I Love You!

Come rain or shine, 90 year old Johnny Barnes is at the intersection from 3.45 am to 10 am. And he has been at it for over 25 years now. But he is not there with a hat in his hand. Instead he is there to remind us to go back to our roots. He does this by saying three simple words to every passer by: “I Love You!” It is remarkable how infectious love is and the transformation this has caused all around. If only the rest of us could be Johnny Barnes.

Related: The Wondrous Whale

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I Got Detention!

Detention Today

A child comes home late.

Mom: Johnny why are you late?

Johnny: Mom i got a detention today!

Mom: Why?

Johnny: Well the teacher pointed the ruler at me and said “at the end of this ruler is an idiot”.

Mom: Yeah so?

Johnny: I asked what end?

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The Dance Of Life!

Life throws us curveballs. But this does not have to get us down. This video shows how a missing leg did not prevent this boy from doing his break dance!

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Refuse To Fall Down

Refuse To Fall Down

Refuse to fall down.
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down
lift your heart toward heaven
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled,
and it will be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you
from lifting your heart
toward heaven —
only you.
It is in the midst of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.

Credit: By Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Excerpted from The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die, HarperOne, San Francisco, CA, ©1996 Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

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Six Things To Know About Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity Six Things To Know

Understanding Neuroplasticity can be key to good health and well-being. Here are six things to know:

1. The brain is flexible: Till recently it was standard dogma taught in medical school that there are fixed regions of the brain reserved for certain functions that cannot be replaced. There is a region in the brain that processes vision for example, and another region processes speech, and so on. If there is damage to say the region that services speech then we lose the ability to speak. What scientists are now discovering is that when there is damage to specific region, new regions can “learn” its tasks and take over that function. This ability of the brain to grow, adapt, and learn new things is known as Neuroplasticity.

2. It works both ways: The brain can both “learn” and “unlearn” based on the stimulus we provide. If we stop using a hand for long time then our brain loses its ability to control that hand for example. However if we challenge our brains with a task, then our brains grow in response to the needs of the challenge. The hippocampus of cab drivers of London is much bigger than that of the bus drivers. This is because the bus drivers go on the same route every day while the cab drivers rely more on their knowledge of the roads to do their tasks. The hippocampus stores spatial representations and its use is required to a greater extent by cab drivers, and it expands in response.

3. Brain decline can be reversed: Decline in brain functioning and shrinking of the brain due to aging are not a given any more. Age related shrinkage can be slowed down and in many cases it can be reversed. A key aspect of doing this is to first “calm the brain down” by doing meditation and/or yoga. This shrinks the portion of the brain associated with the stress response. When this happens it allows us to grow regions of the brain associated with reasoning and memory more easily.
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