GALA Magazine (March 1957) Barbara Nichols – Sirens of the Sands …GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR TWO SIDES (June 10, 2011 / 8 Sivan 5771) …item 2b.. Roy Orbison – You got it (Original Edit) …

GALA Magazine (March 1957) Barbara Nichols – Sirens of the Sands …GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR TWO SIDES (June 10, 2011 / 8 Sivan 5771) …item 2b.. Roy Orbison – You got it (Original Edit) …
Healthy Food Ideas
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GETTING STARTED…Think of someone you’d be fascinated to meet, someone you’d really like to find out what makes him tick. Now realize the most fascinating person you could ever meet is … yourself.
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…..item 1)…. aish.com … www.aish.com/sp

HOME SPIRITUALITY 48 WAYS TO WISDOM …

Way #4: Introduce Yourself to Yourself

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Don’t go through life making assumptions about who you are.

Take the time now to "meet" yourself – before a crisis comes along and forces the issue.

June 10, 2011 / 8 Sivan 5771

by Rabbi Noah Weinberg

www.aish.com/sp/48w/48970096.html

Did you ever get on a train going somewhere, only to find that you’re headed in the wrong direction?

The same thing happens in life. We set goals and make plans – and sometimes discover that we’re on "the wrong train."

Bi-vinat ha-lave literally means "understanding the heart." The heart is the seat of emotions. We say: "My heart is heavy, my heart is lifted, my heart is broken," etc. To understand your heart is to understand your true inner self.

Many people go through life making assumptions about who they are. They never take time to "meet" themselves. Don’t be afraid of discovering that the "real you" may be different than the "current you."

Often a crisis hits at midlife when people ask: "What’s my life about? Is this all worth it?" We’ve heard stories of people who suddenly change direction, quitting their job and getting divorced. You know, like the successful doctor who decides he never wanted to go into medicine in the first place — so he drops it and becomes an artist.

Knowing yourself is the essence of being alive. If you don’t know yourself, you are not living. If you don’t know what makes you tick, you’re a robot, a puppet, a zombie.

So don’t wait for a crisis. Life is too short to take wrong trains.
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—– GETTING STARTED

Think of someone you’d be fascinated to meet, someone you’d really like to find out what makes him tick.

Now realize the most fascinating person you could ever meet is … yourself.

Sit down, say hello, and introduce yourself to yourself. Become familiar with yourself as if you’d just met a long-lost cousin. Interview yourself. Ask questions about your life and the direction you’re going. Search out your dreams — both the ones you’re fulfilling and the ones you’ve pushed to the back of your mind.

Get down to basics. You want to be rich. You want to be famous. You want to be good. You want to accomplish. You want meaning. You want to be creative. But why do you want all this? What’s driving you? What you really want out of life?

The process of self-discovery involves asking a series of questions, always probing deeper until the underlying truth emerges. Ask yourself 10 questions that you would ask an intimate friend. Then wait for answers. Don’t worry, no one is going to poke fun at you.

What is the purpose of life?
What is my goal in life?
Why did I choose this career?
How do I spend my spare time?
What is my motivation for doing what I do?
What really makes me happy?
Am I as happy as I want to be?
Is it more important to be rich or to be happy?
What are my future plans? Why?
What are my secret dreams and ambitions?

Don’t be surprised if the answers aren’t immediate. This process can take many months. Stick with it and find out what makes you tick. The answers are hiding in there. After all, you have a fascinating partner.

Finally, the most important question to ask is:

"What am I living for?"

It sounds like a simple question, but many are embarrassed to ask it. A voice inside us says, "Nah, why ask such a basic question?" We’re resistant because we know this requires a lot of difficult soul-searching. And when you thoroughly know yourself, then you have changed. You’ve changed your relationship with yourself and the world.
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—– CONFIDENCE IN DECISION-MAKING

People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake.

Actually, the failure to make decisions is one of life’s biggest mistakes.

Imagine the beggar who receives a letter saying that he’s inherited a million dollars. If he doesn’t read the letter, is he rich … or not?

Similarly, God gave us the free will to make choices in life and achieve greatness. But if we’re not aware of our free will, then we don’t really have it. And then we wind up blaming others when things go wrong — even though we know the decision is really up to us.

If you’re not using your potential, it wears away at your confidence. Do you know what your potential is? Have you tried to use it? You have to tackle life. You haven’t given up yet, have you? Let’s get on with the game, with the business of really living, of not just "going through the motions."

Know the difference between "making decisions" and just floating, falling into place. Did you choose to go to college? Or perhaps you had nothing to do with the decision. Was it something you just did because you graduated high school and everybody else was doing it? Did you think it through and actually make a decision?

Imagine this private conversation of a college student:

Why am I going to college?
To get a degree.
Why?
Because I want to get into a good graduate school.
Why?
So I’ll get a good job.
Why?
So I can pay back my college loans!

Through the process of questioning, he reveals a logical fault in his motivation. Really, the primary reason for going to college should be to acquire wisdom, knowledge and information. In other words, to get an education!

Now try the process yourself, using this example:

Why do I want to get married?

Don’t accept pat answers. Keep asking "Why, why why?" Be frank. It’s yourself. Ask any question you like.

Be patient and persistent. Eventually you’ll get an answer.

When you thoroughly analyze an issue, then you can make wise decisions with confidence.

Identify where you lack confidence. What makes you nervous? What situations inhibit you from being yourself? Why can’t you make decisions? Is it that you don’t know how to make decisions? Or that you doubt your decisions after they’re made? Or you just don’t feel like making decisions?

Enjoy making decisions. Deal with the world you live in. That’s loving the dynamics of life.
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—– ISOLATE YOUR BLOCKS

Anytime you find it difficult to achieve a goal, figure out what’s holding you back.

Everyone has problems. Being aware of these problems is the key to getting in touch with yourself.

Because as long as you don’t face problems, they fester and bug you from behind.

Write your "blocks" on a piece of paper. That’s a good step in the right direction. By isolating specific obstacles, you turn them into concrete challenges that require solutions.

Ask yourself:

Am I lazy? Why?
Am I disorganized? Why?
Do I get angry? When?
Why do ever I get defensive? About what?
What makes me jealous?
What makes me arrogant?
Do I have trouble making decisions? Why?
Do I lack self-discipline?
Do I lack self-confidence?
Why don’t I take more initiative?

Negative character traits are the roots of our problems. Make a list of your negative traits, and identify when they affect you the most. Then analyze what triggers these reactions in you. Finally, formulate an effective counter-approach.

Working through this takes time. But do you have anything better to be doing right now?
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—– READ YOUR EMOTIONS

Get in touch with your emotional state. Take a reading of how you feel. Happy? Angry? Tense? Sad?

Emotions are a measuring stick for what’s going on below the surface. It’s like taking your temperature. If you’re sick, you need to be aware so you can fix the problem.

Find out why you’re upset. Who or what is pressuring you? Is it an internal or an external problem? Identify it.

Let’s say you are irritated. Why?

Because the boss chewed me out.
So why am I irritated?
Because I resent him.
So what? Why does that bother me?
Because I feel I am no good.
I’m no good? He’s nuts!

Get out of yourself and track it down. If you don’t, it’s just irritation. And the next thing you know, you’ll go home and yell at your kids.

Once you’ve identified what causes negative feelings, adjust yourself to minimize the impact. Either avoid these situations, or prepare yourself to handle them when they arise.

Further, root out negative motivations that corrupt your behavior. Let’s say that you give charity. Why? One motivation is to help humanity. Another is the pleasure of being constructive. A third is the desire to do the right thing. These are all positive motivations. A negative motivation for giving charity is: "I want people to admire me." That’s corruptive.

The next time you give charity, do so anonymously. Eliminate the wrong reasons. They are destructive.

The same goes with the positive emotions. Be aware of how your emotional state affects decisions. For example, don’t buy a new stereo when you’re in a euphoric mood. Wait. Think it over. You are susceptible.

Pinpoint what makes you happy. You can have more joy on a daily basis by formulating some practical applications. You got up in the morning, it’s a gorgeous day and you feet great. You’re energized. Now take that feeling and teach yourself how to get up on the right side — every day!

Another example: You did a good job and got the boss’s compliment. Now focus: Do you need the boss to tell you did a good job? No! Create your own pleasure out of doing a good job.
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—– GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR TWO SIDES

Everyone has an urge for greatness. We want self respect, power, fame. We want to accomplish, to be strong, to do the right thing, to even save the world.

Yet at the same time, we have a counter-urge to run away from responsibility, to get into bed and crawl under the covers.

Someone may say, "Life is beautiful," but he doesn’t feel it. His emotions hold him back and he walks around going, "Ugh, life is a burden."

Recognize the volcano of conflict within you: What you truly "want," versus what you "feel" like. This is the conflict between body and soul.

Once you appreciate the dichotomy, you can identify at any moment whether your body or soul is talking. This makes it possible to live with sanity and choose the right thing.

The next step is to make peace between your two sides. The easiest way is to squash your drive to be great. But life is not about taking the easy way out. Just because you feel uncomfortable about an idea doesn’t mean it’s wrong for you. It’s hard to break habits, and growth can be frightening.

For example, would you rather be happy or rich? Okay, you’d rather be happy.

Now imagine this exchange:

"Come on, I’ll teach you how to be happy. All it requires is effort and change."
"Oh, I’d love to, but I can’t right now. It’s impossible. I’ve got a flight to catch."
"Really? I’ll pay you ,000 a week to work on happiness."
"Sure! Where do I sign up?"
"Oh, but I thought you can’t right now…"

We conceal our problems with rationalization: "I’ll wreck my mind thinking about what life is about! Nobody really knows what life is about. It’s not going to work. Nothing can be done about it anyway. I don’t really care. It’s not worth the time!"

The Sages say that a person only makes a mistake when overcome by a moment of insanity. So realize that you are fighting "insanity." It is not logical. You’ve got to be on guard. Because if you get off track, you’ll pay for it down the road.

So … do you want to change? What have you got against it? Feel the antipathy of the body. We are so darn lazy. The body just wants to sleep. "Aaaah … I don’t want to change. I’m happy enough. I’m comfortable in my niche of misery." Are you rich enough? No! So are you happy enough?

You see the importance of tracking that down? You have to identify the animal you are fighting. "The dread of change."

If you’re alert, you see the enemy. You can fight it. You may lose a struggle with the body, but at least you have your confidence. "I know what I am doing."
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—– COAX THE BODY

Get in touch with your spiritual core. Know what is driving you. Don’t let free will be a subconscious thing. You want greatness. But the body says that’s too much effort.

To try to convince the body, try to identify the tangible benefit. "Why is it necessary? What will it do for me?" You have to bring it home to emotional realization. "What do I lose?" What do I gain?" Only then will the idea have power. And you’ll get out there and do it.

Here’s the secret formula: Identify with your intellect, and coax your heart along. For example, if you’re emotionally convinced of the benefit of getting into shape, then even when you break out in a cold sweat and your heart is doing palpitations, you will keep going. Because you have decided, "I want this," you know it is important.

To avoid negative backlash, your emotions have to feel comfortable with the changes you make. Learn to relax and reassure the body. Cajole the body and say, "It won’t be so bad. Remember the last time you made an effort, how great you felt!" Be encouraging and reward yourself for success.
Don’t say it doesn’t work. You haven’t made the effort. Don’t give up on your intuition and perception. Just realize you haven’t yet brought it home to actualization.

Consider how the basic human drives affect you: security, self-respect, honor, passions, social pressure, and possessions. Pay particularly close attention to how you accept responsibility. Let’s say that you made a mistake. You want to apologize in a full and forthright manner. Yet you feel like forgetting the whole thing, hiding, running away and saying "it’s not my fault."

This is the volcano. We want to be tough, dedicated and powerful — yet we feel like being marshmallows. Choosing the path of the soul doesn’t come naturally. It takes a lot of time and hard work.
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—– KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW

Don’t think that just because you understand something, you are living with it. It is possible to believe one way, and yet act another. It happens to us all the time. You can believe it’s important to eat healthy food, yet gorge yourself on French fries and chocolate cake.

Our actions are determined by our level of clarity. If we understand an idea on just a superficial level, then we’ll have difficulty sticking to it when the going gets tough.

Next time you go to a funeral, watch carefully. When they remove the body from the chapel, the mourners start to cry. Are they crying because they want to body to stay there?! No. All of a sudden there is a realization of death, that he won’t be coming back. At the cemetery, they lower the casket into the ground and the mourners cry again. It’s the emotional realization that death is final now.

Until you align your feelings with reality, you are in dreamland. Growth begins in the mind, but your heart has to buy into everything your mind discovers. Only then will you integrate these ideas into day-to-day life.
A lot of people believe in God. There are very few people who live with God. Does that make sense? You have to assimilate something that you’ve accepted as true. It has to become part of you.
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—– FIVE-FINGER CLARITY

You’ve got to know yourself cold, just like you know your hand has five fingers. How do you know you are on the right path? How do you know you’re not making a mistake right now?

To develop this clarity, articulate the important principles that guide your life. For example, in Judaism we say that love is an obligation. Is this reasonable? Work the issue through with yourself:

"Ridiculous. You can’t obligate me to love."
"But if I have children, will I love them?"
"Of course I’m going to love my kids!"
"How do I know? I don’t know what kind of kids I’m going to have. Maybe they’ll be brats and I won’t love them."
"I will. I’m obligated to love my children."

Do you see the contradiction? On an intuitive level, you know that love is an obligation. But the concept is not so clear that you can articulate it.

Take your time. Sort out the basic aspects of living. Ask yourself important questions about life’s global and spiritual issues.

— What is the meaning of existence?
— What’s good about living?
— How do I feel about humanity?
— What is the afterlife?
— How do I understand good versus evil?
— Do I have free will? How do I activate it?
— What makes me sad? Is it okay to be sad?
— How do I feel about God?
— Am I proud to be a Jew?
— How do I understand the Holocaust?

Some of these topics may be unpleasant to think about. If so, why is it unpleasant? Track it down.
Don’t just use slogans to parrot things that you heard. Know why you are doing what you are doing. Otherwise, it’s just society talking. You may have adopted part of society without analyzing its validity. Check it out.

Work through all the issues until you have "five-finger clarity." A human being who knows what he wants will get there. By hook or by crook. It’s like a homing mechanism on a missile. If you program it right, you will get there.
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—– WHY IS "KNOWING YOURSELF" AN INGREDIENT IN WISDOM?

You can know truth if you look honestly into yourself.
Emotions are powerful forces of greatness. Know them. Harness them.
Identify your problems. It’s the beginning of solving them.
If you don’t get it straight now, you’re bound to make some bad mistakes.
Don’t be afraid of finding out who you really are.
Use your free will as a conscious tool for better living.
If you’re angry or upset, track it down. What’s the root?
If you’re acting illogically, at least acknowledge that to yourself!
The key to sanity is letting truth into the body.
You can’t afford to wait too long to get to know yourself. Because you are the most fascinating person you’ll ever meet.
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…..item 2a)….

YOU GOT IT by the great Roy Orbison! From Orbison’s multi-platinum album "Mystery Girl" (Available on iTunes! itunes.apple.com/us/artist/roy-orbison/id198798?uo=4), You Got It was written by Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. Recorded in 1988.

Roy began his career at Sun Records with Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis in the 1950’s. Becoming the biggest selling artist of the early 1960’s with a string of hits like "Oh Pretty Woman", "Mean Woman Blues", "Love Hurts", "Only The Lonely" Crying", "Running Scared", "In Dreams", " It’s Over", "Blue Angel", "Blue Bayou", and many more. Orbison single-handedly brought us the fashion of sunglasses, popularizing them for the masses.

He suffered many tragedies in the late 1960’s and in the 1970’s retired and was ripped off by numerous music business companies and managers. When he decided to record again, it was one of the most anticipated comebacks in music history. Orbison smashed his way to the top of the modern music charts with "You Got It", "California Blue", She’s a Mystery", and "A Love So Beautiful" and "I Drove All Night".

The movie "Pretty Woman" became the biggest selling soundtrack to date. More music business lawsuits and record company embargoes pulled Orbison off the radio, off TV, and out of the record stores in the 1990’s, but in recent years he has been slowly rising to his proper place at the top thanks to kids and teenagers who have recently rediscovered him.

Called both "The True King" and "Rock & Roll’s Man in Black", Roy Orbison in his day was called "The Big O"! Anything You Want…

For more information about Roy "The Soul of Rock and Roll" Orbison, please visit www.RoyOrbison.com

Category:
Music

License:
Standard YouTube License
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…lyrics … Roy Orbison – You Got It

Every time I look into your lovely eyes,
I see a love that money just cant buy.
One look from you, I drift away.
I pray that you are here to stay.

Anything you want, you got it.
Anything you need, you got it.
Anything at all, you got it.
Baby!

Every time I hold you I begin to understand,
Everything about you tells me Im your man.
I live my life to be with you.
No one can do the things you do.
Anything you want, you got it.
Anything you need, you got it.
Anything at all, you got it.
Baby!
Anything you want
Anything you need
Anything at all

Im glad to give my love to you.
I know you feel the way I do.
Anything you want, you got it.
Anything you need, you got it.
Anything at all, you got it.
Baby!
Anything you want, you got it
Anything you need, you got it
Anything at all, you got it
Baby
Anything at all
Baby
You got it
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…..item 2b)…. youtube video … Roy Orbison – You got it (Original Edit) … 3:36 minutes …

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EhgdEOlNFU

Jaime Dias Lenzarini

Uploaded on Aug 16, 2011
Vh1 Unedited Version

Category
Music

License
Standard YouTube License
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Snappy Stories (June 1, 1926) … Who is this cruel taskmaster, this architect of anxiety? (Sept 18, 2011 / 19 Elul 5771) …item 2.. Quick to Judge — And did I mention the gorgeous weather? (February 9, 2012 / 16 Shevat 5772) ..

Snappy Stories (June 1, 1926) … Who is this cruel taskmaster, this architect of anxiety? (Sept 18, 2011 / 19 Elul 5771) …item 2.. Quick to Judge — And did I mention the gorgeous weather? (February 9, 2012 / 16 Shevat 5772) ..
Easy Healthy Dinners
Image by marsmet542
My frustration only grew. How can I be efficient if no one else is? I told myself. (Instead of what I really should have said: “You are becoming a little obsessive; have a drink and go to sleep.")
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…..item 1)….. website aish.com … My Relentless Taskmaster … The tyranny of To-Do lists.

Sept 18, 2011 / 19 Elul 5771

by Emuna Braverman

www.aish.com/f/mom/My_Relentless_Taskmaster.html

Help! I’m feeling trapped. My oppressor is a relentless taskmaster, tormenting my waking hours and disturbing my sleep. Whenever I try to settle down this instrument of torture attacks. In the wee hours of the morning (I’m usually available around 4:00 a.m. if anyone wants company!) it pounds away at me relentlessly. Until I finally give in and leave my warm, but no longer comfortable bed to do its bidding.

Who is this cruel taskmaster, this architect of anxiety?

It is my To-Do list.

My To-Do list seems to resemble a scene from Disney’s Fantasia. No matter how quickly I check off items, they are replaced – with even more than I began with. The list overflows like the hapless Mickey Mouse’s buckets of water.

I tried not making a list but that only made the voices in my head scream louder. To preserve my sanity (and that of those around me) I tried to write everything down. That was list was totally and completely overwhelming (you have a similar list, right?) so I sought advice.

My husband, whose interest in the preservation of my sanity is the strongest, suggest that I don’t look at the whole list and just move through each piece slowly and methodically, one at a time. This helped – and dinner is still on the table awaiting him every night (although take-out is sounding very tempting).

But the midnight clamoring persisted. Why aren’t there any offices open at 1 a.m? I have some questions I need answered. Why is shopping the only commercial activity available at that time? And why isn’t everyone else responding to my emails as rapidly as I’m sending them? Don’t they know how busy I am?

Don’t they recognize I’m depending on their answers?

My frustration only grew. How can I be efficient if no one else is? I told myself. (Instead of what I really should have said: “You are becoming a little obsessive; have a drink and go to sleep.")

Perhaps I’m jittery from all the coffee I now need to keep my awake (I console myself with the fact that three to five cups a day are supposed to ward off Alzheimer’s) or perhaps it’s just the ongoing tyranny of that To-Do list. Can someone else please go to the dry cleaner’s and the grocery store?

It’s not a time management or organization issue – I could write those books. It’s strictly a numbers game. There’s just a lot to do. And there’s really no one to blame but me. I took on all my responsibilities – gladly. And I am happy about all of them. Really.

There seems to be only one solution. Hire a personal assistant! No, seriously, I mean a deeper, more spiritual solution. I need help. And while I could (and do) delegate where possible, the real assistance I need is more profound. I need to ask the Almighty to give me the energy and the peace of mind required to accomplish my daily tasks. And I need to remember He’s got my back.

By myself, I’m very limited. With His help, there’s nothing I can’t accomplish. My mistake has been thinking it’s all on me, that it’s all my responsibility. I can breathe a little easier now. I remembered that I have a partner, that the Almighty and I, we’re in this together. Take that To-Do list!
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…..item 2)…. aish.com … HOME FAMILY MOM WITH A VIEW … Quick to Judge

Why is our instinctive reaction all too often to be critical?
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February 9, 2012 / 16 Shevat 5772
by Emuna Braverman

www.aish.com/f/mom/Quick_to_Judge.html

It was the last day of mid-winter vacation. The sun was shining brightly, the ocean was calm and blue, and the temperature hovered in the mid-70’s (Just threw that in to make New Yorkers jealous!). We hadn’t really taken any family trips during this time so we decided to go out with a bang and go “segway”-ing along the beach. If you haven’t tried it, segwaying (I’m sure it’s not yet a legitimate verb) is a lot of fun – especially when done in such a setting. (I also did it recently in Talpiot on the Haas Promenade overlooking Jerusalem – now that’s beautiful!)

Anyway, the view was spectacular, the weather perfect (did I mention that?) and there was the additional challenge of trying to weave in and out of the pedestrians and bikers. As we passed one group on bikes, I heard one guy mutter to another, as he glanced in our direction, “They are so lazy.”

At first I was outraged. How dare he?! He doesn’t even know me! Should I stop and tell him that I already got my exercise for the day; that I ran on the treadmill before I came to the beach?

Then I began to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Why did I care what some complete stranger thinks? Why do I feel the need to present him with justification for my activities and choices? A simple “Harumph” or better yet, completely ignoring him would have sufficed.

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Finally I had the most sobering thought of all. I had been him. We frequently go biking at the beach and I always looked at those segwayers (now I’m creating nouns) and thought they were lazy. I felt virtuous and self-righteous about the fact that I was biking and they were cruising. Didn’t they recognize how much healthier my activity was than theirs? Didn’t they care about their bodies and their health? How self-indulgent they were…

It never occurred to me that perhaps, like me last week, they weren’t there for the exercise, that they were just having fun. And even more than that, it was family time. It was an opportunity to see the beautiful California coast.

And worse than that, I was so quick to judge – complete strangers, whose lives I knew nothing about, quick to put a negative spin on their activities and motivations. I may never have muttered the words but my thoughts were loud. I felt embarrassed by my own shallowness.

Why did I feel the need to judge them at all? Sometimes when our feelings are hurt, it can be a challenge to fulfill the mitzvah of judging others favorably. And yet we must try. But in this situation, the other vacationers had done nothing to me. We had no relationship whatsoever. They hadn’t spoken to me. They certainly hadn’t hurt or insulted me. And yet my instinctive reaction was to be critical of them. Not a moment to be proud of. The desire to build ourselves up at the expense of others is so ingrained and so insidious that it requires constant vigilance not to give in to it. I guess my defenses were down (see how I try to judge myself favorably!) as I was caught up in the pleasure of the moment. But we can never relax our defenses because that’s when our base inclinations see their chance to attack and thrive!

I like to think that, besides the fun, the family time and the opportunity to once again appreciate the Almighty’s beautiful world, I gained some perspective, that I made a small stride forward in the area of thinking before I speak, in constantly being on my guard and judging others more favorably.

Turns out it wasn’t only a pleasurable activity (which it definitely was) but a chance for growth as well.

And did I mention the gorgeous weather?
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Africa Endeavor planning conference, Bamako, Mali, January 2011

Africa Endeavor planning conference, Bamako, Mali, January 2011
Exercise Plan
Image by US Army Africa
Participants in the Africa Endeavor 2011 planning conference listen to an exercise overview in Bamako, Mali, Jan. 24, 2011.

U.S. AFRICOM photo by Susannah Dowell

U.S. Africa Command concluded the main planning conference for Africa Endeavor 2011 in Bamako, Mali, Jan. 27, after four days of deliberation and exercise planning sessions.

Africa Endeavor is an annual, multinational communications exercise that focuses on interoperability and information sharing among participating nations.

"The goal of Africa Endeavor is to improve the communications, command, control and information capabilities of African militaries so as to strengthen African stand-by forces," said Maj. Gen. Gabriel Poudiougou, Chief of Staff of the Malian armed forces at the opening ceremony.

"In short, a country’s security is reinforced by open communications with its neighbors," said Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Mali at the ceremony. "The Africa Endeavor exercise aims to improve communication and to strengthen relationships among countries in the region and across the continent in order to improve everyone’s security."

To this end, the planning conference brought together more than 180 participants from 41 African, European and North American nations, as well as observers from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Eastern African Standby Force and NATO to plan interoperability testing of communications and information systems of participating nations.

"This conference had the largest number of participating countries to date in the Africa Endeavor series," said Brig. Gen. Robert Ferrell, director of U.S. Africa Command’s Command, Control, Communications and Computers Systems Directorate during the closing ceremony.

"This is a significant indicator that the word is getting out on the great work done during Africa Endeavor," Ferrell said.

But true interoperability is more than just compatible communications systems; it’s also developing a cadre of professionals who know how to communicate with each other.

"The best part of these events is the opportunity to interact with people from dozens of different countries," said Malian Army Lt. Col. Moussa Traore, Malian liaison for the exercise. "I’m from western Africa, but now I have family in the east and in the south and in the center. These people who I have met and have learned to know through Africa Endeavor have become members of my extended family."

The weeklong event included the review of exercise goals and objectives, the development of exercise scenarios, deliberations to determine the roles of the different countries in the exercise, the regional network architecture and a list of required equipment, a visit to the exercise site and initial discussions to determine the site of next year’s exercise.

"We have made significant progress on standardizing communications tactics, techniques and procedures that will be tested and refined during the final planning conference and executed during the main exercise," said Ferrell.

The final planning conference will be held in the Gambia in April, and Africa Endeavor 11 participants will return to Bamako in June for the main exercise.

"The impact of improved cooperation and coordination is evident far beyond military engagements," said Ambassador Milovanovic. "When a natural disaster strikes, for example, affected populations benefit from our cooperation and fewer citizens might perish or be injured as a result. Disasters and do not stop and national borders. Our communications efforts must therefore follow the same model if we are to be effective."

To learn more about U.S. Army Africa visit our official website at www.usaraf.army.mil

Official Twitter Feed: www.twitter.com/usarmyafrica

Official YouTube video channel: www.youtube.com/usarmyafrica

Portland-to-Coast walking team participation by off-duty Corps employees, Aug. 25, 2011

Portland-to-Coast walking team participation by off-duty Corps employees, Aug. 25, 2011
Occupational Health And Safety
Image by PortlandCorps
One of two teams of off-duty Corps employees participating in Portland-to-Coast today (Aug. 25, 2011). Go team!
Front row (left to right): Robin Norris, Bonneville Lock and Dam; Erica Jensen, Public Affairs; Melissa Rinehart, Natural Resource Management; Dave Stanton, Safety and Occupational Health; Leslie Nyquist, Budget, Manpower and Management.
Back: Jim Runkles, Bonneville Lock and Dam

Portland-to-Coast walking team participation by off-duty Corps employees, Aug. 25, 2011

Portland-to-Coast walking team participation by off-duty Corps employees, Aug. 25, 2011
Occupational Health And Safety
Image by PortlandCorps
One of two teams of off-duty Corps employees participating in Portland-to-Coast today (Aug. 25, 2011). Go team!
Front row (left to right): Robin Norris, Bonneville Lock and Dam; Erica Jensen, Public Affairs; Melissa Rinehart, Natural Resource Management; Dave Stanton, Safety and Occupational Health; Leslie Nyquist, Budget, Manpower and Management.
Back: Jim Runkles, Bonneville Lock and Dam

Fitness America 2011 Bikini, Tall Class Call Outs, Judge Carol Strom

Carol Ann Strom, Judge #1, facebook friend me for bikini judge feedback, tips to improve, questions about bikini competition judges criteria, I’m the CEO and Marketing Director of Encore Personal Training and Boot Camps, Like our facebook Encore Personal Training Fan page and view Encore Personal training blog for articles, videos, photos of you, and tips from the judges (702) 845-4100