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How to Boost Your Confidence

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Want to look and feel confident, even when you’re quaking in your boots? Strike a pose, say researchers at Northwestern University.

Sit back in your seat with one arm stretched across the top of your chair, your chest out, and your ankle crossed over your knee. Did you just feel a drop in anxiety and a surge in feelings of competence? Turns out that simply placing your body in postures that project power triggers two key hormonal changes. When researchers assigned study subjects certain postures (expansive or constricted) and roles (manager or subordinate), it was the seated posture that gave people the biggest shot of confidence. “The position raises levels of testosterone, a hormone that drives us to take action,” explains author Adam Galinsky, Ph.D. “At the same time, it reduces cortisol, a stress hormone.”

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There’s No Such Thing As An Uneventful Day…

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“Not one day in anyone’s life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem, no matter whether you are a seamstress or a queen, a shoeshine boy, or a movie star, a renowned philosopher or a Down’s-syndrome child. Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kin

dnesses for others, both by conscious acts of will and unconscious example. Each smallest act of kindness—even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile—reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will. All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined—those dead, those living, those generations yet to come—that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands. Therefore, after every failure, we are obliged to strive again for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better in the ashes, just as from pain and grief, we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the strength—to the very survival of the human tapestry. Every hour in every life contains such often-unrecognized potential to affect the world that the great days and thrilling possibilities are combined always in this momentous day.”
― Dean Koontz, From the Corner of His Eye

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Fine Fins…

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For the woman who has everything…

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10 Thoughts…

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1. Some of the best inner journeys start with the passport – stamped kind. (Pass the in-flight peanuts.)

2. When our life stories start to sound predictable, it’s time for a re-write.

3. Overrated: multitasking…Underrated: unitasking.

4. Summer tomatoes: the universe’s way of reminding us the good-for-you food tends to be delicious.

5. Midwives—of babies; ideas, peace—do amazing stuff.

6. Expanding the mind: always a cool thing—so what if it sounds a little too ‘60s-trippy.

7. Perpetually good advice from James Brown: “Get up offa that thing-and dance ‘til you feel better.”

8. Running on the beach beats trudging on a treadmill every time. (Just sayin’.)

9. Ever notice how people brighten up when you recognize their efforts?

10. There’s a reason why nature is sometimes called vitamin N.

 

From Whole Living Magazine

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Infant Father by William Wenthe

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Birth

You entered screaming, anointed
with blood and vernix—
our tempestuous goddess,
weighed, cleaned, rubbed, recorded
by your priestess-nurses.
When I held you in my hands,
I was the small one.

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overheard by ross gay

Old-Man

Overheard

It’s a beautiful day
the small man said from behind me
and I could tell he had a slight limp
from the rasp of his boot against the sidewalk

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Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

From the June 2008 issue of O

By Valerie Monroe

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Everywhere we turn, there are images of gorgeous women, constant reproaches to the reality of us, with our real bodies and un-Photoshopped flaws. We’re not buying it anymore. We’re tackling the critics—from the parents and teachers who favor the prettiest children to look-ist employers to the most hurtful of all, that nasty, catty girl who lives right behind our eyes.

Not long ago, I sat in my office, chatting with a friend. “I want to talk to you about your face,” I said. “Oh my God,” she said, looking stricken. “Do I need a facelift?” (I forget that people think I have a right to be openly critical of their appearance because I’m a beauty editor.) No, no, I said; I only wanted to know what she saw when she looked in the mirror.

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Attack of the Killer Comment:

Protecting Yourself from Verbal Assaults

By Michelle Burford
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the March 2003 issue of
O, The Oprah Magazine

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It comes out of the blue—a catty remark, a veiled put-down, a blatant backstab. So, what’s the best defense against wolves in sheep’s clothing?

Near the top of my list of annoyances—right there under people who leave really long voice mails but don’t give a calback number—is a mega-peeve: Engaging in catfights. I don’t even like to think about them, so please allow me to boil my last near-rumble-in-the-ring down to short scenes. First: I find myself utterly bored, so I start a book club with friends. After three sessions of patchy participation, I throw out provocative questions just to crank up the debate. A week later, reports hit the girl-gossip chain that I’m a know-it-all who should be “dethroned.” I realize whose campaign this is (she and I have history) and chuck it in the bin marked: Ignore This. Until the meeting when, as I’m exiting my living room to refill the bowl of stale popcorn, Suspect Number One says (she thinks out of earshot), “Yes, please go—we could use one less smart-ass in the world.”

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