Meditation Techniques – The Joy of Being Present

Quite often, our thoughts and memories play tricks on us. When we think of a situation that has occurred, it is generally the same no matter how many times we run through it in our mind. Now, try taking a walk in a familiar place. One of the things you will notice is that it is not the same as you remember it. The world has changed, and it is constantly changing.

Being present in the moment develops awareness of your surroundings and inspires flexibility of mind and heart. It is a well known fact from neuro-science that your eyes only capture a partial impression of the external reality; the rest of what you perceive to be reality is actually filled in by your mind. To have a fresh perspective and to see without assuming and expecting is the goal of being present in the moment. 

Take notice of these changes and become aware of the liquidity of life. A heightened awareness can inspire you to become more flexible and pliable in all aspects of your life. Born, we are soft and supple, dead we are hard and stiff. Movement and change is the way of life, rigidity and stiffness is the way of death. To be present, truly present, is a joy that is beyond words. Once you become aware that you are living a real moment, a unique moment given specifically to you, no matter what it is, you can appreciate it and be grateful for being alive. Be grateful that you are having this breath, having this food, having this ache, because if you don’t, you will miss it forever.   

Why Does Your Dog Deserve a Present?

Birthday – Everyone gets a birthday present. Your kids, your parents, even you. It’s not fair that your dog sees everyone else getting spoilt on the anniversary of their birth, but not them – and they do know, trust me. So treat your dog to a wonderful birthday present this year. Unlike your kids, they wont moan if you bought them a PlayStation 2 instead of 3, they’ll just be thankful that you thought of them.

Anniversary of when they were bought - If you can’t remember their birthday, or you can but you want to treat them for both instances, get them an anniversary dog present. I’ve heard the saying a happy dog makes a happy home, and just think how happy the home will be if the dog is doubly happy!

A ‘well done’ present – If the dog in question is a puppy in training, you might want to congratulate them on going a whole week without doing its business indoors. Even if it’s not a pup, you might want to say well done because they keep doing things that really surprise you. They might have done something courageous like saved a life, or found something you were looking for. I’m sure your dog does so many things that deserve praise, so don’t just say it, show them how proud you are.

Thank you – You might have just gone through a relationship break up, or lost a job or a family member. You might have just had an operation and are in need of a friend who can really cheer you up. If your dog has done this for you, they deserve something to say thanks.

Apology – You might have been neglecting the dog recently in favour of the cat, hamster or rabbit you’ve just bought. You might have been spending more time at work recently and aren’t giving your dog the affection they’re used to. Either way, a nice dog present ought to soften the blow a little.

Cheer up – Your dog might be upset about something too. They may have lost a companion, a cat, another dog, or their playmate from the park might have just moved away. Whatever the reason, the poor thing needs something to cheer them up, so don’t hesitate to do so.

Return from holiday – Imagine your whole family goes on a 2 week Caribbean cruise and you have to spend that time holed up with a bunch of strangers smelling your behind? Exactly. Find something on that boat that your dog will love!

Just because – A bit of spontaneity goes a long way with humans, so why not dogs? Treat them because they’re your best friend and always there to make the day a little brighter, however dark the weather may be.

I’m sure these aren’t the only reasons to buy your dog a present, but it just goes to show that there are many ways to do so. There are plenty of shops and websites available with a huge array of dog presents aimed at any dog, any breed, any age, any size and any price. Time to start shopping!

PowerPoint Presentation Success – 5 Tips For Successful Presenters

Preparing your next PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have to be difficult. Yes, it’s true that the medium has its problems. But you can solve most of these problems by being more selective with the many choices that PowerPoint provides. Make choices that suit you and don’t be pushed into standard or inappropriate layouts. So when you are ready to prepare your next PowerPoint presentation here are five essential tips:

  1. Typeface and font. Choose a typeface that your audience can read on your presentation screen. Experiment with a serif typeface such as Times New Roman and sans-serif typefaces such as Arial and Verdana (Format: Replace Font). You want your words to be readable by your audience — so aim to use a font with a point size that is fully legible; 16 point or 18 point perhaps (Format: Font).
  2. Colors. Your choice of typeface color is also important (Format: Font: Color). Some colors will be less visible to your audience than others. Greens and reds can be indistinct on a white background. Blues and blacks have more visibility. Don’t forget to consider your background color scheme (Format: Background).
  3. Bullet Points. It’s the bullet point list that creates most problems for your audience. There are either too many bullet points, too many words per bullet or just too many lists in a presentation. They work best when you want to summarize or signpost direction. This is what we’ve done. This is where we are going.
  4. Images and video. Aim to use images as effective visual metaphors in your presentation (Insert: Picture). They will enhance and support your speech. Make sure that your pictures are big enough to fill the screen. Use video and audio files in your PowerPoint presentation when you have the opportunity (Insert: Movies and Sounds). It’s an ideal way to build interest and keep your audience engaged.
  5. Charts and graphs are key to many presentations (Insert: Chart). Remember to keep the charts big, without too much distracting detail. Don’t mix them with bullet points. It weakens their impact. Try to use the “build” technique (Slide Show: Custom Animation). Your chart can build itself as you speak — based on rehearsed timings or your mouse click. Very effective. Remember the point, turn and talk technique for PowerPoint charts. Point at the screen, turn to your audience and then make your point.

PowerPoint provides you with some exciting tools for your presentation to be truly successful. Visual and multimedia effects can be stunning with PowerPoint — helping you to make that all important audience engagement. Just beware the traps presented by too many palette choices and the standard text layouts.