Culture Shock: When Moving From an Urban to a Rural Area

Rural Real Estate is popular. But, Think ahead and don’t open yourself up for; Culture Shock; An Unnecessary Evil, when moving to a rural area. Anyone CAN prevent some of the Culture Shock that may occur when they move to a rural neighborhood!

Before you move to a rural property — get to know the folks there and seek to learn the culture of the area — the existing culture — NOT the one you are accustomed to and not the one you want to make it into.

Our company just recently sold one of the most perfect Homestead Properties I’ve ever seen, at a very low price! Why? Because the new owner made himself so unwelcome in his new environment and so terribly alienated the neighbors that they eventually made him unbearably uncomfortable. Thus, he no longer wanted to live there.

He is an impolite environmentalist and decided to move from the city to a rural community where many of the families go back 400 years on the same land. He was a city boy with a degree in forestry, biology and ecology and had not a wit of people sense. His applied religion was based on watching Walt Disney movies; where the trees talk and man is evil and animals and plants are perfect.

He didn’t want his new neighbors to hunt deer, to farm the fields early in the morning, to use agricultural chemicals or artificial fertilizers on the crops. He didn’t like the airplanes that sprayed the killer bugs early in the morning. He didn’t like the smell of chicken and pig manure spread on the fields either. He spoke out constantly, loudly and aggressively. He made enemies of nearly all his neighbors. He’s gone now and I hope the new purchaser, also from the city, will not repeat his social errors.

Most of the folks that live here are great and realize they are in a new place and seek to become a part and work within our cultural, social and economic structures. Most of our new arrivals are wonderful and we have many as the population here in southern Delaware is doubling about every 6 years!

There is a tiny noisy scat of people, only a tiny few, who come and hate it here. Yet they left where they were to come have a better life in this area. We see it all the time. The locals call them environmental whackos, tree huggers, bug kissers and much worse. These are the people who have learned all about nature from Walt Disney, Nature Channel, Discovery Channel and Sierra magazine. And yes they often have college degrees. They are not aware that reality is different from their movies, readings, classes and dreams. Thus too many of them flee the city and then seek to enforce their ignorance and miseducation on those in the community they have joined. They try to bully others and try to get them to agree with the rules, regulations, concepts and philosophy they left behind in the city. NOT a good plan if they want to have a pleasant place to live. Many of these folks think they know more about nature, trees, plants, animals, the earth and everything else; than those whose families have lived in harmony with earth’s life forms for decades or even centuries here. Hopefully my strong language above has impressed you to read and learn here, rather than at the eventually harsh hands of a rural community if you don’t pay attention to what is here.

It is wise to visit the area you plan to live several times before you move there. Join the church, support the Volunteer Fire Department, buy gas at the closest gas station, purchase your beer or wine at the local liquor store, become familiar with every public area and visit the community centers and philanthropic groups in the area. Most of all chat with folks and tell them you are considering a move into the area and ask them for advice. Visit the Lions Club, Sertoma, Elks, Rotary, Red Men, etc., and seek to learn instead of teaching. Listen instead of talking. Ask, don’t tell.

There is little, if anything, the newcomer can teach the locals about local things. If you must try to teach the locals something; if you try to teach them about your expertise where you came from, what you were paid to do in the past, about the job and area you fled (if you can find anyone who cares) – you are on a wrong course and will shorely wreck.

Obviously, if you are one of those people who left all that urban stuff, you are one who doesn’t really find it all that valuable either. Otherwise you should have stayed there. And you can bet that is exactly what your neighbors will be thinking if you move into a rural area and take a know-it-all and I’m-so-much-smarter-because-I-come-from-the-city attitude. They may be quiet, or even polite in your presence for a while, but that sort of an attitude will cause only animosity in those around you. And, they will talk about you, briefly to each other and your bad attitude will precede you and be nearly impossible to correct later.

Find out what the community needs and wants from new or prospective members, such as yourself; really find out, don’t guess or assume and leave pre-judgement out of the picture. We’ve had numerous folks who have moved here to be marketing experts or PR experts or Graphic Design experts. Not one of the several dozen I’ve met over the last 30 years is still in

business and none of them are even still here as far as I know. The service they were hoping to charge big money for was not wanted at any price, not even free.

One of my customers from some twenty five years ago — moved from San Francisco into a “small (pop. 800) unspoiled, rural, quaint, picturesque town — populated with salt-of-the-earth and down-to-earth folks” as she spoke of them at first. The couple I speak of had gelded their son, actually they had a surgeon do it, so that his voice would not change with age – all so he could sing in a world famous choir.

They wanted to start training the locals to build a “Boy’s Choir”. They were infuriated that the local school district would not support a boy’s choir that they were certain could be the envy of the world, if they could just show everyone how to do everything. A year later they spoke of “the nasty little town full of stupid irritable ignorant slobs, shanties, shacks, old trucks, fat toothless men, red necks, gossipy women, uneducated Rubes and inbred hicks whose idea of culture was a beer and burger in a pickup truck.”. The San Franciscans are gone now too. Their name seldom comes up, and when it does, it is not in a good humor or a good vein.

I am in the business of selling rural land, forests and homes. I love the people who already live in the several areas where I work. I love the customers I do business with. MOST of the time, the newcomers fit in well with the preexisting community. Some, very few, of my customers move in and spoil the area for themselves and for a little while, for those already here. The only reason is that they have not learned of the REALITY of rural, country life in the particular community before they purchase there.

It is often, in fact usually, not possible to rent before buying in a particular area; so it is very, very wise to look well before you leap into a rural community if you did not grow up there. Even if you did grow up in a rural area and then did not stay in touch with family and friends there since, you may find you no longer fit in. But you can relearn those customs you left behind, if you really want to “return to your roots”. And if you’ve never lived in the area, you can learn the ethnicity, the customs, and learn to be a good neighbor.

IF you seek to fit in and contribute to the community, according to what IS really needed and wanted in that particular community — you may well enjoy a type of heaven-on-earth in your new home.

One fellow comes to mind who came, loved and was well loved. He was a military radio expert who had traveled the world, made tons of money, lived in DC and Northern Virginia for decades. Attended the finest, fastest, and most expensive functions in the area and after retirement decided to move to our rural resort area. He moved here at the height of the CB craze, when almost everyone of the rural folks had a CB and wanted it to work better or needed one properly installed in their home or car. He did it all free of charge for anyone who asked. He was after all retired. Every time I visited him he’d load up my Wagoneer with eggs, fruits and vegetables from the farms, orchards and gardens of those he’d helped. I helped him with making the contacts he wanted to make and with getting permissions to private “fishing holes” away from everything. He was a catch and release fisherman and would always clean up any and all trash around the fishing hole, before he even started fishing there.

One neighbor kept this gentleman’s grass cut and told him he get a good cussing if he wastefully bought a lawnmower. Another neighbor wouldn’t take a nickel for changing the brakes on his car. Another neighbor fixed his roof for free. Several of the ladies in the neighborhood would cook some extra dinner for him, two or three times a week, and bring it over. He was invited to dine somewhere in the surrounding community almost every night. And, he was asked for stories of his world travels and the fancy parties he went to. He was fit, and actually fairly wealthy as he lived simply, had been paid well and invested well during his working years.

He could have afforded an expensive home but he chose instead to live simply and well within his means. His car broke down, it was about 8 years old, one time and he pulled over, got out and planned to walk a couple of miles to get some help. He told me three cars stopped to give him a ride in the space of a few minutes and one of them, in a pickup truck hooked up his car and towed it to another friends house where it was fixed for free.

He later sold the car at a very reasonable price to a lady in the neighborhood who really needed some help. He sold it to her for $1,000 — about what the dealership would have given him and a couple of thousand less than one would have cost her. He paid cash for another car three years old. He could have afforded a new Mercedes, if he wanted one. He was constantly telling me how great his neighbors where. Why? Because he was a good neighbor to everyone else!

He passed away, we don’t know why, and there were hundreds at his funeral, more than most natives would have and none were family… He left a nice inheritance to the local volunteer fire department, for new equipment and asked that instead of flowers, folks plant a tree. We use him as an example of a GREAT newcomer and he set a high standard for us all as neighbors!

Copyright ©2004 Jody Hudson [] and
[email protected]

Source by Jody Hudson

Otaku Nation: Anime’s Effect on American Pop Culture

The modern age of Anime arrive in Japan in the 1960s, and over the course of the next decade or so boomed into the giant robot, space battle genre bender that we would soon recognize as the anime of today.

Evolving over the next 30 years or so, it reached a peak where it could begin to overtake and become an integral part of other cultures, much like the Hollywood of the 1930s quickly grew to encompass the rest of the world and inform their pop culture. In the same manner, American pop culture becomes increasingly informed by the trends and cult response to anime.

Anime first appeared in the US market in the 60s with shows like Kimba the White Lion and Astroboy. However, the national consciousness as to where these shows came from as well as the poor marketing of the shows made them forgettable and rather than a jumping in point, they act as a nostalgic reminder.

When Speed Racer arrived, the beginnings of a true consciousness that Japan was creating something new and exciting began to set in. The popularity of Speed Racer was never that of its American contemporaries, but it created in a set fanbase the willingness to devour newer offerings later on in Starblazers and Robotech (a convoluted perversion of multiple animes, but still a relative success in the states). Still, the affect was mostly underground.

In the 1980s, the introduction of Beta and VHS made it possible to join together with friends and watch more varying forms of anime. Truly it was the technological revolutions of the coming years that would make it truly possible for anime to perforate the American entertainment bubble. When Akira arrived in 1989, the effect was palpable. Receiving only a limited American screen release, few saw it in initial release, but the copying of VHS tapes and word of mouth made it something of a cult sensation. Those that knew of Akira were fans for life, eagerly awaiting their chance to partake more and more of the growing trends out of Japan.

For Japan’s part, this era was a period of major expansion, a veritable boom in the business. The 1980s saw the success of shows like Gundam and Dragon Ball overgrow the national consciousness and become runaway sensations. The explosion of the manga industry before hand, with serializations of works by Akira Toriyama and Katsuhiro Otomo in the early 80s simmered in the youth of Japan and finally seeing the commercial possibilities of these works, creating in the process a major conglomerate of companies in the Akira Committee to bring the massive budget of Akira to fruition.

By the 90s anime was the mainstream in Japan, and the result was the ramping up of production and increased output of shows. In part because of the simple, streamlined art style, multiple artist were able to work on a single project and create on episode a week for years at a time, resulting in monumental runs such as the case of Dragonball (156 episodes) and Dragonball Z (276 episodes). The ability to serialize and turn a story into something that millions of youths would tune into each and every week made companies billions (of yen) and secured the kinds of commercial sponsorships and funding necessary to undertake incredible projects that would require vast sums of money to complete.

Back in America, a few executives were beginning to see the effect these shows were having in Japan. Slowly and very carefully they began taking the most popular, Dragonball Z and Sailormoon for example and finding timeslots very early in the day, before the daily retinue of American cartoons, testing the waters of marketability. In 1995, the trickle of anime into the states was just that, a relative trickle. Sailormoon aired every morning in syndication, but chopped up and missing key seasons to relate the endings of important storylines. Dragonball Z ran an equally mild run early on Saturdays in syndication that was abruptly cut when the rights to the show were lost by the initial company and purchased by Funimation.

All the while, works from Japanese masters like Hayao Miyazaki were being overlooked, passing unnoticed through limited release in the states, while making him a God of his craft in Japan. All the while companies like Manga, Funimation, and Viz were buying up licenses and releasing little known, untraceable shows that no one knew the origin of. The shows were treated poorly, often dubbed and cut up to match American audiences. Viz even launched the first Anime magazine in 1993 with Animerica, primarily reviewing their own products but still giving a view of the culture that no one knew anything about.

But, in 1995, the release of the shows in America along with the premiere and rave reviews of Neon Genesis Evangelion in Japan, Otaku interest abroad began to spike. Otaku is a bid of a misnomer as it’s a bit of an insult in Japan, a mean spirited way to call someone a nerd. Here though, it generally means a purveyor of Japanese pop-culture and with the Otaku so in style right now it’s less of an insult than a clique. The import and fan subbing of shows began in earnest via VHS editing software that few if anyone had access to. The early 90s was a time of massive growth of interest in the little known import of Anime though, and the American marketplace wasn’t slow to react.

In 1997, television networks made broad sweeping moves to bring shows to the mainstream. The Sci-Fi channel had always had a small niche in its latenight line up for cult classics like Vampire Hunter D, but Warner Bros finally brought the genre to primetime. Funimation finally got their licensing figured out and Dragonball Z saw its triumphant return to the Cartoon Network, with new episodes to follow a year and a half later. And in 1998, a little known video game for the Game Boy exploded in the American market, bringing along with it its entire arsenal of marketing ploys, including the overwhelmingly childish, but enormously popular Pokemon anime. Finally, children across the nation were gluing themselves to the television set as earnestly as their Japanese counterparts had for nearly a decade before hand.

Miyazaki’s new film played to better reception, receiving a proper release via Miramax. Princess Mononoke was a success in the terms of the time, even receiving the coveted two thumbs up (let alone a review at all) from Siskel and Ebert. Films began to arrive in America more liberally, still finding limited release, but release at least. And the shows began to pour in. At the time, the fansub scene was more or less the only way to get access to some of the more obscure titles being released in Japan. But as the market boomed, so did the licensing by major companies, and it actually started to become illegal to fansub certain shows because they might be released by a company eventually.

Thus began the final and full assimilation of Japanese pop culture into American. The DVD format sped up the process, as more episodes of a show could be packed into a disc than a VHS and production costs plummeted, removing a lot of the financial risk of an untested foreign product in the American marketplace. Cartoon Network debuted its Toonami afternoon cartoon slot, in which they featured anime that had been around for a little while, but managed to appeal to a much larger demographic and spread the word about these great story driven cartoons from across the ocean. An entire generation grew into the growing popularity and became entranced by the epic storylines, amazing storytelling and ability to show in a cartoon what many considered adult themes and much more mature perspectives on things like competition and personal success. The Japanese ability to cross genre and the extremely high production values that started to go into shows made in the late 90s and beyond meant amazing shows that appealed not just to children but to adults and beyond.

What started as a crossover, slowly began to actually change the way in which American’s marketed their television to children. Shows with more adult content appeared, and in some cases emulated the Japanese format. The writers at Pixar crafted brilliant, more maturely themed cartoons without the silly musicals of Disney past, and Disney even dissolved their tried format in favor of more mature, complete stories. The devolution of American quality in cartoons though as they attempted to match the output meant even more Japanese entries in the market. Now, if you turn on Fox kids in the morning you’ll find over half of the shows on are animes. And Cartoon Network still presents multiple entries themselves, with more mature offerings in their Adult Swim block late at night. Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animation in 2003 and South Park, the quintessential American barometer of cultural trends at first knocked the trend with their Chinpokemon episode, later to embrace it (while still mocking it) via changing their own art style in the Weapons episode just a couple years ago.

Nowadays, you’ll find anime oriented t-shirts everywhere, an entire aisle devoted to DVD releases in Best Buy (compared to the one row only seven years ago) and the success of the Anime Network, a channel solely devoted to Anime programming. Magazines like Newtype, a Japanese trade magazine for the Anime industry is now translated and released in America every month with previews of new shows, and American directors like James Cameron are looking to direct live action versions of manga like Battle Angel Alita.

Now, we see new releases from Japan within six months, and the fansub community has to scramble to keep up with what’s legal and what’s not legal to offer via their online services. The internet itself has made it a huge community, where a show can be recorded on Japanese television, ripped and subbed, then uploaded within a couple hours for the world to view. There’s no lay over, and new shows are immediately available. And it’s evident in the universities too. Japanese is one of the most sought after languages, filling up immediately with a yard long waiting list every year, and more sections being added every year.

Japanese pop culture managed to tap a certain perspective that American counterparts were unable to do themselves and in so doing, cornered and grew in a market that few thought existed in America.

Source by Anthony Chatfield

Joining Male Fitness Model Agency – How And Why

Entering the fashion and modeling world is the dream of many people but, is it always possible for every male to enter the fashion world and display brand items on the runway? The answer is probably no because there are tough requirements for walking between the photographers and showing off different clothes and accessories. For those males who have good muscular bodies but still fall short for the harsh requirements of fashion modeling, joining male fitness model agency could be your magical gate to   magazine  covers.

A good male fitness model agency will get you the needed exposure on  magazine  covers and in related commercials published inside. Most of those who enter this niche are fitness trainers who are keen to gain more credentials and make their trainee believe more in them. Getting this level of exposure will give you this advantage.

How to join a male fitness model agency is not chemistry but, it is a systematic process that you need to apply accurately in order to achieve your goal. The best way to do this is through getting in contact with fitness photographers who are working constantly with fitness  magazines . All you need to do is to make an impressive portfolio of different poses of your body and send it to these photographers. If you have a good muscular body with well toned abs then you can rest assured that you will get a call from one of them very soon.

The market is in a constant demand for male models with bulging six packs and well chiseled bodies to display fitness accessories and swim suits. If you are enjoying a muscular body then joining a male fitness model agency could be your best choice, all what you need to do is to contact the right photographer and your photo will appear quickly on  magazine  covers.

Listen carefully to the instructions of your photographer because it is the only guaranteed way to join a decent male fitness model agency. If your photographer asked you to send a shot for a particular part of your body then do what he exactly said. Do not plunge your face in every picture or your muscles will look smaller.

When it comes to joining a male fitness model agency, think about the benefits you will yield before thinking of the financial reward as it may not be as large as fashion modeling but, it will give you the opportunity to appear on  magazine  covers.

Source by Dermound Becker

Succession Planning

Transferring a business to the next generation requires not only financial arrangements but also customer goodwill and employee cooperation. This 1996 article was published in Nation’s Business Magazine.

Most of us equate business succession planning with working out the financial details following the death of the owner. In fact, through the use of various life-insurance techniques, I’m continually showing business-owner clients ways to do just that – to prepare for making a smooth and cost-effective transfer of their business to the next generation.

If I learned anything the time I joined my father’s business at age 22, and then purchasing it from him at 28 in 1997, it is that succession planning doesn’t end with an estate plan and life-insurance policies. Protecting the financial aspects of any business is just the beginning; real succession planning involves developing a strategy for transferring the trust, respect, and the goodwill built by one generation to the next.

Although we actively planned the transfer of the business for three years, Dad started building bonds of trust between us as soon as I came on board. In the years between my joining the firm and becoming its president, I joined Dad each time he met with a client. With each passing year, I started handling more of his accounts and by the time he retired, I had taken over most of his clients. Still, being my father’s son was not going to be enough for me to retain the trust of those longtime customers; they had signed up with my father’s firm, not mine.

I started applying what I called “the power of doing the unnecessary.” This involved sending his clients notes, stopping by, and calling – not to sell anything, just to keep in touch. If I read an article that I thought would interest a client or that was related to a policy they held, I would send a copy. The point was to let them know they were on my mind and that, although it was Dad’s business, I was going to serve them in my own way. This approach helped solidify my clients’ trust and confidence in me.

Similarly, the succession plan recognized that I needed to develop relationships with our employees. Early on I took over both the training and sales functions because I felt that with the sales force behind me and with my own “team” in place, I could weather any storm. As with our clients, my expanding role meant paying attention to the details, in this case whether the staff was happy and had the support, technology, and other necessities to maximize their productivity.

Fostering both client and employee confidence and trust also meant letting people know the exact date Dad would retire, a year in advance. When the big day came, Dad actually left the office -an important step because it forced people to deal with me.

While no one likes letting employees go, I wasn’t afraid to move out individuals who didn’t want to be part of my team. I also held to my plan of minimal growth in the first couple of years after the transition. Choosing not to expand our client base or staff right away not only eliminated the unneeded pressure but also gave people time to feel comfortable with the change in ownership.

Years of planning paid off with a smooth succession, eliminating most of the bumps on a path that many small firms eventually must take. I bought the business over the first 48 months after my father left, giving him the liquidity he needed for his retirement years.

The company has grown from eight full-time agents in 1987 to 36 today. We earned $3.5 million in commissions in 1995, and we have increased our client base to nearly 8,000 people. Perhaps the best testament to our success is that we continue to attract quality salespeople. My father, at age 69, became our “newest” associate last year, rejoining the firm as a salesman after he found he missed being in the business world.

Source by Andrew S Bluestone

Is Your Soul Broken?

What is a Broken Soul? Your soul is broken when who you are on the inside, doesn’t match who you are on the outside.

A broken soul is related to how you feel about yourself, your truest, deepest and most honest beliefs; your philosophy about life; your original ideas and sincerest thoughts, feelings, emotions and sense of what is right and wrong. Your soul is who you are when no one is looking; where no one else can see. Your outside persona includes your physical body, spoken and written words, habits, actions and behaviors.

How can a person break their soul?

Every time you lie to yourself, go against your own sense of fairness, compassion and integrity; fail to follow your dreams and utilize your gifts and talents, hurt someone you love consciously or unconsciously you detach the spiritual bond between your body and your soul. When you believe in one thing and you act and behave in an opposite manner, you become an empty vessel, a shell, a person without substance. Your physical body is alive, but it is hollow and vacant because it lacks integrity and meaning. Many of today’s young celebrities such as Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, Nicole Richie and even the late Anna Nicole Smith may have broken souls. These young, wealthy, physically beautiful women have the outside appearance of prosperity, but their actions and behaviors do not exemplify inner peace.

We live in a culture that tells us that when ever something is ailing us; we can fix it with a psychotropic drug, weight loss or cosmetic surgery. The other portion of society tells us that we need to join organized religious communities. None of these suggestions are wrong depending on the individual’s personality and emotional needs; but it is essential and crucial that each person learn to take an honest look within them selves to determine if they are doing everything within their own power to their best of their ability to promote health, wealth, peace, love and happiness in their own lives.

The only way that you can re-attach your soul to your body is by aligning your thoughts, words and actions into one being.

Is a broken soul similar to a broken heart?

A broken heart can cause a broken soul when you continue to repeat the patterns that caused your heart to break. For example, continuing to pick the same type of guy without looking within yourself to analyze why you are attracted to certain types of men. However, a broken soul does not typically lead to broken heart because it is impossible to deeply care about others when you don’t truly know, love or care about yourself.

Examples of Broken Souls

Scenario A Fidelity

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You believe in fidelity. You want to be in a relationship with a person whom you can trust.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You make a vow to be faithful. You tell your mate that you are faithful.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You cheat on your mate.

Scenario B Education

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You believe that education is important. You have always wanted to practice law.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell everyone that you are going back to school to earn your degree.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You watch television and hang out with friends in the evenings. You picked up an application once, but never filled it out.

Scenario C Following your Dreams

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You feel happiest when you are singing, dancing or involved in any type of performance. You love music with every cell of your heart, mind and body. People tell you that you are talented and gifted as a singer.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

To impress your parents, teachers and naysayers, you tell everyone that you are going to college to be a doctor.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You are enrolled in a pre-med program. You try to ignore the pain in your stomach, your headaches and the deep misery that you feel inside. You rationalize your unhappiness by telling yourself that doctors make good money and your family will be so proud of you.

Scenario D Being true to yourself

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You love to write.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell every one about the book you are going to write some day.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You never write because you are tired when you get home from work and exhausted from the daily demands of taking care of your family.

Scenario E Being true to yourself

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

You want to lose weight to improve your health.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell every one that you are on a diet.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You don’t exercise. You make unhealthy food choices.

Scenario F Having Faith

1. Beliefs, personal moral code of right & wrong, honest emotions / feelings

In your heart and spirit, you believe in God, a Superior Being or a Higher Power bigger than yourself. You feel that your deepest dreams, desires, wants and needs will manifest in your life.

2. Words, what you tell others orally or in writing.

You tell everyone about your amazing faith, trust and belief in God or a Higher Power. You tell other people to have faith and believe.

3. Actions, behaviors, habits- What you do

You cry yourself to sleep each night because you are worried about your bills being paid and how you are going to provide for your family. You haven’t looked for a new job, or started your own business because people say, “the economy is bad.”

If you do an honest assessment of what is really bothering you and all of the things that you can start doing at this very moment to change your life, you will begin to heal your soul. Guaranteed.

10 Signs of a Broken Soul

1. You have a drinking or substance abuse problem.

2. You have been depressed for more than 6 weeks

3. You feel no enjoyment for life.

4. You are in a sexually, physically or psychologically abusive relationship.

5. You are actively involved in criminal or illegal activity.

6. You have reoccurring suicidal thoughts

7. You have an eating disorder

8. You are abusing someone else physically, psychologically or sexually.

9. You are not doing anything productive with your time.

10. You constantly complain about hating yourself or your life.

Techniques to heal a Broken Soul

1. Validate yourself. Start exactly where you are. Call your self beautiful. Start your business. Do not seek external validation from any one.

2. Go on a journey of self-exploration. What is your favorite color, food, song, movie, day of the week, holiday. Everything that you love is a clue to the mystery of who you are. The things that you love are internal pieces that create the external picture of who you are.

3. Forgive everything and everybody. No exceptions.

4. Practice random acts of kindness. Put a dime in an expired parking meter. Pay for someone’s breakfast, dinner or lunch without revealing yourself. Put toilet paper in a public restroom for the next person. Shovel someone’s snow or rake their leaves without them knowing who did it. Leave a tip on some else’s table. Find unique ways to put a smile on other people’s faces. Their smiles will make you smile.

5. Ask for forgiveness–it doesn’t matter if they accept your apology. This gives them the opportunity to heal when they are ready.

Forgive yourself for past mistakes.

6. Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself. Read the self-forgiveness letter to yourself each night until you are able to let go. You can’t forgive yourself until you are emotionally ready to forgive yourself.

7. Give yourself 6 months to make one change. Don’t try to change too many things about yourself at one time; this is overwhelming. If you try to stop smoking, don’t include losing 50 lbs, and find a cure for cancer. Take it slow and steady.

8. Watch Shawshank Redemption, the Pursuit of Happyness or any other movie that gives you hope.

9. Find one thing that you absolutely love about yourself and think about it once a day, all day long.

Source by Cassandra George Sturges

How to Find Single Women in the Swinging Lifestyle

This is mainly written for the couples out there who are looking for a single lady swinger, but the tips are relevant for single males as well.

First off you need to know that it is just not going to be as easy as you would like.

It is about as likely as catching HIV from oral sex. Especially if you are looking for a bi lady who has long blonde hair, 36C, has a nice tight ass, has a single bi girlfriend, has no baggage and wants to do both of you exclusively (assuming you are a couple). It is statistically possible but unlikely.

On the other hand if you are looking for a divorced mom with a couple of kids, mortgage up her butt, a few extra pounds, pretty but not super model material. She may not be perfect but she still knows how to have fun, you are more likely to succeed.

Unless of course you are independently wealthy, own a Ferrari, and don’t mind paying for all their dinners and entertainment, then you should be able to find lots of single women even if you act like an idiot.

Pretty much all the single women Ted and I have met in the swinging lifestyle have had their share of baggage. They only want to do me (actually we have had that situation come up with couples too, funny thing though they don’t tell us that at the start, they just make it obvious once things start to happen). Sorry, Ted and I are in this together, for each other’s enjoyment.

Single women don’t need swinger’s magazines or swinger’s websites to meet someone. They can go into almost any busy bar and pick up whoever they want. They are in control. That is not to say that they don’t use magazines or websites to meet people, but the ones I have seen generally do the responding because as soon as they put up an ad or profile they get inundated with replies, as I am sure you can imagine.

Single women are the most sought after prize in the lifestyle, and so rare that they are often referred to as a Unicorn. But unlike the Unicorn they do actually exist.

So make sure you remember how much of a prize she is when you do meet one, and treat her special. Take care to remember that you should never neglect your own partner though, or you will pay for that later on (jealousy is no fun). This goes for both the men and the women out there.

So for all the single men out there, since you have now read my article on how to pick up single women for couples, then you need to realize that it is going to be even harder for you, as a single man, to find these elusive sexual women than it is for the couples, but it is possible.

Source by Sandi Andersen

Top 10 Duties of a CEO (Are You Doing These?)

Nowadays, it’s easy to start your business, find resources to help you, attend networking events in all shapes and sizes, and use online tools to market and run your business.

The drawback is that there are a lot of small business owners out there who are really glorified service providers or hobbyists. And they’re missing out on running and growing a true business. They need to be CEOs, not worker bees.

How does that land for you? Do you consider yourself a CEO, or does that word seem too big to describe you? Do you run your business consciously and intentionally, or do you let it run you?

A CEO of a business runs the business, whether it’s for a company of 1 or 1000. Here are the top 10 duties of a CEO.

1. The CEO knows the Deeper Why. More than likely, she started her a business for a reason… to provide a much-needed service or product and, in her way, to change the world. There is a Deeper Why that drives her, especially since much of running a business can cause someone to leave her comfort zone.

2. The CEO determines the trajectory of company. Along with the Deeper Why, there’s the Big Vision. Where is the company headed? What’s the big picture? As CEO, he doesn’t necessarily need to know how to get there each and every step of the way, but there is vision to guide action.

3. The CEO makes sure company runs smoothly. She looks at every problem, challenge, mistake, threat as an opportunity to plug holes, develop procedures, outsource. The buck stops here, as they say, but that doesn’t mean that the CEO has to do everything herself. Certainly not. But she does need to be ready to solve problems, not run and hide.

4. The CEO sets policies and establishes boundaries. CEOs get to decide what they want, how they want the company to run, how customers and prospects are treated, their value. If something isn’t going right or someone isn’t doing his job properly, the CEO needs to speak up and state what needs to change.

5. The CEO assigns work and delegates. The smartest CEOs know that they can’t do it all and that they shouldn’t. The company is going to be most successful if the CEO is working in his Zone of Genius and not in his Zone of Competence or Zone of Incompetence. CEOs hire well and pay well.

6. The CEO has goals: revenue, product development, personal development, etc. A CEO doesn’t just react to situations, people, and emails. She has a plan (most likely developed from her Big Vision) with goals. While she may have team, staff, and employees to help the company reach its goals, she’s the one setting them.

7. The CEO is detached. Of course, he is passionate about his work and the company. And it doesn’t mean he doesn’t get disappointed sometimes. But he doesn’t make decisions out of resentment, fear, or lack of confidence. A CEO understands that he is responsible for his actions and reactions, and not in control or responsible for actions or reactions of others.

8. The CEO knows the numbers. She knows revenue, monthly and year-to-date. She knows number of products sold. She knows retention rates. She knows the monthly expense budget. She knows how many new clients need to come on or how many products to be sold in order to make revenue goals. She has revenue goals.

9. The CEO grows the business, not just does the work. That might mean finding other markets or collaborating or hiring (or firing). This is the difference between working ON the business and working IN the business.

10. Most importantly, the business has a legacy beyond the business owner. It could go on once the business owner is gone or steps down. That’s when someone is a true CEO. Otherwise, he’s really just a glorified service provider.

If some of these duties smacked you upside the head a bit, no cause for alarm. We all falter a bit. My assistant just recently solved a problem that had been a problem for two years. Two years! I had tried this and that to no avail, and I finally threw up my hands and gave it over to her. Within a few weeks, problem solved. I should have put my Big Girl CEO panties on much earlier in this instance.

Do what’s necessary to embrace your Zone of Genius, delegate, clarify what you want for you and the company, and think of your little corner of the world as a true company.

Source by Dawn Shuler

Is Sex All That Matters?

“What more could have been said?” I wondered, left with a feeling of content, after reading Joyce Garity’s essay “Is Sex All That Matters?” Able to identify with her on most of her viewpoints of the world in which we live in today, I felt some of the weight being lifted from off my shoulders; relieved that I’m not the only human in this world looking upon magazine and TV ads, with half-naked models posing as sex exploits, as a brainwashing on people’s minds.

We are influenced by our society, culture and most of all what we perceive. There isn’t a magazine, television commercial or billboard advertisement in Times Square that’s not giving or sending out a sexual message to people. These ads are intended for viewers to believe in their fantasies and promises that if you don’t buy and wear a certain pair of jeans, you won’t look sexy or, if you don’t buy and wear a certain cologne or perfume, no man will ever want you, or even if you don’t look thin and petite you won’t have a social life because being skinny is considered beautiful. In most American commercials, literally, a man and woman run around chasing each other on a beach half-naked; lovingly they embrace each other and kiss, implying “Forget about reality, let’s make love. Forget about the fact that you might have a disease, and I have a big chance of getting pregnant. Forget about it.” The more people watch these commercials, the more they believe these intended messages to be true. Forget about everything, only love and passion matters! Wrong! Today, the statistics on people diagnosed with having a sexually transmitted disease is high, and the statistics on young teens becoming impregnated is high. And, because of these teens having babies that they’re unable to take care of, there are millions of children in foster care right now without any real place to call home.

In her essay, Joyce Garity, a social worker, hits every subject pertaining to “sex in media” and pinpoints what negative messages the world is sending out to our youth today. She refers to one girl in particular. Elaine had come to live with her for a while. Troubled and nearly lonesome in the world, she was pregnant again with her second child while her first child had already been placed in a foster home. When asked by Garity why she allowed herself to become pregnant again, she said she thought birth control and condoms to be unromantic and embarrassing; one couldn’t really be passionate with sex and worry about using contraceptives at the same time. In other words, Elaine was just another brainwashed individual, lost in a fantasy where negativity doesn’t exist. Forget about reality!

How can we deprogram the damage that has been done by the media? We can start by self-educating ourselves through self-help books. Through self-educating ourselves, we obtain knowledge and through knowledge come a transformation of our way of thinking, acting and feeling. Let’s start making our own conclusions as to how we should live based on righteous morals and norms.

© copyright 2008 Viola Morgan. All rights reserved.

Source by Viola Morgan

Collaboration Is the KEY

Just finished reading a scientific magazine that captured my interest in my recent airport travels. There were lots of great articles about our brain and belief systems, the global warming concerns, and the physics of our brain’s intelligence. Each article had one theme in solving some of the challenges and that theme was collaboration of open-minded minds. We need each other so we can listen to and be encouraged to think of new or other ways to solve problems (that two minds are much better than one and so on). The same can be said to solve our global warming problems and such – there are many wonderful minds out there that can help us all. Our minds can only do so much due to the fact that our brains are only so big apparently and we need each other to make bigger and better decisions and positive changes. (If you are interested in the magazine I read, please let me know and I’ll send it to you.)

I started to think about how collaboration strengthened our family unit (for those who do not know from previous articles, my father is getting at-home hospice care and I’ve been in Florida helping my mother provide the basic care and to keep him as comfortable as possible to the end). We are receiving all kinds of help from the care givers and they are all about collaboration. They have a team leader, a nurse, and three or four certified assistants, who ask questions, notice family dynamics, bring up the difficult topics, take the time to explain and insist everyone gets involved as much as possible. They have collaboration figured out!

Collaboration of thoughts and ideas has kept us going as a species and in this time of extremism, lack of tolerance, and apathy, there is no better time to practice this wonderful skill or trait. I constantly have to remind myself that I am not alone and there are people out there to help me. I should have realized this as I work with a great team and we collaborate all the time. Family dynamics are a bit different and more difficult, I feel, because there’s almost always baggage from years gone by or misunderstandings in most families that I know of anyway. I’m always hearing things like, “My family is so dysfunctional!” It’s my belief that a lack of collaboration in the family unit may be one of the problems.

Here are some ways that may help others to join in collaborating with you on new ideas or solving problems (works on family or friends and of course coworkers):

  • Ask plenty of questions (without sounding like you are interviewing or interrogating) when you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right. Example: “Mom, can we talk about the use of bleach on the surfaces around the house? Have you tried other products like…?” I wanted so badly to just buy the less harmful cleaners and introduce them to her “after” the fact. That would have defeated the purpose of collaboration. Instead I asked the questions and we were able to talk about safer ways to clean and she asked for my help in getting them.
  • When I offer an idea or suggestion, I now ask, “What do you think? Is there anything you can suggest that may work out better? I’m all ears!” Asking folks what they think tends to encourage them to think and contribute to the problem at hand.
  • Ask others to join in a family (or team) collaboration and set up some ground rules if this seems like a good approach. Some folks will say that this may not work for their family, but I’m optimistic about the process at least for my family. I’ve gotten closer to all my siblings because I’ve collaborated with them on most everything that needs attention when faced with a dad who is leaving us. Our family stretches from Maine to Florida and we manage to communicate on all the important decisions and I couldn’t be more proud of them right now. Are we perfect? Absolutely not, but we respect each and continue to keep in mind that we are all in this together.

Source by Lorraine Twombly

A Formalist Analysis of Moore’s No Swan No Fine

“No Swan No Fine” is a free-versed, fourteen-lined poem written by Marianne Moore for the 20th anniversary edition of the Poetry   Magazine . It was rumored at the time that the  magazine  would end its year – suggesting that the poem was a swan song for the  magazine  (a swan song is usually written in celebration of the brilliance of a period that is about to end to welcome the new), but at the same time, implying that the  magazine  production must give way to the new.

To further discuss an analysis of Moore’s free-flowing piece of literary work, a formalist approach could do the job. Formalist approach, or simply Formalism, is one of the many literary approaches in analyzing or critiquing a work of, either prose or poetry. In prose, formalism is analyzing the structure that makes it a work of prose – the main elements of a fiction: setting, characters, plot, conflict, theme, and moral. In poetry, on the other hand, formalism is also analyzing its structure i.e. identifying the rhythm, rhyme scheme, as well as the images, allusions, figures of speech that help in comprehending the real meaning or message that the literary work convey. These images, allusions, and figures of speech, all together comprise the so-called “Objective Correlative”.

An objective correlative, from the first word “objective” (object), is a magnification of an object that represents or correlates its features to that of what the writer implies. In Moore’s poem “No Swan No Fine”, a number of objective correlatives are presented.

First objective correlative appears on the second line of the first stanza i.e. “Versailles”. Versailles is known to be a palace in France that was made popular for its bright light. On the other hand, Moore noted “Versailles” as an object that magnifies the still waters of dead fountains (man-made fountains). He compared Versailles present state as to that of dead fountains – still and silent. In the same line continuing to Lines 3 to 4, Moore also noted of the swan as being haughty and ridiculous once i.e. when it skims across the water it looks so fine, but then loses its elegance when it is seen from underneath the waterbeds. In the fifth line proceeds Moore’s comparison of a swan to a “chintz china”. “Chintz” is a Hindi word meaning of multiple colors or of brightness. In this line, it is made clear that Moore is actually talking about a “real” or “living” swan compared to a multicolored “china” swan – an imitation of the “real” swan. In Line 8, Moore also noted of “collar” and described it as “toothed gold”. As aforementioned, Moore describes the chintz china that, though it does not have the “living” independence nor has no existence of its own that the “real” swan has, is presented as superior (gold). This, thus, gives way to determining what Moore actually meant by the “real” swan being “*askance” – the painted perfection of the “china” swan eclipses or suspects the memory of the “real” swan. *askance means of doubt or suspicion

In the second stanza, Moore begins it with a description of a pair of Louis XV candelabra ornamented with Dresden china flowers and swans, this piece of art being still alive, but the king in the era it was made is long dead (Line 14); thus, also sating that his palace was actually the Versailles.

To sum it all up, what Moore is trying to imply (in my personal opinion) in her free-versed poem is that everyone gets the chance of having the so-called “time of their lives”; but just like how man-made fountains appear still, how the Versailles used to shine so brightly, how the “real” swan loses its elegance when seen underneath the waters and how it loses its perfection when compared to a multicolored “china” swan, and how the ornamented pair of candelabra had been perched when the king is long dead, everything has an end, and each end happens to welcome the new to come.

Source by Angelyn T Laus