Monday, January 23, 2017

A time for hope

Have the past weeks left you feeling exhausted, disturbed and anxious?

If so, you're not alone . . . it's definitely a time to hold tight and fasten our seat-belts!

On the credit side, I've just had the benefit of listening to an inspirational talk on world events.  It was given by the scientist, Gregg Braden.
May I share some salient points?

I hadn't realised that, from a scientific viewpoint, we are at this moment in an unprecedented situation . .  . no less than three large cycles are converging.

We are all aware of the disruption brought about by climate change, but did you know that a long-term economic cycle is reaching its end?

In addition to this, and fueling the troubled situation, a solar cycle is reaching its peak and greatly influencing the magnetic fields on earth.  These magnetic fields have a profound effect on our minds and our emotions.  Whereas before we might have tended to be co-operative, under this disruptive influence we are far more likely to opt for discord and conflict.

It's a time of contrast and division.  Some suffer from severe flooding, others suffer from equally serious drought.   A great number of people are critically deprived, many are mega-rich . . . situations exacerbated by solar flares which provoke a surge in anger and resentment.

Apparently it's the first time in history that these three cycles, climatic, economic and magnetic, have converged.
The outcome is correspondingly dramatic . . . a period of volatility, uncertainty and rapid change.

If that's the big picture, how does it relate to the here and now . . . what's the answer for you and me, for those of us struggling to cope?
It sounds as though we should be jointly pleading, "Stop the world, I want to get off!"

Far from it . . .  a reassuring Gregg Braden was advising his listeners not merely to be resilient, but also how to thrive under these extreme conditions.

It seems that we need to relinquish nostalgia for past certainties, and to look into the unknown with positivity.  Resilience is achieved by an acceptance of constant change . . .  washed down with a large dollop of hope!

It also calls for loving relationships, a sense of community, the benefits of music, the sanity of the natural world, and an ability to step back and observe the changing situation with detachment.

True, it can feel as though we're driving through a busy city when the traffic-lights fail, when order turns to chaos in an instant.  We must learn how to react . . .  how to cope.

So, when next we're tempted to be carried away by a rush of indignation and outrage, let's remind ourselves that it's only the result of magnetic pressure, . . . and opt instead for a calming cup of tea!

A great deal is breaking down, but, with hope, awareness, and a reverence for the natural world, there are reparations we can each of us set in motion.

You want proof that change can be beneficial?
Then click here to enjoy a heart-warming video.

And, finally, who better than Desmond Tutu to show us the way . . .

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The gift of happiness

What is it that we all most need in the year ahead . . . ?

With so much turbulence in prospect, could the answer be the simple one of 'happiness'?
Not that this answer is simple . . . it leaves us with a question.
What makes us happy?

A recent survey of lottery winners and their subsequent lives proved conclusively that the answer isn't money.
But I've just learned of something that's guaranteed to make us happy . . . I say this with complete confidence as it comes with the authority of the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Scientists in Montreal have proved that dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for pleasure, is released when we listen to certain music.  This music can change the heart rate, the temperature and the breathing, not to mention creating those shivers of pleasure that we've all experienced running down the spine.

But, and this is where it gets really interesting, the scientists have identified the three pieces of music most likely to bring you happiness.

Yes, I agree, we all have our own favourites, but let me give you the scientific order of preference.

First comes Debussy's 'Clair de Lune', this is followed by Beethoven's 'Piano Sonata No. 17', with Samuel Barber's
'Adagio for Strings' running a close third.

You'll notice that I've underlined each of those titles and, should you wish to enjoy them, you've only to click on the name.

As I promised . . . a guaranteed gift of happiness for the New Year!

'Fear is noise,' it's said, 'and love is music'.
Let's turn away from our noisy, fear-filled world and have a loving, musically-enriched 2017.