How Do Hard Drives Die?

There are normal things that happen to hard drives and individual, sometimes unusual things that clients have managed to do over the three decades we've been recovering data for them.

The usual suspects:

Dust, fur, heat, electrical spikes, bumps, loose cables.

People's cats & dogs create a nice fur blanket that often overwells the cooling system for computers, laptops and external drives. See if you can put the computer in a less attractive spot.

Having a computer on a carpeted floor is another surefire way to drag heat-inducing fuzzdust into the box. Better to have it on a hard surface that is elevated a couple of inches off the floor, as heat is one of the main killers of hard drives.

Having an operating device in a sunny spot is another way to kill it with heat. Better to have it made in the shade.

Vacuums, power tools, and some kitchen appliances will often cause a device-disabling power spike. If the lights flicker, your computer and associated peripherals are suffering and in danger. Getting an uninterrupted power supply (not just a power strip) is a good cure for electrical spikes.

Computers and devices are often on side tables, subject to bumping or being knocked over, or on desks with drawers subject to being slammed. These kinds of impacts are unhealthy for hard drives. Besides the impact itself, poorly contained cables can wiggle and provide intermittent power or signal, or become disconnected. These are sudden, sometimes deadly events for hard drives. Make sure all your cables and connectors are secure, and have a stable base for that computer, away from foot traffic and other physical impacts.

The individual / unusual:

People do occasionally throw their laptops, external hard drives (and most certainly their iPhones) against the wall. We recommend against this particular form of emotional outlet.

We have recovered data from laptops and external devices that have had cat urine (a homeowner), people urine (an unpopular professor), a latte (a sleepy client), a martini (a too-awake client?), And any number of Glasses of water.

We once had a laptop that burned up in a school library fire to recover data from and ones that have been flooded, others that have had covered with fire retardant foam from putting out a house fire.

As the author writes this article, we're recovering data from a laptop that was run over by a truck.

Lots of flash drives have gone through the washer and dryer. My experience is that they give up the ghost in the machine after about three wasings.

We've had flash drives that have been "accidentally" hammered, and ones that were inadvertently bent up from the side of a laptop and broken (I've personally had the transmitters for 2 Bluetooth mice broken that way.)

One sorry client's wife thought he had his little black book on his desktop PC. She took it out back to the children's sandbox, shoveled sand into it, and then had at it … with a sledgehammer! He said that the computer contained only a stamp collection database. Unfortunately, his stamps were canceled – this is one we did not manage to recover much useful data from.

Sports: when my kids were little, a Nerf ball against a hard disk was enough to knock it out. And then there are the occasions of the aforementioned use of laptops as basketballs with walls as the backboard …

Do remember that everything breaks, even when not subjected to extreme circumstances and that the only surefire means of protecting your data is a good (and regular) backup.

In the meanwhile, we hope you've enjoyed this sampling from the disk drive graveyards.

And if it comes to it, we hope you remember to use Burgess Consulting for your data recovery needs.

How Long Does it Take to Starting Seeing Results on NutriSystem?

I get a lot of questions about NutriSystem that begin with the words “how long does it take to…” People want to know how long it’s going to be until they start seeing results, loose 20 pounds, or can fit into a bikini, etc.. Basically, most people have an end result in mind and they want to know how long they’ll have to wait or tread water until they reach this goal. For example, folks want to look great for a wedding, shine for a class reunion, or not be embarrassed to walk along the beach. In the following article, I’ll try to help you come up with a time frame and give you an idea of what to expect.

Typical Weekly NutriSystem Weight Loss: The official statement from the company states that 2 – 3 pounds per week are typical.  I think that this is an attempt by them for you to keep your expectations low.  Sure, at 3 pounds per week, you’d lose 12 pounds in a month, and over 70 pounds in 6 months. (At that rate, you’d lose 140 pounds in a year.) These are respectable results by any one’s standards.  But, there are a decent amount of people who are in the 4-5 pound range as well, especially those that start out heavier or those who are willing to move more.

Speeding Up Your NutriSystem Results: Losing More Weight More Quickly:  A lot of people get impatient and want to lose as much weight as they safely can in the shortest amount of time.   Some people tell me that the obvious choice is to skip meals.  After all, they want you to eat a whopping five meals per day AND they want you to add in healthy sides for each meal.  Some people will look at this and see places where they can cut out food and therefore cut out more calories, carbs, and fat.

This is a huge mistake.  I promise it is.  First off, all of the diet’s meals are very low in calories, carbs and fat.  So, cutting out a meal or two is only going to save you a handful of calories.  Second, you need to eat regularly and often for ketosis (fat burning) to happen.  If you slow your food intake, you’re only going to slow your metabolism and therefore your results.  Finally, you need the fresh add ins to ensure that your body is getting the nutritional support that it needs to burn the fat and calories.

Counseling, Education, And Moving More Doesn’t Have To Be A Chore: The company gives you exercise videos with your food orders. (These are free.) They also give you free nutritional counseling and support.  All of this is there for the taking at no additional cost to you. In short, they are giving you the tools, the education, and the emotional support to do this.  You only need to take advantage of what’s being offered.  I find that so many people don’t take full advantage of these freebies and it always surprised and disappoints me.

It’s not too hard to figure out that moving more is a quick way to burn more fat and calories.  This doesn’t have to be a chore. You can play with your kids.  You can go for a bike ride with your husband.  You can dance or by silly with your family.  Whatever you find fun that gets your heart rate up (even just a little), try to incorporate this into your day.  Small efforts like this can get you into the next weekly bracket and can also make your body look more tone and lean.  This in turn will having you seeing results and changes in your body much more quickly.

Health Benefits of Filberts

Filberts are more commonly  known as hazelnuts, however filberts are a slightly larger than hazelnuts. There are over 100 varieties of these nuts grown world-wide including United States and Canada. Filberts are used to flavor foods such as ice cream, chocolate, tea and coffee. But did you know that these nuts have a lot of health benefits to offer you?

Filberts are a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamins E, B1, B2 and B6, folate, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, protein and dietary fiber.

Here are some of the benefits that you can obtain by adding them to your diet.

Healthy Heart

Filberts can help you to lower your cholesterol levels, and thereby prevent high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. Filberts can also help to relax your blood vessels to increase the blood flow. This makes it easier on your heart.

Prevent Cancer

Filberts are a good source of folate which can help you to prevent cancer.

Mental Health

Filberts contain B vitamins which are essential for a healthy mind, especially during early childhood. In addition, the folate can help to protect your mind against depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Birth Defects

They can also help to protect your baby from neural tube defects which are birth defects of the brain and spinal chord.

Absorb Nutrients

Adding filberts in with your salads or green smoothies can help you to better absorb fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. This is due to the healthy fats in filberts which help to carry those vitamins around the body so that they can be absorbed.


The antioxidants in filberts will help you to remove harmful free radical from your body, so that you can prevent premature aging. Studies show that free radicals are the major cause of aging, and thus if you eliminate them you can prevent wrinkles and age related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and arthritis.

How to Eat Them

The best way to obtain all the health benefits is to simply eat them raw, fresh out of the shell. You can purchase them out of the shell, but they are more likely to rancid, as the shell helps to preserve their freshness. Therefore if you buy them while they are still in the shell you can take them out of the shell as you eat them.

You can toast them and add them to your salads, deserts, or add them raw to your smoothies. You can also make a butter out of them and use it as a spread for your wraps and sandwiches.

Type 2 Diabetes – Heart Function in the Fetus When the Mother Has Gestational Diabetes

Gestational or pregnancy-induced diabetes is a health problem for both mothers and their children. In March of 2017, the medical journal Pediatric Cardiology reported on a study on fetal heart function in Gestational diabetic mothers. Earlier studies have shown heart abnormalities during the third trimester or last three months of the pregnancy. Researchers at Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, found abnormalities during the second trimester, or middle three months.

The human heart is composed of four chambers, the left and right atria at the top of the heart, and the left and right ventricle at the bottom of the heart. In adult circulation, blue non-oxygenated blood flows from the right atrium to the right ventricle, from where it travels to the lungs. Picking up oxygen in the lungs, red blood cells turn red and make their way from the lungs to the right atrium. From there blood travels through the mitral valve and into the left ventricle. The left ventricle then pumps the blood on to the rest of the body.

In the fetus things are different. Blood picks up oxygen from the mother’s placenta and carries it to the right atrium. From the right atrium, the red blood goes directly to the left atrium and on to the left ventricle, bypassing the lungs entirely.

The investigators compared fetal hearts in mothers with Gestational diabetes at 19 to 24 weeks with fetal hearts in non-diabetic mothers…

  • hearts in the diabetic group showed differences in the amount of time they stayed empty before filling and the amount of time they took to contract.
  • another abnormality related to the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle could indicate an abnormal function of the left ventricle.

It is important for enough oxygenated blood to go to the brain of the fetus and all the other organs for growth and development. Checking on fetal hearts during early Gestational diabetes could one day become a clinical test to learn whether future interventions might be helpful.

For now, heart conditions linked with Gestational diabetes are one more reason to prevent or control pregnant mothers developing this form of diabetes. Ways of preventing Gestational diabetes include…

  • achieving and maintaining normal weight before conception,
  • eating healthful foods such as fruits and vegetables,
  • gaining only the recommended amount of weight, and
  • getting regular exercise

Mothers should be concerned about the possibility of developing diabetes during their pregnancy. The following put women at high risk…

  • being overweight or obese,
  • having a history of high blood sugar before the pregnancy,
  • having a family history of Type 2 diabetes,
  • leading a sedentary lifestyle, and
  • being a member of the Black or Asian race.

The Harmful Effects of Labelling People

Ours is a generation that is surrounded by labels. We see them in products, supermarkets and specialty shops and much of the daily choices we make are dependent on labels and brand names. Labelling is essential so everything around us takes on its unique character, distinct from the rest.

We do tend however, to allow labelling to go past where it should be. In our attempt to make our own distinctions, we have a tendency to label people, especially children and identify them with certain characteristics that may have long-term harmful effects on their personalities.

In school, children are labelled by their teachers and peers. We almost always have the class clown, a class diva and the class bully. There’s someone in there who is the most likely to succeed and the one most likely to get married first.

Labelling may seem to be a trivial matter, but its effects are not trivial at all. In fact, they can be very harmful. Labelling people causes them to lose motivation and self-esteem as it closes the mind of the person who sticks the label. The labeller gets a general perception of the subject and allows him no room for change or improvement. When we put labels on people, we scuff away any opportunity for them to rise above expectation. Usually, labelled people are afraid to show that they hurt or that they are hungry, and all these negative emotions get bottled up because they are not on the list under a specific person label. They end up unable to express their thoughts and expressions and retreat to their own private world where they live by no labels and are free to be themselves. These worlds are not too realistic though, and the isolation graduates to more serious problems such as identity crisis, substance dependence and mostly to anti-social behaviour patterns.

Let’s put a stop to sticking labels on people. Ours will be a world where people will be free to express themselves and nurture their potentials. Let’s keep the labels where they’re supposed to be – stuck to the soup can.

Financial Issues in Sports Today

In our world, many issues arise regarding accounting issues and methods used to present financial statements to the public and to the investors. Federation International Football Association (FIFA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association has recently been under the microscope of the public in regards the financial statements that have been made available to the public.

The World Cup is a football (soccer) tournament that began in 1930 that is held every four years at a host nation between qualifying countries. The event is by far the most viewed sporting event in the world with a staggering twenty-six million plus estimated viewers in the past events. As one could imagine, the country that is awarded the opportunity to host the World Cup receives an astounding spike in their economic revenue; so, the process of choosing the country is a very calculated drawn out process that is held by twenty or so members of the FIFA executive committee who review presentations by each country representative. To receive the bid a country must receive at least fifty-one percent of the votes; if all the countries are below the fifty-one percent mark the bottom two vote getters are eliminated and the bidding process begins again.

In 2014, there were murmurs of perceived problems in choosing the host country Russia for the next World Cup extravaganza in 2018. Shortly thereafter the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to look into the bidding process, and discovered the 2014 bidding process appeared to have been manipulated by one or multiple individuals who could have a connection with FIFA’s internal management. Speculation and other materials of information have been provided to the public that brings questions to the process and the previous voting years. In 1999 Klynveld Peat Marwick Goeredeler (KPMG) was hired as the first external auditor for FIFA to help ensure translucent, and trustworthy practices were being used. An article from the New York Times states, “Having one of the big auditors of course helps to give some credibility to your accounts,”. (Browning, NY Times) A game at its core that is meant for pleasure for the participant and viewer respectively, can also hold a key part in a communities financial standing; The World Cup bid being a perfect example, giving the winning country an anticipated eight to twelve billion dollars in revenue for a three-month event.

Another current financial issue in sports today is if collegiate athletes should receive compensation for their performance. However, the financial reports provided by the U.S Department of Education states that of the hundreds of athletic departments in the NCAA’s Division I classification, that only fourteen programs turned a profit from operations in or stemming from their operations. All the other Division I institutions that have turned a profit have done so with the assistance of the university. If these institutions are using money from the university to simply assist in paying for the athletes to receive an education and athletic training, the money to pay each athlete individually simply is not there. Especially the issues that would also arrive from Title XI, the NCCA is currently completely in a bind in terms of finding compensation for student athletes.

Issues such as the ones stated above are huge topics of conversation in the growing world of sports. Every party involved wants whatever is best for the advancement and evolution of sports, but must tread carefully in the decision-making process that could change the shape of the game.

Holi – The Science Behind The Festival

Holi, the festival of color, as it is mostly being referred to, is celebrated with fun, gaiety, and pomp throughout the country. Marking the passing of winters and the advent of summers, Holi is celebrated in spring, which is a gap between both the seasons. Holi dates back to the legend of demon King Hiranyakashyap and his son Prahlad and sister Holika. But apart from this legend, there are few scientific reasons too, which are attached to the festival.

Holi is celebrated between the gap of two major seasons, i.e., winters and summers. During this period, the bacteria in the atmosphere and the body find an appropriate temperature to breed and rise in numbers. During the Holika Dahan (the burning of Holika or bonfire), the temperature of the surrounding area gets raised to around 50-60 degrees thus killing the bacteria present in the atmosphere. In fact, the fire of Holika kills the bacteria in people who take rounds of the fire.

In some parts of the country, some people apply the ash of Holika Dahan on their forehead as it is believed to promote good health. Since the season brings laziness in the body, people sing songs and dance to the beats of drums in Holi to get rid of tardiness. This helps in rejuvenating the body and the mind.

Colors are an important part of healthy body and mind. Deficiency of a particular color in the body leads to certain ailments. Holi played a vital role in making up for this deficiency as the Holi colors used in ancient times were herbal and natural.

Holi colors at that time were made out of natural ingredients like turmeric, Neem, Palash (Tesu), fruits, vegetables, and so on. The splashing of herbal and natural colors on each other during the Holi festival produced a soothing and healing effect on the body. The herbal colors are loaded with the power of strengthening the ions in the body thus making you healthy and beautiful.

But nowadays, the Holi festival is unfortunately limited to only fun with no benefits for health. Holi is now mostly celebrated with synthetic or artificial colors, which contains dangerous chemicals like lead oxide, diesel, chromium iodine and copper sulphate. Artificial Holi colors cause rashes on the skin and irritation in the eyes along with many serious diseases like cancer.

Festivals must always be celebrated with old traditions and values. So, it is safe to use only herbal and natural Holi colors during the Holi festival as they do not harm the skin and the body. There are many natural and herbal products websites online that offer herbal gulal and other Holi colors. So, make this Holi not only enjoyable but safe and healthy too. Order herbal Holi colors online and get them delivered at a single click.

Two Energies, One Body – Balance Your Male – Female Sides

What is the big mystery of the male and female sides of the body? Why do we need to be aware of this? The body is energetically divided into two parts. The right and the left, male and female dominated sides. This is not a new concept, it has an origin in eastern philosophies like Buddhism, Yoga, and you can even find ancient writings that the Mayan civilization was aware of the power of maintaining balance between these two opposite energies.

The Buddha taught it quite clearly. Each human being has a right and left hemisphere in the brain, which we classify as male and female, the right being female, left being male. The left or male side is in charge of the right side of the body and the right brain or female side is in charge of the left side of the body.

The Maya placed themselves and their environment into categories that allowed them to order and manipulate their world. They frequently categorized using the basic complementary pairing of male/female, and right/left.

In yoga, male energy (the sun), is referred to as Shiva, and is the form of the universe. Male energy is the domain of the right side of the body. Whereas female energy (the moon), is referred to as Shakti, and is the force of the universe. The female energy is the domain of the left side of the body.

The significant importance is that as one person we need to be in constant balance to be able to achieve the best of our world, mental physical and emotional. Both sides, male and female have to attain a harmonious whole.

The male side is usually connected to our rationality, logic, linear thinking, and understanding. The female side is connected to feelings, nurturing, caring, compassion, love, and all the emotional qualities. Each of us has sides, the emotional and the mental capacity. Very few people develop both equally, therefore their cart often topples. Emotionalism is just as much a danger as thinking without being in touch with one’s feelings. That too can go very much astray.

A person who goes too far on the side of rational thinking has to learn to balance with feelings, the female side. Anyone who thinks to the extent where the experience of feelings is hardly known has to practice much mindfulness of feelings. On the other hand, the female side is often emotionalism. This means we are carried away by our emotions and consequently our thinking is impaired. The quality of logical thinking, of delving into a thought process and being able to analyze, is not possible when the emotions are at the forefront.

During yoga practice, the goal is to observe and understand the dance between Shiva and Shakti. In this dance Shiva and Shakti flow in balance with each other are bringing balance to the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the yogi.

When we experience blockages, or imbalances within our male/female essence or energy the results can be disastrous and harmful to our physical body as well as our mental body.

For example there is a belief that manic depression is common and occurs when the right and left energies are uncontrolled or out of balance. When a person is stuck on the right, the male manic side, then the body becomes wiry and thin and heart attacks become prevalent. When stuck on the left, the female depressive side the person becomes lethargic and fat and easily depressed. The physical base of these energies is the perineum in the male and the vulva in the female. Their other control point is the left and right nostrils. Blocked nostrils and mucus can show a blockage of these energies.

There can also be outward signs of imbalances, notice to see if you are having issues with

males or females in your life and your body will begin to manifest these imbalances in the form of maladies. Issues with males may result in simple things like stubbing your toe on the right foot, hurting your right elbow. The same goes with the opposite side of the body. Issues with females manifest in the left side of your body.

The balancing of male and female energy needs to be seen as connecting heart with mind. Energy and concentration have to balance. In yoga the practice is to begin to allow the energy to realign itself with the body. Meditation is one of the most effective tools that can be used to connect and balance the male/female energies. Yoga is used to prepare the body for meditation thus increasing the ability to have these energies find their space and begin to realign, to balance, to find harmony. Chakra balancing is an effective way in which to align those energies. Other very effective tools for connecting and balancing are Reiki, Watsu and pranayama work.

It is interesting that this knowledge that has been with us through many centuries and was common place then to detect bodily, mental and spacial ills should be so foreign and mysterious to us in this so called “advanced” civilization. I believe that more and more as we enter the age of “inspirato”1 we will begin to learn how to listen and connect with our own energy. Only then will we begin to feel the balance and healing that comes from this.

1. Inspirato-latin for inspiration. We will be moving from the age of information to the age of a new world where compassion and respect for ourselves, the universe and others will prevail.

Dr Freud and the Interpretation of Your Vacation

Happy summer! Finally, that sweet season is here. Outdoor activities, gardens in full bloom, warm breezes, early sunrise and late sunset are yours to enjoy. But projects that bring billable hours often conclude in June and cause July and August to be cash-starved. What’s a Solopreneur to do? Reviewing your client list and thinking about how to create business in the fourth quarter is always useful. But why not take a vacation, if you can afford it?

Vacations are good for you. You need to escape from the usual workaday routines to refresh your spirit and revitalize your perspectives. Both psychologists and productivity experts espouse the benefits of getting away from it all and short vacations sprinkled throughout the year have been demonstrated to produce greater stress reductions and benefits to both creativity and productivity than a single two-week vacation. Besides, a serendipitous networking opportunity could fall into your lap while at your vacation destination, or you could possibly come up with a brilliant solution to a vexing problem, once you’ve begun to relax and unwind.

I’ve vacationed in every season and personally, I prefer winter get-aways that allow me to visit warm climates and escape frigid, snowy New England for a week or two. Winter vacations are expensive though, in terms of time and money and they take business owners and Solopreneurs out-of-town when B2B clients are in town and working. If you’re able, then do so, but many of the self-employed are better served by taking a vacation when clients are likely to be away as well and that means summer.

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis and the father of psychotherapy, was a devotee of the summer vacation. The task of planning his family’s annual summer vacation was a favorite project that he called the “Sommerproblem.” Vacations brought tangible benefits to Dr. Freud.

In July 1895, while summering at Schloss Bellevue, a hotel and spa located in an outer district of Vienna, Freud had the dream that gave rise to his ground-breaking theory that dreams are wish-fulfillment. His book On the Interpretation of Dreams was published in 1899 and it is still in print.

In his only visit to the U.S., in August 1909, Freud combined business with pleasure when he came to Clark University in Worcester, MA to deliver five lectures on psychoanalysis and receive an honorary degree. On his visit, Freud met James Jackson Putnam, professor of neurology at Harvard University and a leader of the movement to professionalize psychotherapy in the U.S. Putnam invited Freud and two other well-known psychoanalysts who traveled to America with him — Carl Jung, who also lectured and received an honorary degree from Clark and Sandor Ferenczi — to spend a few days at the Putnam family camp in the Adirondacks and visit Niagara Falls.

Several days of hiking and feasting led Freud to later write of “the most important personal relationship which arose from the meeting at Worcester.” Putnam gave credibility to Freud’s theories about psychoanalysis and promoted its use (NY Times August 29, 2009). His reputation soared and his practice was set from then on.

While on your next vacation, it is unlikely that you will be inspired to author a book that becomes an international best-seller, connect with an influential thought-leader who helps to solidify your professional reputation, or encounter a venture capitalist who provides the funding that takes your start-up to the next level.

But you could meet your next client, or someone who tells you about an unexpected market for your services. If you plan well and don’t try to overdo, you will relax and feel better, whether you visit a new location or return to a perennial favorite. Whatever you do, have a wonderful time!

Thanks for reading,


How Relaxation Techniques Play An Important Role In Treating Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety attacks had always been common among working population, but with changing lifestyle and personal expectations of people anxiety is today a disorder found among every other person. With medicine being a prominent solution for every other disorder people often tend to spend large amount of bucks on their hospital bills, but not many know that it is always possible to treat such strokes of fear, tension or worries by following simple and safe relaxation techniques.

Relaxation with anxiety disorders plays a vital role, a role as important as any other medication, all because of the safe and beneficial principles of various relaxation techniques.

Before understanding how the equation of relaxation with anxiety disorders works, it is important to have an idea about the benefits and purpose of following various relaxation techniques. Relaxation is more or less a spiritual as well as non spiritual way to control the internal disturbance of a body and mind. Most of these relaxation techniques are designed to control the stressful and unstable mind as well as to heel the weary outlook of a body. Anxiety being a condition where a body is nervous and mind is under panic or excessive tensed situation, thus by simply controlling a disturbed mind with relaxation one can always treat those anxiety disorders or attacks.

Relaxation in itself is of various types, but each of these different relaxation techniques are based on one common purpose to benefit mind and body with peace, strength, stamina and calmness.

Relaxation with anxiety disorders is the best way to come over those panic strokes and attacks of angst. One such example of relaxation techniques heeling anxiety is, the fact that deep relaxation involves physiological changes in a person causing a decrease in respiration rate, heart rate, skeletal muscle tension, metabolic rate and analytic thinking.

Relaxation with anxiety disorders helps in overcoming its symptoms like nausea, headaches, irritation, shortness of breath, increased heartbeat, sweating and palpitation, suffocation, chest pain, dizziness, fear, tremors and nervousness.

Since anxiety is more of a mental and physiological disorder, therefore some of the most common relaxation techniques that are well designed to relieve a body of its anxiety disorders are meditation, yoga, ample sleep and good diet. When you experience attacks of anxiety with any of the symptoms mentioned the first thing to do is control your breathing, which can be done by either meditation or yoga. When you feel too much tension and inability to feel or think anything, it is always better to rest the over burdened brain.

Another quick relaxation technique is breathing exercise, when feeling stressed and anxious while working the best thing to do is take a break and then work on your breathing. Out of many big relaxation techniques, this breathing exercise is the easiest and works the best, as all you need to do is your eyes (you can lie down or can sit somewhere comfortably) and breathe slow and deep. By simply following this technique of relaxation with anxiety disorders for 15-20 minutes (or 10 minutes if you do not have that much time to spend), you tend to control your mind and calm it down. Breathing exercise is one those instant techniques that work with sudden attacks of anxiety, another thing to be done when feeling such sudden symptoms is to drink water, possible cold water.

No doubt, today there are dozens of good medicines and drugs available out in the market claiming to treat and some actually treating the hyper and anxiety disorders, but in many cases anxiety is all about the emotional state of the mind and thus can be best treated with relaxation techniques. Relaxation with anxiety disorders is not just capable of overcoming physical weakness, but also has the power to control or balance the emotions experienced by the body.

Some of the other relaxation techniques synchronizing relaxation with anxiety disorders for its treatment aroma therapy, aromatherapy, progressive muscle relaxation and visualization. Right diet and right amount of sleep are two important relaxation factors that act as both the precaution and the treatment. If you are sleeping for a comfortable 7 to 8 hours and eating the nutritious, balanced, healthy and fried less diet chances are you will not become a victim of any of the anxiety symptoms. Also, if you experience or have an anxiety disorder make sure that you eat food that is less oily, with more of vegetables and is not processed. Try not to have tea or coffee, as they are possible triggers of mood change and many other anxiety symptoms.

Relaxation techniques are simple methods to calm down an unbalanced mind and to refresh or rejuvenate an exhausted body, its no magic simple science. Thus, if you are someone being troubled with anxiety disorders three things you need to do is consult a doctor, take the medication (if prescribed) and follow relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, sleep well and eat good.

My Experiments With Stammering

I have been a stammerer since childhood and have done numerous interesting studies and experiments to conquer it. I think now I am at a stage where I can share my findings. My aim would be to compile my study as a book sometime in future, but I don’t have that much efforts to spare now and so I would be jotting the key points in this article.

Disclaimer: The statements below are based on my study, and may not be universal truth. It may not hold true for others as expected. Under no circumstances would I be responsible for any damage caused to anyone based on these statements.

Stammering or stuttering is not the malfunction or imbalance of a single or a couple of organs of the body. Don’t ever think that you can cure stammering if you speak with a wider mouth or by taking controlled breath etc. etc..

Neither is stammering a psychological disorder which can be controlled by training the mind to behave in a certain way. Don’t think that if you can control your emotions, you can cure your stammering.

Stammering is basically a holistic imbalance of health (body and mind). It needs holistic treatment. For improving myself and acquire effortless and enjoyable speech free of stammering, I tried the following:

Homeopathy: Homeopathy has great power but is equally dangerous if not administered accurately. I learned homeopathy to a great extent and experimented with myself a lot. I know it had contributed to my cure ultimately. Would recommend only if you consult a real homeopathy guru who gives your case enough time.

Physiotherapy: It is a high priority to balance our outer body. I would highly recommend everybody to meet an experienced physiotherapist and get your body checked for weaknesses. Do sincerely the exercises he or she teaches.

Food habits: I converted myself to vegetarian and I think it helped.

Alcohol / Nicotine: I left all these and I think it helped in the long run. Although cigarette seemed to smoothen the voice temporarily, but it worsens stammering in the long run.

Swimming: Helped initially but did not help in the long run.

Morning walk / Jugging: Helps a lot! One of the prime recommendations.

Spirituality: Inevitable. I read and practice the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The two books – the “Power of Now” and “Stillness Speaks” help me to understand the reality in the real perspective. I have crisply narrated my views of spirituality in my free eBook “True Fundamentals of Life.” Highly recommend to all.

Bach Flower Remedies:Helped a long way! I probed a number of Bach Flower remedies on myself and found these highly effective. But again, you have to try probing almost all and observe he effects on yourself.

Learner’s Attitude: I have marked that whenever I start feeling that I have completely conquered stammering, it attacks back. So, always having a learner’s attitude is important.

I think an experiment on self using the tips above can cure oneself. I will recommend to start from Bach Flowers and morning walk. Some alternative treatments like acupuncture can also be tried but I have not yet tried those.

Managing Change "When Alligators Are Nipping at Your Heels"

Day to day problems of the business often prevent leaders from taking the time out to think, plan and act in order to make the kind of transformational changes that are needed in organizations. In the Heart of Change, John Kotter presents the case study “When Alligators Are Nipping at Your Heels” as an example of a leader who decided to deal with the crisis confronting him and his organization before he began to look for ways to transform the organization. Kotter quotes Nick Pearce as saying that “you have to focus on putting out the big fires and on anything that can quickly restart those fires” before you can begin working on bigger transformation (Kotter, p. 25).

However, the pace of work and change is happening so quickly in today’s work environment, a leader runs the risk of using “putting out fires” as an excuse of not finding the time, energy and focus to address the very real issues that need to be changed within an organization. The felt need to focus on the fires, in fact, can derail any effort for implementing change. “Many of the current struggles with transformation are a result of leaders not attending to the cultural, behavioral, and mindset components of transformation or not attending to them in ways that make real impact” (Anderson and Anderson, p. 16).

Managers are often compelled to deal with the business issues of the day. They feel their expertise and experience is needed to help “put out fires” in their area of expertise. Leaders however, recognize that they must focus on the business of building “burning platforms” that help people and organizations realize the need for change, that compel them to move out of their comfort zone and begin to change (Kotter, p. 27). This takes time, energy and focus. Using excuses that the organization has too many fires to put out only distracts from the real attention and encourages employees to fall back in the old way of doing things rather than focusing on the change at hand.


Anderson D. and Anderson L. (2001). Beyond change management. San Francisco: Jossey – Bass/Pfeiffer.

Kotter, J.P. & Cohen, D.S. (2002). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people

change their organizations. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

The Dos and Don’ts of Moccasin Care

Knowing how to care for your moccasins will ensure that you enjoy them for years to come. There are just a few simple tips to keep in mind when caring for your moccasins.

Do treat your leather moccasin before wearing them. This will prevent stains and go a long way to making your future cleaning easier. Select the right product for your moccasin’s type of leather and be sure to apply to the sole of the moccasin. There are specific products for smooth leather, suede and nubuck (which is softer than suede.) If you know you will be wearing your moccasin out in snow or rain consider applying a coat of mink oil/beeswax mix – simply heat to melt the mix, then apply with a paint brush to the sole of the moccasin and let dry.

Don’t wear your soft sole moccasins when you know you will be walking on a lot of concrete pavement. It would be a bad idea to wear a soft soled moccasin on a marathon, in a parade, or to an amusement park all day. Although soft soled moccasins can be worn outside and leather is a tough material, it was never meant for hours and hours of exposure to concrete. The rugged surface will significantly shorten the life of your moccasin. Even the Plains Indians who walked on some rocky surfaces wore hard soled moccasins, so take a lesson from them about walking on hard surfaces with soft soled moccasins. Consider wearing only hard-soled moccasins on such occasions.

Do use lukewarm water to clean sheepskin moccasins. Very hot water will damage the delicate fibers and stiffen up the feeling of sheepskin by matting the natural fibers.

Don’t wear unprotected leather moccasins out in the rain. One of the first things you want to do is spray a water protectant on your suede moccasins. Water will damage any moccasin, but suede is especially vulnerable to its effects. (Be sure to spray in a well-ventilated space. I find the water protectant sprays give me terrible headaches.)

Do make sure your leather is warm before you clean or protect it. Warm leather fibers are more relaxed and able to soak up the cleaning creams or protectant sprays than cold leather.

Don’t use straight lines or rub hard when you apply your cleaning creams. Be sure to use gentle, circular motions when applying products. This will ensure even application and protect your leather from damage that is possible when applying products too vigorously.

Do use a good quality saddle soap for smooth leather moccasins to clean surface dirt. Once you are certain your smooth leather moccasin is clean, apply a leather conditioner to lubricate and soften the leather. A polish paste can be used on the top of the moccasin in some sheen is desired. Remember with leather, your goal is to keep it hydrated, supple and durable.

Do use a rubber tipped brush on suede to keep the nap fresh and upright. Poorly cared for suede will end up with flattened fibers and won’t feel as soft to the touch.

Don’t soak leather in water when cleaning. It is much better to use a damp rag and the right cleaner than to immerse your moccasin in water. Blot your moccasins to dry them and let the air finish the drying process. Never stick them in a dryer.

By keeping these dos and don’ts in mind your moccasins will last for years and develop their own natural and unique character as they age.

Negotiate Like a Savvy Politician

Politicians are always trying to persuade people to do one thing or another. As such, they are negotiating. Good politicians, like good negotiators, are better at persuading people to see, adopt, and follow their point of view.

Observe the following similarities between a good politician and that of a good negotiator. See if you can strengthen your negotiation skills by imitating some of the tactics politicians employ.

1. Politicians are very adroit at not answering questions that would put them in a 'bad light'.

A. A good negotiator knows how to answer questions with questions, thus changing the direction of the conversation, while not divulging information that might be harmful to his position.

2. Politicians are very good at reframing a question or statement to position them in a more positive perspective (altering a question from its initial meaning to one that has a more positive perspective to the politician.)

A. A savvy negotiator is astutely aware of the inherit value of reshaping a conversation to lead in the direction she wishes to have the negotiation flow.

3. Politicians are adept at reading body language to give them insight into hidden meanings.

A. When a smart negotiator negotiates, she observes clues that give insight into what the person she's negotiating with might be thinking. That insight gives her an additional advantage while negotiating, because she's able to tap into unspoken words that could give more insight than that which is spoken.

4. Politicians know how to use a technique I call, 'Block and Bridge'. 'Block and Bridge' occurs when acknowledgment is given to a question or point. In essence, the question you do not want to answer is blocked, while using it as a bridge to a point you would like to discuss.

A. Like a politician, a good negotiator knows when and how to appease his negotiation partner. By giving a cursory response to the other negotiator's point, the perception is given of having the point addressed. After that, a good negotiator shifts the conversation to the point he wishes to highlight. This is a very powerful tactical that good negotiators use time and time again. Try to use it in your negotiations and you'll discover the value of this tactic.

5. Sometimes politicians talk ad nausea (surprise, surprise).

A. When you negotiate, initially this may appear to be a 'turn off', but used in the right negotiation situation, this can be a tactic that wears the other negotiator down. Occasionally, he becomes so desperate to escape the negotiation environment that he'll agree to almost anything to be free. Note: You have to be cautious when using this tactic, because it can also turn someone off so much that they leave the negotiation environment without giving you what you want and refuse to negotiate with you again.

6. A smart politician develops a campaign strategy before he begins the campaign.

A. A smart negotiator develops a negotiating plan and gathers background information on the subject with which he'll be negotiating to obtain insightful information that will be helpful during the negotiation.

7. A good politician knows how to stay 'on point'. She knows how to advance her cause and employees others to increase the overall potential of success.

A. A profitable negotiator, while developing her plan accounts for potential detours that she may encounter while negotiating. In so doing, she takes into account the maneuvers, strategies, and tactics that may have to utilize in order to reach the goal of the negotiation.

Watch politicians when they're running for office, or being interviewed. The good ones know how to 'spin' situations to match their message and campaign platform. If they're wrong, or proven to be on the wrong side of an issue, in some cases, they're able to reshape, or reframe the discussion in order to enhance the acceptability of their position. In essence, they control every aspect of the negotiation, to the degree that they keep their constituents engaged. Mind you, the kind of negotiation they're doing is that for the hearts and souls of those they lead. Neverheless, they're still negotiating.

You may not like the political process, or that which politicians engage in to 'get things done', but there are valuable negotiation lessons to be gleaned from observing how they go about doing so. If you add some of the tactics politicians use when negotiating, you will increase your negotiation skills and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Lessons are …

· Never forgo the knowledge you can garner from someone that uses questionable negotiation tactics. At bare minimum, you can learn how to combat such tactics if someone tries to use them on you.

· Always pay very close attention to your environment when negotiating. By doing so, you'll catch nonverbal nuances that will give you additional insight into what your negotiating partner may be thinking, but not disclosing.

· Never forget the value of a good negotiation plan. If you put in the effort to create a good plan, you'll save yourself potential grief during the negotiation. You'll also be better prepared to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

Online Pastoral Counseling Degrees Certification and Education

Online Pastoral Counseling Degrees are in great demand. The effectiveness of spiritual counseling has brought about considerable interest regarding the subject of Christian or Pastoral Counseling. By integrating information from the secular discipline of Psychology with resources from the realm of the Spirit, Pastoral Counselors have become very much in demand because they have proven to be effective when dealing with difficult issues such as drug addiction, alcoholism, marriage, sexual abuse. There appears to be little distinction between Christian and Pastoral Counselors, most people appear to use the terms interchangeably

In the past this, what little Christian Counseling education that was taught happened in seminars. However, most seminars do not have programs dedicated to the study of Pastoral Counseling. Consequently, to meet the demand to for qualified Pastoral Counselors a number of institutions have risen to meet the needs of those called to this ministry.

Unlike Psychological Counselors, who are held accountable by state Governments, Pastoral Counselors are ministers. Pastoral Counselors will typically either become members of an existing church ministry or they may choose to create a ministry of their own. As long as they are suitably educated and licensed, they become accountably primarily to the church rather than the state.

Of course, it is important to check out the laws in your state to be sure of the format your ministry is consistent. There are Christian Law Associations that can assist you in this. Christian Counseling is a legal, legitimate profession in every state, but the exact verbiage used to represent what the counselor does must adhere to each state's statutes.

There are several national bodies that provide education, certification, licensing and oversight for Pastoral Counselors. The oldest and largest of these appear to be the National Christian Counselor's Association (NCCA). There are others such as the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), and the American Association of Christian Counselors. (AACC) The AACC historically has been a supporting organization for those already involved in the ministry, while the NCCA is more oriented towards training and education.

Pastoral Counseling can be learned entirely on a self-paced schedule. Most course are available in a home study or online format, allowing for them to schedule for the convenience of the student and do not require classroom attendance.

Christian Counselors have been successful at adopting the therapeutic models based on temperament. While some of these models hark back to Greek roots thousands of years ago, the testing methods and results are a modern as an cellular phone. Whether they refer to the temperaments as DISC or Melancholy, Choleric, Sanguine, and Phlegmatic makes little difference. One of the things that has created much success for Christian Counselors is the availability of powerful assessment tools that enable them to get the heart of difficult problems and formulate effective treatment plans. Christian Counselors realize that people need answers to their problems, not just hand holding.