Brad Pitt on Life and Love


“It seems universal that we all carry great pains and great feelings of loneliness and regrets.  I had a friend who worked in a hospice. The ONLY thing that people talk about is their loves and then their regrets in love, dealing with love.”

 

“I thought, man, that’s really interesting. If that’s our focus on the way out, better start working on that now.”

 ~Brad Pitt

This issue of GQ is on news stands next month (Oct. 2019)

Link to Brad Pitt’s NPR Interview:

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/22/762869938/brad-pitt-on-making-ad-astra-processing-trauma-and-channeling-david-bowie

blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Maria Dorfner is an award winning health and broadcast journalist and the author of “Healthy Within: A Story of Loss and Gain” nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction.

Love: What the World Needs Now by Maria Dorfner

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Today, I interview Paul J. Zak about health, love and morality.

Zak has done extensive research into discovering what chemical in our brain ultimately prompts us to love.

So much so, that this son of a prior Catholic nun has a new nickname.

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Paul J. Zak is a scientist, prolific author, and public speaker. His book The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity was published in 2012 and was a finalist for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize.

He is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Dr. Zak also serves as Professor of Neurology at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He has degrees in mathematics and economics from San Diego State University, a Ph.D. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training in neuroimaging from Harvard.

He is credited with the first published use of the term “neuroeconomics.” He organized and administers the first doctoral program in neuroeconomics. Dr. Zak’s lab discovered in 2004 that the brain chemical oxytocin allows us to determine who to trust.

His current research has shown that oxytocin is responsible for virtuous behaviors, working as the brain’s “moral molecule.”

This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for civilization and modern economies, improve negotiations, and treat patients with neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Zak’s work on relationships earned him the nickname “Dr. Love.”

Q & A with Paul J. Zak
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1.  First, what prompted you to write The Moral Molecule:  The Source of Love and Prosperity and what’s love got to do with it?

I think the oldest debate humans have had since we have been having debates is on whether our human nature is good or evil.  Think Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, etc.  We are really curious about this!

Of course, most of us can be incredibly kind and sometimes nasty.  I wanted to see if I could find a “switch” in the brain from naughty to nice and figure out what turns this switch on and off.  And, my mother, before she was my mother, was a Catholic nun.  So, growing up I was given a very black and white view of morality.

But, my observation was that morality was more situational.  So, I basically spent 10 years of research so I could argue better with my mother (!).  Based on research done on rodents, I hypothesized that the mammalian neurochemical oxytocin might be the moral molecule. My experiments (and replications and extensions by many others) have shown a key role for oxytocin in motivating positive social behaviors.  Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love molecule” as it sustains romantic bonds and motivates care for offspring.

So, love makes us moral.  I think my mom would agree with this!

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2.  Absolutely.  How does positive touch and psychological support promote health?

Oxytocin motivates moral behaviors–even among strangers–by making us feel empathy where we share the emotions of others.

It promotes human interactions by reducing stress responses and thereby improving the immune systems.  Perhaps surprisingly, it is other people who keep us healthy (and, we’ve shown, happy).

We need connections, our brains and bodies crave it. We have shown that touch releases oxytocin.  So, I recommend 8 hugs a day.  Hug a stranger–its good for them and for you.

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3.  I’m Italian, so hugs come naturally. What if someone is alone?  Can they raise oxytocin levels?

Loneliness is stressful for social creatures like humans.  But, people who are alone can “hack” the oxytocin/connection system in several says.First of all, get a pet.  Our experiments have shown that dogs are better oxytocin promoters than are cats, but any pet is probably good.Second, use social media.  We have shown in experiments that social media of all types cause oxytocin release.  Third, massage is very healthful and causes oxytocin release (or start hugging people).

Lastly, nearly any activity that people do together can cause oxytocin release, including singing, dancing, going to movies, riding a roller coaster and especially helping others.

All these behaviors can “train the brain” to be better at connecting to people by increasing our oxytocin release.

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4.  Great tips.  All in moderation.  In your book you say love is also the source to prosperity. Let’s talk about that.  I read 90% of well-educated men who have graduated from college are ready for marriage between the ages of twenty-six to thirty-three-years-old.  These are the high commitment years.  Studies show a never married man at age forty-two becomes a confirmed bachelor.  Is oxytocin higher during the high commitment years making them able to trust and bond, as  older men get jaded?

High testosterone, our experiments have shown, is a powerful oxytocin inhibitor.  Testosterone falls in men after age 30 or so.  It also falls when men are in committed relationships and when they have children.  So, younger men may need a romantic partner to “tame” them so they can better attach to others.

Like any other brain system (or the French you took in 5th grade), the brain reduces the energy spent to maintain brain pathways that are little used.  Low attachment opportunities may make it harder in the future to find a mate.  A dog, though, is a good place to start.  Dogs also make being approached by strangers easier.  Go dogs!

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5.  Pets are amazing.  How about studies that consistently find a significant correlation between length of marriage and wealth accumulation?  Most millionaires are and stay married.  According to Dr. Thomas J. Stanley, author of “The Millionaire Mind” millionaires and those who will probably attain this status have a unique ability to select mates with a certain set of qualities:  Honest, Responsible, Loving, Capable & Supportive.  Does love keep you healthy AND wealthy?  If so, how?
 

Married men work harder, make more money, are happier, and live healthier and longer.  This is likely due to the anxiolytic effects of oxytocin.

High wealth men tend to have higher testosterone, so both marriage partners need to make love/romance a committment to keep the flame of oxytocin alive.

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6. I’ve also read certain foods release oxytocin naturally.  Namely, pasta with garlic and tomato sauce,  (happy to hear as an Italian!) plums, apples, turkey, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, cottage cheese, chick peas, oregano and another favorite, chocolate!  Have I left anything out?
Actually, oxytocin is such a primitive molecule we never run out of its building blocks.  Foods rich in phytoestrogens can make us more sensitive to oxytocin (perhaps by increasing oxytocin receptors though this has not been shown in humans yet).  These foods include soy, broccoli, tea, wine.
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7.  What are some more natural ways of releasing this love hormone to stay healthy? (i.e. pets, warm bath, soothing music)
Besides those listed above, moderately stressful events like travel or riding a roller coaster will raise oxytocin.  The best way to spike one’s
oxytocin is sex in a committed relationship.  Cuddling, holding hands, kissing will all do it.  Warm temperature helps, as does sharing a meal.
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8.  Nice.  Why hasn’t everyone been prescribed oxytocin in the nasal spray form to boost their well-being?
The spray inhibits the brain’s ability to control the release of oxytocin.  The brain’s oxytocin system is finely tuned so that oxytocin is released when we have a positive social interaction and then release is shut off.  You don’t want to leave the trust switch turned “on” at all times, this could be dangerous.  There is also evidence in animals that long-term oxytocin treatment can damage oxytocin receptors so the trust-empathy system could, over time, begin to fail.
9.  Interesting. Recently, there have been studies linking oxytocin with having a healthier body image. What are your thoughts on it being used as a treatment for anorexia, body dysmorphia or any other number of body image disorders?
My lab has done many studies of oxytocin replacement therapy.  For short to moderate periods of time, in combination with counselling, this is an appropriate approach for some patients with body imaging disorders.  The first line treatment would be with SSRIs like Prozac or Paxil and it turns out that this class of drugs moderately increases oxytocin in the brain.
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10.  Prescription drugs can have serious side effects so I’d like to focus on natural ways to release oxytocin. If someone were to begin doing all the natural things you mention, how long would it take them to begin feeling better and healthier?

Almost immediately!  Oxytocin is released in about 1 second after a positive contact.  If you follow Dr. Love’s (my nickname) prescription of 8 hugs a day, then you are training the brain to release oxytocin more easily.

That’s the key to being happier and healthier (and exercise and eat well wouldn’t hurt, either).

THAT ENDS OUR INTERVIEW. THANK YOU DR. ZAK FOR JOINING US.  THANK YOU FOR READING. -Maria
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If you’d like to learn more about Paul J. Zak’s amazing work visit http://www.pauljzak.com or watch his Global TED Talk at link below.
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Healthy Relationships: Love vs. Fear

The most popular blog so far was one about Healthy Relationships.  This tells me today’s health consumer isn’t only concerned about their physical well-being, but they’re aware of the strong link between physical well-being and their emotional and mental state.

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That’s why having a healthy relationship is the Holy Grail of life.  When you’re healthy from the inside, you attract healthy relationships, which is why so many people want to know how to do that.

Healthy Relationships should be a class taught in grade school throughout College, along with Nutrition and Healthy Living, which teaches how to cope with stress in life, because that will be a constant. Algebra and Calculus will not.

My book, HEALTHY WITHIN would do more to improve this world than any STEM class.

You may think love and how to love comes naturally, but not everyone has good role models. Oftentimes, parents are too busy working or dealing with their own stressors to demonstrate love properly.

Children end up witnessing verbal or physical abuse, addictions, financial stress and any other number of unhealthy behaviors from the very adults who are supposed to protect and nurture them. Many children end up being adults to keep it all together.

Breakdown of family is a huge stressor and research proves it can actually have a negative impact on children’s brain cells. But the good news is it can be reversed.

You, and only you, become responsible for your own behavior (forget your parents or any other unhealthy adult in your life) and can eat right, exercise and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is paying attention to who you allow into your personal space. Decide to make it positive.

You can be aware of everything going on in the world, and do your best to have a positive impact on it, but first you need take care of your own well-being. Get away from unhealthy people. People can be unhealthy in mind, body or spirit. You will sense this by the way they treat you and other people. They project hostility. They name-call. They bully. Your job is not to be triggered. That’s what they want. Ignore it.

Stay in your calm, peaceful, healthy state and do not react to it.  At a later time, you may respond from a place of wanting to understand. More than likely, you will learn that person was in pain at the time, and it had absolutely nothing to do with you. Part of knowing how to love oneself is learning how to love others by not reacting to them. Every child and adult needs to learn how to love. Most people love trying to get something. No. Love is selfless. Love doesn’t react. Love is calm. Love observes and seeks to understand where anger or hostility is really coming from. When a child acts out in school love asks, “Is everything okay at home?”

When a patients visits a doctor with physical aches and pains or a desire to lose weight love asks, “What’s going on in your life? Your relationships? Your job? Your finances?” Love doesn’t react by prescribing a pill before really getting to the bottom of what’s going on in someone’s life.

Again, everyone needs to learn how to love in every income bracket. Lawyers, doctors, judges, Presidents, writers –everyone. Your work is a reflection of your ability to ask the right questions before reacting to something. Every decision you make is a reflection of your knowledge or ignorance.

Personal responsibility in this world comes first. It means you need to take the time to learn what you need to because educators think teaching you how to spell well is more important than teaching you how to live or love well.

You need to learn how to love yourself first, then family, then friends, then partner, then colleagues, then community, then the whole world.

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I’m reminded of the 1984 power ballad recorded by the British American rock band, Foreigner called, “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

The song hit #1 in both the UK and the U.S.

It’s no wonder why people want to know what love is because a healthy romantic relationship spills over into every other area of your life. It’s that extra skip in your step and glow on your face when you think of your special someone.

It gives you natural energy.

As much as television shows, films or magazines may glorify the one night stand, casual sex or being a player (another name for “Loser”) — the reality of it is that great sex comes with a great relationship.  Fast food is momentary fullness with negative consequences, whereas consistently eating healthy has all the benefits that leave you feeling physically, mentally, intellectually and emotionally full and feeling good.

The emotion that has the most healing power for all physical ailments is LOVE.  So many people focus time on finding the right mate, but don’t even know how to love because they don’t even realize they are filled with fear.

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.”

~Marianne Williamson

Love and Fear are the most powerful ways of being that you can experience. In fact everything in your life every thought that you think, every word that you speak, every action you take falls under one of these powerfully creative headings.

You are at all times thinking, speaking and acting out of love or out of fear. They cannot coexist. In the same way all sponsoring emotions experienced can be and are categorized under one or the other…either love or fear.

When you begin to understand this you can then become more “conscious” of which you are expressing as you go about your day to day life which will provide you with a much deeper understanding as to how the day to day events, conditions and circumstances in the various areas of your life unfold.

It’s no secret in today’s world that the predominant thoughts that you think become things…physical things.

The more you focus on the things you want, (love) the more of those things you’ll see manifest in your life. By the same token, the more you focus on those things that you don’t want, (fear) that realization becomes just as apparent and shows up in the various areas of your life as events, conditions and circumstances that you don’t want.

In fact becoming consciously aware of the power of both love and fear and learning to consciously direct your thoughts, beliefs and emotions toward love, regardless of the “perceived” appearances in your physical world, will prove to provide “profound” transformation in each of your physical outcomes.

Your physical experiences in life…those things that you can see, touch, taste, hear and smell are merely effects.

These effects are determined by the predominant thoughts that you choose to think and become increasingly creative as emotions are attached to them.

A thought consistently focused on what you love will produce what you love in physical form. Consistent thoughts of fear (things you don’t want) are intensified by fear and create what is feared.

How can that be?

As with everything both Love and fear at their core in their purest and most basic form exist as a vibrational frequency of energy. These vibrational frequencies attract to themselves additional frequencies that harmonize with them creating in physical form whatever choice you make.

Quite simply Love attracts to you what you love and fear pushes what you love away. Put another way fear attracts to you what you fear and love pushes what you fear away.

Both love and fear are powerfully attractive forces. We get to choose which we will use because of “Unconditional Love” and that Unconditional Love attracts to us and provides us what we choose without fail whether that individual choice is based on love or fear.

We can choose to focus on lack, limitation and discontent which falls under the “fear” heading or we can choose to place and keep that focus on abundance, plenty and fulfillment which is categorized under the love heading.

Unconditional Love says “Whatsoever ye desire, “believe” and ye shall receive.”

Fearing in something happening in your life is due to an underlying belief just as the Love and experience of something is due to an underlying belief.

Fear is merely a “faith” or belief that the things we fear will be experienced by us in physical form and as a result of that underlying “belief”, that is what we will experience at some point unless and until the fear is changed within ourselves and we make the choice to shift the focus from what is feared to what is loved.

Learning to become consciously aware of our reactions to specific outcomes whether it be love or fear can be a great way to let us know what we are believing in at any given moment and begin to understand how to better utilize our creative power “consciously”, intentionally and purposefully.

From a scientific perspective…

Thought correlates with it’s object.”

Your choice to focus on Love and experiencing what you love is a belief that you can and “Unconditional Love”  makes certain that you do. Love projects a much different thought frequency than fear and attracts what you love in the same way that fear projects a much different frequency than love and too, you draw precisely what you fear.

Thought correlates with it’s object. Thoughts of fear correlate, attract and create what is feared. Thoughts of love correlate, attract and create what is loved.

Either choice delivers precisely what we choose because “Unconditional Love” says “Whatsoever ye desire…”believe” and ye shall receive.”

Unconditional Love  makes no judgments or determinations as to your choices, it only provides outcomes unfailingly and unconditionally just as you ask…”Whatsoever” you ask.

Unconditional Love provides you with the choice as to what you will experience and the same Unconditional Love provides it too you just as you choose.

When you really begin to grasp and internalize this truth you begin to understand that you have nothing to fear. You get to choose your experience. You only need become conscious of that fact…awaken and begin “consciously” choosing what you love by placing and consistently keeping your predominant focus on what it is that you love.

Many today…the mass majority in fact are inundated with various fears and as a result of what they are “unconsciously” asking for through their vibrational output or energetic projection are continually attracting events, conditions and circumstances that are harmonious with that choice resulting in outcomes which further reinforce the “perceptions” that life is hard, difficult or at best bearable.

Life is what you choose. You choose your own way….your own experience. An expression of Love is a choice just as an expression of fear is a choice.

Although you are unable to change the fact that you think, you do have a choice and can consciously choose “what” you think.

If you have a desire to see your big dreams and desires unfold, don’t fear what you don’t want…learn to shift and focus your predominant thoughts on loving what you do want. Both provide physical outcomes “unconditionally” that harmonize and correlate precisely and with unwavering certainty with your individual choice.

Make certain that what you are projecting through your thoughts and emotional output is filled with love which cannot fail to draw to you more of that which you love.

When focusing on and projecting love, remain in love and unattach from the outcome. Love doesn’t require effort for attraction to occur.

An attachment to or “anxiousness toward” an outcome projects and communicates want which implies not having or the lack of which projects an energy frequency which is tainted by fear and pushes away rather than draws to you the desired outcome.

An “anxious” expectation of receiving is a communication that you are waiting for and expecting an outcome which the Universe responds to in precisely the way it is being communicated which keeps you in a place of continual waiting and expectation with the desired outcome remaining just outside of your reach.

Fear keeps the majority trapped in a self imposed prison. Fear of a lack of security…fear of failure…fear of the unknown…fear of the future based on the past experiences they’ve encountered that were experienced simply as a result of fear based beliefs chosen and held in the past which created and caused the experience to begin with.

Many will claim it’s not fear that keeps them stuck in undesirable careers but rather that it’s wanting or needing security. “I stay where I am because I’m seeking security.” If that makes you feel better you have the ability as well as the choice to stand by your claim, but seeking security is a widely accepted form of logic which under the surface is operating under fear.

How is that?

When looked at from a deeper perspective, seeking security is simply another form of fear disguised. Seeking security implies that you don’t already have available to you what is needed to be secure and the reality is that you already do. As you’ll recall in a previous chapter, EVERYTHING already exists as a “probability of existence.” You only need to create it and call it to you…to “attract” it to you through a focus of Love.

Fear keeps people stuck doing what they feel they “have” to do to have their security and as a result few rarely venture out to fulfill their passion and purpose which would, when done with the proper intention…out of love…provide them with far more security than any “trade your time for money” J.O.B. could EVER provide.

Regardless of which area of life it might be, fear is a very limiting and sad way to live life. It will in fact keep the majority from ever “truly” living life to the fullest unless a conscious choice is made to choose something different.

A choice of focusing on Love in everything done is the answer.

Fear is merely a “faith” that whatever it is that is being feared will unfold and as a result it does. Fear of failure keeps you from “doing” those things which would create the success that you desire and IS the “underlying” cause for creating what is “perceived” as failure or mediocre results at best.

Although in reality there is no such thing as failure, fear keeps many from achieving what they desire and already have the ability to do.

Creation NEVER fails. “Perceived” failure is merely a successful creation with the “underlying cause” often going undetected by the one experiencing it. Failure is merely fear created in physical form but creation is ALWAYS successful…It NEVER fails and ALWAYS provides just what you ask.

Many are just doing the “asking” unconsciously.

There are MANY forms of fear…

Fear Of Loss

Fear of Failure

Fear of Success

Fear of The Unknown

Fear of The Future

Fear of The Past

Fear of…???

The list is endless…”Infinite” in fact. All that needs to be done is to replace the fear with LOVE. That happens as a choice. An individual choice that you have the right as well as the ability to make.

Fear creates outcomes…physical outcomes just as love does. Fear paralyzes and keeps hopes dreams and desires from being fulfilled in life just as love makes certain that they’re experienced.

What so few fail to realize and grasp is that Fear is merely “faith” disguised.

Fear is merely a form of faith that resides on the opposite end of the spectrum of love.

Most have heard and are familiar with the saying that Love and fear cannot co-exist. Although in reality they do co-exist in the physical world they cannot be experienced by the heart or mind at the same time.

Both Love and fear are based on faith and projected from the mind based on individual choice. Fear is merely a form of faith, often unrecognized which is determined by choosing to place your predominant focus on that which is feared.

Remaining in and focusing on fear will produce results in your life just as certainly as focusing on what you love will produce results that correlate and harmonize with that which is loved.

Faith is constant and unfailing in delivering outcomes in each and every area of life. It will provide physical outcomes that are feared just as certainly as it will provide outcomes that are loved.

Far too many attempt to create and experience what they love by experiencing and placing focus on what they fear. Put another way, you will never experience what you desire to experience in your life by keeping your predominant focus on what you would rather not experience. Faith never misses and as modern day scientists have proven, energy flows where attention goes without fail.

“Thought correlates with it’s object.”

Granted, the love of something emits a far greater and far more powerful energy, but remaining focused and fixated on fear can, will and does produce results based on that which is feared.

Although both love and fear, or ANY other emotional output for that matter, at their core exist as vibrational energies, love resonates and projects a much higher vibrational resonance than fear which can only draw to you energies that harmonize with the energy being projected which is transmuted from the unseen, metaphysical or spiritual realm and through the unwavering and immutable process of creation produces a harvest which shows up as the events, conditions and circumstances in your life.

The process of creation has been created to be VERY simple. Plant a seed and the harvest produced consists of and correlates with the kind and quality of seed planted.

Love represents one form of this seed and fear represents a different form of seed. Both are seeds and both produce a harvest. Although they are both creative and both a seed they can no more produce a harvest of the opposite than an apple seed can produce an orange tree.

You can no more expect to reap a harvest of what you “love” by planting “fear” seeds than you would expect to reap a harvest of apples by planting an orange seed.

Your individual choice to project love or fear is neither a right or wrong choice but simply a choice which determines without fail, your harvest. That choosing determines with immutable and unwavering certainty 100% of the time what that harvest will consist of.

So how do you break out of this fear mode? Become aware of who and what you truly are, which is a spiritual being inhabiting a physical “meat suit” which is having a physical experience with EVERY conceivable outcome already available to you.

Learn to “consciously” utilize the incredible and never failing creative power that has been freely provided to you and your ability to rise above any “perceived” obstacle that might be encountered in life by merely making the conscious choice to do so will be automatic.

Most fears are experienced as the result of looking at the past and believing that because some undesirable event, condition or circumstance happened then, that it could be or will be repeated at some point in the future. It’s this form of fear that will keep you stuck repeating the same self limiting patterns over and over again, always desiring to experience more pleasant outcomes yet continually running into the same roadblocks which have held you back in the past.

It’s choosing to place your predominant focus on the things feared from the past that will ensure that more of the thing feared and focused on will be created in the future.

The reality is that you are NOT running into blocks and barriers keeping you from your desired outcomes…those things that you love…but rather attracting them to you and creating them based on YOUR choosing of keeping your focus on them.

Many, fully believing that by remaining aware of those things feared will enable them to escape them when in reality it is the awareness of and focus on the things feared which draws them to you. While you may come up with ways to temporarily counter the effects that the fear will create, you will always find yourself acting and escaping from the effects of the fear rather than focusing on love and never having to dodge or escape anything.

The bottom line is this…

You can choose to project love or you can choose to project fear. That’s an inalienable right we have each been provided. Unfortunately due to a choice to remain “unaware”, the mass majority experience mediocre results at best and very few ever experience the wholeness and fulfillment that life has to offer.

Perhaps you aren’t experiencing all of your desired hopes, dreams and desires either. If not, don’t feel alone because you are a part of the majority…but does that make you “feel” any better?

Why does it seem to happen this way? Because of where you keep your predominant focus…your quality of consciousness. Focusing on that which is feared can only attract and produce what you fear in physical form just as remaining focused on desired outcomes…those that you love will, with unwavering certainty draw to you the ways and means to produce the desired outcomes.

Combine Love With Action And Prosper

Although “consciousness is the seed for all of creation there is another element to experiencing your dreams and desires in the physical world. Although you are currently working on the “most essential” first step there is another component that must be “consciously” utilized as well…action.

Make no mistake…action is ALWAYS required in the fulfillment of hopes and dreams but when the focus remains fixated on the love of something the avenues to make that something into tangible physical form will ALWAYS be pleasant and feel good to you and due to the love and passion you have for what is attracted and presented can seem effortless.

Fear NEVER feels good. Fear is always struggle, resistance and continually attempting to swim against the current. Acting out of fear is NEVER pleasant and enjoyable.

Love is going with the flow and fear is paddling against it. At some point you get tired…fatigued…worn out. Inevitably love ALWAYS wins.

With that understanding established think about the areas of your life where you have a fear of something happening and examine that area consciously. Is the experience of the thing feared being realized?

If you get nothing else from this I hope you’ll grasp and understand this…

Love is the result of an internal beingness, something that we choose to be. Fear is only experienced as the result of looking at the physical events, conditions and circumstances in our lives, both past and present

It is essential that you discover and exercise your “true” power to discover that who you “really and truly are” has absolutely nothing to fear, but that we make ourselves fearful each time we look outside of ourselves for some external thing or power to make us feel fearless.

You have absolutely NOTHING to fear except your “unwillingness” to begin consciously, purposefully and intentionally creating the kind and quality of life that you have been provided the right, the ability as well as the choice to choose for yourself.

That creation begins within yourself. Choose Love inside and you’ll experience those things that you Love on the outside.  Love and Desire followed by action that harmonizes with love and desire produce desired results…a kind and quality of results that you Love.

Fear, doubt and worry followed by actions or inaction that harmonize with fear, doubt and worry produce results that harmonize with our choices.

The heart “feels” and communicates only Love and the mind processes those “feelings.” Depending on the filters that have been formed in the mind is what determines what emotions are ignited and experienced in the physical body which determine what type of actions are taken.

Fear filters dissipate and suppress the “feelings of love” that heart always communicates creating emotion resulting in “action” that in the vast majority of cases is disharmonious with taking “a kind and quality of action” that harmonizes with creating the tangible result that we “love and desire.”

To experience more of what we Love.

You are the only thing standing between what you desire and that desire being fulfilled.

Your life and the events, conditions and circumstances in your life are a mirrored reflection of what you yourself are choosing and “allowing” to happen.

Change is constant. It’s the way the Universe was constructed. It’s never idle. It never becomes stagnant. It’s constantly in motion and never rests. You could say that creation is a constant.

resist being stuck which creates an illusion that stuckness is our reality. It doesn’t “seem” to change but it is consistently changing and only recreates the same quality of outcome that we “perceive” that it will.

The cycles continue. Love provides it just as we choose.

These cycles can be clearly seen and witnessed in nature. The awe and perfection of the process never fails or wavers. The continuous arrival and passing of winter, spring, summer and fall clearly reveal one of these repeating and self replicating cycles which has been cycling for billions of years and will continue for billions more.

We never get “stuck” between seasons. We don’t get stuck in winter or any other season.

Universal Law which oversees and governs the process ensures that the cycles never cease…that the “flow” is always open. They are never interrupted or broken. They always unfold perfectly and precisely just as they were designed to do.

It begins by choosing to “become conscious.” First of all “conscious” of the heartfelt communication the heart is sending to the mind which is expressed in the desires you hold for yourself and others that harmonize with Love.

It’s nothing more or less than becoming “conscious” of the difference between heart data and head data.

Choosing to do so clearly reveals the difference between ego and higher self.

This requires nothing more than choosing to become quiet for a moment and allow those “heartfelt desires” to stir, awaken and surface at a conscious level.

 Reflect on…

  • What do you love with all your heart? What do you want with all your heart?
  • What experiences do you wish to engage in with all your heart?
  • Do these “desires” benefit and enable everyone involved to win?
  • Does the manifestation of the experience of what you love benefit all?
  •   Do these “heartfelt desires” align, harmonize and honor the “free will” of others?

 Become conscious of…

What are you allowing your “mind” to do when you think about the manifestation…the tangible creation of these “heartfelt desires?”

  • What conceptualizations are processed as you think about and ponder the “tangible creation” of the “heartfelt desire?”
  • What “perceptions” do you hold with regard to the “tangible creation” or the sabotage of your heartfelt desires?
  •   What emotions ignite?
  • Do they harmonize with Love and joy? Do they create a win win for all involved?

If you find the mind to be conflicting with your heartfelt desires, it’s going to be necessary to provide the mind with new data that supports, aligns and harmonizes with the desires held at the heart level.

To elevate the “mind” to harmonize with “heartfelt desires” that you have for yourself requires a willingness and a commitment to expand the quality of consciousness that is creating the “illusion” of limitation. It’s as simple and complex as developing the ability and willingness to harmonize and eliminate the “resistance” between heart and mind and developing the ability to accept and surrender to whatever “less than desired miracles” are being observed on the outside…in the physical Newtonian world.

The inflow of “heartfelt desires” begins by choosing to “Be anxious for nothing.” The flow provides “desired miracles” when we choose to “judge not by appearances and allow Love to shine through.

It’s an “internal battle” that you can disarm and win whenever you make the choice to do so. Doing so requires becoming conscious of the difference between heart communication (accepting, surrendering to and experiencing what you love) or head communication (accepting and surrendering to rather than avoiding and resisting what you fear)

You must involve, listen to and follow your heart if you want a consistent flow of consciously created and desired miracles. Your heart is far more powerful and creative than your brain or your mind when you choose to allow it to be.

Personally experiencing that power requires a surrender to the intellectual thought processes. It requires a willingness on your part to “Judge not by appearances”…to “be anxious for nothing” and keep focus on the “feelings” that the heart provides which always point toward Love and the fulfillment of “desires.”

It requires nothing more or less than turning the volume up at the heart level and turning the volume down at the level of consciousness. It requires becoming consciously aware of what the mind is instructing you to do that you recognize as going against or “resisting” the instruction of the heart which is clearly conveyed and communicated based on whatever you “truly desire” (love) to be, do or have.

Listen to and follow your heart…elevate your quality of consciousness to the heart level.

  • Focus on the love of rather than the “fear of.“

Focus on the “desired reality” rather than the “perceived reality.”

Focus on the “fulfillment of” rather than the “lack of.”

  • Focus on winning rather than NOT losing.
  • Focus on being wealthy rather than NOT being broke.
  • Focus on what you can do for and how you can best contribute to the happiness and fulfillment of others rather than what you can do for yourself and get for yourself despite the wants, needs and desires of others.

In essence it’s simply a matter of choosing Love as your conscious and/or underlying intention and doing the best you can to keep your attention on what is loved.

Learn to Love and accept unconditionally which automatically and effortlessly initiates surrender allowing what is loved to become real and tangible.

That’s where your “true power” lies and where infinite potential and possibility can be and will be experienced when you make a conscious choice to “allow“ it to be.

Love projected attracts to you and delivers what you love. Fear projected absent the Intention of Love keeps what you love from becoming real.

[Source:  Abundance-And-Happiness.com]

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blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Aphrodesiacs for Valentine’s Day, Romantic Dining in NYC, Musings from Mom & Dad

“Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” ~Steve Jobs

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie — it’s amore.” ~Dean Martin

Ah,  love.  And pizza.  And love of pizza.   When I was a bright-eyed kid, my Dad made pizza for a living when he wasn’t working in “construction.”  Fellow Brooklynites will get the quotations joke.   While in grade school, I waited up for him for three reasons.  One, he brought home the next day’s New York Post and Daily News.  I loved feeling like I knew what was going in the world while everyone was sleeping.  Yes, New York was the WORLD.  Two, he always brought home large fresh pizza pies and three, quality time with Dad talking about  news and pizza.  So naturally, I associate pizza with love.

English: Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pi...
Image via Wikipedia

Turns out, pizza made Reader’s Digest list of Top 10 Love-Foods for Valentine’s Day.  Saying “Love Foods” the way Don Cornelius would say, “Soul Train” in his honor today.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, aphrodisiacs are based in “folklore, not fact.”  Still, people continue to believe in the love-inducing effects of certain foods, herbs and extracts.

Some say if you believe something, you’re halfway there.  Ah, the placebo effect.  None of these attract a mate, but if you already have one, they may help improve  your love life.

                                 “Love each other.” ~Nonna Angelina

Discovery Health listed some of these:

  • Asparagus: The vitamin E in this vegetable is said to stimulate sex hormones.
  • Chili peppers: Some researchers say that eating hot peppers makes us release endorphins, which might lead to “other things.”
  • Chocolate: This favorite for Valentine’s Day contains phenylethylamine, one of the chemicals your body produces naturally when you’re in love (see The Chemistry of Love).
  • Oysters: Oysters contain high levels of zinc, which reportedly increased the production of testosterone. Testosterone increases libido for both sexes.

Others include Ginkgo, Spanish fly (dead beetle parts) and Damiana.

Back to pizza.  READER’S DIGEST also compiled a list of sexy foods to boost your libido.  This one includes pizza pizza. Lots of ’em are yummy, so enjoy!   The first 6 are in my favorite snacks.  The link that follows it describes the health benefits of each.

  1. WATERMELON
  2. SPANISH OLIVES
  3. STRAWBERRIES
  4. CHERRIES
  5. ARTICHOKES
  6. CHAI TEA  (See 15 health benefits of chai tea according to science, which includes 5 chai tea recipes at https://www.jenreviews.com/chai-tea/
  7. PROMEGRANATES
  8. PIZZA
  9. WHIPPED CREAM
  10. STEAK
Reader's Digest
Image via Wikipedia
CLICK BELOW FOR READER’S DIGEST LIST with HEALTH REASONS to ENJOY THESE FOODS:

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/10-more-aphrodisiacs-for-valentines-day/

Reader’s Digest Magazine: Only $4.00 per Year! (livingrichwithcoupons.com)

You could stay in with your  love and one of the yummy items on the list above OR if you’re in NYC you can check out these special 2012 NYC Valentine’s Day deals and prix fixe menus OR do both.

By , About.com Guide

1. 21 Club

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at New York’s landmark ’21’ Club, where the romantic upstairs dining room has been the site of numerous wedding proposals. For Valentine’s Day 2011, ‘21’ is serving a sumptuous three-course dinner, including a Veuve Clicquot champagne toast, for $125 per person.

(We had Rush’s book signing at 21 Club and I found it a tad stuffy.  Although, it may have been in  a different room than the dining room they speak of)

2. Agave

Enjoy a laid-back Southwestern Valentine’s Day at Agave with a special three-course menu and a premium tequila tasting for $120 per couple.

3. Aureole

For Valentine’s Day 2011, Aureole is serving a sumptuous five-course, prix-fixe dinner featuring foie gras and lobster for $175 per person ($100 wine pairing supplement). While there are certainly more affordable Valentine’s Day options, Aureole is a great choice for a special occasion splurge.

4. Bouley

The legendary Chef David Bouley is offering a six-course tasting menu for $195 per person ($295 with wine pairings) this Valentine’s Day. You can also take your Valentine to lunch at Bouley for just $36 per person for the tasting menu.

5. Bun Soho

This fabulous Grand Street Vietnamese spot is serving up a four-course prix-fixe menu with specialty cocktail and dessert for just $45 per couple. It’s the most affordable Valentine’s Day deal we found in Manhattan for the second year running.

6. Bryant Park Grill

At Bryant Park Grill, Valentine’s Day specials include the seafood raw bar for two, romantic cocktails (Budding Romance for Two features raspberry vodka and an edible orchid), and a complimentary box of hand made truffles. The regular menu is also available.

7. Chez Josephine

Chez Josephine, the restaurant inspired by the legendary Josephine Baker, offers a romantic setting complete with red velvet walls and chandeliers. Pianist/vocalist Christ Curtis will serenade diners as they enjoy a prix-fixe menu of French American bistro favorites for $75 per person.

8. COMMERCE

Enjoy incredible food in this historic Greenwich Village space. The three-course Valentine’s Day menu  offers options for $69-$98 per person (depending on entree choice).

9. Gentleman Farmer

Make it an intimate local Valentine’s Day at Gentleman Farmer on the Lower East Side. This cozy 20-seat restaurant serves a menu that combines traditional French cuisine with fresh local ingredients. The Valentine’s Day 2011 prix-fixe menu is $55 for three courses.

10. Guantanamera

Make it a Cuban Valentine’s Day with a three-course dinner, live music, and hand-rolled cigars for $69 per person.

If you want to impress someone special, choosing the right restaurant can make all the difference. These restaurants offer romantic atmosphere, as well quality food and service that are sure to impress — whether it’s Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or another special occasion.
(Some of the following seem like nothing special when you’re  a local. Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe don’t seem particularly romantic to me.  The Sea Grill gets lots of tourists.)
More Romance in New York City:

1. Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern Dining RoomPhoto by Ellen Silverman, used with permission
Danny Meyer’s restaurants are reknowned for impeccable service, and Gramercy Tavern is no different. Serving creative American fare, Gramercy Tavern is the perfect place for a perfect meal, from start to finish. Reservations suggested, though the tavern area has reduced prices and a no-reservation policy.Gramercy Tavern Basics:
42 E. 20th St.
Between Broadway and Park Ave. So.
212-477-0777

2. Union Square Cafe

Union Square CafePhoto by Nathan Rawlinson, used with permission.
Another Danny Meyer destination, Union Square Cafe offers great service and delicious fare in a comfortable setting. Union Square Cafe is friendly to vegetarians. Reservations suggested, though the bar area offers you an in without a reservation.Union Square Cafe Basics:
21 E. 16th St.
Between Fifth Ave. and Union Sq. West
212-243-4020

3. One If By Land, Two If By Sea

One If By Land, Two If By SeaPhoto Courtesy of One If By Land, Two If By Sea, used with permission
Often considered the most romantic restaurant in New York City, One if By Land, TIBS is housed in a former carriage house that features nightly live piano music and working fireplaces. Exposed brick and dim lighting make this a great destination for a romantic evening.One If By Land, Two If By Sea:
17 Barrow St.
Between 7th Ave. S. & W. 4th St.
212-228-0822

4. Balthazar

I must admit, I’m a bit prejudiced, since Balthazar is where I went for dinner after I got engaged, but if being transported to a bustling Parisian bistro is your idea of romance, this is the perfect destination. Steak frites are fabulous, as is the onion goat cheese tart.Balthazar Basics:
80 Spring St.
Between Crosby & Broadway.
212-965-1785

5. Daniel

If you really want to dazzle your date, Daniel is among New York City’s most impressive restaurants, with prices to match. Decor reflects Daniel Boulud’s appreciation for Italian Renaissance design, but the menu features creative French cuisine. 3 Course Prix-Fixe $96.Daniel Basics:
60 E. 65th St.
Between Park and Madison Aves.
212-288-0033

6. Blue Hill

With an annual Valentine’s Day tradition of serving a “hands-free” meal, Blue Hill offers an off-beat take on your typical romantic evening. Serving American cuisine, Blue Hill builds a menu focused on seasonally available produce from the Hudson Valley.Blue Hill Basics:
75 Washington Pl.
Between Sixth Ave. and MacDougal St.
212-539-1776.

7. Savoy

This warmly lit restaurant feels more like a country inn — complete with a roaring fire in the colder months. Dine on fine American cuisine and if you’d really like to impress, reserve for the chef’s special menu.Savoy Basics:
70 Prince St.
Between Crosby and Lafayette Sts.
212-219-8570

8. The Sea Grill

Overlooking the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, The Sea Grill is a great choice for a romantic evening, assuming your date likes seafood. From oysters and clams to herb crusted skate, the menu offerings reflect a range of seafood options all well prepared and very fresh.The Sea Grill Basics:
19 W. 49th St.
Between Fifth and Sixth Aves.
212-332-7610

If it’s the perfect view that makes you feel romantic, you can do no better than The River Cafe on Brooklyn’s waterfront. Featuring delicious food combined with professional, attentive service, The River Cafe is well worth leaving Manhattan for the food alone, but the view of downtown Manhattan makes this an irresistable choice.The River Cafe Basics:
1 Water Street, Brooklyn
718-522-5200

10. The Place

This West Village restaurant offers all of the romance of New York’s finest restaurants, but with a more affordable price tag. The menu features both American and pan-European cuisine.The Place Basics:
310 W. 4th St.
Between Bank and W. 12th Sts.
212-924-2711

If anyone had a personal great experience at any restaurants listed –please let me know in comments.

More Romantic New York City

MUSINGS FROM MOM & DAD

MOM:      Love isn’t about getting roses or going to restaurants.
ME:          What is it?
MOM:      I don’t know.  Ask your father. (married 50 years and she doesn’t know)
ME:          Dad, Mommy said to ask you what is love?
DAD:       She’s crazy.
ME:          Well, what is it?
DAD:        What?
ME:           Love.  Amore!!!
DAD:       When you want to be with one person so you can be crazy together.
ME:           Brilliant.
Actually, Mom gave me a beautiful answer when I asked her once before. I always ask them that question.  If they have an epiphany, I want to be the first to know.  Mom said love was about two people who want to grow a garden together, water it every day, watch it grow, thorns and all.  Something like that. I wrote it down somewhere.
Post note:  If you’re single and alone on Valentine’s Day — you can’t go wrong with the pizza.     One of the few things you can still find for one dollar a slice.  Pizza = Love.   😀

Link below to find .99 cents pizza anywhere in NYC or click on City/State to find elsewhere:

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”                      ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery