Martin C. Winer

This is what happens when Martin gets tired of sending mass emails.

“The likelihood of one individual being right increases in proportion to how much others try to prove him wrong.”  James Mason, 1978, The Movie, Heaven Can Wait.

Exodus 19:16-18
16 And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a horn exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled.
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
18 Now mount Sinai was altogether on smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

What follows are pictures of volcanoes, one from a recent eruption in Iceland.  Try to guess which is which.  :)

I was home with my daughter working when I decided it was time to take on Marble Mania – Mega Edition.  It’s rated for 8+ but my daughter is 2 and I am 36, somewhere between the two of us, we managed to figure it all out:

IMG_9683 IMG_9682

It all started well, but eventually my daughter was begging for my attention with diapers going unchanged, meals being skipped, etc etc.  It’s a great toy, if the kids can get near it.

Here’s the video!

November 18, 2013

This is a monthly column by Dr. Zahra Bardai in which she guides our path to well-being.

There’s a popular saying that states, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Loosely interpreted, this means it’s difficult to acquire new knowledge or behavioural change when one is set in one’s ways. However, it’s not an entirely accurate statement. Anyone with a normally functioning brain can learn new knowledge, skills and attitude. So why is change so difficult for us?

Change, in the context of this article, refers to learning how to alter behaviour in order to incorporate healthy lifestyle practices. The kinds of things we all know we OUGHT to do, but somehow never manage to ACTUALLY do—i.e., exercising the recommended 150 minutes per week, reducing stressors, getting enough sleep, practicing a mindful lifestyle and eating a varied vegetable-rich, low-fat, low-sugar, low-salt diet—all of which are components of a balanced lifestyle.

If we know what needs to be done, then what’s stopping us? For most of us it isn’t a lack of knowledge. We’ve been bombarded with information as to what composes a healthy lifestyle. For the most part, we already have the education required for change. The stumbling block becomes the implementation of change.

The first and most important factor for positive change is motivation and personal readiness. An intrinsic and personalized motivator is primarily responsible for long-lasting change. It boils down to wanting to change for yourself and being fired up to just go ahead and do it. Changing to please someone else is akin to setting yourself up for failure. Positive thinking also goes a long way in achieving change. If you truly believe you’re capable of changing, then you’re capable of making a change. With positive outlooks and belief systems, change IS possible. My recommendation is to start by setting your intention and finding personal meaning in the change you wish to make.

Once you’ve established a nurturing attitude towards a behavioural change, then you need to come up with strategies for putting things into practice. Set realistic and concrete goals. If you haven’t exercised regularly since bellbottoms were in fashion, accept the fact that you aren’t going to run a marathon the day you start. Every journey begins with the first step, and changing behaviour is a process that starts with a doable goal. Set aside 10 minutes a day at a pace that works for you. Then gradually increase the frequency, duration and intensity of your chosen activity, until you’ve achieved what you set out to do. Remember that setbacks are a part of any change and that change is a process. Making mistakes and learning from them is healthy, whereas berating yourself for not meeting your target can poison even the best of intentions.

To help fuel your change, build yourself a cheering squad. Being able to express progress and setbacks in a supportive environment as well as being accountable for your actions helps reinforce change. Your encouragers can be people around you or even the people you connect with virtually. Use of social media sites can be helpful in this regard (but as a caution, be selective regarding who can see your postings). If publicly declaring yourself isn’t your forte, then create a personal tracking system. It doesn’t have to be complicated; a good old-fashioned star chart will accomplish the same goal of allowing yourself to see your progress, as well as reinforce and sustain your intention.

Arming yourself with knowledge, establishing and engaging your intention, and reinforcing your success while supporting your setbacks is the best prescription for creating positive, long-lasting change in your life.

November 18, 2013

This is a monthly column by Dr. Zahra Bardai in which she guides our path to well-being.

There’s a popular saying that states, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Loosely interpreted, this means it’s difficult to acquire new knowledge or behavioural change when one is set in one’s ways. However, it’s not an entirely accurate statement. Anyone with a normally functioning brain can learn new knowledge, skills and attitude. So why is change so difficult for us?

Change, in the context of this article, refers to learning how to alter behaviour in order to incorporate healthy lifestyle practices. The kinds of things we all know we OUGHT to do, but somehow never manage to ACTUALLY do—i.e., exercising the recommended 150 minutes per week, reducing stressors, getting enough sleep, practicing a mindful lifestyle and eating a varied vegetable-rich, low-fat, low-sugar, low-salt diet—all of which are components of a balanced lifestyle.

If we know what needs to be done, then what’s stopping us? For most of us it isn’t a lack of knowledge. We’ve been bombarded with information as to what composes a healthy lifestyle. For the most part, we already have the education required for change. The stumbling block becomes the implementation of change.

The first and most important factor for positive change is motivation and personal readiness. An intrinsic and personalized motivator is primarily responsible for long-lasting change. It boils down to wanting to change for yourself and being fired up to just go ahead and do it. Changing to please someone else is akin to setting yourself up for failure. Positive thinking also goes a long way in achieving change. If you truly believe you’re capable of changing, then you’re capable of making a change. With positive outlooks and belief systems, change IS possible. My recommendation is to start by setting your intention and finding personal meaning in the change you wish to make.

Once you’ve established a nurturing attitude towards a behavioural change, then you need to come up with strategies for putting things into practice. Set realistic and concrete goals. If you haven’t exercised regularly since bellbottoms were in fashion, accept the fact that you aren’t going to run a marathon the day you start. Every journey begins with the first step, and changing behaviour is a process that starts with a doable goal. Set aside 10 minutes a day at a pace that works for you. Then gradually increase the frequency, duration and intensity of your chosen activity, until you’ve achieved what you set out to do. Remember that setbacks are a part of any change and that change is a process. Making mistakes and learning from them is healthy, whereas berating yourself for not meeting your target can poison even the best of intentions.

To help fuel your change, build yourself a cheering squad. Being able to express progress and setbacks in a supportive environment as well as being accountable for your actions helps reinforce change. Your encouragers can be people around you or even the people you connect with virtually. Use of social media sites can be helpful in this regard (but as a caution, be selective regarding who can see your postings). If publicly declaring yourself isn’t your forte, then create a personal tracking system. It doesn’t have to be complicated; a good old-fashioned star chart will accomplish the same goal of allowing yourself to see your progress, as well as reinforce and sustain your intention.

Arming yourself with knowledge, establishing and engaging your intention, and reinforcing your success while supporting your setbacks is the best prescription for creating positive, long-lasting change in your life.

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