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Perfect yakitori from a machine?
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What if there was a machine that could cook perfect yakitori with the spin of a dial? 🤔 #yakitori #japanesefood #japan

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Japanese Idols Try English Accent
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One of the hardest parts about learning English is the accent. I mean, how do you pronounce the wordA Worcestershire? You almost need a mouth full of marbles to get the right teeth to cheek position for that word! I’m not alone in thinking that either. So Japanese game show, Nogi...

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Everything we know about Detective Pikachu!
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Here is everything we know about the upcoming Detective Pikachu coming to theaters Summer 2019! Trailers, cast, and lots of info revealed!

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Japan unveils a Nutella vending machine!
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Japan is the land of vending machines. Not to disappoint, Japan has come up with a new item to dispense from vending machines, Nutella.

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Just how heavy are boobs?
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Guys have it easy. I know you wish you had pecs like Arnold, real talk, girls have it rough!

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Reika Saiki is stronger than you!
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Yes, Reika Saiki is stronger than you. It’s ok; she’s stronger than most readers of this site. You may not be familiar with her, but Reika Saiki is no stranger to pop culture in Japan. She is an acclaimed professional wrestler, Japanese bodybuilder, mainstream idol and singer. Reika Saiki first...

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Live Japanese Streaming TV!
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I have found out another way to watch streaming Japanese TV online that is more user-friendly as well as much higher quality!

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The Promised Neverland ending?!
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Sad news! It looks like Shonen Jump just announced the end of The Promised Neverland. Will Emma and Ray find out how to survive? Norman?

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The Promised Neverland
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The Promised Neverland manga follows a group of orphansA who discover their existenceA is not what they believed theirA entire lives.

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Want to live in a haunted house?
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Looking for cheap rent? Have you ever thoughtA about living in a haunted house? This guy did, let's hear his story.

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Time-lapse video of slightly darkened Tokyo

+ Video By fading back and forth between scenes of pre- and post-quake Tokyo, this time-lapse video by YouTube user darwinfish105 shows how the metropolitan nightscape has been affected by Japan's ongoing power shortages and conservation efforts.


The much-anticipated Quakebook (2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake) -- a wide-ranging collection of personal accounts and reflections about the massive earthquake that struck Japan on March 11 -- is now available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon, and the entire purchase price ($9.99) goes to the Japanese Red Cross Society to assist those […]

Namazu-e: Earthquake catfish prints

In November 1855, the Great Ansei Earthquake struck the city of Edo (now Tokyo), claiming 7,000 lives and inflicting widespread damage. Within days, a new type of color woodblock print known as namazu-e (lit. "catfish pictures") became popular among the residents of the shaken city. These prints featured depictions of mythical giant catfish (namazu) who, […]

High-resolution photos of Fukushima Daiichi

These high-resolution aerial photographs of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were taken on March 20 and 24, 2011 by a small unmanned drone operated by Air Photo Service, a company based in Niigata prefecture. Click [Enlarge] under each image for the full version. [Enlarge] Unit 3 (left) and Unit 4 (right) - March […]

Hifana a Rainy Session

Breakbeat duo Hifana (a.k.a. KEIZOmachine! and Juicy) mellow out in a rainy day session with Keisuke Muto (sitar), U-zhaan (tabla) and Izpon (percussion). Just chill. + Video

Cute aPluto-kuna cartoon dispels plutonium fears

In the early 1990s, Japan's Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC) -- a nuclear energy research organization which is now part of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) -- created a pro-nuclear PR cartoon entitled "Pluto-kun, Our Reliable Friend." The aim of the animated film, which features the company mascot Pluto-kun, is to […]

Video: SWITL magic goop scoop

SWITL -- an impressive "robot hand" tool developed by factory equipment manufacturer Furukawa Kikou -- seems to defy the laws of nature by picking up deposits of gels, sauces and other soft semi-liquids without smearing them or altering their shape. This demo video shows how well the tool handles mayonnaise and ketchup. Details about the […]

Video: aMachine Civilizationa a World Order

World Order -- the celebrated music/dance performance group led by former martial artist Genki Sudo -- has released a fabulously choreographed video for the track "Machine Civilization," along with some words of hope following the recent devastation in Japan. + Video Sudo's message in the YouTube video description: The unprecedented disasters unfolding in Japan; earthquakes, […]

Electricity conservation posters

In Tokyo and surrounding areas, signs of electricity conservation are visible everywhere. Rolling blackouts are in effect, train services have been scaled back, stores and businesses are using fewer lights, advertising signs and escalators have been switched off, and even some pachinko parlors have cut their hours of operation. On Twitter, a community of graphic […]

Listen: Vudu Ceremony On Mt. Fuji

"Sometimes just focusing our thoughts on something, in a positive or unique way, provides the energy for new ideas to manifest themselves in the toughest of times," says Brooklyn-based sound composer Charles Edward Fambro. On March 3 -- a week before disaster hit Japan -- he released "Vudu Ceremony On Mt. Fuji," a free improv […]

Sugar and Mental Health
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Sugar tastes amazing and is in so many products that most people arenat even aware of how much they are consuming daily. 

Most people are aware that sugar isnat a healthy food, but may not realize how detrimental sugar is to your overall health. 

More recent research is showing a strong link between mental health and diet, suggesting that there is a two-way street between our bellies and our brains.

What has sugar in it?

When people talk about sugar, the first thing that comes to mind is the white, granulated stuff that the Brits pour into their tea. 

However, there are many forms of sugar that all have similar effects on the body and brain including brown sugar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, glucose, and juice.

The primary way that people consume sugar is through sweetened beverages such as Pepsi and in many processed foods. Most pre-packaged foods have large quantities of sugar in them. 

Breakfast cereals, energy bars, flavored yogurt, and even bread all have some form of sugar in them. 74% of all packaged food at supermarkets contains some version of sugar, making it hard to avoid the stuff. 

When you look at all the sugar-containing food you eat in a day it adds up, even before dessert is even considered!

How Much Sugar Do We Eat?

The World Health Association recommends limiting sugar to 5% of your daily caloric intake, which works out to around 6-9 teaspoons a day. The average US American consumes 22 teaspoons per day, and the average child has 32 teaspoons a day

That means most of us are consuming 2-6 times more sugar than recommended. Many nutritionists advise eating less than 6 teaspoons a day and advise not eating anything that has added sugar in any form.

While this might seem extreme, the effects that sugar has on our bodies and our brains may cause some to reconsider their current eating habits.

The Science of Sugar on the Brain

Sugar is contained in so many foods for a variety of reasons. Sugar improves taste and is a natural preservative. What people do not typically know is that sugar is also highly addictive. Research shows that sugar is more addictive than cocaine.

 It causes a release of hormones in the brain, including dopamine, creating the same effect as addictive drugs. A brief asugar higha is followed by a crash of low energy and mood, leading people to want to consume more sugar to get that good feeling again.

Like any addictive substance, the more sugar we eat, the more we crave it. Furthermore, eating a high-sugar diet for a prolonged period can fundamentally alter our brain chemistry.

Sugar addiction resides in the neural pathways for reward-seeking behavior, which can make other addictive substances harder to resist. So as silly as it may sound, sugars are among the most readily available gateway drug.

Sugar has also been linked to mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and decreased cognitive abilities. 

An interesting study on the connection between diet and mental health found that an increase in refined sugar consumption correlated to more depression and worse schizophrenia. The same study found that eating more seafood and fish reduced the prevalence of depression. 

Eating more starchy root vegetables was also connected to a lower incidence of depression.

Many other studies and anecdotes continue to emerge, connecting diet to mood and mental health. The trend seems to be increasingly damning of sugar in all its disguises.

Tips for Kicking the Addiction:

Youave probably already considered eating less sugar, but chances are your efforts havenat stuck yet. I know from personal experience how hard it is to give up or limit sugar intake.

Despite my best intentions I continue to eat more sweets than I know is good for me. Here are some recommendations for successfully and sustainably cutting down on sugar:

The internet is full of cleanses, diets, and tips for reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet. 

Michael Pollan, the author of several books on food, has the most simple dietary recommendation I have come across: aEat food, not too much, mostly plants.a 

He qualifies afooda as something that our great grandparents would recognize (meaning not canned or highly processed).

Eating food is such a basic element of survival, yet it has become such a struggle to find and eat the food that sustains our bodies and minds. However, if you start to form habits around healthy eating, it will pay off quickly and for a long time to come.

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5 Mental Habits of People Who Thrive Under Pressure
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Dr. Beau A. Nelson, DBH, LCSW

Some people seem to deal with difficult situations better than others. Maybe theyare the only one in the room who keeps a cool head when everyone else gets upset, or the person who seems able to focus on solutions rather than getting mired in the problems. Sometimes theyare the people we go to in a crisis: We trust them to give us wise and level-headed advice when we most need it.

Whatas different about these people? Are they super-human? What about them allows them to succeed in times of stress and even thrive under pressure?

One answer might be personalityaand to be sure, personality can affect a personas stress responseabut mindset matters a lot. Some ways of thinking in dealing with an unexpected situation or crisis are more helpful than others. We know this to be true from studies in the field of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Certain acognitive distortionsa can reduce the ability to cope in pressured situations. In direct contrast, these five mental habits tend to describe people who thrive under pressure.

Staying present in the moment a Rather than getting caught up in the fear of the moment or projecting a negative outcome, people who thrive under pressure can be present with the task at hand. They stay focused on what theyare doing in that moment and stay on track working towards an outcome.

Being flexible with options and solutions a Rather than thinking in either-or or black-and-white terms, a person who thrives under pressure understands there are many different options in a situation and determines a course of action after considering multiple inputs and available choices. Being flexible means thinking creatively and being able to perceive multiple approaches to a problem or challenge.

De-catastrophizing a People who thrive under pressure take situations at face value, address them, and stay clear of getting caught up in their emotions. To de-catastrophize is to take a step back and assess a situation as realistically as possible, without over-exaggerating the negatives. When we catastrophize, we relate to a stressful scenario as if itas the end of the world or a life-or-death situation. This soon leads to self-defeating thoughts like aI canat possibly get through this.a Being thoughtful and clearheaded allows you to function at your best and solve problems without a high degree of stress, anger, frustration, or other emotions.

Accepting a situation for what it is a Instead of focusing on past failures, getting caught up with other peopleas emotions, or blaming others and not taking responsibility, people who thrive under pressure are able to see the present situation for what it is and acknowledge their role in it. Theyare also able to approach it with a realistic sense of context and see that it is one task among many, as opposed to an earth-shattering, make-or-break event that theyall never recover from.

Trusting oneas judgment a You may not always be right, but inaction is paralyzing. People who thrive under pressure are good at addressing the situation at hand or delegating or getting the resources that they need. A measure of confidence is very helpful when youare dealing with a stressful situation that demands quick thought and immediate action. Self-doubt or people pleasing is generally not going to be effective in a critical situation.

While skills for thriving under pressure are as varied as the people who practice them, these straightforward and centered approaches may help you navigate high-stress situations more effectively. Theyare also mental habits that, when practiced, can build confidence and self-assurance, increase competence, and improve decision-making abilities. Anyone can develop skills to be better at dealing with pressured situations. It takes effort, focus, and learning the best ways to deal with our emotions and other people.

Dr. Beau A. Nelson is Chief Clinical Officer at the national behavioral health provider FHE Health.

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How To Lead with Curiosity To Fall Back In Love With Your Job
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Are you feeling a bit bored at work? Are you missing the growth and challenge you felt when you first started your role?
If you have been in the same role or industry for a while, these surges of lethargy are completely understandable. Your connection with your work is similar to your personal relationships. Both require energy to keep the relationship exciting and stimulating.A
How can you fall back in love with your job and your work? Lead with curiosity to invigorate what excites you most. Here are three questions to initiate your discovery of falling back in love.A A
Question #1: What interested you about your role or industry in the first place?A
Many times, we get caught in our routines and forget what initially attracted us to our job. Make a list of the items that originally interested you about your role. Highlight areas you no longer are experiencing. If these areas bring you joy and excitement, create an action plan to integrate them back into your work.A
Question #2: Where can you become an expert in your field?A
Once you understand your responsibilities and how to effectively execute your projects, itas easy to stay complacent. Becoming an expert takes work, dedication, and concentration. What more can you learn about your role? Are there courses that can provide you a deeper knowledge? Take this opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments, then ask yourself what else you can learn to continue to grow.
Question #3: How does your role give you purpose?A
In every job you take, itas important to ensure you understand how your responsibilities tie to your overall mission or purpose. This exercise might appear to be easy for some roles compared to others. For example, letas look at a teacheras purpose. Their purpose could be to increase emotional wellbeing for future generations. What if your job is to deliver packages? Amazon does a great job of sharing their employeesa purpose, from the moment a package is ordered to delivered.
No matter what role you are in, ensure you see how your actions impact your final consumer and highlight each impact you create that energizes your passion and purpose.A

How Collaboration Creates Competitive & Cohesive Teams

I spoke at a Human Resources Leader Conference in Las Vegas last week. Pre-Covid 19, these events were overflowing. People polled said they liked the live events because it gave them an opportunity to network, helped them professional development, and gave access to new tools and technologies in the exhibition hall.

But this week, when the organizers polled the attendees, hands down, the number one reason stated was to connect with others.

Was this just a reaction to quarantine and zoom fatigue? It turns out that the leaders were looking to cross- collaborate with a diverse population. Collaboration was the goal.

When I was new to the airline industry, I got hired byA AllegiantA . They were expanding their fleet and bases daily, and my team needed to grow exponentially. Rather than panic, I leaned into what I knew. I leveraged my expertise in Talent Acquisition to recruit a team from various industries, including hospitality, entertainment, engineering, and customer service. My boss actually called my team, athe island of misfit toys!a

I grew the team from seven to seventeen quite quickly. We amisfitsa from outside the industry learned from those with experience inside. But the opposite was also true. People familiar with hospitality and customer service standards brought their expertise to our talent acquisition strategy; the people from engineering brought industry insights to help us differentiate ourselves from our competitors, and the entertainment industry professionals provided recommendations on process to enhance our interview experience. The company grew to become cohesive and highly competitive. Within one year, Allegiant went from a poor rating on Glassdoor to receiving an award for being one of the best places to interview.

The challenges we faced, our diverse perspectives, and our ability to collaborate created a winning team, or what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines as an aoptimal experiencea in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. We achieved flow as a team.

How has collaboration brought out the best in you and your teams? Challenges will keep on coming. Rather than having to figure out each answer on your own, collaborate to create. Your best solution might just be one misfit idea away!

Rebecca Ahmed is an award-winning speaker, business consultant, and an Energy Leadership Index™ Master Practitioner (ELI-MP), which is an exclusive training in human energy and how we can experience, express, and expand it in ourselves and others. Rebecca is also a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF),A

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3 Tips to Start theA Process of Writing a Book
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aI have a book within me just waiting to be born.a

aI keep notes of these phrases that come to me.a

aIave tried over and over and haven't been able to write it.a

As a book-writing coach, I hear these types of comments a lot. There are so many talented, smart individuals who have a book living inside them, but for myriad reasons a time management, writer's block, fear of failure a they have trouble getting it onto the page.

The process of writing a book is complex, time-intensive, and filled with obstacles, some mental and some physical. Every journey starts differently, yet the path always looks and feels the same.

You begin with an idea or image a something within, like a seed germinating beneath the surface. You tinker with this seed, collecting scraps of paper and notes on your phone. You finally take the leap and jot those notes down in a document on your computer. Then, the first touch of paralysis occursNow what? Youave got some disconnected thoughts and feelings written down but nothing that resembles a story. Or you know exactly what you want to write but the way it comes out feels wrong.

Thereas nothing like having a book feel so alive inside your soul and then meet reality on the page: a jumbled mess that wouldn't entice a single reader.

Obstacles in Telling Your Story

Every story is alive, its own being with its own heartbeat and shape, which is why the initial stages can seem overwhelming. You know the book is meant to be birthed, but itas formless inside you. That lack of shape is hard to hold. Writing a book from an evocative place, one of memory and emotion, can relieve feelings of paralysis. You can shape your story around the crux of this emotion and figure out where the beginning, climax, and end are.

One of the hardest obstacles in the process of writing a book is often what to eliminatefrom our stories. Every part feels crucial to who we are and how we came to be. The best way to begin to organize it is to figure out what story you want to tell. Is it a love story, a story of loss, a story of hope or triumph? Then, eliminate the parts that would invite too many doors to open for the reader. Let them walk through the door that feels most heavy for you a a door that you would need readers' help to open.

For me, thatas the door of grief. Thatas the door of my childhood. Of yellow hair curlers, hymns played on the piano, buttery grits, the smell of honeysuckle, my grandmotheras loving hand as she tucked me in for a nap. The same hand I held before she passed.

There, a heartbeat. The story is alive.

Another obstacle is often the structure of the story. Sometimes our memories are malleable. We donat know the exact dates an experience happened, or perhaps we donat know whether it's more important to be accurate or true. When we're accurate, we give over to the logical part of our brains, writing down the facts. When we're true, we lean into the emotions we feel throughout the story.

Emotions fuel our memories. It makes perfect sense to tell a story about anger and move from your parentsa anger to a moment when you expressed anger the same way they did. Twenty years could have passed between those moments, but the reader will understand why you organized it that way a you were showing them a story connected by emotion, by what feels true.

How to Begin Writing a Book

When we look back on our lives, we're looking for patterns to connect experiences. One way to do this is by making a shape with the dots along our lifetime. Like constellations in the sky, we can make meaning out of experiences that shine brightest to us. The most common pattern of telling a story is an arc or wave. It begins as a calm surface until the tension rises and rises, escalating to form the shape of a giant wave whose energetic body has nothing to do but crash and break until equilibrium returns.

Although the wave is the most common storytelling form, your book can take on many shapes. In her book about storytelling structure, "Meander, Spiral, Explode," Jane Alison argues that as human beings, we observe the day-to-day always "alert to patterns," the ways in which our experiences shape themselves, the "ways we can replicate [the experience's] shape with words." A brilliant notion, we can shape moments in our lives to create texture, vibrancy, emotion, and meaning.

The most important thing when sitting down to write your book is to recognize the patterns throughout your life and corral them onto the page. Recognizing patterns, however, is not easy. Thereas so much freedom in organizing your story, depending on how you want it shaped, which is why the act itself can be difficult. Here's where to start writing a book:

Writing a book is excavating meaning from the deep recesses of the mind, and the process of telling your story reshapes how you see yourself. Writing out your story is so humbling; itas like holding up a mirror and meeting yourself for the first time. You get the opportunity to be gentler to your past and to claim victory over your present. A truly great story has the power to impact its audience in a radical way, but no one will ever be as changed as when a writer births a story that was always destined to be.

Kelsey Schurer is an executive editor at Round Table Companies, where she works on projects such as book coaching, business storytelling, and childrenas illustrated books. She played an integral role in creating The Story Hero, RTCas educational storytelling course.

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10 Gender Narratives Women Can Break to Bloom
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Have you ever felt like you were playing by the wrong arulesa, but didnat know the right ones? 

Are you experiencing the awkward aicka vibe at work, in a relationship, or in life? Do you sometimes feel like you just donat fit?

Throughout our lifespan there are times when we simply outgrow our circumstances. When we find ourselves trying to fit into a job, relationship or lifestyle that no longer serves our needs, desires or values, itas an inauthentic move. It can feel suffocating, anxiety-provoking, uncomfortable, irritating or just plain wrong. This is the feeling that signals to us that itas time to pull our focus inward a and maybe change some things.

Studies show that inauthenticity can affect mental health in young women. The culprit? Gender expectations are stifling young girls (and big girls) into their very own Glass Box. When she becomes more educated, healthy, stylish, genuine, independent or wise, it can threaten a certain crowd. Something seems to shatter regardless of the direction in which she grows. Change is hard to swallow for some.

But when women buy into the tired, preconceived notions of what a female is supposed to do, think, wear or say, we perpetuate the myth that women must be anything in particular in order to be liked and right at all times. 

The good news? Glass shatters. We can all choose our time to break through limiting societal beliefs in the name of freedom and authenticity, and Spring provides a beautiful backdrop.

When we avoid uncomfortable situations a like taking a good hard look at our lives a this is called experiential avoidance. It actually maintains or exacerbates psychological distress. Conversely, when we bravely challenge false beliefs in our own lives, we can receive positive results in return. This makes it exponentially more likely we will face adversity, gain confidence and continue to make healthy changes in the future. 

See if you can create a little experiment of your own this week. Below are the ten most popular gender narratives that hold women back along with suggestions for how to actionably challenge these beliefs in your own life:

Be Small

Challenge this: Physically open your body (laying down or standing with arms and legs spread wide) and look to the sky. Speak one truth youave been holding back with grace, love and power.

Be Soft

Challenge this: Do one thing that makes you feel strong or seen today, like advocating for yourself. We rarely recruit strength until life calls for it, but this is also in our control. 

Be Fixed

Challenge this: Choose one physical or mental attribute youave spent time and energy on fixing for someone else and find love for it instead. 

Bonus: research the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi and use it as a guide. 

Be Dependent

Challenge this: Write down the things you would do if you had a partner (romantic, business or otherwise). Do you truly need to be dependent upon someone else for every one of those dreams, activities, desires?

Be Chosen 

Challenge this: Enjoy a date with yourself. Plan a museum visit, a lunch or simply a long walk in a new neighborhood.

Be Stifled

Challenge this: Feel your emotions, out loud! What injustices do you face today? What breaks your heart? Who do you need to set boundaries with out of pure self love? Scream, shake (really) and let it out.

Be Less

Challenge this: Make a move that sets you exactly where you want to be without entertaining the belief that you are less worthy (than a man or the person next to you). State your reasons for a promotion or divide household chores evenly with your partner. 

Be the Exception

Challenge this: Help yourself or another female change a gender based narrative, fill a role or complete an activity typically reserved for men. Did you know you could pay to race cars?!

Be Everything

Challenge this: Be nothing. For an hour or a day. Notice your compulsion to serve, support, or check things off your to-do list. Leisure and silence is underrated. As a neuroscience-based meditation teacher I can tell you this will cause a necessary but uncomfortable shift. 

Be Sexya| but Sweet

Challenge this: Update your definition of sexy according to you. Powerful, creative, dominant, submissive, nurturinga|

Keep this list somewhere in your home as a visual prompt to remind you that change is always possible. Pro Tip: move itas location every two weeks to avoid habituating (becoming ablinda) to it!

 Gianna Biscontini is a behavior scientist and lifestyle design coach. She is author of F~ckless: A Guide to Wild, Unencumbered Freedoms

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How to Get Back on Track and Succeed in Life
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Is your life spiraling in a downward direction?A A A Are you challenged with not being as focused as you would like?A Are you looking for ways to turn your life around?A A Read the following to discover how to get your life back on track, and stay there.A

At times our lives can turn upside down, spiraling into negativity and then just as quickly can soar positively upwards.  Clearly, we understand where the expression amood swingsa come from.  Life is very much like a roller coaster,  if you like roller coasters. 

Life is not perfect, never has been, never will be.   We all have ongoing problems in life that need to be dealt with.  The challenge is the amount of emotional, mental & physical energy we spend on these matters that can waste so much of our time & attention.   Letas break this cycle and learn why the following 10 simple tips to get your life back on track can be so valuable:  

10 Ways to get your life back on track

  1. Learn from the past but donat internalize it.  Our past mistakes should be a reminder to correct your actions and understand that success is really about how much you have learned and how you can change. 
  2. Identify what is important in your life.  Eliminate anything in your life that tends to detract from your goals.
  3. Many people make the mistake of being abusya rather than being aproductivea.  Are the activities you are doing productive?  Or perhaps they are wasting your valuable time. 
  4. Always give what you want to receive.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.   If you want money, give it away. 
  5. Remove unnecessary drama from your life.  Stop surrounding yourself with people that create this, or who are a negative influence.
  6. Be honest.  Start being honest with yourself and everyone else.  Being honest along with integrity is truly the essence of success in all that we do.
  7. Clear out clutter and organize.  Start getting rid of clutter and junk you donat use anymore.
  8. Become more efficient.  Stop doing the same old thing, the same old way.  If you continue to do this year after year all you will have achieved is the same old results. 
  9. Stay healthy, stay fit and spend as much time in nature being in a calm, relaxed state of mind.
  10. Continue to affirm, visualize and set goals to continually motivate you to succeed.

For those wanting to get their life back on track and recharge quickly I recommend our online course,  aRenew & Rechargea    Find out more at Splendid Inspiration.

Splendid Inspiration is a Canadian motivational company that offers inspiring tips, blogs, personal development courses & motivating products dedicated to enriching peoples lives.

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Lori Gradley

Splendid Inspiration

The post How to Get Back on Track and Succeed in Life appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

How to Stop Emotional Eating and Make Peace with Food
From https:

Do emotions drive your eating? Sadness, boredom, exhaustion finds you at the bottom of a tub of ice cream, wondering how you got there.A

Maybe youare so accustomed to using food to drown your feelings, that each time youare stressed you gravitate towards food. The urge is so strong that it seems uncontrollable.

Having spent many years of my early adulthood as a self-confessed emotional eater, I know just how distressing it can be. Especially because you feel so ashamed after that last spoonful. 

Worse, is that each evening you promise yourself that tonightas going to be different, but somehow you find yourself munching through the contents of the fridge at a quarter to ten.

So what exactly is emotional eating? Itas officially viewed as aeating in response to negative feelingsa, but is emotional eating as bad as diet culture would have you believe, or is it something thatas OK just to live with?

The first thing to understand about emotional eating is that sometimes what feels like emotional eating can simply be your bodyas response to food restriction. When we restrict food (in the form of diets or restrictive healthy eating plans), this can lead to more thoughts about the exact foods you are restricting. Oh the irony.

Then we start obsessing about these aforbidden foodsa, so when we eventually cave in and eat them, we feel guilty and often out of control. Itas this that can sometimes be labelled as emotional eating.

And remember, eating is emotionally loaded. We eat to celebrate, we bake to show love and we share intimacy over meals out. Significant life events are celebrated with food, itas love, itas comfort and itas reward. In fact, food is so emotionally charged that itas no surprise if you feel emotionally attached to food.

Food is a necessary part of life, but what if you donat know the difference between real hunger and emotional hunger?

The Mayo Clinic outlines some differences to help you separate the two. Significantly, physical hunger develops slowly, you feel hungry for a variety of foods, and you start to feel fullness as you eat. On the other hand, emotional hunger comes on quickly, itas urgent, you often crave only one food, and it may lead to a binge.

Eating has emotional connotations, but why do we use food to drown emotions?

In life weall experience emotions like anger, frustration, loneliness and boredom. Yet eating isnat going to fix these emotions - it may provide temporary relief from negative feelings, but it doesnat last long, does it?

If you are someone who regularly eats when youare not physically hungry, itas worth considering what your triggers are. It could be procrastination, boredom or worry. Have you ever eaten to distract yourself from boredom, or unconsciously munched through a packet of biscuits because of work stress? 

As well as distraction, you might use food to numb emotions - eating a tub of ice-cream when youave had a fight with your partner can certainly numb those feelings.

If you occasionally use food to distract, or numb emotions, it probably isnat such a big deal. But regularly responding to lifeas stressors by eating food may be bad for your health, since itas related to overeating, depression and anxiety. 

So what can you do if you suspect you may be emotionally eating? Whether you are eating because of mild emotions or feeling out-of-control with binges, these three questions can help:

  1. Am I biologically hungry? 

If thatas a yes, then eat something! If itas a no, then aska|

  1. What am I feeling at this moment? 

When youare not hungry and you reach for food, itas time to explore your feelings. If you have spent years squashing your feelings, it may take time to learn how to do this. 

Hereas some ideas to try: write down what you are feeling in a journal, call or text a close friend and talk about your feelings. Or, if youad rather not speak to anyone, you can record your feelings using a voice note. Crying, or simply allowing the emotions to wash over you can be helpful.

3. Do I need something?

Sometimes we eat to fulfil an unmet need. I say this as a psychologist: it is genuinely OK to sometimes use food to cope with feelings as long as itas not your only coping strategy. However, if you distract yourself from boredom by eating chocolate in front of the TV every single evening, then it might be time to try something else to help you feel nurtured.

Perhaps you need more rest because you are tired, and going for a nap is the most nurturing thing you could do. Perhaps you could read a book, listen to some music, do a puzzle, listen to an audio book, take some deep breaths or meditate.

Maybe your body needs something a bit more active. You could take a walk around the block, go outside into nature, swim, dance to some music, do some stretches or just hang out with a friend.

Bottom line is that we are all emotional eaters from time to time - and thatas OK. But if itas routine and has become a habit, then taking the time to explore your needs is important.  This will help you make peace with the eating experience, and stop you feeling so out of control around food.

Dr. Lara Zibarras is a psychologist and food freedom coach, helping clients create a healthy and happy relationship with food. You can learn more about Laraas approach to food freedom here, or find her on Instagram and YouTube

The post How to Stop Emotional Eating and Make Peace with Food appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

The Spirit of Cherry Blossoms: Lessons for a Materialistic World
From https:

Natureas wonders disclose many profound truths. Cherry blossoms, or Sakura in Japanese, are one of her most eloquent marvels. As these ethereal blooms begin to flower once again this spring, we might consider the wisdom they embody, especially in these self-centered times.A A A

Whether you are one of the millions of people who have thronged to the cherry blossom festivals in far-flung places like Washington, DC, Vancouver, and Tokyo or witnessed the blossoming and snowy fall of these exquisite flowers from a tree in your own backyard, you have probably been moved by their fleeting splendor. If we look deeper at the transcendence these blossoms evoke, we begin to understand the Sakura spirit that has captivated and inspired hearts since ancient times. 

Cherry blossoms have had a particularly telling impact on the hearts of the Japanese. Sakura are the Japanese national flower and are engraved on 100-yen coins. They have come to symbolize the country as a whole because they embody Isagiyosa, a universal virtue that has been the mainstay of Japanese culture for centuries. Symbolized by cherry blossoms, Isagiyosa translates as resolute composure and is bound to other virtues such as purity, bravery, loyalty, diligence, and steadiness. 

Like any virtue, Isagiyosa never goes untested. However, todayas materialistic world is testing it more than ever before, so it would behoove us to contemplate the cherry blossoms this spring to see what guidance their spirit may offer. 

The Spirit of Cherry Blossoms: Isagiyosa

Puritybraveryjusticegood looser, and no attachment are all English translations of Isagiyosa. In relation to cherry blossoms, Isagiyosa also connotes impermanencegrace, and knowing the good end

Cherry blossoms are unique in that they fall from their branches while still in their full glory. Rather than cling to their lives until they whither on the bough, Sakura live a pure and brilliant, if fleeting, life before dropping gracefully to the ground in full bloom to return to the soil they came from, each petal contributing to the larger, magnificent picture- the gorgeous drifts of blossoms that move our hearts.

Likewise, Isagiyosa reminds us of the impermanence of life and that there is something larger than ourselves that we should live for. If we emulate the selflessness of cherry blossoms, we are not disavowing the sanctity of life. We are merely acknowledging that there are times when we must be willing to sacrifice our personal happiness for a greater good. 

In light of the immense social and political upheaval we are currently facing, that time is now, yet too many people today are focused on fame, money, or status and concerned only for their own happiness and wellbeing. Perhaps if we look to Nature for her wisdom and take the time to contemplate the spirit of Sakura this spring, we will find the resolve to lay aside personal considerations and stand up for what we believe is pure and just, no matter the sacrifice. 

In The Cherry Bushido, a new film from Japan, Shizuka, a young devotee of Kendo (a Japanese martial art of swordsmanship) and her friends invoke the spirit of Sakura to protect Japan from threat of extinction by its neighboring country. In the film, another character, Satoshi Takayama, quotes one of Japanas most famous intellectuals, Shoin Yoshido: aYou shall die for the prospect of immortality. You shall live for the prospect of great deeds.a  

Serina Aramaki is the DirectorA A of Production on aThe Cherry Bushido,a a film from Japan about a young Kendo (Japanese swordsmanship) devotee and group of friends who unite to protect Japan from threat of extinction by its neighboring country. aThe Cherry Bushidoa will be released in limited theaters in North America this March.

The post The Spirit of Cherry Blossoms: Lessons for a Materialistic World appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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