Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sexual Assault in the Army: The Pain

This was the most difficult episode to watch by far. As a woman there are things that are just too unbearable to sit and watch even if it is all acting.

With the series 'Lauren' a story is being told...the story of so many women in the army. A story that nobody ever feels comfortable telling. A story that is spoken of in innuendos and the women are always blamed. No woman deserves to be treated like a dog; like a being with no soul.

I cannot praise Troian Bellisario (Lauren) enough for the way she portrayed her character. You could feel her pain.

Troian is simply magnificent in this episode. She portrayed the strength that every woman has hidden inside. The source of which is often unrecognized. The strength to fight even when the physical abilities are lacking. The strength to persevere.

Sexual Assault in the Army

The long awaited Season 2 of Lauren has finally hit the internet. And of course as expected it is utterly gripping.

Jennifer Beals (Stone) and Troian Bellisario (Lauren) do very well in bringing their characters to life.

"Boys will be boys and girls will be girls and no uniform is ever going to change that"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Deportation of the Elderly in Germany

News headlines about the poor treatment of elderly residents in nursing homes are common place and news about the ageing population and rising costs of care are a daily occurrence. With undercover operations revealing hideous incidences of cruelty, starvation and violence towards elderly people in residential and nursing homes, how to care for an ageing loved one is becoming a difficult dilemma.

An artitst's musings
In the past, caring for the elderly was not a problem. It was accepted that care within the family unit would take place. Women generally, were at home taking care of the family and therefore were available to take care of sick and ailing relatives when the time came. Since the Second World War there has been a shift towards children and parents maintaining independent households and with the working week getting harder, longer and more stressful, caring for an elderly relative at home is just not an option. In 2010 only 10% of people aged 65 and over lived with their families and 12% of people in England aged 16 and over were caring for a sick, disabled or elderly relative.

In some countries the culture to look after the elderly has remained the same. It is seen as an honour, duty and a priority rather than a burden and therefore there is no issue or difficult decision to be made. In the UK, giving up a career that you’ve fought hard to achieve or for those that had children later in life, trying to look after a young family and ailing parents would be too much. Stress levels could increase as resentment towards this duty of care that you felt obliged to do but one you never bargained for becomes a burden. The relationship breakdown could cause increased stress and illness for both the carer and the individual being cared for.

Perhaps Germany has got it right. With an ageing population and rising care costs, Germany’s elderly are moving to care homes in Eastern Europe. One of the reasons it works is that the concept of ageing is very different in the East, society is family centric and the elderly tend to stay in the very heart of the family. In Eastern Europe, working with the elderly is a highly respected profession and vocation. Providing the individual is in agreement, it makes sense. A far cry from the newspaper headlines talking about the ‘deportation’ of the elderly from Germany. Perhaps in a society, like the UK, where the expense is high and the level of care questionable, the opportunity to get high quality, reasonably priced care elsewhere is the solution. Certainly to be cared for by a person that is in a respected profession and who really loves their vocation can only bode well for the individual being cared for as well as their families.

Article Source:  LilacJames image © Sarah Klockars-Clauser for openphoto.net CC:PublicDomain

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Set goals and plan for the future

This project is all about you.  You are the President and CEO of YOU, Inc. A worthy goal demands some intense thought and a ton of hard work; but, if you are willing to commit whole-heartedly to the effort, you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.  Know that and believe it.  

Why is it that most people do not set goals; and, that generally, even people who do set goals set very small ones?  I, personally, think that this is a phenomenon that is accidentally taught to us quite early in our lives by our parents, teachers, friends, and family. 

In some form or other, you have probably overheard or had someone say to you, “Don’t expect so much of yourself, that way you won’t be disappointed.”  Or, "Don't set your standards too high because you might fail."  Or, maybe, "Don't go so fast or the boss will expect the same thing from the rest of us."  By being told these things, in essence, you are being told to rig the game for yourself.  You set the bar so low that rising to the occasion is no work at all.  You make up easy goals for yourself or, even worse, set no goals at all.  And, maybe you've concluded that that’s the formula for happiness because you never come close to risking the possibility of failure.  If that's your strategy, all you'll ever achieve is miserable mediocrity.
An Artist's musings
I say: “Phooey to that!”

Challenge yourself!  Ask yourself what you really want.  Why can’t you be an astronaut, a professional athlete, or a business owner?  Why can’t you be a manager, a district manager, a regional manager, or a vice president of the restaurant company you now work for?  How about a doctor, a lawyer, a cowboy, a rock star, a ballerina, a millionaire, or whatever else you want to be?

You know what, you can!  It is possible.
A worthy goal demands some intense thought and a ton of hard work; but, if you are willing to commit whole-heartedly to the effort, you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.  Know that and believe it.  If you want to launch to never-before-reached heights and make your dreams a reality, you must set goals and plan for the future!

It's a shame that there aren't a lot of people who actually set goals for themselves.  There are plenty who make the claim that they do.  They'll say that they set goals for themselves, for their team, or their business; however, if you ask to see the list of goals, you usually find that they don’t actually have one, or they don’t have it on them at the moment - which is just another way altogether of saying, “I don’t have one.”

Do you know the difference between a goal and a dream?

A goal is written down, but a dream isn't.  The dream is how possibilities germinate, the dream is the idea; but, the goal is the idea transformed into action.  The goal sets your feet on the journey and on the path to your destiny. 

Let me just give you the quick-and-dirty version of setting goals, because it's not hard nor is it time-consuming.  Begin with what I call the Brain Dump. Dig down deep inside yourself and ask, “What is it that I want out of every aspect of my life?”  You have to write this all out.  For this exercise, don’t waste time worrying about whether or not what you want seems far-fetched, or how on earth you will achieve it; just write it all down. Get it on a page, several pages.  Don't leave any aspect of your life unexplored. Take your cue from Oprah as you write.  She said, "When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes."  That's what you're going for.

So, with that in mind, what do you want from your career?  How far do you want to go?  What about your social life?  What do you want to make happen for yourself, personally?  Do you want to learn how to play an instrument, take up a new sport, or do ballroom dance? 

Write down where you want to see yourself financially; when you want to retire; and, what you will you do after that.  What places do you want to see? . . . The tropics?  The Himalayas?  Maybe you'd like to step foot onto every continent. 

What kind of adventures do you want to have? . . . White water rafting? Zip lines in the Caribbean islands? Sky-diving?  How much free time do you want?  What about your health and fitness?  Etc, etc, etc.  Just write it all down - anything and everything that comes to you!

Spend some serious quality time with this project - three to five hours over several days, if necessary.  Get truly imaginative and be aggressive.  This is your life!  How do you see it?

When you feel like you're finished, go back and review your entire list.  For each thing you want, plot your plan of action.  Begin to enter the dates by which you see yourself accomplishing these things. Provide the necessary details that layout the steps you need to take in order to accomplish all you have listed.  

To be useful and effective, goals must be what I call SMART:

  • Specific – details matter.
  • Measurable – keep score.  Mile markers show how far you've come.
  • Attainable – must be things you can actually get.
  • Realistic – you can’t do a two-year masters program in six months.
  • Time-specific – a due date of when you expect to deliver.

It may very well be the case that you decide to toss some of the items from your list because you have now decided for one reason or another that a specific achievement just really isn’t as important as you initially thought it was; and, there's nothing wrong with that. 

Strategize for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, and long-term goals. Then, start busting your hump to accomplish them. Some might come easy; they may not be as difficult as you thought they'd be.  And, some will be a lot harder. Some you will achieve. Some you won't. Don't linger on that, just learn from the experience and move on. Some goals you may decide you truly do not want; they don't serve your interests after all; and, that’s ok, too.  Don’t let anyone else make those decisions for you.  Your life is in your own hands. You are self-determining.

This project is all about you.  You are the President and CEO of YOU, Inc.  Make your own list of goals and your own plan of action that lays out what you need to do to get the prize.  As said by the very successful motivational speaker, Les Brown:  “If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.”  Find your targets and direct all your efforts toward those destinations.

You will be amazed at the rush you get from taking the reins of your own life.  This focus on the future with a plan in the present puts you on the path to realize greatness.  You may notice envy from those around you who don't understand your new-found passion and your tireless drive, but don’t let them slow you down.

Understand that you will not hit every goal by any means; in fact, if you do reach every goal, that's a glaring red flag.  It may be a sign that you have set your goals way too low.  Think bigger; do another Brain Dump because you need to commit to demanding more of yourself.

Be SMART, set goals and plan for the future; that is, if you want to have the brightest one possible!

Courtesy Howard Cannon image © Darren Hester for openphoto.net CC:Attribution-NonCommercial

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Time Management Tips

Time management tips can prepare you to undergo changes - sometimes, profound ones. Given how tumultuous times can be, the better you understand the process of creating positive change in your life, the more effective your time planning will be.

Consider this 6-stage model of change, initially developed by Professor James Prochaska in 1997 to support people in overhauling their lives. Here is how you can apply this model to effectively manage your time choices:
Time Management Tips
1) Precontemplation Stage
Many profound journeys to restructure time begin with simple dissatisfaction. You know that "somehow," something isn't quite right. But you may have no idea how your own time choices interfere with your effectiveness.

Perhaps you blame others. Perhaps you feel there is something wrong with yourself that can't be changed. But what's important is that you realize you want to make a change! So the exploration begins.

2) Contemplation Stage
Once you realize that changes in how you use your time can be made, you still may be beset by self-doubts. Old patterns have trade-offs, after all. For every change you want to introduce, some other time choice must be let go. It helps in this stage to realize that you are the one in control. Take all the time you need to weigh the pros and cons. As you clearly identify what must be given up, you may find yourself more than ready to make the change. Affirm you can take things one step at a time.

3) Preparation Stage
Next, you can take an active role in deciding what time choices you want to incorporate into your life. This is an excellent time to review your values, and how they translate into goals. Often, it's extremely helpful to prepare a set of short-term goals that you know are a comfortable stretch, but not a strain.

4) Action Stage
Once you decide on a new time plan, you take active steps to establish and maintain new time boundaries. Offer yourself lots of support, anticipate that problems will present themselves, and factor in plenty of time to problem-solve. When scheduling new activities, it is often wise to use the "Times 2 Rule". Assume any activity will take twice as long as you think it will!

5) Maintenance Stage
In your eagerness to begin new activities, you may underestimate the effort it takes to schedule them in on a regular basis. Like New Year's resolutions, the best intentions require a wealth of support to become fully integrated into your life. Plan on assessing your progress at regular intervals, and providing yourself with lots of validation. If you find it helpful to use the buddy system, trade support with friends as you work to put new time patterns to use.

6) Termination Stage
In this time management model, the termination stage doesn't mean discontinuing your new activity. Continue to devote as much time as you need to maintain your new schedule. Update your time choices whenever necessary. If you successfully incorporate your new time habit into your life, it will become automatic. In that case, congratulations! You can build on your success, redirecting your energy to initiate a new time management project.)

Now, ask yourself: How can you start restructuring your time choices today to reach new levels of effectiveness?

Offered by Paula Eder, PhD, The Time Finder Expert. image © Sarah Klockars-Clauser for openphoto.net CC:PublicDomain

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Consequences of Sexual Assault: the conflict escalates

"Lauren" Season 2 premieres Friday, May 3rd with 12 new episodes! Catch four episodes every Friday through May 17th. In this new season, Lauren attempts to get on with her life in the military, but is harassed and impeded. Stone tries to do the right thing, but is caught between military code and what she may believe is proper. As their conflict escalates, the question becomes: Will the ugly truth see the light of day?

Courtesy WIGS

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Consequences of Sexual Assault

Lauren, compellingly written by Jay Rodan, under the competent directorial vision of Lesli Linka Glatter (Gilmore Girls, The West Wing), features Pretty Little Liars' Troian Bellisario as Sgt. Lauren Weil who reports to her commanding officer, Maj. Jo Stone, played by Jennifer Beals (Flashdance, The L Word) about being raped by three fellow soldiers. Stone's reaction is far from what the Sergeant expects. She warns Lauren about the consequences she would have to bear if she pursued the accusations regarding the "incident." The assailants' punishment would be minimal compared to the repercussions this would have on Lauren's career, a mother of a five-year old daughter and a five generations of soldier. Stone deliberately avoids using the word "rape" as she considers it "an emotive word."

According to Associated Press, Beals, who'd been researching for more than a year what it's like to be a woman in the military, said that even if her character's words "may at first seem hurtful and harsh, (...) later viewers realize it's more complex for the commanding officer, (...)."

In the second episode of the series, Lauren is approached by Maj. Stone's legal counsel in a sarcastic way the Sergeant doesn't appreciate. If she wants her superior to proceed with an investigation though, she's told she'd better cooperate. Maj. Stone learns meanwhile from her superior that the investigation is not going to happen, because one of the suspects in the case happens to be the grandson of a four star general. How she's going to handle Lauren's report is revealed in the last episode.

Beals' character is strong yet human and sensitive. That shows not just at the end of the first episode, but also when Stone tells Lauren with tears welling up in her eyes: "What I feel doesn't matter, what I care about doesn't matter." She had to fight her way up to be where she is now.

Speaking of whether she has a preference for playing strong characters with every new project, Beals answered in a Twitter Q & A chat after the series' finale: "I find the roles interesting. I think it might be a combination of the characters finding me and me wanting to delve into a more complex realm."
Bellisario is by no means beneath the talent of her much more experienced co-star. Only a brilliant actor has the ability to show their range and grab the viewers' attention within such a short amount of time the way she did, with the material she's been given.

Statistics show that in 2011, nearly 3,200 sexual assaults in the military have been reported, with many more going unreported each year. Beals is extremely invested in the military sexual trauma topic and hopes that Lauren "implements some kind of change and does bring back some integrity to the military and people's perception of the military, because there are so many fine soldiers out there and not everybody has to be categorized as a sexual predator," as she recently stated in a video interview on Huffington Post Live.

Courtesy Digital Journal

6 Simple Self Improvement Tips

Self Improvement tips

The following self improvement tips will aid you in your efforts to begin your personal development endeavours. You will find yourself achieving new levels of fulfillment by incorporating them into your daily life. If personal development and growth interests you, there is a good chance you are constantly looking for reliable techniques that will stimulate your progression. Any tactics that can kickstart your personal growth and show you fast results would be fondly looked upon.

After years of study in the self improvement arena, I have found the following strategies to be invaluable. Any chance I can give back to others that have that same thirst to better themselves, I consider it a privilege knowing that I was once in the exact same place.

Expect to Achieve

While many think that the majority of people who are successful in the world are smarter than they are, that simply is not the case. The real secret here is to expect to win before it has ever happened. I can't stress enough how important this is. Your mindset has a hugely powerful effect on whether or not you will attain your dreams and goals.

Note that I didn't say you need knowledge to win, because the fact of the matter is having a bold and determined expectancy goes a lot further than actually having the knowledge. The knowledge will come with conviction and persistence.

Keep a Daily Journal

You will be hardpressed to find an ultra successful person who doesn't adopt a personal daily journal. We can't keep track of everything that passes through our minds and this is when a journal comes in extremely handy. Whenever something strikes you as something you would like to do, accomplish or feel passionate about, get in the habit of writing it down. It will give you a sense of self-awareness and will skyrocket your confidence in yourself.


Known to be a fabulous stress reliever not to mention the other health benefits like aiding in digestion and even slowing your heart rate, this is one of the most overlooked of the techniques even though it could very well be one of the most important. It drastically helps in avoiding worries and anxiety because it clears your mind of all the negative thoughts useless thoughts that we all feel from time to time. Your sleep will be more restful and it will help you make the most of the other techniques shared here.

Write Action Plans & Specific Goals

The simple act of putting pen to paper has a dramatic effect on clarifying your goals and aids with the expectancy I talked about earlier. This habit of writing down goals is mandatory if you want to actually achieve those goals. Dreaming is one thing, doing is quite another. All of these written goals should lead you to your ultimate long term goal and perfect life.

Daily Affirmations

Getting in the habit of reading aloud positive affirmations each and every day will lierally change your character, your personality and ultimately change the actions you take every day of your life. I have found that reading these out loud when I get up in the morning and before I go to bed at night to work very well. You can't help but change your inner self by doing this religiously every day.

Be Well Rounded

All areas of your life are affected by all other areas of your life. By that I mean, if you have bad relationships for example, your finances and even your health will suffer also. Problems in your relationships, your health or finances will zap the necessary energy to make the most out of all of these areas of your life. Personal development and success will become much more difficult as a result.

In order to accomplish great things, living a balanced life is so important, a life of great emotional fortitude, financial security and physical stamina. Be well rounded in all of these areas and you will inevitably reap the rewards.

To great success in your life!

Courtesy of Daniel Better
Image © Jasenka Petanjek for openphoto.net CC:Attribution-ShareAlike

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Steroids, And Their Effects on Human Body

Undoubtedly, anabolic steroids are very effective in stimulation of physical performance and muscle size. With high biological value, they are used for numerous medicinal purposes as well. Read this article to get a well summarized detail of anabolic steroids, and their medical and non-medical uses.

Steroids are biological compounds which are usually derived from a sex hormone - testosterone. They are commonly consumed by the bodybuilders and sportsmen to gain in muscles and body strength. These compounds have the effects of two natural producing hormones � testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, which have several physiological effects on human body. These substances were first isolated in 1930s by a German Chemist. With passage of time, a number of experiments were made to produce more powerful substances. Today, there are more than 100 forms of steroids used for several purposes. They are commonly available in oral form, but one can purchase them in the form of injection and cream as well. These compounds have several medical and non-medical uses. Let us discuss some of their great advantages to human beings.

Medicinal Functions of Steroids

Steroids are recommended, by expert physicians, in treatment of numerous medical conditions, hence their medicinal uses have increased extensively. These compounds are an effective medication to treat the diseases like cancer, AIDS and lung ailments. Patients of hormonal dysfunctions, asthma, and some heart diseases can also be benefited by these drugs. Steroids have anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties, and help to balance the level of body's immune system, manage the inflammation and swelling symptoms. Additionally, they assist to regulate the metabolism and control blood electrolyte levels.

Non-Medicinal Functions of Steroids

Steroids, commonly a form of testosterone, are partially responsible for developmental changes, especially among the teens. They have anabolic and androgenic effects. Androgenic effects are related to the changes in primary and secondary sexual characteristics such as enlargement of tests, change in voice, and growth of body hairs. On other hand, anabolic effects of these drugs include enhanced neural conduction, accelerated growth of bones and muscles, and increment in red blood cells.

Stimulating the receptor molecules in cells, steroids activate the specific genes to generate and use the protein in such a way that augments the quantity of red blood cells, and develop the muscle mass. Taking simply, steroids promote the cell growth and division, that results in rapid growth of muscle tissues and bone sizes. If used in an appropriate amount, these drugs can provide dramatic gain of 20 to 30 pounds in weight, just in a short span 3 to 4 weeks. Steroids have some anti-catabolic effects as well, which include the prevention of muscle catabolism that may accompany with intense exercise training.

In fact, steroids have become a popular health diet for bodybuilders and sportsmen. Although they are illegal to purchase and use, a growing number of people still take them for different purposes. These drugs have drawbacks too, with some reported side-effects attached with their excessive use for a long span of time. It is therefore recommended to use these substances under the supervision of an expert physician. There are numerous forms of steroids available in the market. Some of the most demanded are Anadrol, Oxandrin, Dianabol and Winstrol etc. While purchasing them, ensure the quality of product, and reliability of supplier. Online mode of shopping would be the best one to shop these drugs. Whether you buy Dianabol or anadrol, taking advise from an expert doctor is recommendable.

This article is by Gracy Thai.
Courtesy of ArticleCity.com 
image © Sarah Klockars-Clauser for openphoto.net CC:Attribution-ShareAlike