Landscape Services by Landscaping Contractors and Architects

There are many factors to consider in landscape design. Landscaping can be a do-it-yourself project or can be done by landscape professionals like landscape architects and contractors. Some of the first things to consider are money, time and effort. A budget should be determined to limit overspending. The amount of time and work put into landscaping should also be taken into account. Some other factors may include climate, soil and regulations. Normally, the first step in landscaping is planning. Computer software can be used to model the property being landscaped. Maps and blueprints might be drawn up to show the layout of features and boundaries. Photographs may be taken along with notes to help fill in details. Once the big picture can be seen, lists are made for the types of materials to be used, the types of plants to be added and the tools and equipment that will be needed to do the work.

At the beginning stage of landscape planning, the elements and theme need to be determined. Water issues have to be addressed such as irrigation and drainage. Installing an irrigation system may require a professional landscaping contractor. Pipes, sprinklers and timer with electrical system should be included in landscaping plans. If the landscaping theme includes swimming pools, waterfalls, fountains or a pond, a landscaping service should also be considered. The amount of light should be taken into account when landscaping.

The types of trees and plants can be a factor in achieving a balance between sun and shade. Different types of lighting at nighttime can add to a landscape's effects. These include up lighting where lights shine from below, down lighting, silhouetting or the addition of lamps, floodlights, or lanterns. Various types of themes are possible but generally depend on the region and the climate. Desert themes that use cactus and plants that are used to dry environments and tropical themes would be more appropriate for warmer climates. Other types of themes may be Japanese, mountain or a winter theme with evergreens.

Some of the preliminary landscaping tasks that might have to be done before planting include soil testing. The pH level has to be set to the type of plants being used. Plant nutrients may also have to be added.

The types of materials to be used may depend on the structures to be built on the landscape. Walkways, steps, paving and retaining walls may require materials used in masonry like brick, stone, sand and concrete. Decks, gazebos, gates and trellises as well as a fence may require a large amount of wood.

Depending on the task and the materials used, the types of tools and equipment should be selected. Shovels, mattocks and wheelbarrows might be needed when working with dirt. Working with wood may require a saw, hammer and screwdriver as well as a lever, tape measure and drill.

The different plants that should be taken into account include trees, shrubs, grass, flowers and hedges. Some of the popular types of trees include cedar, ash, walnut, popular, oak, fir and pine. Popular flowers include daisies, lilies, aster, iris, tulips, daffodils and rose bushes.

The amount of maintenance with associated tasks also has to be considered when planning a landscape. These tasks include but are not limited to cleaning, fertilizing, lawn care, leaf removal in fall and mowing along with other types of yard work. In winter, snow removal tasks such as salting would have to be considered for its effects on plants that are part of the landscape. If a landscaped property requires too much maintenance for the owners to do it themselves or if a special project or task has to be done, landscape professionals should be brought in to help, especially for very large problems.

There are tree services that can remove dead trees and stumps. Landscape contractors can also perform certain construction tasks like building terraces, driveways, swimming pools and baseball fields. They can also take over routine jobs like grounds keeping, lawn care, pruning, raking and snow removal in winter. Some landscape service companies perform landscape architect design as well as contracting.

Your Home Is Not Safe For Your Children!

More and more children in Queensland are being injured in the home and yet what is amazing is that the rooms most parents think are benign are some of the most dangerous areas for children. In this article we are going to look at some of the danger areas parents need to look at when making their house safe.

For 20 years, both the state and national governments in Austraila have run safety campaigns for parents on the home yet there are some really basic areas that are being missed. Most people know that the key danger areas in the home are the bathroom, kitchen and garage.

First Aid Organizations like Lifesaving Australia and my own company, One-on-One Professional Business Training will tell you that the bathroom is an incredibly dangerous area in the home for drowning. More children under 5 die due to drowning in the home than any other way in Queensland. The key facts are that you only need about 2 to 5 cm of water for a child to drown in, so here is the scary aspect. Most parents neglect another key area … the toilet.

Whilst researching this article, I was reviewing statistics from around the world on how children actually drown and there is a trend for children under 5, in the western world actually drowning in the toilet. A common thread was that the young child would try to climb onto the toilet to use it and whilst doing so fall in and not be able to get out. Many of the American style toilets with a larger style bowl and higher water were most dangerous. It was easier for kids to fall in and a larger amount of water to drown in.

The key issue for parents to be aware is that they need to ensure they use child restraint locks on the toilet lids so that the child needs to come and get you if they want to use the toilet or parents need to install child seat in which the Child can not lift the large toilet seat. At least this way, having to deal with possibly a mess is better than a child drowning.

We know that kitchens are dangerous but did you know that the lounge or family area can also be very dangerous as well. In the 21st century we all love our LCD Screens however their stability can easily be upset by a 3 year old pushing on the screen. Many family rooms have their 50 "LCD screens sitting on a coffee table which is great for the adults but extremely dangerous for children.

I was watching a video on YouTube a few days ago where a 2 year old ran up to kiss the screen and she did it with that much force the television fell over on top of her. If you are going to purchase a large LCD screen most child safety experts now recommend that you have the LCD Screen mounted onto the wall to remove the chance of the television being dropped over.

The laundry is once again another danger area where children can be injured. We have seen over the last few years a transition where many homes are converting their washing machines from being top loaded to being front loaded washing machines. This is another area where parents are neglecting in the area of ​​child safety.

I have read about a number of case studies in which children have been playing hide and go seek and a small 2 or 3 year old has traditionally opened the washing machine, climbed inside to play, only to die from suffocation. There have been other cases where parents have part filled the washing machine, not realized their child have climbed into the machine and they have turned the machine on.

I know when I first heard about these cases, I honestly thought they were made up or the parents were just despots, but having now seen the evidence on places like YouTube and other video posting sites, these are definitely issues that parents need to be aware Of.

My greatest advice to any parent is this, accidents will happen in the home and that is a reality that all parents need to accept. The only thing you can do is to make sure you have the skills to deal with any emergency that comes up, so that is why I recommend that both parents do a regular first aid course so that you know how to save your child's life. It could be the difference between life and death!

Fun and Fat Free Cruising

This year more than 10.5 million people will go on a cruise. Almost all of them will have a fabulous time but when they step on the scales after they get home, they will let out a shriek at how much weight they have put on.

However, going on a cruise can be both fun and healthy. You can eat, drink and be merry without packing on the pounds by following our ten simple steps for fun and fat free cruising.

Now before you all roll about laughing, let me explain that I have just come back from my first ever cruise. I ate three meals and some a day, drank more than my doctor would have liked me to yet I didn’t put a single pound on for the seven days we were at sea. I appreciate that most of us go cruising to get away from it all and have a good time.

Many of us even go on a diet before sailing so that we look our best as we lounge by the pools but there really is no need to put on a lot of weight while we are at sea only having to shed it all once we get back home.

Follow our ten easy steps and you will have a great time on your cruise and look fabulous when you arrive home.

1. Eating

Enjoy the fabulous food – that is one of the main reasons we all go on cruises. The cruise lines go to great lengths nowadays to make sure that there are plenty of healthy options and portions sizes are large enough to fill you up without adding unnecessary calories. My wife and I cruised on the Carnival Glory and the food -and service – was fantastic. However, if like us, you do overindulge every now and then go to step 2.

2. Exercise

Get into the gym and get on a treadmill – even if it’s only for 15 minutes (although 30 minutes is better!). It will speed up your metabolism and help burn off unwanted calories. The first full day at sea the gym is normally packed with people with good intentions. You may even have to wait to get on an exercise machine. The second day the lines are not so long and after a couple of days you can usually take your pick of machines. Exercising after breakfast is a great idea as it allows you to burn off those eggs, bacon and pancakes with the bonus that your elevated metabolic rate will continue to burn off additional calories for another two or thee hours as you bask in the sun.

3. Spa

Pamper yourself. Enjoy a relaxing massage and then dive into the steam room or sauna. You’ll feel great and you’ll lose a few more unwanted pounds.

4. Walking

Going for a walk may seem a strange idea on a cruise ship but you have miles of decks to saunter along. Wear a hat and sunscreen and carry a bottle of water and after a couple of circuits you’ll know the layout of the ship, have checked out the best places to sunbathe and burned off enough calories in time for your next meal.

5. Swimming

Swimming is great exercise and even if you can’t actually do laps because of all the other people in the pool, you can tread water for a few minutes each day which is great exercise both for burning off calories and strengthening and toning muscles.

6. Stairs

You can often wait several minutes waiting for elevators on a crowded cruise ship. Take the stairs instead – it is often quicker and it will do you more good. If you are on a large cruise ship with 12 or more decks, take the elevator up three or four decks and then walk up the rest. Don’t overdo it, but if you use the stairs regularly you will get great aerobic exercise and by the end of the cruise you will notice the difference in your leg muscles.

7. Shore Excursions

Take advantage of shore excursions because you’ll get to see some really interesting places and you’ll probably get the opportunity to do some more walking – around shops, around ancient monuments, or go snorkeling, swimming and so on.

8. Drinking

Enjoy your tipples but drink a lot of water as well. It will help keep you hydrated and that is good for your metabolism and general wellbeing especially in hot weather. If you do have a few drinks too many, drink lots of water the next day and think about step 2!

9. Dancing

It doesn’t matter how old you are, find a bar or nightclub aboard that is playing your kind of music and get up and dance. It doesn’t matter if no one else is dancing or how well you can dance – the chances are you will never see any of your fellow cruisers ever again!

10. Romancing

You’ve dined, wined and danced now it is time to take a moonlight stroll along the deck with your partner. While burning off calories may be the last thing on your mind that is what you’ll be doing – and what better way to end the day!

Four Steps To Resolve Conflict

1. Look for some type of common ground as soon as possible.

A number of years ago, I owned a small manufacturing company. We had grown to the point we needed to triple the size of our rented space. I located a building just down the street from the existing location and began negotiations with the owner. We needed showroom, office and manufacturing space. My intention involved spending a sizable amount of money renovating the existing space, including adding air conditioning. The owner presented me with an onerous rental agreement. He and I began arguing, continued arguing and historically agreed to disagree. I lost a good location (very near my home) and he lost an excellent tenant who would have spent many dollars upgrading his building. Even if you use every one of the principles in this article consistently, human disagreement remains inevitable. Of the many ways to deal with disagreements, arguing with the other party is one sure way to guarantee you will not find agreement. When we argue, each side becomes defensive, and a person who is defensive will rarely see the logic of the other's position. If the ultimate goal is to persuade the other person, it is a good idea to find some common ground.

What about the two positions is similar? What points can both agree upon? I suggest you tear down the defensive walls so both parties can find a logical, satisfying conclusion. Let's go back to my manufacturing company, which needed more space. The next building I found was twice the size I needed. It was much further away from my home and required considering renovation. This time, the owner began our discussion by telling me how much he wanted us as a tenant. He then showed me how the building had showroom and office space that was already air-conditioned. There was ample manufacturing space. I mentioned my willingness to air condition additional parts of the building and sign a seven-year lease. In short, we both were looking for common ground. The existence of common ground wave us momentum to construct a lease to benefit both parties. Whenever we reached areas of disaggregation, we found it easier to work together. He reduced the rent to match our budget, giving us access to a space much larger than we thought we needed. I increased the length of the lease from 7 to 10 years, giving him a long-term tenant. In an adversarial relationship, the opponents sit across the table from each other. When we find common ground, we are sitting side by side working together. The emotions and defensiveness are diminished and compromise becomes easier for both parties. Using the concept of common ground and the other principles from this section, we can find our way to satisfactory conclusions much more often. So, when you feel an argument brewing, find some common ground as soon as possible.

2. If you find that you are in the wrong admit it.

Are you perfect? Do you know anyone who is? If you answered, "Yes", to either of these questions, go talk to somebody who knows you well. You will likely find that they have a different opinion. I am asking these two questions to point out the folly of pretending you never make a mistake. I once had an assistant manager who was extremely difficult to supervise. Each time we would attempt to discuss a topic of improvement, he would begin blaming his subordinates, condemning the specifics or using the SODDI defense. You know … "Some Other Dude Did It." At one point I tried discussing with him his resistance to supervision counseling. His response … "No, not me!" This story has an unhappy ending. Since he believed himself beyond guilty, above slipups and never in need of supervision, I could not work with him and had to fire him. I can still picture in my mind the look of astonishment on his face when I told him. Part of the human condition is we stumble and fall, pick ourselves up and keep trying.

In the workplace everyone from the President to the person who started yesterday in the mailroom is undeniably human. Since errors are to be expected, do not be surprised if you make the next one. I once put together a bid for a large commercial project. It was my responsibility to gather all our vendor's prices and determine a bid price to submit to the potential customer. On one component I misunderstand the vendor's per unit cost as the total cost. So I divided the actual per unit cost by the total number we were ordering. I was amazed at how inexpensively we could purchase that component. Our final bid was the lowest and we won the contract. When we ordered the components, we quickly heard from this seller telling us the pricing was wrong. When I recalculated, I discovered we would have paid less per completed unit than our expenses simply to buy the components. My error was going to cost the company tens of thousands of dollars.

The position I held with the company would have allowed me to shift blame and cover up my error. Instead I called my key employees together and told them what I had done. Everyone got involved in finding ways to save money on this project. I called all the vendors and told them I had made a mistake. Many of them offered to help out by lowering the price of their component. The salesperson contacted the client who offered to pay for the shipping – a cost we were to have borne. The manager in production found a way to complete the project more cost effectively. We did not make any money on that job, but with the team pulling together we did not lose our shirts either. Why was most everyone willing to help in some way to ease the pain? I believe it was because I admitted my mistake openly and quickly. I was willing to say, "I've broken this plate and can not put it back together without help." The next time you "break a plate," admit you're human and need help. See how quickly all the other humans come running with the glue.

3. Admit one of your own poor decisions before pointing out a similar error by others.

My first job as a supervisor took place at a residential childcare facility operated by a county government. I had been a childcare worker and was promoted over my former peers. My boss, Larry, had worked at the facility for years. He also started his career as a childcare worker and was now Superintendent. In our first meeting after my promotion, Larry said to me, "You have a really tough job." I know and when I was in your position I made every mistake in the book. Would you mind if from time to time I pointed out some Areas where you could make improvements? " I agreed. At my first management meeting, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to resolve several childcare worker grievances. I brought up topics, which were not on the agenda. After being told to submit each issue for consideration on next month's agenda, I argued passionately for the immediate need.

My request was denied. After the meeting Larry asked me to lunch. He told me when he was a new supervisor he took advantage of a visit by a County Commissioner to bring up some matters he felt were not properly addressed by the facility's then Superintendent. The Commission referred him back to proper channels and Larry was "written up" for failure to follow the chain of command. He pointed out to me how important it was to follow existing procedures. This would allow other managers the opportunity to gather facts and discuss the issues intelligently. I learned how presenting non-agenda items would be counterproductive because the discussions would be based on emotions rather than facts. Larry consistently applied this leadership principle. Anytime he observed me doing or saying something potentially problematic, he would matter-of-factly say, "I remember back when I …" and he would proceed to tell me about the time he had made a similar blunder. His indirect coaching allowed me to save face and helped my career because I did not have to make the same mistakes. Larry now runs the county's Department of Human Services.

I recall how easy he was to work with and realize other supervisors I had had since then been distant and authoritative. I recognize now he was the first truly professional manager I had. I learned a lot about leadership from him, but the process was subtle. Telling people what they are doing wrong builds walls. Nobody likes hearing they have made a mistake. On the other hand people like hearing they are not the first person to "push" when the sign on the door reads, "pull." Admitting your own mistake helps establish a connection. The next time you are dealing with a subordinate's error, think of the time you did the same thing or something very much like it. A good technique for this is to clear your mind, think of the error and say to yourself, "that reminds me of the time." Usually a picture or thought will occur, giving you a story to share. Your willingness to share your experience along with the lesson you learned will be more readily accepted and their behavior more likely to change.

4. Mendences whenever possible.

This principle sounds like common sense, but it is uncommon in practice. Many relationships have ended with one party feeling slighted by the other and yet side being willing to make amends. The longer we wait, the more the problem rankings. Someone must make the first move and the someone is you. As President of a company doing wholesale work for the hospitality industry, I occasionally needed to mend wings. One client was a chain of restaurants. We had gotten verbal confirmation for over a half million dollars ofcoming business and were waiting for the purchase orders. A couple of months passed and I asked the Sales Manager if he knew why we had not yet received the paperwork. His response was he thought it had something to do with billing on a previous job, but he had not been able to get a straight answer from his contact. Sensing something was wrong, I asked the Office Manager what she knew.

She indicated there had been some difficulty in an accounts receivable billing a couple of months previously and harsh words had been replaced. The client had finally paid the account in full. When asked further, she explained she had made several errors in the invoices and the buyer for the restaurant had been very "difficult" on the phone. Our former bookkeeper had been "shouted" at and the Office Manager had "straightened them out." With a sinking feeling, I called the Vice President of Operations at the restaurant. He told me their VP of Finance had dropped us as a vendor. Several of the projects verbally promised to us had been awarded to a competitor. He told me there was nothing he could do about the situation because the VP of Finance decided which vendors were approved for use. I immediately put a call in to the VP of Finance. Over the next few days, she would not respond to any of my messages. I re-contacted the VP of Operations and asked if he might be aware of any other unresolved problems. He said no and told me he preferred us as a vendor. Deciding not to wait any longer, I composed an email offering sincere apologies for the difficulty her department had experienced with our billing process. I informed her the bookkeeper had been let go, which was true, and we had upgraded the position by hiring someone with a BA in accounting.

As a result of this change, our Office Manager's responsibilities had also changed. I closed by requesting a face-to-face meeting to personally insure her I would do everything in my power to ensure the relationship worked more smoothly. Realize, please, if the Office Manager had apologized quickly for our errors, the business probably would not have been lost. When making your apology, be sure to indicate what personnel or policy changes may have occurred and what you plan to do differently in the future. In the end the most important steps are to take responsibility and make the first move. Oh … if you wonder how the story ends … We lost around $ 200,000 worth of contracts, but won the relationship back. The lesson is clear. Mend encounters with those you have wronged, and do it quickly.

Just Before Halloween, Great Healthy Pumpkin Stews: 1 – With Chicken, 2 – Vegetarian

Pumpkin Chicken Stew

The Ingredients:

2 chopped episodes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups of water
4 potatoes cut into halves
2.2 pounds (1 kilo) of peeled diced pumpkin
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3-4 pieces of chicken (for those in diet you can remove the skin)
1 teaspoon of salt


Saute the onions in olive oil until they turn golden. Add the paprika and tomato paste with a quarter of a cup of water. Add the pumpkin and potato, stir and cook for a quarter of an hour. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Season with a little salt and lower the temperature of the stove. Cook for 1 hour.

Pumpkin Stew – Vegetarian

The ingredients:

2 chopped episodes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Half a cup of water
4 potatoes cut into halves
2.2 pounds (1 kilo) of peeled diced pumpkin
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
1 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup of chickpeas (It is possible to use dry chickpeas and soak them in water for the night. Then cook them until they soften. It is otherwise possible to use an assortment of frozen chickpeas).
1 teaspoon of salt


Saute the onions in olive oil until they turn golden. Add the paprika and tomato paste with a half of a cup of water. Add the pumpkin and potato, stir and cook for a quarter of an hour. Add the chickpeas and bring to a boil. Season with a little salt and lower the temperature of the stove. Cook for 40-60 minutes, until the pumpkin softens. It is recommended to serve these dishes with whole rice. Prepare for a happy gathering and a healthy and delicious meal.

Happy and Healthy living,

Find more great simple healthy recipes: Health and Happiness – The simple and fun way

Let’s Find Out How to Survive Stress

Let’s face it; whether you’re a busy homemaker or a high flying executive, today’s popular mind-set is to be as busy as possible with nearly every hour and minute crammed with some kind of work. Yet the day-to-day pressure can build into chronic stress, which if ignored, can be detrimental to our mind, body, and spirit.

The Body

While most of us have stress in some form, an unhealthy response to stress happens when the demands of the stressor exceed an individual’s coping ability. While stress is actually a psychological state of mind, as it considerably affects our physiological state. “In a classical stressful situation, certain stress hormones such as cortisol are released which increases the heartbeat, sweating, uneasiness, and the urge to urinate,” with the initial indicator usually manifesting as an inability to sleep. In the long run this leads to problems such as indigestion, acidity, ulcers, low-back pains, high-blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, depression, headaches, and fatigue, to name a few. Long-term stress also affects our immunity and reduces our disease-fighting capacity.

In Teens

While the teenage years can be highly stressful, some typical stressors include: stress from school, social anxiety, and depressive feelings – for example, not belonging, self-harm and other dysfunctional coping strategies. Another big one, particularly pertinent to today, is social media inappropriateness. While teens and adults overlap in how they cope with stress, the only difference is that adults express stress verbally while teens tend to isolate themselves during times of high stress. “This is because teenagers are unable to properly manage their stress due to a lack of healthy coping skills,”.

Negative Implications

If the stress is not caught and addressed in time, teenagers may utilize reckless and destructive behaviors, substance abuse, and physical violence as unhealthy coping skills. Teenagers’ academic and extra-curricular progress may also deteriorate if stress is not handled appropriately.

Getting a Grip on Teen Stress

Maintaining effective communication with your teen and adopting healthy coping skills are the two most effective ways to manage with stress.

  1. Be available – make some time no matter how busy the schedule is – structure opportunities into daily life. Spending time with your teen shows them that you care even though they are pushing you away.
  2. Be realistic and flexible in your expectations but praise effort more than just results.
  3. Be patient and consistent during their developmental phase – they are changeable and trying to make sense of their place in the world – they can defy reason and sense sometimes.
  4. Do not minimize their feelings in hopes of them “getting over it”. Their feelings are real and affecting them in ways that need to be addressed.
  5. Be practical and constructive in your approach – they may need your wisdom and organization – even if they say they don’t.

You cannot and should not shield them from all stresses and risks. You must set limits as well as consequences to what is acceptable and unacceptable at home, school, and elsewhere.


Stress Reactions

When stress is excessive, it results in one of four reactions- -anxiety, apathy and depression, anger and aggression and cognitive impairment. “Stress can be caused by traumatic events, events which challenge our limits, as well as internal conflicts,”. “For example, if your boss criticizes you unfairly, you feel the stress.” You want to be able to explain why he/she is wrong but also have a fear of upsetting your boss and this stress or internal conflict causes you to ruminate and these thoughts can very quickly spiral out of control: My boss thinks I’m incompetent; I won’t get the promotion I deserve. This series of ruminations results in catastrophic thinking, which can lead to worry, anxiety, feeling depressed and insomnia.

Top Ways to Alleviate Stress

Talk about what is stressing you to someone who listens to you, understands the stress environment and cares about you.

Ruminations create a “pressure-cooker effect”. They bounce around creating pressure. Releasing this through talking really helps.

Most relationships in life are reciprocal. It’s really important to establish good social networks so that people may be there for us in our hour of need.

It is very important to remove the source of the stress, if possible, by taking control and being active. For example, rather than being a victim of bullying in the workplace, you may choose to either put in a complaint or move post.

Distraction is a useful technique to avoid stress. Taking up a new challenge or a new activity is often very helpful.


Electronic Stress

Smart phones, gadgets, and computers all help us stay super connected but at a high price. “Smartphones add hugely to modern day stresses in that the workplace and social media permeate our lives so that we are never really free,”. “We are working or socializing 24-hours a day, checking our phones last thing at night and first thing in the morning when research shows that each time we receive an email, we can take up to 20 minutes on average to re-focus on children, partners or other focuses.


The best way to deal with smartphones is to switch them off when at home; however, this is impractical for some. “The alternative is to have windows of when you check your messages, for example 9 to 9:30pm, and to put it away for the rest of the time,” and be sure to avoid using your smartphone one hour before you sleep.

Finding Solutions

Today the aim is on maximizing the usefulness of our time and squeezing as much as we can from every minute of the day. So how can a person find time in the day to destress? We need to learn to tackle the external pressures and even our own inner voices that tell us that to be successful, he says as these are old mind-sets that we have learnt over the years that are no longer relevant. “We must replace these thoughts with new one’s that support us in the true value of taking time to de-stress the right way,”.

Shelve Your Stress with These Tips

1. Practice Regular Exercise – Exercise impacts a neurotransmitter that works like an antidepressant on your brain while lessening muscle tension.

2. Go Outside – Even five minutes in nature can help reduce stress and boost your mood.

3. Focus on Your Breathing – Ideally you should be breathing primarily through your nose through a simple technique called Buteyko breathing to help you restore beneficial breathing patterns.

4. Participate in Activities – You Enjoy Engaging in a hobby helps you enjoy yourself and take your mind off of stress.

5. Eat Healthy – Schedule time to eat without rushing and be sure to consume fresh, healthy, whole foods.

6. Stay Positive – Keep a list of all that you’re grateful for and make a commitment to stop any negative self-talk.

7. Stay Connected – Loneliness can be a major source of stress, so do some volunteering, meet up with friends or take a class to meet others.

8. Take a Break or Meditate – Taking even 10 minutes to sit quietly and shut out the chaos around you can trigger your relaxation response.

The Positive Side of Stress

Is stress is something that needs to be reduced, suppressed or avoided? Or can we accept it, use it, and embrace it? It turns out that which one of these mind-sets you hold plays a key role in how the stress in your life affects you.


It’s not our stress levels that need to change, but our attitude to stress itself, reveals Menon, because how you think about stress and the stress in your life plays a profound role on how it affects your well-being. She explains, “It determines whether the presence of stress in your life is harmful, which can ultimately lead to burnout, depression, and heart disease or whether that stress actually leads to greater well-being and resilience.”

The Science

Research shows that when you tell people about the importance of stress mindsets, you encourage them to choose a more accepting and embracing attitude toward the stress in their own lives, suggests Menon and in turn, they actually become healthier, happier, and more productive at work, even in very difficult and stressful circumstances. According to research at Yale University, people who hold more a negative perception of stress and believe it should be reduced or avoided, are more likely to experience what we typically think of as the negative outcomes of stress. They’re more likely to have health problems or illnesses, suggests Menon and they’re more likely to become depressed and, are less productive at work. “But on the other side, people who hold a more positive and accepting view of stress are protected from the negative effects of

stress, even when their lives are stressful,” she tells, and they’re healthier and happier. They’re doing better at work and they’re better able to find meaning in their struggles.

The Question

Therefore, can changing how you think about stress make you healthier? Menon points out that the science says ‘yes’ – when you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress. “Research shows that stress is actually enhancing; in one study at University of Wisconsin researchers tracked 30,000 American adults for eight years,” she explains, and they found that subjects with a lot of stress had a 43 percent increased risk of dying – but only if they believed stress was harmful. What is surprising is those who experienced a lot of stress but did not view stress as harmful were no more likely to die than the normal population. In fact, Menon reiterates that they had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the study, including people who had relatively little stress.

The Big Picture

Although stressful experiences are an important part of life, how you think and how you act can transform your experience of stress, Menon says. “When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you can create the biology of courage and resilience,” she explains. “Stressful experiences help us learn and grow and they can actually be an opportunity to develop our strengths and choose our priorities.”

Scar Revision

What is Scar Revision?

Scar revision is a cosmetic procedure used to improve the appearance of existing scars. It can also restore lost function to the scarred area, in some cases. There are several types of scar revision, including surgical and non-surgical options. Your plastic surgeon will help you select the treatment that will be the most effective for you.

Why Get the Procedure?

Scarring can be unsightly, especially if it is the result of an injury or poor wound healing after a surgery. Visible scars can cause embarrassment or self-consciousness. They might be recessed, raised, discolored, jagged, or noticeable because of placement. Other types of scar irregularities that can benefit from revision include keloids, and scars that distort other normal features of the face or skin.

Scar revision will improve the appearance of the scar, or replace the scar with one that is less noticeable and more aesthetically pleasing.

Who is A Good Candidate?

A good candidate for scar revision will have a positive outlook and realistic expectations of the outcome of the procedure. They will be undergoing scar revision for personal reasons, and not to satisfy anyone else.

Scar revision is appropriate for patients of any age who have a bothersome scar anywhere on their body. They should be in good physical and mental health, with no skin disorders that would affect treatment. Non-smokers are better candidates for scar revision than smokers because smoking interferes with the healing process. If you do smoke, you will need to quit six weeks before and after scar revision surgery.

What Happens During My Consultation?

During your initial consultation for scar revision, your surgeon will discuss your medical history, including any allergies to medications. He will perform a detailed examination of the scar and discuss what your goals are, and your options. He may take pre-operative photographs, as well.

You will discuss the risks associated with the treatment, as well as any pre- or post-operative instructions.

How Do I Prepare?

If you are having surgical scar revision, your surgeon will have you stop taking any blood-thinning medications or herbal supplements one to two weeks before the treatment. You will also need to stop smoking six weeks before surgery, and stop drinking alcohol one week before surgery. The surgeon will probably order some pre-operative blood work, as well. Review any paperwork and post-operative instructions beforehand. You will need to arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.

For non-surgical scar revisions, there is not much you need to do before the treatment. Some versions of laser skin resurfacing require you to take a round of antiviral or antibacterial medications before hand to make sure there is no infection afterwards. You might also need to use a topical skin treatment for a few weeks before undergoing some laser skin resurfacing treatments. Your surgeon will discuss this with you, if you pursue laser treatment for scar revision.

How is it Done?

There are several options for correcting a scar, including non-surgical options. Your surgeon will help you select the method most appropriate for you.

Dermabrasion- Dermabrasion involves the removal of the upper layer of the skin using a wire brush, or a burr attached to a motor. The brush or burr effectively polishes the skin, softening the look of existing scars.

Dermal Fillers- Dermal fillers are injections of medicinal substances that are used to plump up recessed scars. Fillers include collagen, fat, and hyaluronic acid. These treatments are not permanent, and will fade after about a year.

Laser Skin Resurfacing- A laser is used to remove the top layer of the skin in the damaged spot, and to generate the growth of new collagen in the underlying layer of skin. The result is that new, smooth skin grows in the area of the scar.

Topical Treatments- These can include tapes and bleaching agents.

Surgical Revision- With surgical scar revision, the scar is cut out while you are under local or general anesthesia, and the new incision is very carefully re-closed. Depending on the depth of the incision, the tissues may need to be closed with layered sutures. More severe scar revision might require the use of a skin graft, where a piece of skin is removed from one part of the body and placed over the scarred area.

What is Recovery Like?

For non-surgical scar revisions, the recovery will vary depending on what method the surgeon uses. Dermal fillers and topical treatments usually have little to no downtime, though there might be some redness or slight discomfort. Laser skin resurfacing and dermabrasion can have recovery times of up to two weeks, depending on the size of the scar and your individual treatment.

If you have a surgical scar revision, there will be a dressing over the incision site. Any stitches that don’t dissolve will be removed after three to seven days. You may have some discomfort or swelling. Discomfort can be managed with pain medication from your doctor. The swelling will start to go down after a few days.

The time at which you can go back to work and other normal activities will vary with the size and location of the incision. Most patients can return to their usual schedule within a week or two. During your recovery time, you will want to avoid strenuous physical activity, or any movements that will stretch the incision open.

When Can I See My Final Results?

Your final results will be apparent after stitches are removed, the swelling has gone down, and the recovery period is over. The exact time frame will vary with the type of treatment you selected. Some surgical revisions won’t fade to their final appearance for up to a year. But after the scar heals, the results will be permanent.

Some treatments will need to be repeated; for example, dermal fillers fade after about a year, so you will need to go in for another round of injections at the end of that time.

What Are the Risks?

Non-surgical scar revisions come with minor risks such as redness, bruising, hyperpigmentation, irritation of the skin, allergic reactions (in the case of dermal fillers), and dissatisfaction with the results. If you have surgical revisions, the risks include reactions to anesthesia, bleeding, hematoma, infection, changes in skin sensation or color, and irregularities in the contours of the skin.

The best way to avoid risks is to select a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for your scar revision. A Board Certified surgeon will be up-to-date, experienced, and well-trained in all the methods of scar revision. He will be able to recommend the best method for you, which will give you the best outcome possible. Board Certified surgeons also use high-quality facilities and first-rate staff.

Will My Insurance Cover It?

Most insurance companies will not cover cosmetic treatments like a scar revision. Contact your insurance provider if you have any questions about your coverage.

10 Minute Workout For Women to Lose Belly Fat

Many women want to lose belly fat but just do not have the time to workout, so here is how you can do a 10 minute workout and lose the unsightly fat with just two to three workouts per week. With just ten minutes per day 3 days a week you will body will be forced to burn calories all day long even after leaving the gym or track field.

The 10 Minute Workout Routine

The key to losing belly fat in just ten minutes is doing turbulence training. Turbulence training is a form of high intensity interval training that allows your body to increase the amounts of calories it burns just from a short period of intense exercise. Interval training will cause you to burn up to 20 times the amount of calories that you would have burned doing normal steady state cardio. The best benefit of interviews is that you will get a lot of results in a short period of time. Not only does this routine help to melt fat away but also increase muscle and muscle tone.

Lose Belly Fat with This Workout

1 set of Bodyweight Squats (25x)
1 set of pushups (10x)
1 set of Lunges (25x per leg)
1 set of Burpees (25x)
1 set of Mountain Climbers (20x per side)
1 minute of Planks for abs

Stationary Bike or Treadmill Intervals

After doing the exercises listed above as a warm up you will then proceed to doing intervals either on the treadmill or stationary bike. Do 5-8 intervals of 30-45 seconds of high intense work followed by 1 minute of rest. So your interval sessions should look something like this:

30 seconds of intestinal workout on a level of 8 out of 10
60 seconds of rest at a level of 2 out of 10
30 seconds of intestinal workout on a level of 8 out of 10

This should be done until you have done 3 to 4 rounds of intension interviews followed with a cool-down.

Benefits of Doing Interval Training

Not only will you see results faster than ever before but you will be able to burn calories and fat while working out less. Your entire body will have a decrease in fat causing you to lose weight and fat in your belly. On top of this you will perform better in other activities and have more energy. So for women with less time you can actually get a better body and get into better shape.

Corporate Consistency

A business can be defined by the same character traits that are typically associated with an individual personality. A business can be bold, aggressive, compassionate, inconsiderate, caring, trustworthy, deceptive, cautious, or friendly. A business is often the reflection of the conglomeration of members, leadership, and an accumulation of character visits. If a company is large, the character traits may be influenced by years of pride of internal culture. If the company is small to medium, the character is often a direct reflection of the leadership or ownership of the company. Regardless of the size, a business is a collection of individuals and talents, and it is a collection of personalities that define the character of the company.

One of the most important character visits of a reliable company is consistency.

As with an individual, one measure of corporate consistency is to "practice what you preach", which means simply that actions are consistent with words. If a person says one thing, and does another, then it becomes rather difficult to believe anything that the person has to say. Failing to deliver on promises can indefinite credibility and confidence. In extreme circumstances for business, intentally misleading communications can be repudiated as false advertising. A somewhat less flagrant embodiment of the same practice is known as "bait and switch", to promise one thing and than change the offer after interest and commitment are established. Less obvious but equally devious manipulation of communication can occur during the negotiations process, or appear in "fine print" with the wave of a dismissive hand. Regardless of the circumstances, individual or corporate culture, words and promises that are not consistent with actions during the promissory stage are very likely to deteriorate after a commitment, contract, or sale. If the words are not consistent with actions before the sale, it is reasonable to suspect consistent inconsistency after the sale. Let the buyer beware.

Corporate consistency often exists between the dignity and respect afforded to internal employees and to clients. Organizations that foster a culture of respect and appreciation for the employees typically enjoy the same treatment of customers. Employees absorb the culture and environment of the organization and pass it on to customers through their own actions and communications. Employees that enjoy an environment of teamwork, appreciation, enthusiasm, and support, are likely to share this feeling and experience in their own interactions with customers. On the contrary, working in an environment of relentless pressure, fear, or individual insignificance, is also likely to be personified in customer interactions. It is important to share recognition and cooperation internally, as the attitude will be consistent with the external portal of the organization. If an employee is treated as an insignificant and easily replaced cog in the corporate machine, then the interactions with internal and external customers will be perceived as insignificant. However, if the employee if a perceived as a valuable asset, and individual accomplishments are recognized, then the employee is more likely to understand a sense of pride and ownership when interacting with internal and external customers.

Another significant measure of corporate consistency occurs in measuring the organization response to the inevitable peaks and valleys of business conditions. Businesses experience periods of growth, plateau, decline, and renewed growth, that may be the result of internal or external factors. During a period of decline, organizations may find it necessary to reorganiz, structure, or redefine the strategy to survive. A business that learns from the experience and incorporates this knowledge into the culture and planning for future growth is much more likely to succeed and experience continued growth when conditions improve. On the contrary, some organizations adopt a temporary strategy that is effective at controlling the decline and rebuilding business, only to jettison the changes when revenue begins to rejuvenate.

Some organizations become self-absorbed during periods of economic growth, and suddenly change the culture to customer-centric deduction only when panic arises from declining business conditions. The focus on customer requirements may stall the decline and create opportunities for acquiring new customers, and new revenue. If the organization does not absorb the learning from this experience, it may revert back to "bad behavior" of ignoring customer requirements when the business starts to grow again. Flip-flooring between embracing and ignoring customers based on economic conditions is a catalyst to spawn delayed declination, trapping the organization in a continuous loop of inconsistent behavior. When organizations get caught in this vicious loop, it is also likely that valuable human capital will be lost in the process. Some individuals will escape the cycle to find more suitable environments of consistent culture. Some individuals will remain, waiting for the cycle to come full circle for another temporarily palatable period, or simply bearing it because the individual is trapped by other obligations. It is far better to nurture a consistent culture, adopting learned behavior, and an environment that embracees continuous customer care. While external conditions may throw temporary challenges in the path of progress, maintaining a consistent dedication to the dignity and respect of employees and customers will solidify a strong foundation, and keep a direct course for unrestricted growth when external challenges pass.

Imagine a ship on the ocean. Each individual on the crew has a particular responsibility for the progress and performance of the ship. Although the members work on tasks independently, they must all work in unison for a common direction. If some members are raising sails, while others drop anchor as a result of inconsistent instructions, it is likely that problems will occur. It may be necessary to adjust the sails, or slightly adjust the direction, based on winds and external conditions. However, going in circles can severely limit the progress of the ship. Sometimes it is better to adjust slightly, or move slowly in a consistent direction, rather than completely change course and revert to going backwards. Keep a straight course, communicate accurately and effectively, and avoid the maelstrom of inconsistent actions.

Signs of a consistent organization:

Low employee turnover, high motivation and morale

High customer satisfaction, loyal customers

Customers can accurately state the culture of your company, and embrace it

Rapid growth after a "down" period of slow growth or decline from external factors

Growth after a period of decline preceded previous successes, indicating indoctrination of learning and consistency

Signs of an inconsistent organization:

Employee turn-over occurs periodically in large numbers, indicating severe swings of internal culture

Constantly seeking new customers to replace the ones lost during the last cyclical change

Customers do business with you "in spite of the frustration of dealing with you"

Bait and switch tactics, promises change in mid-stream

Periods of growth seem to have predictably limitations, there is difficulty doing any better previous period of success

Which characteristics most exemplify your organization? If you are consistent in your words, promises, actions, dignity for internal employees, and respect for customers, then you be proud of your culture. You have something special, and sharing it with your customers is the same as giving them a gift. Even though the organization may experience some challenges during tough economic periods, or suffer through challenging competitive waters, you have limitless potential.

On the other hand, if your organization is personified by inconsistent behavior, then you must ask yourself if you can change it, of if you are most comfortable with this type of behavior for yourself. If the organization changes the level of commitment to customers and employees based on economic conditions, how does this reflect in your level of commitment? What type of behavior best exemplifies your commitment?

Which characteristics best describe your vendors, suppliers, partners, and customers? Sometimes it is easier to observe and measure the characteristics of the other organization, affiliates, and customers. Sometimes it is easier to analyze those around us, and then reflect on the company that we choose to keep. Surround yourself with consistent and reliable people, vendors, partners, organizations, and customers. Business moves faster on straight rails than it does on winding roads. Surround yourself with those that you can rarely upon, and see how quickly you can gain momentum with motivation.


Words of Wisdom

"The quality of an organization can never exceed the quality of the minds that make it up."

– Harold R. McAlindon

"An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success."

– Stephen Covey

"Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric."

– Philip Crosby


The Myth of the Functional Alcoholic: The Fine Line Between "Having It All" and Losing Everything

The label "High-Functioning Alcoholic" (HFA) is frequently used to characterize people who seem to "have it all" who also happens to drink heavily – and regularly. Success in this context could manifest in a number of ways, including holding a successful job, having a family, or maintaining high status in the community. This could be the perfect mother who has a glass of wine at dinner and a few vodka tonics after the kids go to bed. It could be the successful entrepreneur who went from rags to riches, who celebrates "in style" with bottle service on weekends. It could be a senior executive who is responsible for hundreds of employees who wines and dines with other executives. It could be a family doctor who has a deep appreciation for wine and thinks that he knows enough about health to avoid becoming an alcoholic.

Among professionals and executives, it is not uncommon for someone to jokingly self-identify as a "functional alcoholic." Self-identifying as an HFA may alleviate concerns of those who wonder if the problem drinker recognizes how much they really drink. It can also reduce anxiety among friends who may be wondering if their own drinking is "normal."

If a successful person calls himself an "alcoholic" in a joking way, then surely he is not a "real" alcoholic, right? It's not like he's living on skid row …

Unfortunately, mainstream media reinforces the idea that an HFA is somehow better off than someone who drinks alcohol and is a "low bottom" drunk. Reality TV shows like Intervention feature people who have already suffered several negative consequences from their drinking and have "hit rock bottom." Most HFAs will struggle to identify with this kind of problem alcohol use.

As a counselor, I often hear HFAs claim "I'm not an alcoholic because …

"… I do not drink in the morning."

"… I could stop if I wanted to."

"… I've got a good job, and I've been drinking for years."

"… Everyone I know drinks, and we're all successful."

"… I could go for weeks without drinking, and think nothing of it."

Indeed, if you go to an inpatient alcohol treatment facility, you are bound to hear frightening stories about alcoholics hitting a "low bottom" – being homeless, vomiting blood, or being cut off from family and friends. Most treatment facilities are in part guided by the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which focuses intensely on "telling your story about hitting rock bottom."

A major barrier for the HFA is that she feels better about herself when she hears stories about "low bottoms." I have several clients who, prior to working with me, were told by their spouse or a concerned friend to "go to AA," only to return from an AA meeting even more explained that she does not have a drinking problem. How could this be? Because the HFA views herself as "better than" the people who populate the rooms of AA. Her willingness to view her alcohol use as a problem disappears; She is confident that she is in control of her drinking.

Sometimes that is one of the reasons that, among problem drinkers, a mere 5% achieve long-term sobriety through AA. As Bill Wilson, the founder of AA, famously wrote, "There is a solution." That solution – AA – is no silver bullet. For HFAs, if AA is the only solution, then they will never view their drinking as a problem.

CASE STUDY: Why Should an HFA Worry?

Let's look at an example of a seemingly "High-Functioning Alcoholic."

"Steve" is a 34 year-old CEO at one of the country's top PR firms. Steve has always been ambitious – a fierce go-getter who was determined to rise to the top. He did not start drinking until he attended college and joined a fraternity. Although drinking was prevalent among his frat brothers, Steve never drank to the point of blacking out, vomiting, or even getting a severe hangover.

After receiving a double major in Economics and Communications, Steve was offered an entry-level position at a reputable PR firm. His hours were long, but he stayed focused on the end goal of becoming a top executive. Because Steve worked so much, there was not much time for him to drink without it was directly related to his job. His co-workers often went out for drinks after a long, stressful day of work. Every Friday, there was a beer cart that went around the office to "treat" employees for reaching the end of the work week.

Once Steve was offered a promotion, he was expected to entertain prospective clients over dinner and drinks to "seal the deal" with contracts. Other than those occasions, Steve did not drink. He did not want to compromise his work by overdrinking.

As Steve moved up the career ladder and his responsibilities increased, he also attracted the attention of the woman who was to become his wife. Together, they bought a three-story house in a suburb that was known for its excellent public education. They had two healthy children. After 12 years of hard work and long hours, Steve finally secured the position of CEO at his company. To friends and collections, Steve really "had it all."

By the time he was a CEO, Steve had also gotten into the habit of having a few drinks after work. He always waited until he got home and the kids were in bed. He enjoyed a good gin and tonic while relaxing on his favorite chair. If one drink led to three or four drinks, Steve did not think twice about it: he had a stressful job and had "earned" his downtime.

Steve continued to entertain clients and drink with his colleagues. Networking and drinking were just a part of the job. Steve was never "out of control" when he drank, and unfortunately appeared introxicated. He was even on the Board of Directors for a local non-profit that consistently possessed of high-achieving people in business like himself. Meetings always involved drinking. Steve was surrounded by people who drank as much, if not more, than him – and all of them were successful.

So – what's the problem?

Steve is a High-Functioning Alcoholic (HFA) who has thus far managed to avoid the negative consequences of problem drinking. He has not gotten into legal trouble, has a "clean bill of health," is secure in his job, and happy in his family life. Little does he know that he is teetering on the edge of disaster.

Neuroadaptivity: The Silent Killer

Steve's use of alcohol has slowly, insidiously gone from "social drinking" to regular, heavy drinking. Steve has built up a high tolerance to alcohol, which allows him to appear controlled even after having a few drinks. He has to drink more alcohol now than he did back in college if he wants to feel inoxicated. Additionally, Steve has trouble imagining being able to relax after work without a drink.

The line between "having it all" and "losing everything" is finer than Steve can even begin to imagine. Over the years, his brain has adapted its neural connections to respond to and reward him for drinking. Even if he did not go through withdrawal upon quitting, Steve would feel very uncomfortable if he were to suddenly stop – not that he wants to stop. He has no reason to stop. Not yet.

"My Drinking Was not a Problem – Until it Was"

Neuroadaptation allows the allegedly "High-Functioning Alcoholic" to drink with little consequence, even as the brain slowly becomes dependent on alcohol to regulate mood, thinking, and basic functioning in the mesolimbic dopamine system. What problem drinkers do not realize is that the part of the brain that is most affected by alcohol is not the thinking, logical, and rational frontal cortex, but rather, the subcortical "reward system," which overrides the higher thinking of the frontal cortex . This is why I often hear clients say, "I know I should not drink, but I still do." They beat themselves up for not using their "willpower." Little do they realize that the disease has progressed to a point where willpower does not make a difference.

Even if Steve is able to maintain his current lifestyle, he has a significantly higher risk of developing health problems like heart disease, pancreatitis, dementia, depression, and numerous cancers. Before he develops a chronic health condition, however, it is even more likely that he will lose something important to the disease of alcohol. Marriages dissolve. Years of irresponsible work and leadership are discovered and jobs are lost. A short drive to the convenience store leads to a DUI. Children become teenagers who act out, rebel, or do harmful things to themselves because they have not learned healthy coping skills from parents who abuse alcohol.

In short, there is no such thing as a "High-Functioning Alcoholic." If someone really is an HFA, it is just a matter of time before they lose the "High-Functioning" part of the label.


Inpatient residential treatment is simply not an option for most professionals. They worry about losing their jobs, in spite of federal guidelines that protect them from being fired. They fear that someone will find out that they are seeking help for alcohol use and that their reputations will be tarnished. In some ways, a problem drinker who is at a higher level of functioning has much more to lose by seeking inpatient treatment than someone who has minimal resources and now to go.

This is part of the reason why family interventions are so difficult for people who are seemingly "High-Functioning Alcoholics" – the problem drinker has a lot to lose by admitting that there is a problem. The intervention becomes a Herculean task of somehow convincing the problem drinker that he stands to lose more in the long run if he does not change.

This is a difficult task. Ask anyone who loves a problem drinker.

The good news is that there are different types of treatment available – ones that have evolved specifically to help people who are in just such a position. Treatment options range from intensive outpatient treatment for health care professionals and lawyers to individual therapy and medications to reduce or eliminate problem drinking. Moderation Management counseling often allows a problem drinker to have their cake and eat it too – to be able to drink alcohol in a healthy way while maintaining their success.

Why are not more people seeking help? Stigma is one barrier. Another barrier is the lack of education about treatment options. We are lucky to be in an era where clinicians can offer research-validated and evidence-based interventions to people who struggle with chemical dependency. Fifty years ago, AA really WAS one of the only options for people who engaged in problem drinking. Developments in neurobiological and medical research now offer problem drinkers a menu of treatment options that allow them to choose the treatment they desire- before they lose it all.

How to Embrace Vulnerability As Your Greatest Strength

Born Vulnerable

What do you associate with vulnerability?

Perhaps it’s weakness, fear, hurt or betrayal.

These are the deep-seated emotions people experience when they reveal aspects of themselves.

Let’s be clear. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness and can be your greatest strength.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage,” affirms research professor and author Brené Brown in Rising Strong.

Vulnerability is a double-edged sword. Those who protect themselves to avoid getting hurt, fail to appreciate intimacy and close relationships.

Everyone is vulnerable, no matter how much they try to avoid it. We are born vulnerable and stay that way for our entire childhood. Our relationship with vulnerability is something we are acquainted with, yet abandon as we merge into adulthood.

Your association with vulnerability requires a shift in awareness in order to strengthen your emotional well-being.

It is no use erecting barricades around you while hoping at the same time others will see the blossoming flower within.

The wall you construct prevents your true nature from being known to others.

It was Rumi who said: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

You must accept your vulnerability if you wish to live a wholesome life. Even the smallest act of letting down your guard is a commitment to your personal growth.

“When we experience a great loss or hurt that feels like ‘broken heartedness’, we now realize that our heart is not broken. It’s actually the heart’s protective shell of defences breaking open to allow us to feel all emotions fully,” writes author Loch Kelly in Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness.

Your Fractured Parts

Vulnerability is an act of courage because you merge with your authentic self, instead of hiding behind a facade to appease others.

It is within the unknown where your greatest potential lies. Human nature is imperfect, yet the paradox is that we are whole within that sphere of imperfection.

To embrace vulnerability as your greatest strength, you’ll need to become aware of your pain points. Retaliation leads to suffering, since you are likely to defend your pain like a wounded animal.

Neuropsychologist Mario Martinez writes in his book: The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success, “The wound you choose in order to interpret your pain becomes a shield of protection against forgiving, because releasing your grudge means being vulnerable again.”

Vulnerability involves healing your fractured parts by merging with the wholeness of your being.

Consider it akin to a jigsaw puzzle strewn across the floor. Some might say the puzzle is incomplete given the pieces are lying on the floor. However, by gathering them together you create the entire picture once more.

That is the heart of your life story. You have disowned your fractured parts, instead of trying to piece them together.

You are a masterpiece; a Rembrandt replete with perfection. Yet, you focus on your brokenness in the same way as a cracked oil painting when exposed to the elements.

The painting is no less beautiful because of its flaws. It is upon examining it up close you recognise the defects, while ignoring the complete picture.

“Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging,” affirms Brené Brown.

Heal the Pain

To heal your pain requires undertaking a process of self-examination. You must become curious as to why you react when your pain buttons are triggered.

Every person has pain thresholds. If left unchecked, they become inflamed and dominate your emotional landscape, not to mention your physical health.

The moment you heal the pain, you reintegrate it into the wholeness of your being.

“Make your heart as vast as space, so big that nothing can harm it. When our hearts are that wide, it is as if the judgments are ripples on water, flowing away and leaving no trace. This is what vulnerability makes possible. It allows the natural strength of the heart to emerge,” writes author Mark Coleman in Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic.

Suffering ensues when you focus on your sorrow, instead of appreciating the beauty and richness of your complete self.

It is as though you are looking through a magnifying glass on your shattered parts. You give them more attention than they deserve, so others are made aware of your weaknesses too.

Your shadows are one aspect of your character. When healed, you come to realise the completeness of your being.

Therefore, become a student of vulnerability by taking small risks. This act of self-renewal shines a light on your fractured parts, and is brought to your awareness and seen for what they are; a smokescreen.

“This feeling of rawness is key to working with vulnerability. They often feel like one and the same thing. The challenge is to find a way to be comfortable feeling the innate vulnerability of being human. If we can hold our vulnerability with a loving attention, the painful feelings can unfold and slowly move through us,” affirms author Mark Coleman once more.

Similarly, be wary of the ego and its aversion to being vulnerable. The ego likes to protect its image and vulnerability is a crack in its armour.

It signifies weakness and will do everything to defend itself.

Your greatest triumph will arise when you lean in to your vulnerabilities with openness and compassion.

There is nothing to defend nor protect, for the egoic voice has merely taken command and insisted on protecting you from getting hurt.

I wish to leave you with a passage from Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong in which she writes: “I was reminded that shame is a liar and a story-stealer. I have to trust myself and the people I care about more than the gremlins, even if that means risking being hurt.”

The gremlins she speaks of is the small self preventing your magnificence being known. Trust your heart’s wisdom and its real essence, not the voice in your head.

It is only then you will appreciate how vulnerability is a commanding act of strength and courage.

Who Is Reading What Books?

Have you ever gone into someone’s home or office and looked upon their library to see what kind of books are on the shelf? You can tell much about a person by what books they read. You can also tell a lot about a person by how they dress, how they eat, who they associate with, what they do for a living, etc. Without deliberately trying to find out information, we learn more about people just by observing. In essence, that is how we get to know someone, or get to know someone better. That is also how people are drawn to one another as friends, business associates, etc. When you discover what books they read, that is when you find out what they are thinking.

When I look upon someone’s book collection, I can tell if they like to read the same kind of books I read. Maybe they have read the same book. I think, more than anything else, that I can tell more about a person just by seeing what books they read. If there is someone I want to learn from, I will try to find out what books they are reading. I would love to have seen the library of Thomas Edison, Napoleon Hill, and Donald Trump, just to name a few. Sometimes, the best books we read were books that were recommended by someone. I would love to find out what books everyone on the Forbes 400 has read in the past year. Or I would like to know what books others in my industry are reading.

If you want to be successful at something, look at others who are successful, and do what they are doing. It sounds simple, but here is another way to look at it. Find out what books they are reading, and you will learn what is in their head, what they are thinking about. If you want to learn how to invest, find out what the Wall Street pros are reading. If you want to learn how to invest in real estate, find out what real estate investors are reading. If you want to be inspired to start a business, find out what other business people read. You can even read biographies of people in similar businesses or industries. You will find that successful people in any calling are usually reading biographies, self-help books, and anything else that would inspire motivate and educate.

If someone is looking to lose weight or just get in shape, they would ask people at the gym what books they would recommend. My personal favorite is Live Young Forever by Jack LaLanne. I think a great conversation would be among sports fans discussing some of the best books they have read. I would love to be in that conversation with my pen and pad ready. How great would it be to have Magic Johnson’s top ten recommended books? You would get a double bonus there, since he was an all-star basketball player, as well as a great businessman. With all of this in mind, here is a new conversation starter? “Read any good books lately.”

Baby Proofing Your Apartment

If you are pregnant or have a baby getting your apartment ready from when your child learns to crawl and walk is a huge and very important step. Over two thousand children die each year from home safety related accidents. Here are some ideas to help you thoroughly "baby proof" your apartment.

The first thing you should do is ensure you have working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher in your apartment. Because of the number of people residing in the standard apartment complex, even if you personally are very careful, the risk of fire is greater. Smoke alarms should be checked every six months to make sure they are functioning correctly. While this may seem overly cautious, it is basically like putting your seat belt on when you climb in a car; It could save your life.

Another idea is to have a friend with a toddler come over and follow the toddler around to see where you need to baby proof. This will give you a very clear idea of ​​the dangerous areas in your apartment and what you want to change or protect. Cabinet locks, a toilet seat lock, and socket protectors are the obvious choices, but actually having a child show you that he can reach the aquarium on the side table or the cord of the TV is too accessible will cover areas you may not have noticed . Some families choose to move certain pieces of furniture like their coffee table out of the way until their child is in less danger of hurting themselves on it.

If you do not know any young toddlers, consider simply crawling around on the floor yourself at a toddler's level. I'm advise doing this while your spouse is away or they might make me mercilessly make fun of you like mine did. Seeing things from a toddler's point of view can also help you notice potential safety hazards like cords that are too low or plants that could be toxic if eat or cleaning and medicines that can be reached. When you have a toddler you will have to vacuum far more often than normal to keep your child from finding and eating all sorts of choking hazards on the floor on a daily basis. Baby proofing your home allows not only for your child to play and explore in a safe environment, it also gives you peace of mind.

Get to Know Team Cattle Penning

There are those who have sat in the stands watching team cattle penning thinking it would probably be more exciting watching paint dry. This is a thought that can encompass a lot of different activities if knowledge of what you are watching is minimal or non-existent.

In cattle penning, start with the knowledge that the ultimate goal of any team participating in the event is to put their three designated cows in the pen in the least amount of time.

Some of the following common terms that might be heard at a team cattle penning event will help to gain a perspective of that goal and hopefully an appreciation for the sport.

1. Herd – Consists of thirty cows.

2. Team – Made up of three riders each mounted on horses.

3. Rating Number – The number assigned to each rider which determines their skill level.

4. Pen – The ultimate goal! Where the three riders will move the three head of designated cattle to in the fastest time possible.

5. Draw – The list prepared showing the order each team entered will participate.

6. Cattle / Cow Number – Each herd of thirty cows all have numbers affixed to their backs. There will be ten sets of three numbers from zero to nine in each herd.

7. Class – Each team cattle penning event is divided into classes. These classes can be established by the number rating of the riders. When added up, the team rider ratings would be equal to or less than the class number.

8. Herd Holder – The riders that are responsible to get penned cattle back to the herd and then settle the herd back into position. These riders exit the arena when the next cow number is called for the next team.

9. Settle Cattle – The herd of cattle are bunched together within the selected marks in the arena on the cow side of the start line.

10. Cattle Change – This is done after ten teams have completed their runs.

11. Flags Up – The announcer or judge will say this. It notifies the team that they are to start their run. As they cross the start line, the announcer will provide the team with the designated number that they need to look for in the herd.

12. Hole – The short or narrow side between the pen and the wall or fence of the arena.

13. Peeler – A cow with the teams designated number on it that is located on the outside edge of the herd. It is in plain view and easy access for the team to move it away from the herd and to the pen.

14. Trash – During a run, these are wrong numbered cows on the pen side of the arena.

15. Run – From the start of the clock as the team crosses the start line to the end when they call for time at the pen opening.

16. Call Time – One or more of the cows with the same designated number are in the pen. Any team member that is in position on their horse at the pen opening will raise an arm above their shoulder to indicate the team are finished their run and the clock should be stop.

17. Tip of the Hat – A team member tips their hat to indicate to the judge that the team will not continue further with the run sequentially taking a no time.

18. Spotting Cattle – The excitement of the run may have someone who is watching yell out or use hand signals to show where a needed cow is in the herd. This enthusiasm may cost the team dearly because if the judge deems this to be spotting, aka giving the team an unfair advantage, the team could be disqualified.

In general, these expressions are common in and around team battle penning events that are produced across the country. Being familiar with them will help to promote the experience of watching the sport to an exciting and enjoyable level.

How To Properly Remanufacture Your Own HP C6578D Color Printer Inkjet Cartridges Just 13 Easy Steps

The Hewlett Packard 78 (C6578DN-450 pgs) (HP 78 C6654BN-970 pgs) Color Ink Cartridge, large and normal size Tri-color inkjet print cartridge produces outstanding images. Especially on plain or photo paper, photo-quality images on special media, exceptional resolution, and the best print quality in any print mode.

This is a result of HP's Photo Ret 3 printing technology which produces very fine image enhancements.

Prior to the instructions your about to review, allow me to provide you with the printer model numbers which will fit with this ink cartridge.

HP All-in-One Machines:

OOfficejet 5110

OOfficejet K

OOfficejet G

OPSC 750

OOfficejet v

OPSC 950 series.

HP Copy Machines:

OColor Copier 190

OColor Copier 280

OColor Copier 310

OColor Copier 180

ODigital Copier-Printer 310

OColor Copier 290

HP Fax Machines:

OFax 1230

OFax 1220 series.

HP Inkjet Printers:

ODeskjet 1220

ODeskjet 930c

ODeskjet 6122

ODeskjet 990

ODeskjet 950c

ODeskjet 9300

ODeskjet 932c

ODeskjet 920

ODeskjet 970

ODeskjet 3820

ODeskjet 6127

ODeskjet 960c

ODeskjet 935c

ODeskjet 940

ODeskjet 995

ODeskjet 952c series.

HP Photo Printers:

OPhotosmart 1218

OPhotosmart 1215

OPhotosmart P1000

OPhotosmart P1100

OPhotosmart 1115

OPhotosmart 1315 series.

Here are your Step-by-Step "How-To-Remanufacture Your HP C6578D" Instructions:

Let's get straight to the point, no beating around the bush during this lecture.

First, you will need the necessary Tools & Supplies Required:

Tools & Supplies Required:

OElectrical Circuit Tester (tool)

ODrill Press (tool)

OCentrifuge (tool)

OAtomization Machine

OFilling Machine (tool)

OPrinter Tester or OEM Printer (tool)

OFlush-Cleaning Machine (tool)

OToweling (supply)

OTaping Machine (supply)

OPurified Water (supply)

OReplacement Plugs (supply)

OPackaging Materials (supply)

Here you will also be provided with the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) information:

Hewlett Packard C6578A / D ink cartridge:

OPart Number: C6578A / D

OOEM Milliliter Load: 19 ml

OYield @ 5% coverage: 970 pages – 78A / min: 9, 450 pages – 78D

OResolution: 2400x1200dpi (dots per inch)

Below are the 13 easy steps to know how to remanufacture your Hewlett Packard C6578A / D inkjet cartridge.

Step # 1 Initial Cleaning of Nozzle Plates:

OEach individual cartridge should be given a quick yet thorough cleaning of the nozzle plate and circuit tab at the beginning of the process.

This is achieved by directing the finest atomized spray onto the nozzle plate and circuit. The goal is just to remove any build-up of coarse, dried inks that would prevent an accurate visual inspection of the surface condition of the nozzle plate.

Targeting the circuit tab will enable an accurate electrical test. The atomized spray is roughly 44 degrees C (110 degrees F). Timing is approximately 6-8 seconds per cartridge is all that is usually required.

Step # 2 – Visual Inspection:

ONow that the nozzle plates and circuitry have been cleaned and dry, the engineer must identify cartridges that may have loose or damaged nozzle plates, otherwise this will cause future headboards that are unnecessary.

With the use of a magnifying glass, your task will become easier, reducing your time frame. Immaculate shiny nozzle plates reflect the light from their gold plated colored surfaces.

You do not even need to be an expert to utilize those reflections to trace insignificant marks in the surface. Certain reflections can indicate a loose corner or an entire section when the reflective plane in one part of the plate is different from its adjacent parts.

Any cartridges that fails and does not pass this ruling, is discarded without hesitation. You probably will not find a way to fix a loose or damaged nozzle plate.

Step # 3 – Electrical Testing:

OAs for the electrical test, it continues to reduce the opportunity that any non-usable cartridges will be processed by subtracting those cartridges with electrical circuit failures. All that take part in this action should be disposed of.

Step # 4 – Drilling:

OThe path or access to the foams for both cleaning and filling is gained by drilling out the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) vent plugs.

The drilled holes are in the exact same location of the existing holes initially, although the drilled holes at approximately 4mm are quite larger. The larger the holes will be capped towards the final stage of the process.

Step # 5 – Flushing Cleaning:

OThe reason for the flush cleaning procedure steps is to reduce each cartridge to an identical condition. All cartridges can be expected to react in the same way to the near confidential filling operations, prior to.

The flush cleaning process involves descending a sharp edged needle within 2-3 millimeters of the three internal filter screens and allows purified warm water to flow continuously for 8-10 minutes.

Suction is not applied to the nozzles, and as for the content of water pressure, evacuates through the drilled top-vent holes.

The excess of water carries away automatically 100 percent of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) regardless of how full or empty the cartridge chambers may have been.

Step # 6 – Nozzle Cleaning:

OIn order to thoroughly clean the nozzles, the atomized water stream is now directed with an accurate currency into all nozzle entrances at various angles.

The abundant flushing cleaning and this nozzle atomization compliment each other is the most effective and controlling cleaning method causing damage to the ink delivery system. Take this into consideration.

This close atomization cleaning process averages approximately 20 seconds per cartridge.

Step # 7 – Centrifuging:

OCartridges that have been flushed and cleaned-atomized are completely saturated with purified water. As a result, the removal of this water is addressed in the following two steps.

Centrifuging at 3,000 rpm removes the excess content of water through the drilled vent holes. This four-minute cycle has the potential to ease the magenta foam (center chamber) away from the filter screen.

As a precautionary measure, the cartridges are rotated at 180 degrees and re-centrifuged for an additional cycle. Even though no additional water is removed therefore no stress is put onto the nozzle plates.

Or even any foam that may have crept away is reseated into firm contact with the filter screens. Cartridges removed from the centrifuge may weigh in the 95-100 gram scale.

Step # 8 – Foam Drying:

OThe maximum weight for each cartridge before refilling is approximately 92 grams. Anything above this weight, the foams contain too much moisture.

Moisture will shift the foams hydrophobic quality towards the hydrophilic side, providing them to wick the new ink towards the top of the foams. Occasionally this will render the cartridges to become inoperable within 48 hours.

Dry foams on the other hand, will prevent the capillary action and keep the ink place in the lower 1/3 of the foam. As for the final stage of drying, the foams are accomplished in the vacuum oven where the entire ink cartridge is placed within a heated vacuum environment.

Due to extended moisture levels, there is a pre-programmed system of evacuations and purges, in which the moisture content of all the foams is reduced to a more acceptable level.

Step # 9 – Vacuum Filling:

OThe nozzles must be taped in order to prevent air ingestion during the arrival to atmospheric pressure. The cartridges are then filled to approx. 13ml per chamber in a vacuum environment.

Ink is then slowly released, as close to the filter screens as possible, to ensure the complete saturation of the ink at the print head.

After the fill has completed, the vacuum release is controlled over the most important factors in the success or failure of these cartridges. For the most part, inks are available that have the correct characteristics for persistent along with consistent success in these cartridges.

After the cartridges have been refilled, they are then put to the side for about 12-15 hours before any print testing is accomplished. This time is mandatory so that the cartridges can have time for equalization.

Step # 10 – Print Testing:

OThe most responsive way to test your ink cartridges is to use an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) printer and test each finished ink cartridge.

A test print that begins with flooding of all the nozzles helps prime the cartridges to demonstrate accurate test results. You should get a solid thick line of black, cyan (blue), magenta (red), and yellow when print calibration has completed.

Step # 11 – Replacement Vent Plugs:

OEvery cartridge that passes the print test will then receive three replacement plugs in the drilled access holes. The reason for the molded plug is so that it has more of an intercepted appearance. This also takes place for the venting that's necessary for the proper function of the cartridge.

Remember, there are graduation classes of the three colors such as 90 percent, 89 percent, 70 percent, and so on. Quite a few failures of each color may not manifest until the 45-65 percent range. You should print the minimum of 2 full pages of graphics to ensure highest quality.

Step # 12 – Nozzle Sealing:

OSince the print testing leaves an ink residue on the nozzle plate, it is critical that the residue is completely removed prior to the application of the blue sealing tape.

There is a machine called the Jet-Prep 550 that emits a mini burst of steam that is very effective when it comes to removing the excess residue of ink that remains on the nozzle plate exterior, which air dries in a few minutes to an explosive clean Surface.

Next, the blue sealed tape is adhered to the nozzle plate and due to the heat which helps soften the tape conforms to the shape of the print head and silicon encapsulations at either side of the nozzle plate.

Step # 13 – Packaging:

OIn order to complete this remanufacturing process you need to clean the outside of the cartridge, input a date code, replace the labels, and insert the finished cartridge into a newly designed professional looking box for retail purposes.

Congratulations, you have successfully completed the process on how to remanufacture your own Hewlett Packard C6578D inkjet printer cartridge.

Good luck and complete each cartridge as if it were your last. This information is provided to you to both educate and improve your knowledge in the technical area within the remanufacturing industry.