Category Archives: Transform your life

The additional offender groans.

The additional offender groans.

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BBB Advice on Donating by Text Message for Haiti Relief Efforts

January 14, 2010 – Arlington, VA – In the wake of the earthquake
disaster in Haiti, Americans are donating via text message more than ever before. BBB Wise Giving Alliance advises donors that giving through text can be a safe and easy way to give—but you should still use caution.

Within days following the disaster in Haiti, it was widely reported that more than $3 million was donated through text message to such organizations as the Red Cross and others.

“It’s encouraging that people are making small donations through text messages,” said Art Taylor, President and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. “An incredible amount of money will be needed to address the crisis in Haiti and charities will certainly welcome gifts made through any means available. However, donors should still do their due diligence to make sure their money is going to trustworthy charities.”

BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips on giving through text:

  • Confirm the number directly with the source. While BBB Wise Giving Alliance has not yet heard of any scams relying on text message donations, this emerging method for donating is ripe for exploitation by scammers.
  • Be aware that text donations are not immediate. Depending on the text message service used by the charity, text donations can take anywhere from 30-90 days to be transferred to the designated charity. If you would like the donation to be received immediately by the charity, you can give online through the charity Web site, by calling the charity directly or by sending a check in the mail.
  • Review the fine print. When you give to a charity through text message, you might also be signing yourself up to receive text message updates from the charity in the future. A charity should include the details of its text campaign on its Web site so you can see what you’re signing up and how you can opt out.
  • Research the charity. Giving wisely to a charity isn’t just about making sure that the solicitation isn’t coming from scammers. Wise donors make sure their donations are going to charities that are best equipped to help in the relief efforts and responsibly use the money for its intended purpose.

For more information or to schedule an interview with a BBB Wise Giving Alliance spokesperson, contact Alison Southwick at 703-247-9376.

Only 2 days left

We’ve seen an amazing response so far, but to reach our goal of 1,000 new donors by Thursday, we need you to make a matching donation right now:

Donate.


http://repoweramerica.org/match

Let’s be clear. The only way we’re going to win on clean energy is to upend business as usual politics.

Enough people need to act with enough strength that our elected officials can look beyond what Big Oil and Big Coal want — so they can lead, taking us into the 21st century to a clean energy economy. Otherwise those powerful special interests will ensure that we ignore the greatest challenge of our time.

We’ve got to push past them with a movement of ordinary Americans just like you coming together to solve the climate crisis so we can revitalize our country and leave our children and grandchildren a legacy of clean American energy.

You can see the personal determination people have to seize this moment in the notes supporters like you have been sharing as they match each other’s donations. I wanted to share a few of these notes with you:


Mathew in Norristown, PA:

Thank you so much for your support. Every person that contributes is making an investment in our future. A future with clean renewable energy for our children, thank you again.

Daniella in Los Gatos, CA:

It surprises me that we are even having to battle Big Dirty Energy at this late stage in the game. Yet, fight we must. Thank you Joan for offering this matching fund opportunity.

Jeremy in Edgewood, KY:

Thanks for matching my donation Ali. I believe clean energy is the way to greater prosperity and security for this great nation of ours (and for the world).  Let’s make it happen.

Join each of these new supporters by making your first contribution today. A previous donor has pledged to match your gift, doubling your impact.

Make your first donation of $25 now. If you’d like, you can exchange a note with the donor who matched your contribution.

The powerful interests thrive when we sit on our hands. But their power wilts when we decide to act.

We can have the clean energy future America so urgently needs — but only if we’re willing to fight for it. Help inspire a movement big, broad and strong enough to win.

Thanks for everything you do,

Maggie L. Fox
President and CEO
The Alliance for Climate Protection

3 Steps to reduce dangerous toxins in your home today

  1. Get rid of conventional cleaners:
    Most conventional cleaners contain dangerous ingredients including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, harsh acids, and hormone disrupters linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, and eye and respiratory irritation.

    The solution: Use nontoxic, biodegradable cleaners free of synthetic fragrances. Most cleaning jobs can also be done with baking soda and vinegar.

  2. Filter your water:
    The public water supplies in 19 of America’s largest cities delivered drinking water that contained contaminated levels exceeding EPA limits, including rocket fuel, arsenic, lead, fecal waste, and chemical by-products created during water treatment.

    The solution: Get a water filter, and ask your water utility for its "Consumer Confidence Report." But avoid bottled water – most brands are not much better than tap water and the bottles contribute to mountains of waste. Carry and refill your own reusable water bottle instead.

  3. Use care with paints/stains:
    Conventional paints contain three dangerous chemicals: VOCs, fungicides, and biocides.

    The solution: Use super-low or even zero-VOC paints and stains. Look also for "biocide-free" paints and those that use natural pigments. If your home was built before 1970, consider having both your home and your children’s blood lead levels tested. Paint over lead-based paint to minimize dust and chipping.

Brought to you by Lifecoach Vaness

Why a first kiss can be a deal breaker

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Whether it’s a soft peck on the cheek or a passionate encounter of lips, a kiss is an exceedingly rich and complex exchange of postural, tactile, and chemical cues that can have profound consequences for romantic relationships, report psychologists from the University of Albany in the Journal for Evolutionary Biology. As evidence of just how biologically important this exchange can be, one study found that 59 percent of men and 66 percent of women have experienced a first kiss as a "deal breaker".

The Albany researchers also found a marked difference in the preferred style of kissing. Male students preferred overall wetter kisses than their female fellow students and showed a greater preference for tongue contact and open-mouth kissing. The researchers speculate that males are unconsciously looking to maximize saliva exchange, which provides clues about fertility and may also allow the male to exchange hormones, including testosterone, which passes directly through the membranes of the mouth into the bloodstream and can boost female libido. Because men are less chemo-sensitive than women, men may need more saliva than women just to pick up the clues.

When participants were asked if they would have sex with someone without kissing first, more than half of the males responded positively, but only one in seven females would consider having sex without kissing first. When asked to rate kissing as an important ingredient in forming a relationship and in bonding, women rated kissing overall more important than males. Women also felt that someone’s being a good kisser was not a good enough reason to start a relationship. Interestingly, for short-term relationships, both men and women preferred wetter kisses, probably to maximize the hormone exchange and heat things up.

Monika Rice

Brought to you by LifeCoach Vaness

Try this meditation to more deeply savor your food

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In the rush-rush-rush of our daily lives, it’s easy to forget to savor our most intimate connection with the earth: the food we eat. you can enjoy this short meditation on your own, but it’s even better to try it with friends or family. That way, one person can read the meditation to the others, allowing them to meditate on the images that form in their mind’s eye.

Find a comfortable way to sit.

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath through your nose, in and out. Pay attention to your breath.

As you breathe easily, fill up your stomach, your ribs, your sternum. As you breathe out, feel the breath coming up first from your chest, then your ribs, then your stomach.

Now, picture one of your favorite fruits, vegetables, or fresh herbs. Breathing in and out, develop the image of this food in your mind.

Take the image of your food and place it in your hands. Feel its weight as you hold it in front of you. Is it heavy? Is it light? Does it barely fill your palm, or are you staggering under its weight?

As you imagine holding it, picture running the fingers of one hand across its surface. Does it have a soft skin? A hard rind? Is it leafy? Is it silky, hard, smooth, bumpy, fuzzy? Spend a moment touching its surface.

As you touch its stem, think about how it grows. Think about its life before you … did it grow in the ground? On a tree? On a bush? Picture how it grew.

As you look at it, drink in its color. Is it deep in color or is it pastel? Is it the color of a monk’s orange robe? A sunset pink? Morning light’s yellow?

Now picture yourself peeling it or cutting it or tearing a leaf off of it. Drink in its smell. As you breathe in, imagine that you’re smelling your food. Think about the fragrance. Is it strong or subtle? Sweet or spicy?

think about how you most love to eat it. If you’d eat this raw, bring it closer to your mouth. If you’d cook it, shift your image of it until it’s the shape, color, and texture of your food cooked as you most love it.

Now imagine taking a bite of it. Picture that first bite. Is it juicy? Crunchy?

As it lands on your tongue, savor its texture and its scent as it changes when your taste buts – not just your nose – get involved. Let the flavor sink into your mouth.

Picture yourself chewing and enjoy meditating on the taste as it changes in your mouth.

Imagine swallowing. Feel your food as it moves down the back of your mouth, down your throat.

Continue breathing in and out.

Sit. Feel the food become part of you.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Slowly, whenever you’re ready, open your eyes.

Health benefits in non-humor-dependent aerobic laughter

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Get this! As part of a study called "Workplace Laughter and Personal Efficacy" (Journal of Primary Prevention, vol. 28:2), 33 employees of a behavioral health center met for 15 minutes a day for 15 consecutive workdays to engage in "a guided program of nun-humor-dependent laughter" (i.e., making your body laugh regardless of whether anything funny is going on). And, as arduous as such forced laughter might sound, it made everybody feel better. The participants reported significant increases in self-regulation, optimism, positive emotions, and social identification – increases they maintained at a follow-up examination.

But why was this study done?

"One of the biggest methodological problems in the research on laughter is the failure to distinguish between humor and laughter," wrote researchers Heidi Beckman, Ph.D., Nathan Regier, Ph.D., and Judy L. Young. "Humor is a construct, while laughter is a physiological event… Humor is a stimulus, and laughter is one of several possible behavioral responses to that stimulus. When this distinction is made, it is easier to see that humor and laughter are distinct (although often associated) events. Humor can occur without laughter, and laughter can occur without humor."

Ahhh. So thanks to this work, we now know that "Purposeful laughter is a realistic, sustainable, and generalizable intervention that enhances employees’ morale, resilience, and personal efficacy beliefs." And if we suggest this practice to our coworkers and they laugh incredulously, we need only remember: they are not laughing at us, they are merely ameliorating their self-regulation and optimism.

Betsy Robinson

Brought to you by LifeCoach Vaness