Posts Tagged ‘health’

Time For a Change #8: Health For Life

by William Reed on March 29, 2012

As long as you shall live

Isn’t this as long as you would like to have health? As long as you deserve health? Is it possible at least to have better control and more choice in experiencing ongoing health?

Look at the list of theoretically preventable diseases induced by chronic stress, ailments and illnesses which are cardiovascular, immune related, respiratory, digestive, headaches, backaches, and even cancer. Given the commonality of these ailments, and the huge medical and pharmaceutical industry that has sprung up around them, it would seem that it is difficult to navigate the labyrinth of life without falling prey to one or another of these. And that is if you can also avoid accidents, natural or unnatural disasters. Moreover, in the conventional “wisdom” there is always a second opinion, and a third…

Rather than succumbing to statistics, or conditioning ourselves to attract the things we most fear, perhaps we can forget all of that and take a fresh new perspective. What if we saw health not as something defined by the doctor, but as the feeling of being alive? What if we could develop the ability to partake of the life force just as we breathe air and drink water?

We can free ourselves from the conventional customs that have created so many of these ailments, including our own bad habits and behaviors. It is possible to experience health as never before, if you approach it in a new way.

Eight degrees of freedom

I suggest 8 categories you can use for Health: Food, Movement, Breathing, Sleep, Skinship, Resilience, Humor, and Love. Download a HEALTH MANDALA featuring each of these categories, so that you can begin to create your own customized approach to a healthy lifestyle. I selected these categories because they are broad enough to contain both traditional and alternative approaches to health. They have all been demonstrated to have an impact on our health and well-being. Each category covers an area over which you have some control, and in which you can make improvements. Follow these eight degrees of freedom and it will release you from the path of the beaten.

Remember that no one pattern fits all. The results you get depend on the actions you take. Health is ultimately a combination of your genetic predisposition, the cumulative effects of your lifestyle and discipline, and your mental attitude. All of these combine to make the difference, so it makes sense to take a comprehensive approach.

Without recommending any particular health method or system, here are some of the factors to consider when you incorporate these elements in your lifestyle.

  1. Food: The quality and quantity of what you eat, food combinations, preparation, diet, cuisine, as well as your enjoyment and beliefs about food.
  2. Movement: How you use and treat your body, the quality and frequency of your movement, how you practice, enjoy, and improve, as well as the mind-body connection.
  3. Breathing: The quality and depth of your breathing, how you use your breath in movement and speaking, as well as the connection between breathing and awareness.
  4. Sleep: Your sleep patterns and comfort, regularity, depth, and quality of your sleep, short naps, dreams, as well as relaxation and recovery.
  5. Skinship: Connection to your environment and to other people, hygiene, sensory experience, sexuality, as well as your aura and radiant energy.
  6. Resilience: Your ability to survive experiences unscathed, to make a comeback physically and mentally, as well as your spirit of continuous engagement.
  7. Humor: Laughter as a sign of a relaxed attitude, an open heart and a positive spirit, as well as the ability to enjoy life and make others feel good.
  8. Love: Taking good care of yourself and the ones you love, the spirit of giving and protection, as well as the power of healing.

Beating the odds

Here is a way of beating the odds presented in conventional “wisdom” which dictate the way most people think about health. Don’t build the platform for your health on a single idea. Diet will not save you, nor exercise, nor supplements, nor clean air. The strength of a chain is measured by its weakest link. Even if you manage to follow a nearly ideal regimen in one area, there is no guarantee that it will be strong enough to support your overall health. Let the elements you assemble in the eight areas of health form a far stronger safety net.

Assess your health by looking at the areas in which you hold the trump cards. Use them to help you overcome stress and even illness when you need to. Look also at the areas in which you can improve through training, changes in behavior, or specific action steps. Get coaching in the areas where you want to learn and when you need help. A positive attitude toward health over time can come to your rescue by tapping into deeper sources of energy. These are the resources that help in overcoming environmental influences and genetic predispositions, and help turn the odds in your favor.

Science is not as certain as it seems, as good scientists readily admit. There are many factors at work which we cannot see, for we do not live in a laboratory. We can encourage a healthy mix of elements that make us feel alive.

Health is life energy

Strive to increase it and share your energy of health with others. The goal is not to pretend that you can live forever, but rather to be full of energy and life as long as you live.

Flexible Focus #18: Engage visual thinking

by William Reed on September 9, 2010

In the art of flexible focus, dimension is more important than sequence. To emphasize this point I have selected for review eight of the Mandala Charts which have been featured in earlier articles in this series. Like a card deck that can be shuffled to create new combinations, these Mandala templates can be reshuffled and reviewed for a new perspective. In a world where change is constant, this is one way to stay on top of the wave.

Through the links below you can download the Mandala Charts, as well as reference the articles in this series where they first appeared. Each one contains a visual image in the central frame which was selected as a visual anchor for the central theme. These images resonate powerfully with the sub-themes, and can stimulate new images by association.

The images can help you recall and recreate new ideas around the central theme, as well as serve as a connecting bridge between the surrounding sub-themes. Images keep your Mandala interesting and alive, and if you print them out, you can also sketch images of your own inside the surrounding frames to enhance the key words, phrases, and text which you will add.

The images are assembled in the Mandala shown here, referenced from the articles and downloads below. In the conventional Mandala fashion, they are marked A (bottom center), B (left center), C (top center), D (right center), E (bottom left), F (top left), G (top right), F (bottom right).

Here are a few notes to set your thoughts in motion. For easy reference, and to trigger new insights, download the Mandala Charts and review the original articles from each of the links below.

8 Fields of Life (From Flexible Focus #3: The Principle of Interdependence)

Happily interwoven?…or a tangled mess?

The image of a Celtic Knot is a powerful icon of the 8 dimensions of life interwoven in perfect balance. The weave of the knot is loose enough that each dimension is distinct, and yet each strand crosses through every other. Look at this knot as you consider each of the 8 fields of your life, and ask yourself if they are in balance. Which fields need more time, care, or attention?

Mandala on Health (From Flexible Focus #4: The 8 Frames of Life: Health)

Radiantly connected?…or bent out of shape?

The image of a radiant tropical sun symbolizes the radiant quality of health. It includes what you eat, how you move, your attitude, and your relationships. It makes no sense to sacrifice your health for the sake of profit or convenience. Consider all of the factors that contribute to your health, and you will have many leverage points to improve it. Are you neglecting one or more of these factors in your life?

Refocus Your Business (From Flexible Focus #11: The Principle of Comprehensiveness)

Focus on the spaces between…and the possibilities therein

The optical illusion of flashing dots is a reminder of how we need to look closely to see what is really there. If you keep your eyes open you will discover many opportunities to make improvements. It is not enough to make a living. You must also make a life. Business and work can easily dominate your life, occupying an unreasonable amount of time and energy. The irony is that working harder is not always working better. If your work does not support your mission and identity, it will create conflict and sap your energy. Look for better, smarter ways to work. Find ways to work with others to accomplish more than you can by yourself.

Empowerment Mandala (From Flexible Focus #10: Become the Change)

Are you receiving fish?…or learning how to fish?

The image shows the moment of catching a fish, not asking for one. Empowerment is the ability to fish and fend for yourself. It is the opposite of entitlement, which is expecting others to fish for you. Constant preoccupation with receiving confines creativity. It is better to build momentum through action, than to succumb to inertia through passivity. To quote Dr. Seuss, with brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

Magic of Mindset (From Flexible Focus #9: The Magic of Mindset)

Rabbit or duck illusion…and mental perception?

This image appears to be a rabbit, until you shift your focus and it appears to be a duck! It is a reminder that mindset is truly magic. The way you look at things determines what you see. Life tends to live up to our expectations as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don’t be taken in by first impressions, because things and people are not often as they seem. Both positive and negative judgments can be contagious. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude, and you will attract people of like mind.

Opportunities for Engagement (From Flexible Focus #12: The 8 Frames of Life: Business)

Keep your ideas flowing…Keep your passion high

The image of a fountain of ideas spiraling from an open mind is enhanced by the color of red for passion. The flow of ideas is a measure of your interest, curiosity, and enthusiasm. Keep it strong by looking for new ways to engage with people in your work and private pursuits. Business is a dynamic process, and you are better off being an active player than a passive spectator. Look at the Mandala and ask yourself, where are there opportunities for greater engagement?

Decision Mandala (From Flexible Focus #16: The Decision Trap)

Learn from others…with a better perspective

The image of question marks lost in a labyrinth shows the difficulty of making decisions in complex circumstances. Many of life’s challenges do not lend themselves to simple logic. Sometimes it is best to lift yourself out of the labyrinth and seek wisdom from a higher perspective. Well selected quotes can provide that perspective, but the inspiration of a quote depends on timing and its relevance to the problem at hand. Working with the Mandala chart you will find that eight quotes can be better than one.

Karma Connections (From Flexible Focus #15: Karma and Connections)

Act, action, performance…not fate or consequences

The image shows the interplay of opposites, the balance of yin and yang. It also shows the dynamics of interaction. The more actively you engage in the game, the more opportunities you have to take advantage of critical moments. The pitch on which you play is where you are here and now. When you see that negative words and thoughts lead to negative results, it is easier to leave them behind. Karma is a dynamic and ongoing process. Your actions are the script for your life.

The visual images in each of these Mandala charts help you to engage visual thinking. Visit them often.

NOTE: The articles in the Flexible Focus series are updated with graphics, links, and attachments on the FLEXIBLE FOCUS Webbrain, a dynamic and navigable map of the entire series. It has a searchable visual index, and is updated each week as the series develops.

Flexible Focus #4: The eight frames of life: Health

by William Reed on June 3, 2010

Is your lifestyle enhancing your health, or are you unwittingly planting seeds of your own demise? Do you have a comprehensive way of engaging your mind and body for health, or do you get around to it when you can? The Mandala Chart can help you address this challenge, and get positive results in the process.

The key word for health is radiance. Radiant health shows brightness in your eyes, and an aura of light around your skin. It shines through in your laughter and in your step. Radiant health is attractive and contagious. Its energy is a sustaining force for life and vitality.

The quality of radiance is easy to sense, but difficult to measure. Sickness is easier to measure than health, but health is far more than the absence of sickness. Health is the vitality of mind and body, the evidence of life energy.

Health care is a burgeoning issue for people in all nations. It affects those who do not have access to clean water, adequate food, or basic health services; and it affects those who suffer from excessive intake of processed food and chemicals in the environment. It also affects healthy people who still must bear the costs of general health care. It affects our family, our friends, and the people we work with.

There is more information today about health and wellness than anyone could possibly master in a lifetime. The range of options for health and wellness is a virtual smorgasbord, a glutton’s choice. Often even specialists cannot agree on what is right. Perhaps the answer is to find what is right for you.

This is where the Mandala Chart can help you create your own customized vision of health. What works for one person may or may not work for you. With so many alternatives to choose from, it is no easy task starting with a blank sheet. The Mandala Chart simplifies the process by putting it first in an 8-frame perspective, just as we did with the 8 Fields of Life. The important thing is to see them all in the context of the whole, and not get lost in the details and dictates of individual pieces of the puzzle. Do not succumb to the syndrome of the specialist, who proclaims that although the operation was a success, the patient died.

Of course with the Mandala Chart you are free to create and choose your own categories. However, it is often easier to start with a template and then customize it through your experience.

Here I suggest 8 categories you can use for Health: Food, Movement, Breathing, Sleep, Skinship, Resilience, Humor, and Love. Download a Mandala on Health template featuring each of these categories, so that you can begin to create your own customized approach to a healthy lifestyle. I selected these categories because they are broad enough to contain both traditional and alternative approaches to health. They have all been demonstrated to have an impact on our health and well-being, and each of them can be connected to the keyword radiance.

Remember that no one pattern fits all. The results you get depend on the actions you take. Health is ultimately a combination of your genetic predisposition, the cumulative effects of your lifestyle and discipline, and your mental attitude. All of these combine to make the difference, so it makes sense to take a comprehensive approach.

Without recommending any particular health method or system, here are some of the factors to consider when you incorporate these elements in your lifestyle.

  • Food: The quality and quantity of what you eat, food combinations, preparation, diet, cuisine, as well as your enjoyment and beliefs about food.
  • Movement: How you use and treat your body, the quality and frequency of your movement, how you practice, enjoy, and improve, as well as the mind-body connection.
  • Breathing: The quality and depth of your breathing, how you use your breath in movement and speaking, as well as the connection between breathing and awareness.
  • Sleep: Your sleep patterns and comfort, regularity, depth, and quality of your sleep, short naps, dreams, as well as relaxation and recovery.
  • Skinship: Connection to your environment and to other people, hygiene, sensory experience, sexuality, as well as your aura and radiant energy.
  • Resilience: Your ability to survive experiences unscathed, to make a comeback physically and mentally, as well as your spirit of continuous engagement.
  • Humor: Laughter as a sign of a relaxed attitude, an open heart and a positive spirit, as well as the ability to enjoy life and make others feel good.
  • Love: Taking good care of yourself and the ones you love, the spirit of giving and protection, as well as the power of healing.

The frames of the Mandala are can be used in several ways. In printed form it is a framework for note taking or brainstorming. In the eMandala Chart you can attach web links or notes for further reference. Even the blank frames in the template serve as a mirror for reflecting on your own goals and issues related to health, and can also trigger topics for conversation or further study.

The important thing is to use the Mandala as a zoom lens for flexible focus, rather than a container for checklists and information. For this reason it is useful to start with a key word or image, such as radiance, which illuminates each of the 8 frames under a common theme, and integrates them with a single synergistic image. Also make use of the Principle of Interdependence, by bringing positive ideas, influences, and people into your life.

The same process can be applied to each of the other fields of life, gradually giving you greater mental clarity and leverage for action, through the power of flexible focus.

That Art of getting what you want

by Vijay Peduru on February 22, 2010

Before proceeding .. Please consider reading this Post from Seth Godin.


We all want to succeed in Business, want to get healthier  and we know how to do it… but it doesn’t happen.  Business is helping a group of people (niche) better than anyone else out there ( think Apple’s iphone).  Health is just a change in diet and doing some exercises. We know this , but we still can’t do it. Why? It is because deep down in our brain.. inherited from millions of years ago is our lizard brain which fights for survival. Anything which causes pain it will avoid at any cost.


By the way, we have many different brains.. I like to call them minds. but let us talk about the two major ones.. The Lizard brain and the Possiblities brain. One (Lizard brain) always takes care of survival and reproduction and the other (Possibilities brain) takes care of possibilities . Both are needed. The lizard brain will save us when we cross the street, so we are not hit by the truck. It will save us when we are walking barefoot and see a nail. Fundamentally it will save us from anything that we interpret as “painful”.


The obvious next question is: How do we interpret “painful”? There are two ways.
  1. By instinct.
  2. By our “Past Memories”


In one way,  Instincts are also the “default” memories which come along with the package (you) when we are born. Ever seen a new born chicken running away from an eagle? Or consider when you pulled your fingers when you touched a heat source like a stove.. that is instinct.  Your body by instinct knows that too much heat is dangerous. After this, now you have a memory that you cannot touch a stove. The next time you are near a stove you will “remember” the danger.


The other brain – The Possibilities brain knows deep down you are a born genius and you have the potential to do what you want to do. That is why you dream about things you want like getting rich, getting healthier etc.  fundamentally it wants freedom..


So, anytime you want to make a change like for e.g. if you want to get healthier and you want to change your diet. the lizard brain interprets this as “change” and any change will cause pain which it will try to avoid. How do we get out of this? Simple… by using your “possibilities” brain and changing your interpretation of the situation. Let us take an example to better illustrate this.


Let us say there is a overweight 18 year old boy going to college. If his dad or friends says ..do exercise he “interprets” exercise as boring and painful.  His dad keeps pestering him to do the exercise but he doesn’t do it.  Let us say after a few months this prince meets a beautiful young princess and thinks that she likes a boy who is strong and muscular. He immediately hits the gym and it (going to the gym) suddenly does not occur as painful but in fact, joyful. What changed? The context. At first, the context was “Be healthier” which changed to “I need to impress this princess with my body”.  Now the exercise occurred as joyful.


What happened here is the lizard brain interpreted this as “joy” and not as “pain”.  If you see great men and women, they “failed” a lot of times, but kept going and ultimately succeeded.  This is because they interpreted “change” as joyful and so failure occurred as positive for their “lizard brain” and they could continue.  I agree this may not be the case in all great men and women but fundamentally they made sure that the lizard brain does not come in the way of what they want.. by resisting it by the use of willpower OR by befriending it.


One of the most effective way to overcome the lizard brain is by “befriending it”. Like any good long-term relationship.. issues will arise continuously but as long as we are committed to be friends with our lizard brain for life, it will work out. You can count on the fact that every time the lizard brain senses change, it will get perturbed. At this moment notice it and use your “possibilities” mind , create a powerful and inspiring context and let him know that this change is not painful but a joyful one.


In my life, I recently learned yoga. Everyday my body was aching and I hated getting up everyday to do this. Everyday after the yoga, my pains were more. If fact I quit for a couple of days. Then I remembered the  “context” concept after reading it in the “The three laws of performance” book and hearing it in a class from  “Landmark education“.  I changed my context of “doing yoga for health” to “Spending one hour out of 24hrs with my spiritual teacher”. It shifted completely and my “Lizard brain” interpreted it as a good thing and I haven’t stopped one day from then and I love doing yoga now.


Special Thanks: Seth Godin in his brilliant book “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” talks about the Lizard Brain. For a brief Introduction to the lizard brain check this post , this video and this short e-book


Your brain would not want to read this book because your lizard brain interprets this as painful. Imagine you had lived your whole life being manipulated by a system without you knowing it. Isn’t it painful… Hey, you are aware of it now. But consider changing your “context”… The “context” is “Here is a book which will show me how to live my life with freedom”

Fundamental Knowledge to prevent and fight flu

by Vijay Peduru on December 22, 2009

flu“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

– Thomas Edision

Since the flu season is setting in, We need to take good care of our health and our family’s health. Good health is an opportunity to take care of things which we want to take care of like our startup. if we are sick, things don’t happen and just come to a screeching halt.

There are several ways to fight flu., but if we understand the fundamental knowledge, it is easier to find “solutions” to prevent and fight flu. we won’t be misguided by all the advice out there.

As many of you are aware, the most fundamental thing to know is  that the flu and common cold is caused by Viruses and there is no medicine for Viruses. (strange isn’t it!). These viruses continuously mutate i.e they keep changing their DNA Structure, so it is difficult to create any medicine for these types of viruses.  If there is no medicine, then the question arises on how to cure it. The answer is, Our amazing human body has the capacity to create the medicine by itself to destroy the virus if we let it do its work.

When a virus enters our body, our immune cells checks its memory  to see if it has destroyed this kind of virus before, if not, then it gets to work to find the right type of medicine, It keeps trying various combinations until it finds the right combination. When the body is actively working, it generates a lot of heat and this is what we commonly refer as “fever“. Once it finds the medicine, it starts killing the virus. After successfully killing the virus, it has to send the dead viruses out of the body. The body creates mucus and puts the destroyed viruses there and the mucus flows out of our body through the nose. This is what we call “Runny Nose“.  Anything we do to stop this natural flow, will inhibit our body to do its job. So, for example taking cold/fever medicines will inhibit the body too. So, unless it is absolutely needed, it is not recommended to take medications. In fact, if you ask the doctor, they will say “Take cold medicine only if required”, but we ignore the “if required” part and take them anyway. “if required” means we should take it only if the pain becomes unbearable.

Here are a few ways you can help your body fight the cold or flu when you see the starting symptoms.

1. Give good Rest to your digestive system: In our everyday life, When we focus our energy on the job at hand, we can complete it faster. If we have too many distracting tasks, we don’t do any of the things properly. In the same way, when a cold or flu virus enters our body, we have to let the body concentrate all its energy on eliminating the virus. If we take heavy food, then the body is “distracted” and has to perform both the digestion process and also has to prepare the medicine. The best option is to not eat any solid foods and take only liquids.

2. Take only liquids without any added sugars: Doctors advice to take plenty of liquids.  This means any liquid which is easy for digestion. Yes, this means Coffee and Tea are out. Some Juices have added sugars in them and need to be avoided as well. The best option is –  Take 200 or 250 ml warm water, mix four to five spoons of honey and Squeeze half a lime and drink it. This gives the needed energy for the body, The body needs about 800 calories per day when fasting  and taking the “warm honey water” about four to five times a day should be enough.

In the past three years, I had symptoms of a flu once and fought it back within a day by fasting with liquids.

Wishing you healthy holidays


Cost of Health?

by Guy Ralfe on June 24, 2009

stethoscopeWhat is the likelihood of a small startup being successful if its members don’t take their health seriously? In small companies it is known that everyone has to wear multiple hats and it usually takes all hands on deck just to keep things going. So if you have an unhealthy1 person or organization can you afford the cost?

There are numerous studies and statistics on how much health affects the performance of an individual. It is also known that in business people have to work in social networks in order to get tasks done and the mood of one can often lower the mood of a group. Often the findings of health studies on employees or employers environments with poor health shows up with increased absence, lower work-rate, mistakes, minimal teamwork and poorer customer service. All of these are expensive costs to any size business.

Who do you want out there in front of your clients and prospective customers  – your lean healthy employee that got up and exercised before work, is energized and in a great enthusiastic mood for the day ahead or your overweight and unkempt employee that no one in the office will work with? Choices like this are easy but we don’t always find ourselves in a position to choose, often this degradation of health takes place over a period of time. The answer lies in not trying to avoid the issue – and that is by both the employer and employee – but to make a conscious decision to act to take care of it.

A company in the UK – Parcelforce – in a bid to improve employee motivation and attendance, introduced health screening clinics, gym memberships, bicycle loans and health education support covering stress, smoking and nutrition. Absence reduced by 33%, employee satisfaction improved by a similar amount, workplace accidents reduced by 45% and the program contributed towards productivity and customer service improvements.

As individuals our bodies are the one source of god given power that we all have by virtue of being born – How we take care of our health over our 40 odd year careers is likely the most powerful daily decisions we will make!

1 Unhealthy being anyone not respecting their bodies like illness, weight problems, poor diet, smoking, alcohol and drugs abuse, physical fitness, mental health, work-related stress, tiredness, irritability