Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ode to Oxytocin...

... What's wrong with you, he asked!
Nothing's wrong... 

Maybe I just lack a bit of oxytocin, the "cuddle hormone"...

Oxytocin has been described as the hormone of love. This tiny chemical, released from the hypothalamus region of the brain, gives rat mothers the urge to nurse their pups, keeps male prairie voles monogamous and, even more remarkable, makes people trust each other more. 

But, the love and trust it promotes are not toward the world in general, just toward a person’s in-group. So, Oxytocin turns out to be the hormone of the clan, not of universal brotherhood. 

Also, physiologically, oxytocin rewards those who maintain good social bonds with feelings of well-being, but when it comes on board during times of high social stress or pain, it may "lead people to seek out more and better social contacts", so stress-related manifestations of oxytocin may produce physiological changes that then encourage people to seek contact with others,

Better not stress too much...

Hum, so how do we stimulate it???

Ingestion of food triggers oxytocin release by activation of vagal afferent nerves*
*(Besides output to the various organs in the body, the vagus nerve conveys sensory information about the state of the body's organs to the central nervous system. 80-90% of the nerve fibers in the vagus nerve are afferent (sensory) nerves communicating the state of the viscera to the brain.)

So most likely, it can also be released by stimulation of other senses such as olfaction, as well as by certain types of sound and light. In addition, purely psychological mechanisms can trigger the release. This means that positive interaction involving touch and psychological support may be health-promoting.

So that brings us to the effects of a relaxing Massage...
Oxytocin can be released by various types of sensory stimulation, for example by touch and warmth. Bloodstream levels of oxytocin have been shown to rise during massage.

Sex, Smiling, Holding hands...
Adults seeking an oxytocin surge should head for the bedroom. The hugging and touching during foreplay fires up the love chemical, and orgasm spikes the hormone level to two times the normal amount. This opens the door to a relaxed feeling and a greater opportunity to bond with your partner.

If you're too tired to seek out a bit of badabim badaboom, get a pet ; )
Petting a dog or cat you love can also increase oxytocin levels

Don't have a pet, don't have a partner, don't have food on your fridge, no one you can call?  Well daydream about your most exciting fantasies...

Ah, and another postive aspect: Oxytocin reduces fear...
Animal and human studies indicate the major role of the amygdala in controlling fear and anxiety. Oxytocin tempers the excitatory inputs into the amygdala. 

Ok, people let's cuddle, let's daydream, let's get our Oxytpcin levels higher!

- The previous information was taken from many different websites, not all of them scientifically certified ; ) 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What is Prayer?

* Taken from the blog lazyyogi.org

"The common understanding of prayer involves you talking or communicating with something else, something more powerful, with the intent of getting something out of it, receiving something you don’t already have.

As many self-proclaimed free thinkers and atheists have pointed out, this is little different than talking to an imaginary friend with the hope that it will somehow solve your problems or create miracles.

If you ask me, both perspectives are pretty useless.

Prayer is an ancient and timeless technology. You have prayed before, even if it wasn’t under the pretense of prayer. It is a natural happening that overtakes us in very special moments. But it is up to us to allow those moments to go from being special to absolutely ordinary in the most beautiful way.

Prayer is about listening, not speaking. When you pray, you connect with the larger picture. You connect not as a small piece of a large puzzle but rather as a piece that contains the whole. Everything is in You and You are in Everything. Prayer is the remembrance of this basic truth.
For prayer you need to become a receiver. You need to empty yourself so that the divine may fill you."


Experiment praying before going to sleep...

So many things happen throughout the course of a day. Every day someone new is trying to condition you. New experiences are trying to condition you. Everything is trying to tell you who you are. And you are so desperate to know who you are that you are willing to listen.

Before going to sleep, silence the voices of the world. And then silence your own voice. Sit somewhere that feels right to you and enter Stillness. Let your existence shine through you. Let Existence shine into you.

There is nowhere to go, nothing to become, nothing to attain. Give gratitude to the opportunity to appreciate this moment.

Then go to sleep. :)

"Surrender becomes so much easier when you realize the fleeting nature of all experiences and that the world cannot give you anything of lasting value. You then continue to meet people, to be involved in experiences and activities, but without the wants and fears of the egoic self. That is to say, you no longer demand that a situation, person, place, or event should satisfy you or make you happy. Its passing and imperfect nature is allowed to be. And the miracle is that when you are no longer placing an impossible demand on it, every situation, person, place, or event becomes not only satisfying but also more harmonious, more peaceful."

- Eckhart Tolle

Monday, September 17, 2012

Love is a Thing, que bonito...

"(...) love is a thing
that gets inside of your brain
and it makes you wanna shout
yeah it makes you wanna sing
love, you see
it's just this thing (...)"

Free Music Archive: Tinyfolk - Black Bears

To give up on security

Somethings are really scary to try, but sometimes it's even more scary to be in a life that does not fulfill our dreams. if it hurts to wonder what for are you working so hard, then it's time to let go your inner "monster". Be inspired!

ECHOES "Echoes of a parallel life, of the life we were expected, or trained to live, but there, just on the periphery, just out of reach, is another life – a life – a much better life – the life we all hope to live, but not many do ... It's there, just there – bouncing, echoing around in everyone's head, but it is just that, an echo, a parallel never to be reached or experienced...'
- Nick Bullock

Echoes . Outside is hot and sticky from MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The intellegence of asking questions

When you look at yourself in the mirror, when you quietly appreciate the rhythm of life and its colors, when you sit back and distance yourself from the things and people around you, in order to have a greater look of where you're standing, you ask questions, and those questions make who you are.

We're constantly asking questions: either in doubt, by curiosity, when trying to explain or to justify something, when we wonder about the next step... Questions tell the story inside our minds.

So, realizing that, maybe we haven't been paying attention to the questions we pose.

I've notice many times how my questions annoy people, even more if they're close to me. Because my questions make them think beyond their safe limits.

Questions are teasers or threats. Perhaps you can stand by indifferent to an answer, but never to a question. I guess also the brain must not like unanswered questions.

When you create a poem, a song, a drawing, or whatever is that comes from unconscious thinking, you immediately start asking what is the purpose of what you did, or what is the meaning behind it. If you tired of thinking too much, you'll ask if all those questions are really necessary?

Is it really necessary to ask: why did I fell in love? why was I feeling a bit sad? Why did I find that joke so funny? Why does this song feel so in touch with my soul?

If you're able to answer those questions, you'll know yourself better. If you keep on asking questions and you don't give up in trying to answer them, your connection to the present world becomes more conscious and more alive. You can even question yourself, why is that you're questioning so much???

The answer is always that you want to know more, you want to get closer. You might feel you're not in touch to what is happening, to whom you're speaking, to what you're feeling, and you just absolutely need to ask questions to tease or to threat a fear, a doubt, a friend, your stubbornness, your knowledge.

When you ask questions and you can't find one single, even silly, answer, than it's really time for you think deeper on what you're doing.

I strongly believe that until we're still asking questions our presence in this world is relevant. It might be that when we stop asking questions our interest in life dissipates and consequently everything becomes this big grey wash and our soul gets sick.

Let's keep our minds in a vivid state, and let's practice asking questions. Just a word of warning. Most people will feel either threaten or uncomfortable, and might walk away. But don't give up, there are others for whom your questions might reveal to be important, or your questions might even take to whom you've been searching for answers. Good luck.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Never I got so hurt-scared-lost, that the pain came out rushing through my mouth...

My only comfort I guess it's Hope... Hope that something might grow from a sadness so big, that the wind feels dispirited and the sun turned into melted sorrow.

“There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for years on end. It is all so self conscience, so apparently moral...But I won't have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous...more extravagant and bright. We are...raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.”
Annie Dillard

This is how "Life" gets complicated...

and yet, we're all caught by it, and dream about it, and, and and, and, and, and, and, and, and and, and, and, and, and...

... until we get tired of falling back again into the same game.

Rhye - Open from Rhye on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Things are never the same again

When there was no more Me and You, I thought I would find myself again, but I wasn't the same person as before. I can stare for long minutes at my face, my smile, the funny way my hands hang from silly long arms, I can stare at all the pictures just months before I met You, and I can't see Me anymore. I was someone else.

I need to meet Me again.

You entered my life, and I felt exhilarated with the wonderful feelings of passion and love. I had a new face to recall in my sleep, I had a new smile to dream about, I had new funny thoughts to laugh by myself on my way to work, I had these new sensations on my skin, your touch, I had sudden shivers when out of the bloom a picture of your lips on my hips.

I'm not going to see You again.

I wonder sometimes where you are, who you are with, I wonder if you are stronger or just older. I imagine we meet each other again, accidentally and we spend three hours talking, three short hours to look at each other face expressions, and neither of us wants to leave. You and I again, and I know where I´m at, and I feel free and grown up. And everything is just perfect. I feel exhilarated again.

But I'm not same I was.
And you don't feel the same about us
And we are really apart.
Of all my fears, this is the worst.
You're gone. You are really gone.
Not that you met someone.
Not that you've moved away 5000km.
I lost you forever.
The We that I still believed to exist,
no longer lives in real time,
it stayed in the past.
I'm trapped in the past.

Today I feel the smell of your presence close to mine, today it still is as if you're looking into my eyes saying I'm the most important thing in your life. Today you still whisper in my ears: hey beautiful... Today I wish you were here.


“Live life so completely that when death comes to you like a thief in the night, there will be nothing left for him to steal.” - Oscar Wilde


Monday, September 10, 2012

You learn...

"After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn...
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure...

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth...

And you learn and learn...

With every good-bye you learn.”

― Jorge Luis Borges

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Il coraggio di essere stupidi

Take a look at the bigger picture, one minute you're here, the next you're gone.
I think Life is actually pretty simple, but emotions are not. You know, everything is fine, and suddenly it's not. How do we keep moving on? How do we keep balance?

I guess balance is a a state of equilibrium, but that's it, a state, not a place, not a thing you can hold on to. It's not something to chase and do, but to be in. It’s a state of being.

So I guess we have to sweet talk ourselves very often to keep the mood gentile and steady. That's why it's so important to have an healthy internal monologue, an internal voice that assures you that you're ok, that you can do it, that whatever happens, you'll handle it and even forget about the shitty parts of the tale.

It's better to be optimistic and be disappointed once in a while than being constantly expecting the worst and only sometimes getting actually surprised about the way things turned out.

We do live in a universe of unlimited energy and transformation, so why not have a bit more faith in the process of chasing our dreams. It's the "coraggio di essere stupidi", the courage of being stupid, foolish.

We live in a society where everyone needs an external confirmation of their truth and rightness. But where do those approvals come from? From the important "men" who rule society, but take care of their wealth before they take care of their soul? From the teachers, who just as ourselves do not face their own doubts and fears? From frustrated writers and tired thinkers, who have imagined so much that they no longer distinguish what's the work of their life and what's their imagined reality?

The old kind of society, with strict morals and a rigid set of teachings, does not serves us anymore. It's time for some stupidity to come into action, it's time to let wild creativity in, it's time for some bravery to conquer this self-destructive delirium of constant debt, constant crisis, constant search of new "self's". We have become unable to react efficiently to the most simple questions in life. It really seems that we're not getting any smarter...

""It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble, it's the things we do know that just ain't so" - Artemus Ward, writer

This constant feeling of postponing what truly is important to us, this constant fear of not feeling accepted by others, this latent search for a normal standardized life, is leaving us dormant. It's like we're not living anymore, we're just watching the movie of our lives, and too many times we feel like we want the money back for the ticket.

Maybe it's true what Jorge Luís Borges said: "A vida só é suportável porque é dada em fatias: a pes­soa se levanta, arruma-se, toma o café da manhã, e vai fazendo as coisas uma por uma... Por isso a vida é menos espantosa." (Life is only surmountable because it's given in pieces: a person gets up, gets dressed, has the morning coffee, and does one thing at the time... that's why life is less amazing)

Less amazing, but more easily digested.
Well, we should choose to be more stupid, than to be incredibly smart, because intelligence is mostly thought by others, and stupidity is mainly ours. Also, stupidity reveals some courage, and usually intelligence limits it...

Intelligently stupid or stupidly intelligent?