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MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS

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I'm always in a hurry. It might... I'm always in a hurry. It might fulfill a second purpose with this practice, even if it's just five minutes???
There is increasing evidence that practicing some kind of meditation and concentrated mindful exercises, even video games, can improve some of our brain activity.

For sure, 10 minutes a day of consistent practice will improve a chosen skill!!!

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ARE YOU A SAVER OR A SPENDER?

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I'M CHECKING MY "EMOTIONA... I'M CHECKING MY "EMOTIONAL BALANCE"!
According to Suze Orman: “We tend to spend more than, when we feel less than.” Suze points out that spenders are hating things about themselves when they overspend on temporary feel goods - I can afford some luxuries, but most of them do not help me learn to be a better person.

Financial issues highlight the lives of most of the people around me. Why???? Money is a measuring tool, but I never thought of it as measuring my “emotional state”??

Does that mean, when we were taught to save with “piggy banks”, we were also being taught to manage our emotional health?

By the way, why are piggy banks pigs?

They are actually shaped like pigs because they are called piggy banks. You see, In Middle English, "pygg" referred to a type of clay used for making household objects, such as jars. People often saved money in kitchen pots and jars made of pygg, called "pygg jars”.

When I was three-years-old in 1943, I got a tin “piggy bank” for my birthday, a globe of the world. We lived on a farm near Caldwell, Idaho, in an area called Sand Hollow. Mom, Dad, me, my grandpa and two uncles all lived together. My twenty-year-old Uncle Frank was the social one. He had a bunch of friends that came from the Minidoka Camp where the Japanese were incarcerated and worked on our farm. When they finished their work on Saturday, washed up, ate and came out of the kitchen, I remember sitting in this bay window in the living room and they would each give me a nickel. At that time, I was taught to save nickels for college.

When I was seven-years-old, my Mom took me to town and I bought a twenty-five-dollar savings bond that would mature in ten years. I think I paid something like sixteen dollars. I did cash it in when I went to Lewis and Clark College ($25 in 1956 = $235 in 2018).

I learned early to be a saver. Maybe, it is a good practice today to save for the “college of learning” for emotional balance?

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MEDITATION?

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This one comes the closest to ... This one comes the closest to the one I remember on our farm in Sand Hollow, near Caldwell, Idaho, where my Dad built our house when I was five years old.
Okay Okay! humans have had this figured out for millennials. But I’ve always been in a hurry. Maybe because my earliest memories are of looking at the hole and being afraid I might fall in and it smelled so bad.

This morning I got in my exercise on the rebounder and the rowing machine. Then, I thought about how my older daughter, the media and the universe has been encouraging me to establish a “meditation ritual.”

It occurs to me that my Japanese forefathers in Japan even got squatting exercise at the same time.

So what should I do next?

As I heard in an interview on Book TV yesterday, “I write because I have questions??”

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AM I A GIVER OR A TAKER?

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People INSPIRE you or drain y... People INSPIRE you or drain you
Pick wisely.
Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do.
How do I lead my life so giving and taking is healthy? It’s clear there is an abundance of both givers and takers in any given organization or family. Every other person I’m meeting is telling me their story about toxic takers. To paraphrase my 9-year-old granddaughter, “That’s the way God created us, LIVE WITH IT!”

A month ago, I was given the book OPTION B about dealing with death and loss. Yesterday, this suggestion for a TED talk was in my iPhone messages and it turned out to be the coauthor Adam Grant.

Adam Grant, also wrote GIVE AND TAKE, and here’s some of his researched statistics on the situations where “givers” were found -- those who grew up with sisters, med-students who got to the bedside manner part of their education and practice. Giving sales people are found equally at the top and bottom of the earning scale, but there a slight edge to finding givers with higher IQ because they are more creative about finding ways. Givers often volunteer to do the less popular tasks.

Givers have better collaboration skills. Women are better in close relationships and men are better with the bigger/outside world of relationships. Givers have bigger networks. We want more givers?

Toxic takers use the words “I” & “Me” more. They are more concerned about their image and pictures of themselves are bigger and more flattering, the list is nauseating.

My granddaughter loves the movie TANGLED and asks, “Mother Gothel seemed to be good to Rapunzel, but was only using her?” Mother Gothel is a classic taker.

Adam Grant coaches us in identifying bad employees and takers:
Shirker
Pessimist
Gossip
Instigator
Bully

These are my notes from Brendon Burchard on how to talk with someone close, such as a wife, mother or potential Shaklee leader who are part of the “team” but not taking responsibility and under performing. It’s our responsibility as leaders to call out bad performance, not coddle or enable.

Brendon Burchard suggests, “be a leader, using the following ‘4 frames’, hold them accountable:
1. Honor the person: Start with, “You are important to me!
2. Explore their feelings: “What are your goals? What are you doing to meet them?”
3. Suggest new thinking, never question the potential of God’s children: “I heard Brendon at the Shaklee convention… He challenges me to be a leader. I am excited for new thinking. What an opportunity we have to help each other move toward fulfillment in our lives. I’m excited for the possibilities for our children.”
4. Challenge frame, a line needs to be drawn: “You have to show up if you want my support.”

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FAILURES - OPPORTUNITY for SOMETHING DIFFERENT

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Sometimes you win Sometimes... Sometimes you win
Sometimes you learn
It happened three times in the last few days. I've written out a blog, saved it and the next morning it didn't get published!!!! Therefore, I'm writing a new one again today.

I don't mind the process. Trust that something good comes out of it.

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THE PLATINUM RULE

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ACTION OF SOME KIND TALK L... ACTION OF SOME KIND
TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE!
The author of LEAN IN, Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband and I'm reading her latest book OPTION B - facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy. She writes, “Growing up, I was taught to follow the Golden Rule; treat others as you want to be treated. But when someone is suffering, instead of following the Golden Rule, we need to follow the Platinum Rule: treat others as they want to be treated. Take a cue from the person in distress and respond with understanding—or better yet, action.”

“Treat others as they want to be treated?”, assuming not everyone grieves similarly. There are all kinds of loss - divorce, change, failures, growing up.

So, how do I want to be treated? Likely I will find some answers further in Sheryl’s book. How do I learn to communicate so my relatives and friends know what I need without imposing on them too much? Again, the lines resonate, “Friendship isn’t only what you can give, it’s what you’re able to receive.”

Experiencing loss, I had a hard time with one call in particular. He was sorry he couldn't make it to Sam's memorial and went on about his own loss a couple years ago. On the other hand, I treasure the connections, all the cards, emails and texts - I can't get enough. It doesn't need to be anything specific subject of conversation, I just enjoy visiting and having opportunities to visit.

It’s been 8 months now and I’m visiting the grand girls so I’m feeling good and not lonesome. Reading Sheryl’s book feels good, but it also brings tears again. I’ll keep reading and I assume it's all part of the process.

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TRANCENDENCE

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What a man can be, he must b... What a man can be, he must be. This need, we call self-actualization according to American Psychologist Maslow
Today, I’m having a protein drink from the Starbucks in the Country Mart here in Larkspur. I stopped by the diesel bookstore that is closing their doors this weekend and having a 30% off sale. That’s $5 off of a paperback.

I gravitated to the Psychology section and the only books left were the hard backs. One of the paperbacks left was LIGHTER AS WE GO - Virtues, Character, Strengths and Aging.

The sun is shinning, it’s 72 degrees and there is a slight breeze as I take time at one of the outdoor seats here at Starbucks and glance through the book.

The book highlights the words, Kelly and I were brainstorming yesterday, that describe Sam’s character. We are beginning to outline how we want to organize and feature the legacy in the book we are putting together of Sam’s comics.

I’m adding the word TRANCENDENCE to Integrity, Resilience, Humbleness and Humor. Trancendence means: existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level. It’s almost too big a word, but if we remove the religious aspect of the word, it fits Sam and how he lived his life.

Sam always described it as, “Getting in the zone”. It’s mentally gathering that energy and connecting with the thoughts of others who are also able to operate with transcendence. It’s being able to operate at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

My interpretation of Maslow’s chart is that we learn/choose to daily meet and be responsible for food, clothing, shelter and security/safety. Further, well-being is attained by those who also meet the needs daily for connections, respect/esteem. Ultimately, happiness is reaching the top and experiencing the esthetics of beauty, peace, love and fulfillment.

Transcendence is not for just extraordinary people. What is exciting is that we can all learn and unfold the paths to more fulfillment in our lives.

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CRESCENDOS FOR THE END OF LIFE

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Moving Forward To the End -... Moving Forward To the End - Grateful for Every Second of Life
This year we’ve thought a lot about the end of life. At least for the last 10 years Sam said, "I don't mind dying, but I don't want it to be too uncomfortable". Hospice care was great!!

BJ Miller is the director of the Zen Hospice Center in San Francisco says, “Most hospitals are designed for disease and not people”. He goes on to say that “comfort” is at the top of most people’s list when facing death, but he also goes on to talk about “crescendo” thoughts and appreciation of each second of life to the end.

As a nurse, I was trained to numb the senses to not feel pain. Sam got us involved with nutrition where we learned more about avoiding the pain with better physical health. Building physical health means eating nutrients so the cells can repair and replace each day, as well as getting the tools for their jobs to reach each part of the body.

I subsequently got a masters in Psychosocial Nursing to mentally avoid pain and help find tools for better thinking. Studies also show that happier people handle pain better.

Until I listened to BJ Miller’s talk about: What do I want for the end of Life? I never thought about planning more for the very last seconds. I feel the best place for me to start is to follow the words of Robert Waldinger, the 4th director of the Harvard Longevity Study, where they followed 724 men from Boston’s elite as well as the poorest for 75 years. The study continues with the surviving participants in their 90s and now includes wives and children.

The happiest in their late 80s and 90s were the ones who figured out how to be happy at age 50. They were in a healthy relationship or got out of an unhappy one. They reconnected with family and friends they had not seen or had a falling out.

So, I can think myself 50 again and help as many people as I can with action - helping others and purposeful activities are another key ingredient to happiness.

As I mentioned in a previous post, stressing myself to produce more healthy OXCYTOCIN. Oxytocin (Oxt; /ˌɒksɪˈtoʊsɪn/) is a peptide hormone and neuropeptide. Oxytocin is normally produced by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary. It plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction in both sexes.

Like Sam, I want to be surrounded by my loved ones to the very end at home.

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Avi the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog

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Avi the tiny foothill frog in the ... Avi the tiny foothill frog in the girl's room
On Thursday, August 2, we had a playdate with one of my new classmates, Saniyah. At their house they have an awesome pool that goes to about 11 feet. In the deep end, there are a ton of foothill yellow-legged frogs making their home in cement cracks and the ivy around the pool.
“You can take them home if you want,” Saniyah tells us. “We could make a habitat for them and you could take them.”
This got my attention.
“OK,” I responded. So we gathered rocks and a pinecone and placed it in a big container full of chlorinated pool water.
“Wait,” Saniyah’s sister, River said, “This is pool water. We need fresh water.”
So we poured out the pool water and filled it up with fresh water, filled it with the rocks and and pinecone and at last we were finished. Well, not quite…
“Now we need a frog.” I ran to the deep end and searched, but no frog could be found. We looked in the filter, no frog. We looked in the ivy, no frog. Finally, we decided that we should get in the pool again. Sooner or later, we figured, a frog would come out.
So we played a couple rounds of Marco Polo and finally we spotted a frog.
Our joy faded as soon as we realized we couldn’t get it out from the crack it was in. So we waited. And waited. The frog moved— everyone dashed to the crack. But it didn’t move anymore. So we waited some more until we wanted to play Marco Polo again.
Finally, Saniyah’s little brother spotted a frog swimming in the pool! It was a yay for all of us.
So we picked it up, put it in the container, put a plastic wrap around it and poked holes.
Phew.
It was done.
So it was time to go back home and as we were driving, my sister and I started thinking of names.
“Avi!” I suggested.
“No.”
“Olive!”
“No.”
“Well, if we can’t think of a name, we won’t name it,” I said.
“I thought it’s name was Avi!”
“You said you didn’t like that name!”
And sister fight.
But that is our cute story of how we came to adopt Avi the frog. We love him so much and hope he has any feelings for us, but for now we’re just hoping. ;-)

Written and typed by 10 year old granddaughter.

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THE NUMBER THIRTEEN

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Sam was born at 3am on 1-1... Sam was born at 3am on 1-13-33, at 1303 Washington Street. We learned about this when we went to get Sam's birth certificate for a visa to go on a trip to Japan in 1971.
The number thirteen played actively throughout Sam Goto’s life. During his last days alive, we all knew he was dying and Kelly asked her dad, “If you find out you can communicate in the next life, what’s some sign we can watch for?”

Sam kind of brushed it off, and could hardly put his words together but said, “Look for number 13.”

I flew to San F yesterday, August 1, 2018. Our daughter’s car got a flat tire on the way to her apartment from the airport. Thank goodness we got through San F and Sausalito and it happened one exit before her exit. Kelly called Uber so I could replace the baby sitter. She also called AAA road service. The last time her car was serviced, the "lug nut key” was not put back where it was supposed to be inside the vehicle, so the AAA guy brought her home and left the car.

This morning, I took the girls to their summer camp by Uber. I went to the teacher’s staff room at this school and got on the phone to see if we could get the tire fixed before Kelly had to drive to her appointment with her lawyer in the afternoon in San Mateo.

I called Land Rover for an appointment, but they had none. Brandon referred me to Toscalito Tire Service nearby in Corte Madera. I talked with Paul and explained that I would have the car towed to his shop if he could change the tire by early afternoon. He could, but first I needed to make sure we could get the right tire. I called Land Rover back and they needed a vin number. Brandon sent me to Steve at parts and yes, they had the tire.

Uber was called, but I had to stop back at the apartment to get the car keys; meanwhile, calling AAA and arranging a tow to Toscalito Tire Service. Paul at Toscalito said, I can’t do anything until you get the “Lug Nut Key”. Then he got an idea, “We have our own supplier for tires, but maybe I can talk to Steve at Land Rover, buy the tire from him and ask to borrow the master set of “Lug Nut Keys”. So Paul called Steve, made the arrangement and sent his assistant across the freeway to Land Rover, who came back with both.

They tried all the keys in the box, but none would fit. Paul said maybe we can try breaking the lug nuts off like the thieves do. It worked. Kelly was within 5 minutes of renting a car to get to her appointment in San Mateo with the lawyer, but didn’t have to do so. YEAH PAUL, nothing like good service!!!

Paul showed me the master key box and there was a empty slot where #113 was missing. I told Paul the story of the significance of #13 in our life.

So, when Kelly got to Toscalito to pick up the car, Paul showed Kelly the box and we had a good cry, knowing Dad was looking out for her.

I’m back at Kelly’s apartment waiting for the girls to get home from their play date after their day at camp was over and here they come.

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