The movie of your life

Imagine you are at the cinema, you have a fine place in a relaxing armchair, the lights slowly go out. Luckily we are intelligent beings and even find the coke and our popcorn in the dark. The dark side is strong, we all know this since Star Wars, but especially in a movie theater it would be very boring to sit in the dark for two hours. With one push of a button, the projector lights up and the movie starts rolling…

Most times when we go to the movies we preselect what movie we like to see. Our decision might be based on recommendations by friends, current mood, passed workday or the media. Something moves us to choose. Let’s have a closer look to the involved elements of our movie experience:

  • Without a room – no movie
  • Without a projector – no movie
  • Without a movie – no illusion
  • Without you – no experience

The room and the projector are neutral so to say. It’s the movie and your relation to the movie which charge your emotions and thoughts. The movie wants to light up neuronal thunderstorms in your brain, that’s what it’s made for, but at the end – the trigger is in your hand or head.

What kind of movies do you select for your life? Happy, depressing, action, drama, fear, horror, romantic, trashy or do you simply feel Lost? When you watch a movie, how often do you take your eyes off the canvas or the screen? If you suddenly feel like an actor in your own life, maybe it’s time to pause the movie for a while, step back mentally and remember that the movie of your life is your choice!

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Help your soccer friends to relax

Maybe you noticed it already, it’s 2010 and another soccer world cup is shaking our planet (besides other things…). Personally I would say I am a part-time soccer fan but in these days, whoever I meet, from 5 year old kid to 93 year old grandma, at some point it comes up: “Do you know when the next soccer game is? How did they play?”

If you have an iPhone – relax, there’s an app for that! The best I found so far is iLiga South Africa from motain. It’s a great tool with easy overviews, live ticker and fine summaries. Have fun and help your friends!

iTunes USA iLiga South Africa

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Breathe to relax

Chris Remspecher breathingWelcome to a short breathing exercise to relax.
The good news is, we have a great tool built in – so let’s use it!

Sit comfortably in (half) lotus position or simply in your chair. Put your left hand in your lap. Close your right nostril with your right index finger and breathe deep and long through your left nostril. Keep your eyes closed. Practice for 1 to 5 minutes, maybe setup a timer with your mobile phone or iPhone. Please ask your doctor if this exercise is suitable for you, if you are in doubt.

How do you feel now?

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How to hoover in 2010

Buddha wearing Sennheiser PMX80 Sport II headphonesRecently I was practicing some active Feng Shui, also known as hoovering. Suddenly the doorbell rang, I paused the iPod, opened the door and looked into the surprised eyes of my neighbor (Hi Bettina!).
She: “What are you doing? Listening to music while hoovering?”
Me: “Yep.”
She: “Now that’s a cool idea!”
Me: 🙂

For me the sound of a vacuum cleaner sounds stressy but with fine music and great equipment you can turn the hoover act into a hovering performance. With the Sennheiser PMX 80 Sport Series II headphones I finally found for me the perfect companion. A full sound, very convenient to wear and a fancy design!

Very practical for hoovering, perfect for sport like trail running, elevating during a walk into nature (especially with ZEN-MEN music 😉 ). Happy hoovering!

Amazon.com Sennheiser PMX80 Sport Series II

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Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic in his wheelchair Nick Vujicic – maybe his soul was traveling faster than light on his way to Earth, making sure he arrives in time. He reminds me of a bright comet, who had a hard landing but the waves of his impact still extend to these days…

Next time you feel stressed or grumpy, invest a thought or two and think about, how it would be for Nick. Being born without arms and legs, well, maybe you know the dilemma, when you cut yourself accidentally into your thumb. Nick Vujicic reminds me of the relativity of stress and what it means to be independent. At the end, we are all inter-dependent, I even can’t think of a way how you could be *really* isolated in your life.

And finally, I pondered for a long time about the importance of a hug. Hug more, hugs! 🙂

Watch a 4 minutes video of him on YouTube

Pre-order his book coming October 26, 2010
Amazon.com Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life

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Cheng Hsin and how to relax under fire

book cover of "Cheng Hsin: The Principles of Effortless Power" by Peter RalstonEffortless power – what would you do with it? Spice up your cooking skills, strengthen your conversation methods, boost your office work, enlighten your education or build a foundation for martial arts?

A while back I wrote about the book Zen Body-Being by Peter Ralston. By Peter’s suggestion, I red Cheng Hsin: The Principles of Effortless Power. So what is Cheng Hsin?

The Chinese characters cheng and hsin (pronounced “cheng shin”) offer us images which communicate the nature of “truth” and “being” — an appropriate title for a body of work that involves increasing consciousness on all levels of “being.”

Human beings tend to see and feel things separate of each other. Let’s do a short recall: where do we physically come from, who delivers our food, where does gravity pull us to – you might have guessed it, the Earth. It would be even logical to Mr. Spock to increase the focus on our connection between our body center and the Earth. If we allow our body position/ our spine to “fall” properly along gravity, we save energy and reduce stress.

A relaxed body and mind will give suitable answers to situations, while a uptight body and disturbed mind can only react.  The book will help you to find and keep your balance, to explore the core of your center and to encourage you to empty yourself. Imagine – an empty you, a relaxed mind, an open and free heart – suddenly, there’s nothing to protect… So if you are in danger or under fire, move! (… and get the book)

Amazon.com Cheng Hsin: Principles of Effortless Power

UPDATE: I wrote Peter Ralston an email about this blog post and asked him to optimize the content if needed. Here’s another friendly reply of him:

Chris,

Thanks for the mention. Looks fine. It occurs to me from what you say and looking at your blog that you might be interested in what I consider my real work (what allowed the body-being and effortless power to emerge as they did) and that’s to be found in The Book of Not Knowing. I didn’t know you were interested in Zen and such, but it figures. This book is a big undertaking, and represents my life-work, but you can get a lot from simply the first few chapters. I think you might find it beneficial.
Be well,
Peter

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Reduce stress and read faster

You know the situation: a day has 24 hours and there are those books and texts you want and have to read. Do you know, that you most probably have not (yet) improved your reading skills since you were 12 years young? Would you like to gain free time and reduce stress for you, just by simply reading faster?

I was recently starting to gather information about Speed Reading. Luckily Richard Darell (@minervity) wrote a blog post over at bit rebels just in time. Thanks again Richard!

In short:

  • most of us are still on the same reading skill level as of the age of 12
  • our reading speed is linked to our talking speed
  • biggest brain-break is our auditory reassurance system

Integrating a few hints and dropping some old patterns did improve my reading speed already. I will dig deeper into this topic and write about my findings here in the future. Oh – and use your gained free time to relax… 😉

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How to meditate in 2010

ZEN-MEN artwork of the track I am homeMeditation can be helpful in reducing stress, making clearer decisions, staying healthy and  improving life quantity and quality. Meditation is an old and proven tool of mankind all over the planet, throughout all religions. The form and importance might vary but the core is the same: an orientation to the inner center.

Maybe there is a deeper connection between the words orient and orientation… I’m personally a fan of meditations in Buddhism and ZEN style. So why meditate? Let’s use a geeky example to explain: (de-)fragmentation

If the hard disc of your computer is too much fragmented it will slow down seek time to data access and affect your whole system performance. Basically it’s the same with us human beings. Most times we are fragmented in time and space. A part of our brain-body-soul system works in automatic mode, breathing, entry-(eyes/ ears/ mouth/ nose) and surface(skin) surveillance, food mode – beer mode. Other parts are split(or lost) in past, present and future happenings, hopes and fears. Meditation practice improves your focus, concentration and offers a better “overview”.  In many life situations you can be more relaxed, stay calmer, find solutions faster and finally be happier. How do you defrag your system?

One of the easiest version is:

  • make yourself a gift of 5 minutes of free time
  • sit upright(if possible) in a for you comfortable position – relax
  • breathe in slowly
  • breathe out slowly – count to 1
  • breathe in slowly
  • breathe out slowly – count to 2
  • repeat until you counted up to 10 – restart breathing and counting from number 1

That’s all. Try to do this for only these 5 minutes and only do this. No other thoughts, no traveling through time and space. Sit and stay in the Now, breathe – count. Easy, right? 😉

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Une table a trois and the roulette of life

cafe dans le Rue Lepic!“I wanna dig more in the meaning” asked Omar over at the ZEN-MEN facebook page, thanks for asking!

I wrote the song and the lyrics of ZEN-MEN feat. Caroline – “une table à trois” in 1997. Caroline was pregnant in her 9th month and you can hear movements of her unborn daughter in the original recordings. It’s all about relativity, duality, about hopes and fears, obvious but hidden rules of life, the illusion of time and the One.
She comes into the cafe and sits down at a table with an old gentleman. Their conversation pauses from time to time for “meta-thoughts” like “Night and day at the same time, the sun shows the time but the sun itself has no time”. She takes two pieces of sugar for her coffee, one shaped like a heart, one like a cube. The old man explains her how he shares the sweetness of his heart, how he offers it in his open palms to the world.

Elle voulait être libre. Mais qui peut apercevoir les étoiles le jour, le soleil brille toujours pour celui qui sait le voir!

“She wanted to be free. But who can see the stars at day, the sun always shines for those, who know how to see it!

They talk about the game of life. She asks him, if he ever did win. “Since I know, who plays with whom and tomorrow, today will be yesterday, yes! In this game, there are only winners.”

Un jeu sans perdant, tout est emprunté, a qui? A celui qui laisse les fleurs s’épanouir.

“A game without losers, all is borrowed, from whom? From the one, who lets the flowers blossom.”

She does not understand why he is talking about three persons all the time. In the story, she did not know yet that she was pregnant already. (So obviously, the story plays at least 9 months before we did the recording 😉 )

Yin and Yang, black and white, what is bad, what is good. The duality changes with the viewpoint of the observer. Both can be “wrong” and “right” at the same time. If we are stuck in a 2D view, we might miss the 3rd dimension. Some say there is a 3rd eye which might open a kind of over-view over duality. Mankind uses the (fixed) binary approach since a long time, “the earth is flat, the earth is the center of the universe, man is the crown of creation. Is this normal?”

Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus, la roue se met à tourner.

“Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus, the wheel starts to turn.” You could name it Karma or fate, sometimes it seems, when you spin the wheel of life, make a decision, drop the ball – at the end, it will land on black or red and maybe even on your lucky number… or on the One. In green.

… to the lyrics of  ZEN-MEN feat. Caroline – “une table à trois” in french
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Stress and Autism

Stress and Autism; you could say that’s not your topic if you consider your-self as a “normal” person (whatever normal is…). In the past, mankind found gold nuggets, answers, solutions and hope in so called unrelated areas like foreign cultures, religions, dreams, chaos, spirituality, absinthe, drugs, conversations and blogs. I invite you to dive into a 10 questions interview I recently did with a friend and come back with some interesting insights for you…

A sneak in:

2. When you hear/ read the word stress, what comes first into your mind?
A.: that’s a difficult one. lots of things happening at once, and all needing attention at the same time, maybe. (…)

3. How would you describe your relation to your brain, to your heart?
A: for me, my heart is what pumps blood. (…)

6. What do you do, when you feel stressed?
A: i’ll try to get rid of lesser priority tasks that make me stressed. (…)

10 Questions by CFR
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