It’s All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an I

Most likely while growing up, you heard the phrase, “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.” Parents often use this threat as a means to control their kids. Mind you, their intent is well-meaning to protect the child from getting hurt, but still, it is a control mechanism. Oftentimes we view control as being a “bad” thing, yet we don’t see that at the root of all control is love. Love is the foundation which causes the desire and perceived need to control because without that love for something, there would not be a need to try and control the things that we fear will take that something away.

The ego is very much like that loving, controlling parent. The ego believes it knows what is best for us, and thus, it tries to control our behaviors to fit what it believes is our greatest good. So in that way, the ego is actually behaving very lovingly towards us, even if we perceive its actions in a negative light. When we try to eradicate the ego, when we try to get rid of it, it becomes stronger. Why? Because it’s acting out of LOVE! And as we all know, love tends to be an extremely powerful force. Therefore, by truly understanding that the ego acts out of love, we can learn to live in harmony with it. In fact, we can actually work with the ego to move towards our higher spiritual goals that we previously believed the ego was trying to prevent us from reaching.

Here’s how…

1) Ask The Question

The next time your ego acts out and you find yourself doing or thinking something that isn’t the way you’d like to live, pause for a moment and ask yourself this question: “How could this be beneficial to me?” The point of asking this question is to answer all hypothetical ways (without judgment) in which the behavior could be helpful to you. Let’s use an example and pretend that you have a difficult time going to sleep. Here’s a list of reasons why it might be beneficial to not go to sleep:

It means I’m not awake as long to do productive things
Being awake protects me from having bad nightmares
If I’m awake, then I feel safer that nobody will physically harm me
When I sleep I feel absolutely nothing, like I’m dead. I’m scared I won’t wake up.

You see, those are a few reasons why we might not be able to sleep. Notice anything in common? They’re all protective instincts coming from the ego… they’re all with the intent of love. By recognizing this, we are empowered to then work with the ego and find a more meaningful solution.

2) Feel The Answers

The next thing to do is look at the reasons you listed. Say one out loud, close your eyes, and focus your attention on area of your belly just below your ribs. You are listening to see if this reason you spoke out loud causes a reaction in you… something that says, “Yes, that feels like it could be the reason.” Maybe the first one will cause a reaction, maybe you won’t find a reaction until the last one. However, assuming you’ve exhausted all possibilities as to why you might have the upsetting behavior or thought, then repeating this process with each possibility will eventually identify exactly why it is happening.

3) Thank Your Ego

Once you identify the reason, the next thing to do is THANK YOUR EGO for acting out of love and protecting you in that way. Gratitude is key here because it recognizes that the ego isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not focused on the same set of priorities as you are.:) This is fundamentally important to this process because it enables you to build a meaningful relationship with your ego built on trust, and more importantly, respect.

4) Give Your Ego A New Reason

Now that we have thanked the ego, we must release it from its previous duty. Let it know that its original purpose is no longer needed, and that you would like it to take on a new purpose. This new purpose should reinforce the way you want to now live, for example, to be able to fall asleep easily at night from now on. The goal here is to continue building that relationship with your ego in a positive and healthy way. Remember, it wants to show it’s love for you! What better way than appreciating what it’s done and now giving it a brand new way to show it’s love for you?

It’s important to make sure your ego knows why you want this new behavior, so the more justifications you can find the better. Therefore, as an additional exercise to help identify the new reasons, you can use a similar process as step 1. Instead of asking a question about why the behavior is bad, instead, ask why the newly desired behavior is good. Following our example we would ask the question, “Why is it beneficial to fall asleep easily and quickly?”

I awake more rested and can be more productive throughout the day
I can enjoy my dreams
I can release the stress of the previous day
I can wake up early to enjoy a sunrise / make a nice breakfast / workout / etc
When I sleep I feel extremely at peace

Now you have a full list of reasons to justify to your ego why this new behavior is in your best interests, and that will help guide your ego to continue acting out of love for you… now in line with your goals!

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Social Media – It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Steals Your Identity

Millions of people are reconnecting with old school friends and keeping up with current friends on various social media networks such as Facebook and MySpace. It’s a fun and easy way to upload pictures for your friends and followers to see, or send a quick update on what you’re doing right at this moment. It all seems harmless until you realize that almost 10 million Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2008, which is over a 20 percent increase since 2007. With over 250 million personal data records breached since 2005, millions of people have been exposed to the ill effects that being a victim of identity theft can quickly have–all because personal information got into the wrong hands.
This is the bad news.

The good news is that there are ways you can still enjoy being a social media maven AND protect your privacy to avoid becoming an identity theft victim.

The Best Ways to Secure Your Identity from Stealers

There are several privacy options available to help protect your information from getting into the wrong hands. You should always avoid sharing personal contact information. Parents always warn us, “Don’t write down what you don’t want others to read.” This includes an address, birth date, social security number, etc.

· Categorize your friends. You can create groups to categorize your friends. This allows you to share certain updates with certain groups rather than anyone and everyone that lands on your page or is one of your “friends.”

· Be unsearchable. There are privacy settings such as “Friends Only” or “Network and Friends Only” that makes it possible for only your friends to view your page.

· De-Google. Social media sites are very search engine friendly, which means your information is ranked by the search engines. Uncheck the option to be indexed by the search engines in your privacy settings as added security.

· Don’t forget your albums. Even if you set your photos to be private, your albums may still be open to the public. So, don’t forget to set the privacy option on your albums too.

· Keep relationships private. There are two options here. You can control who sees basic information such as your relationship status or remove the newsfeed on items like this to avoid it being blasted out to your friends. Some sites allow you to share who you’re in a relationship with, which can put you and your partner at an even greater risk to identity theft.

· Visit wisely. These sites have thousands of applications users can use and visit. When you use these applications, it automatically updates your status on your page. Harmless: “Tim is playing Word Challenge.” Harmful: “Tim is having sex,” which occurs when you visit a certain section of Facebook that will go unnamed here.

· Privatize contact information. Private contact information should only be visible to people you trust. Organizing your contact lists to control whom sees this information adds further protection.

· Control friends’ actions. To avoid embarrassing, defaming, or personal information from being listed on your page, visit the profile page of the site and choose who can post on your page, or avoid allowing updates to show publicly at all.

· Make friends private. Exposing your friends can expose you too. Make your friendships private to have better control over who can access your personal information, which can help to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

· Don’t show your age. Thieves can track you with your birth date and year of birth. Keep your date public so your friends can express their best wishes but don’t post your year of birth.

Social media is fun and exciting. It allows you to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. It can also make you vulnerable to identity thieves, which takes all of the fun and games out of your social media networking. Practice safe social media by implementing these ten tips and continue to enjoy the benefits of this online phenomenon.

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Identity Finder searches and secures personal information. Using the company’s proprietary AnyFind technology, Identity Finder intelligently locates social security numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, and other sensitive data inside documents, spreadsheets, e-mails, web browsers, and other system areas. Beyond identification, our technology helps securely shred or encrypt information. Install Identity Finder today to stay steps ahead of the criminals.

Follow a Plan to Educate Your Preschooler

Many government and university studies show that what happens during the first five years of a child’s life determines all that follows, including social behavior and academic performance in school, college, and later in life. A child whose educational foundation is laid properly during this early development phase has the best possible chance to succeed in school and in life. Parents therefore, cannot wait for the educational system to lay this foundation; it is too late when our children go to school – the preschool period has come and gone!Clearly then, it is our duty as parents to lay the right educational foundation during the early childhood development period; a truly daunting and forbidding responsibility. Many parents feel overwhelmed once they realize the enormity of the task. After all, it is a multi-faceted challenge that includes developing your child’s vocabulary, fine and large motor muscles, imagination and social skills, to name a few. Many parents respond with questions such as: How do I approach this task? Where do I start? Which resources are available, and where do I find them? Where is the “Preschool Mastery 101” class?For you to become your child’s kindergarten teacher, so to speak, you need a system that not only tells you what to do, but also provides tools and tips to help you succeed. You can think of such a system as having two parts: Part 1 that provides the framework to lay the right educational foundation by giving information about the following aspects:• The importance of actively developing children before they go to school.
• Identification of the most important areas to develop.
• Identification of and provision of strategies for each of the three most important learning styles.
• How to balance work and play by making learning a fun experience.
• How to stimulate a child’s imagination and develop the skill to “think outside the box”.
• How to help my child make friends so that he or she is not lonely and unhappy.
• Tools and Tips to help you develop a child’s vocabulary, imagination, math and motor muscles.
• How to plan your child’s development process with a step-by-step example.A Part 2 that provides the tools to help you succeed in laying your child’s educational foundation. For example:• Where and how to get educational material.
• Ways to develop your child’s math skills.
• Check lists to measure your child’s progress.
• A monthly planner, so that you can properly structure your child’s education.What can I do today?
Vocabulary is the single most important aspect on which to concentrate during the early childhood development phase. Is a well-developed vocabulary more important than math skills? Yes! It is because everything we learn, even math and music, is explained to us through words. Although we use symbols in math and music, we learned the meaning of those symbols through the spoken word. So, if your children do not fully understand what is being said, they will always be left behind!One of the best ways to develop your child’s vocabulary is to read them stories. Reading stories to your child, and talking about the story, benefits your child in many ways. It develops your child’s vocabulary, imagination, and is an opportunity to spend quality time with your child.Conclusion
Being willing to develop your child during the early childhood development phase is a great first step. Once parents understand their responsibilities, many parents start with enthusiasm, but then seem to lose their way. In most cases, it is because they don’t have a roadmap in the form of an education plan. To lay your child’s educational foundation successfully, get an educational system that shows you what to do. Then create a daily plan end stick to this plan!