Monday, November 8, 2010

Fix Yourself First

Fix Yourself First

This past week we saw political fortunes rise and fall. Depending on who or what ideal you supported you felt either elation or despair and it came with razor sharp turns and roller coaster ups and downs.

But how does all this really affect YOU? The sun came up the next morning, the lights, cable and cell phone all fired up. Children went to school, grown ups went to work.

As the son of two holocaust survivors I guess I witnessed resilience and flexibility. Both of my parents endured hardships I could not even imagine, yet came out of the war as two single people, met in a Displaced Person’s Camp, married, came to the US with no money, no education, no language skills…and raised a typical successful suburban family.

I guess I’m talking about putting the Tea Party/Progressive rift into perspective. Most of you know my politics from previous posts, and this blog is not going to be about that.

What I decided to do regarding the elections either way they fell was to start a rigorous exercise plan that I completed two years ago, P90X. You may have seen Tony Horton on late night TV doing his manic pitch for the DVD’s. Yes they could be called hype; but for me the results were amazing. Honestly, I have to tell you that this stuff works. You can go to my YouTube channel, DrNateMeansFitness and check out my weekly video blog on my journey. I got into the Zen of the daily almost impossible workouts; until they became possible around the third week and by the end of 12 weeks, I had a 30 inch waist, 44 inch chest and a six-pack where flab lived earlier. What made this even more amazing was..I was 58 years old when I finished. I’m a trim 60 years old now on this second round hope to build bigger arms and chest and boost my conditioning.

So what does all this have to do with the gut wrenching, family splitting election we just went through? Why did I bring up my parents and upbringing and then jump to an infomercial based exercise system? The answer is (for me anyway) ….When everything around you feels broken; Fix Yourself First.

A healthy self image, good nutrition, close friends and a kick ass body will negate anything Fox News can throw at you.

Have a peaceful week.

Nate Klarfeld

Monday, November 1, 2010

Free Yourself from Guilt

Free yourself from guilt

1. Work out the cost

For this step you will need a pen and paper. Make a list of what guilt has cost you. What has it prevented you from doing that you otherwise would have done? In what ways does it hold you back? How has it affected those around you? Who or what would you be today if you hadn’t been paralyzed by guilt? Try to spell out the costs of your guilt in as much detail as possible.

2. Imagine

For this step, you will need to use your imagination. Try to do this somewhere quiet and calm, where you won’t be disturbed. Still yourself. Calm your thoughts. Concentrate on you breathing, and then take time to imagine how your life would be different if it were free from guilt. What would you look like if you ditched the guilt? How would you relate to those around you? How would you look? How would you walk and talk? Imagine yourself speaking to a close friend in this new ‘body’. What sort energy do you give off? Try to see this image in as much color and detail as possible. Enjoy the vision you have of a life free from guilt, and tell yourself that such a life is possible.

3. Decide

This step is the key step. You have established what the cost to you of guilt has been. You have seen how your life could be different without guilt. Now is the time to make the change. Make a decision that from now on you will live without feeling guilty. This can feel false at first, but the more you practice this, the more it becomes a natural part of who you are, and how you think and behave.

4. Ac

You need to get into the habit of acting and behaving in a way that demonstrates to you, and the world, that you have truly dropped the guilt. Stand tall. Believe in yourself. Look others kindly in the eye. Look yourself as kindly as well.

5. Keep going

It’s important to be kind to yourself if you find you are slipping back into old ways of thinking and behaving. If you find yourself feeling guilty again, remind yourself of your decision to think and behave differently. Keep on going in the knowledge that it is worth it. Look at the time you’ve had without guilt, and believe that you can have it again. You are not going towards perfection..just progress. With truth, integrity and perseverance your imagined guilt-free life will become real. Our brain does not know the difference between a really vivid thought and reality.

With practice it is possible to lead a life that is free from guilt. Enjoy the changes that ditching the guilt bring. And let the light of the new guilt-free you shine!

Have a peaceful week.

Nate Klarfeld

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I wonder if he is on Facebook too – I'll have to tag him in the photo

"I wonder if he is on Facebook too – I'll have to tag him in the photo.”

The picture above was posted on Facebook by a female member of the Israeli Defense Force. It is a Palestinian prisoner, blindfolded and tied and the caption read, “IDF – the best time of my life”

When a fellow friend on Facebook commented on her post, “..That looks really sexy for you, Eden Abergil, the IDF soldier replied, “I wonder if he is on Facebook too – I’ll have to tag him in the photo.

While the world was outraged; how could Israel, a light among the nations let something like this happen? …Ms. Eden Abergil replied with this comment, “There's nothing wrong with the picture I uploaded to Facebook depicting handcuffed Palestinian detainees.”

I find it odd and quite hypocritical of American Jews, some of them who even supported and voted for the Bush/Cheney regime, who defended the Abu Gahrib prison photos to now look at Israel with a different lens. Humans, especially those accustomed to being powerless and who are now in the position of occupier, are inclined to behave badly.

Yes, they are both wrong, but aggression and war is inherently wrong. A military does things that are ugly, they kill, they force people do leave their homes, they destroy cultures. American Jews sometimes forget that a nation of Jews can act no differently than a nation of Americans, Muslims, or Russians. If you demonize and denigrate a group of people, you will have pictures like this one. And the response will be the same. Some will be outraged, some will secretly smile, and others will just turn the page and go on to the next unsolvable conflict.

My closing words to Ms. Eden Abergil, you’ve come a long way baby from being counted in a minyan.

Have a peaceful week

Nate Klarfeld

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rape by Deception?

Rape by Deception?

Nate Klarfeld

This week Israelis, Arabs, Feminists and Orthodox Rabbis all scratched their heads and decided that an Arab man was to spend the next 18 months in jail for deceiving a woman into having sex with him after telling her his name was Dudi and he was Jewish. . Sabbar Kashur, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday after the court ruled that he was guilty of rape by deception. According to the complaint filed by the woman with the Jerusalem district court, the two met in downtown Jerusalem in September 2008 where Kashur, an Arab from East Jerusalem, introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Kashur left. (The actual story is that they went up to the next building and had sex on the roof 15 minutes after they met, not exactly what I would think a woman looking for a Jewish husband would be doing, but who am I to judge?)

When she later found out that he was not Jewish but an Arab, she filed a criminal complaint for rape and indecent assault.

Although Kashur was initially charged with rape and indecent assault, this was changed to a charge of rape by deception as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

When you read through blogs and deeper stories you find that many hard line feminist groups agree with the Israeli courts decision. That deception is another use of force that this man used on this woman. Sooooo it got me to thinking if I ever deceived anyone enough to get them to bed, love me, give me money, etc. What are the limits of ‘deception’ to get something that you want? I was married to a woman for many years before I admitted to myself and the world that I was gay. I don’t know if that was rape, but it was very painful for all the parties involved.

If you tell someone you meet that you went to Harvard and all you did was have coffee in the commons and your date gushed and went home with you, are you guilty of rape? If you told them you were a neuroscientist and you really flipped burgers are you guilty of rape? What are the limits of persuasion?

I believe this particular case had some racial undertones of course. Israelis and Arabs have a history or animosity that has no boundaries. I doubt that if had told her he was a Jewish Doctor at Hadassah Hospital and you really are a tour bus driver nothing would have happened. In Israel, Jewish weddings are only ‘legal’ if both parties are Jewish. In our Israeli/Arab case this 15 min relationship looked like consensual sex but because of the tense ethnic struggle, it was called rape. The Orthodox court and feminist groups came in on the same side. Lying is power. Strange bedfellows indeed.

Of course being a gay man in a loving relationship with another man this got me thinking. Look at the power this woman had that I will never have. I could never go to court claiming someone deceived me into getting me in bed. In the US there are 1138 laws that married heterosexual couples enjoy that gays do not have…for now.

Well all I take away from this is…The difference between rape and rapture????? 15 minutes of salesmanship.

Have a peaceful week.

Nate Klarfeld

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Positive Outlook for the World..Thank you Google, Wikipedia and the Dalai Lama

My Positive Outlook for the World

How Google, Wikipedia and His Holiness the Dalai Lama give me Hope

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." His Holiness the Dalai Lama

There is a huge amount of anxiety today among people regarding the future of the world. I want to go back and look at ‘my world’ in 1968 when I started worrying about things outside my own personal existence. The US was at war in Southeast Asia, the draft and opposition to the War was tearing families apart at a rate not seen since the Civil War. Pollution was a major concern for our rivers, air and soil. I vividly remember seeing TV footage of parts of Lake Erie and the shores of Cleveland on fire because of pollutants in the water. Food shortages and political strife in Africa and India were going to have global panic in the near future. We were running out of fossil fuels and our dependence on foreign oil would cripple the US in a few years with gas shortages. In other words we were angry at each other, going broke, getting poisoned and starving to death all at once and pretty soon.

None of this happened. The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 and people began having respect for the environment. In 1952 you could not find an article about air or water pollution in any paper. Twenty years later it was an industry, a political movement and mentioned in churches and synagogues. A global consensus appeared to help poor nations not by colonizing them, but by giving aid that would teach citizens to provide their own food. Politically, the War in Vietnam died with a blip and left a unified country that now makes almost all our Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren clothing. My 1967 GTO got 7 miles to the gallon of premium gas; my Honda now gets close to 30 mph and we are thinking of getting a hybrid very soon.

I’m sure you see the parallels between 1968 and 2010. A lot has changed and very little has changed. What didn’t happen in the 42 years since was any apocalyptic event sending the globe into ruins. Looking back at these events I began to feel pretty comfortable about feeling very good about the future. Yes our country seems to be split between political, religious, racial and sexual barriers. Yes we have had a horrible environmental catastrophe. Yes, we still consume huge amounts of fossil fuels unwisely. Yes, our banking system has thrown many people into stressful times. Is any of this fixable? Yes, all of it.

I believe all of these problems will be solved by the free flowing exchange of ideas between people, businesses and governments. The Internet immediately comes to mind. Not the internet of MSNBC’s “To Catch a Predator” or the stalking cyber bullying of texting, but the Internet that the original scientists envisioned years ago; one that enabled scientists and students, politicians and citizens, consumers and leaders of business to stand toe to toe and share ideas.

Two good examples of this are Google and Wikipedia. One of the best corporate secrets is the algorithm Google uses to take all the information we as hundreds of millions of users put INTO it to give us the list of sites to take our information OUT of it. Of course the managers of Google do this to better get a feel of who is surfing the web in order to give us the complimentary paid advertisements that we are likely to click on and do business with. What they have unintentionally done is create a world of exchange. Google takes the judgments made by millions of people as they create links to web pages and harnesses that collective knowledge of the entire web to produce amazingly intelligent answers to the questions we type into the Google search bar. What Google has done is create a door to our collective intelligence.

Another example is Wikipedia. In Wikipedia, thousands of contributors from across the world have collectively created the world’s largest encyclopedia, with articles of remarkably high quality. Wikipedia has been developed with almost no centralized control. Anyone who wants to can change almost anything, and decisions about what changes to keep are made by a loose consensus of those who care. What’s more, the people who do all this work don’t even get paid; they’re volunteers.

I’m not alone in this positive world view. His Holiness the Dalai Lama feels the world is becoming more positive. The indicators of his world view were the broader human concern for man-made or natural calamities worldwide (shown in the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami and the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Tibet), the existence of peace movements throughout the world (which was visible prior to the United States’ war in Iraq, for example); the emergence of an environmental movement (there was no such movement in the beginning of the previous century); and the increased interaction between science and religion (science is showing interest in not just external matters but also in the study of mind). In short, through a comparison between the 20th century and the 21st century so far, the Dalai Lama feels the world is becoming more positive.

I don’t know what the answers to the problems in politics, religion or the environment. But I do know where the answers will come from. It will come from the free flowing sharing of ideas and instantaneous dissemination of them cropping out of our collective intelligence.

Have a peaceful week

Nate Klarfeld

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How we view the world

Our core assumptions about the how we see the world are embedded in the metaphors we use. More than just a sunny or crabby disposition, how we see the game of life set up colors our responses to everyday happenings. What is coincidence to one person is a personal assault to another.

I see six main ‘game boards’ that people use as metaphors for how things work for them. We really can’t judge how the world works for others, though many times we try too hard to put our own metaphors on others.

The six metaphors are;

1) The world as a battlefield

2) The world as classroom

3) The world as a trap

4) The world as a lover

5) The world as self

6) The world as a machine

The World as a Battlefield

Many people see the world as a battlefield, where good and evil are pitted against each other and the forces of light battle the forces of darkness. This ancient tradition goes back to ancient tribal civilizations. There is the sense that you are fighting God’s battle and that ultimately you will win. Some people call this kind of certainty and self-righteousness the ‘apartheid of good’.

It’s easy to see the ‘Battlefield” world in others. We all know the constant fighter for political and social injustice. When you ask them how they are doing; the answer is usually a triad on the latest assault on their own cause by the obvious evil-doer. Gays vs. the Religious Right is a great example. Many GLBT people make this a battle instead of a discussion. To quote my favorite politician, Barney Frank, “Most people aren’t homophobes, they just think they have to be.” Obviously Congressmen Frank does not see the world as a battlefield.

The World as a Classroom

A more innocuous version of the battlefield metaphor, is the image of the world as a classroom, a kind of moral gymnasium where you are put through certain tests which would prove your mettle and teach you certain lessons, so you can graduate to other arenas and rewards. Whether a battlefield or a classroom, the world is a proving ground with a grade at the ‘end’. The grade can be money, a family, a relationship, a great job, or being on the A-List.

We are taught, imprinted, guilted and molded from a very early age to poop, read, run, swim, and be popular. When we describe our lives to another in the elevator speech (the 20 second introduction) we usually use one of the ‘grades’ we have been given be it a good job, a great spouse, a sought after address, etc. Though not as toxic as the battlefield metaphor, the constant competition tends to wear on your value system when you realize there is no final exam at the end of your life. I’m sure you have never given this any thought but what will Paris Hilton do in 30 years when she has done it all?

The World as a Trap

Here the view is not to engage in struggle or vanquish the foe, but to disentangle ourselves and escape from this messy world. We try to extricate ourselves and ascend to a higher, moral high ground. If you venture out too far, you will get slapped. “All gay men are pigs, there is no one that wants a relationship, women are gold-diggers, religion is a crutch” are all terms the people who view the world as a trap use. They separate themselves, many times into disturbing isolation, to avoid being burned by the big bad world.

Some avoidance and insulation is necessary, especially for those of us living in an urban environment. It gives us a ‘time out’ to get things done, evaluate our actions, and give the love to others. Where the trap metaphor becomes a problem is when we see too much of the world as a trap, and not enough of it as the wonderful universe that it is.

The World as a Lover

The world as a lover is seen as a most intimate and gratifying partner. In religious texts we find some of the richest expressions of our erotic relationship with the world. Desire plays a creative, world-manifesting role; giving of oneself, subjecting your body, an erotic experience of body and soul. People who see the world as a lover are amazed at natural beauty, see good experiences as personal gifts, and create a personal relationship with the universe. This personal relationship can be stormy at times, like that with a lover, as our expectations and reality come together.

The World as Self

The world as lover is a complement to the world as self. The saying that you can’t love anyone until you love yourself is a manifestation of this worldview. What outsiders see as a selfish act can be in reality an exercise in making yourself better and thus the world itself. In “The Four Agreements”, by Dr. Manuel Ruiz, we are taught that we are to make no assumptions as to what others may think or do. They are living ‘their’ world and you are living yours. There is no line between the universe and yourself. You are part of an interconnected network of living things. Using the metaphor of the world as self is a progression finding the rhythm of peace.

The World as a Machine

In the seventeenth century, science claimed the domain of the physical world, religion claimed the domain of the mental world. Since then the explosion of public education, (remember that until 250 years ago, only priests and ministers were allowed to study science, Darwin included) science and religion have collided many times and the gay community is the new Petri dish for this clash. For the most part I believe in the science, the raw data in making my worldview decisions. As I have aged there has been enlightenment into the spiritual world. I do believe there are forces out there we don’t understand but do have cause and effect over. Most of us are ‘modernists’ siding with the real world. I do believe that in the future, the spiritual world will not clash with the material world with such damage. Seeing the world as a machine of cause and effect is not all bad, but I don’t think it is the big answer.

How much do you operate within each of these worldviews?

How do you see these worldviews being expressed in the world around you ?

Are each of these views equally valid?

What makes some more valid than others?

Good questions to ponder on this week

Have a peaceful week

Nate Klarfeld

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Power of Living in the Now

The Power of Living in the Now

Nate Klarfeld

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. ~Jan Glidewell

Numerous brain activity studies have shown that when you imagine something vividly, your brain waves are exactly the same as if you were experiencing it first hand. That means that your brain, which controls your breathing, sweating, and emotions, does not know the difference between being spanked now and remembering being spanked twenty years ago. The same emotions, coupled with hormone levels, blood pressure, and focus, are there whether you are reliving an event or experiencing it in the ‘now’.

So what do breathing, sweating and emotions have to do with our day to day lives? Everything! How much oxygen gets to our brain, how we digest food and save energy for fight or flight, and what we focus on are constantly being monitored, adjusted and transmitted to our bodies.

Imagine you are in third grade and in a new school. Your old school had a poor or non existent physical education department. Its PE time now and you and your classmates are in your sneakers in the gym and you see a pair of huge thick ropes dangling from what looks like 100 feet in the air. You get into lines and two by two you see how far up you can climb the rope using your legs and arms. You have never seen this before let alone attempted it. Your classmates are all cheering some of the jocks as they reach the ceiling. Others get halfway up then slide down, still getting high fives. Your turn comes and you feel cold. You have no idea what do to next. Your throat closes up and you notice you are breathing short shallow breaths. You grab the rope and pull. Nothing happens. You hear snickering behind you. You pull again. More snickering and a few laughs. You pull one more time and realize that you don’t have the strength or experience to move up an inch let alone get to the ceiling. You turn around with tears in your eyes and eyes to the floor as your classmates roar in laughter.

Fifty two years ago, that was me in line in gym class. I can still feel the throat closing, the shallow breathing when I imagine that first day in PE class at the new school. I can imagine the smell of the rope and the sweat. For my body and mind today, I’m back at University Forest Elementary and it is 1958 and I want to go home.

Now logically I know that lanky eight year old didn’t have the skills and the gym teacher didn’t have the information or aptitude to help me out that day. I know that my classmates really didn’t know how painful their responses were. Remember that this was 1958 and ‘touchy feely’ teaching was not yet discovered. Nor did this do any permanent damage (I hope) to my psyche as far as physical exercise is concerned. I am an active athletic adult, muscular, and HWP (Height/Weight/Proportionate).

What I still carry around from this day is that whenever I start something new physically whether it be competitive swimming, learning to ride a motorcycle, take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Karate; I get a momentary physical flash of fear that I know comes from seeing that rope in front of me. I could easily turn back to my ‘gut’ feeling and give up and go home as I desperately wanted to that day. But something pulls me into the ‘now’ and I go ahead with no fear.

So why is it that some people can emerge from a trauma and move on while others seem stuck in a dead end circle of self talk that keeps them frozen in a bad place? We’ve seen some men and women permanently devastated by a bad romance or job loss while others survive and thrive after debilitating accidents and greater losses. I don’t remember a self help book or seeing an Oprah show about this yet I know that the past is just that – ashes - learn and move on.

I really have no idea why there are such vast differences in how people see the world. (cup half empty or half full or with a crack in it and leaking) Perhaps it is evolutionary biology and a species in order to survive has to have some members always looking back and some in the now and some worrying about the future. Or maybe there is a difference in early childhood modeling. Parents who recall and force the child to recall the past experiences, good or bad, might be setting the stage for a lifetime of regret. I do know that a bad experience ‘sticks’ with you far longer than a good one.

Whatever the causes, I do know that each moment we have the power to be our own Brain Mechanic and stop, shift gears and live in the Now.

Have a peaceful week.

Nate Klarfeld

PS a friend finally showed me how to do this....

"I want you to wrap the rope around the back of your left leg, where your thigh is, and then bring it around your calf to the front and then over the instep of your foot."

No one had ever taken the time to show me or to help me. It was always just do it or fail trying.

"You will need to pull yourself up off of the floor first while you do this and keep the rope loosely wrapped around your leg. Now I want you to step hard on the rope where it meets your instep and at the same time pull yourself up like you are walking up a flight of stairs. Let the rope slide down as you go up -- keeping it in place -- and step hard on it again -- and pull yourself up. Just do this exactly as I have told you and before you know it, you'll be at the top."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Riding the Elephant

Riding the Elephant

A Guide for Leading a Non-profit

“An emotionally intelligent rider knows how to distract and coax the elephant without having to engage in a contest of wills.”

Nate Klarfeld

Since leaving the position of Board Chair for the Stonewall Library & Archives I have been deluged with many local and national non-profit leaders and paid staff asking me for advice. Through blessed volunteers, a stellar new executive director and development manager, luck, and some very hard work, during my administration The Stonewall became a national GLBT treasure with innovative national touring exhibitions in a new home in a publicly supported space. During some of the most trying economic times we raised through public and private donations an unheard of $700,000.00 in less than two years while maintaining a program of over 20 programs a month, organizing touring exhibitions, and sponsoring a national festival of GLBT writers.

OK, now my arm is sore from patting myself on the back. The truth is a Board Chair’s accomplishments are dependent on his volunteer board, the paid staff, the planetary alignment of governmental support, and his or hers willingness to what I call “Ride the Elephant.”

Human thinking depends on metaphors. We understand new or complex things in relation to our understanding of something we already know.

This metaphor of riding an elephant came to me a year or so after I left my term limited tenure at The Stonewall. I had already had lunch, dinner, walks, late night conversations with no less than eight different executive directors, presidents of boards, and disgruntled donors of various non profits both straight and gay. I looked back at my experiences and while watching TV one night, I saw a man riding an elephant and suddenly the parallels popped out.

If you try and ride an elephant you quickly learn that you can’t make it do what it doesn’t want to do. The rider can pull the reigns, scream, prod the lovely beast, but ultimately you will end up with a disgruntled animal and a worn out rider. The first thing the rider of the elephant must know is 1) He or she can see things from a little bit higher perspective than the elephant 2) He or she can talk to other elephant riders 3) He or she can read maps. That about sums up the skills of a Board Chair of non profits. If you try to make the elephant do something it does not want to do…YOU WILL ALWAYS LOSE.

In riding the elephant you and the elephant both learn to adapt. An elephant can achieve more tasks and move more cargo with a good rider who helps the elephant make better choices. Gently coaxing the elephant in your desired direction with immediate and relevant positive reinforcement will benefit both rider and elephant. An emotionally intelligent rider knows how to distract and coax the elephant without having to engage in a contest of wills.

The rider cannot decide to change and then order the elephant to go along with the program. Remember that if you go head to head with the elephant you will always lose. Lasting change comes from advising, listening, observing the jungle before starting out on the journey.

In the end, both you and the elephant will be better for the relationship.

Have a peaceful week

Nate Klarfeld

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Power of Intention

The Power of Intention

How powerful are our minds? One of the clich├ęs of the 1960’s was that we only use ten percent of our brain power. Fifty years later we have psychoneuroimmunology, metaphysical studies by MIT engineers that prove we have power over inanimate objects, and even Oprah tells us The Secret is believe it and you can achieve it.

But can we? If someone sweet and kind dies of cancer do we now quietly accuse them of not having a positive attitude? When a business fails, a real estate deal goes sour, or a love affair doesn’t blossom, we have a new tendency to blame the victim in a pernicious and indefensible way; He or she just didn’t have the right attitude about it. They didn’t keep positive energy up. The danger in this new instant judgment is that most of the time it is not only wrong, but it hurts. Shit happens people! And it’s not what happens to you. It’s how you react to it that makes you a valuable person.

I do believe that your self-talk, self-image, behavior feedback system does affect your day to day outcomes. If you wake up and tell yourself you are ugly/fat/lazy you will look in the mirror and ‘see’ yourself that way. Your behavior; slouched shoulders, bad food choices (why bother?), attitudes towards others all play into this feedback system. The power to change lies in the power of intention. Do you really want to change? Or are you getting enough support from yourself and others around you NOT to change. Are all of your friends underemployed, in toxic or non existing relationships? Chances are you will find this your new equilibrium and new normal. The longer you stay with this circle of bad self-talk, poor self-image, repetitive bad behavior, the more people with like minds you will attract and you begin to live in this well of misery loves company…and you get a lot of both.

I recently finished the P90X home fitness routine. I found it a bit boring, but stayed with it for the 90 days. The results were great. My body looks and feels years younger. I loaned the program to a few friends, neither of whom ever opened the box. They saw my results, knew it only took 45 minutes a day, and I gave it to them FREE! Two other friends ordered the program (a couple of hundred dollars with the equipment) and have committed themselves to the project. What’s the difference? Are the two friends I loaned the program to lazy? Not really? But in giving it to them free, there was no commitment, they had nothing to lose, so they lost nothing. We are all afraid of loss. Every time we enter into a transaction we lose something in order to gain something. It could be money, time, love, etc. The intention of giving something (money) creates a new power in our minds so that we want to get something in return. (By the way the two friends that didn’t open the program said they would join a gym because they needed people around them, so far they are still ‘looking’ for the right gym)

There is nothing out there new, just new ways of looking at them.

Have a peaceful week

Nate Klarfeld

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Four Agreements?? The Four Addictions..

The Four Addictions

I've discovered four addictions we all have that destroy more dreams, more hopes and more lives than alcohol, drugs, food, gambling or sex combined. When I refer to addictions, I am not focused on any of these. To me, those are habitual symptoms or effects brought on by four much larger causes that are the root cause of those symptoms.

They are:

1) The Addiction to opinions of other people. As a society, we're addicted to what others think about us and how others' views of the world affect us.

2) The Addiction to drama. Some people are drawn to and consumed by any event or situation that occupies their thoughts and fills their mind with negativity, which often brings attention to them in unproductive ways.

3) The Addiction to the past. These people have an unhealthy attachment to events or situations that have occurred in the past. They're stuck in how things used to be.

4) The Addiction to worry. This addiction is comprised of all the negative and self-defeating thoughts that make us anxious, disturbed, upset and stressed, that hold us back in life.