Monthly Archives: October 2015

10 Fundamentals Of Mental Strength


10 Signs You Have Exceptional Mental Strength: If you do these things, you can be sure you’re more resilient than average. Just a few weeks ago psychotherapist Amy Morin laid out bad habits you need to break if you want to achieve incredible mental strength. But what if you read the list and were inspired to give your brain a workout, axing unhelpful thought patterns from your life and boosting your resilience? Certainly, you’d want to be able to gauge how you were doing.
Are you average when it comes to mental strength or has putting in some effort made you more resilient than most? In a follow-up piece on Business Insider, Morin offers a huge list of 21 tells that indicate your efforts are bearing fruit and that you’re now more mentally strong than most folks.
You can check out the complete list for a really deep dive, or read on for a taster of 10 signs of mental strength to watch out for if you’re looking to monitor your progress and celebrate your newfound resilience.
1. You balance emotion and logic

You can’t make good decisions without some emotion, but you can’t make good decisions with too much emotion either. The truly resilient strike the right balance. “Mentally strong people understand how their emotions can influence their thinking. In an effort to make the best decisions possible, they balance their emotions with logic,” Morin says.
2. You feel confident you can adapt to change

Change is a constant. That reality doesn’t stress out the truly mentally strong. “Mentally strong people know that although change is uncomfortable, it’s tolerable. They focus their energy on adapting to change, rather than resisting it,” claims Morin.
3. You face your fears

Everyone has fears and not every one of them needs to be conquered, but the very resilient among us “strive to face the fears that hold them back,” Morin says.
4. You learn from your mistakes.

Don’t justify them. Don’t hide from them. Learn from them. That’s what mentally strong people do.
5. You balance self-acceptance with self-improvement

This is tough to get right, but according to Morin, “mentally strong people accept themselves for who they are, while simultaneously recognizing their need for personal development.”
6. You celebrate others’ success

If you truly feel strong, there’s nothing to fear when others do well–in fact, there’s a great reason to celebrate. The truly mentally strong “don’t feel as though other people’s success somehow diminishes their own achievements,” Morin says. So if you sense your feelings of envy are diminishing, take it as a good sign that your resilience is improving.
7. You live according to your values

“Mentally strong people make decisions with relative ease because they understand their priorities and they live according to their values,” notes Morin.
8. You don’t need to achieve to feel good about yourself
It’s natural to feel good when you succeed and bad when you fail, but the mentally strong don’t let the ups and downs of life interfere with their essential self-image. “Mentally strong people feel good about themselves, whether they win or lose,” Morin insists. Next time life deals you a blow, then, notice how deeply it affects you. If you can shrug it off more easily without feeling too bad about yourself, congratulations! You’ve likely achieved a high measure of mental strength.
9. You express gratitude

It’s easy to look around and see all the things you lack, but the mentally strong choose to focus their attention on the things they do have–and feel grateful for them. Do you?
10. You don’t try to hide your weaknesses

Not only does trying to mask your weaknesses waste your energy, it also makes you less likely to put in the work necessary to improve these areas. “While many people work hard to disguise their vulnerabilities, mentally strong people invest their energy into improving their shortcomings,” Morin says.
How many of these 10 behaviors do you exhibit?

Living Super Confident = Responding Not Reacting

How Super Confident People React to Bad News  
Getting angry, trying to control the situation, and even being verbally abusive are not the right reactions to bad news. Here’s what confident people do instead. The client just called. He is not going to renew.
At a tech conference, your boss tells everyone in a group you are not pulling your weight.
You come back to your desk to find a pink slip. 
Not good, right? And yet, when you receive bad news, the test of your confidence is really all about your reaction. Getting angry and even verbally abusive reveals a lack of confidence in yourself. It’s a form of control. When you know how to resolve a problem, when you know the facts are wrong, or even when you accept the blame and admit your faults, the right reaction is to use that bad news as a springboard. Here’s how:
1. Don’t take it sitting down

It’s never a good idea to fly off the handle when you hear bad news at work. But it is OK to defend yourself when the facts are wrong. Do it in a calm manner, because that’s what confident people do. They don’t just sit and take it, they present a clear counterargument. In conflicts over the years that have resulted from some bad news, I’ve tried to just stick to the facts. They tend to win out over time, despite any false motives or when someone just doesn’t like you.
2. Jump into action

While you are standing and not sitting down, go ahead and do something. It has an amazing effect on your attitude. One of the worst days of my life was when I was ousted from a corporate job. I drove home that night and my wife came up with the idea of being a writer. I jumped into action. I’m not saying I was all that confident at the time, but it was a lesson for me. I pounded the pavement for weeks and months. I reacted with action. It’s a good thing, because I’ve been writing ever since.
3. Ignore half-truths

Confidence is like a Teflon-coating that wards off half-baked attacks on your character and on your skill level. You know you have proven experience, so when there’s some made-up stories about your work performance or a social-media attack, you brush it off because you know the real story. One tip here is that it’s OK to focus on the part of the half-truth that’s true. Maybe you do need to get a little better at attending meetings. Maybe you need to brush up on your writing skills. Fine. Focus on what you can do to change and don’t try to control the outcome that results from what someone made up about you. (By the way, this is why I typically ignore hypercritical comments on social media. Usually, the person has an agenda or doesn’t have the whole story.)
4. Flip the bad news into good news

Confident people are experts at turning bad news into good news. How does losing a major contract free you up to explore other ideas? When a friend at works says you’ve been a jerk, learn from it. How does a busted relationship like that help you learn to get along with people better? How can you do better? The one main differentiator between confident people and people who are just proud but trying to hide a lack of skill is that the confident ones embrace their failures and learn from them. Proud people just keep acting proud and hope no one will notice the failure.
5. Stay happy

I love the image up above. It is a good way to live life, isn’t it? Jump on a scooter and just go sailing down the road when you hear bad news at work. Realize that there is a time to grieve when you receive bad news in life, and it’s OK to be sad, but work is work. Don’t put 100 percent of your confidence in what you do. Put it in who you are.

Do You Have a Cherokee in Your Family Tree?


by Gregory D. Smithers

Gregory D. Smithers is an Associate Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity (Yale University Press, 2015). 
Each fall I teach an undergraduate course titled “Native Americans in the South.” The class is designed for juniors and combines historical narrative with analysis of specific events and/or Native American people in the Southeast. On the first day of class I begin by asking students why they’re taking the course and inquire if any have Native American ancestors. This year proved typical: five of forty students claimed they are descended from a great-great Cherokee grandmother.
I’ve become so use to these declarations that I’ve long ceased questioning students about the specifics of their claims. Their imagined genealogies may simply be a product of family lore, or, as is occasionally the case, a genuine connection to a Cherokee family and community.

All of these students – whether their claims are flights of fancy or grounded in written and oral evidence – are part of a growing number of Americans who insist they are descended from one or more Cherokee ancestor(s).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of Americans who self-identify as Cherokee or mixed-race Cherokee has grown substantially over the past two decades. In 2000, the federal Census reported that 729,533 Americans self-identified as Cherokee. By 2010, that number increased, with the Census Bureau reporting that 819,105 Americans claiming at least one Cherokee ancestor.

The Census Bureau’s decision to allow Americans to self-identify as belonging to one or more racial/ethnic group(s) has meant that “Cherokee” has become by far the most popular self-ascribed Native American identity. “Navajo” is a distant second.
Census data is but the tip of the iceberg. Search the Internet and one will quickly be left with the impression that the Cherokee family tree not only stretches out over North America, but to places as distant as Central America, Scotland, the central Pacific, and even Australia.
In the United States alone, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma estimates there are over 200 fraudulent groups claiming to be Cherokee. Visit websites devoted to genealogy, and one will find scores of Americans expressing their disappointment when DNA testing contradicts family legnds about great, great grandma being Cherokee.
So what’s behind all of this?
There are three major reasons for the ubiquity of claims about Cherokee ancestry. The first reason can be found in the success of Cherokee governance. Since 1970, when President Richard Nixon ended the period known as “termination,” three federally recognized Cherokee tribal governments have successfully administered to the local needs of Cherokees. These governments are the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band of Cherokees.
Cherokee authorities have therefore played a leading role in keeping Cherokee history and culture alive through the use of the arts, education, and historical preservation. Language immersion, for instance, has ensured that the Cherokee language is still read and spoken in Cherokee communities. Indeed, the Cherokee language has transcended the boundaries of Cherokee communities with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma teaming up with tech giants Apple, Microsoft, and Google to get Cherokee language and translation apps on iphones and smart phones throughout the United States.

A second reason for the popularity of Cherokee identity is the place that Cherokee history and culture has in American popular culture. From the 1959 pop song “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian),” which the rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders popularized in 1971, to the National Park Service educating generations of Americans about Cherokee removal, the Cherokee people have occupied an important place in the popular narrative of the American history.
While American school children often finish their formal education with only a cursory understanding of Native American history, it’s important to acknowledge that many walk away with at least a cursory sense of the injustice inflicted on Cherokee people at the end of the late 1830s. The story of the Trail of Tears engenders a degree of compassion for the historical experiences of Cherokee people, even if some people use that compassion for self-serving purposes to articulate an individual identification with the Cherokees.
A third, and more significant reason, is the actual history of the Cherokee people. As European colonialism engulfed Cherokee Country in the Southeast during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Cherokees began innovating their social and cultural traditions to better meet the challenges of their times. Cherokee chiefs engaged in diplomacy and trade, some Cherokees relocated their towns to escape aggressive frontier settlers, while still others intermarried with people of European (and occasionally, African) descent. The result, by the time the United States became a republic, was a culturally dynamic, ethnically diverse Cherokee population.
Increasingly, the Cherokee people also became a geographically dispersed population. The encroaching Anglo-American settler frontier, greedy slave owners who coveted Cherokee lands, and federal officials who extracted land cessions from Cherokee chiefs through treaty-making slowly but surely dispossessed the Cherokees of their Southeastern homelands. There can be no doubt that the forced removal of the Cherokees to Indian Territory (modern-day eastern Oklahoma) during Andrew Jackson’s presidency was one of the most inglorious episodes in American history, but the process of scattering the Cherokees all over the earth started long before the Trail of Tears.
It’s the development of diasporic Cherokee communities that may help to explain why the Cherokees occupy a prominent place in our collective historical consciousness. Scattered over the earth by the often-cruel forces of settler colonialism, the Cherokees endured and flourished. The Cherokee people’s history is a compelling story; perhaps that’s why so many Americans hope to find a Cherokee in their family tree.

What Is Nobility?

There are no random acts, we are all connected. Fairness does not govern life or death, if it did no good man would die young… Good comes from it, two strangers meet, one dies as a result of the other and the other lives for Gods design. Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know… No life is a waste and your journey does not end here even if you are the one God called home to heaven. Time isn’t what you think it is, neither is dying. Sacrifice is never to be ashamed of, sacrifice is something to be proud of, we should always search for new ways to sacrifice because that is where authentic jiving is. When people stop sacrificing for one another they lose what makes them human. Sacrifice is one of the most noble things we do. sometimes when you think you’re losing something you are really just passing it on to someone else. Some say that life is divided into two kinds of people, somebody’s and nobody’s; I am here to tell you God does not make nobody’s, everybody is a somebody and a very important one at that. Remember, we are born of love from the womb of God’s mercy and grace, free from anger, fear and hate, when we die we are freed from that anger, reborn into trust, free from hate and without the knowledge of fear. You can choose to live in poison infecting others or choose to be free, grateful and open your heart to accept Christ Jesus to flood his blood of redemption, absolution and forgiveness to be available to accept the abundance in immeasurable proportion that is waiting for you. Life has to end, love doesn’t. No matter what always know that you are surrounded by love, Whoever, whatever and wherever you are remember you are never alone, words are powerful as God speaks through everyone. Your influence on the lives of others you may never see, you may think you are barely a drop in the bucket yet that drop creates waves of influence that change the world to make it a better place for generations to come…

Maybe you know someone who is going through a pain so great they fear no one else will ever love them with such great depth or that they will never love another and you watch this person wake up everyday in such great pain from falling asleep with tears falling into their ears. They wake up not knowing how their day is going to be because their future is in the hands of their abuser, just remember, all that you need is within you and the love that you seek you already have within yourself. Recognize that you teach others how to treat you and you have chosen to show up for this behavior. The good news is everyday you are given a new opportunity to make a new decision… Know that you are loved, wanted, and accepted just as you are and I appreciate you as I recognize the value of you… choose and be happy… life is preparing you for something greater…
~Lisa Christiansen

Wounded Knee: “Just Hand ’em Over and No One Gets Hurt”

December 29, 2012 marked the 122nd Anniversary of the murder of 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These 297 people, in their winter camp, were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection”. The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms. The Calvary began shooting, and managed to wipe out the entire camp. 200 of the 297 victims were women and children. About 40 members of the 7th Cavalry were killed, but over half of them were victims of fratricide from the Hotchkiss guns of their overzealous comrades-in-arms.

TWENTY members of the 7th Cavalry’s death squad, were deemed “National Heroes” and were awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of [cowardice] heroism.

We hear very little of Wounded Knee today. It is usually not mentioned in our history classes or books. What little that does exist about Wounded Knee is normally a sanitized “Official Government Explanation”. And there are several historically inaccurate depictions of the events leading up to the massacre, which appear in movie scripts and are not the least bit representative of the actual events that took place that day.

Wounded Knee was among the first federally backed gun confiscation attempts in United States history. It ended in the senseless murder of 297 people.

Before you jump on the emotionally charged bandwagon for gun-control, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of the Second Amendment, the right of the people to take up arms in defense of themselves, their families, and property in the face of invading armies or an oppressive government. The argument that the Second Amendment only applies to hunting and target shooting is asinine. When the United States Constitution was drafted, “hunting” was an everyday chore carried out by men and women to put meat on the table each night, and “target shooting” was an unheard of concept. Musket balls were a precious commodity and were certainly not wasted on “target shooting”. The Second Amendment was written by people who fled oppressive and tyrannical regimes in Europe, and it refers to the right of American citizens to be armed for defensive purposes, should such tyranny arise in the United States.

As time goes forward, the average citizen in the United States continually loses little chunks of personal freedom or “liberty”. Far too many times, unjust gun control bills were passed and signed into law under the guise of “for your safety” or “for protection”. The Patriot Act signed into law by G.W. Bush, was expanded and continues under Barack Obama. It is just one of many examples of American citizens being stripped of their rights and privacy for “safety”. Now, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is on the table, and will, most likely be attacked to facilitate the path for the removal of our firearms, all in the name of “our safety”.

Before any American citizen blindly accepts whatever new firearms legislation that is about to be doled out, they should stop and think about something for just one minute-

Evil does exist in our world. It always has and always will. Throughout history evil people have committed evil acts. In the Bible one of the first stories is that of Cain killing Abel. We can not legislate “evil” into extinction. Good people will abide by the law, and the criminal element will always find a way around it.

Evil exists all around us, but looking back at the historical record of the past 200 years, across the globe, where is “evil” and “malevolence” most often found? In the hands of those with the power, the governments. That greatest human tragedies on record and the largest loss of innocent human life can be attributed to governments. Who do the governments always target? “Scapegoats” and “enemies” within their own borders…but only after they have been disarmed to the point where they are no longer a threat. Ask any Native American, and they will tell you it was inferior technology and lack of arms that contributed to their demise. Ask any Armenian why it was so easy for the Turks to exterminate millions of them, and they will answer “We were disarmed before it happened”. Ask any Jew what Hitler’s first step prior to the mass murders of the Holocaust was- confiscation of firearms from the people.

Wounded Knee is the prime example of why the Second Amendment exists, and why we should vehemently resist any attempts to infringe on our Rights to Bear Arms. Without the Second Amendment we will be totally stripped of any ability to defend ourselves and our families.

Native American Council Offers Amnesty to 240 Million Undocumented Whites

The Native American National Council will offer amnesty to the estimated 240 million illegal white immigrants living in the United States.


At a meeting on Friday in Taos, New Mexico, Native American leaders weighed a handful of proposals about the future of the United State’s large, illegal European population. After a long debate, NANC decided to extend a road to citizenship for those without criminal records or contagious diseases.

“We will give Europeans the option to apply for Native Citizenship,” explained Chief Sauti of the Nez Perce tribe. “To obtain legal status, each applicant must write a heartfelt apology for their ancestors’ crimes, pay an application fee of $5,000, and, if currently on any ancestral Native land, they must relinquish that land to NANC or pay the market price, which we decide.

“Any illegal European who has a criminal record of any sort, minus traffic and parking tickets, will be deported back to their native land. Anybody with contagious diseases like HIV, smallpox, herpes, etc, will not qualify and will also be deported.”

European colonization of North America began in the 16th and 17th centuries, when arrivals from France, Spain and England first established settlements on land that had been occupied by native peoples. Explorers Lewis & Clark further opened up western lands to settlement, which ultimately led to the creation of the Indian reservation system.

Despite the large number of Europeans residing in the United States, historical scholars mostly agree that indigenous lands were taken illegally through war, genocide and forced displacement.

Despite the council’s decision, a native group called True Americans lambasted the move, claiming amnesty will only serve to reward lawbreakers.

“They all need to be deported back to Europe,” John Dakota from True Americans said. “They came here illegally and took a giant crap on our land. They brought disease and alcoholism, stole everything we have because they were too lazy to improve and develop their own countries.”

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