Sunday, April 11, 2010

How To...Be Funny

When I created this blog, an extension of my video site,, by goal was to share information with as many people as possible, helping them learn about health, personal development, and, whenever possible, to make them laugh along the way. I like to deliver my message with a tinge of humor, a barb or two of self-deprecating fun, as long as the end result remains the same: you leave a visit to my sites with more knowledge than you had before you stopped by.

Being funny is tougher than it appears. We all, most of us, love to laugh. But the things that make each of us laugh are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow...or the bipartisan struggles of our government. My attempts at humor are derived from the same desires that drive me to help people lose weight, gain personal confidence, balance their lives, and improve themselves every day in every way.

My latest funny how-to video, I hope, delivers my message, one that makes you think, as well as makes you laugh:


If that made you laugh, here are a few other funny how-to vids that may also award you with a guffaw:



And speaking of self-deprecating:


Until next time...



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Meditation and You

Around a year ago, while I was perusing used books at one of those thrift stores my wife loves and occasionally drags me to, I found a book that asserted the virtues of meditation, Zen meditation, to be more precise. I added it to the handful of tomes I was lucky enough to discover, all for the cost of less than a few gallons of gasoline, and toted them home with the same hopes I always greet new books: to add to my always burgeoning collection, with a vow to read them all, whenever I found the time, but especially those that I felt merited special consideration…those, of course, would be put in the front of my queue of books-that-must-be-read-at-once.

For some reason, the Zen book called to me. It was during a time in my life where I needed some change, something different to help me get to my next stage of being, from where I was (unrest and burnout at my current job, uptight and in need of relaxation from a nagging shoulder injury, and fatigue and exhaustion from too many long hours at this keyboard) to where I needed to be.

While I had often considered mediation as a form of relaxation, renewal, focus, and, if possible, enlightenment, I never really tried it. That is, until I read the aforementioned book about Zen and gave it a shot.

Several other books, and hundreds of hours sitting, later, I can now say that I am an experienced and fulfilled practitioner of meditation. I meditate as often as I can, sometimes even when I am not sitting. I have learned that I can meditate while walking. Really. Don’t believe me? Watch this:


So, you may be asking yourself, how does one meditate? It’s not as difficult as you may think. Here are some simple tips to help get you started:

* sit with your legs crossed in a semi-comfortable position on the floor
* back straight, shoulders back, head slightly tilted downward
* take two deep breaths to relax yourself
* close your eyes half-way
* focus on nothing
* allow your mind to relax, be free
* count your breaths
* when an outside thought enters your mind, gently push it aside and focus on the moment
* try to be in the moment
* stay in the moment
* embrace whatever is occurring in the moment
* and continue to focus, embrace, live in the moment
* while gently acknowledging outside distractions
* and, again, pushing them aside
* and returning to the moment

I also produced this video that may help you get started:


Meditating daily has helped me focus on the moment, the here and now, not only while sitting, but during my day-to-day activities. Zen masters call this true enlightenment: the ability to exist in the moment, while doing the simplest of tasks-- walking, eating, cooking, working, living life. That is what enlightenment is really about.

What began with the serendipitous discovery of one book in a thrift shop, has grown into a daily ritual that has helped change my life for the better. Meditation has added to my spiritual growth, which is an important focus of mine in my continued pursuit of managing my triade of balance. I highly suggest giving it a try.

Until next time…