Mind Over Matter: The Power of Clear Thinking

MindHave you ever wondered why you or others are curious or borderline nosey? Well according to licensed clinical social worker Robin Zarel, being curious opens the door to be more fully present to really explore what is impacting present difficulties. More often than not, people do not always welcome curiosity due to fear of the unknown rather than welcoming the questions that arise. When you confront curiosity, you promote healing and growth which may give the person a sense of relief or happiness. When you do not confront curiosity out of fear, it can hinder progress and resolution. Since we can only control our behavior and not our thoughts, Robin has shed light on some tips to address our curiosity:

(If your thoughts are potentially harmful to yourself or others, you need to speak to an appropriate professional).

  1. The next time you have a curious thought, do not let it berate you or try to fight it. Instead give it a name like “There You Go Again” or “Blanche from the Golden Girls” and you will have immediately decreased the power.
  2. Notice the feelings that are attached to the curious thought. Is it anger? Is it guilt? When you do this, it allows you to think about it and see if it is really worth battling yourself.
  3. Evaluate your behavior when dealing with your curiosity. Are you clenching your teeth or increasing your blood pressure? This step will allow you to become more aware of mind-body connections and how this may be affecting you in the worse way.

“Curiosity may or may have not killed the cat, but it doesn’t have to kill you. Instead consider that curiosity is the birth of all possibilities.”—Dan Siegel

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-over-matter/201306/the-keys-happiness-curiosity-and-conscious-choice

 

 

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The Cons Outweigh the Pros for Marijuana Users

Legalize MarijuanaHave you ever had a friend or friends who actively engage in marijuana use? When you try to talk to them about this, do they say “oh well, marijuana is safer than any other drug on the market” or “no one has ever died from using a little marijuana here or there”. Well research has been conducted and sheds light on just how little marijuana can interfere with a person’s overall happiness, sex life enhancement, and cognitive functions that last for days after the initial high. In reading the article summary below, this may change your outlook on marijuana when realizing that the negatives outweigh the positives.

Marijuana has become increasingly popular in our society because it is known for to help people unwind or enhance sexual activity (some refer to marijuana as the love drug) but some studies have revealed that marijuana can spoil your relationship. Marijuana can impair your brain and destroy your sex life. Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that marijuana can affect fertility, even if one partner engages in marijuana use it can lower their sperm count or slow their reproductive tract. Marijuana use has also been linked to erectile dysfunction due to marijuana playing tricks with the mind, it may seem like there is an attachment within the relationship but instead it may be an attachment to the drug. Marijuana use has also been linked to lower life and relationship satisfaction which may be due to the cognitive functions which last for days and months after the initial high.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/201412/four-reasons-sex-and-marijuana-don-t-mix?tr=MostViewed

Job Searchers: How to Follow Up Like You Mean It

I was reading yet another article on USNEWS.com and I was a little shocked at how much you really have to do after the interview but also what you have to do after already you’ve applied for the position (that probably took about two hours including the questionnaire). Apparently, after you have applied for the position, you should write a 100 word email to the company about why you applied to the company, what attracted you to the company, and how it would be so awesome to work for this company. This email should be sent separate from the cover letter and shouldn’t sound generic (like cover letters tend to). You should also contact your inside person (if you have one) and ask about the hiring time frame so you don’t take a vacation and miss out on an opportunity. After that, you should call or send the human resources manager an email and ask them whether or not they have any questions for you because you are very interested in the position but don’t contact the person more than 3 times because anything after that is definitely unattractive.
Once you land the interview, make sure you to send a thank you email within an hour after the interview because it makes the person feel genuine whereas they’ll put you in the top 5 for the job. Also send a handwritten thank you note because most employers will find that charming and it will set you apart from everyone else.

Interviewhttp://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2014/09/24/job-seekers-how-to-follow-up-like-you-mean-it/*

Do you think all of this is really necessary or is this just going above and beyond? Have you ever done all of this and did it land you the job?

Google & Apple Earns FBI’s Wrath Over Privacy via Cellular Phones

The FBI is upset because of Apple & Google’s software encryption apps will prevent them from spying on their customer’s phone. The FBI is very concerned with this because it limits the department’s ability to monitor crime and terrorism, thus it will also allow people to place themselves above the law. Though the FBI may still be able to implant malware to access someone’s stored data, it will not be as easy as accessing it through Google or Apple. To counter this, the FBI may be working on a backdoor program with the government because Apple and Google are extremely committed to the privacy of their customers.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/09/26/google-apple-earn-fbis-wrath-over-privacy

DFBI

Do you think Google and Apple should allow the FBI to monitor cell phones? Do you think this could make criminals feel like they’re above the law? Would you mind having your data viewed by the FBI or do you think it is a breach of your privacy (even if you’re not doing any criminal activity)?

Is it unconstitutional for teachers to have tenure? Do the cons outweigh the pros?

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There have been a lot of lawsuits filed against teacher tenure alleging that it violates student civil rights under the state’s constitution. Teacher tenure are laws that are put in place to protect teachers against termination of employment, it usually has to be gained through a probationary period and approved through the school’s administrator. I researched quite a bit of on this and I can see where the cons outweigh the pros. I can also see where these laws are abused by certain teachers as well as how it affects the educational system. Over the years, society has seen an increase of sexual abuse with teachers and students which have led to the teacher being sent home on a paid leave while the investigation is ongoing and in most cases, the end result is settling the case and sending the teacher back to work. Society has also witnessed underperforming teachers who are currently teaching students which sometimes leads to academic underachievement. I’ve listed some of the pros and cons below and also the links of where you can find additional information.
Do you think that teacher tenure is unconstitutional? Since varies from state to state (in Florida a teacher has to wait 3+ years; 2 years in South Carolina; no specification in North Dakota), do you think the probationary period should be more universal state to state? More importantly, do the cons outweigh the pros?
Pro-Tenure protects teachers from being prematurely fired after a student makes a false accusation or a parent threatens expensive legal action against the district; Con-Tenure is unpopular among educators and the public.
Pro-Tenure encourages the careful selection of qualified and effective teachers; Con-Tenure does nothing to promote the education of children.
Pro-tenure allows teachers to work more effectively since they do not need to be in constant fear of losing their job; Con-Tenure lets experienced teachers pick easier assignments and leaves difficult jobs to the least experienced teachers.
Pro-Teacher tenure is a justifiable reward for several years of positive evaluations by school administrators; Con-tenure makes it costly for schools to remove a teacher with poor performance or who is guilty of wrongdoing.
Con-Most school board presidents criticize teacher tenure.
http://teachertenure.procon.org/
http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/94/93/9493.pdf
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/us/celebrated-trial-lawyer-david-boies-to-head-group-challenging-teacher-tenure.html?_r=0

Do Charter Schools Deserve Equal Funding???

About five families in Buffalo and Rochester have filed lawsuits challenging the state’s persistent under funding of public charter schools. The gap comes from charter schools having to pay for their facility costs, plumbing and other maintenance. In Buffalo, charter schools receive about $9800 less per student in district schools; in Rochester charter students receive $6600 less than district students. This is important because most of the Charter schools are the best in the nation and they’ve helped students from underprivileged backgrounds score at the top of statewide achievement tests. This lawsuit could set a precedent for the education system.

Do you think that charter schools should receive equal funding or would this be more of a disadvantage for the public district schools? If you have children or attended charter schools, did you have a better quality education?

As for myself, I definitely think this would put more of a public district schools at a disadvantage. I’ve never attended a charter school so I can’t really comment on that, but I can say is that quality has a lot to do with quantity because in reading the article, I see that these public charter schools do not have extra funds for extracurricular activities or field trips (versus public schools) because they have to put their funds back into maintenance and pay for the facility space. I also think that quality can’t just come from who is teaching your child but rather what you are also doing with your child as a supplement to what their learning in the classroom. Though my mother worked two jobs and I rarely saw her in the mornings, she was always popping up at my middle school to see my teacher and when I got really behind in my history class (yes I hated it that much lol) she hired a tutor for me.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nina-rees/2014/09/22/new-york-families-file-lawsuit-over-underfunded-public-charter-schools?int=9e5708

Sunday Message: Everyone Has A Prophetic Calling

 

In continuation of my Sunday posts on the Lord, I did read a couple chapters from the book of Ezekiel. Right now, I am learning that the God has decided to send Ezekiel to Israel to warn the people in an exact order. He also wants Ezekiel to eat certain meals at certain times, drink at certain times, and also lay on the left side of the bed so that he can bear the sin of the house of Israel upon himself for 390 days and after that, Ezekial is to lay on the right side of the bed for 40 days which is equivalent to one day a year for the house of Judah (Ezekiel 4:4). The Lord also commanded Ezekiel to eat certain meals over excrement (human feces) in front of everyone in the nation and Ezekiel refused. I laughed a little bit because of the way he refused, he said “Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself or eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals.” Now there is a method to the Lord’s madness because the first verse of Chapter 4, explained in detail that Ezekiel was to build a siege made of iron and draw the city of Jerusalem on one side and draw the house of Israel on the other side and this let me know that Ezekiel was preparing himself to do great things.
The message I received from this passage was that the Lord has requirements that are meant to make us feel belittled because of a bigger objective we need to achieve. Everything is not going to peaches and cream, something’s are going to be difficult and extremely difficult. The Lord’s response to Ezekiel’s refusal was “Very well, I will let you eat your bread over cow manure instead of human excrement.” The message I received from this passage is that the Lord will meet you halfway, he understands how we feel and is very patient. We as humans are so prideful and that is okay, it is just a problem when we become too prideful but seeing Ezekiel’s pride made me feel better because I realized that I can overcome and accomplish what the Lord requires of me. Why? Ezekiel did it and he did it over cow manure and the last time I checked, the Lord has not asked me to do that so what am I complaining about?
I also did a little research on Ezekiel and I found this blog by Thomas Gumbleton titled “Each of us is called to be a Prophet and share Jesus’ message” http://ncronline.org/blogs/peace-pulpit/each-us-called-be-prophet-and-share-jesus-message. This blog reminded me that like Ezekiel, Jesus was also a prophet which means that he wouldn’t ask us to do anything he wouldn’t do or has not done. We sometimes forget that once we are baptized, we all have the same prophetic calling to speak on the behalf of God. I hope this message is received to whoever needs it at this moment and I hope you all have a blessed week. Spiritual Message: We are never too prideful to do the Lord’s work. Spiritual Song of the Day: Here I Am To Worship by Anthony Evans.

Sunday Message: Encourage Yourself in the Lord and be Blessed

Good Evening Everyone,

I usually post a variety of topics but I have decided today (Sundays especially) to dedicate my Sunday posts to the Lord. Now usually, today is my church day but because I had to move back to Florida on such short notice, I haven’t found another church though I still read my bible and pray as I listen to my gospel on Pandora.

Today my message and my personal prayer is to encourage yourself in the Lord and stay blessed. We really need the grace of God to see us through all of our goals as well as our setbacks. I dont know about you but every semester at John Jay College, i would cry at least two times (and im not talking about quiet pretty tears, Im talking about the ugly ones that sound like you’re choking) because everything is so overwhelming. you have professors telling you that you didn’t cite your research paper properly and that it was “almost plagiarism”, your employer is telling you that he’ll fire you the next time you come to work late, your children may be sick or acting out in school—these are all situations you have to deal with while you’re accomplishing your dreams. So to keep my sanity and humility, I have to encourage myself in the Lord. When I pray, it is more like I am speaking to the Lord conversationally and when I am done, I feel better about whatever it may be and I am at peace.

Today I read the first chapters of Ezekiel and I did look up a summary so that I could better understand it. The message I received from it was to always seek out the Lord in dark times when we feel lost, to examine our own life, and to align ourselves with the one true God. By the way, my spiritual song of the day is “Good or Bad” by J. Moss.

Audience, did you attend church today or listen to any spiritual songs? If so, what was the message today? If you dont attend church regularly, do you read your bible and pray?

I hope to hear from you.

“E”woman-praying

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