♡ Brought to you by Darling Niki! ♡
May your world be surrounded in peace, your heart filled with love, and your thoughts a fountain of wisdom.

20 WAYS TO GIVE WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS


This is a great post by Lori Deschene of http://tinybuddha.com! If you don't already do most of these things, then you probably aren't a very good friend...

1. Give money you can spare to someone who needs it and then pretend you never had it.

2. Let someone tell a story without feeling the need to one-up them or tell your own.

3. Let someone vent, even if you can’t offer a solution, just to be an ear–without considering how well they listened to you last week.

4. Help someone who is struggling with difficult feelings by admitting you’ve felt the same thing–without considering whether they’d be as open with you.

5. Ask, “What can I do to help you today?” Then let it go after following through.

6. Tell someone how you feel about them, even if it makes you feel vulnerable, just to let them know they’re loved and not alone.

7. Apologize when you’ve acted selfishly, even if you don’t like feeling wrong, because it will remind the other person they deserve to be treated with respect.

8. Let someone else educate you, even if you’re tempted to stay closed minded, because you value their knowledge and appreciate their willingness to share it.

9. Forgive someone who wronged you because you have compassion for them, not because you know they’ll owe you.

10. Hold someone’s hand when they feel vulnerable to let them know you haven’t judged them.

11. Give your full attention to the person in front of you when you’re tempted to let your thoughts wander just to show them their words are valuable.

12. Assume the best when you’re tempted to suspect someone for no valid reason—even if they haven’t always given you the benefit of the doubt.

13. Accompany someone to an appointment or drive them to an interview when they need support just to help them feel strong.

14. Change your plans for someone you love if yours weren’t too important without questioning whether they’d do the same for you.

15. Teach someone how to do something without taking a superior position because they’ve likely taught you many things, whether they were obvious or not.

16. Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog, not to build your readership but rather to show them how they affected you.

17. Tell someone you believe in their potential, even if they haven’t always shown you the same support.

18. Say no when it would make you feel good to say yes, because sometimes being kind means pushing someone to step up and try harder.

19. Tell someone you know they meant well instead of using their mistake as an opportunity to manipulate their guilt.

20. I’ve left this one open for you to write–how do you give just to show you care? Let’s face it: none of us is always kind. Human nature dictates we’ll act with one eye on what’s in it for us, at least occasionally. And I think that’s OK, as long as we make an effort whenever possible to do good for the sake of it. Releasing expectations doesn’t mean you give other people permission to treat you thoughtlessly. It just means you check in with your motivations and give because you want to; and then ask for things directly when you want them. People who care about you will be there for you in return.

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/20-ways-to-give-without-expectations/

MILK DOESN'T DO THE BODY GOOD

When it comes to milk, I prefer to stick to almond, cashew nut, or rice milk. New studies have shown that consuming large amounts of soy's estrogen-mimicking compounds can reduce fertility in women, trigger early puberty and disrupt child development. Here is more proof that I made the right decision by listening to my lactose-intolerance and quit drinking milk:



It's not all white: The cocktail of up to 20 chemicals in a glass of milk

Last updated at 9:53 AM on 7th July 2011
girl drinking milk
Healthy drink: Quantities of compounds found in milk were minuscule
A glass of milk can contain a cocktail of up to 20 painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones, scientists have shown.
Using a highly sensitive test, they found a host of chemicals used to treat illnesses in animals and people in samples of cow, goat and human breast milk. 
The doses of drugs were far too small to have an effect on anyone drinking them, but the results highlight how man-made chemicals are now found throughout the food chain.
the highest quantities of medicines were found in cow’s milk. 
Researchers believe some of the drugs and growth promoters were given to the cattle, or got into milk through cattle feed or contamination on the farm.
The Spanish-Moroccan team analysed 20 samples of cow’s milk bought in Spain and Morocco, along with samples of goat and breast milk.
Their breakdown, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, revealed that cow’s milk contained traces of anti-inflammatory drugs niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen – commonly used as painkillers in animals and people.
It also contained the hormone 17-beta-estradiol, a form of the sex hormone oestrogen. The hormone was detected at three millionths of a gram in every kilogram of milk, while the highest dose of niflumic acid was less than one millionth of a gram per kilogram of milk.
However, the scientists, led by Dr Evaristo Ballesteros, from the University of Jaen in Spain, say their technique could be used to check the safety of other types of food.

    Dr Ballesteros said: ‘We believe the new methodology will help to provide a more effective way of determining the presence of these kinds of contaminants in milk or other products. 
    ‘Food quality control laboratories could use this new tool to detect these drugs before they enter the food chain. This would raise consumers’ awareness and give them the knowledge that food is… harmless, pure, genuine, beneficial to health and free of toxic residues,’ he added.
    Mackerel in ice in a fishbox awaiting sale at Brixham Fish Market. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.
    Net result: Compounds manufactured and used by humans are showing up in all parts of the food chain
    The tests also found niflumic acid in goat’s milk, while breast milk contained traces of painkillers ibuprofen and naproxen, along with the antibiotic triclosan and some hormones. 
    The researchers say their new 30-minute test is the most sensitive of its kind. If the findings are true for Spanish and Moroccan milk, they could equally be true for milk produced in Britain and northern Europe.
    Last year Portsmouth University scientists found that fish were being contaminated with the anti-depressant Prozac.
    The drug enters rivers from the sewer system and tinkers with the brain chemistry of fish, the researchers claimed.
    Previous studies have shown that caffeine is released into our waterways after surviving the sewage treatment process.  
    The hormones from the contraceptive pill and HRT have been blamed for feminising fish, leading to male fish producing eggs.
    The effects of antibiotics, blood pressure drugs and cholesterol-lowering drugs on wildlife are also being studied around the world.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2012050/The-cocktail-20-chemicals-glass-milk.html#ixzz1SKVPxsra

    SAY "NO" TO GMO!


    I had to share this fascinating article from Farmer's Market Gazette (http://farmersmarketgazette.com):



    GMO Food Alters Digestive Systems
    July 11, 2011
    By Editor
    This article is republished with permission from the Alliance for Natural Health USA, May 31, 2011. Go straight to the source.
    GE organisms actually become part of the bacteria in our digestive tracts and reproduce continuously inside us. But the USDA now wants to to remove all controls from GE corn and cotton! A new Action Alert.
    There are no human clinical trials of genetically engineered foods. The only published human feeding experiment revealed that genetic material inserted into GE soy transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. Even after we stop eating GE foods, we may still have the GE proteins produced continuously inside us.
    As the Institute for Responsible Technology has noted, the genetic engineering process creates massive collateral damage, causing mutations in hundreds or thousands of locations throughout the plant’s DNA. Natural genes can be deleted or permanently turned on or off, and hundreds may change their behavior. Even the inserted gene can be damaged or rearranged, and may create proteins that can trigger allergies or promote disease.
    The idea of having genetically engineered genes permanently living inside our guts has staggering implications:
    • If the antibiotic gene inserted into most GM crops were to transfer, it could createantibiotic-resistant diseases.
    • Bt toxins (Bacillus thuringiensis) inserted into GM food crops to kill pests are reaching the bloodstreams of 93% of women and 80% of unborn babies because of the consumption of meat, milk, and eggs from livestock fed GE corn. This could turn bacteria in our intestines into pesticide factories.
    • Animal studies show that DNA in food can travel into organs throughout the body, even into the fetus.
    And we’ve seen cross-species transfer of DNA happen before. A significant percentage of human DNA is actually viral DNA that became part of us over 40 million years ago. There is concern that virally transmitted DNA may cause mutations and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and mood disorders. GE organisms may exacerbate this phenomenon.
    Genetically engineered food genes transferring to our own genes could lead to problems likeleaky gut syndrome:
    • Our small intestine, which is responsible for about 70% of our immune system, behaves like a selective sieve: it lets only nutrients and well-digested fats, proteins, and starches enter the bloodstream and keeps out large molecules, microbes, and toxins.
    • Leaky gut syndrome happens when the intestinal lining becomes inflamed, and themicrovilli on the lining become damaged; this prevents the microvilli from absorbing nutrients and producing necessary enzymes and secretions for healthy digestion and absorption.
    • In between cells are desmosomes, which keep the cells together, forming a strong structure preventing large molecules from passing through. When an area becomes inflamed, the structure is weakened, allowing larger molecules to escape. The makes the immune system produce antibodies and cytokines to fight off molecules because they are perceived as antigens.
    Allergies have already skyrocketed in the US, and with the introduction of GE soy in the UK, soy related allergies rose to 50%. Yet federal agencies turn a blind eye to the dangers of genetic engineering.
    In 1989 there was a tragic outbreak of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), an incredibly painful disease. The outbreak was traced to consumption of l-tryptophan supplements produced by a Japanese company using genetically engineered bacteria. The bacteria are used to increase yields, but they increase impurities during the fermentation process—possibly leading to a level of contaminants that caused the EMS.
    To this day, the government has refused to address the issue of purity standards for GE-manufactured products. Instead, federal agencies and biotech companies claimed that contaminants linked to the EMS tragedy were caused by changes in the company’s manufacturing process—despite the fact that the company was precisely following the purity standards enforced by government rules.
    The EMS was rare and had a fast enough onset that the case histories of the patients could be linked to this supplement, and it was also acute enough that doctors took notice. There is a very clear causal link between EMS and these genetically engineered organisms.
    The effects of other genetically modified products may not be as obvious so quickly, but can be even more devastating; as we have reported previously, GMOs are causing terrible genetic changes in mammal offspring. Scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed GMO soy and corn, and some hamster pups even begin growing hair inside their mouths.
    The late George Wald, Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology in 1967 and Higgins Professor of Biology at Harvard University, was one of the first scientists to speak out about the potential dangers of genetic engineering:
    Recombinant DNA technology [genetic engineering] faces our society with problems unprecedented, not only in the history of science, but of life on the Earth….Now whole new proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism or their neighbors….For going ahead in this direction may not only be unwise but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics.[1]
    The USDA has released two Environmental Assessment reports, one for Monsanto’s corn genetically engineered to be drought-tolerant, and the other for Syngenta Biotechnology’scotton genetically engineered to be pest-resistant. USDA believes the cotton is “unlikely to pose a plant pest risk”; for the corn, the agency is considering either keeping the corn under regulation, or assigning it nonregulated status (banning it altogether is off the table). The comment period for both EAs is open until July 11.
    Please take action today! Tell the USDA that the corn and cotton must not be deregulated—that without strict controls, GE crops will encroach on non-GE crops, contaminating them, including organic crops—which will, of course, render them non-organic.
    The GE corn is especially dangerous because it is for human consumption. As noted above, GE genes from foods can affect the bacteria from our digestive system, and can lead to allergies, disease and even sterility.
    GMOs are causing terrible genetic changes in mammal offspring. Scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed GMO soy and corn, and some hamster pups even begin growing hair inside their mouths.

    DATING

    "There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: Entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection is the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted." From 'Miss Manner's Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior'



    When there is more affection than entertainment, you aren't dating, you're just playing - with each other.

    Ladies: If you think that he could be "the one", there is no rush to hop into bed on the first date! The key to a lasting relationship is love, trust, communication and respect both in and out of the bedroom. Those things can't all be met on a first date, whether "love at first sight" is true or not. There's nothing wrong with having a FWB (friend with benefits), but when it comes to dating and serious relationships, its best to get to know him first.


    "Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the best riches, trust is the best of relationships." -Buddha

    Also see: 'Mars vs Venus' http://nikiconnor.blogspot.com/2011/08/mars-vs-venus.html and 'Incoherent Hook-Ups Are Not Cute' http://nikiconnor.blogspot.com/2011/07/incoherent-hook-ups-are-not-cute.html

    SOME OF MY FAVE ARTISTS