Year One! (Summer of 2013)

Hello fellow bloggers and readers this is a special post today. I have been blogging for a year now and have no plans to stop. Also I will share my Summer of 2013 which was pretty interesting as well.

So first of all its been a year since I have started blogging and its been an interesting activity. I am a avid reader of other blogs and thought it would be fun to join this community of writers. I have learned a lot about how and what to write. Blogging is a great way to share your insight with others and help inspire and teach along the way. Since I am in school my postings are not consistent as I would like them to be. But when I do I make sure its substantial.

My tool for all of my Blogs.

My tool for all of my Blogs.

I can see how some people can get paid and some who should get paid. I like do it to keep my writing skills fresh and finely tuned so when the time comes to profit from it I can. When the time comes it will be a seamless transition.

So I wonder to myself what to write about next? I have so many ideas and get inspiration from conversations I have and well as in my own mind. Even you readers and fellow bloggers can provide some input and advice, its all good!

Sharing ideas makes us all successful!

Sharing ideas makes us all successful!

Now on to this Summer! Usually I go take a trip somewhere aboard. I always focus on external aspects of things but this year has been quite internal. This year the trip was mental and managed to dig up a lot of interesting things that sort of held me back. I ended up purging a lot of things that have been lingering on in my life. This was also a time I used to throw away a lot of old things that have been piling up in my apartment. I ended up throwing away seven years worth of junk! This helped pave the way for new energy to flow in and all that stagnant stuff has been eradicated. I must say it was very therapeutic. So the Summer was still great even though I didn’t really go anywhere.

This year the Travel was internal.

This year the Travel was internal.

Well thats it for now! Thanks to all my readers and followers, also my fellow bloggers who inspire me to keep it up.

Thanks for an awesome year!

Thank-you-notes

Dean

Interlude: Fear

Hello friends this will be another interlude on my blog. These are just short posts on my thoughts on life and things. This one came to me while I was cutting grass. As you know I am a US Army veteran and have done two tours in Iraq. Once in 2003 and again in 2005. I was apart of the initial invasion that thrust into Baghdad in March of 2003. Luckily the parts of the conflict I was involved in was minimal.

I eventually returned home to thankful family and friends. Sometime after I  went to my mother’s church  and the Pastor asked an interesting question. He asked me if I was scared while I was other there. I said ” of course! “. Who wouldn’t be scared of driving into a foreign country who has a reputation for using chemical weapons? Did I let the fear paralyze me? No! I used it. Thats what kept me alert and ready, helping others who needed the help.

Leaders transform fear into something useful then lead.

Leaders transform fear into something useful then lead.

That is how we use fear, not as a barrier but fuel to keep alert and safe. Not paranoid or nervous but cognizant and aware. Its okay to be afraid thats how we see the challenge and choose whether or not to accept it.

Mastering your fears will liberate you.

Mastering your fears will liberate you.

Until next time.

Dean

Yoga: Year One

Hello friends and family!

I hope everyone is enjoying the Summer and finding fun ways to beat the heat!

Looks nice but imagine heat and humidity making it 104 and up!

Looks nice but imagine heat and humidity
making it 104° and up!

Todays topic will be about Yoga and what I have learned from my year of re-acquainting myself with it. As I mentioned in 100 Days of Yoga I focused on Yoga during the brutal days of NY heat last summer of 2012. It was an awesome experience and learned a lot from it.

My Favorite Yoga Poses

My Favorite Yoga Poses

Well a year has passed and wanted to share some ideas and experiences from this year of doing Yoga. Some you may have heard before . But if  not I will share them here today anyway.

Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action. …Perform actions, firm in discipline, relinquishing attachment.

Bhagavad-Gitã  (2.47-48)
  • Yoga is a way to focus on your Internal world after dealing with the external world. This means centering yourself while the world goes on.
  • A perfect way to learn and listen to your body intimately.
  • You can apply what you do in Yoga daily while working at your desk or lifting grocery bags from the store. As in breathing correct posture and breaking the habit of slouching in a chair.
You will notice a difference in your posture.

You will notice a difference in your posture.

  • Yoga is Skill in Action: This comes from the Bhagavad-Gitã . I will let you think about that one on your own.
  • Patience becomes a virtue and you learn that being in a rush isn’t that serious. I know I am guilty of this one.
  • Abolishing bad habits become easier as you can focus and become more aware of them.
  • You will respect eating and be more mindful while eating.
  • Once you learn your limits you will want to challenge them in a healthy way.
  • Yoga will make other physical activities seem flawless and fluid.
  • Yoga is fun!
Enjoy Yoga! Its fun!

Enjoy Yoga! Its fun!

So these are some reflections and lessons I have had while doing Yoga. Its a journey with no destination. Everyday is a opportunity to learn something more about your own capabilities.

Enjoy the Summer and I will see you soon!

Dean

Number 20!

Hello Everyone! we’ve made it to 20 posts! First off thanks for reading/following/commenting! I am grateful for all of your inputs and critiques as it makes my skills sharper and sharper. So to celebrate the 20th post first I will share some of my greatest hits posts. Then my top twenty favorite songs I jam to while I Run, Yoga and other activities.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading!

My Greatest Hits

Some Healthy Things to Think About

Tools For Being Healthy & Fit

Dean’s Day Off

Deans Top Twenty Workout Jams…

“Man in the Box” – Alice in Chains

“You Take my Breath Away” – The Knife

“In da Club (instrumental)” – 50 Cent

“Ænima” – Tool

“Sober” – Tool

“Theme for Great Cities” – Simple Minds

“Fortune Days” – Glitch Mob

“Hyper” – Cascade

“Goin Out West” – Tom Waits

“Forsaken” – David Draiman of Disturbed

“Blue Jeans” – Ladytron

“Training Montage” – Rocky IV Soundtrack

“Organ Donor” – DJ Shadow

“I Got The Power” – Stevie Wright

“Forty Six and 2” – Tool

“My D!ck” – Mickey Avalon

“Digital Versicolor” – Glass Candy

“Cult of Personality” –  Living Color

“Autobot/Decepticon Battle” -Transformers the Movie Soundtrack 1986

“Why So Serious?” ( Crystal Method Remix) – Dark Knight Soundtrack

thank-you

Once again thanks and continue to read as we journey on together through this part of my  life.

Tips for Dealing with Eczema.

Hello every one and Happy Holidays! It looks like Spring is officially here and the Sun is beaming its pleasant rays on everyone. Today I want to get a little personal and talk about how to deal with Eczema. If you don’t know what it is click here to find out.

Basically its a rash that appears on parts or all over your body. Its frustrating, embarrassing and annoying. I have had it since I was a child and it comes and goes when it likes. Or so I thought. There was a time from the late 90’s to 2011 when it was non-existent. Then in the Fall of 2011 it came back with a vengeance. So bad I was out of work for almost a month and one trip to the Emergency Room at the VA (Veterans Affairs Hospital).

I went to a Dermatologist and all they wanted to do was treat it. I am not a conspiracy theorist but it seemed like they wanted to just medicate me and not really solve the problem. Why? Maybe to keep me coming and them employed? Keep the Pharmaceutical industry flowing? Who knows? The bottom line is I wanted to find the source of the problem.

Let me back track to the first flare up I had in the Fall of 2011. My doctor gave me a drug called Prednisone. It works by suppressing your immune system which lowers the effects of Eczema. Sounds like a good idea right? No! It worked at first but when it came back I end up at the Emergency Room at the VA. That’s what Prednisone does it leaves your system weaker; then more susceptible to your aliment. I can’t really blame my Doctor because he was stumped himself. He drew blood and checked it everything was ok.

After some careful meditation and thinking I went to an Allergist and explained to her the condition and what I WANTED  to do about it. My plan was clear, analyze my blood and see what is causing my skin to break out. This time my Allergist put me on a metered Prednisone regimen. Which included large then small doses while I waited for the results.Come to find I was allergic to a lot of things. Here is a small list if you know me you know I LOVE to eat and can bust down 2 or 3 plates of food and have room for Ice Cream and Apple Pie.

Here is the short list:

  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Milk
  • Sesame
  • Egg
  • Pollen

I know you are thinking Damn Dean! What do you eat?!?! The answer is carefully! If you read food ingredients you will find out a lot of foods contain the first three items on that list. Sucks right? No more Ribs slathered in sauce, Hamburgers, Vanilla Ice Cream and Cake. All gone and no more. I live with it and found foods that contain NONE of my allergens.

So there are many morals to this story. One, don’t just get treated; find out the source of what making you sick. Two, Doctors sometimes don’t know everything. Finally, this one is for Parents especially sometimes you think that kids will “grow out” of certain things, that’s not the case. If you can get them looked at before it becomes something that gets out of control. I am leaving you with a list of some things that can cause Eczema and some ways to treat it.

COMMON “TRIGGERS”

  • White Sugar/Refined Sugar
  • Milk
  • ALL SODAS
  • Shrimp/Lobster
  • CANDY
  • DRINKS as Opposed to Juice (There is a difference)
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Polyester Materials
  • Dust Mites and their Waste
  • Pets
  • Down Comforters
  • Perfumes/Colognes
  • Certain Soaps and Deodorants

Tips for Dealing and Healing

  • Warm Showers
  • Cetaphil Soap and Lotion
  • Auqaphor Ointment
  • ALL COTTON BEDDING!
  • Washing Bedding in HOT Water.
  • Cotton Clothing
  • Wash Dishes with Neoprene Gloves

It’s a process of give and take some things may work some won’t. Also get a skin test and that will also determine what is making you ill.

That’s it for now!

Later,

Dean

Breakfast! The King of Meals

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but I am around still here and living life to the fullest.

So today we are going to talk about one of my favorite meals; Breakfast! It’s the best way to start your morning and take on the opportunities of the day. What do you consider breakfast? A Full English? Dunkin Donuts? Hash Browns and Sausage?

Good 'ol Full English Breakfast

Good ‘ol Full English Breakfast, Tasty Right?

These choices are all delicious, tasty and somewhat satisfying. I would love a Full English right about now! But is it really going to do me or YOU any good?

An even better breakfast!

An even better breakfast!

Here are some of the benefits of a nutritious breakfast:

  • A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
  • Improved concentration and performance in the classroom, boardroom and workplace
  • More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
  • Lower cholesterol levels
(courtesy WebMD)

Here is an example I am going to share with you  of what I eat for breakfast. Try it, vary it, experiment with it! Give it a shot!

1 Apple/ Piece of Fruit

1 Cup Cereal

1 Cup Milk/Rice Milk/Soy Milk (Your choice)

See how simple it is? That meal powers and propels me through the day; and lunch (which is a light snack) is a booster for the remainder of the day albeit gym or class. The key is to eat to feel satisfied but not full and bloated, sluggish and wanting to sleep. You can vary this by Toast, Boiled Egg or even a piece of fruit alone.

Thanks once again for stopping by. Be patient and be on the lookout for more posts. Be easy and enjoy what you have!

Peace Dean

It’s YOUR Year in 2013!

Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying your gifts and nursing your holiday party hangovers. Hey! We even survived the impending Apocalypse! With that being said lets look to the future and what opportunities 2013 will bring.

Someone asked me what my new years resolution was. I told her I don’t have one, all I want is to do better than I did last year. That’s it. Nothing more or less. So I am going to share with you all how I plan to do this. Maybe it will help you get ideas on what you want for the new year.

  1. Get an annual check up. I get a physical/dental exam around my birthday month. This way i know whats going good or bad. You are the only one who can take care of your self.
  2. Continue to study and practice Yoga. This is my hobby maybe yours is reading, drawing or exercise, having a hobby is great. Its keeps your mind fresh and away from bad habits.
  3. Stay in school and continue the practice of Autodidacticism. If you don’t know what that means; basically it means “self-taught”. This gifts from this are infinite. I will always be a student.
  4. Family time. Yeah I know we get caught up in our rapture and routine of our lives. Family is the gel that will keep you together. Plan a day out and go somewhere, doesn’t even have to be fancy, dinner is good.
  5. Travel! One of my favorite things to do. Going somewhere different is great as you can look outside the sphere of your life and reflect. Even a simple road trip for a day will let you experience something new. Also go somewhere alone and use your natural skills to figure out who to get around.

Well that’s all I have and will be my last post for 2012. Once again thanks for all the support and following my blog. Happy New Year and see you in 2013!

happy_new_year_1-flower

Peace!

Dean

100 Days of Yoga!

Hello everyone! How are you all doing? Fantastic I hope. Well today I am going to share what I have learned from doing Yoga for a 100 days.

During the Summertime I wanted to find a way to stay fit during the sometimes brutal Summer heat of New York. Personally I am not a fan of being all sweaty while exercising; its annoying and distracting. Usually I do some Yoga moves before and after my exercises. So on another blogger mentioned she challenged herself to do straight Yoga for a week. That was the inspiration I needed to try it out. So I did it for a week and enjoyed it.  Being familiar with Yoga already I was able to design a session that would keep me strong and maintain my levels of fitness. I can say that my strength has increased and I am more resilient doing other exercises.

I am going to break down a session that you can do to evolve your exercises. Before I start Yoga is not all about standing on your head or bending and twisting; there is a philosophy behind it also. But the basic premise I want you to focus on while you try these these poses out is mindfulness; what is mindfulness? In the short term being in the moment NOW. Not your job, Facebook status or whats for dinner. Being focused on how your body moves through the pose.

So here is my basic sequence of sessions, this will get you started as you progress I have added two more phases to get you in the groove. I will give you a breakdown here but its up to you look into it a little further. Links for help will be at the end of the post.

PHASE I

  1. Corpse Pose – This is where you set the tone and start to unplug from the daily routine of your life. Lie down face up and relax. Breathe! Its not uncommon the first times to doze off sleep. Get a timer start with 60 seconds and build up to 5 minutes.
  2. Easy Pose – We are still setting the tone here and really begin to let the Yoga state of mind sink in to yourself. From here you will do neck and shoulder rotations.
  3. Sun Salutations – This is to warm you up and get ready for the session. Start with 3 rounds, 6, then finally 12 rounds. *** face East if you can ***

                 You can stop here and you are essentially warmed up for anything else you like to do in the Gym.

Phase II ( continuing from number three)

  1. Leg Raises – This is to stretch your hamstrings, calves and quadriceps. Do these 3 times.
  2. Wind Relief Pose – This will massage your stomach and spine.
  3. Cat Stretch – To help the upper back muscles and release tension there.
  4. Bridge – This will help the lower back muscles relax and release tension there also.
  5. Fish – This will help the neck and shoulders stretch out tension.
  6. Wheel – The wheel will elongate your and charge your whole nervous system very good to way you up.
  7. Forward bend – This will help your legs and back, also it will counter balance the wheel pose.
  8. Cobra – This is to strengthen the spine and tailbone area.
  9. Locust – This is a great pose to build and develop inner strength. Start with one leg raise then do both.
  10. Bow – This will counter stretch the Cora and Locust pose. Also another great stretch to build power in your arms.
  11. Spinal Twist – This will help your hips and lower back become supple.
  12. Stick – This will aid your posture by  straightening out your back.
  13. Toe Balance – This will help your feet and toes become strong.
  14. Hero Pose – This is to stretch your legs especially if you sit down all day or stand all day.

Phase III

I used to do this after my exercises as a “finisher” to lock in and strengthen my muscles. You can continue from number 14 or as a stand alone exercise.

  1. Mountain Pose – This is all about standing up straight, not hunched over. Just standing shoulders back chest up and spine erect. You will the difference in your posture and will build inner strength also.
  2. Over Head Mountain – Pose in Mountain with arms raised above your head. Great for your shoulders upper and lower back.
  3. ***God Pose*** This is a variation of mountain pose. What you do is stand with your legs a little more than shoulder width apart and arms out with palms facing down. Look straight ahead and breath slowly. You will feel a tug from all four limbs.
  4. Wide-Legged Forward Bend- Great for hips, hamstrings and your whole leg basically. This is one of those poses that takes time to master. be patient and reap the benefits of it.
  5. Warrior Pose I – Great whole body exercise will get your system fired up all over.
  6. Warrior Pose II – The focus here will be on your legs and lower back while keeping your arms straight.
  7. Warrior Pose III – This will help you learn balance and focus. Your ankles and feet will thank you for it.
  8. Triangle – Great side bend pose for your mid section and chest.
  9. Chair Pose – Another way to build strength from the inside.
  10. Corpse Pose – Still is to relax and reflect on your body and mind. This will slow everything down for the moment. Just lie back and breathe.

Well That’s it! I left pictures out for two reasons the first is so that you go and find the poses own your own. Second there are many variations and styles out there. You have to find the one that works for you and your body. I hope that you go out and try what I have shown you here. This could help you in other ways also. But remember! Know your limits and boundaries as with any form of exercise it can harm as well as heal. Its up to you to find that perfect balance as you do with anything else.

Everyone have a great holiday and a prosperous new year!

Some links you help you on your journey.

http://www.yogajournal.com/

Two awesome books that will teach the fundamentals of Yoga.

The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga

Swami Vishnu-devananda

AMBITION

A personal characteristic that is an enormous source of strength is my ambition. This is what drives me to succeed in my goals. I use it to propel myself forward everyday.. It was used when I went from  240lbs to 170lbs. When I was out looking for a job after i got out of the Army. It helped me settle for nothing less than a job that would benefit me in the future. This is the base of my mountain from which all of my other characteristics originate. This is the source of my power.