Happiness is NOT the Meaning of Life – Alan Watts

Some of history’s greatest philosophers have spent their entire lives writing about the meaning of life. Why are we here? Surely there must be a reason? Many people in western culture believe the meaning of life is to “be happy”. Alan Watts has a brilliant way of eloquently challenging this notion. If we were to live in a state of eternal bliss, then bliss would become dull. Without darkness, there would be no light. Without pain, there would be no pleasure. Happiness is based in perspective. Embrace every aspect of life, the good and the bad, and learn to see the beauty in it.

 

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Is the Power to Heal ourselves increasing?

By Jacob Devaney

New studies are showing that placebos are becoming more effective in treating illness.

Researchers are perplexed by recent studies that have placebos performing very well compared to new and experimental pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile the science of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is echoing what mystics and shaman have been saying forever which is that we have untold powers to heal ourselves!

Spirit and science converging

This coming together between the spiritual and scientific communities shows an unprecedented opportunity for humans to embrace vibrant, healthy, thriving lives. Recent research on placebos comes from a McGill University and is published in Pain, the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. I first learned about this in a wonderful article by Carolyn Gregoire in Huffington Post titled, Placebo Effect Puzzle Has Scientists Scratching Their Heads.

I highly recommend reading the entire article which shows how the placebo effect is exploding in the United States, but nowhere else. This may have something to do with the fact that the United States has 5% of the worlds population yet consumes 75% of the worlds prescription drugs ().

The ‘sugar pill’ is working

The analysis revealed that in U.S. trials conducted in 1993, pain medications were rated to be an average of 27 percent more effective than placebo pills. In the 2013 trials, however, the pain medication was only 9 percent more effective than the placebo. The difference wasn’t attributed to decreased effectiveness of the medication, but instead to a greater response to the placebo. In other words, the sugar pill has become nearly as effective as medication in alleviating pain. – Carolyn Gregoire in Placebo Effect Puzzle Has Scientists Scratching Their Heads.

The above study focused on pain-killers, but similar results have been observed for anti-depressants. With more than 1 in 5 Americans taking mental health drugs the number of people seeking alternatives and preventative measures continues to grow. Yoga, meditation, healthy diet, and exercise do not come in the form of a pill but tend to address the larger picture of wellbeing that is too often overlooked by the medical establishment.

Although placebo may not be a viable treatment option, there are other treatments that on average work as well as antidepressants, [such as] physical exercise and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. As far as we know, these alternatives don’t make people worse. – Irving Kirsch, Time Magazine

Tuning into our trauma

All of this points to the innate ability our bodies have to self-regulate, seek balance (homeostasis), and heal. You would think that we would be eager to listen to our own bodies when they speak to us through symptoms, yet we usually do the exact opposite by numbing the pain or ignoring what we feel. Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger, is an expert in trauma resolution and a lead voice in field of Somatic Experiencing, which invites us to tune in to our bodies as well as our emotions in order to reclaim our health.

Through hundreds of hours of client sessions, Levine began to witness how clients’ bodies told their stories of trauma, even if the clients had no specific memories. Once Levine guided them into the sensate experience of trauma, the body then took over and finished what was unprocessed, or incomplete. Clients receive the added gifts of increased body awareness, a stronger connection to self, a shift in deep-seated patterns, a more regulated nervous system, and a sense of mastery.

Why do humans need to be guided at all? The biggest obstacle is how inattentive and unfamiliar we are with our physical sensations. Our big, sophisticated brains constantly out-think and override our bodily needs. We are trained to ignore signs of hunger, pain, discomfort, injury, danger, as well as pleasure, saturation, and fulfillment. What’s astonishing is how forgiving and responsive the body is. As soon as we tune into it, shifts begin to happen. – Peter Levine

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As Strong As Morphine: This Natural Painkiller Grows in Your Backyard

From injury to disease, pain is a very common ailment or symptom that can take down the toughest of the tough. It’s so prevalent that we are seeing a major epidemic with opiate dependency.

Unfortunately, with so many needing to find relief, it’s leading to a large portion of our population becoming dependent on a chemical bandage, often just masking the problem, rather than fixing the cause.

Unfortunately, it’s getting so widespread that the medical field view many of those in real need as “seekers”. So, instead of getting relief from tangible pain, people are being turned away. As a result, they are finding it illegally, and pain clinics and rehabs are popping up all over, trying to combat the addiction.

Wild Lettuce as a Healthy Alternative

Lactuca Virosa is the scientific term for it, and many people have used it in place of addictive prescription pain medicine. It’s a leafy and tall plant, with small yellow buds, and could be grown right out your door. More commonly found in North America and England, it’s a cousin to the lettuce we typically see at the grocery store. It’s also referred to as bitter lettuce, or more appropriately for the purpose discussed here, opium lettuce.

The reason it’s referred to as opium lettuce, is due to the pain relieving and sedative effects that it has been known to produce through a white substance found in the stem and leaves.

Lactucarium

This milky substance is called lactucarium. And, while it doesn’t contain any opiates, it has similar side effects when used – it acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to lessen the feeling of pain, just like morphine.

Even though it seems to be the best kept secret, it has a history of being used as an alternative to pain relief.

Historical Use

Back in the 19th century, wild lettuce was already being used by some as a substitute to opium. But, it was in the 70’s that it started to gain significant popularity by those wanting a more natural remedy. Individuals were starting to use it for both pain relief, as well as recreational purpose.

In the earlier days, people using wild lettuce prepared it a couple different ways. One way was to cook the plant in a pan of water and sugar mix, until it reduced to a thick syrup-like consistency. While this was an effective form, it was quite bitter even with the sugar added. The most common form however, was drying the stem and leaves to use as an herbal tea.

The tea remains popular today. But, it’s also being dried for smoking, or vaporizing. If you don’t care to grow it yourself, it can also be purchased as a dried herb, extract, or resin substance.

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How to find wild lettuce and prepare it for use

 

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Overcoming Soft Slavery: Building Perspective Instead of Walls

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“The first principle is to not fool yourself. And you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

A higher perspective is an elusive thing. It’s difficult to get ahold of from within the box of the status quo. Especially a status quo operating from a lower perspective seeking to build walls that further box it in.

The existing state of affairs prevents a higher perspective by shutting down progressive, forward thinking with outdated, parochial reasoning. It uses the concept of safety and security to distract you from notions of freedom and liberty.

Here’s the thing: there are too many whiny snowflakes crying about safety and security, and not enough courageous trailblazers willing to stretch their comfort zones at the risk of safety and security. That’s a problem. It leads to stagnation at best and regression at worst.

Freedom and liberty is what really matters, despite how dangerous or risky it might be. Having courage should be more important than remaining comfortable. The world is too small to limit freedom of movement to one place. Life is too short to suffer inside the box of outdated law and order, no matter how safe or comfortable that codependent box is.

If it’s true, as Aldous Huxley surmised, that “men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach,” then it behooves us, based on five thousand years of historical experience, not to entrust the management of our lives to rulers, masters, kings, priests, politicians, generals, or policemen. Authority should always be questioned. Especially a violent authority. And especially-especially a violent authority seeking to put up walls.

Unfortunately, we’ve all been conned. We’ve all been hoodwinked and bamboozled into thinking that being an obedient statist is the best way to live. It’s not. As Daniel Dennett said, “There’s no polite way to suggest to someone that they have devoted their life to a folly.”

So here it is down and dirty: Statism is soft slavery disguised as freedom, which creates blind patriotism, divisive nationalism, and irrational xenophobia as a side effect. Let’s break it down.

Soft slavery:

“History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” ~Mark Twain

What’s the difference between hard slavery and soft slavery? Hard slavery is overt, it’s apparent and self-evident. Nothing is hidden. It’s clear who the slave is. It’s clear who the master is.

Soft slavery, on the other hand, is covert. It is neither apparent nor self-evident. Everything is hidden behind comfort, apathy, security, convenience, indifference, and the illusion of freedom. It’s not clear who the slave is. It’s not clear who the master is. And the power dynamic is obscured by an unhealthy hierarchy that leads to public confusion within a chain of obedience that’s based on fear and violence.

Statists, living in a world ruled by nation states and deceived by the illusion of freedom, are more akin to the house slave from the times of hard slavery than to free human beings. The house slave of today is the typical state citizen just going through the motions, unaware of their own slavery. So caught up are they in the “rules” and the “laws” of the land that they cannot see how desperate their situation really is. To the extent that they can see, cognitive dissonance kicks in to squash the uncomfortable feeling to keep their comforting worldview intact.

We must not be afraid of getting uncomfortable, even at the expense of comfort and security. Hell, even house slaves had “comfort” and “security.” We must always question the “master of the house,” lest we be labeled as a soft slave. Beatings be damned! As Edward Abbey said, “Since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” This applies especially to the master (the powers that be) of the house (the nation state). And especially-especially if they use violence to enforce their laws.

Divisive nationalism:

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” ~Audrey Lorde

Migration and the free movement of people has always been a defining factor of the human condition. It’s a process of trial and error, sure, but ultimately, historically, it has led to progressive evolution. Using a big-picture perspective, what astronauts call the Overview Effect, we see how silly and irrational the idea of borders, boundaries, and disputed territories really are.

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22 Of The Weirdest Places On Our Planet

This world is full of mysterious and interesting things. It seems no matter where we go or how far we travel, something strange and wondrous is waiting to be found.

Below you will find some of the most ‘weird’ places on Earth and what we know about them. Most of these places you probably have never heard of but will most likely want to visit (if you still can, some of these places are no longer standing or off limits). While some of them are natural, others are man-made. Which place would you go see if you could pick only one? Let us know, my favorite is number 7!

22 Of The Weirdest Places On Our Planet:

1. Uyuni Salt Flats (Bolivia)

Some call this place the world’s largest mirror, it is a huge area of salt flats. This place contains almost 70 percent of the world’s lithium and is a sight to be seen. You really would never fully understand it until you experienced it firsthand.

2. Paris Catacombs (Paris)

There are thousands of people buried here, beneath the streets of Paris. It was created in the 18th century to help with the overflow coming from cemeteries and is super creepy and yet interesting. The Catacombs are quite intense and if you do not know your way around you will get lost and most likely die down there.

3. Red Beach (Panjin, China)

This is a beach is covered with a type of seaweed that is called Sueda. This seaweed turns bright red in the fall and gives off a very interesting look. It almost looks as if you could walk over it as if it were land but it just doesn’t work that way.

4. Magnetic Hill (India)

This one is a bit peculiar, to say the least. The landscape itself is one big optical illusion. The downward sloping roads appear to slop upwards. This creates what is known as a rolling uphill sensation and might be more than enough to make you nauseous.

5. The Hand In The Desert (Chile)

Just outside of the town known as Antofagasta the shattered remains of what looks like a buried giant hand reaching out. This hand is about 36-feet tall and sticks out of the sand. It was sculpted many years ago and is quite a wonder to see.

6. The Island of Dolls (Mexico)

This island is also known as Isla De Las Munecas. It is an ‘uninhabited’ island that is filled with tons of rough looking dolls hung literally everywhere. The only person who lives on this island is said to have hung them. This island was dedicated to the lost soul of a poor girl who passed away mysteriously and was found drowned. Legend says the dolls move their heads, arms, and some even open their eyes.

7. Lake of Blood (Bolivia)

This is what you would truly call a bloody lake. It is a shallow salt lake. The reddish color is because if the sediments and pigmentation of some algae living there. It looks like tomato soup but I am sure is not quite as yummy.

8. Lake Abraham (Canada)

This beautiful lake can be deadly as it is frozen but still flammable. It has bubbles of pockets of methane in it. Methane bubbles form in bodies of water when dead organic matter falls into them and sinks to the bottom. Methane has formed in lots of lakes around the Arctic and is quite alarming. If you were to be around when one of these bubbles popped you’d better hope you’re not in the process of lighting a match.

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The Spirituality Of Humanness

By Jeff Brown

How to Find Sacredness in Our Shared Humanity

The healthy shift towards inclusivity—socially, culturally, politically—must also infiltrate our notions of ‘spirituality’ if it is going to bring us together as a humanity.

That is, we must get away from the idea that our spirituality and our humanness are two different realms, one higher or more meaningful than the other. In the way that it has been characterized since time immemorial—and not only by mystics, saints, and cave-dwellers—’spirituality’ has been seen as a way of being that is above and beyond our ‘faulty’ humanness, and certainly from many of the messy and unpleasant aspects of our life experience.

It has meant perpetual positivity. It has meant superficial affirmations. It has meant a pure, or absolute consciousness bereft of feeling. It has meant the transcending of the self. It has meant repressed anger and premature forgiveness. It has meant the dissing of ego. It has meant ’emotions as illusion.’ It has meant the bashing of our personal stories and legitimate victimhood. It has meant seeing God only when the sun is out.

Only in those rare moments when you can ‘transcend’ the human experience, or perhaps only when you die, do you get to have a spiritual experience. But not here, not now, not in the heart of this embodied madness.

Separation of Spiritual and Human Experience

Even Webster’s Dictionary distinguishes spiritual life from our embodied form, defining spirituality as, among other things, that which is “concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul,” “lacking material body or form or substance… the vital transcendental soul belonging to the spiritual realm,” “of or pertaining to the moral feelings or states of the soul,” and “of or pertaining to the soul or its affections as influenced by the spirit… proceeding from the holy spirit; pure; holy; divine; heavenly-minded; opposed to carnal.”

We even see this view in the famous saying by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Don’t misunderstand—I understand why we resonate with this saying—it reminds us that we actually are spiritual beings, something we can easily lose sight of in the heart of our daily challenges.

But what is missing is even more important. What is missing is: he doesn’t also say, “We are also human beings having a spiritual experience.” Nor does he dare to suggest that there may actually be no distinction between our spiritual life and our human life. He keeps them distinct, and at most, allows for the possibility that our humanness is one fragment of our spiritual life. And this is the same mistake we have been making for centuries.

Desacralizing the Self

We have been desacralizing the self, imagining it something less than Sacred and Divine.

This leads us in the wrong direction and, although it may provide momentary relief from the challenges of the human experience, it actually perpetuates the (illusory) divide, concretizing the idea that being human is necessarily sub-standard, ultimately turning us away from the necessary work we must do to bring ourselves into integration and make sacred our humanness.

We have been desacralizing the self, imagining it something less than Sacred and Divine.

Simply put, our definition of ‘spiritual’ has meant the bypassing of the challenges of the human experience. They have been severed, abandoned, and transcended in the name of a ‘higher’ or stiller or emptier or more evolved path. Through this lens, spirituality is a shadowless and formless skyscape, one where the sun never stops shining and where we float—peaceful, silent and still—far above the messy complexity of the human experience. Love and light and everything nice.

Mastery at the Expense of Connectiveness

Does this matter? It matters a lot, particularly for those of who seek an inclusive and humane world. In the same way greedy, unconscionable capitalism is destroying us, humanity-severed spirituality is destroying us. It’s all part of the same power-seeking patriarchal system—one that focuses on ‘mastery’ at the expense of connectiveness, one that focuses on being above rather than being among.

Because if we don’t believe that what happens to the ‘human’ is spiritually relevant, we won’t bother to improve our behavior or become more inclusive in our thinking. We won’t stop to look at our effect on each other. We won’t bother to worry about human rights, or healing our trauma, or crafting legal and political structures that reflect our sacred significance. Why would we bother to focus on inclusivity and human value if we believe that our experience of God or Enlightenment or Divinity, is not down here among us, but is way up there, far above the human fray?

Living ‘Above’ Your Humanness

This perspective, this division between spirituality and humanness, is taking us far away from our embodied lives—the only place we can heal and transform as a species.

And it invites all manner of unethical behaviour in patriarchal power-brokers. Because when you are ‘above’ your humanness, you are also above the law. And you can always claim that your actions are acceptable because your human behaviour is not you.

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The Archetypal Path to Getting Your Shit Together

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“We don’t so much solve our problems as we outgrow them. We add capacities and experiences that eventually make us bigger than the problems.” ~Carl Jung

Before we get into archetypes, let’s answer a vital question. What would you do if you already had a billion dollars? Forget how or why you have the money. Forget what you would spend the money on. Focus on what you would do with your life now that you’re financially secure.

What do you love to do? What are you passionate about? What makes you hungry for more (other than money)? What fills you up with fiery enthusiasm and ecstatic joy?

The answer to these questions holds the secret to getting your shit together. Becoming curious about your answers, and then honing-in on how they relate to each other, can lead you to your life’s purpose. As Stephen Kotler said, “Passion exists at the intersection of three or more things you’re really curious about.” Discovering what you’re passionate about gives you purpose, and that’s the first step in getting your shit together.

If for any reason you can’t seem to get past this first step, just skip to the second step. The second step, practiced often enough, should get you to a place where you can answer  vital questions.

The second step is giving your newfound purpose some direction, something your mind can hang its hat on. Your mind needs leverage. It needs guideposts and life-hooks and symbolic stepping stones. It needs archetypes.

Archetypes provide a powerful way to understand the human mind. They map out the multilayered manifestations of the mindscape. Because the human mind is anything but singular. It is multifariously plural.

A multitude of archetypal characters exist there. Most of which reside in the unconscious, working behind the scenes but influencing almost everything we do. They influence behavior, trigger emotions, and provide meaning.

“Archetypes,” wrote Jung, “are the living system of reactions and aptitudes that determine the individual’s life in invisible ways.” Archetypes are unconscious psychosocial symbols representing forms, themes, and concepts in the world.

Archetypes are ideas that resonate across a wide swathe of the human experience, despite differing conditions. They are kind of like a foundational human story, something we intuitively understand. They instinctively feel true.

Why is this? It’s because the human mind is a storytelling machine. It’s a symbolic generator par excellence, inputting symbols and outputting symbols almost entirely behind the scenes. Archetypes are just the mythological personification of these unconscious symbols. They are cross-cultural. So, when you think of archetypes, think about them as set patterns of behavior shared by all of humanity.

Here is a short list of the most common archetypes:

The Hero: warrior, adventurer, outlaw, revolutionary.

The Shadow: inner-darkness, darkside, fear, power.

The Trickster: fool, jester, shapeshifter, sacred clown.

The Eternal Child: inner child, beginner’s mind, youth, rebirth.

The Old Wise Man: wizard, magician, sage, monk.

The Old Wise Woman: Mother Nature, caregiver, nurturer, womb.

So how can archetypes help us get our shit together? The more we learn how archetypes work, the better we will be at identifying the patterns that influence most of human behavior. The more we understand archetypes, the more we are able to differentiate from them. Which is important because the more we differentiate from archetypes, the less unconscious influence they will have over us and the more conscious awareness we will have over them.

Differentiating archetypes can also help us recognize the influence that archetypes have over others. And the more we can identify the archetypes in others, the more we can see the patterns of behavior within ourselves. Conversely, the more we can witness these behavioral patterns in ourselves, the more understanding we’ll have for others.

Archetypes are like doorways to behavioral change. They are doorways to knowing the self. They get to the source of what ails us. They lead us down into the unconscious forces hidden beneath the surface.

Walking through the doorway of the Hero, for example, gives us courage. The archetype of the hero becomes a tool to leverage more courage into our lives. It plants the seed of a heroic bent. It gives us the ears needed to hear the call to adventure. It gives us the heart needed to take on heroic tasks. Most amazingly of all, it opens the doors into other archetypes. As Maya Angelou surmised, “Without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” Or practice getting your shit together, for that matter.

Armed with the courage gained from cultivating the hero archetype, we become motivated to take more leaps of courage. The Shadow is the next logical step.

When we walk through the doorway of the Shadow, we discover a major part of our inner state. It is a culmination of our deepest fears, shames, regrets, and judgments, but it’s also the source of our greatest power, our hidden beauty, and our sacred self.

 

 

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9 Mind Expanding Health Documentaries That Tell The Truth About What It Really Means To Be Healthy

by Alanna Ketler

Over the past decade or so, there has been a radical shift in regards to the focus we put on our health and what it truly means to be healthy. We now know, without a doubt, that our diet, lifestyle and environmental factors absolutely play a role in the potential development of disease and that we, ourselves, do play a direct role in our health from the choices that we make every day. What used to generally be thought of as out of our control, many are becoming aware that in a large way we have a choice in our overall health.

So, with that being said, many people are aware of this, but simply do not know where to begin. They want to make a change in their their lives and their diet and lifestyles, but simply don’t know where to start. We are bombarded with so much conflicting information every day in regards to what it truly means to be healthy. Often, we feel overwhelmed and defeated and sometimes just give up. Seems there is a scientific study to prove any point, so how do we really know what’s best for us? Unfortunately, a lot of mainstream medicine is outdated and relies too heavily on treating symptoms rather than preventing illness. If we truly want to be healthy we have to know how to prevent illness before it occurs. We could be thriving rather than just surviving, if only we had the tools.

The following is a list of the top 10 documentaries that are focused on health and the many different aspects of it and how we can get ourselves on a path that involves energy, vibrancy and joy. True healing starts within, by healing our bodies we can heal our mindsets as well. Most of these documentaries can be found on Netflix, Youtube or streaming sites such as TopDocumentaryFilms.com or DocumentaryStorm. Maybe you are someone who is already on a path of health but can pass this list along to friends or family members who are intrigued and want to begin a healthy lifestyle but don’t know where to being.

1. Forks Over Knives (2011)

In this film, researchers explore the potential health benefits gained from switching their diets from animal-based to plant-based and whether or not this can help to eliminate, prevent, or control the epidemic diseases that are plaguing humanity today; diabetes and cancer. Centred around the research provided in the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever, The China Study, Dr. Colin T. Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn share their insights on what they have seen over decades in the medical practice and why they believe that the key to longevity and health is a plant-based diet.

If you are apprehensive about this one, I say don’t forget to keep an open mind. If you don’t agree and don’t see the benefits that’s okay, but don’t disregard it until you’ve heard this perspective.

2. Fed Up (2014)

Filmmaker, Stephanie Soechtig and journalist Katie Couric, investigate the American food industry and how they may be a lot more responsible for the health epidemic facing the American people today than previously thought. We learn about how sugar, which is in virtually every single processed food, even where you wouldn’t expect it, is one of the main causes of health problems and how to be aware of this so we can avoid it. This is an eye-opener for sure, as many people are simply uninformed and completely misled by the big corporations and advertising campaigns.

3. What The Health (2017)

This controversial documentary explores the biggest conspiracy in our food industry today, simply that meat and animal products are making us sick, causing us cancer, diabetes and that big meat and big dairy are paying to keep these findings a secret. When in doubt, always follow the money. Filmmaker, Kip Anderson uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic illness. He goes in depth to uncover why the nation’s leading health organizations don’t want people to know about this. Don’t forget, the cancer industry is a multi-billion dollar per year industry.

4. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2011)

Personally, I love this documentary. It is a simple story of a man, Joe Cross, who is morbidly obese and struggling with an autoimmune disease. In an effort to restore his health, he pledges to consume only fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days in a grand effort to reclaim his health. The results are not only astounding, but super inspiring. The power of fasting is real, and this documentary shows how it is possible and how we can all benefit from it. Yes, we can survive without solid food, and sometimes, contrary to what we have been led to believe, we need to give our digestive systems a break.

5. Hungry For Change (2012)

This film goes into depth about the deceptive marketing tactics the dieting industry uses to manipulate us into buying their products keeping us from losing any weight at all or keeping it off. True health has nothing to do with how many calories something has, but everything to do with what the food is made of. Don’t forget real food doesn’t have ingredients, real food is ingredients.

6. Planeat (2010)

Is it time to re-examine our love affair with meat and dairy? This film discusses this question in detail and bringing to light whether we need to be eating as much meat and animal products as we are and whether or not our current lifestyles and dietary choices could be directly related to our dietary decisions. Following the story of 3 men and their lifelong search to discover which type of diet is truly best for our health.

7. The Future Of Food (2004)

Although this documentary is a decade and a half old, it is still very relevant in regards to a serious threat that is facing our food industry today, sadly, this issue has only gotten progressively worse. But before we can do something about it we have to be aware of the issue. Unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods are changing the very nature of food  production and still, we don’t know the long term health effects of consuming this food and the copious amounts of pesticides that is used to grow it.  This documentary exposes an extremely important issue that we should all be made aware of so that we can make an informed decision for ourselves and our families every time we shop.

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Don’t Think Money – Think Life

By Gilbert Ross

We all think about money some time or another don’t we? When a mail-blitz of bills hit our mailbox or our financial planner software shows us that we are going to scrape it very, very thin till next paycheck, we sit back, take a deep breath and get carried away by an inundation of worrisome thoughts or daydreams about an alternative life in which money comes down thick and fast from a tap.

This takes us down a narrow road in our mind in which we get locked by thoughts of money scarcity rather than solutions.

In the below points I would like to expose some truths but also some false assumptions about money and how it affects our perspective on life:

1. Money is just a means to an end

You’ve heard it a hundred times I know but it’s a truth that can’t be overstated. When we daydream about a better, comfortable life with more means and better standards of living we inevitably bring in money into the equation since we obviously reason out that we need more of the green stuff in our hands to step up our lifestyle. The problem is that we get stuck on the money bit and forget that it is just a stepping stone (see point 4). This flattens our goals

2. Money can’t buy me love…or health or Happiness

Another piece of folk wisdom you’ve heard a lot. Do we entrench it enough in our conscious living? I doubt it. There is a Native American saying which says: “Only when the last tree has withered, the last fish has been caught, and the last river has been poisoned, will you realize you cannot eat money.” In a similar vein I’d say “Only when your health has been exhausted and your happiness traded in, you remember that money has served no real end.”

3. Money is not linked with happiness as some research shows

Scientific research has shown a very interesting fact about happiness. It shows that when you move from sub-standard income close to the poverty line towards a point where basic commodities are met and life is sufficiently comfortable, happiness increases accordingly. However, beyond this point no matter how income and wealth increases, happiness does not increase accordingly.

4. Money is the wrong focus point of success

As already point out in 1., when we focus on money rather than on our real goals in life such as having opportunities for broader experiences, traveling, comfort and better standards of living we are focusing on the wrong target. We divert our energies, planning and strategies off track. We think that money will get us more stuff and only when that stage is reached we can be happy. This is false reasoning that we all fall into.

5. Money is a short-lived motivation

Sometimes when financial demands are hard and we are in need of some extra cash more than usual, we get distracted into the thought of making money or at least improving our income. This of course is not a bad thing per se. The problem comes from having it as your main motivation for improving your life in general. It is easy to fall for it. You put your main mission in life on the backburner to start off a side-project which could earn you some extra bucks on the way. This becomes a burning motivation which is very short-lived. Some time down the road you might realize that the benefit did not justify the fact that it got you off your main path and hence wasted precious time in the process.

6. Wealth is a mindset not an accumulation of resources

We naturally think of wealth as an abundance of stuff. Partly correct. Yet wealth is not solely possessions but also a mindset and having the right qualities and predispositions to live your purpose with enthusiasm and power, creating an abundance of innovative ideas and materializing your goals under any circumstances.

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