Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Adaptability and Resilience

 

Embracing Life Changes

Life is forever changing. A static life is not worth living. Ironically enough, many people resist any change in their lives; they desire consistency and stability. Unfortunately, whether you like it or not, changes are inevitable as you continue to age. The only ways to cope with life changes is adaptability and acceptance.

Adaptability is changing the mind's perception of the change you confront, and act or react accordingly to the circumstances. This mental perception requires awareness, without which actions or reactions may not take place, because often times changes are slow, gradual, and even subtly imperceptible. Awareness means knowing why and how changes are taking place.

.“We need a still and composed mind
to see things with greater clarity.
Because trouble begins in the mind
with small and unrelated thoughts.
So, we carefully watch the mind
to stop any trouble before it begins.”
(Chapter 64, Tao Te Ching)

Acceptance is taking the responsibility of the results of the actions or reactions taken. Acceptance may not be easy, especially if you have a pre-conditioned mindset of expectation or comparing the condition before and after the change.

Both adaptability and acceptance requires wisdom -- the wisdom to know and understand that nothing is permanent because everything remains only with that very present moment, and that everything follows a natural cycle, such as success .

"Success and failure are no more than expressions of the human condition.
So, accept both gracefully and willingly, with no judgment, no preference.
The Creator loves us unconditionally, irrespective of our success or failure.
What is meant by “accept both gracefully and willingly”?
Success is avoiding failure; avoiding failure is seeking success.
Both originate from fear and pride: the sources of human suffering.
Seeing ourselves indiscriminately as everything, including success and failure,
we see not only the manifestations but also the mysteries of the creation.
(Chapter 13, Tao Te Ching)

TAO wisdom is profound human wisdom based on not acquisition of knowledge but self-intuition of the nature of things. Through this self-enlightenment, one become wise, and accordingly knows how to live one's life as if everything is a miracle. Click here to find out more about TAO wisdom.


Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Take a Role Model and Be Happy


Ann Russell Miller was a celebrated socialite from San Francisco, also known as Sister Mary Joseph. She, who had ten children and nineteen grandchildren, had grown up in luxury and privilege, and had been living a life of incredible wealth. Instead of shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, and decorating herself with jewelry from Tiffany, she suddenly and surprisingly decided to give up everything, and became a nun devoted to living in poverty for the rest of her life.

That unbelievable event happened more than two decades ago, and was then widely reported in the media across the country. Why did she make such a drastic and incredible change in her life? She said she had a calling, a true vocation that was hard to understand for the general public, even for the close members of her family.

Ann Russell Miller just wanted to live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living, as well as all the attachments that she wanted to let go ot.

Do you have a lot of attachments to the material world you are living in right now? Take a look at your garage and basement. If they are packed full and loaded with many disposables, then probably you still have many attachments you are unwilling to let go of. Attachments are clutters that bring memories you are unwilling to let go of—memories that are reminiscent of your past accomplishments.

If you wish to be happy, just live a simple lifestyle.  

Epicurus, the famous Greek philosopher, had this advice on how to lead a happy life: avoiding luxuries, and living simply. The explanation is that luxurious living may make you into a “needy” person whose happiness always depends on things that are impermanent and easily lost. When they are lost —because nothing is permanent—you naturally become unhappy and even depressed.

THE HAPPINESS WISDOM
MY WAY! NO WAY! TAO IS THE WAY!

Stephen Lau      
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Perceptions and Realities

 ARE YOUR PERCEPTIONS YOUR REALITIES?


Your mind perceives all your life experiences through your five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting.

To most people, seeing is the most important perception; however, what they see may not be the absolute reality, because their visual perceptions may be conditioned by what they see, and distorted by many other factors during the processing of their perceptions. Remember, it is the intuition of your soul that really perceives your reality. The wise have known for a long time that what we know through our eyes are not the same as the intuition of the soul. If that is the case, sadly, most people rely on what they see, thinking that "seeing is believing," and thus lose themselves in external things.

As an illustration, in 1997, Richard Alexander from Indiana was convicted as a serial rapist because one of the victims and her fiancĂ© insisted that he was the perpetrator based on what they saw with their own eyes. However, the convicted man was exonerated and released in 2001 based on new DNA science and other forensic evidence. Experts explained that a traumatic emotional experience, such as a rape, could “distort” the perception of an individual.

The truth is that your brain is composed of grey matters and neurons or nerve cells that transmit information and messages; they are the building blocks of your brain for the processing of all your perceptions. Neurons are responsible for all your behaviors in the form of perceptions, which trigger a mental process that results in an action or an emotion. If the process becomes instinctive or habitual, then the output in the form of an action or emotion is also automatic and predictable. That is how attitudes and habits are formed, including the fight-or-flight response to any dangerous situation. This automatic or spontaneous mental processing is often not “by choice.”

The fact of the matter is that this “learned” mental processing is responsible for the way you think and act, for your beliefs and emotions, for you attitudes and prejudices, as well as for your decisions or indecisions—in other words, every aspect of your life experiences.

Descartes, the great French philosopher, made his famous statement: "I think, therefore I am." That means, you think, and your thoughts then become who and what you think you are. But that may not be the real you

In many ways, the human brain is like a computer program. Your whole being is like the computer hardware with the apparatus of a mind, a body, and the five senses. The lenses, through which you see yourself, others, and the world around you as well, are the software that has been continuously programmed by your thoughts, your past and present experiences, as well as your own expectations and those of others projected into the future. In other words, you and nobody else have programmed your own present mindset. All these years, you might have been trapped in a constricted sense of self that has prevented you from knowing and being who you really are. Your “conditioned” mindset might have erroneously made you "think" and "believe" that you are who and what you are; but nothing could be further from the truth.
  


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau




Monday, July 15, 2024

Why Do You Want to Live Longer?


There is an old proverb that says: “He who cannot ask cannot live.” Life is all about asking questions and seeking answers from the questions asked. If you wish to live longer or to a ripe old age, you must ask yourself many questions along your life journey.
Living for life in this contemporary world may never be easy because it requires wisdom, which is essentially finding answers to the questions asked, and then applying those answers to everyday living in the material world.
Have you ever wondered: there has to be much more to life than this—the kind of life that you are living right now? If you have, then maybe you should, first and foremost, ask yourself the question:Why do I want to live longer?” Your reasons could be any one or some of the following:

·       You desire to live a better life than the one that you are currently living.
·       You want to see your children or grandchildren grow up and mature into adults.
·       You have your life passions, some of which might already have been accomplished, while others are being pursued but still remaining unfulfilled.
·       You are experiencing some core values, which are not just your life goals but rather your beliefs in humanity that have to be lived in order to fully experience the meaning of existence as well as the innate happiness in humanity.
·       You still like to enjoy some of the mundane pleasures of life and living that have satisfied your five senses.
·       You love to maintain good relationships and true friendships with those who are close and dear to you.
·       You may be fighting some life challenges or health issues—just like Alex Trebek, the 77-year-old TV celebrity famous for hosting NBC's “Jeopardy”, who openly declared in 2019 that he had to live longer in order to fight his pancreatic cancer because of his still-standing three-year contract with NBC. 

Asking the question “Why do I want to live longer?” may initiate many other why questions specifically related to you, to others close to you, and to the world around you. Living is all about asking the many why and how questions in your everyday life and living.
In the Bible, Jesus said: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7) In real life, we must always ask ourselves many thought-provoking questions at all times. Asking questions is self-introspection, which is a process of self-intuition and self-reflection, without which there is no self-awareness and therefore no personal growth and development. A static life is never a life well lived and worth living. Therefore, asking questions is self-empowering wisdom—a life tool necessary for living longer.
The truth is that the kind of questions you ask determines the kind of life you are going to live. Your questions often trigger a set of mental answers, which may lead to actions or inactions, based on the choices you make from the answers you have obtained. Remember, your life is always the sum of all the choices you have made in the process. No matter what, life is a journey of self-discovery, a continuous process of asking questions and seeking self-awakening answers from them. It should be noted that the answer to every question you ask may change over time, because life is forever changing, and changes are often transformative. The more questions you ask, the clearer your mind will become, and the more ready you will be to receive the answers.

Stephen Lau                  
Copyright© by Stephen Lau      


MYASTHENIA GRAVIS HEALING

 

MYASTHENIA GRAVIS HEALING

The healing of any disease begins with the mind first, and not the body. So, the mind is everything in your life, including your myasthenia gravis healing, one of the many autoimmune diseases affecting the immune system.

Modern Western medicine has led many to believe that healing is a complex and complicated process, involving high technology, complex drugs, and state-of-the-art procedures.

But using drugs, such as steroid medications, does not work. They may temporarily control some of the symptoms, but at the expense of causing many adverse side effects. Drugs can never heal myasthenia gravis.

To heal any autoimmune disease, you must have an empty mind to receive any unconventional information to heal naturally.

Find out more information about ancient wisdom in healing, such as meditation, energy-flowing exercises, natural foods and drinks, and natural herbs.

MY MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

Stephen Lau

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Basics of Aging

Knowing the Basics of Aging


If you wish to live to 100 and beyond, you need to know  the basics of mortality: aging, premature aging, and longevity.

Aging

The passage of time is inevitable and eternal. Aging begins as early as from young adulthood (around age 20 to 40) to middle adulthood (around age 40 to 65), and continues to old age (beginning at the age of retirement, approximately at age 65). Aging occurs throughout most of one’s lifespan. The aging process is an accumulation of changes, which may be subtle or sudden, and even drastic, that progressively lead to disease, degeneration, and ultimately death. Truly, you cannot die merely of old age; your ultimate demise is caused by advancing age itself, as well as by the diseases and degenerative conditions that accompany it.
Aging is difficult to define, but you will know it when you see it, or experience it firsthand yourself. In brief, aging is a steady decline in health and wellness, instrumental in shortening lifespan; and the aging process is the duration during which such changes occur.

The hard facts of aging

Whether you like it or not, your biological clock is ticking, and this will happen to various systems in your body:

Your heart will pump less blood, and your arteries will become stiffer and less flexible, resulting in high blood pressure—a common health problem that often increases with age.

With less oxygen and nutrients from the heart, your lungs will also become less efficient in getting and distributing oxygen to different organs and membranes of your body.

Your brain size will slowly and gradually reduce by approximately 10 percent between the age of 30 and 70. Loss of short-term memory will become increasingly more acute and evident.

Your bone mass will reduce, making it more brittle and fragile. Your body size will shrink as you lose your muscle mass.

Your biological clock is continuously ticking, whether you are conscious of it or not. Your mortality has been pre-programmed into your biological organisms and your body cells. Theoretically, you may have an indefinite lifespan through the division, the rejuvenation, and the regeneration of your body cells and organisms—if they are still healthy and fully functional. Although your genes may have pre-determined the speed of your biological clock, you can still slow down the speed of aging—if you still have good health.
So, what is good health? Is being healthy synonymous with the absence of disease?

According to the United States Public Health Service, good health is “preventing premature death, and preventing disability, preserving a physical environment that supports human life, cultivating family and community support, enhancing each individual’s inherent abilities to respond and to act, and assuring that all Americans achieve and maintain a maximum level of functioning.” This statement probably sums up what you need to do in order to be younger and healthier for longer; it says everything about aging.

Premature aging

The truth of the matter is that you age, just like everyone else does. The point in question is how you can delay that aging process in order to make you not only feel but also look younger and healthier for longer—or, at least, not making you age more quickly than you are supposed to.
Unfortunately, many of us have fallen victims to the accelerated aging syndrome, or premature aging.

Accelerated aging syndrome

According to Steven Masley, M.D., the former medical director of the Pritikin Longevity Center in St. PetersburgFlorida, you may have the potentials for accelerated aging, if you have just any three of the following:

A fast blood sugar level of more than 100 mg/dl
A blood pressure higher than 130/85
A waist larger than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men
Good cholesterol level (HDL) less than 40 mg/dl for men, and 50 mg/dl for women
Triglyceride (a certain type of fat in your blood) levels greater than 150 mg/dl

Factors contributing to premature aging

There are several factors that increase the predisposition to accelerated aging:

Your diet: you are what you eat, and you become what you eat.
Your lifestyle: life on the fast lane often leads to faster aging.
Your physical inactivity: immobility brings about stagnation and degeneration.
Your stress level: stress kills your brain cells, predisposing you to premature aging.
Your disease and physical pain: disease and pain have a devastating impact on both the body and the mind

Damaging free radicals

Your body is composed of many different types of cells, made up of many different types of molecules.

Free radicals are molecules that contain unpaired electrons. Since electrons have a very strong tendency to co-exist in a paired rather than in an unpaired state, free radicals indiscriminately pick up electrons from other healthy molecules close by. This chemical reaction converts those otherwise “healthy” molecules into free radicals, and thus setting up a chain reaction that can cause substantial biological damage to cells. Free radicals are highly reactive, damaging not only cells but also chemicals in your body, such as enzymes (for digestion), making them less effective and efficient.

Aging causes oxidation, which literally means “rusting.” Free radicals cause oxidative damage to cells and tissues. Free radicals do not make you younger and healthier for longer; quite the contrary, they age you prematurely and contribute to many diseases, including cancer and heart disease, among others.

Free radicals occur naturally as byproducts of oxidation, such as during respiration and other chemical processes. For example, during your breathing, life-giving oxygen is produced while harmful carbon dioxide is released; digestion is another oxidation process, in which your body obtains its energy from food through oxidation, during which free radicals are also generated in the form of waste buildup. Ironically, what gives life may also take away life indirectly.
Free radicals are normally present in your body in small numbers, without causing too much harm. However, over the long haul, the accumulation of these free radicals may cause irreparable damage to your body cells and tissues, if such accumulation is unchecked.

In addition, free radicals can also be caused by external factors, such as alcohol, nicotine, chemicals from foods and toxic pharmaceutical drugs, heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead, from the environment, radiation from the sun and other sources.

Longevity

The word “longevity” has its origin from the Latin word “longaevitas”, which comes from the word “longus” or long, and “aevu” or age. 

Genes do not cause aging but they do indirectly affect longevity in that they may pre-determine the rate of division, rejuvenation, and regeneration of body cells and organisms.

Consciousness of longevity involves your awareness of preventative intervention and detection of early signs of medical conditions that could potentially affect longevity.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Control and Over-Doing

CONTROL AND OVER-DOING

Controlling external events is futility because control is but an illusion based on expected results projected by the thinking mind into the future. Concentration on controlling makes it difficult to concentrate on doing the right things to make you live longer.

The TAO, which is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, looks upon the world as something to be accepted, and that involves invoking the profound but paradoxical wisdom of “action through inaction”—which is action based on acceptance of nature or the natural turn of events in life.

“Whenever we try to control,
we separate ourselves from our true nature.
Man proposes; the Creator disposes.
Life is sacred: it flows exactly as it should.
Trusting in the Creator, we return to our breathing,
natural and spontaneous, without conscious control.

In the same manner:
sometimes we have more,
sometimes we have less;
sometimes we exert ourselves,
sometimes we pull back;
sometimes we succeed,
sometimes we fail.

Trusting in the Creator, we see the comings and goings of things,
but without straining and striving to control them.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 29)

According to the TAO, everything in life must follow a natural cycle, whether we like it or not, and that we must be patient because nothing is within our control, especially our destinies.

”That which shrinks
must first expand.
That which fails,
must first be strong.
That which is cast down
must first be raised.
Before receiving, there must be giving.
This is called perception of the nature of things.
Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 36)

Spontaneity is the essence of the natural cycle. What goes up must eventually come down; life begets death; day is followed by night—just like the cycle of the four seasons.

"Allowing things to come and go,
following their natural laws,
we gain everything.
Straining and striving,
we lose everything."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 48)

Intuition of spontaneity is an understanding of the impermanence of all things: nothing lasts no matter how we strive to keep the impermanent permanent, and everything remains only with that very present moment.

"Strong winds come and go.
So do torrential rains.
Even heaven and earth cannot make them last forever."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te  Ching, chapter 23)

The bottom line: do what needs to be done, but without over-doing, which causes stress in everyday life and living.



Stephen Lau                             
Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Adaptability and Resilience

  Embracing Life Changes Life is forever changing. A static life is not worth living. Ironically enough, many people resist any change in th...