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

Crafting Your Skill

I read this blog the other day and it got me thinking about things. Things like what I am doing with myself and my skills. There are people who work just to pay bills and that’s their only unfortunate goal/role. Some people  have families and need to provide for them. That goes without saying. Sometimes we get stuck in a loop of our own habits with even knowing it.

” our habits are invisible to us”

How do your Circles connect?

How do your Circles connect?

 This is where having a hobby or a craft comes in. Something that you can do in your pastime that can not really be a distraction but a SELF fulfilling activity that brings you joy.

Once you start to do it and do it well it will bring you the best satisfaction beyond any drug that’s out there. Also you can profit from your skill and you won’t mind doing so because its fun. I know I love to exercise and as soon as I get my qualifications I would love to profit from it. To quote the Joker in The Dark Knight, “If you are good at something never do for free”. Sounds selfish but at the same time it makes sense. Banks are good at saving our money (sometimes). So we pay for that service. We don’t have to profit monetarily from our potential.We can still but profit in other ways as in your own joy and happiness.

So working on a skill that you enjoy will reap benefits for years to come. Even if you don’t profit from it. The joy of doing something else than just being an automaton of waking up, driving to work and going home to your couch and doing the same cycle over and over again.

You know where the pieces fit..

You know where the pieces fit..

Share your skills here and inspire others to do the same…

Dean

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

Interlude: Dreams

Hey everyone! Its been awhile! I know, school and work are keeping me from doing this blog. I haven’t forgotten about you though! Wishing everyone a great holiday season and a positive new year in 2013!

So in the meantime while I finish up my Yoga blog I will leave you with a gem that I found on my phone from last year. This was written as I sat in Heathrow Airport in 2011 returning back to NY. I have left it untouched sans any grammar or punctuation corrections. Enjoy!

American_Dream

Dreams…
I am taking this time to reflect on my trip and a lot of other things. We as Americans take what we have for granted or lose sight of what we want. Well lets just say get distracted. As some of you know I went to London for vacation. This was a great trip and sort of inspired me to write this.
On my last night out I was talking to my friend Mac, I had said, “the dream is over.” he replied,” Well least you are going back to the land of dreams.” What he said made me think about other people who come to America like my grandmother and came to accomplish what they desired.
I here a lot of talk about “foreigners” coming over and taking jobs from Americans. Sometimes I want to yell in their ear and say that they came here the same way their forefathers/ancestors/grandparents did jackass! This makes me very annoyed because WE ALL have a fair shot to get what you want. But if you sit there and don’t do anything, while they are busting their ass to get that house and car who is to blame? That’s the question i leave to you…..

Welcome to Number 10!

Hey everyone! What’s good. Out there? Hope all you readers are doing as well as I am.

So here we are, post number 10! First off thanks for taking the time out to read and check out my side of the world. Also I hope you are learning and being entertained from all what i have been sharing.

I started this blog for many reasons. First as a way to keep my mind focused and keep an account of my life. Second, a lot of people have praised my writing skills . So why let my skill go to waste? Finally this is a great way to secure and promote my name on the World Wide Web.

As this being my 10th post. I figured I would share some of my top ten blogs and sites that I go to. Some are fun, interesting and even profound. Some of them have inspired me to blog in the first place. So here they are. Enjoy!

Once again thanks for reading and stay tuned for another ten posts!

1. http://societyofamateurgentlemen.wordpress.com/linkage-archive/

This is a cool place for men to get a lot of insight and tips for living in today’s modern world, some of the posts and blogs are raw, plus brutally honest. You have been warned.

2. http://www.psychologytoday.com/

Great site for figuring out all that stuff that goes on inside your head. Lots of stuff to learn in there!

3. http://io9.com/

This is where I get all my comic news and Sci-Fi stuff. A must for comic book nerds like myself.

4. http://www.blogilates.com/

Her energy alone will make you want to workout. But lots of fun exercises for women and guys too. Women always ask me fitness questions, so I usually steer them here.

5. http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/

This is a cool site that I enjoy reading. Her writing style is awesome and always gives me inspiration to write more.

6. http://thestrengthshop.blogspot.com/

Another site that motivates me to write, especially about fitness. If you are a true athlete then this is the place to get that boost we all need sometimes.

7. http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/yogapractice/postures.asp

Great place to brush up on your Yoga skills. The Animations are cool and show you how to hold each pose.

8. http://earthsky.org/tonight

If you like to star gaze and track the moon, this is the place to go. It will let you know what stars and phases of the moon are around daily.

9. http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html

All the exercises you will ever need and some great lectures on nutrition.

10. https://www.facebook.com/

Yes Facebook! It gets a bad rep sometimes, but its only entertainment! Nothing more, nothing less.
There it is, some of my favorite places to go while I am on the World Wide Web. So join me in a toast for 10 posts and to 10 more into infinity!

Stay well!

Dean

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.