Friday, December 28, 2007

Best wishes

The World As I See It - an essey by Einstein

"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...

"I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves -- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.

"My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a 'lone traveler' and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude..."

"My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverence from my fellow-beings, through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts men of low morality... The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.

"This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor... This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man... I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."

Albert Einstein (signature)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Mule Got Drunk and Lost in Heaven

Poem by Hafiz
the great Sufi master

The
Mind is ever a tourist
Wanting to touch and buy new things
Then toss them into an already
Filled closet.

So I craft my words into those guides
Thant will offer you something fresh
form the Hidden's Tavern.

Few things are stronger than
The mind's need for diverse
Experience.

I am glad
Not many men or women can remain
Faithful lovers to the unreal.

There is a kind of adultery
Thant God encourages:

Your spirit needs to leave the bed
Of fear.

Teh gross, the subtle, the mental worlds
Become as worthless husband.

Women need
To utilize their superior intelligence
About love

So that their hour's legacy
Can make us all stronger and more clement.

Sometimes a poem happens like this one:

The mule I sit on while I recite
Starts off in one direction
But then gets drunk

And lost in
Heaven

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Playing with colors



How would it be if we were seeing the world in black and white: like characters of Pleasantville. Well, we all know how that one ended. The need to paint the world, add some color to it and make it interesting has existed since... well, cave paintings say since then.

How colors connect in your world? Which color do you like the most? The least? If you were to form your own country which colors would you use?

Black

Black is the color of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. Villains, such as Dracula, often wear black.

White

Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity. White reflects light and is considered a summer color. White is popular in decorating and in fashion because it is light, neutral, and goes with everything. However, white shows dirt and is therefore more difficult to keep clean than other colors. Doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility.

Red

The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is also the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Red cars are popular targets for thieves. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture should be perfect since it will attract attention.

The most romantic color, pink, is more tranquilizing. Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.

Blue

The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.

Green

Currently the most popular decorating color, green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in "green rooms" to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. However, seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck.

Yellow

Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color, people lose their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds metabolism.

Purple

The color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.

Brown

Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. Brown can also be sad and wistful. Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors.

Colors can also play crucial part when you socialize: if that ever creates a problem for you, you are shy or feel like you don't know who is the right person to talk to - screen the ones who are wearing same color outfit as you do on that day. Likelihood that you will have more to share is quite high.

Using colors when visualizing:
Positive feelings: think of the time you have experienced happiness, success, joy, gratitude and similar. Choose one of the events that is most pleasant to remember. What are the images that you see when you think about these events? As you associate with the image (observe surrounding in the image as if you are looking through a camera), make it bigger than life, put it on your mental screen and enhance colors in the image and sounds that are connected with it. The better association you have the stronger the feeling will get.

Negative feelings: think of the time you have experienced anger, fear, paranoia, sadness, or similar. Choose one of the events that is ok to remember but still creates some emotions. What are the images that you see when you think about this event? As you disassociate with the image (observe yourself in it), shrink it to a size of a post stamp, drain all the colors in the image, make it black and white and reduce all the sounds that are connected with it. The less colors you see and the lower the sound is the easier will be to reduce the emotional effect of the memory.

Paint your life with positive emotions!



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Goals and success

Check this quiz to find out what is your preferred style in achieving success

http://www.steveshapiro.com/goals2/quiz-are-you-a-goalaholic/

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

No Complain

For quite a number of years I was working with a company called I Will Not Complain, promoting a philosophy that complaining was influencing lack of morale withing teams, organizations or any groups in general and was the opposite of solution-focused thinking. I loved the philosophy but as years were passing by I somehow found myself in a cloud of complains that was just getting heavier and heavier. Like a living curse people I was surrounded with were also complaining and lack of morale was obvious - within a year I decided to leave the company and look for the more positive environment.

Not once I wished I had some skills at that time to deal with complaining differently but nevertheless it was a great lesson and in some odd way probably instigated my professional journey (NLP & positive psychology).

Have you ever lived complain-free life?
Just as an experiment, try the following exercises and monitor how it impacts the quality of your life.

STEP 1:
Refrain from complaining for 24hrs. Simply allow thoughts to come and go and if you catch yourself complaining simply start another 24hrs non-complaining shift.

STEP 2:
For the next week do not gossip or accept others gossiping. If you catch yourself wanting to gossip just break the state, confuse yourself and say something else. If others start gossiping - ask them to stop since you are on the one week gossip-fasting or do anything else that may help you help them not gossip. If none of these work then just start from the beginning for the week of no gossiping.

STEP 3:
For the next month don't criticize anybody who are your friends and family. Same rules apply.

STEP 4:
For the next hour don't criticize yourself.
exercises by Michael Neill, www.geniuscatalyst.com

Yan Ayi - my no-complain role model
(and the hat clearly states: I Will Not Complain)
Copyright Dalida Turkovic 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Foolish Freedom

As part of MentorCoach program (www.mentorcoach.com) one of the suggested reading materials is book Changing for Good. James O. Prochaska and fellows Norcross and Diclemente have presented a revolutionary six-stage program for overcoming bad habits and moving your life positively forward. I am amazed with the simplicity of the stages (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, termination, maintenance) and how they apply to any issue - especially useful for dealing with addictions.

I am fascinated with a term foolish vs responsible freedom mentioned in the book.
First of all here is what Webster dictionary claims for freedom:

freedom[noun]

1. the state of being free from the control or power of another
Synonyms
autonomy, independence, liberty, self-government,
sovereignty
Related Words emancipation, enfranchisement, liberation, manumission, release
Antonyms dependence, subjection


2
the right to act or move freely
Synonyms authorization, free hand, latitude, license (or licence), run
Related Words
authority, mandate, power; rang
e, room, space

Although there is no adequate theory of personal freedom (yet) the presentation of foolish freedom in Apendix A caught my eye and I have been thinking a lot about it these days. First of all two experiments initiated the use of terminology 'foolish freedom': Calhoun studied wild mice and in his experiments he provided switches in the cages where wild mice were. In first experiment wild mice had an option between choosing the switch that gives
  1. bright light
  2. dim light or
  3. no light

Sensitive to light, wild mice would
each time choose dim light unless that was the choice experimenter made earlier. In that case wild mice would rebelliously go for either of other two options.

The second experiment also included a switch, this time the one that turns the wheel on (the only form of exercise wild mice had). Smart as they are (otherwise why bother with mice anyway) they quickly learned to turn the wheel on so they could happily run and supplement for the daily exercise unless experimenter turned the switch on first. Guess! In that case they would turn it off. And that is what foolish freedom is about.

In both of these experiments mice wanted the control over the outcome, they wanted to master the machine rather than being governed by the experimenter. As a parallel Prochaska mentions a story about Maria who had a tyrannical father who demanded to know every single detail of Maria's life, he was involved in choosing everything for her (clothes, friends, college). Maria got married later and at the age of 33 realized that she was controlling her husband in the same way - she chose what they ate, where they went, what they did. Freedom at any cost just for the sake of living it.

On the other side of the spectrum is responsible freedom - when you choose to change for the best of reasons, regardless of what you were conditioned to do, what you feel compelled to do, or what is most immediately gratifying to do.

Have you ever felt like a wild mice dealing with problems at your work or in private life?
Have you ever lived like in a cage surrounded with wild mice?
How can you take more responsibility for your personal freedom?

Buffaloes in Belgrade Zoo
Is Madagascar billboard triggering foolish freedom effect?
Copyright Dalida Turkovic 2005


Friday, November 02, 2007

Delayed Gratification

EQ Calendar - November
The month started with my dream of the red car (again!). By some silly coincidence the second dream of the red car resulted in a broken leg (not mine, but one of the participants of the Great Wall trek) so now I pay attention - red car: slow down...

Flipping the page on the EQ calendar I read about delayed gratification:

The ability to delay gratification - resist the temptation to take the immediate reward in order to secure the larger, optimal benefit- contributes the crucial ingredient in self-control. It is developed primarily through these two abilities: 1) being able to distract oneself (i.e., singing, reciting poetry, counting squares, etc); and 2) practicing abstract ideation (i.e., convincing the mind that chocolate is really edible dog poop). Finally, monitoring and reflecting on one's behavior is essential for long-term improvement in any specific area (i.e., losing one's temper, impulse purchasing, using put-downs, etc). These might include a daily review of goals, journal writing, or sharing with a friend. it would also include contemplation of the long-term advantages.

exercise: google "delayed gratification" on the net. spend 10-20 minutes immersed on one or more sites. share what you discovered with a friend/colleague.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Did You Know? - The Flow Market

did you know that...

we are facing individual imbalances?

at many fast-food restaurants, a single meal gives more than two times the recommended daily intake of fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar?

worldwide - more than 1 billion adults are overweight, and at least 300 million of them are obese?

addiction to drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, gambling or work may be an expression of the fact that people are unable to handle presence and intimacy?

the air inside the typical home is on average 2-5 times more polluted than the air just outside - largely because of household cleaners and pesticides?

most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors?

many people remain concerned about the effects of lifelong exposure to the chemicals in sanitary products such as e.g. tampons?

app. 300 million people will be suffering from diabetes in 2020?

50% of deaths in the world are linked to diet, tobacco and lack of physical exercise?

eating disorders affect 70 million individuals worldwide?

partly due to chemical pollution 14% of European couples are now affected by fertility problems?

in 1992, economists estimated that health problems caused by pesticides led U.S. health care costs to increase by $786 million each year?

sugar triggers the production of the brains natural opioids, and the brain becomes addicted i the same way as with morphine and heroine?

12 million US citizens are addicts of gambling?

medication against shyness and an anti-shopping pill are some of the later news from the medicine-industry?

in 2001 the Danes ate more than 54 million daily doses of anti-depressants?

1 out of 4 persons who recieve anti-depressants could have been without them?

in Sweden the costs of stress-related diseases and their consequences was 80 billion kr. in 2001?

did you know that...

we are facing collective imbalances?

half the world live on less than $2 a day - an EU-cow gets approx. $2 a day in farm subsidies?

99% of American families with children work 47 hours per week. 56% also work in the
weekends. 72% work overtime?

the average father spents the same amount of time shopping for groceries as for looking after his children, 24 minutes a day?

it would approx. cost $ 6 billions to provide basic education for all - world military expenditures in 2001 were estimated at $2.3 billion a day?

you receive at least 2000 inputs from commercials every day in the public space?

the average lifetime of a mobile phone is 1,5 years?

in the UK 52.649 incidences with a racist motive where reported to the police in 03-04?

in the United States, the annual spending on private security reached $52 billion in 1990, compared with a $30 billion budget for the countrys police forces?

it is being estimated that from 2010 consumers will be introduced to aprrox. 500 million new products per year?

the western population comprimises only 20% of the worlds total population but consumes approx. 80% of the worlds resources?

only 9 cent of each dollar spent at conventionel food markets goes to the farmer?

in Hungary and Estonia people spends 50% of their free-time watching television?

the developing world now spends $13 on dept repayment for every $1 it recieves in grants?

the anti-spam producers ”Spamfighter” protects people in 207 countries from spam and daily 1000 new users subscribe?

according to a large group of leaders the most important quality the ”leader of tomorrow” has to have is empathy?

the market for ”silence retreats” is rapidly growing? 20% of the people in the world account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures?

did you know that...

we are facing environmental imbalances?

globally in 1998 the consumption of oil amounted to 11 billion liters of oil a day?

by burning fossil fuels, people released some 6.44 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere in 2002?

the total weight of fossil fuels and chemicals used to produce a 2-gram memory chip is 630 times the weight of the chip itself?

by 2005, consumers worldwide will have stockpiled approx. 500 million cell phones that are likely to end up in landfills, where they could leach as many as 142 tons of lead?

only 0.6% of the approx. 5000 billion plastic bags, that factories around the world produced in 2002, were recycled?

according to a study, the annual cost of environmental damage caused by industrial farming in the U.S. is $34.7 billion?

a comparison of the nutritional content between organic and factory farmed, conventional vegetables showed organic produce to have higher nutritional value?

out of the 250,000 species of higher plants, only 2-5% have actually been studied for medicinal use?

we lose about one plant species every day? Last year more than 70 billion 1/2 liter non-degradable plastic bottles were produced worldwide for the market for tapped bottle water?

a study of over 8,200 university field trials showed that farmers growing GMO soybeans use 2-5 times more weed killer than farmers growing natural varieties?

1 kg of organic bluberries flown from new Zealand to England use 10.738 grams of CO2 in transport. 1.3 billion people have no access to clean water?

water’s global availability has dropped from 17,000 cubic metres per capital in 1950 to 7,000 today?

three generations; grandmother, mother and daughter have at least 18 manmade chemicals in their bodies?

www.theflowmarket.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Connectedness

My EQ calendar has been on September until today. Interestingly September was dedicated to Change and it took me so long to change to October. Flipping the page today I realized October is about connectedness. This month I took a peek at the whole FaceBook frenzy and got hooked discovering newfound connections with friends, colleagues and acquaintances on this amazing web promenade. Without much effort I learned more than ever about whereabouts of people I used to see daily years ago, once again we are connected.

This is what the calendar says about connectedness:
Connectedness implies no discrepancy between a person's desired and achieved level of social interaction. The hunger for emotional intimacy is fulfilled beyond the lines of family. In other words, connections are formed with colleagues, friends, associates or even acquaintances. The time together becomes richer when there is a shared purpose or a meaningful activity (rather than busywork) that improves the community. Trust and respect are the results of all involved.

6 Seconds has 2008 EQ calendar available now - highly recommend it


Friends, Belgrade 2005

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What is your strategy?

I found out recently about Julie K. Norem's research on different cognitive strategies people use to motivate themselves. One is called defensive pessimism another strategic optimism. Defensive pessimism is used mostly by those who try to avoid emotional backlash (mainly anxiety) while moving towards their goal, strategic optimists will see the bright future no matter what. Both strategists are fairly successful and if either group of people would try and implement another strategy...

...experimental research shows that if defensive pessimists try to raise their expectations, or avoid playing through a worst-case analysis, their anxiety increases and their performance suffers. If strategic optimists set lower expectations or play through possible outcomes, their anxiety increases and their performance decreases it would result in failure.

To find out where you are take the quiz: http://www.wellesley.edu/Psychology/Norem/Quiz/quiz.html

Another approach to life is inspiring speech of a Randy Pausch - take a look, it's worth it...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Small Steps

Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently.
If you don't have all of those zillions of tiny successes, the big ones don't mean anything.

Norman Lear



Small Steps Great Wall Trek
Copyrights 2005 Dalida Turkovic

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Decisions

The shortest way
To do many things
Is to do
Only one thing
At once

Samuel Smiles


Decisions, Decisions
Copyright 2005 Dalida Turkovic

Monday, September 17, 2007

Keep Moving

A step in the wrong direction
is better than staying
on the spot all your life.

Once you’re moving forward
you can correct
your course
as you go

Your automatic
guidance system
cannot guide you
when you’re
standing still.

Maxwell Maltz

Maxwell Maltz (1899-1975) was a cosmetic surgeon who developed Psycho-Cybernetics, a system of ideas that can be employed to improve one's self image and in turn lead a more successful and fulfilling life.

He believed that self-image is the cornerstone of all the changes which take place in a person. If one's self image is unhealthy, or faulty, all his efforts will end in failure.


Which Mask Are You Wearing?
Copyright 2002 Dalida Turkovic

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Begin It Now

Many people sit around waiting for the world to discover them, and that rarely happens.
If you move toward your goals, expressing all your power, opportunity will find you as a result of your actions.
For by riding your energy, knowing and believing your higher self is with you, you will be in the right place, a the right time.
But make the first move, taking constant care to purify and review your life; move from negative habits into the fortress of light.
Discipline is the horse you ride.

Stuart Wilde


Sydney 2002, Iron Horse
Copyright 2002 Dalida Turkovic

Friday, September 07, 2007

Reccommend

Biorhythm for the day
http://www.moonwhisper.com/oracles/biorhythm/

Animal spirits for those who believe
http://www.moonwhisper.com/oracles/animal-spirits/

Massage and a wisdom sharing
Liu Shifu

Walk
With Candy and Simba (daily at the Chaoyang dog park - surrounded by the skylight mirrors)

Rest
Listen to body and calm the mind

Inspire
Look into the past and find the best moments to remember, write them down, draw a cartoon, make a collage, send a letter to yourself... or publish a photo on your blog.


Millennium Wheel, London, 24 January 2005, 14:41
copyright Dalida Turkovic

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today

6th September 3114 BC - According to the proleptic Julian calendar the current era in the Maya Long Count Calendar started.

Did they ever contemplate that life will go that long? Were they concerned at all?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

For Evdokija

Last night I dreamed a red Mini Cooper or Suzuki Swift. I somehow realized that it had an oven instead of seats inside which didn't stop me - I just thought I needed to 'fix' it. Something like putting the pieces of puzzle together. After I managed to do that I entered the car to find it quite small for me - I occupied more than half of the front while K sat on the side without any complaints. I was wondering where would dogs fit in but totally happy that car was moving and I could use it to at least get to another stop.

Later today
Just now I heard from my sister that Evdokija Sitarica died in car accident. I experience shock at the moment, thoughts are triggering reasons to cry - not cry, remember - move on... Her name meant 'good will' in Greek. She carried her name with her own signature. My mother's best friend... I know she will miss her.

My dream comes to my mind. I chose to share it while others remain unspoken of (I originally posted it on the August 25-29 blog). I imagine their car heating like an oven. Her husband, the driver, survived.

Today happened

Absolutely amazing that records for August 29th date as far as 708. As far as my life goes, today is Wednesday, I am taking it easy and glad I learned old name for Belgrade.

There are no ordinary moments:D

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Don't Stop Believing - and enjoy the Journey!

I had a week of low lull. My body was weak, giving up to cold and quite negative thinking. I felt stuck in perception that I will never 'make it', that my efforts are fruitless and I should tame my hopes into realistic thinking how to survive urban jungle, hot weather, ignorant people and many other things. There is no limit in depth of negative thinking once it strikes its serve. Unlike positive thinking (so difficult to imagine and live according to 'the sky is the limit' maxim) I experience downward spiral of negative thinking with most amazing ease. Mind storms with questions What if? and the hell ride follows.

Still, each time the ride to hell and back is shorter and shorter. With some kind of intrinsic awareness I learned to remain open to messages despite how 'realistic' my 'what if' scenarios were. This time message came in form of CD that K brought from Canada. She overheard me talk about childhood tunes that used to get me going, the ones I couldn't stop listening over and over again while dancing in my study back home in Belgrade. At first I couldn't even see what the title of CD was when she handed it to me but once I managed to read the artistic sign the time machine took me right back to the moment of innocence and ultimate hope, belief that I am on the journey of exploring life with a smile and a tune in my ears.

I am back on track!




Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin' anywhere
Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train goin' anywhere

A singer in a smokey room
A smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on and on and on

Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlights people, living just to find emotion
Hiding, somewhere in the night

Working hard to get my fill,
everybody wants a thrill
Payin' anything to roll the dice,
just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on


Monday, August 20, 2007

Numb3rs, hand gestures and meanings



These are Chinese number gestures. Nothing odd or strange happens from 1-5, easy to guess what is going on. Little tricks start happening from 6-10 and, trust me, there is a logic in it (written language simulation). The reason why use one hand gestures for numbers resides with beginnings for the trade in China, the lowest profession of all - as considered at that time. Traders were regarded as unstable, they usually had to travel a lot and therefore couldn't take care of family at home. Hence, the trade was conducted somewhat secretly, using long and wide sleeves of their robes to hide hands that were working to negotiate the price. Here are numbers from 6-10:



Additionally 10 can also be expressed as:



Depending on the negotiation scale one hand gesture, let's say for 7, could mean 7, 70 or 700. If 7 was followed by 2 it would mean 720 or 7200 etc.

These gestures are still used in daily life.

Meanings of numbers are often related to the words that sound similar as their numeral value except for 1 and 2.

One (yi), means unity
Two (er) is related to 'double' meaning that all good things come in pairs (double happiness)
Three (san), means to disperse, release
Four (si), sounds like word for death and is therefore unlucky number. Often buildings would not have fourth floor, people would avoid having number four in their phone number or even apartments with number four would be of a cheaper value than same size apartment with number 8, for example. Some believe that two numbers 4 would mean cancellation of the meaning death and then it would be regarded as a lucky number
Five (wu), can mean me, self or nothing. Nothing in this case can have a positive meaning, related to the daoist concept wu wei (non action)
Six (liu), smooth, constant, to flow. 66 or 666 is considered to be a lucky number since it means 'all goes smoothly'
Seven (qi) to raise, elevate, together
Eight (ba), sounds similar to character that means to prosper (fa) and is hence the luckiest number. Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to start on 08.08.2008. at 8:08:08p.m. Telephone number 8888-8888 was sold for $270,723 in Chengdu, China.
Nine (jiu), longevity or long lasting

Even nowadays, when bargaining for a price, many wouldn't accept price of 250rmb because the meaning is double nothing, while 260 can mean double flow (of income) and is therefore much more acceptable.

Have fun while negotiating!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Olympics 2007 or 2008?

As we (who live in China) know - August brought us to a speedy countdown - less than a year to Beijing Olympics, 2007 thus officially becomes a grand rehearsal.

Beijing yesterday announced a drill to test the effectiveness of the Olympic host city's efforts to improve air quality and ease traffic congestion.

From August 17 to 20, about 1.3 million vehicles - nearly half of the total 3 million in the city - will be ordered off the roads as part of pre-Olympic tests, according to the capital city's environmental and traffic authorities. Deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Traffic Management Bureau said the drill will test the city's public transport.

Rush hour services of the bus and metro systems will be extended to three hours, 6:30 am to 9:30 am, from the usual two hours, 7 am to 9 am.

Civic servants are supposed to arrive in office half an hour earlier at 8 am, and shopping malls will open doors one hour later at 10 am.

Currently, the public transit system carries 31 percent of the traveling public and is the most popular means of transport after walking.

Below - a view of how Olympic mascots relate to Beijing 2007 reality. FYI today's pollution level is devilish 66, skies are clear - only sign of last night's storm and hale are trees that gave up to the strong winds and decided to rest in peace.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

How lucky I am!

Occasionally I check my junk mail and read through the titles - sometimes there is an odd valid email that gets misplaced...

Today I learned that I missed so many opportunities of winning lottery, amazing business deals and just for the fun of it: I neglected helping people in need - those who want to flee their countries and need MY bank account to transfer millions of pounds.

If I was quick enough to reply to 42 messages by now I would have had $154,057,790USD and £45,250,000GBP

Regardless of missed opportunities I have to admit that I recognize that the Secret works! I am getting more than I asked for.

I am grateful to Robert Zulugan, Dr Princewill, David Scott, Rev Phillip Osun, James Okoye, Lady Rebecca Thatcher, Mrs. Debra Martins, Yamaha Lottery Promo, John Emeka, Yahoo/MSN Lottery, Ribady Nuhu, William Ben, UK National Lottery, Bill Smith, Kevin Armstrong, Emma Eze, PepsiCo company, Terry Belicek, Captain James Morgan, Primus Household Company, Powerball Online Promotion Program, Norton Finance Investment, Julian Brooks Associates, Barr. Yusuf Haji, Coca Cola Lottery, Bong Dixon, Gerald Whitley, Halifax Security Department, Gary Hilton, Joyce Williams, Barr. Francis Hanna, Mr. Sonam Khandu, Stephen Mensah, Mr. Brian Anderson, Mrs Hanah Jack Williams.

Why is today such a great day?

It started in early moments of human history, by some odd coincidence:

9.8.1173 - Construction of the Tower of Pisa begins, and it takes two centuries to complete
9.8.1483 - Opening of the Sistine Chapel
9.8.1892 - Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two-way telegraph
9.8.1930 - Betty Boop premiered in her first cartoon, Dizzy Dishes
9.8.1986 - Knebworth Park, Stevenage, UK sees the final live performance of rock band Queen with lead singer Freddie Mercury.
9.8.2007 - Two of Australia's largest regional banks, the Bendigo Bank and the Adelaide Bank agree to merge

It is so important that we can play clairvoyant predictions
9.8.2008 - After amazing opening ceremony , the first day of Beijing Olympics competition begins.

Today in Beijing, skies are clear, after yesterday's blue 88 on pollution scale i am intrigued of the number significance: 8.8. - 88, the number related to prosperity understandable only to those who relate to local (Chinese) culture.

May you have a prosperous day, the day after

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blackle - news from Gimundo

'Blackle' Saves Electricity on Internet Searches

In January, a blogger named Mark Ontkush wrote in his blog EcoIron that an all-black Google home page would save 750 megawatt-hours of electricity a year. What does that mean? We looked it up.

Turns out 750 megawatt-hours can power for an entire year:

-- 77 North American homes

-- 150 European homes

-- 268 African homes

-- 536 Asian or South American homes

-- 3,750 homes in Afghanistan

-- 6,000 televisions

-- 800 microwaves

Ontkush pointed out that an all-white Web page requires about 74 watts to display, where a black page requires only 59 watts.

In response, an Australian company called Heap Media created a Google-powered site called blackle.com. The site keeps a running total of the number of watts saved to date. At press time, that number was nearly 135 million watt-hours.

There's something oddly attractive about the Blackle homepage. We find it calming - both in look and the fact that we're saving energy.

Click here to find out more, including instructions on how to make Blackle your home page.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

August 7

Nature is changing its cycles
Hot season turns into a cool one
Occasional rains turn into showers.

Chinese lunar calendar is based on season change, following the moon cycles and fantastically accurate although lately I wonder if some spirited mind should create new age lunar calendar incorporating global warming too.

We are now, as of today, starting Liqiu, autumn. It is a rainy day, skies are gray, yesterday's pollution level was yellow 107 (out of 500). After last night's rain the marks on the cars outside are visible dirty spots. According to the pollution calendar we are approaching another rise - how far will it go?

Tomorrow is the exact one year before the Olympics in Beijing, 1 million vehicles are removed from the streets for 3 weeks. Good news is that bright skies are on the horizon, and sun will shine tomorrow too. Celebrate!

August 7th 1991 - World Wide Web debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Some old news

Did you know that the first transcontinental phone call was made in 1915?
Did you know that first transatlantic flight was made 1919?
First research on 8-hour workday was made in 1920 and women were given the right to vote.
First television picture broadcast was in 1925
Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1928
Introduction of first commercial mainframe computers was in 1950-1951
Introduction of personal computer was in 1970
Today is August 2nd, 2007
Beijing rated green 26 on the pollution scale (out of 500) for July 31st, 2007, yellow 52 on August 1st. Skies are clear, after rain cars are not dirty but clean which I like a lot. Today we are on the green 46 scale.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

NEWS

North
East
West
South

Simply, from all over...

I don't watch the news but rely on friendly gossips about worldly matters. That is how I heard about 9-11, New Orleans and London bombing. I watched the news then and saw what I saw when Belgrade was bombed and then Iraq too. I raised my voice, said YES to Peace and continued to live it - with joy. I learned how to do it and, by all means, I am still a student. This school I willingly attempt for life.

I saw The Secret
I read The Secret
I am reading Positive Psychology Coaching

Learning about happiness, about law of attraction, gratitude, positive thinking, ask and it shall be given, visualizing...

One thing I decided to do was to stop watching NEWS as we know it now. However, I did subscribe to Gimundo.com This is what it says as the welcome message:

Welcome to Gimundo! We’re a break from the negative news, the coarse, the violent, and the scary. We focus on the positive and celebrate the GOOD. Each day in our free newsletter, our mission is simple: provide compelling good news and positive stories that inspire and uplift: Sign up and start being inspired!

I read a story about video games and their impact on child development on this site: Videogames Are Good Exercise, Study Finds

What do I think about that? - Ultimately it comes to a dialog on what kind of future we want to create vs which one are we creating now? I don't know... Are you happy?

Martin Seligman thought of a way to measure it, actually is still doing a research - do you want to be part of it? Check his website Authentic Happiness to register and it will guide you to take VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire as well as Authentic Happiness Questionnaire. There are many more for you to play, the latter I mentioned gives you only overview how you compare to others regarding authentic happiness. Just by answering the questions you will understand what is the reference they use when looking for happiness. VIA Questionnaire is great insight into strengths you use as your decision making strategy, it helps you see new options and increased number of choices. Enjoy!


Gang Fang School Flag Raising Ceremony
November 8th, 2005
Copyright Dalida Turkovic

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Believe!


When you feel like facing walls
and they seem too tall to jump over,
walk around them

When you feel like facing a wall
and it seems too long to walk around it
step up and don't be afraid of seeing what is on the other side

If your wall is too tall and too long to even think of any possibility to go beyond it -
find a pleasant spot in your mind or just by the wall
and daydream of what you would really really
like to see on the other side.

If Truman could do it, so can you!

No matter who watches,
no matter how many times you fail -
keep doing it,
keep moving,
despite sadness,
despite madness.

Enjoy the journey!

Everything else
will take care of itself.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Embracing My Shadow

In connection with superhero mode (see the previous post), just to balance it out, here I am as a super villain...
You are Lex Luthor


































Lex Luthor
69%
Dr. Doom
62%
Apocalypse
60%
The Joker
57%
Magneto
55%
Mystique
54%
Poison Ivy
50%
Green Goblin
46%
Dark Phoenix
45%
Kingpin
44%
Venom
44%
Juggernaut
42%
Two-Face
42%
Catwoman
41%
Mr. Freeze
40%
Riddler
29%
A brilliant businessman on a quest for world domination and the self-proclaimed greatest criminal mind of our time!


Click here to take the "Which Super Villain are you?" quiz...


Personality

Superman himself acknowledged that the Silver Age Luthor was a man of his word who would honor promises he made. Lex is a man who prefers to follow his own personal code; on occasion, he came to the aid of innocents even when doing so would lead to his capture and inevitable return to prison. Shamed by his criminal acts, Lex's parents, Jules and Arlene, disowned him, moved away and changed their name to the anagram "Thorul". Luthor had a younger blond sister, Lena, an empath who grew up unaware of her familial connection with the noted villain. Protective of his sister, Luthor took measures to hide his fraternity, and had been assisted towards this end by both Superman and Supergirl. Luthor considered Albert Einstein a great personal idol, and would make a special effort to escape prison around the anniversary of Einstein's birthday each year, and visit places of significance in Einstein's life.

I want to be a superhero

While doing a simple exercise on evaluating my (business) service in three areas of benefit, uniqueness, visibility and story I realized my visibility reached lame 2 points (out of 10) in all areas of my business: Adventure, Coaching and Community. No wonder! It was just two months ago, maybe three that I decided to be Violet from the Incredibles, focus on my energy field, increase it as much as I can, huff it, puff it... and be invisible.

The magic of internet and search engines brought me to this website (I just typed superheros) and the following website came out Which Super Hero Are You. Few minutes later I learned

You are Green Lantern
























Green Lantern
80%
Superman
70%
Hulk
55%
Catwoman
55%
Batman
50%
Supergirl
48%
Robin
43%
Wonder Woman
38%
Spider-Man
35%
The Flash
35%
Iron Man
35%
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.


Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz


In Wikipedia it says:

Powers and abilities

Main article: Power ring (weapon)

All Green Lanterns wield a power ring that can generate a variety of effects and energy constructs, sustained purely by the ring wearer's strength of will. The greater the user's willpower, the more effective the ring. The limits of the power ring's abilities are not clearly defined and it has been referred to as "the most powerful weapon in the universe" on more than one occasion. Across the years, the ring has been shown capable of accomplishing anything within the imagination of the ring bearer. Often the rings are used to form solid-light constructs, the power and size of which are limited only by the ring-bearer's willpower. Stories in 2006 retconned the ring's longtime lack of effect on yellow objects, stating that the ring-bearer need only feel fear and overcome it in order to affect yellow objects.

Power rings of various wielders have exhibited (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Plasma based constructs limited to the willpower of the bearer.
  • Semi-sentient computers, including Book of Oa reference, from laws to the history of the universe.
  • Flight across the cosmos through wormholes.
  • Time travel
  • Finite power source, but no longer limited to 24 hours. Kyle Rayner's ring was the first ring to absorb more power than originally thought, having stored the main power battery's energy following its explosion on Oa.
  • Universal Translator
  • Force field generation.
  • Radiation simulation, including Kryptonite.
  • Generate "earplugs" to facilitate telepathic communication.[3]
  • Kyle Rayner suggested, during the battle with Alex Nero, that the ring can split atoms.
  • Upon death of the wielder, the ring automatically looks for a replacement.
  • Green Lantern: Rebirth revealed that only a certain type of willpower can use the ring effectively, as evidenced when Green Arrow's "cynical" willpower barely allows him to generate a single arrow and leaves him exhausted after this feat.


A Chinese Story

A long time ago in China , a girl named Li-Li got married & went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.

Days passed and weeks passed. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish.

All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing Li-Li's poor husband great distress. Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law's bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it. Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs.

She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for a while, and finally said, "Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you. "Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do." Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-Li, "You can't use a
quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now,in order to make sure that nobody suspect you. When she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. Don't argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen." Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law. Weeks went by and months went by, and every other day,Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother.

After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law's attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, "Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She's changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her." Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Parenting

Simba has been breaking his fear past three days. It seems to me he has fear of heights, he's reluctant to jump off bed or climb up steep stairs even. Candy, on the other side, loves to jump and finds no obstacle high enough to conquer. All other areas of their life are directly opposite - Simba is more daring, Candy is withdrawn and shy. They are like Yin and Yang - Candy likes dark places and spends her daytime mostly sleeping under the bed, Simba loves the balcony and enjoys sunbathing, looks forward to any moment that he can be outside. Candy prefers company of humans although she has certain profound taste, Simba loves playing with other dogs, the bigger they are the more fun!

It is pleasure watching these two balancing their living act - day in day out they mingle their energies and express themselves fully. K and I, like worried parents, wonder what we have done 'wrong' to enhance this difference. Eventually we see it as the natural cycle and learn how to adjust our energies.

This is the closest I get to feeling how it is to raise children.


Candy (left) and Simba (right) enjoying free run on one of your hikes last year
(25th
December 2006)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Face Your Fears

For today I recommend Dan Millman's "Everyday Enlightenment" as a practical guide not only for enlightenment but foremost for peaceful living. I enjoy every page of it as he guides me through important steps of personal growth from perspective of 12 gateways:

Discover Your Worth

Reclaim Your Will
Energize Your Body
Manage Your Money
Tame Your Mind
Trust Your Intuition
Accept Your Emotions
Face Your Fears
Illuminate Your Shadow
Embrace Your Sexuality
Awaken Your Heart
Serve Your World

As I was contemplating what to share with you today, the book opened on Zones of Fear under gateway Face Your Fears. Conveniently there is a section that gives instruction for face and head massage that you can do alone or with a partner:

Work gently and slowly along all bone surfaces, pressing deeper where tolerable and softer where more sensitive. Smooth forehead from middle to sides. Press your forefinger between the brows and smooth along the bony ridges. Massage temples, cheekbones, around nose, lips, and chin. Work deeply under the jawbones. Massage external ear, twisting and turning. Vigorously rub scalp.

This intensive body work is designed to clear away the residual tensions associated with past and current fears. It does not make fear go away, only the tension that accompanies it. By eliminating the tension, you'll learn to keep your body relaxed and your mind flexible, so that you can act effectively decisively, and courageously in the face of fear.

Fear of Misunderstanding:
Ears, neck area, and mastoid bone

Worries and Wondering:
Forehead from eyebrows to hairline

Anger:
Eyebrow ridges and space between eyebrows


Prejudices and Judgments:

Eye socket ridges and muscle attachments


Shame:

Cheekbones

Fear of External Control:
Nose

Fear of Being Disappointed:
Lines from base of nose to the mouth


Fear of Being Disgusted:

Mouth, lips, and muscles around the mouth


Fear of Inferiority:

Chin

Fear of Revulsion (sights, smells, circumstances):
Jawbone


I bought this statue recently in a store for TCM supplies.
Each 'hole' represents one acupressure point, each character is the name of the AP point.
Each (vertical) line of holes represents a meridian channel that TCM is based on.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wheels




These wheels in Tibet are polished by pilgrims' hands who spin them in hopes for their prayers to be answered. There are rows and rows of them, stretching around the temples, in street corners.

I am not sure why I chose this photo today. Maybe it reminds me of the times when I went to Tibet, maybe because one client today contemplated Buddhism instead of Catholicism which triggered talks about religion, maybe because I secretly wished my prayers were answered.

In any case, once upon a time I spun praying wheels in Tibet. The moment was magical.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Out of sight


It was coming in waves - I first heard some people couldn't view their blogs and then panic spread on Wednesday: massive virus attack for whoever was online that day (luckily I have Mac & remained protected). On Thursday I couldn't view my blog anymore. This is no surprise, it happens every year, once or twice, like clearing the closet, getting rid of old clothes.

Good news is that I can access blog, I can edit, I can view my posts. For the time being it is other bloggers that I can't reach. Once again China closes its walls.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Conversations With Turkey



It came into my dream
just like that
solemnly standing and waiting
for a whistle
and intriguing response

I give it back
remembering time
when I visited home
Beautiful places
engraved in my memory

Summer on the fields
herding sheep or
observing lady birds
will it fly away?
where will it go?
my mom says
it means guests will come

And then she also showed me a trick:
she whistled and turkey responded
with its funny call.
And no matter how many times
the whistle would blow
turkey was ready
to give away its perspective
I tought at a time
it was the most amazing wonder of the nature

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Where the Hell is Matt

When I saw the title of this email I started recaping how many Matt-guys I know and which one was missing. Truth is, I haven't seen neither one of three I know for a while. I clicked on the link regardless and after watching this amazing video I wished I knew this one. Truly inspiring - check it out on YouTube and his webiste (for outtakes that didn't make it for the final cut)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNF_P281Uu4
http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/

Astra, thanks for sharing!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Before and After

How is it so that
Chinese word




yiqian
which means
before
consists of
Yi
which means
according to
and Qian
which means
forward

while


yihou

means
after
and
consists of
Yi
which means
according to
and Hou
which means
behind

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chapter 36

If you want a thing to contract,
You should stretch it first;
If you want a thing weakened,
You should strengthen it first;
If you want a thing gotten rid of,
You should promote it first;
If you want a thing taken away,
You should give to it first.
Lao Zi
Dao De Jing

Tibetan monk prays in the field of clothes disposed by pilgrims
(belief is that getting rid of old clothes is necessary for the new beginning)
Kailash, Tibet, June 2002