasing while consistently associated with statistically separable bodily sensation maps across experiments.

The results showed that the most basic emotions were associated with sensations of elevated activity in the upper chest area, likely corresponding to changes in breathing and heart rate. Similarly, sensations in the head area were shared across all emotions, reflecting probably both physiological changes in the facial area (facial musculature activation, skin temperature) as well as the felt changes in the contents of mind triggered by the emotional events. Sensations in the upper limbs were most prominent in approach-oriented emotions, anger and happiness, whereas sensations of decreased limb activity were a defining feature of sadness. Sensations in the digestive system and around the throat region were mainly found in disgust.

In contrast with all of the other emotions, happiness was associated with enhanced sensations all over the body. The non-basic emotions showed a much smaller degree of bodily sensations and spatial independence, with the exception of a high degree of similarity across the emotional states of fear and sadness, and their respective prolonged, clinical variants of anxiety and depression.

The researchers conclude that this map of bodily sensations is really helpful to visualize and target an ideal mind-body state as connected to an emotion. These results help us to better understand mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, which are accompanied by altered emotional processing and somato–sensation.

Sources: pnas.orgnpr.orgcare2.com, ibtimes.compsychologytoday.comScienceDaily