Tag Archives: habit

How to Stop Being a Biological Robot


By Deepak Chopra, MD


Most people are too busy, or otherwise distracted, to think about how the mind works, much less about the vexed problem of connecting mind and brain. This includes neuroscientists. They run their experiments and publish new data without addressing the most fundamental questions. Their field runs nicely by simply assuming that the brain is the mind. After all, without a brain there cannot be any mental activity, QED. Why bother to go any deeper?

One reason is that human beings are clearly not brain-defined. We need the brain the way a musician needs a piano or TV news needs a television set–to carry the mind into the physical world. The belief held by 99% of neuroscientists is that with sophisticated enough brain scans and various other measurements, the mystery of thinking, feeling, sensing, and imagining will one day be solved. It’s a futile dream, however, because even the most basic issues, such as why the color red is red, how we hear sounds in a brain that is totally silent, and where a thought comes from are nowhere near being understood.

Leaving theory aside, there is a huge practical problem involved. What do we do when the brain makes us its victim? If we are brain-driven, this implies that the brain is in charge of daily habits, decisions, reflexes, and responses. In many cases this is clearly true. When you reach for ice cream at midnight telling yourself that it’s the wrong thing to do, who is making you act automatically, against your best interests, and without your ability to break the habit? Continue reading

From Intent.com: A No-Complaining Challenge

It’s not unusual for Intent.com users to do cool things.
They’re constantly putting in the time it takes to be amazing, more wholehearted, brave humans.
“How do they have the time to be so phenomenal?” you wonder.
Let me help you.

One of our users has instituted her own No-Complaining Challenge.
30 days to embrace positivity, to fight the urge to point fingers versus taking action, to prove that we are capable of changing things for the better.

Screen shot 2014-02-03 at 11.43.12 AM

So, what about you? Is there a big change you’ve been considering?
A lifetime of change is a pretty big mountain, but what about 30 days?

It’s been said that it takes 21 days to make a habit, so why not let February be your chance?
30 days of no complaining?
Or 30 days or kindness?
30 days of yoga?
You decide. Who do you want to be?

Will you join the No Complaining Challenge? Support, comment, adopt that intent here!

Yoga and Addiction: What It Took a Brush with Death to Learn

Can yoga stand in as an alternative to violence and addiction?

The latest episode of URBAN YOGIS on The Chopra Well features the story of a healer and recovering addict who discovered the path to recovery through yoga, meditation, and martial arts. Abdi was fifteen when he moved to New York City from Iran, and the city immediately overwhelmed him. The stress of life as an immigrant, on top of the struggles of being a teenager, eventually led Abdi to drugs and violence. He remembers thinking at one point that his lifestyle would either land him dead or in prison, but as it turned out, there was another path in store for him.

Many people refer to a single point of awakening at which recovery and transformation begin. It may be a near-death experience, a rite of passage, or even a poignant word from a friend that makes us pause and re-evaluate. For Abdi, the back-to-back deaths of several of his friends forced him to step back and take stock of the path he was on. Now, with nearly thirty years’ experience as a healer, Abdi can look back and see the pain and turmoil of his youth as the fodder for his spiritual awakening. As he says in his book, Shadows on the Path, “Pain is what puts us on the journey back to ourselves.”

In his daily work as an acupuncturist and trained shaman, Abdi interacts with patients who, like himself, have suffered from addiction. In fact in Abdi’s opinion all of us confront “the addictive system” throughout our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. “An addict,” he says, “can be anyone who uses a behavior to escape reality or to resist being in the moment.” By that definition, how many of us might be classified as television addicts, or exercise addicts, or reading addicts? How often are we thoroughly present in the moment – and when we aren’t, what are we doing instead?

What Abdi ultimately discovered is that practices like yoga, meditation, and martial arts can be instrumental in the healing process. These practices force us to stay in the moment. They defy numbing addictive patterns by bringing us back to our center, back to the moment. They force us to slow down and make conscious choices about our actions. Yoga, in particular, also encourages self-love by challenging us to find comfort and peace even in the most difficult of positions.

These practices became Abdi’s alternative to violence and addiction. Where the latter are unproductive and lead ultimately to destruction, Abdi found that yoga and meditation provided him with the tools to transform suffering into what he calls “the inner connection.” And once found, there is no need to return to old habits.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well for more inspiring episodes of URBAN YOGIS, every Monday!

Related Articles:

Is there a holistic treatment for addiction?

7 Steps to Dealing with Extreme Emotions

Teenage Yogis: Fostering Peace in the Face of Rising Violence

How I Went From 58 Pounds & Nearly Dead to Healthy, Happy, & Loving Life

Start Fall Off Right: Five Articles to Welcome the New Season

With Labor Day behind us, we can welcome the true beginning of autumn. Take a deep breath. Now is a great opportunity to set intentions for a new season, shake some of those fun but less-than-optimal habits accumulated over the summer, and get into a healthy, energizing routine. Keep in mind, this tends to be the season of candy corn and pumpkin pie… So go into it with a game plan, and you’ll be golden.

What do you do to beat cravings? Here are some super practical tips from weight-loss guru Tosca Reno.

Tosca Reno’s Awesome Tips For Beating A Sugar Craving (Blisstree)

You may be busier now that summer’s just about over, but that might actually help your workout routine! Knowing that you have to block out time for exercise can help you stick to your resolve.

Five Tricks to Fit in Fall Fitness (Yahoo! Shine)

Whether you’re rushing to work or rushing to drop your kids off at school, you’re bound to be rushing somewhere this fall! Take advantage of these quick, healthy breakfast snacks – some of them will probably surprise you!

30 Healthy Breakfast Snacks for Mornings on the Run (Greatist)

Speaking of all that rushing you’re bound to do…Check out these energizing foods if you need a boost.

7 Weird Energizing Foods Runners Swear By (Care2)

And since we’re coming into a new season, why not start off with a fresh schedule and a fresh set of healthy habits. (Gotta let go of those old, bad ones first…)

Why We Hang Onto Bad Habits (Positively Positive)

5 Intents to Help You Rejuvenate Your Finances this Spring


First blossoms of Spring, the season of renewal and rebirth

Earlier this week the vernal equinox heralded in the much anticipated Spring season with the cold, short and dreary days of winter eventually giving way to longer, warmer and sunnier days. The arrival of Spring signifies a time of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation – a time for new beginnings, new possibilities and new hope since that which lay dormant in the winter is now able to blossom and flourish. In fact, in my Persian heritage, the arrival of Spring marks the beginning of the Persian New Year (Norooz, literally “New Day”) which we honor, as we have for thousands of years, as a season for renewal, both within ourselves as individuals as well as in nature and the world all around us.

This spirit of renewal can be applied to anything in our lives and given my role/expertise in helping my clients learn about money and personal financial matters, the message which I’d like to share with those who wish to rejuvenate their finances is that there’s no better time to get started than during this beautiful season of renewal. Of course, there is no cookie cutter formula since everyone has different aptitudes, life circumstances, goals, etc. Also, the  process of becoming more financially literate and empowered does not happen overnight. It is a habit, which if adopted consistently over time, can become a valuable asset to one’s life with far-reaching ramifications.

For those of you who have a desire to take control of your financial health but don’t know exactly where to start, the first step is to begin with a commitment toward adopting a new mindset and an openness to a new way of doing things. With consistent daily practice of keeping your hearts open and your minds ready to accept new and positive messaging, it will become easier for you to take the steps necessary to identify and work toward reaching your own unique financial goals. Focus on making small changes, but do so consistently to yield big results.

In celebration of the season of renewal, I’m dedicating my inaugural post on the Intent Blog to the community of individuals who seek financial empowerment. I’m honored to share with you a series of five intents which can be incorporated into your daily consciousness to help you create the proper mental and spiritual environment for improved financial wellness. Whether you choose to focus on a single intent or all five, make sure to connect with the chosen intent(s) on a consistent basis (ideally daily) since the application of a consistent effort is the key to success in anything that we do in life.

  • Intent #1:  I acknowledge that my financial wellness is a vital component of my overall wellness (which includes the wellness of my mind, body and spirit).
  • intent #2: With improved financial health I will be better able to be a force of positive change in the world.
  • Intent #3: By being mindful of my finances today, I will ensure a better future for myself and for my loved ones.
  • Intent #4: My finances are aligned with my beliefs and attitudes. My finances reflect who I am (and who I want to be).
  • Intent #5: I have the power to change my habits, thoughts and emotions about money. I will replace past mistakes and bad habits with positive inspirations and healthy habits each day.

As I stated before, there is no cookie cutter formula. There are as many unique ways to incorporate these intents into your life as there are unique individuals so feel free to find a method that works best for you. Based on my experience with my clients, I find that the individuals who are best able to harness the power of these intents are those who write them down, either in a journal or on index cards. As impactful as it is to fill your mind with positive thoughts, you’d be amazed by the power of writing your thoughts down on paper. Once you allow yourself to engage in some form of written self-expression, you’ll notice a tremedous release of creative energy from within. Whatever method you choose to follow as far as incorporating these intents in your life, make sure that it fits comfortably within your overall schedule and lifestyle. Start with baby steps and then expand as you need to over time.

I hope that these intents will be a useful first step in your journey toward financial empowerment and I look forward to sharing more posts with you in the future. If you have any comments, insights, etc., feel free to connect with me on this blog or via Facebook or Twitter.

Wishing you success,


President & Founder, Empowered Bookkeeping LLC


A nephew online asked me this question — " Tita (aunty), so what’s the habit of very successful people?" —

The answer? — It’s being able to get up every time you fall.

Everybody has a dream tucked up somewhere there in the mind and heart. Big dreams, small dreams, big goals, small goals, big ambitions, small ambitions. It’s all beautiful…. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s just a waste of time because there’s no guarantee that you may get it or even come close, or so they think. Although I could agree on that ‘no guarantee’ bit because indeed there’s plenty of obstacles or hurdles to conquer, sometimes can be quite overwhelming and might make you want to give up, and the unpleasant unexpected can rear its ugly head down the road. But we’ve read a lot bout other people’s success stories, haven’t we, and do know what the common denominator was or is — It’s being able to get up every time you fall.

Thomas Edison failed a thousand times. I’m not saying we would. What am saying is he tried a thousand times before finally coming to one that really worked. In essence that is what will happen with the rest of us… stumble and fall 10 maybe 20 times to say the least, but we’re expected to pick ourselves up 10 or 20 times too and start all over again — for another round maybe of falling and getting up again. But get up we must. That’s the trick that gets the dream.

And that’s the same trick that would get you your target job or position, career or profession, medals, awards, titles, recognition. Name it, you can have it. Better yet be the stuff success stories and successful people are made of. ————

Do You Have A Conscious Routine?

School’s in swing, and with school and its schedules comes the need for families to create some sort of routine so that there’s order at home. Routine, on its own, can be two-edged. Conscious routine sounds like an oxymoron.

The best thing about routine is that it supports us. If we know that soccer practice is Tuesdays and Thursdays after school at the school, we know that as carpool drivers, we have two extra hours till we have to pick up the kids. Those two hours are useful — even if the driver is reading a novel.

Routine also helps families, both parents and kids, know when to connect and when to have private time. Private time is often dismissed in our hyper-busy lives as a luxury. It’s not. It’s a necessity. Too much togetherness and not enough private time make people cranky. It blurs boundaries and stops us from listening within.

Habit is a part of routine. It’s a good thing to put keys in the same place every time one walks into the house. (There’s a pretty red basket in my house for just that purpose.) That way no one ever loses her keys, and no one loses time looking for lost keys. It also goes a long way toward being on time in our lives.

At the same time as routine helps us, it can also harm us because routine, by its very nature, can be deadening. Rigidity in scheduling, meeting all our many obligations, lock-stepping to a routine, can cause life itself to feel less than alive. Strange, isn’t that?

One of the best memories of my childhood comes from school days that my mother declared hooky days for me. Once she took me to see a matinee of Zeffirelli’s movie of "Romeo & Juliet." Another time she took me out for lunch and to hear Gloria Steinem speak. As an only daughter with lots of brothers, I appreciated this girl time with my mama. It also renewed my sometimes less-than-stellar attitude toward school which bored me silly.

In fact, one way to break the monotony of routine is to change the routine. How many different ways are there to get to soccer practice? Who can do laundry and have all the socks match? How can older children feel rewarded for helping younger ones with fractions and still do their own, probably far more, homework?

The thing that cures routines of their … well, routineness, is imagination.

For parents, when you’re bored with a routine, assume your kids are, too. Ask for their suggestions. Spend a dinner brainstorming how to make a routine fun. What would change it? Will it work for everyone? How can everybody get what they need?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, therapists, coworkers, friends, pastors, doctors, you name it. Someone somewhere at some time in the past has faced this dilemma and come up with something new — I can promise you that.

Learn the blessing and the curse of routine and resolve the issue for yourself through intention. In fact, intention will keep routine conscious. Intend to let routine support you and intend to shake it up a bit by imagining something less routine. I think Albert Einstein said it perfectly, "When you examine the lives of the most influential people who have ever walked among us, you discover one thread that winds through them all. They have been aligned first with their spiritual nature and only then with their physical selves."

Bring your Divine Spark — your Spirit — to routine and watch routine become the blessing that it’s meant to be in every life.


For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso’s website and blog, Seeds for Sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter @PeaceCorso and Friend her on Facebook.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / applescented

Finding The Roots of Envy

 Have you ever heard someone say that they feel envious of you, although they mean well? The truth is that envy has its roots in hidden feelings of admiration, hate or frustration, and these are products of the subconscious conditioning that comes from comparing ourselves with others. From a young age we are taught to compare ourselves with those around us and to seek their approval, and we are trained in a ‘what will they say’ mentality. As such we go from being happy and spontaneous children who find enjoyment everywhere, to being decrepit, cold, calculating, bitter, sad and rigid old people, since most of the time we base our tranquillity in factors outside ourselves.


The problem stems from our habit of comparing ourselves with others (be it in terms of power, prestige, money, recognition, physical appearance etc). We fall into the wretched hands of envy, which consumes our inner peace. In reality envy, although you may not believe it, is born of the simple act of comparing oneself with something or someone. If you really want to stop suffering for silly little things, give up once and for all the harmful habit of comparing yourself and you will be surprised to see how envy immediately disappears. If you think about it, you never compare yourself with the stars, animals, nor with nature, you only do so with other human beings, since that is how we were programmed, and such comparison is always based in wanting to be or have more.


If from today you learn to be conscious, to leave aside criticism and to eliminate comparison, you will find that anger, hate, falseness, and jealousy immediately disappear. As a result you will easily be able to go back to basics and you will instantly recover your natural happiness, spontaneity and the enjoyment you felt when you were a child and that with time you have lost.


At times we are mired by comparison, we forget to appreciate what we have because the grass is always greener on the other side, we magnify our most insignificant problems and we play the role of victims, without appreciating all the beautiful things that surround us.


Spiritual Practice: Ho

So often illness can be an habitual response to old stimuli. When I’m stuck in old patterns, I use an updated version of an ancient Hawaiian healing practice called Ho’oponopono. (hoe-oh-PO-no-PO-no) The four powerful phrases are a tool for forgiveness, reconciliation and transmutation of old inner memory programs.  

T.I.P.I. is the acronym. To take 100% responsibility for your experience of reality, repeat the phrases within, addressing your own inner divinity: 

Thank you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you. 

You can use all four phrases or one or two or three depending upon the experience you’re having. My “default” phrase is Thank You most of the time.  

The goal is to clear your memory and those of others so that old programming is released and divine inspiration drives your actions instead. 

 For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso’s blog

God’s Dictionary: Procrastinate


pro- = for     +      -crastin = tomorrow

     In my counseling practice, people have consistently asked me about a cure for procrastination. It always reminds me of that old vaudeville joke, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” “Don’t do that!”

    There really is only one cure for procrastination and that’s to stop doing it. The Latin roots mean to put off till the morrow. The thing that interests me most about procrastination is the why of it. Why do we procrastinate?

    In most cases, procrastination is one of two things: either a bad habit which can be changed or a form of resistance. I’d say ten percent is habit, and ninety percent is resistance. So, we procrastinate because we are in resistance. In resistance means I don’t wanna.

    The only way I know to remove resistance is to figure it out. What are you resisting? Why are you resisting it? Do you still want to resist it? Or, do you want to stop resisting it?

    Let’s take these one at a time. If you want to continue your resistance, fine; then you don’t get to judge your behavior as procrastinating. If you want to put down your resistance, what works for you? Barreling through? Making accountability agreements? Taking incremental chunks or the whole enchilada?

    Most of the time resistance is a form of fear, and it’s most often solved by attention. Ask: how can I attend to my fear and do what’s mine to do today?


    Infinition: Procrastination is an old habit that I both accept and release now. I no longer resist. Instead, I persist and finish what’s mine to do.

From Dr. Susan Corso’s blog God’s Dictionary

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