lucid dreaming - mindfulness

Lucid Dreaming For Busy People? Daily Mindfulness Habits

Four Daily Mindfulness Habits for Busy People

A common objection to starting a daily meditation practice is not having enough time. Sometimes, this just means that people are not willing to give up any leisure time in order to meditate. But for very busy people it is sometimes true. In these cases, it is still possible to meditate. You either have to do shorter sessions – just five minutes if you can manage it – or integrate mindfulness into activities you already do.

Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming is something you can experience just as you go to sleep. You can go to bed at your normal time, and with a little training you can experience wakeful dreams. These experiences are stress relieving, and many of its active practitioners love doing it.

Savoring Meals

 

How often have you eaten a meal without paying an attention to it? Maybe you’re on your phone, watching TV, or just daydreaming at the time, but the whole meal passes by with you being only minimally aware of it. Next time you eat, place your whole attention on the taste of the food. Don’t do anything else but eat. Not only is this a chance to develop your ability to control your attention, but it will also help you to savor the meal and get more enjoyment out of it.

 

Mindful Walking

 

Walking is an excellent time to practice mindfulness. When you walk, bring your attention to the soles of your feet. What sensations do you experience there? How do the sensations differ when your foot is on the ground compared to when it is not? As you develop this awareness, it’s important not to react to the sensations. You simply observe the sensations for what they are, objectively and dispassionately. If they are unpleasant, don’t wish the pain to go away — your job is just to observe. As you get used to this exercise, you can try focusing on other parts of the body. Of course, when you do this, some of your attention will be away from your surroundings so only use this practice where it is safe to do so.

 

Compassion

 

At the end of each day, think about one person who annoyed you slightly, who brought out a small negative emotion of some kind. Perhaps a friend didn’t respond to a text quickly enough for you, a guy at work was chewing too loud or a cashier gave you a bit of attitude. If you can’t think of someone today, think up one from the past few days. If you still really can’t think of anyone, pick any person you interact with regularly.

 

Close your eyes picture them in your mind. In your head, say “May you be happy. May you feel at peace. May you have a good life. May you be free from suffering.” Try to actually elicit a feeling of goodwill towards that person, so that you really, truly do wish them well. Just five minutes will be enough. Research has shown that generating compassion in this way can improve your own emotional state. Do this for a few weeks and note how your interactions with people change.

 

Mindful Waiting

 

How much time do you spend waiting, such as at the post office, in traffic jams, in the coffee shop? While no one jumps for joy when they see a queue, you can turn this from wasted time into an opportunity to practice. With your eyes open, bring your attention to your breathing. Don’t control the breath, just observe whatever natural pattern of breathing is happening at that moment. Try to observe a whole breath from start to finish. When your mind wanders away, just bring it back to your breath and start again. Continue until you’ve reached the front of the queue.

 

A stepping stone to further practice

 

You can switch these techniques around if you like. For example, you could do the mindfulness of breath exercise for five minutes at home, and do the compassion exercise while waiting in the queue. These techniques have been shown in research to have positive effects on mental health and cognitive function, particularly straight after you do them.

 

However, most of the research on mindfulness has focused on daily practices of between 20 and 45 minutes, so this is what you should be aiming towards to get the greatest benefit. Try these four daily habits for a month and note the impact they have had on your life. If you like the results, consider making time for a 20-minute mindfulness session every day.

 

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Evaluating Media Temple: Can It Increase Your Website’s Revenue?

Media Temple: A Powerful Web Host, But Is It Worth the Cost?

Media Temple is the ‘developer’s web host’, which means that people who know what they’re talking about love to recommend MediaTemple to people. But with hosting plans that start at $20/month (shared hosting plans with other companies average around $3-$5/month), are they worth the extra cost?

Sure, you can usually find a 40% off Media temple coupon to save on their DV hosting, or a Media temple promo code to save on one of their higher end hosting products. But that’s still about 70% more expensive than other web hosting platforms.

We found that Media Temple had 3 great things going for it:

Server Response Time – our tests on website speed were so much faster than any shared hosting website we’ve tested. It was around 150 ms, which is lightning fast.

Support – You ask a question, and a representative will give you call within 30 minutes to resolve the issue and find out if there’s anything else you need (i.e. white-glove service)

Robust Memory (RAM) – when a post of ours was featured on Reddit and we had a traffic influx of 25,000 visitors, our website was fine. It didn’t go down for a second.

Overall, we highly recommend Media Temple if you have a website that needs to be able to handle lots of traffic as well as operating lightning fast. Here’s some other tips for optimizing your website, after you sign up with Media Temple.

4 Ways to Optimize Your Website Content for Greater Revenue 

Stop treating your site as a physical library. Your back-catalogue of content is not fixed and set in stone. It is fluid, dynamic, responsive — whatever the fashionable adjective is at the moment. It can be analyzed and updated to help you build revenue. It can tell you where to focus your marketing efforts. It can guide your future content plans. Don’t just leave it gathering dust. 

Perito’s law analysis 

Perito’s Law, as popularized by Tim Ferriss, states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. So use Google Analytics or your preferred software to view your content in order of revenue. How many posts make up 80% of the results? You may not get an exact 80/20 split, but you may see a few big hitters. Focus your marketing efforts on these posts. Don’t forget about the internal traffic flow; make sure visitors can find these pages from the other pages on your site. 

Landing page analysis 

In your analysis package, order your pages by bounce rate and see if any are high compared to the rest. Why are people bouncing from these posts? If they are long articles, look at the time spent on the page. If the average duration is long enough to read the article, then look at why they didn’t go further into the site. Is this the only content piece you have on this topic? Could you write more? If the time spent on the page is brief, they were probably expecting something else. Could you rewrite the piece to improve quality or ensure it’s meeting one of your audience’s needs? 

Survey your readers 

If you need further data on how readers perceive your content, ask them. There are free online tools that allow you to embed a short survey into your pages. Ideally, you should just ask one question; you’re more likely to get responses that way. “Did you find what you were looking for?” is a good start, and you could have a textbox or multiple choice options appear if the reader clicks “No.” Use the feedback to help you update your content. 

Update your content plan 

After completing these three steps, you’ll have a good idea of which topics pull in the most revenue and attract more new readers than other subjects, and which are not so useful. So update your content strategy accordingly. If you have good traffic but low conversions, focus on revenue-producing topics. If you convert well but need more traffic, write more of those magnet posts. Scrap subject matter that isn’t likely to do well from your content plan. 

Kaizen 

Kaizen” is the Japanese word for “improve,” but it’s used in business settings to mean “small-step improvements.” Life coach Tony Robbins calls the principle “CANI,” or “Continuous And Never-ending Improvement.” Whatever you want to call it, you can apply this principle to your site. Repeat these analyses every few months and keep finding ways to optimize. Over time, your small steps will take you a considerable distance.

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Coupon Codes and Rewards Cards: 6 Money Saving Tips

6 Money-Saving Tips to Remember This Year

Are you planning for retirement? Do you want to take a dream vacation? Have you been thinking of buying a new car? Saving money is an important part of reaching your goals, but learning how to save can be tricky. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to start saving money regardless of your current financial situation. 

1. Use coupons

Coupons aren’t just for groceries. You can use coupons for almost anything you need to buy. Even if you choose to shop online, consider doing a quick Internet search for coupon codes and you’re likely to find something you can use. Booking a discount trip? Search for a Bookit promo code and you can save 20% off your trip easily. Even if coupons are only for a few dollars off the total price, you’re still saving money you can use for other things.

2. Use Cash-Back Rewards Cards

If you can trust yourself to use credit cards, then use a cash-back rewards card that gives you actual money back on your purchases. It’s a passive way to get money back while doing nothing extra to get it. If your credit isn’t great, there’s some easy credit cards to apply for and get money back in your pocket. Just don’t go on a spending spree!

3. Stop impressing people

It’s natural to want people to like you, but impressing people can be expensive. Whether you tend to buy new shoes or splurge on expensive lunches with your friends, it’s important to realize that these expenses can quickly spiral out of control. When you’re trying to save money, try not to impress anyone. Remember that your friends should like you for who you are and not whether or not you’re willing to spend money in order to hang out.

4. Be open 

While talking about money can be embarrassing, try to be open with the people around you when you’re trying to save. Let your kids and spouse know you’re trying to reduce your personal costs. This way, they won’t be shocked when you’re eating out less as a family or when you start selling your old DVDs online for extra cash.

5. Cut the subscriptions

Finally, reduce the number of subscriptions you have. Whether you subscribe to Internet movie streaming services, magazines or delivery boxes, subscriptions can be quite pricey. Try to cut back at least half of the things you subscribe to and you’ll be surprised at just how much you’re able to save.

Whether you want to make a down payment on a new home or save money for college, make sure you’re doing everything you can to start saving money. Remember that even small lifestyle changes can quickly add up to big savings and push you closer to your goal. 

6. Stop drinking

Whether you like to drink alcohol, coffee or soda, chances are you’re spending a lot on your daily beverage of choice. One of the simplest ways to reduce your spending and start saving money is by cutting out drinks. This can be a difficult change to make, but an incredibly lucrative one when you notice just how much money you’re really spending. Consider reducing the number of drinks you buy each day. Instead of coffee or juice, try water. You can even add fruit slices for extra flavor.

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Ethnic DNA Testing and an Ancestry.com Coupon

You’ve Got An Ancestry.com Coupon:

So, you’ve got an Ancestry.com coupon code burning a hole in your pocket, and your anxious to learn more about your family history. Now what do you do?

Getting to the Bottom of Your Roots: 

All humans alive today are at the pinnacle of their ancestral lines.  Each person is part of a line that extends backwards through centuries to the earliest humans on Earth.  The scientific fields of genetic archaeology and DNA testing have developed more and more sophisticated methods to begin to unravel the mystery of where and, more precisely, from whom do people come from.  Today, many countries contain laboratories that help people trace their ethnicity—even to an ancient past—through something as simple as a sample of saliva.

Tracing your ethnic ancestry is easier and more affordable than ever.  Thanks to ancient DNA researchers like Oxford Professor of Human Genetics Bryan Sykes, the field is growing in both popularity and technological advancement.  Sykes published the first study on the retrieval of DNA from an ancient segment of bone.  This work led to the ability to trace mitochondrial DNA, the human storehouse which houses the maternal line of human ancestors.  Sykes eventually founded Oxford Ancestors, a company that allows people to trace their ethnicity to an ancient past.  Today, there are many companies that have this ability and mitochondrial DNA is just one way to unlock the secrets of DNA ethnicity. 

Aside from mitochondria DNA testing, scientists also trace ancestry through Y chromosome testing and autosomal DNA testing.  Mitochondrial DNA operates on the fact that mothers pass on their mitochondrial DNA to all their children—both males and females.  In this way, it is possible to trace the maternal line back in time.  Because of mutations that have occurred over time, scientists are able to separate people into their respective ethnic groups based on these mutations. 

The paternal line can be traced through Y DNA testing.  Since men pass on their Y chromosome to their sons, this form of testing applies only to males.  However, a woman may still benefit from the information this test provides if her father, brother, grandfather, etc…takes this test.  And, as with mitochondrial DNA testing, this test relies on certain mutations in the DNA to sort people into their ethnicity groups. 

Autosomal chromosome testing takes into account the twenty-two of the twenty-three chromosomes a person has in order to measure ancestral background.  These twenty-two chromosomes are a mixture of both the maternal and paternal lines of ancestry.  Companies can assess a person’s chromosomal make up by comparing specific marker values with marker values that occur in different ethnic populations. 

The procedure for participating in any one of these tests typically begins by contacting a company that specializes in DNA testing like Oxford Ancestry in the United Kingdom or DNA Heritage in the United States (and most companies accept customers from throughout the world).  The company should be able to explain which test is best suited for a specific outcome.  Usually the company will mail out a kit that instructs a person to scrape a sample of cells from their mouth—usually along the cheek wall.  This sample is then mailed back to the company and the test is performed.  Results are then mailed back to the participant. 

The procedure itself is simple and easy.  It is also more affordable than ever running typically running between three and four hundred dollars.  Companies can sometimes run additional tests for additional fees that further pinpoint ethnic information since pinpointing only mitochondrial DNA, for example, only provides a small percentage of a person’s complete ethnic ancestry. 

Many people are participating in DNA ethnicity testing purely to satisfy a personal curiosity about their ancestry.  People that have been adopted also tend to seek out the ancestral information these tests can provide.  Sometimes these tests have financial benefits too, since qualifying as a member of a specific ethnic group can amount to monetary benefits such as financial aid for college.  Some companies that offer these testing services even go so far as to promote the tests as great holiday or birthday gifts.  Some companies, like Ancestry by DNA, even accept your payment through Paypal, making the service as easy to pay for as it is to use.