Are our electronics messing with how birds navigate?

“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” ―J.M. Barrie

I love birds. If you ask me: “What would you like to be reincarnated as?”
My answer would be: I would love to come back as a bird. I would fly anywhere, high, far and wide to explore new places.

The majority of the bird species are migratory. They migrate either for food or new nesting locations. Escaping the cold is another factor yet birds and even hummingbirds can withstand freezing temperatures as long they have enough food supply.

Birds can travel several thousand miles annually. They often travel the same course year after year. They have excellent navigational skills and homing instinct which allows them to always return to the same area. They may migrate halfway around the world yet they will always return home. Many explanations about their navigational skills have been proposed throughout the years. Whether it’s their sense of smell, their ability to use the earth’s magnetic field or the internal compass that guides birds to migrate brilliantly, birds are absolutely fascinating. One thing is certain that they are highly sensitive to certain frequencies.

The article “Radio Signals Skew Birds’ Internal Navigation“ says:
“Migrating birds may lose their way when exposed to the electromagnetic noise from radio signals and electronic devices, researchers have found.”

While we humans enjoy tweeting and face-booking, our electronics are messing with how birds navigate. It’s frightening that the signals of our cities could be disrupting the bird migration (electromagnetic fields from electronics such as computers, printers, refrigerators).

Although there is no definitive scientific proof that humans are affected by electromagnetic noise, more research is needed to disregard the health effects (and the phrase: “technology makes me sick”).

More on the subject:
Man-Made Electromagnetic Noise Disrupts a Bird’s Compass

 

                                            PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE ~ Food For Thought

PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE ~ What does it mean?

John D. Mayer, PhD defines personal intelligence as “the capacity to reason about personality and to use personality and personal information to enhance one’s thoughts, plans, and life experience.”

Personal intelligence is simply the ability to understand ourselves and know who we are. People who possess personal intelligence have a better foundation to evaluate others as well as acknowledging their own flaws and limitations. If you possess personal intelligence, you’ll have a better understanding of other people’s behavior. You also have a pretty good idea how others perceive you.

Of course, our perception of people is different than who they actually are. Personal intelligence is the key to distinguish between them.

If you believe you already know the answer, you will not be able to judge the evidence objectively. Instead you will accept the evidence that supports the opinion you already hold. If you are an employer, you’ll most likely hire someone you are attracted to before even viewing the candidate’s resume and professional skills because you’ll perceive the candidate in a positive light. And if you don’t like the candidate at first sight, you’ll reject him or her because you’ve perceived them in a negative light. Both can have unpleasant consequences. Our perceptions determine our own reality. It all depends on how we choose to perceive.

Seeing ourselves clearly isn’t an easy thing to do.

John D. Mayer, PhD says: “Personal intelligence allows to see ourselves and others with greater fidelity – and this fidelity includes an understanding of our own fallibility. Seeing ourselves clearly isn’t always easy. Information about who we are is “hot” and emotionally charged – that heat can warm or scald us. We may focus on a personal flaw so much that we lose perspective on the broader contours of life. Its easy to turn away at times, and indeed, we all do. Yet if we work over time to learn a bit about ourselves we may become more accurate at self-understanding and this, in turn, can help us change for the better. Because although many aspects of our personalities persist over time, there is also opportunity for change.”

Human beings must try to acknowledge their errors (errors that may harm others) if they really want to improve themselves. This also applies to those who like to play the victim and lash out at others (including those who try to help them). They live in fear, bombarded by painful memories that they now regret. They should acknowledge that humans are fallible (including themselves) instead of targeting and harming innocent people.

“There is something to that old saying that hate injures the hater, not the hated.” ~Peace Pilgrim

The answer is honest self reflection. That person you see in the mirror is the only one responsible for your negative state of mind. Hate only breeds more hate. It’s a downward spiral of self destruction. It’s never too late to change, to become a better human being.

The way we treat others is a reflection of our souls.
Karma is real and it will visit you in the manner you deserve.

Spring is a time for renewal and new beginnings. Begin now!

                                         PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

“This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.” ~Peace Pilgrim

Cherish Each Day

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.” ~Aboriginal Proverb

WELCOME PIC                              PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon May

It’s basic human nature that we take things for granted. Wisdom does not come easy. I believe we find wisdom in different ways created by our unique journeys in life. From personal experience, I know that we gain wisdom from hardships. Hardships create awareness and spiritual awakening.

I was profoundly touched by an email that a very dear friend sent me last week. Her loved one is battling a deadly disease. Tears were running down my face as I read her email.

For every living soul, our ultimate destination is the same. We may take different paths in this life yet we will arrive at exactly the same place.

Our greatest power in life is to be able to see the special things in the present moment. I believe when humans face the reality of death, they’re more able to honor the people that they have taken for granted.

We get so distracted by our everyday routines that we don’t see the special things around us such as spending some quality time with our loved ones. If we go away for a few days, we miss them. It seems to me that as humans we are more capable of appreciating the people in our lives when separated from them or when we’re about to lose them.

Most people know about “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch.

Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006. His last lecture in 2007 was wisdom about the life he wished to leave to his family and students. Since then millions throughout the world have been touched by his wisdom, including me. His lecture wasn’t about leaving this earth, but rather the importance of seizing every day and living in the present moment.

“Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think.” ~Randy Pausch

As we gain wisdom, I believe we’re also learning not to be afraid of death. This is probably the ultimate wisdom. I believe when we face the prospect of dying, we’re liberated. We see everything more clearly. We don’t take anything for granted anymore. We become selfless and self-improved. We honor the special things of the present moment and people who deserve our attention.

During her eulogy to Steve Jobs, his sister Mona Simpson revealed that his final words were: “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW”

Is it possible to embrace the mystery of death?
I certainly believe it is. By embracing death, we die with ease, grace and wisdom.

Somewhere in outer space, the sun shines continuously, as does our soul. The soul will return from where it came and live in eternity.

Life and death are not two, but one.

Cherish each day. Live life fully!

Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other. ~Randy Pausch

Feed Your Soul

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Stephen King

Lately, I found myself reading more than writing. At times, my writing is painfully slow. I’m a fast reader and have always been. Now, I feel my brain suffers from web overload. Does this sound familiar? I also have a feeling that I’m reading at a superficial level when I am on the Internet. Sometimes, I miss the days when I used to read articles in print. There was something special about that. I remember I was one of the most prolific readers at my university. It’s fascinating how adaptable we humans are. How incredibly good we are in developing new habits through repetition. How did we go from reading in print to skimming headlines and clicking from one page to the next in a matter of seconds? No doubt that the new technology is altering our brains profoundly. We spend considerable time in front of computer screens. I’m not even mentioning the time many people spend in front of the television. Personally, I don’t watch much TV, which is perhaps a good thing. After all, there are only so many hours in the day.

The internet continues to be a major part of our lives yet finding a mental/emotional balance is certainly a challenge. Our brains are vulnerable to bad habits. We should schedule regular breaks.

Now, I visit the local library to read magazines. I notice the pleasant/natural feeling I have while turning the page the good old fashioned way. I feel more inspired to keep writing. I feel I think faster and focus better. I leave the library feeling joyful, refreshed and recharged.

Dean Ornish, a clinical professor at UCSF and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, says: “Your genes are not your fate.”
He also says:“When you live healthier, eat better, exercise, and love more, your brain cells actually increase.”

I believe the key is to integrate our resources. Making healthy life style choices will boost our brain power and listening to our souls will feed our creativity.

The mind speaks. The soul listens.
PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

Giving Gives Back

Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow.~ Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Everything on our planet has a purpose. Our lives have a purpose.

I’ve discovered that natural givers are always happy, no matter what.

My husband and I lead a simple life. However, we’re both generous people which is the building block in our relationship. We both enjoy helping whenever and however we can.

Yesterday, I was a little tired due to just a few hours sleep yet something profound happened which gave me such energy and filled my heart with joy. Something which made me think how our lives should be about giving and reaching out to others. We donated an item to a kind soul. When this kind soul reciprocated our act of giving with the utmost kindness, my entire being was, once again, filled with the most powerful fuel: LOVE.
I noticed my husband’s joy as well.

“Giving becomes more important than getting because giving is in alignment with your purpose.” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

Givers are always the miracle workers. When we focus on giving as our life purpose, we seem to receive more. It’s all about unconditional giving, with no expectations in return. If you do this, you’ve aligned yourself with the universe. You’re a miracle worker and more will come your way. Believe it!

Giving gives back. It fuels the universe.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

Bring Love Into Your Life

“We are star stuff and our destiny lies in our origins.” ~Carl Sagan

Many people equate love with (romantic) relationships. No wonder many are disappointed when they don’t find the love they’re seeking outside themselves. The same with happiness. The joy of being and happiness cannot come to us through possession, achievement, people or anything. It emanates from within us. The greater love is what we have inside.

Unconditional love is the ultimate divine source. This is the basis of oneness. All things derive from one source. We are all connected in the universe. We are all related to one another. The divine source accepts all beings unconditionally. How can we then not accept all beings as they are? When we are ruled by the power of ego/fear to separate and reject, we don’t. We can only acknowledge all beings as they are when we accept the conscious unconditional love. Love gives us energy and guides us. Fear distracts us and ultimately destroys us. Our greatest power is the acceptance and appreciation of the power of love we have inside us.

“A friend” who wronged me in unspeakable ways, was a sad image in my mind for a while. Perhaps it was more like a shock coming from someone who identified themselves as being a spiritual person. It didn’t matter how unloving they behaved and what they said over the months, I remained non reactive. Because I knew that their unloving behavior was derived from fear. Fear is an illusion created by the ego. It’s my understanding that people who suffer from (past) guilty emotions exhibit what I would like to call a “social hallucination”. When people behave in cruel ways, they’ve forgotten that their true power “Love” resides within them. They let their ego (Fear) control their thoughts and emotions. All we can do is keep them in our own (Positive) light hoping that they will return to their true power. Compassion is the most important thing in the world and essential for our survival.

“When they cast you into darkness, love them for helping you discover your inextinguishable light.” ~Cory Booker

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini touched my soul deeply and I highly recommend it. The heart of the novel is unconditional love.

If you feel love, it will convert into positive energy.
If you feel miserable/sad/envious, it will convert into negative energy.
It’s as simple as that.

All flowers, plants and trees are beautiful, though they are different. We shouldn’t strive to be better than others. Why do we have to compete? Nature doesn’t. We are all unique in our own way. Like Kathy Ireland says: “Beauty comes in all ages, colors, shapes, and forms. God never makes junk.”

Finally, a great reminder:

“The softest of all things overrides the hardest of all things” (Chapter 43 of the Tao Te Ching).

Bring Love Into Your Life!

 

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

Keep it positive

“Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.” ~Bruce Lee

I’ve observed three main character traits that I believe are self-destructive in social networking and building relationships.

1. Cynicism
Cynics are known as suspicious, paranoid and mistrustful of others. Scientists categorize this character trait as hostility. Cynics are not necessarily bad people. They read into people’s behaviors, calling it a gut instinct and being suspicious of even a kind gesture.

Where does all this suspicion stem from? It stems from being paranoid and mistrustful of others and has deep roots in their past experiences. I’ve learned that those with low self-esteem (disguised as confident people) display this character trait.

2. Lack of self-control:

Some people react to every possible tweet, post and they over-analyze. Some others get angry if they don’t receive a response or if they receive a response that differs from their point of view. Then, they go into the attack mode. They say words that they will regret later, which is unfortunately too late. Most feel ashamed of it but their ego won’t allow them to apologize.

Restraint is very important for online relationships as well as in real life. However, unlike real life, what you say online is forever. Don’t think that those private messages, phone calls, Google hang outs or Skype chats are private.

3. Envy, Jealousy and Gossip

Unfortunately, some people, especially women seem to be driven by envy and jealousy. Some of them go as far as telling lies, gossiping and spreading rumors. Lack of purpose in their lives is perhaps the main reason for such viciousness. It’s self destructive and destroy others who are subjected to bullying. It hurts all parties yet mostly the person who is doing it. Yes, I do believe in Karma.

When you tweet: “Be Kind, Be Real”, extend it outside twitter and apply it in your life. Your words have little meaning if your actions contradict them.

Some friends ask me how I remain positive no matter what happens. I’ve learned that positivity depends vitally how I think. Just like life, positivity is fragile. Take a moment to notice your surroundings in social media and ask yourself: How does social media benefit me and others? What is going right for me here?

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”~Carl Sagan

Think of positivity like a beautiful color palette; love, joy, serenity, hope, inspiration, interest, gratitude and awe.

If your social media experience doesn’t seem to serve you well, maybe you weigh it down with self-doubt and cynicism. Be open. Be sincere. Be grateful. Be appreciative. Thinking in this manner can ignite positivity and puts a smile on your face. Be sure to take a few moments each day, to reply and interact with your friends. Positivity broadens our minds and outlook. Positivity enables us to attract people whom we mutually benefit from and helps us see unlimited possibilities around us. It makes us stronger to cope with adversity.

Positivity can change your life and it can change your communities. It can create a more compassionate and harmonic community.

More than once, I’ve been asked this question: How do I deal with rude and negative people? My mind doesn’t embrace combat and war like tactics. My mind simply thinks of peace. I don’t de-humanize people who wronged me as my enemies. I rather think of them as unfortunate small-minded people with big egos who are suffering and lashing out. In my thoughts I extend them love and compassion. Even though they tried to harm me, I still find qualities about them that I can appreciate. Their negativity belongs to them, not me. Last but not least, I see them as teachers in disguise. I’ve experienced this in the past year. I still came out ahead so can you. You can disarm the negativity.

“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.” ~Bruce Lee

Kindness and positivity nurture each other. In my experience, kind people are focused on how they can make a difference and how they can lend a hand. By boosting kindness, we also increase our positivity. We are more compassionate towards others even under adverse circumstances. By helping others you will help yourself. I haven’t met anyone who reached his or her potential by themselves. Connect with others. You’ll notice an increased positivity and in turn will attract positivity. So interact with others everyday no matter what. Open your heart and mind.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

Vanishing of the Bees

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” ~Chief Seattle

It’s heartbreaking that the decline of the Honey Bee population continues.

When the bees are in trouble, humans are in trouble. The global population of humans is growing. The production of sufficient amounts of food is already getting more difficult due to global climate changes.

One of nature’s primary pollinators, the honey bees, have tremendous value to us humans.

“The hidden beauty of pollination”
 

Scientists believe that, even at introduced low levels, the chemicals used in pesticides cause neurological damage to insects, affecting their learning ability and breeding.

There is no doubt that insecticides/pesticides are harming the bee colonies but also affect the quality of the planting soil and local water supply.

Dan Rather has explored the Bee Collapse/Pesticide Connection in 2011.

Organic farmers are able to farm without using harmful insecticides like neonicotinoids. So, the big question is that why not everyone is following the organic farmers’ example?

We’re all connected. The harm humans do to bees, they do to themselves.

We can no longer keep quiet about this.

 

Highly recommended articles:

Ban pesticides linked to bee deaths, say MPs

BEE AWARE

Pesticides killing bees in millions

Bees to EPA: Where’s your sting?

Neonicotinoid pesticides ‘damage brains of bees’

What is the value of bees?

Not Just the Bees: Bayer’s Pesticide May Harm Birds, Too

Climate Change, Herbicide May Doom Monarch Butterfly Migration

Mexican monarch butterfly numbers at record low, scientists say

Butterflies suffer devastating year after UK’s wet summer

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

Mayor Cory Booker ~ Food stamp challenge

“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.” ~Albert Einstein

Mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker is helping to create the spiritual revolution. Today, Mr. Booker started the food stamp Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) challenge, A Movement Toward Food Justice!

For one entire week, he’ll be living on $30 of groceries to raise awareness about how challenging it is to live on food stamps.

This afternoon, the Newark Mayor tweeted his #SNAPchallenge food for the week:


Note: NO Coffee

Mr.Booker who is a vegetarian, continues to inspire us all.

Watch this video to learn the #SNAPchallenge guidelines:

Follow Cory Booker on Twitter
Connect with Cory Booker on Facebook

Simplicity and Happiness

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo da Vinci

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI
Have you noticed how many people are discontent and dissatisfied with their life situation? I’ve seen people throw away good relationships and jobs (in an unrealistic search for a perfect partner or job). I’ve witnessed friends buying things that they really don’t need in order to fill the emptiness they feel in their lives.

I have traveled extensively. I noticed how content those with less are. I remember the beautiful, smiling faces of people in the country side of Portugal, northern Spain and Turkey. They looked happy and healthy. They made their own bread, yogurt, butter, cheese and grew their own vegetables. I still remember the wonderful flavors of the seafood, vegetables and county bread. They didn’t have cell phones, nor computers. They were content with their lives. The women didn’t wear any make up. Their beauty was glowing from within. Happiness does that to people.

It is not easy to determine what brings joy. But, one thing is for sure: There is more to life than chasing after money and possessions.

I know this: When we are content, we are also happy. When we are happy, we have more energy. We are more productive. We are healthier. We have a stronger immune system. The best part is, happiness is contagious. You pass it on to others.

I don’t believe happiness is biologically-driven. I believe happiness is a choice. And I don’t see any correlation between money and happiness. I’ve met rich people who have it all but are not happy. During my travels, I’ve also met poor people who were the happiest people ever.

I’ve also found that people who volunteer and do good in their communities are happier. Reaching out and giving is always fulfilling.

12 ways to be happier:

Appreciation and Gratitude: Be thankful for what you have. Send out a message to the Universe that you’re grateful for your life. Appreciate the things you already have. If you have a TV and are still looking for a new one, sit back and think: Do you really need another TV? If you have a reliable car and your eyes are on your neighbor’s newly purchased car, think again: Do you really need another car?

Recharge and replenish your reserves: Whether you like spending time on a beach, hiking up a mountain or listening to music, give yourself some time everyday to boost your energy (and your spirit).

Cherish your memories: Remembering beautiful moments from your past will refresh you and put a smile on your face. I think of my beautiful travels and those wonderful people and places I’ve had the privilege to share my life experience with.

Don’t dwell on the negative: It’s counter-productive and leads to sadness and depression. Move forward not backward. Your (negative) past does not define you. The past is gone. The present is what ever you make it and the future is unknown.

Be a giver: In my experience generous people tend to be happier. It’s human nature. We enjoy sharing. We enjoy giving. I’ve been a giver all my life. I don’t publicly boast about it as it’s between me and the universe. Giving gives back. The universe rewards good deeds.

Indulge yourself with your favorite snack: I don’t know why but Serotonin levels drop considerably after noon. I found eating a snack that is rich in B vitamins, makes me feel upbeat. Dark chocolate or sesame seed toasted seaweed is an excellent choice!

Exercise: Walk, hike, bike, dance or lift weights. Yoga and Meditation seems to have a calming effect on the brain and nervous system.

Keep your home tidy, organized and clean: Your life will be more pleasant and efficient.

Declutter: Less is always more. When you clear your cluttered home, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction. It’s also a great stress reliever. Keep things simple. Simplifying your life can have a lasting and meaningful impact on your well-being.

Start cooking. Start baking: These are simple pleasures in life. One of my happiest moments is when I create different dishes in the kitchen, while listening to music and sipping a glass of wine.

Start growing herbs, plants or start a vegetable garden I know people who do this, not only do they eat home-grown organic veggies and herbs, it brings them joy. Being in touch with nature will do that to you. Even if you live in an apartment just like me, you can still have some plants and herbs on your balcony.

Invite your friends for dinner or lunch: Nothing is as more enjoyable as sharing conversation with a delicious meal and wine with your friends.

Life is not perfect. We will never understand the secrets of our world. Life is a journey, not a destination. Why not enjoy the ride?

What makes you happy?