This Is Life. {Poetry}

get elephant’s newsletter

This is life.
Hands slam

When birds sing or a tree falls
Children laugh, the sky is drenched in smoke
A wave curls and crashes
Mother weeps

This is life.
Owl hoots

As the moon rises or a volcano erupts
A long awaited baby is born, scum bubbles on a pond
Gazelles leaping, poetry in motion
Agony consumes

This is life.
Loud thunderclap

While rainbows soar or the air boils
Love springs from nothing, whales eat garbage
A child blows kisses
Grief overwhelms

This is life.
Wind howls

When a song crescendos or the earth cracks in pieces
A hug consoles pain, dogs huddle alone in cages
Warm baby breath on my cheek
Crying, crying, crying

This is life.
Lion roars

As beauty transforms or anguish unfolds
Squeeze every element from each precious moment
This glorious wretched breath
A child has wings

This is life.
Hands clap

 

Author: Deb Lecos

Image: Author’s Own; Jen Y./Flickr  

Editor: Emily Bartran

About
Deb Lecos

Deb Lecos LMT, CST-T is a regular contributor to elephant journal, freelance writer, and speaker on topics of healing, enlightenment, parenting, nature and shamanism. As a business owner/practitioner/mentor of the healing arts, she utilizes CranioSacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation and shamanism. Deb is currently working on a memoir about her triumph over an abusive childhood. Deb lives in Illinois with her husband, where everyday living often collides with mystical moments of hoo-ha. These are the events on her blog. She has a loving-via-text relationship with her two children who are on an extended sleepover in the ancient rain forest of adulthood. You can follow Deb @DebLecos, on Instagram or on elephant journal.

http://ift.tt/1gZSYTN

Annoying Repetitive Thoughts: How to Use ‘em & How to Lose ‘em.

get elephant’s newsletter

I struggled with anxiety and depression for 10 years. I was awkward, shy, and I couldn’t look people in the eye.

Along my journey of overcoming the pesky affliction of “background sadness,” as it could be described, I uncovered many interesting things about the inner workings of my mind.

Repetitive thoughts can be incredibly annoying, and depending on their nature, they can be downright tormenting. We can easily become distracted by these thoughts and miss the thoughts, experiences or emotions that actually triggered these repetitive thoughts in the first place.

When we are able to recognize our repeating thought patterns and bring awareness to them as they arise, we have the opportunity to learn about ourselves; this is the path to growth. In my own experience, the only way to become free of irritating repetitive thoughts is to figure out their source.

Everyone has repetitive thoughts to some degree and they can manifest in different forms. The forms—images, memories, phrases or stories—are not as important as the underlying patterns which these thoughts are operating under. The first step to identifying these thoughts is to try not to suppress them, which is usually our natural instinct, because doing this only gives them more strength.

Once we’re able to look at the repeating thought, the practice becomes exploring what triggered it. Anything that repeats can be considered a pattern, so understanding how that pattern works is the key to getting past it.  

I figured out how to use repetitive thoughts to my benefit—and how to overcome them—because of an especially consistent thought I had for many years: “I wish I had a girlfriend.”

This thought was at times a constant plague, and the more I yelled for it to stop, the more it would play over and over again in my mind. Here’s the weird part—eventually I became involved in a relationship, I had a girlfriend, but the thought didn’t stop! This really confused me. I was thinking, “I solved the problem! I should be free of this! What the hell?!”

My bewilderment forced me to investigate. I began listening for my mind to say its favorite phrase, and after doing this for some time, I realized that there was a distinct type of thought that was triggering it. Every single time, before I would have the thought “I wish I had a girlfriend,” a thought or experience was there that was making me feel embarrassed or ashamed. The emotions of shame and embarrassment, from my past or from my current situation, were triggering that repeating thought.

So then I asked myself, “What is the origin of this pattern? How did it form?” It made perfect sense once I asked myself those questions. As a young teen, whenever I would go to family gatherings, my aunts and uncles would always ask me if I had a girlfriend, and every time I would have to say no. I felt embarrassment and shame around this. I remember feeling like I should have a girlfriend. In response, I became obsessed with the idea of having a girlfriend, always reciting to myself, “I wish I had a girlfriend.” Deep down all I really wanted was to not feel shame and embarrassment. I was trying to make an external shift to solve the problem, when what I really needed was an internal shift—to deal with the root cause.

Once I made this connection, it was like I learned a new language; the language of my mind. Every time I would have that repeating thought I would see it as an opportunity to find out what I was feeling ashamed or embarrassed about. My former tormentor became like a giant poster saying, “Hey, look at this! You’re feeling shame and embarrassment about something and you need to deal with.”

I unearthed a lot of stuff that I was holding onto simply by following this “pointer thought,” as it could be called.

For example, when I was in high school I tried out for the varsity soccer team, but I didn’t make it. It was a big deal to me because I had been playing soccer my whole life. I loved playing soccer and a lot of my closest friends played soccer too. I felt ashamed about not making the team because I thought I had disappointed my father and I felt embarrassed to go to school and face my friends.

Years later, when I would recall this painful memory my mind would instantly chime in, “I wish I had a girlfriend.” Instead of dealing with the emotions of shame and embarrassment created by the past experience of getting cut from the team, my mind was tricking me, or to think about it in a more positive way, it was protecting me from feeling the painful emotions of shame and embarrassment. If this protective part of myself had a voice it would be saying, “You don’t want to feel this, so I’m going to distract you with something else that might be easier for you to work with.”

In this case, that “something else” was the problem of not having a girlfriend. Unconsciously, I made the choice that focusing on my girlfriend problem would be easier than fully experiencing the root feelings of shame and embarrassment. But, as I said, once I “fixed the problem,” the thought still persisted.

It was never about the problem, it was about the underlying emotion.

This is one way that traumatic experience can remain buried. There is an aspect of our minds that wants to protect us, because the emotion itself was too intense at the time of the original experience. So the mind says, “Here you go, deal with this other problem and avoid the emotion.” That part of us is like a parent who is trying to do their best to help us, but really, they’re doing more harm than good. The only way to heal is to feel.

Here’s a step-by-step process I use that might work for some people:

  1. Identify common repeating thought-forms. These could be manifesting as words in the mind, images in the mind, or a combination of the two. Make a list of repeating thought-forms and describe them in as much detail as possible, so that when they come up it’s easy to immediately recognize them.
  2. Try to become aware of these specific thought-forms as they arise. I would always say to myself, “There’s that thought again!”
  3. Try to remember what you were experiencing just before the thought occurred. It could be something actually happening in the moment, a memory of a past event, worrying about a future event or just a raw emotion. This can be the hardest part, because a lot of times it’s something we don’t want to look at or feel, either because it’s too scary or too painful.
  4. Try to make a connection between the repeating thought-form and the type of thought, emotion, or experience directly preceding it. In other words, try to identify what triggered the repeating thought and attempt to see how those two things might be linked.

This process is something that has helped me immensely in my own personal growth and development, and I hope by sharing it other people can benefit from it as well.

In my experience, every repeating thought has meaning, each of which is a unique pointer to some aspect of ourselves that is unconscious. There is a reason that certain thoughts repeat. I think that at some level we’re being taught to look at these specific thoughts, and until we do, they won’t stop.

Only by bringing awareness to them can we let them go for good and experience true peace of mind.

 

Author: John Miller

Image: Guilherme Yagui/Flickr 

Editor: Emily Bartran

http://ift.tt/1gZSYTN

These Four Diet Myths Make us Fat & Sick.

get elephant’s newsletter

When it comes to overall health and weight loss, there’s an abundance of bad advice that’s misguided, outdated, and scientifically disproven.

These ubiquitous myths create stalled weight loss and damage our health. Let’s take a look at four nutrition “truths” that jeopardize our health and waistline.

Myth #1: All Calories are Created Equal

A calorie is a calorie, right? Wrong. This refuse-to-die myth keeps us from being healthy and losing weight.

The idea goes as long as we burn more calories than we consume, we will lose weight. The multi-billion dollar weight loss industry perpetuates this lie and actually relies on us believing it to stay afloat.

Thinking losing weight is all about energy balance or calories-in-calories-out vastly oversimplifies the truth. The food industry and government agencies love this myth because it keeps us buying more junk food, which they tell us to eat in moderation.

Our bodies are much more complex than a simple math problem. When we eat, our food interacts with our biology, a complex adaptive system that instantly transforms every bite. Food is more than just calories and flavors. Food is information telling our cells what to do.

In fact, every bite we eat affects our hormones, brain chemistry, and metabolism. Sugar calories cause fat storage and spike hunger. Calories from protein and fat promote fat burning.

What counts more are the quality, not the quantity, of those calories. The highest-quality calories come from whole foods. We needn’t count calories when we eat fresh foods like those our great-grandma made.

These foods include quality protein like grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish, healthy fats like avocado, and good carbs like vegetables, fruits like wild berries, and super foods like chia and hemp seeds.

Myth #2: Our Genetics Define our Health

This myth says if our mom is fat and our grandma is fat, we will also become fat. We drew the fat card or the diabetes card in the genetic lottery.

As a firm believer that food is medicine and information for our cells, our genetics do not dictate future health outcomes. We possess much more power over them, and we are never doomed.

Consider this: There are 32 obesity-associated genes in the general population that account for only nine percent of obesity cases. Even if we had all 32 obesity genes, we would put on only about 22 pounds.

Our genes only change two percent every 20,000 years. About 35 percent of Americans are obese today, yet by 2050 that number will become over 50 percent of Americans. Our genes simply don’t change that fast.

What changed drastically wasn’t our genes. We went from eating about 10 pounds of sugar per person per year in 1800 to 152 pounds of sugar (and 146 pounds of flour) per person per year today. Those are drugs: Doses of sugar and flour that hijack our metabolism and make us fat and sick.

Myth #3: We Can Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

The myth that we can eat whatever we want and burn those calories with exercise makes no sense when we know how the human body works.

We set ourselves up for failure if we rely on exercise to lose weight without changing our diet. We can change our diet and lose weight, but if we exercise and keep our diet the same, we may gain some muscle, improve endurance, and be healthier overall, but we won’t shed many pounds.

Think about it: If we drink just one 20-ounce soda, we’ll have to walk four-and-a-half miles to burn it off. We simply cannot exercise our way out of a bad diet.

Yes, exercise is extremely important, but to lose weight and keep it off we need to couple exercise with a healthy diet filled with plenty of plant foods, healthy fats, and protein.

Myth #4: Fat Makes Us Fat

Eating fat is critical to health and weight loss. Simply put: eating fat makes us lean.

Studies comparing an identical-calorie high-fat diet to a high-sugar diet had totally different effects on metabolism. The higher-fat diet caused people to burn an extra 300 calories a day. That’s the equivalent of running an hour but without doing any exercise.

Dietary fat actually speeds up our metabolism, while sugar slows it down. The right kinds of fat cool down inflammation, while sugar fuels it.

In studies of animals eating identical calorie diets of either low-fat (high-sugar) or higher fat and protein diets show higher sugar diets lead to more fat deposition and muscle loss, while the higher fat and protein diets led to more muscle mass and fat loss. Keep in mind they were eating exactly the same number of calories.

Good fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocado, nuts, seeds, and nut butters keep us full and lean.

 

I’m sure you’ve got one to add! Please share your refuse-to-diet dietary myth below or on my Facebook page.

 

Author: Dr. Mark Hyman

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Editor: Emily Bartran

 

About
Mark Hyman

Mark Hyman, MD

, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality—and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. Dr. Hyman and his team work every day to empower people, organizations, and communities to heal their bodies and minds, and improve our social and economic resilience.
Dr. Hyman is a practicing family physician, a nine-time #1

New York Times

bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director of the

Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

. He is also the founder and medical director of

The UltraWellness Center

, chairman of the board of the

Institute for Functional Medicine

, a medical editor of

The Huffington Post,

and has been a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, the Today Show, CNN, The View, the Katie Couric show and The Dr. Oz Show.
Dr. Hyman works with individuals and organizations, as well as policy makers and influencers. He has testified before both the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Senate Working Group on Health Care Reform on Functional Medicine. He has consulted with the Surgeon General on diabetes prevention, and participated in the 2009 White House Forum on Prevention and Wellness. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa nominated Dr. Hyman for the President’s Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. In addition, Dr. Hyman has worked with President Clinton, presenting at the Clinton Foundation’s 

Health Matters

Achieving Wellness in Every Generation

 conference and the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as with the World Economic Forum on global health issues.
Dr. Hyman also works with fellow leaders in his field to help people and communities thrive—with Rick Warren, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dr. Daniel Amen,he created 

The Daniel Plan,

a faith-based initiative that helped The Saddleback Church congregation collectively lose 250,000 pounds.  He is an advisor and guest co-host on 

The Dr. Oz Show

and is on the board of Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps, which tackles the obesity epidemic by educating American students about nutrition. With Drs. Dean Ornish and Michael Roizen, Dr. Hyman crafted and helped introduce the Take Back Your Health Act of 2009 to the United States Senate to provide for reimbursement of lifestyle treatment of chronic disease. Dr. Hyman plays a substantial role in a major documentary, produced by Laurie David and Katie Couric, called

Fed Up

 (Atlas Films, September 2014)

which addresses childhood obesity. Please join him in helping us all take back our health at

his website

, follow him on

Twitter

and on

Facebook

and

Instagram

.

http://ift.tt/1gZSYTN

Robert De Niro Thanks Meryl Streep For Her Speech Slamming Trump: “It Needed to Be Said, You Said It Beautifully”

Robert De Niro’s Quotes About Meryl Streep’s Speech 2017

Robert De Niro Thanks Meryl Streep For Her Speech Slamming Trump: “It Needed to Be Said, You Said It Beautifully”

The Golden Globe Awards were full of amazing (and awkward) moments, but the biggest by far was Meryl Streep’s passionate acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award. In it, she touched on the importance of diversity in Hollywood and America and called out President-elect Donald Trump for his obnoxious, disrespectful behavior. It didn’t take long for the bitter reality star to come out swinging against the legendary actress via Twitter, but luckily she has more than a few people in her corner. In addition to messages of support from George Clooney, Ron Howard, and Stephen Colbert, her Marvin’s Room costar Robert De Niro wrote a heartfelt letter thanking her for her speech.

“Meryl –

What you said was great. It needed to be said, and you said it beautifully. I have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements. I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough. You, with your elegance and intelligence, have a powerful voice – one that inspires others to speak up as they should so their voices will be heard too. It is so important that we ALL speak up.

We love you.

Bob”

We can add him to the long, long list of celebrities who aren’t afraid to speak their minds when it comes to the future of our country.

POPSUGAR, the #1
independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for
original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

http://ift.tt/1zpkeaC

stepLINKS of the Day

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-10-45-57-am

Today we’ve learned some very valuable lessons.

The first is that when you see a fat girl and think damn she’s fat only to sit next to her and realize you’re fatter…and it doesn’t matter because she’s a girl and has an image to uphold….

The second is that trump must have Twitter stocks because without him Twittet wouldn’t exist

The third is that actors aren’t artists, they are liars and their opinions don’t matter, they just use them to seem important so that they can justify their insane pay rate for such an insignificant thing like bringing irrelevant characters to life on the screen…then they get political on top off already being the worst humans…

The world is just a bad twisted place, but at least girls still take nude selfies…

With the advent of technology, the dating apps, the self driving car, the iPhone, social media, and the computer in and of itself…the nude selfie is what it was all for….

Here are some links

Here are some stepLINKS…

Best / Worst from the Golden Globes
CLICK HERE

Freeing a Bike from an Electric Fence
CLICK HERE

Mariah Carey Still Talking About New Years..
CLICK HERE

J.Lo in Tight Pants
CLICK HERE

Soulja Boy VS Chris Brown FIGHT
CLICK HERE

Most Memorable Moments from Obama Presidency
CLICK HERE

Victoria Justice After Party
CLICK HERE

Meryl Streep – Vs – Trump
CLICK HERE

Devil Woman Amber Heard Makes and Appearance
CLICK HERE

The Jenners Did the Golden Globes
CLICK HERE

Kaley Cuoco’s Tits
CLICK HERE

George Clooney’s Wife is Boring
CLICK HERE

Man Rescues a Bird
CLICK HERE

Driving Ski Toweed by a Car
CLICK HERE

Kylie Jenner – Thighs
CLICK HERE

Tove Lo Topless
CLICK HERE

Lesbians of the Day
CLICK HERE

Flat Iron Popcorn
CLICK HERE

Lais Ribeiro in Victoria’s Secret
CLICK HERE

Casey Affleck Vs Sexually Harassment…
CLICK HERE

Model in her Lingerie
CLICK HERE

Nokia vs Extreme Heat
CLICK HERE

Horse and a Squeaky Toy
CLICK HERE

===============
From stepSMUT!! LINKS BELOW ARE NSFW!
================

Today’s Random Tumblr Porn CURATED by ME so I can Say the Word Curated
CLICK HERE

some Natural Tits
CLICK HERE

Dudes Very Happy About the Squirt
CLICK HERE

Hot Girl in a Bikini…Dancing…
CLICK HERE

Tits Like an Indian
CLICK HERE

Girl and her Vibe
CLICK HERE

Tattoo Girl – and her Pussy
CLICK HERE

SLUTS LOVE TAKING SO MANY Naked Selfies of the Day
CLICK HERE

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Check Out My Hot Sauce Photoshoot with Dead Fish and Tits…
CLICK HERE

Find More Great Links Here….
CLICK HERE

///////////////////////////////////////////

FOLLOW ME INTO THE DARKNESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | TUMBLR | SNAPCHAT

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The post stepLINKS of the Day appeared first on DrunkenStepfather.

http://ift.tt/1lTvd2W

stepLINKS of the Day

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-10-45-57-am

Today we’ve learned some very valuable lessons.

The first is that when you see a fat girl and think damn she’s fat only to sit next to her and realize you’re fatter…and it doesn’t matter because she’s a girl and has an image to uphold….

The second is that trump must have Twitter stocks because without him Twittet wouldn’t exist

The third is that actors aren’t artists, they are liars and their opinions don’t matter, they just use them to seem important so that they can justify their insane pay rate for such an insignificant thing like bringing irrelevant characters to life on the screen…then they get political on top off already being the worst humans…

The world is just a bad twisted place, but at least girls still take nude selfies…

With the advent of technology, the dating apps, the self driving car, the iPhone, social media, and the computer in and of itself…the nude selfie is what it was all for….

Here are some links

Here are some stepLINKS…

Best / Worst from the Golden Globes
CLICK HERE

Freeing a Bike from an Electric Fence
CLICK HERE

Mariah Carey Still Talking About New Years..
CLICK HERE

J.Lo in Tight Pants
CLICK HERE

Soulja Boy VS Chris Brown FIGHT
CLICK HERE

Most Memorable Moments from Obama Presidency
CLICK HERE

Victoria Justice After Party
CLICK HERE

Meryl Streep – Vs – Trump
CLICK HERE

Devil Woman Amber Heard Makes and Appearance
CLICK HERE

The Jenners Did the Golden Globes
CLICK HERE

Kaley Cuoco’s Tits
CLICK HERE

George Clooney’s Wife is Boring
CLICK HERE

Man Rescues a Bird
CLICK HERE

Driving Ski Toweed by a Car
CLICK HERE

Kylie Jenner – Thighs
CLICK HERE

Tove Lo Topless
CLICK HERE

Lesbians of the Day
CLICK HERE

Flat Iron Popcorn
CLICK HERE

Lais Ribeiro in Victoria’s Secret
CLICK HERE

Casey Affleck Vs Sexually Harassment…
CLICK HERE

Model in her Lingerie
CLICK HERE

Nokia vs Extreme Heat
CLICK HERE

Horse and a Squeaky Toy
CLICK HERE

===============
From stepSMUT!! LINKS BELOW ARE NSFW!
================

Today’s Random Tumblr Porn CURATED by ME so I can Say the Word Curated
CLICK HERE

some Natural Tits
CLICK HERE

Dudes Very Happy About the Squirt
CLICK HERE

Hot Girl in a Bikini…Dancing…
CLICK HERE

Tits Like an Indian
CLICK HERE

Girl and her Vibe
CLICK HERE

Tattoo Girl – and her Pussy
CLICK HERE

SLUTS LOVE TAKING SO MANY Naked Selfies of the Day
CLICK HERE

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Check Out My Hot Sauce Photoshoot with Dead Fish and Tits…
CLICK HERE

Find More Great Links Here….
CLICK HERE

///////////////////////////////////////////

FOLLOW ME INTO THE DARKNESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | TUMBLR | SNAPCHAT

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The post stepLINKS of the Day appeared first on DrunkenStepfather.

http://ift.tt/1lTvd2W

Ekaterina Zueva Would Make A Great Super Naughty Mail-Order Bride

Ekaterina Zueva

Pretty sure I’ve introduced you guys to this Russian mega-babe before, but just in case you missed her the last few times, I want you to meet Ekaterina Zueva, AKA the next future ex-Mrs. Tuna. Well, as soon as I can save up enough money to bring her over here. Marriage is one thing. But divorce isn’t cheap. Good thing I’ve been saving on rent all these years. See? And you guys thought I just lived in my mom’s basement because I’m a loser. Joke’s on you.

Ekaterina Zueva Ekaterina Zueva Ekaterina Zueva Ekaterina Zueva Ekaterina Zueva
Ekaterina Zueva Ekaterina Zueva Ekaterina Zueva Ekaterina Zueva Ekaterina Zueva

http://ift.tt/144Y2RB

Beyoncé Interviews Solange

Beyoncé Interviews Solange

Solange is Interview Magazine’s latest cover star, and the interview was done by none other than her sister, Beyoncé. While the story has yet to hit the internet, Solange teased the interview on her Instagram; she and her sister spoke on “womanism, growing up in a hair salon, and choosing between ‘I could fall in love’ and ‘No Me Queda Mas’” and called it “one of her favorites to date.” Check out the cover and another photo from the feature below. Solange’s latest album A Seat at the Table was named our #1 album of 2016.

@interviewmag

A photo posted by Solange (@saintrecords) on

http://ift.tt/pauxGJ

Kristen Bell Reveals Butt Pads

Kristen Bell shared an Instagram photo of the butt pads she wore under her dress at the Golden Globes. It’s not exactly what you would deem sexy, but neither are her man hands. It appears she has simply stopped trying. read more

http://www.wwtdd.com/