4 Marketing Strategies for the COVID-19 Crisis

How to Market During the Pandemic

From connecting in our relationships to running our small businesses, COVID-19 has transformed the way we live, work and socialize. I do feel fortunate that my family and I are healthy and safe, and I’m trying to find the positive opportunities in all of this.

That’s why I recently shared an article called “How to Pivot Your Small Business Strategy During the COVID-19 Crisis”, on our website.

I am also hearing from many small business owners who are wondering whether or not to stop marketing during COVID-19. That article showed entrepreneurs how to market during the pandemic, including ways to create a crisis marketing strategy and to:

  • Help customers rather than simply selling to them
  • Focus on online events and offerings
  • Plan for future growth
  • Empower employees

As we continue self-isolating to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, I wanted to follow up with some other effective ways to keep your business running smoothly and successfully.

Here’s 4 marketing strategies to consider:

1. Focus on Digital Campaigns

With the shutdown or slowdown of most brick-and-mortar businesses, entrepreneurs are relying more than ever on digital strategies. A big part of brand marketing during this pandemic and into the future is going to be shifting most (if not all) of your small business online.

In fact, Larry Kim from Mobile Monkey just wrote, “One new customer closed their brick and mortar locations nationwide and found web traffic is up +150%.”

According to Klaviyo, an email marketing platform that taps into a network of 30,000 businesses for insights, 22% of brands said they’re spending more on ads. And 66% of brands that are spending more on ads are also seeing increased efficiency, with a reduced cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) and cost per click (CPC).

If you’re wondering how to market during the pandemic, consider using Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram for Business or LinkedIn Ads to direct traffic to:

  • Well-researched and useful blogs and videos
  • Online products with free shipping
  • Virtual services you can offer, whether that’s financial therapy or online music lessons
  • Gift cards that can be used now or in the future

That said, don’t be afraid to pause campaigns that aren’t relevant right now, or that you think may turn your customers off.

Part of brand marketing during this pandemic is knowing when to re-strategize and pivot, rather than continuing with an ad campaign that’s not going to resonate with-or even offends-your target audience.

2. Update Your Google My Business Listing

Your customers and potential customers are counting on you for the latest information about your small business. If you’re closing your company temporarily, whether you’re changing the hours you’re open, or offering curbside pickup right now, you need to let people know.

Using Google Posts can be a great way to update people on everything from reduced hours to gift card purchases. Here’s some guidance from Google on how to best change your profile.

And don’t worry about SEO implications when you’re editing your profile. For example, marking your business as temporarily closed will not affect your search ranking, and Google will still display you in the search results.

If you don’t immediately see the changes that you make to your Google My Business profile, don’t panic. Google has said they may review updates for quality before publishing.

3. Don’t Stop Posting on Social Media

Even if you have to completely shutter your business for the time being, stay active online. In addition to tools like Google My Business, customers look to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram channels for the most up-to-date news. It looks really bad to have outdated posts or information languishing on your social media pages.

Some of the updates you could share include:

  • Your crisis management strategy, including the steps you’re taking to protect your employees and customers (sanitizing workstations, not letting sick employees work, ensuring employees wear gloves, etc.)
  • Changes to hours or business policies (for example, only letting one person into the store at a time)
  • If you’re taking online orders and/or offering free shipping
  • If you have private shopping or curbside pickup options
  • Uplifting quotes or personal messages

One of our clients is offering private shopping appointments and curbside pickup for customers. Malary’s in Cloverdale, BC is a good example of a small business that’s pivoting during COVID-19 and providing customers with a little TLC.

4. Be Careful What You Share

There is a lot of misinformation circulating on social media, and it can be dangerous to give your customers the wrong advice (not to mention hugely damaging to your reputation).

Here’s an example of poor marketing strategies for the COVID-19 crisis: A yoga studio in Delta, BC was shut down in March following complaints that the facility wasn’t following social-distancing. Not only that, but they sent out a newsletter claiming that hot yoga can help prevent getting COVID-19.

So map your crisis management strategy out and think before you send out that article to all of your email subscribers or repost something you saw in your Facebook feed. Use trusted sources for coronavirus resources, like the World Health Organization or the Government of Canada.

For example, rather than forwarding one of the articles on homemade hand sanitizers that are circulating, consult this list .

READ: “Finding Your Purpose During Self-Isolation” on our website:

Stuck at home? Now is a good time to figure out your purpose! Our lives are so busy, and we rarely have a moment to just sit in silence and reflect on our life journey and how it has led to where we are now.

For many of us who have chosen to self-isolate, now is a good time to take advantage of the quieter environment to discover if your precious resources are being used to maximum effect.

Whatever your marketing strategies for the COVID-19 crisis are, always look to your brand for guidance. Your brand vision, mission, and values should always be your “North Star” as you stay active online and let your customers know that you’re here for them-now and in the future.



Source by Susan Friesen

A Tantric Practice to Activate and Clear Your Energy

Bija Mantra Chakra Clearing Practice
This is a sound technique that can remove blocks and activate the energy centers. Activating these energy centers allows ecstatic energy to flow into every part of the body. When ecstasy flows it enhances every aspect of your life- sexual, spiritual and mundane.

Create a quiet, beautiful space where you will not be disturbed. Turn off the phones. Read over the entire practice before you begin, so you both understand the practice.

The Heart Salutation
You begin by acknowledging the Divine in each other with a Heart Salutation. Sit across from your partner and look into their eyes. Extend your arms towards the earth, palms together. Then, inhale and keeping your hands in prayer position, bring them to your heart. Exhale as you bow forward and acknowledge the Divine in each other with the Sanskrit salutation “Namaste.” Namaste means, “I honor the Divine in you as a reflection of the Divine in me.” Inhale as you straighten back up. Finally, exhale as you allow your hands to return to the starting position, pointed toward the earth.

The Bubble
Now, you and your partner create a bubble around yourselves. Do this by waving your arms around you as you both define the shape of the bubble that surrounds you. Then, gesture as if removing an object from your bubble and verbally share what things you are removing. These are things that won’t serve you in this practice (the past, distractions, anger, worry, etc.) Next, gesture as if bringing things into your bubble. These are things that will support the practice (love, willingness, presence, trust etc.) Creating the bubble helps to call you into present moment awareness and creates a safe space in which to practice.

Share Your Desires, Fears and Boundaries
Once the bubble is created, share your intentions/desires, fears and boundaries related to this practice. First, one person speaks while the other person listens without judgment or commentary. Then, you switch roles. Here is an example:

“There is a desire to stay present, open and clear any blocked energy.”

“There is a fear is that I won’t remember which mantra to say.”

“There is a boundary is that when you tone into my root, I’d like you to be a few inches away from my body. For the rest, it is OK to touch my body with your hands.”

Why boundaries? Boundaries are not walls, they are bridges. Intimacy happens when people have healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries allow you to feel safe, stay open and be present. Boundaries are dynamic, so it is important to check-in periodically with yourself to see if your boundaries have changed. If they have changed, update your partner so they can honor your new boundaries. Here are a few examples: “I need to end this practice by noon.” “I wanted to be touched gently during this meditation.” “If something isn’t working for me, I will let you know.”

Bija Mantra Chakra Clearing
This practice is done with a partner or can be modified and done alone. One person will receive and the other will give. The receiver lies on the floor on a sarong or blanket, on a massage table or on the bed. The giver is positioned next to the receiver. The giver will be toning the Bija Mantra associated with each chakra into their partner’s chakra center. As you tone into their chakra, you want to create a tube with your hands. Place your lips up against the opening of the tube you’ve created and make a seal. You will place the other end of the tube either against your partner’s body or a few inches away (depending on your partner’s boundaries.) As you tone through the tube, it allows the mantra to travel deeply into the body, clearing and activating the chakra. Practice a few times until you feel comfortable with the process.

How to Tone the Bija Mantras
The Bija Mantras are sacred sounds that resonate with each chakra. “Bija” means “seed.” Each Bija Mantra is a specific sound that activates, clears and amplifies its particular chakra.
The first 5 seed sounds rhyme with the word “mom”:

1-“LAM” (Root Chakra)

2-“VAM” (Belly Chakra)

3-“RAM” (Solar Plexus Chakra)

4-“YAM” (Heart Chakra)

5-“HAM” (Throat Chakra)

The 6th seed sound rhymes with the word “home”:

6-“OM” (Third Eye Chakra)

7-Silence (Crown Chakra)

One way to remember the order of the Bija Mantras is with the acronym LoVeR You Have Orgasms.

The order in which we do the practice is different for men and women. With a man, you begin at the root and move up to the crown because masculine energy is associated with the sky, consciousness, and emptiness. With a woman, you begin at the crown and move down to the root, because feminine energy is associated with Earth, life and embodied bliss.

If you are doing this practice alone, place your hand over the appropriate area and say the mantra. As you tone, send the energy into each chakra with your hand and intention.

Choose who will give and receive first. I recommend toning into each chakra 3 times. After each chakra, wait 1-2 minutes for the receiver the fully integrate each sound. After completing all 7 chakras put on some meditative music and sit or lie with the receiver, allowing them time to integrate this experience. Finally, take a few minutes to communicate your experience with each other. If you’ve agreed, then switch roles.

Be sure to remember the toning sequence for men and women is reversed (men: root to crown; women: crown to root.):

Men Women
1-LAM 7-Silent

2-VAM 6-OM

3-RAM 5-HAM

4-YAM 4-YAM

5-HAM 3-RAM

6-OM 2-VAM

7-Silent 1-LAM
This practice allows you to clear and activate your energy and feel more aliveness in your body.



Source by Crystal Dawn Morris

The 55 Days of Christmas? Twelve Survival Tips!

Did you notice the Christmas decorations going up on Halloween? Did a chill run down your spine? The holiday season seems to be getting longer and longer and shorter. Yes, shorter. Look at the expectations this season puts on you. Fifty five days are nowhere near enough to achieve Countess MarthaRachelNigelaPaula FoodNetwork perfection. I’m not sure I’m even up to Real Simple standards.
So much to do! Are your cards out? Did you shop ’til you dropped on Black Friday? Did you make wonderful decorations out of recycled materials? Have you picked the absolutely perfect gift for everyone on your list? Do you have color-coordinated wrapping paper, tags, and ribbon? Can you tie a perfect bow?
When will you be having your holiday party? What will you serve? What will you wear to everyone else’s event? Do you know what to tip your hairdresser? What’s the politically correct holiday greeting? So many questions, so little time!
Holiday madness really set in when I visited a friend form Thanksgiving. She had decided that she didn’t feel up to cooking, so she ordered from her local supermarket. And then began to obsess. It wouldn’t taste good. There wouldn’t be enough. Turkey, cranberry sauce, whole wheat rolls, roasted butternut squash, mashed potatoes and a pumpkin pie clearly was not enough for five people. We added extra side dishes – home made cranberry sauce, candied chestnuts, fruit stuffing, baked onions, candied sweets, baked sweets, peas with fresh mushrooms and three more pies. Oh – and at the last minute she ran back for a turkey breast – just in case.
Everything tasted great, and we all had a good time, but it really made me think about how easy it is to get caught up in holiday excess.
So – how will you have a peaceful holiday season? Here are a few simple suggestions.

1. Just like Santa, make a list and check it twice. While you’re checking, do a little reality check. Are you buying gifts for too many people? Are you planning on spending an unrealistic amount on each? Have you burdened yourself with impossible-to-find items? (No, my cousin will probably NOT get that antique fruit bowl this year.)

2. Only accept invitations that make you happy. If that means none, go for it! An unbreakable prior engagement is always a valid excuse. No one needs to know that the engagement may be with your couch.

3. Wear comfortable clothes. Always. Don’t let tight shoes or a dubious neckline spoil your fun.

4. Shop in comfortable shoes. Carry your wallet someplace easy for you to reach but hard for anyone else to get at. Don’t burden yourself down with too many packages.

5. Buy on line. Presents, dinner, cards, reservations – all just a click away.

6. If you must send packages, remember that the Postal Service will now pick up packages at your home.

7. Don’t bake unless you would go into a serious depression if deprived of the experience. If you do bake, set limits. I will never again have more containers of cookies than can fit on a fully extended kitchen table.

8. This one is for next year. Pick up interesting gifts throughout the year. If you travel, this is a great way to have truly unique gifts. Just don’t forget where you put them. Last year I gave several lovely objects I’d bought in Sicily three years ago. I’d put them in a safe place. At least they eventually surfaced.

9. Simplicity is very classy. Repeat that twenty times, then start cutting back on your plans.

10. Gift cards are a wonderful thing. Want to give the perfect gift? Not only are gift cards perfect, but you can fit them in your carry-on luggage.

11. Travel light. Carry your pills, jewelry and one-ounce containers or the liquids you need. Wear something comfortable and a bit classy so that if your luggage is lost you’re reasonably prepared.

12. Block out time on your calendar to do absolutely nothing but take care of yourself – whether that means go to a movie, meditate, get a massage, or just take a nap. Pace yourself.



Source by Susan R Meyer

Tony Horton "Bring It!" Book Review – The View Of A P90X Graduate

Below is my review of Tony Horton’s book titled “Bring It! The Revolutionary Fitness Plan For All Levels That Burns Fast, Builds Muscle and Sheds Inches.” The book is 304 pages long and shows readers how to build their own fitness and nutritional plans based on their individual, lifestyle, preference, and goals.

I am a multi-round graduate of Tony’s Power 90 and P90X workout programs. I have nothing but praise for those programs since they were responsible for helping me with my own physical transformation. Since I have read the book and have gone through some of Tony’s DVD workout programs I wanted to explain what exactly is covered in the book as well as some similarities and differences between the two.

Book Content

The book is structured in four parts or chapters. They are the Principles, the Routines, the Moves, and the Meal plan.

In the Principles chapter, Tony speaks about his philosophy on working out and its benefits. Tony goes into how to develop your own fitness strategy that you can modify over time to meet your fitness goals. To gauge what type of fitness level you are at, Tony has included some tests for the reader to determine his or her Fitness Quotient and Level. The Principle section ends with Tony explaining why most people fail and quit an exercise program, what to avoid doing, plus tips for succeeding with a fitness program.

In the Routines chapter, Tony lists three types of workout routines based on what you scored in the FQ test from section 1. There’s the Beginner’s routine, the Striver’s routine, and the Warrior’s routine. Each of the routines contains a weekly schedule which includes three days of resistance training, two days of cardio, and one day of Yoga. There are multiple examples of resistance training workouts, which include how to properly warm up, stretch and cool down. The resistance workouts are full body circuit training style. For all three of the routines, I would say the overall structure is like a P90X, Power 90 Masters Series hybrid.

In the Moves chapter, Tony gives instructions explaining how to set up and perform all the exercises listed in the Routines chapter. The moves are broken into 5 parts; Cardio, Upper Body, Arms, Lower Body, Core, and Flexibility/Yoga. There are over 120 pages in this chapter which covers about 128 moves. There is nothing new to anyone who has gone through P90X, but for someone who has not gone through one of Tony’s program there is a lot packed in here.

In the Meal plan chapter, Tony discusses his approach to nutrition. He says it is a commonsense, simple, nutrition-focused approach to improved health and weight loss. He does not subscribe to fads and emphasizes the benefits of eating healthy beyond just weight control. He calls his plan a “flexitarian” approach which means eating a primarily plant-based diet focusing on whole foods. This gives your body all the nutritional building blocks it needs. The meal plan includes high-fiber complex carbohydrates; lean, healthy proteins; tons of fruits and vegetables; and healthy fats. The meal plan is broken into three parts. The first part is the Cleanse. In this 30 day phase you will gradually clean your body of all the toxins. This is not a fast. This is about getting the bad out and teaching your body about the good. The second part is the Nourish. In this phase, you will find listed, highly nutritious foods. The right types of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, organically produced proteins and healthy fats. The third part is called Supplements. In this phase Tony speaks about using supplements, only when you have your actual diet squared away. It is not meant to replace everything in the Nourish phase.

The book ends with what Tony calls his “11 Laws of Health and Fitness” and over 20 pages of actual recipes.

My Assessment

I am huge fan of Tony and his fitness programs, and as a P90X graduate I found the book to be more of an inside look into how he puts his programs together and his philosophy on nutrition, than the paint by numbers approach to his DVD workout programs.

Overall, I think this book is a good read. Someone who is new to fitness or looking for motivation and basics might get a lot out of the book. If you have completed P90X, do not expect to learn any new moves. Most likely, you are already at an advanced fitness level and I don’t think you will find this book will take you to the next level. However, what you will get out of the book is a peak inside of Tony’s head for a bit. If you feel the book falls shots on being the next P90X, in all fairness I do not think that is what the book was designed to do, which is why Tony has his P90X One on One and MC:2 programs.



Source by Chad Steinwolf

Movie Review – Gulaal

And I thought that Anurag Kashyap had really excelled himself in Dev D, especially since messing with a proven classic can be a tricky proposition. He succeeded and eminently so! Barely had I recovered from that awesome movie that AK has unleashed another explosion of emotions with a relentless assault on our sensibilities. Set amidst the feudal ethos of Rajasthan the story is about the pursuit of ambition, accumulation of power, innocent & betrayed love. In true Shakespearean milieu there are plots and sub plots and yet some more hidden beneath them but each interconnected to finally merge in the inevitable climax so much like a Greek tragedy.

Barring Kay Kay Menon nearly everybody is a fresh face. The main lead Raja Singh Chaudhary is also the author of the story revolving around student politics which was rewritten by Anurag Kashyap and Aparna Chaturvedi after incorporating rebellious regional aspirations sequential to the perceived injustices by the state. So very contemporary and yet so well portrayed! Kay Kay is the parochial manipulator who uses the students’ politics to build a cadre for pursuing his secessionist agenda. Abhinayu Pratap Singh is the reclusive & reckless prince trying to hide from the riches of his father. Aditya Srivastava & Ayesha Mohan are the prince’s half blood Machiavellian siblings whose yearning for legitimacy drives them to deception and murder. Deepak Dobriyal is Kay Kay’s main hit man and Man Friday. Mahie Gill as Kay Kay’s mistress impresses once again with her vivaciousness & natural acting ability. Jesse Randhawa’s walk from the ramp to the screen shows a lot of promise.

I have to dedicate a separate paragraph to Piyush Mishra. The man has till now played bit roles in sundry movies and penned the script for Black Friday but in this pic he writes, he composes the music, sings and acts too. This will easily be one of the performances of the year if not the decade. First the music! Don’t gloss over the songs. Hear them; hear the lyrics and you will be bowled over. While “Arambh hai prachand” sounds the battle cry, his rendition of “Duniya” which is a take on Pyaasa’s classic “Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaye To Kya hai” manages to retain its integrity and freshness. The mujra song “Rana ji” has to be one of the most original I have heard in a long time. Using traditional language and style, the lyrics go global without a warning. So with the sexy thumka of Mahie Gill you are suddenly presented with an in your face commentary on 9/11 (Jaise door desh ke tower main ghus jaye re aeroplane), Iraq, Afghanistan, democracy and the cola wars. Whacky imagination at its best! Another beautiful composition is “Sheher” sung along with the talented Swanand Kirkire (Remember Khoya Khoya Chand). Mishra plays the role of the schizophrenic musician elder brother of Kay Kay. He idolizes John Lennon, composes on the spot poetry and has an opinion on everything. The pathos on his face after he loses his dancing consort is heart breaking.

I feel Anurag Kashyap is not an ordinary movie maker. His movies are like a painting canvas where he tries to marry various art forms. If the music resounds of folk songs and fine poetry the shots of the practicing Ram Leela characters impart a theatre like color. If one song reminds you of the wandering minstrels the other carries the guitar strums of western country music. He is also a die hard romantic. Look for John Lennon’s sketch peeking out from the mad poet’s medallion and posters of Che Guevara and Jimmy Hendrix set in a neon lit bar masquerading as a residence in the middle of the desert. For me this is better than any art/parallel cinema.



Source by Vijendra Trighatia

Nurture Can Do a Lot for You

Despite investing a lot of time and energy, you are not able to get a better grade. Do not worry about that because you are not alone. There are a lot of people like you. The problem is competition. Everybody out there is competing with you. The people above you are investing time and energy and constantly trying to move ahead of you. The people below you are also trying to move ahead of you. As more people move to higher grades the standard of test is set higher. The fact is that you have to invest certain minimum amount of time and energy just to maintain your status quo. It is like a red queen’s race. If you have to move ahead, you have to invest extra time and energy. The world wants efficient people.

The expected level of efficiency is increasing day by day. If you want to survive the severity of competition, you need to understand the fitness landscape of learning. Learning started from the time first human beings appeared some 2 million years ago. It doesn’t mean that other organisms are not learning; their learning is in a rudimentary form. Once we learned how to think then learning became faster and faster that we are exploring other earth like planets in the universe and of course finding the gene that is responsible for our intelligence.

Competition

Competition is either natural or designed. Individuals of a species are competing with each other for the limited resources and a species as a whole is competing with other species for survival. The struggle for existence is ubiquitous. When natural resources are scarce and demand for such resources are high then competition to acquire them will be more. This competition is natural in any ecosystem. In the institution of education, the competition is designed in order to increase the efficiency of the students. The number of seats to higher education is limited or the top ranked institutions may prescribe a higher level of standard for the applicants. It means you have to be more efficient to get a seat for higher education. There is pressure acting upon you from outside. You will have to tackle this pressure with a positive mind.

The competition is intended to grade you in order to find your fitness for higher education and for better institution. There may be some flaw in the way the grading is done by the institutions (a lot of research is being done to perfect the grading method), but competition per se is not undesirable.

Grading

Grading is arrangement of people or things in groups according to their ability, quality, or size, etc. Grading in education is used to find your fitness level at a particular point of time. If you are getting a poor grade then it implies that your fitness is poor at that point of time. It does not imply that you will never be able to improve your grading. The problem is our mind set or the way we think. Once the institution labels you poor then somehow it sticks to your mind. You have to remove this stickiness from your mind. If you identify yourself as poor you will remain poor for life. The grading is done at a particular point in time and tells your existing ability and skills. You can always improve your analytical skills and expand your knowledge base to get a good grading. Grading is an opportunity to know your competency level, strengths and weaknesses. You should get rid of your weaknesses which will take you to higher achievements.

Knowledge vs. Intelligence

While knowledge is the information, understanding, and skills that you gain through education or experience, intelligence is the ability to learn, understand, and think in a logical way about things. Howard Gardner has argued for a theory of multiple intelligence that recognise each talent like fluency in music, language, and sports or the ability to understand other people’s mind as a separate ability. Robert Sternberg has suggested instead that there are essentially three separate kinds of intelligence – analytic, creative, and practical. School exam is mostly a test of your analytic intelligence. Analytical problems are ones formulated by other people, clearly defined, have only one right answer. Practical problems require you to recognise and formulate the problem itself, and poorly defined, lacking in some relevant information, may or may not have a single answer but spring directly out of everyday life. Whether intelligence is hereditary is much debated. We do not know exactly that there is an intelligence gene in your body that works for you.

We get some idea from the research of genetics that intelligence is the work of many genes located somewhere in chromosome 6. However these intelligent genes do not work alone. They respond to stimulations of the environment. It will take many years before we understand how exactly they work for your intelligence. What we know is you can learn and store your knowledge and skills that can be retrieved for your future use. Your ability to remember things is memory. Our brain has some mechanism to store the information we learn through education and experience, and our brain has some other mechanism to forget information that we learned earlier.

‘Although we are pretty good at storing information in our brains, we are pretty poor at retrieving it. We can recognize photos from our high school yearbooks decades later, yet find it impossible to remember what we had for breakfast yesterday’ (Gary Marcus, Cognitive Humility).

The more you use the information the more quickly you can retrieve it. If you don’t retrieve information for a longer time then the information is either deleted or not easily retrieved. There are two kinds of memory; they are long term memory and working memory. Knowledge and skills which are useful for future requirements and can be retrieved can be called long term memory. Working memory is where you store information temporarily for the purpose of processing and giving an output. While long term memory is closely associated with knowledge, working memory is closely connected to your intelligence. Your intelligence can be improved through the practice of working memory. Improved working memory means improved analytical thinking, space for memory, etc. Some research suggests that the space for working memory is limited. However, you can reach your maximum potential.

It is not your problem

You are born into a family. Your family has a location in a particular social environment. It means your social capital is more or less fixed. You cannot change this position or in other words you cannot change the status of your father or mother or uncle or aunt or close friends of you and your family. Social capital is acquired through generations. To some extent, it changes within a generation. Some has the ability to acquire social capital exceptionally. It is rarer than often. A better social capital gives a better head start to some people. Social evolution somehow created this difference. But it is not in your hand. You should improve your social maturity to understand the social relations. This constraint should not let you down. Trust your knowledge, intelligence, and skills. It will never let you down.

Your family has a culture. You acquire this culture or orientation through socialization. Your success partly depends upon your family culture. Again it should not be a constraint. Good culture can be learned. Hard working, sincerity, honesty, respect for each other, discipline, housekeeping, neatness are some of good family culture. As a family member you can be instrumental in cultivating good habits. The best thing is, understanding your family. Many have achieved good positions due to cultural legacy. In certain societies, people are naturally hard working or good in business. Identify and cultivate such legacies. Nurture can do a lot for you.

Your appearance is not your problem. You are born with a beauty. But some people cannot appreciate your beauty (appearance bias). Nowadays, the concept of beauty is standardised. Books, mass media, organisations, etc play an important role in standardising beauty. As far as appearance is concerned you should be neat and presentable. What is important is your inner beauty. That is what matters ultimately. Appearance seems to be giving a head start to some people for getting a job in certain organisations. Again that should not be a constraint. You have plenty of opportunities in other fields of work.

It is your problem

You do not focus on what you are doing. It is because your mind is elsewhere. A mindless job will not produce the desired result. Control your mind and concentrate on what you are doing. A five-minute work with total concentration will produce a great result than an hour of work without focus. ‘Willpower is really about properly directing the spotlight of attention, learning how to control that short list of thoughts in working memory. When we properly control the spotlight, we can resist negative thoughts and dangerous temptations’ (Jonah Lehrer, Control your spotlight). Focus meditation can improve your concentration. Sit erect in a quiet place, close your eyes, relax and focus on your breathing for five minutes. You can extent the time as you progress. Thoughts will come and go. As you focus on breathing, the thoughts will fade away. Alternatively, avoid negative thoughts and focus on a single good thought.

You are not a good observer. You don’t give attention to details. Seeing is not observation. Observation involves knowing the smallest details. For example, in practical work/learning, good observation will help you to do things in the correct way. You should see what others cannot. Try the steps of the dancer, while watching a dance program on your TV. It requires good observation.

You are not a good listener. Listening is an important tool of learning. If you don’t listen properly you will miss very important points. While conversing with people, allow the other person to speak completely. Interruptions break the flow of thoughts. Working memory practice will help improve your listening power. Ask your friend to tell some words in any order and then you try to repeat the words in the same order. As you progress, increase the number of words. It will improve your listening and memory power.

You are not a good organiser. Any activity can be split into its sub activities. The sub activities are executed in a sequence. If the sequence is wrong the whole activity will get disrupted. You waste a lot of time and energy. So, before executing any activity, you have to plan and organise your work. Give priority to the work which is to be done first. That means you have to identify the work which requires immediate execution. Perhaps you can list all your works and give numbers and deadlines according to the priority of the work. Sometimes, your priority might change according to the nature of the activity. Be flexible and reschedule your work to your convenience without upsetting the whole activity.

Immediate gratification might disrupt your long term goal. If you focus too much on that you will have less time and energy for the goal you set for your life. For example, you might take up a part time job for your immediate requirement. While your spirit of earning while learning is appreciated, you have to manage your time for your long term goal.

Attention expectation is an attitudinal problem. Do not always expect attention from your teachers or parents or friends. They don’t have a lot of time to pay their full attention to you. You have to understand the nature of their work/profession. Probably you can share time with them when they are free. When their mood is good you can learn a lot of things from them.

To sum up, if you want to get better grade you will have to invest extra time and energy. Competition per se is not harmful; rather it is intended to test your fitness in the landscape of learning at a particular point of time. Therefore it is not a constraint.

Though grading is not always perfect it is an opportunity to know your strengths and weaknesses. Grading as poor/good is a problem of binary thinking of the human beings which is somehow hard wired in our brain. Overcome your weaknesses.

Through intelligent reading you can acquire right knowledge which is stored in your long term memory. The more you use the information in your memory the faster you retrieve it. Intelligence can be improved by activating the working memory region of your brain.

Certain constraints of learning like social capital, family culture, and your appearance are not your problem. They are social problems. You should develop your social maturity to understand such problems in the relevant context.

There are certain constraints of learning which are self created. You can remove such constraints by focussing on what you do, distinguishing seeing and observing, being organised, listening attentively, not succumbing to immediate gratification, and understanding attention expectation.

Focus meditation will help you to improve your concentration and relax meditation will help you to relax your body and mind after a hectic work. Physical exercise like yoga is helpful to get a good body – mind coordination.

Last but not least, be determined to achieve your goal. Where there is will there is a way.



Source by P Mathivanan

Koshi Wind Chimes Are More Than Just a Wind Chime.

There are so many positive aspects to the four elemental tunings of the Koshi wind chimes that make them so uniquely potent, and most importantly make them an essential factor if you are considering your overall wellness and balance.

Firstly they are handcrafted by a small group of artisans at the base of the French Alps. The Koshi chimes are constructed using an outer eco friendly bamboo veneer casing (Feng Shiu wood element), they have an inner steel component (Feng shui metal element), they are tuned to the four elements – Earth, Fire, Air and Water (three more Feng shui elements). So from a feng shui perspective the Koshi chimes are very potent energetically.

Each chime has within its bamboo casing an inner steel construction of eight steel pins (from a numerology perspective the number 8 is the great karmic equaliser and first and foremost the number 8 is BALANCE).

Each Koshi tuning is crafted using a specific range of harmonic notes unique to that tuning – Earth’s notes are – GCEFGCEG, Water’s notes are – ADFGADFA, Air’s notes are – ACEABCEB and Fire’s notes are – GBDGBDGA.

These notes have been selected so as to give the most beautiful circular tonal range rich in harmonic overtones. (One of the most important facts (now this includes you) is about vibration and balance. Your body and all matter exists at different rates of vibration and each has its own resonant frequency. Some of these frequencies have positive influences on your lives, others can negatively impact your lives. Therefore, sound and its corresponding vibrational frequencies play a fundamental yet key role in our lives, affecting the harmonic balance of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.

Taking this one step further, if you are out of balance because of stress, worry, anxiety or frustration then you are in a state of imbalance or dis-ease. Long term these conditions are known to cause heart attacks, high blood pressure and in the most severe cases – death.

Now back to the Koshi chimes and their specific harmonic tones. We have seven main energy centres within our physical bodies, these are known as the seven chakras. Chakra is an ancient Hindu term referring to the specific location where we have energy concentrations. Each of these concentrations has amongst many others things a specific harmonic note and a specific colour.

So moving up from the base of our spine, the first of these chakras is known as – the root or base chakra, the second is the navel chakra, the third is the solar plexus chakra, the fourth is the heart chakra, the fifth is the throat chakra, the sixth is the brow or third eye chakra and finally the top energy centre is known as the crown chakra.

The notes of each of the chakras from the base chakra are – C base, D sacral, E, solar plexus F, heart chakra G, throat chakra A third eye and B is the crown chakra. Can you see where this is heading. If you look at the notes of each of the Koshi wind chimes and compare them to the notes of the seven chakras you will see that they match. Each Koshi wind chime has at least one of these chakra notes, all four Koshi chime tunings has them all.

The signifiance of this is, if any of your chakras are out of balance e.g not vibrating in the frequency of its specific note then you are in a state of imbalance. This may not seem a big deal, but medium to long term this imbalance can lead to physical and emotional symptoms. So the gentle and soothing tones of the Koshi wind chimes and their harmonic frequencies have a balancing effect on our entire bodies, our lives, our emotional, our physical and spiritual lives.

Another interesting consideration – if you follow your birth star and its role in shaping your horoscope and the course of your life you will be interested in the relationship between the four koshi tunings and their relevant birth signs –

FireAries. 21 March – 20 April, Leo 24 July – 23 Aug, Sagitarius 23 Nov – 21 Dec.

EarthTaurus. 21 April – 21 May, Virgo 24 Aug – 23 Sept, Capricorn – 22 Dec – 20 Jan.

AirGemini. 22 May – 22 June, Libra 24 Sept – 23 Oct, Aquarius 21 Jan – 19 Feb.

WaterCancer. 23 June – 23 July, Scorpio 24 Oct – 22 Nov, Pisces 20 Feb – 20 March.

Another interesting consideration: Our bodies produce certain chemicals quite naturally according to our surrounding environment, our state of awareness or consciousness. When we are in a state of deep relaxation, rest, light sleep or are meditating the body produces specific pheromones. These pheromones move into our brain, and there create the Alpha and Theta brain frequencies.

Conversely the Alpha Theta brain frequencies can also be purposefully created through specific harmonic tones. This is another great benefit of the Koshi wind chimes. The harmonic frequencies of the notes within the Koshi chime tunings create through our subconscious the Alpha Theta brain waves. Here you can see that we are consciously choosing to create our own peaceful and calm reality simply by hanging the Koshi wind chimes in an area where their soothing and gentle tones can be heard. This has such an impact on our lives and the lives of others who hear them. And all of this magic is created naturally by the breeze.

This is why the Koshi wind chimes are increasingly being used in and around yoga and meditation centres, resorts, health care, early childhood and aged care, private homes, spas, retreats, sound healers, energy workers and Feng Shui practitioners.



Source by Pratika S Kshemya

Third Hand Smoke – New Smoking Health Risk

We’ve all heard of “second hand smoke,” the result as smokers exhale and send carcinogens into the air around them. The harmful effects of second hand smoke are well established. Third hand smoke is less familiar.

The term was coined in 2009 by doctors out of Mass General Hospital for Children, and is used for the lingering gases and particles from tobacco smoke that cling to clothing, hair, skin, carpets, upholstery and even wallpaper.

We’ve all caught the odor of smoke after a smoker exits a confined space… this is a real world example of third hand smoke according to new research.

Science has long known that tobacco smoke is absorbed onto surfaces; until now no one had looked at what might happen when these residual molecules came into contact with common pollutants in the atmosphere.

Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ran lab tests and found “substantial levels” of toxins on smoke exposed material. Such residue can react with a common indoor pollutant to generate dangerous chemicals known as tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). This residue can hang around for weeks or even months.

So smokers who may not indulge around their children, or crack the window in the car and smoke with their children in back, are unknowingly exposing them to heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials long after the smoke from the cigarette has cleared.

According to the researchers, third-hand smoke is an unappreciated health hazard, adding fervor to the anti-smoking movement and the call for bans on smoking in homes, vehicles, hotels and other public places. Young children are especially susceptible because they are breathing in closer proximity to these surfaces, and are not hesitant about licking or sucking on them.

In the tests, contaminated surfaces were exposed to high but reasonable amounts of nitrous acid, a common enough thing in the air that can come from unvented gas appliances as well as most car engines and exhaust.

The exposure increased levels of newly formed TSNAs ten-fold. Traces of TSNAs were also seen on the inner surfaces of a truck that belonged to a heavy smoker.

Researcher Lara Gundel of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, concedes, “Smoking outside is better than smoking indoors but nicotine residues will stick to a smoker’s skin and clothing. Those residues follow a smoker back inside and get spread everywhere. Think about the lingering odor after a smoker comes back inside after a “smoke break”.

Of course smoking advocates are skeptical of the danger. Simon Clark, director of the UK smokers’ lobby group Forest said, “The dose makes the poison and there is no evidence that exposure to such minute levels is harmful. That doesn’t seem to matter, though. The aim, it seems, is to generate alarm in the hope that people will be stopped from smoking or will give up.”

Whatever you believe the new work suggests that making your home and vehicle smoke free is a smart choice, especially if you have small children about.

You can also limit exposure to third hand smoke and its after affects as much as possible – wash your hands, change clothes, brush your teeth after smoking and before holding or feeding babies and young children.



Source by Kirsten Whittaker

The Best Rosacea Treatment Cream – Metronidazole Vs Finacea

Two of the most common treatment options prescribed in the treatment of rosacea are metronidazole cream and finacea gel. Both these topical antibiotics are prescribed for the mild to moderate symptoms of rosacea, but is one better than the other? Based upon research that has been undertaken, I will discuss how effective these creams are and whether one is more effective than the other.

Topical metronidazole was first reported as an effective treatment of rosacea back in 1983 and remains the most popular treatment option today. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic which helps to reduce inflammation and to treat bacterial infections. It’s available in lotion, cream and gel form and is commonly prescribed as metrogel, acea, anabact, metrosa, rosiced, rozex and zyomet.

Studies have shown that it is effective in treating mild to moderate rosacea, significantly reducing papulopustular lesions, but it is less effective in treating redness of the face. The use of this topical antibiotic cream is generally well tolerated and only small percentage of people report side effects such as burning, stinging, dryness and itching. Compared to taking oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, topical metronidazole has been shown to maintain remission from further relapses of rosacea.

Even though metronidazole has been a popular choice for many years, there is now a new kid on the block. In 2003 finacea gel was brought onto the market to also addressing mild to moderate rosacea. Finacea gel contains azelaic acid which is found naturally in wheat, rye and barley. In studies comparing finacea gel and metronidazole, the results have shown that finacea was significantly better in reducing redness of the face, papules and pustules. Finacea also produced a better overall improvement. However, it was found that metronidazole caused far less skin irritation than finacea gel.

In conclusion, both these topical antibiotic preparations have their pros and cons. Metronidazole causes less irritation, but is not as effective in treating redness of the face, whereas finacea gel is significantly more effective in reducing facial redness, but can cause more irritation to the skin.

Both metronidazole and finacea gel are obtained by prescription only for the treatment of mild to moderate rosacea. With the facts in hand, you can discuss the pros and cons of which is the best rosacea treatment cream to use with your doctor of dermatologist.



Source by Vicky Massey

Stretching: The Most Needed and Under Utilized Component of Physical Fitness

What’s the first thing a cat does after she wakes up from one of her many naps? Right, she stretches her body. You should take lessons from her because she is still flexible and supple even though she is aging.

Keep your ankles flexible and strong and your balance improves. Keep your pelvis flexible and strong and your back pain will lessen. Flexibility plays a serious role in staying active as you age. By staying more flexible you will appear younger and you will be able to do more of the same things you did when you were younger.

The old adage about if you don’t use it you’ll lose it is very important when it comes to aging. As you age, you naturally get stiffer for many reasons; disuse is the main one, arthritis is another common complaint, and tight muscles due to inactivity. There is a decline in flexibility as you age, particularly if you are inactive, due to connective tissue changes in the muscles, ligaments, joint capsules, and tendons.

Because you walk less, you get stiffer, and being stiff causes you to move less. It’s a vicious circle. You should incorporate full body stretches into your daily routine. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you will become more flexible and supple.

Flexibility is one of the five components of being physically fit. Muscular strength and endurance (muscular fitness), cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility and appropriate body composition (fat to lean ratio) are all components of being fit. De-stressing is another factor that is sometimes added.

Flexibility work will help you maintain joint range of motion. Make sure you do wrist and ankle circles to help with mobility.

If you are still driving, it’s very important to keep your neck moveable. If you can’t look over your shoulder to see where you are going when you are backing up–you are in big trouble.

Aging is associated with changes in the elasticity of the connective tissue and these changes result in a significant decrease in flexibility and range of motion. Although declines in flexibility and active range of motion are noted in most seniors, there is definite evidence that suggests that the decline in theses areas are due mainly from disuse, and that not all older individuals lose flexibility at the same rate.

Stretching exercises that emphasize range of motion and flexibility have been shown to increase ankle, knee and lower back flexibility.

Examples of flexibility exercises for ankles would be ankle circles along with pointing the toes away from the body and then pointing them up toward the ceiling. While most people prefer doing these exercises while sitting–I dare you to do them while standing and challenge your balance as well. If these exercises are not practiced, you’ll lose the ability to pick up your feet when you walk and you will tend to trip over them causing stumbling and ultimately falling.

To keep your knees flexible and strong, try sitting in a chair and then stand up. Do this at least ten times and then rest. Do another set if you are able. This exercise not only strengthens the knees and keeps them flexible but it also strengthens the quadriceps (front of the thigh). By keeping the quadriceps strong, you will be able to take care of yourself and remain independent.

Using an exercise ball is the best way to keep your pelvis flexible and strong. Just sitting on the ball is a challenge for most folks and doing just that is very good for you. As you become more comfortable on the ball, start moving your hips in a circle trying not to move your knees. Pretend you are in a box and make sure the ball touches each wall of the box. Be sure to change the direction of the circles and do equal amounts each direction. You’ll probably favor one direction over the other–that’s normal. By keeping your pelvis flexible and strong you will lessen the chances for back pain.

Domestic animals have the luxury of stretching after they nap because they know that they are going to be fed and be taken care of. However, I was watching a juvenile moose this morning and when she got up she went right to eating. I think survival is the first thing that comes to mind in wild animals. Since you are domesticated–you should take the time to stretch and relax. Yoga and Tai Chi are just a couple of class suggestions that will help with flexibility, balance, and strength.

A good rule of thumb is to stretch the muscles that you work. When you stretch after working out you will alleviate the possibility of blood pooling in your extremities so that you avoid muscle cramping later in the day.

Nothing improves your mood more than exercise. Your body longs for movement and when you give it what it wants it will reward you for years and years!



Source by Bonnie Murphy