Saturday, July 30, 2011

vegan-restaurants-in-new-york


Just came back from New York and sampled some of the vegetarian restaurants there (Ontarian, Franchia) .  I was inspired by some of the tastes, and went out looking for a cook book by a local vegetarian restaurant, and struck jackpot.  I found a book by the Candle Cafe.

I tried a modified improvised Ginger Miso Recipe, I had no miso and Agave, so I used Sesame Paste, Sweet Soy instead, and it was great!

Enjoy the recipes, and save the planet, and avoid bad karma for yourself by adapting a vegetarian or meat reduced diet.  Methane 20 times more warming than CO2, and most of it comes from livestock.  It also takes away resources such as water and grains from more productive use.


invest-10-of-time-in-yourself

As I prepare for my 9th speech next week on Toastmaster, I wanted to cover the subject of investing at least 10% of time on yourself.

The Opening:
I was quite saddened to hear about Amy Winehouse, I looked her up and listened to some of her music, she had a deep soulful voice, one that would rival some of the past divas. Amy Winehouse had it all but she was found dead at a young age of 27 in her bedroom.  She had a long history of self-abuse through drugs, alcohol and depression. She had wealth and talent, but what good is that without peace of mind, sobriety & health?

This is a repeating saga, look at Elvis, Michael Hutchence, Marylin Munroe as other examples.

One can only give what one has, if one does not have health and peace of mind, what can one give?

The Problem
Our physical body is very intelligent, it tries takes care of all the abuse we hurl at it, but there is only so much that it can do without breaking down.

A car is required to be serviced at least every 5K, our body is a much more complicated "machinery", and also requires servicing.

The sad thing is that we pay more attention to our cars than our own body and mind.

God did not design us to eat junk and processed foods, or sit hunched over our computers all day looking down, or wake up using coffee, or relax using alcohol, or pop pills to resolve health problems.

The Solution
One needs to invest at least 10% of your time servicing oneself.  

We are complicated "machinery", which is not just physical.  Just like a car that has 4 wheels, unpacking ourselves broadly, this servicing needs to happen in 4 broad interrelated dimensions of ourselves:
- Spiritual
- Mental
- Emotional
- Physical

Not maintaining these wheels is akin to a car running with some wheels flat, overused or underused.  

If one has 24 hours in a day, and we take 8 hours out for sleep, one has 16 hours left to fit in everything else in.  10% of this is 1.6 hours.

One needs to dedicate at least 1.6 hours daily to oneself across this 4 areas.  Assuming it is a equal split that means at least 24 minutes in each of this areas daily.

- Spirituality could involve mediation, prayer and doing the right thing.
- Mental could involve taking a break from normal activity, and doing something interesting and also meditation, as meditation stabilizes the mind by narrowing its focus.
- Emotional could involve spending time on positive recharging emotions such as love and compassion, and spending time with friends and family.
- Physical could involve gym, yoga etc, also looking after your diet, drinking enough water and breathing deeply and uniformly.

The Closeout
Your body and mind is your best friend in life, without health of both of these, one cannot go too far in life.

Look after it, and it will serve you well, letting you enjoy the beauty of life and others to enjoy you as well.

Repeat this mantra 3 times:
My body and mind is my best friend, I will look after it well (better than my car), and it shall serve me well in return.



Until you have the inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, external facilities and conditions will never bring the joy and happiness you seek. On the other hand, if you possess this inner quality, calmness of mind, a degree of stability within, even if you lack the various external factors that you would normally require to be happy, it will still be possible to live a happy and joyful life.
Dalai Lama (Facebook 10th Aug)


The following book is highly recommended, and is about the only book I have discovered that discusses these  concepts in a clear and detailed manner, even the free sample provided below is worth the reading effort.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

busboys-poets


This seems like an interesting concept, I would like to visit this place someday to showcase some of my work.

Here's a poem to leave you with, I just wrote:

I look through my photos of the past,
Time has gone by so fast, 
Like sand in an hourglass, not seconds, but years has gone by
Alas, I have wasted too much precious time, to do too much I always try
I have wasted too much tears,
Living in ignorance and in fears,
What I have left I will give,
So to have a mindful and compassionate life I will try to live
For strength and courage I will pray
And of love I hope I will stay


paying-for-inspiration-imagination



Here's a post I did in the plane last week on the way back from Vegas:

I managed to catch 3 shows, KA CDS, the Lion King & Zumanity CDS. The Lion King was really amazing, the vocals and music were mind-blowing, a lot of animal props were used. Its amazing how powerful story telling is as a communication medium even in the working world.

The KA show involved a lot of gravity defying performances, it was really surreal. Zumanity was the last show, I am not quite sure how to describe it, it was a mix of cabaret and acrobatics.


Its amazing how much shows such as these are so popular and that reflects in the premium paid for their prices, it seems that people are will to pay to see imagination, art, laugh, be inspired and forget themselves, for an hour or so. All these things should be part of our daily life everyday. The stress and the negative 'programming' daily robs us of all this.

Ever seen an interview with the Dalai Lama, a humble man who wears a robe, who spreads messages of peace and compassion, the heartfulness of his laughter, his sense of humor, his humility, his simplicity, compassion and genuine concern for his fellow humans being and the planet. Don't go much further, go to a kindergarten, and see how a child plays and laughs naturally, see the imagination that happens spontaneously.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

las-vegas-holiday-reflections-1-flight

Hoover Dam Under Full Moon
Picture "Hoover Dam Under Full Moon" kindly provided by http://www.flickr.com/photos/rightbrainphotography/
I wrote the following text on my plane back from Vegas last week:

I am on my flight back from Vegas, as I look down I see the Hoover dam and the lake, I did not realize how big the reservoir was.  It is am amazing construction, with multiple turbines generating electricity, I need to get the transformer movie out and watch it again with my kids. 

It has been a packed three days at Vegas, the Grand Canyon views were breathtaking, looking across this vast valleys take your breath way and for a few seconds you lose yourself in this vastness.  There are no fences on the ledges, one slip of your feet, strong gush of wind, accidental pushes, fainting will lead to a quick death.

The holiday so far has been great we all need a break from our everyday affairs and recharge.  I do miss my kids and can't wait to go home and do some fun things with them over the holiday summer break. 

We often think that we can put away holidays, a mistake I have made many times, but its these memories are the only priceless things in our lives.  These memories are like treasures, I remember the trips more than anything else in my life, I will never forget how the Taj Mahal looked in the moon light, or catching the waves on a boogie board in the Carrabean Seas in the Island of Magarita, or moving in waves of thousands of people in India, just to get a "darshan" (glipse/blessing) of a Spiritual Leader.

No one is going to thank you for all the late hours you or the money you saved 10,20 years down the track, nothing is more empty than the a large bank account with no memories of love, peace and feelings of awe!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

why-i-did-not-gamble-in-las-vegas

I normally played the poker machine in the past.  I thought I would go to Vegas and try my luck with a very small amount of money eg $20.  However when I got there it did not fit quite right with me.  The thought of gambling when it came to doing it game me a sick feeling in the stomach especially after I saw a person losing about 15K in less then 10 seconds.

My spiritual mentor always said the term "Haram ki Khana Hasam Nei Hunda!" What it means basically is that one cannot digest food that is not earnt by hard work!

Its a difficult lesson to learn, but one that is important to learn.  I did not feel the urge to gamble in the hope of winning something big.   When you look at the probrabilities of winning are stacked against you. The only people that win are the people that lure you in the trap of foolish possibility of winning by showing you only situations where people win, dancing half naked girls, intoxicants and so on!

There is a deeper ethical question that is here, it is quite a prominent one.  "Would you make money at the possible detriment of another, and is this worth the cost of your humanity?"  This issue makes me sick.  There is so much money specifically in fast food, medicine, drugs, human trafficing, identity theft, spam that is based on this very concept.

Sure you can make money legally or illegally in these areas, but does it sit well with you, can you sleep at night, can you look yourself in the mirror, can you eat that spoon of food that has the blood of other beings and animals!  Or this does not bother you?

Unfortunately no-one escapes the results of their actions, small or big.  Action create subtle imprints on the mind that builds a person character, that stays with the persons character indefinately, until other actions either reinforce the original action or work against it.

Food for thought,


Friday, July 8, 2011

toastmaster-speech-8-45-minute-unified

yoga_signed
Kindly provided by http://www.flickr.com/photos/shunpikie/


I did a presentation on how to do a 45 minute "Unified" workout.  I drew upon the related posts I did a while ago on my other less active blog:
I can see the strain on your face
45 Minute Lunchtime Optimal Routine

Reflections on Speech

Some good points about the speech included:
- I prepared it less than 1 hour as a last minute request
- Good use of colors and flip chart, I wanted to practice this specifically.
- Good "hook" of an opening

Improvements required:
- I needed not to talk while I was writing
- Better use of props
   - Galen should have got an applause
   - I should have prepared him earlier
   - I could have passed the props around and displayed it
- Better close required, it sort of fizzled away, more impact
- Ran out of time, could have streamlined speech more, and included more insights

Hope you get a understanding how important it is to incorporate stretching and relaxation as part of workout. All of this helps prepares a person to be more calmer, think clearer and connect to others better automatically.


Monday, July 4, 2011

hedgehog-instructor

It was a three day "Use Case" course with the "Hedgehog Instructor" that I attended last week.

The Bullshit Factor

In the course there was a section where we were talking about estimation, there was some acronyms such as TCF, (Technical Complexity Factor).  I interrupted a colleague JS, and said "you are not talking about the TCF you are talking about the BSF!"  

The whole class burst out laughing, including me, I darted across the room to JS and gave him a high five!  The instructor clarified that I was refering to the BullShit Factor, I said yes, and there was another explosion of laughter.   

The instructor said it was one of the most enjoyable classes he had taught.

Hedgehog Instructor

I refer to him as the  "Hedgehog Instructor" because he encapsulated the principles of the hedgehog concept, he was passionate about what he did, he had key strengths on communicating and teaching, and he had an economic engine teaching about relevant technical concepts in the technology industry.

I asked him a few questions:
He did an MBA, I asked him how he applied it?, he said he applies it to managing himself as a brand.

I asked him how he kept himself sharp to be able to deliver such an effective training course, he said keeping himself fit and avoiding negative people and keeping positive.

Combining training and consulting is a powerful combination, you learn you apply, you teach you learn.

There is a saying that when one teaches two people learn.

Personal Hedgehog
As I reflect on this excellent real life example:

To get meaning out of life, we must look at what we feel passionate about, what we can leverage as our key innate strengths and how we can channel these through the economic/work related areas to achieve a economic/work sustainability.

Economic reality is a means to an end, not a means itself, channeling  passion & strengths through work gives a powerful and a complete ecosystem of a successful & enjoyable life.

Out of this I have set myself some personal goals to accomplish:

1. Get the relevant certifications by end of 2012
   1.1 Toastmaster 
   1.2 Business Intelligence

2. Experiment channeling personal passion and strengths through technical/economic concepts