The heart of health. Life-affirming practices to Create Balance, Fulfillment and Inner Peace


Your heart is much more than a biological muscle. It signifies energy, vibrancy, life, love, hope, happiness, vitality, strength, and spirit. When we examine our lives and the priorities that we place on our routines—careers, finances, relationships, successes, and failures—none of them carry much importance if we do not have our health as a base to support everything else. We strive to continually improve the quality of our lives, our sense of well-being, our energy levels, and our mental capacities.

Life is a gift, and good health and a good heart should be our most prized possessions. Yet too often, we fail to treasure our health and our hearts until those blessings are gone. Many of my patients seem to live in a state of constant chaos. They perceive their lives to be problem-filled, busy and unsettled, and they lurch from one crisis to another.

Sandra is one such example. A busy single mom of three young boys, Sandra works full time. She drops her children off at school each morning, picks them up at the end of the day, rushes home to prepare a meal, and barely has time to help them with homework before it’s time to get ready for bed. Hers is a busy life that many of us can relate to. She is constantly stressed and worried, fearful of the next crisis around the corner. Sandra’s life is out of control. It is no wonder that she is on several blood pressure medications and is constantly in my office with chest pain and palpitation.

Living in a constant state of chaos serves a purpose for Sandra. By keeping her attention and energy focused on putting out fires, she avoids facing the root causes of her stress. If external events are to blame, she does not have to assume personal responsibility for her actions or behaviors. This is the common thinking pattern of many. We defer to the chaos and allow it to sap our energy, disrupt our relationships, feed our addictions, and subject us to long-term health concerns.

But we have much more control over our lives than we give ourselves credit for. We may not hold sway over the many external events that seem to pitch our lives into a constant state of crisis. Yet we have power over something just as critical: our own reactions to those events.

Health and a vibrant, vivacious heart are not wholly physical things. The life we desire, the health we desire, and the quality of our hearts and bodies are first created within our mind’s eye. I share many effective techniques with my patients to help us manage stress, bring order to our chaotic lives, and find deep and lasting peace with ourselves and with the world around us.

-   Build sources of renewable energy. Your body responds to stress with adrenaline, but adrenaline is a fast-burning fuel source that leaves you depleted in the long run. Renewable energy is a long-term well of power that you can draw on repeatedly. How do you build renewable energy? Spend time with family, friends and loved ones, doing things you enjoy. Nurture your soul with art, music, dance, and beautiful things. Love yourself first, and you will start to build boundless reserves of energy from within.

-   Lower your stress response. Meditation, nature walks, and quiet times will help you focus on the present and release stress. Play a musical instrument. Go dancing. Tour a museum and embrace an unusual piece of art. Breathe. Rather than letting stress be a source of agitation, train your physical body to relax. Let stress be a minor element of your day, rather than letting it define the whole day.

-   Connect with your inner self. Mindful meditation creates the right state of mind that will allow you to develop a relationship with your inner guide. Take an honest look at who you are inside and listen to your inner voice. Develop a relationship with your true self. Engage in a conversation with yourself. You may not always be aware of your inner voice – but it is always aware of you.

-   Learn to become present in the moment. This is perhaps most important of all. Focus on a single moment in time. Become aware of that moment. Savor it. Appreciate it. Fill your senses with it. Let the past go and don’t worry about tomorrow. All that matters is today, this moment. Embrace today, one single moment at a time. Don’t even try to capture it on camera – just be content to let it reside in your memory. Each moment is precious. Savor it.

By building peace within, you will create a powerful defense against the demands of a chaotic life. You will turn things around and regain control of your choices, instead of letting external events control you.

A strong sense of inner peace is something that no external factor can disrupt. More importantly, your inner peace will become a source of renewable energy that will keep nurturing you no matter what. You will have boundless energy and endless vitality that no amount of stress or chaos can take away. Make the right choices, and celebrate your vibrant heart!

Dr. Cynthia Thaik

Dr. Thaik's book, Your Vibrant Heart, includes many more insights about how to nurture and care for your heart on both a physical and emotional level. I invite you to order your copy today at

Dr. Cyntha Thaik is a Harvard-trained HEART doctor that practices with her HEART, delivering security and peace of mind to her patients by orchestrating behavioral and mindset shifts to evoke lasting transformational changes in their health, well-being, vitality, energy, and creativity. You can learn more about her at

In Pursuit of Happiness. Easy steps to create happiness

pursuit of happiness

To go by the words of Abraham Lincoln, "most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

These words find support in what the famous psychologist Richard Lazarus explained in his Cognitive Mediational Theory(1991). In this theory, Lazarus proposed that the most important aspect of any emotional experience is how the person interprets, or appraises the stimulus that causes the emotional reaction. in simple terms, the happy man is he, who thinks he is.

Nobody's life is hunky-dory all the time. Every person has to face trials and tribulations, go through difficult times. He indeed, is wise, who chooses to put on the glasses of optimism and faith and interprets the events of his life as positively as humanely possible.

Life, if you look at it this way, is not a race. It is a hurdle race. You can't question the presence of hurdles. They will be there, for that's the nature of the sport. If you bang your head on the hurdles and try to remove them out of your path, you going against the flow, attempting the illogical and the fruitless.

Not just that,you are not putting your heart and soul to win the race, for your focus has actually slipped into some other territory. There is no way you are going to win in this manner. If you lose your strength at the sight of a hurdle, and ask "why such things happen to me all the time, WHY ME?", you yourself are delaying your victory.

Again, if you just sit there, waiting for the hurdle to disappear, you are only deceiving yourself.

Not just the best, but the only option you have is to jump over the hurdles, as and when they come, without creating any fuss.

It often helps if you are a person deeply connected to nature. Feeling low? Well then go smell the flowers, let the breeze kiss your hair, leave your slippers on the porch and let your feet feel the moist grass, savour the delightful courtship dance of the butterflies, go out in the sun and let the blameless blue of the winter sky be your confidante, let the zephyr carry your message to that distant companion. Go, fall in love with nature.

Learn to appreciate the beauty that the mundane things of everyday life have to offer. Just imagine life without the things you take the most for granted. You will know their value then.

Maintain a gratitude journal. list all those things, people and moments in it that had made you smile someday and that make your everyday life worth living. It can be your coffee mug, or a compliment your teacher paid you that fine day, anything. When you are low in spirits, just flip through its pages, and you will have a hundred and one things to be happy about.

It is often seen that people find it easy to forgive, but not to forget. What we don't understand is, forgiveness is incomplete in such a scenario. By repeating emotional episodes over and over in our mind, we inadvertently etch them in our memory. So, the key is to let go, to not think at all about anything unpleasant that we have been through.

Equally important is to first know ourselves. It is always desirable to keep the doors of improvement open, but we also need to learn to distinguish between comments that are credible and that are not. If you have put on a white dress and a friend of yours with black sunglasses comes and tell you that the black dress you have worn does not look good on you, and on top of that, you get upset on hearing that... well, to say the least, nothing can be more ridiculous.

Not to forget, nothing succeeds like success and the high one gets out of achievement is just unmatched.

Have a clearly defined goal, make sure it is challenging enough but realistic and put in every possible effort to achieve it. If you are able to achieve it, well and fine. If not, you did not lose either, in the actual sense of the term, for in the process, you actually grew as a person and learnt things you not have, had you not been in pursuit of the goal. At least you will not be amongst those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

Last, but not the least, cultivate a taste for literature, for poetry. It will be with you when nobody else is. Go, live your days of happiness!!!!

Sudha Shashwati is a psychology major in University of Delhi and considers positive psychology to be her niche. She is an out and out humanistic psychologist, a hopeless romantic and a shouting optimist. When not drowned in literature, she loves spreading sunshine around through her writings at 

You’re not stuck with your voice

pivotal voice

Nor should you take it for granted. Your voice can have a profound impact on how successfully you influence and persuade others. Your voice effects how seriously you are taken... how respected you are... the results you get with clients, co-workers or vendors in business, with lovers or spouse and children in your personal life.

Your voice can be a powerful secret advantage you very deliberately use for influence and persuasion (just as actors and people paid thousands of dollars per minute to record commercials do)—or it can be a handicap (like it was for Markus on The Apprentice), undermining the impact of everything you say.

Here’s why.

Voice works on a subconscious level even more than on a conscious level. There is ‘voice detection technology’ used by law enforcement agencies and in corporate espionage. It works much like a lie detector—but without the person being judged knowing that it’s happening.

However, every individual has similar “technology” installed in their own subconscious. It judges truth, veracity, substance, gravitas and authenticity constantly in all the voices that try to influence you. This goes on all the time and is one of the five “feeds” from the subconscious to the conscious that directly determines whether you are accepted, believed and paid attention to.

For example, does your voice quiver when you quote your price or fee? It might not seem that people notice, but they do.

In fact, in a study done at UCLA, Dr. Albert Mehrabian found that up to 84% of your success depends on your ability to skillfully ‘play” your speaking voice.


Susan Berkley. Professional voice over training and voice coaching via online training courses, workshops and seminars for voice over talents and voice actors.

Pivotal Kids Learning – on camp or outdoors excursions

The new Bio-Optic Organised Knowledge device, trade named: B.O.O.K.



Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organised Knowledge device, trade named: B.O.O.K.


B.O.O.K. is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, not batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on.  It is so easy to use, even a child can operate it.


Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere – even sitting in an armchair by the fire – yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.

Here’s how it works:


B.O.O.K. is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable) each capable of holding thousands of bits of information.  The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.


Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs.  Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, B.O.O.K.s with more information simply use more pages.


Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain.  A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.  B.O.O.K. may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.


Unlike other display devices, B.O.O.K. never crashes or requires rebooting, and it can even be dropped on the floor or stepped on without damage.  However, it can become unusable if immersed in water for a significant period of time.  The “browse” feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and move forward or backward as you wish.  Many come with an “index” feature, which pinpoints the exact location of selected information for instant retrieval.


An optional “B.O.O.K. mark” accessory allows you to open  B.O.O.K. to the exact place you left it in a previous session – even if the B.O.O.K. has been closed.

B.O.O.K. mark fits universal design standards; thus, a single B.O.O.K mark can be used in B.O.O.K.s by various manufacturers.  Conversely, numerous B.O.O.K markers can be used in a single a B.O.O.K. if the user wants to store numerous views at once.   The number is limited only by the number of pages in the B.O.O.K.


You can also make personal notes next to B.O.O.K. text entries with an optional programming tool,  the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (P.E.N.C.I.L.S.)


Portable, durable, and affordable, B.O.O.K. is hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave.  Also, B.O.O.K.s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking.


Look for a flood of new titles soon.






Pivotal Kids Learning – Bugwise

Blend Phonics Presentation

5 Questions You Should Ask Every Customer

Constantly seeking feedback from your customers is a great way to learn how to market your business more effectively. If you’ve never done this before, do it immediately as it is one of the best ways to discover what you do that actually differentiates you from your competition.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with a small business that had no idea what its competitive advantage was until we heard it right from the mouths of happy customers. Seeking feedback is also a great way to get better and plug gaps. I can tell you that if you’re not receiving a large amount of your business by way of referral or word of mouth, you’ve probably got some gaps in your processes.

Below are five questions I like to pose to customers as they can provide a great discussion base for getting at what’s truly important to you and your customers. Create a form and get in the habit of surveying a handful of customers every month. I think you’ll be rewarded with tremendous insight and you’ll also find that your customers enjoy being asked what they think. One word of caution, don’t accept vague answers like “you provide good service.” While that may be true and good to hear, you can’t work with that. Push a bit and ask what good service looks like and maybe even if they can tell you about a specific instance in which they felt they got good service.

1. What made you decide to hire us/buy from us in the first place?

This is a good baseline question for your marketing. It can get at how effective your advertising, message and lead conversion processes are working. I’ve also heard customers talk about the personal connection or culture that felt right in this question.

2. What’s one thing we do better than others you do business with?

In this question you are trying to discover something that you can work with as a true differentiator. This is probably the question you’ll need to work hardest at getting specifics. You want to look for words and phrases and actual experiences that keep coming up over and over again, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you. If your customers are explaining what they value about what you do, you may want to consider making that the core marketing message for your business.

3. What’s one thing we could do to create a better experience for you?

On the surface this question could be looked at as a customer service improvement question, and it may be, but the true gold in this question is when your customers can identify an innovation. Sometimes we go along doing what we’ve always done and then out of the blue a customer says something like, “I sure wish it came like this,” and all of a sudden it’s painfully clear how you can create a meaningful innovation to your products, services and processes. Push your customers to describe the perfect experience buying what you sell.

4. Do you refer us to other, and if so, why?

This is the ultimate question of satisfaction because a truthful answer means your customer likes the product and likes the experience of getting the product. (You can substitute service here of course.) There’s an entire consulting industry cropping up around helping people discover what Fred Reichheld called the  Net Promoter Score in his book  The Ultimate Question.

Small businesses can take this a step deeper and start understanding specifically why they get referrals and perhaps the exact words and phrases a customer might use when describing to a friend why your company is the best.

5. What would you Google to find a business like ours?

This is the new lead generation question, but understanding what it implies is very important. If you want to get very, very good at being found online, around the world or around the town, you have to know everything you can about the actual terms and phrases your customers use when they go looking for companies like yours.

Far too often businesses optimize their web sites around industry jargon and technical terms when people really search for “stuff to make my life better.”

Bonus: I’m a big fan of building strategic partnerships and networks. Another question I would suggest you get in the habit of asking your customer is – “What other companies do you love to refer?” If you can start building a list of “best of class” companies, based on your customer’s say so, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve got a list of folks you should be building strategic relationships with.

Author:  John Jantsch 
John Jantsch has been called the World's Most Practical Small Business Expert for consistently delivering real-world, proven small business marketing ideas and strategies, and this article comes from his Duct Tape Marketing Blog


William Kamkwamba on building a windmill

William Kamkwamba, from Malawi, is a born inventor. When he was 14, he built an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap, working from rough plans he found in a library book called Using Energy and modifying them to fit his needs. The windmill he built powers four lights and two radios in his family home.

Onstage, Kamkwamba talked about his invention and shared his dreams: to build a larger windmill to help with irrigation for his entire village, and to go back to school.

Following Kamkwamba's moving talk, there was an outpouring of support for him and his promising work. Members of the TED community got together to help him improve his power system (by incorporating solar energy), and further his education through school and mentorships. Subsequent projects have included clean water, malaria prevention, solar power and lighting for the six homes in his family compound; a deep-water well with a solar-powered pump for clean water; and a drip irrigation system. Kamkwamba himself returned to school, and is now attending the African Leadership Academy, a new pan-African prep school outside Johannesburg, South Africa.


Public Speaking comment from Nathan: William was able to give an engaging and motivational talk without having so much as a high school education. Most people who are inexperienced presenters tend to use the same crutches: default PowerPoint themes, bullet points, notes, few pictures. But not William. Notice the simplicity of his slides. Many of them are full-bleed photographs. He doesn’t use bullet points and he speaks in a natural, conversational tone. Most importantly, his message comes from the heart. Building windmills, and engineering in general, is something that he loves.