Ronnie Cahana suffered a severe stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome: completely paralyzed except for his eyes. While this might shatter a normal person’s mental state, Cahana found peace in “dimming down the external chatter,” and “fell in love with life and body anew.” In a somber, emotional talk, his daughter Kitra shares her father’s spiritual experience.
Luckily we do not have to suffer a severe stroke like what Ronnie underwent to replicate his spiritual experience. All we have to do is still our mind and withdraw ourselves from external stimuli. This is achieved in meditation. The practice of yoga postures and breathing exercises also help improve our meditative experience.
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Yoga is supposed to have great benefits. But what exactly are they? This article provides a quick summary:
1. Great hamstring stretch
I spend more than 90% of my waking hours seated in various chairs. Apparently this is the norm for increasing number of people. However the downside of this luxury is that the seated posture causes our hamstrings to tighten. Eventually this can cause pelvic misalignment that can then cascade to lower back and knee issues. This can also make us prone to injuries and lead to development of a poor posture. One great way to counter this is to practice Yoga regularly. Yoga has great postures that allow us to stretch our hamstring muscles.
2. Back strengthener
Most of us have notoriously weak backs. This is the result of doing much less physical labor than our forefathers. This makes us prone to back injuries and also leads to chronic back pain. A healthy back and spine are key to a productive life and millions are deprived of this. Yoga is one of the best known ways to strengthen your back and spine and it is known to help people with chronic back pain.
3. Improved posture
Posture is a great predictor for both longevity and success. Working most of the day in front of monitors gets us all hunched up and our posture suffers. If we are not careful about how we sit, this too causes a slow but sure degeneration in our posture. Unfortunately posture correction is notoriously difficult to achieve by conventional means. One great way to do it is by practicing yoga regularly. It may take time but yoga counteracts the slow downward spiral of our posture and eventually it can cause noticeable improvements in it.
Gefn and Herja were good friends. They were both woodcutters and were very good at their trade and well respected for their skill and strength. One day they decided to have a competition to find out who was better of the two. They would cut wood from sunrise to sundown and the one who chopped the most wood would win. They were both very competitive and both wanted to win.
On the appointed day Gefn and Herja went into the woods and started chopping. They could hear each other chopping but could not see each other. From time to time Gefn would hear that Herja had stopped chopping wood. He thought, “Herja is resting. This is the time for me to gain some lead.” He would furiously chop more wood during this time. This went on for the entire day. When the sun set both of them collected the wood they had chopped and piled it up side by side.
Gefn thought, “I am sure to win. My arms are sore. I have chopped throughout the day while Herja rested from time to time.” But Gefn was amazed when he saw Herja’s pile was bigger and was declared the winner. When Herja saw the puzzled look over Gefn’s face he went over to him and said, “You know the time you thought I was resting? I was actually sharpening my axe. That way I could chop more than you did!”
“Sharpen the saw” is one of the seven habits of highly successful people as per Stephen Covey. It shows that it is not just enough to work hard to be successful. It is important to keep our skills up to date and take the time to sharpen them.
“Give me six hours to chop a tree and I will use the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
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Tony Tolbert grew up watching his father welcome strangers in need into their home. The experience was not always great and people were not always appreciative, but that did not stop him from helping more people. When Tony became a successful lawyer and an UCLA lecturer he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He felt inspired by the story of a family in Atlanta that had sold their home for 800 thousand Dollars and donated the money to charity. When he heard of Felicia Duke, a homeless single mom of four children Tony knew he had to do something. But what could he do?
What he did will surprise you. It not only gave Felicia emotional and physical space to recoup, recover, and heal, but it also enriched and liberated Tony’s life. His actions are now snowballing out as more people are inspired by his example and generosity.
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A man and woman had been happily married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They talked about everything. They kept no secrets. Except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.
For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.
In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.
He asked her about the contents.
‘When we were to be married,’ she said, ‘ my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.’
The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.
‘Honey,’ he said, ‘that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?’
‘Oh,’ she said, ‘that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.’
Credit: Original source unknown. Found this on Facebook.