You do it every year and not just in your New Year’s Resolution. You decide to make a change. It sounds really exciting too. You can feel the transformation that is set to take place. You can see the person you will become. That’s the fun of planning lifestyle improvements. They are exciting and come at no cost to your present self.
Present self loves to eat cinnamon rolls under the condition that future self will spend a month sustaining himself on broccoli and water. Present self has no problems bingeing video games, college football, and Netflix for a few days because he has decided that future self will be a Crossfit badass who meditates during his lunchbreak and dedicates weekends to visiting nursing homes. Present self is that brilliant overweight doctor who has smoked for the past 30 years. He knows all the right moves, prescribes them, yet doesn’t apply any.
For all his seemingly sociopathic behavior, it is important to remember that present self does want what is best for future self. He just isn’t very good at relating to him. If present self could take a few moments to put himself in future self’s shoes, his plans and prescriptions might actually work. Future self would look back and thank present self for being so practical and cunning. Present self has so much potential if he will only take a little time to understand his selves and learn how to plan better.
You like to think of yourself as a consistent, rational actor. Everything you do makes sense to you. Each choice is self-evidently logical within your grand cohesive vision. Yet, the breakthrough of Daniel Kahneman’s Nobel Prize-winning work, Thinking, Fast and Slow, was that two very different systems drive your thinking.
System 1 is fast, instinctive, and emotion-driven. It speaks no words, funneling your behaviors by feelings alone. System 1 is the feeling brain responsible for all those candy grabs, snoozed alarms, and impulsive trips through the drive-through. This is our inner child—craving pleasure, terrified of even mild pain, and unconcerned for the future.
By contrast, system 2 is slow, methodical, and logical. This system loves to analyze and make plans, but it has a tendency to spin webs that are too complex and which ignore the influence of emotion. This is the side of ourselves that wants to berate a two-year-old for not grasping the rules of Candy Land. Still, system 2 is where we can come to complex understandings that allow for adult decisions.
Most of us think that the logical system 2 runs the show with the exception of a few outbursts from that childish emotional system. Yet, it is just the opposite. Our emotional system tells the logical system where to look and brings the fuel for all that analysis. More often than not, when the logical brain thinks it is in charge it is really only just finding ways to rationalize the desires of the emotional system. Even “good” behavior follows this formula. That woman doesn’t work out every day because she has rid herself of the emotional desire to sit entertained and avoid discomfort. She works out because she has attached new emotions of strength, power, and confidence to her workouts along with an emotional revulsion from the thought of deteriorating. Even when we are overcoming impulses, feelings run the show.
This reality contradicts our normal perception of ourselves as a rational actor, but when understood it gives us the power to use our logical system more powerfully. We can begin to notice when our emotional system may be pulling us down a bad path and begin to craft better plans to pull ourselves toward more fruitful ends. Like a good parent, we can honor the beauty of that emotion giving it the freedom to express itself, while steering it in the right direction.
Once we understand what drives our behaviors we can enlist that logical brain in designing a plan that can actually stick. This is essential, yet often overlooked in its own right. We tend to get a wave of emotion pulling us to get healthy and assume we can just ride that wave forever. Cool, I’m excited. I’ll just start going to the gym tomorrow and soon I’ll be healthy and slim. Unless you luck out by making strong connections and finding a sense of community right away, that arbitrary decision to start going to the gym every day won’t last. Emotions are fickle. Everyone eventually confronts a block of days where they don’t want to go to the gym and they are busy anyway. You need a plan that clarifies choices and accounts for the realities of your life.
And it isn’t enough just to know you need to plan ahead. You need to use your understanding of your own psychology to create a plan that will actually work. To help with this, I’ve identified the four essential ingredients for successful health changes.
Ingredient #1: Pick a Good Goal
This is the most complicated and most important step. It does you no good to achieve a goal only to find that it caused more harm than help. Great, you starved yourself for 30 days and lost 15 pounds. You’ve lost a ton of water weight and lean muscle while crushing your metabolism. When you inevitably do start eating more than your pet gerbil again, you’ll gain it all back plus some.
Most people’s goals are influenced by the massive complex of pseudoscience and bad advice that characterizes the fitness industry. Thus, New Year’s resolutions gravitate towards extreme fitness classes, arbitrary weight loss goals, crash diets, and all the popular fads that are certain to fail over the long run. What works is far less sexy.
Good goals are:
- Rooted in common sense. There are no magic tricks. Lean towards eating a balanced diet of mostly unprocessed foods that could have existed 10,000 years ago and towards being more active. That is what works and always has.
- Long-term commitments. The only successful approach to fitness and eating is a lifelong approach. Consistency is the number one variable and the actions that stick will be the ones that you make habits.
- Very small! Any change should be one that you could maintain for 20, 30, or 40 years. Your willpower and confidence will grow over time so just embrace the long-term journey. Make each addition gradual so you are always certain it is something you can maintain. That way you can make it a habit to never allow yourself to not follow through on a plan. Your plans are a promise between system 1 and system 2. You can’t succeed if these systems don’t work together. Be militant about keeping these promises. No matter how good your planning is, you will have to have the willpower to act. Require very little and you will see it grow.
Ingredient #2: Identify the Potential Pitfalls
It does you no good to plan to hit the gym every day after work if you know that you have a big project coming up that is going to be keeping you late. Maybe you need a home workout plan or one that you can incorporate into your workday. That 6 am workout class may sound like a good idea, but if you are a chronic snoozer than you are going to have to craft a path that forces you out of bed (see ingredient 3). Do you always succumb to that chocolate syrup drizzled “coffee” when you pass Starbucks? Is there another route you can take? How about the rest of your life? Where are the temptations? What are the obstacles to following through on your goals?
Ingredient #3: Craft the Environment
Environment is everything. You may claim there is no way in hell you could ever wake up, workout, and eat only three simple meals each day, but if you found yourself in a marine Bootcamp, I bet you would. We tend to default to the behavior that our environment creates. That is why the most powerful lever for creating change is to craft an environment that creates obstacles to deviating from your preferred behavior. Set four alarms, that line up like breadcrumbs to your pre-staged workout clothes. Eliminate chips, soda, and processed foods from the home. Keep almonds and apples at your desk. Stage a week’s worth of work clothes in your gym locker each week. With a little creativity, the options are endless.
Ingredient #4: Be Extremely Clear
If your thinking is unclear in the planning stage it will be very confusing and easy to wiggle out of when your emotional brain takes hold. Clarify every element of how you will meet your goal each day. Spell out exactly what you are going to do. Every decision saps your willpower, so you want to reduce the number of decisions you have to make in a given day. That means meals are planned and prepped ahead of time and workouts are as simple as just showing up.
An Approach That Works
Don’t rush and follow the fads. Commit to an approach that honors the realities of human nature and you will see drastic changes over time. This is the focus of my free ebook, The Essential Guide to Self-Mastery. In it, you will grow a better understanding of habit, environmental design, how to intentionally grow your willpower muscle, and how to make health changes that actually stick.
If you can approach your goals as a lifestyle that you are committed to nourishing through education, then you will be successful. We have to change our mindset. It isn’t about getting easy, fast results. Who could you be in a year if you were deliberate, consistent, and patient? That is the approach that will bear the most fruit.
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MITZPE RAMON, Israel — In the Negev Desert, the sun beats down on a parched landscape of brown, undulating hills. But on a parcel of land here in southern Israel, trees grow in green rows, and fat bunches of grapes dangle amid lush leaves.
This is not a desert apparition. It is a research vineyard, where scientists are studying how grapes can best grow in this harsh environment.
The Negev is a far cry from the temperate climates of many wine-growing regions. Yet about 20 wineries have sprouted here over the past 15 years, along with a budding wine tourism business.
The researchers are focusing on this harsh environment for a reason: to study how wine grapes can grow in the desert conditions that dominate Israel. That knowledge will become even more valuable in a world with more frequent droughts and heat waves.
“Climate is becoming more and more unpredictable,” said Aaron Fait, a biochemistry professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “The desert model is a way to study how climate change will affect wine worldwide.”
The techniques being tested here on 30 varieties of grapes include the use of nets that provide shade, trellises that coax vines to grow in formations that limit sun exposure, sensors that measure soil humidity and thermal cameras that track how much sunlight grapes and leaves absorb.
The work is gaining increased interest from European winemakers as summer heat waves and other climate shifts affect their vines. In July, temperatures hit 106 degrees in the French wine-growing region of Bordeaux — the hottest day on record. Heat records were broken elsewhere on the Continent, including in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
In recent years, scientists and vineyard owners from France, Italy, Slovenia and other parts of Europe have visited the researchers in the Negev. Experts hope Israel’s desert agriculture can provide valuable lessons about adapting crops to extreme and unpredictable weather.
To study innovations in winemaking, Dr. Fait works with several Negev wineries, as well as European researchers like Enrico Peterlunger, a professor of viticulture at the University of Udine in northern Italy. The effort started in 2014 with the Israeli irrigation company Netafim and support from the Italian and Israeli governments.
“Growers are concerned about climate change” in Europe, Professor Peterlunger said. In his region, he said: “It rained a lot in May, which caused some problems during flowering and fruit set. June, July and August were really hot, and that is not optimal for grapevines.”
Naftali Lazarovitch, a soil scientist at the Blaustein Institutes of Desert Research in the Negev, also studies desert viticulture at the research vineyard. Europeans “are looking at Israel and the way we are dealing with harsh conditions and trying to learn from it,” he said. “We produce more with less, that’s our objective.”
More than 40 percent of the earth’s terrestrial surface is made up of drylands, including tropical dry forests, savannas and deserts, that are home to roughly 2.5 billion people. These regions are already threatened by resource overuse and desertification and more vulnerable to extreme weather, including droughts, heat waves and dust storms, according to a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Most of Israel is arid; the Negev spans more than half of the country. Out of necessity, Israel has honed desert agriculture to yield bountiful crops. In the 1940s, the Polish-Israeli inventor Simcha Blass pioneered modern drip-irrigation systems that now are used around the world.
Desert agriculture has existed in the region since ancient times. The Nabateans, nomadic Arab peoples dating to the fourth century B.C., used runoff and built small stone dams to divert water to irrigate crops and grow wine grapes.
Today in the Negev, farmers can control water with precise drip irrigation, unlike parts of the world that are at the mercy of rainfall. “Desert viticulture, where we can control a large number of variables like nowhere in a traditional vineyard, is of immense importance to test certain climate scenarios,” Dr. Fait said.
For his tests, he works with Negev wineries like Nana Estate, whose owner, Eran Raz, left a career in film production. Mr. Raz moved to the Negev to start a vineyard “because no great story ever began with salad,” he joked.
Water piped from a local aqueduct nourishes Nana Estate’s grapes, which produce chardonnay and chenin blanc wines.
“I have total control over water,” Mr. Raz said. “I control how big the grapes will be.”
He closely monitors his vines to ensure that grapes grow — not the leaves — and checks sugar levels of the fruit. An optimal yield for one vine is four kilograms, or almost nine pounds. If there are too many grape clusters, it strains the plant, so Mr. Raz discards them.
In the Negev, days can reach 97 degrees and nights can drop to freezing in the winter. With its dry climate, Negev vintners might spray fungicide twice a season, whereas some European counterparts spray every week.
In addition to viticulture, Israeli researchers are studying a range of techniques to grow other crops. The Ramat Negev Agro-Research Center has about 15 hectares — or 37 acres — of research plots and greenhouses where scientists cultivate wine grapes, date palms, olives and jojoba.
In large greenhouses, researchers cultivate cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant and other vegetables, like an edible, crunchy grass called sarcocornia that thrives in saline conditions. Even strawberries are grown in long, suspended planters.
Mr. Lazarovitch and other scientists are testing innovations including cameras that monitor plant roots and sensors that monitor carbon dioxide, fertilizer and salinity levels. Mulching techniques can reduce water use by 20 percent. Covering plant roots with plastic also prevents evaporation.
These innovations “will be more and more relevant to many countries as a result of global warming,” said Ofer Guy, an agricultural researcher at the Ramat Negev center. “Issues of saline soil and water, extreme hot weather and lack of water are going to be big problems in the global future as agriculture is forced into marginal soils,” he added.
“Today agriculture, and food consumption, is based on a small variety of plants that are relatively sensitive to salinity,” Mr. Guy said. “This poses a great challenge to humanity.”
In a region that gets about 300 days of sun each year, scientists closely study how crops are affected by shade, assessing the color, density and material of various kinds of canopies and netting. For example, when grapes ripen, researchers cover them with nets to shield them from the sun. This reduces temperature, but increases humidity and the potential to draw insects.
The Ramat Negev center works with local farmers, many of whom are not from farming backgrounds. This helps bolster an industry whose numbers are dwindling. In the 1950s, more than 70 percent of Israel’s population worked in agriculture, compared with less than 2 percent today.
“It’s difficult to be a farmer,” Mr. Guy said. “You’re like a gambler. You don’t have any guarantees. It’s a very big risk. In 10 to 20 years, if no one promotes farms, less and less people will want to be farmers. There’s a lot of potential and cooperation. There’s a lot to learn from us, and a lot for us to learn still.”
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This is a sponsored post by klik. More information about Event Manager Blog’s sponsored posts.
Ever wanted to walk in your attendees’ shoes? Experience the event the way they do? Understand why they would flock to one booth and desert another? This requires reliable real-time data and insight into your customers’ journey through your event.
The depth and richness of the data you can collect now is unprecedented. From footfall and adoption rates to more qualitative data, like opinions and biometric happiness-related measurements, you can dive further into the attendee experience than ever.
But how do you know what to collect? What data leads to actionable insights that improve your event year over year? And how should you collect it?
While check-ins and surveys have become staples, they don’t necessarily deliver the richest data available. Event apps offer real engagement metrics, but are there alternatives that let you collect them while keeping attendees’ attention on the event rather than their smartphones?
The answer: wearables.
They are about to change events for event planners, exhibitors, and attendees.
In this article, we will review some exciting developments in wearable tech and show you how you can use them to improve everybody’s experience. We’ll address the following questions:
- keyboard_arrow_right What wearables are available on the market?
- keyboard_arrow_right Why is it important to consider them?
- keyboard_arrow_right How do they compare to similar functions on event apps?
What Are Wearables?
When we talk about wearables, we are referring to those devices that basically reinvent accessories or items of clothing with a new layer of functional technology. What usually comes to mind first are health and fitness related items (e.g. Fitbits) or Smartwatches. But there is a lot more to it: think glasses, clothing, earwear, even tattoos.
The market for wearable devices is expanding quickly with a forecast increase of 26% between 2018 and 2019 (as shown in Gartner’s latest research).
IDC research also predicts a rise in eyewear and other clothing with built-in tech that capitalizes on the growing interest in smart assistants.
So chances are that you will find them everywhere in a not so distant future. Here are the main types of wearables that you might want to consider for your next event:
- keyboard_arrow_right Smart Badges
- keyboard_arrow_right Wristbands
- keyboard_arrow_right Smartwatches
- keyboard_arrow_right Earwear (e.g. real-time translation for international conventions)
- keyboard_arrow_right Eyewear (e.g. facial recognition on smart glasses)
- keyboard_arrow_right Clothing (e.g. recharge your phone as you go through your T-shirt)
The first three on the list are now widely used, and event engagement platform klik is already making advancements in using smart wearables to gain event data and convey those insights through their software.
While the other ones still need more technological improvement to completely integrate within an event strategy, they are exciting developments for the future!
How Do Wearables Compare?
Wearables collect data passively at all times, without any cost to engagement or concern over response or participation rates (another advantage).
Event apps are great for aggregating the data and providing a complete dashboard for the attendees and exhibitors alike, but they only generate data when people actively decide to use them. Badges require an army of QR code-scanning personnel at every entrance or booth.
While these remain necessary and useful at events, wearables can be used to bolster data collection. Wearables collect data passively, in real-time, through participation in event activities themselves; attendees are not required to scan something, answer questions, or enter the data manually.
Immediately actionable insights.
Real-time data can be collated into dashboards and translated into feedback on areas of improvement, which you can use to make adjustments during the event. This is a huge advantage over slower data-collection methods, like surveys, which take time to process and are mostly used to provide feedback for the next event.
Wearables require less in the way of onsite manpower. While wearables might require an initial set-up of infrastructure and hardware, depending on the wearable, the onsite staff required to manage them during the event is less than most alternatives.
Many partners like klik include an onsite staff member from their own team to assist. As such, wearables make it easier to get insights without delay and with minimal manpower involved – an advantage over data collection methods that consume a lot of time/manpower but yield comparatively limited benefits, like post-event surveys.
More productive meetings.
More focused attendees means higher productivity. Wearables offer a controlled environment that delivers everything the attendee needs to navigate the event – without sending them to their smartphone, where the chance of distraction is particularly high. (How many times have you pulled out your phone to set a timer and been distracted by a text message?)
The wearer rarely has to stop what they’re doing to feed the device information. Even if they do, their interaction with the device is minimal and limited to that action.
Better face-to-face interactions.
Connecting with others finding business opportunities, and learning are the main reasons why people attend events, making it important to keep people engaged with each other. Technology should boost these aims rather than distract from them.
While event apps are very useful, they can reinforce an already problematic behavior: interacting more with their phones than with other human beings.
Wearables, on the other hand, can easily capture another person’s information, just by touching two attendees’ wristband together or clicking on a badge. This information can then be retrieved later on through the event app. For example, klik smart badges, sleeves, and buttons allow attendees to exchange information with a single “click” of the wearable.
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I’m delighted to introduce you to Daniel Piatek, a spiritual guide to many and an old friend and mentor of mine.
Daniel and I spent several years living, working, and meditating together in a contemporary spiritual ashram. That was almost 20 years ago.
These days, Daniel leads transformational spiritual travel adventures. His upcoming “Reunion with the Divine Odyssey Quest” is a unique alchemy of tour, retreat, vision quest and spiritual adventure through Catalonia, Spain and France, October 25 – November 3, 2019.
I encourage you to check it out. (More on this down below.)
Also, Daniel has provided some free resources below: a guided meditation entitled Advice from Your Future and an Ebook called “The 3 Sacred Keys”.
Advice from Your Future: A Guided Meditation to Discover Your Next Right Steps
In order to discover new, creative solutions to life’s dilemmas, we have to get beyond the realm of what we already know. When we free ourselves from the limitations of our current perspective, and lean in with wonder and curiosity, perfect next steps can be discovered.
This guided meditation is a tool to assist you in discovering perfect next right steps for you in relation to a dilemma you’re facing in life right now.
It will free you to perceive beyond the world of the known and receive guidance from the deeper parts of yourself.
This meditation is designed to be engaged with a particular problem you’re facing, or choice you have to make. You will be guided to discover your next right steps toward creating a perfect solution.
Ebook Download: The 3 Sacred Keys
For a free electronic copy of Daniel’s short book which teaches a simple method for creating perfect solutions through living daily life from Not Knowing (daily life-as-meditation), click here: The3SacredKeys
Special Opportunity: Reunion with the Divine Odyssey Quest
Transformational travel provides a way to commune with the deeper parts of yourself. While you’re familiar with the positive influence of meditation in your life, imagine taking 10 days away from it all to discover parts of yourself which are wanting to emerge in your life now.
Daniel Piatek leads transformational spiritual travel adventures. His upcoming “Reunion with the Divine Odyssey Quest” is a unique alchemy of tour, retreat, vision quest and spiritual adventure through Catalonia, Spain and France, October 25 – November 3, 2019.
This experience is designed to explore both inner and outer landscapes, uncovering more about yourself as you discover new lands and new tales. This Odyssey Quest Tour, themed around the energies of the Black Madonna, the Mythic Dark Mother from cultures worldwide, will give you access to the deeper stirrings of your being while having the adventure of a lifetime.
For a video about the Odyssey Quest and more information, click here: https://heroacademy.kartra.com/page/8Db59
Daniel Piatek Bio
Daniel Piatek catalyzes, inspires, and guides others to take up the adventure of your life – becoming who you truly are. In his book, “The 3 Sacred Keys: An Operating System for Quantum Transformation,” Daniel teaches you how to access Wisdom & Creativity within. This Inner Genius can guide you, step by step, to perfect resolutions and a life that is a reflection of who you authentically are.
Daniel has continually walked his own path for over 30 years, experiencing profound life transformations as his alignment with his Inner Genius deepens. Utilizing the wisdom he’s gained, along with real-time, intuitive guidance, Daniel personally mentors his clients and students as they master navigating their own unique path.
You can find more information about his work at HeroAcademy.com
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If at the age of 20 you would’ve asked me to imagine my life 15 years in the future, I wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer. I couldn’t see my life in those terms. When I looked into my future then, I simply saw a field of blackness; my potential was not just obfuscated—it was inaccessible. This is what trauma does: It blinds us. One of the effects of deep suffering, especially during childhood, is that it can rob us of our vision.
I lost my father back in my homeland of Bogotá, Colombia, when I was eight years old. The last time I saw him, he knelt at the doorstep of our apartment and gave me a tight squeeze, consoling me as I cried. He assured me he would be back from his business trip in three days’ time, but on his way home his car was hit head-on by a drunk driver. My father and three of his co-workers lost their lives that night. He was 36.
The last time I saw my mother, I was 14. I held her and stroked her balding head, and when I kissed it, I remember feeling as though I were kissing a baby’s head; it was so soft, so innocent. My mother, emaciated and childlike after a short, brutal battle with pancreatic cancer, took her last breaths in my arms. She was 40.
Facing Childhood as an Orphan
After my parents’ shocking and premature deaths, I was transferred to a foster home where the child abuse became so severe that my sister and I were eventually removed, only to be returned to the same place a year later. These profound and destabilizing experiences in my youth became the framework for my identity: Tatiana, the orphan. Tatiana, the girl without a home.
By the time I hit my early 20s, I had lived in and out of nearly 30 different homes, unable to find grounding. I felt isolated, and I had no idea what to do with all my pain. What was more is that when I looked into my future, all I could access was my parents’ deaths. I could not picture a reality where I would get to live beyond the years that my parents were given. And, at 22, as the anniversary of my father’s death approached, I subconsciously wanted to ensure that his fate would become mine, and I attempted to take my own life.
See also 5 Practices to Invite Transformation.
What Are Samskaras and How do You Heal Them?
These were some of my deepest samskaras—the mental and emotional impressions or patterns that become imprinted in our psyches as a result of our experiences. The body of yoga, not just as a physical practice, but as a mental, emotional, and spiritual discipline and guide into our consciousness and psyche, teaches us that these impressions can greatly affect how we experience and interpret the circumstances of our lives, and hence greatly impact our capacity for happiness and our experiences of suffering. The intensity of each samskara depends on a variety of factors, including our age, vulnerability, and ability to cope with or assimilate situations. Samskaras stay with us beyond the time we first have an experience, and, when unchecked, can have devastating consequences. They may taint the way we see and experience ourselves and our world, keeping us in the loop of suffering, or avidyā, translated as misconception, ignorance, or non-seeing. In other words, samskaras that we are unaware of or that we don’t heal have the capacity to blind us from what is here, keeping us tethered to a past version of our experiences.
Today, advanced studies in neuroscience and psychology have confirmed what the wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra suggested more than 2,000 years ago: first, that the brain is physically and functionally affected as a result of traumas or profound samskaras, and that these changes can affect individuals’ self-concepts—their visions of themselves and their lives—and second, perhaps most importantly, that the brain also has the capacity to heal, to rewire or rewrite the impression, so that it can be experienced differently. Instead of throwing us into the habitual pain of suffering, we can learn to experience a pause, see a lesson, or even gain insight for which we become grateful.
See also Find Your Willpower with This Samskara-Busting Sequence
The Necessity of Daily Practice
But the work is ongoing, and the depths of our conditioning is astounding. Even years after being on the yogic path, I was blindsided by a new aspect of the same samskara of my youth, the one that kept me tethered to my experiences with early and untimely death, even though I thought I had healed it. Upon the birth of my son, my first weeks of motherhood were spent in abject terror. I’d hold my tiny newborn tightly and feel overwhelmed by the fear that either he or I would suddenly die. It was excruciating to have someone else hold him; I wanted him at my side at all times. Anything else would give rise in me to powerful sensations that seemed to take over my body, rob me of rationality, and throw me into a tailspin of panic. I had recurring death-themed nightmares, and when I looked into my future with my child, I once again experienced the blackness—the blinding of my possibility.
Petrified and facing continual panic attacks resembling those of my youth, I turned to my practice: This time, I had tools. I had the understanding that this fear felt true to me because of my wiring, and I knew that it could be reframed, that it could be healed. Through my practice, I worked with this hidden aspect of an old samskara, one that might not have shown up had I not decided to become a mother.
I practiced despite the discomfort, and met my fear again and again with a curious mind and a forgiving heart. I came with the willingness to greet what was here, armed with my breath and the faith—the awareness—of the power of this practice. Some days I cried. Some days I got flashbacks. Some days I felt relief. Little by little my symptoms decreased. The beauty of healing is that it arrives with vision and insight: insight into my parents’ experiences, insight into the softness of vulnerability, insight into the human proclivity to cling when we love, and into the practice of trusting that life is here to support us when we learn to let go. The work helped me find examples that contradicted my terror: Instead of seeing my parents’ early deaths as the markers for my experience, my practice began to open my eyes to the many, many adult friends I had with adult children who were alive and thriving. It was possible, then—even probable—that my son and I were going to be OK.
See also The Avoidance Mechanisms We Have to Face In Order To Heal
Today, I believe that I am living proof of Patanjali’s assertion that the yogic path is a radical vehicle for clearing our samskaras. The work has not been easy; it has been painstaking and constant. It has been eye- and heart-opening.
It is through this very process of rewiring that I find myself here today, in my mid-30s, having outlived my father and walking toward the precipice of my mother’s age when she passed. I find myself hand-in-hand with my amazing three-year-old son. Today, when I look toward the horizon in front of me, I see a vast field of possibility. I see my son grown up, our relationship blossoming; I see the fruits of my labor, the hours spent in practice and the wisdom gained from these practices; I see many sunrises and sunsets. My yoga gave me back my vision, and in many ways, it has given me back my life.
About the author
Tatiana Forero Puerta is the author of Yoga for the Wounded Heart: A Journey, Philosophy, and Practice of Healing Emotional Pain and Cleaning the Ghost Room (forthcoming, 2020). A graduate of Stanford University and New York University, Tatiana has taught philosophy and yoga for more than a decade. Learn more at yogaforthewoundedheart.com.
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The Future of Fathers
Dear Mr. Dad: This Father’s Day is over, but what advice do you have keep dads involved every day?
A: As someone who spends a lot of time doing research on and writing about fathers—and even more time trying to be a good dad—I agree that the fact that the one day per year that’s dedicated to dads has passed doesn’t mean that dads are any less important the other 364 days of the year.
Duncan Fisher at the Family Initiative in the UK recently put together a Global Fatherhood Charter that clearly and eloquently lays out the many ways fathers are important to children and families as well as what men, women, and society can and should do to support them. Fisher had help from more than 20 child development and fatherhood researchers from around the world, many of whom have been inspirations to me, including Michael Lamb, Ross Parke, Phil and Carolyn Cowan, Rob Palkovitz, and Kyle Pruett. Here’s the text of the Charter:
- The loving care of a father is a foundation for his child’s wellbeing and creates a life-long relationship.
- The loving care of father can be as powerful and important as that of a mother.
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Until recently, popping the top on an ice cold can of wine wasn’t my thing—but after being inundated with sample requests and social media recommendations, I decided to give a few canned wines a try. Much to my surprise, the quality wines I tasted thwarted my wine snobbery, prompting further investigation into this growing category.
Union Wine Company’s Underwood Riesling Radler stands out for me, a combination of Riesling, hops, and grapefruit, marring canned wine packaging and craft beer. It is, “the beerification of wine,” claims Ryan Harms, Founder and Owner of Union Wine Company, a delicious, thirst-quenching refreshment on a warm sunny day, and only 3% alcohol per serving.
The Road Less Traveled
What began in 2003, with The Family Coppola’s debut of Sofia Blanc de Blanc Mini—a 187 milliliter can sold with a straw, received a much need boost in 2014, when Oregon’s Union Wine Company launched its canned wine label, Underwood, offering Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in 375 milliliter cans. “We wanted to come up with a product that embodied our company’s philosophy of making great craft wine minus all the fuss,” shares Harms.
For years, canned wine was a non-category, over time it slowly moved into a fad, today it qualifies as a full-fledged wine category that continues to grow. Nielsen reports off premise canned wine sales for the 52-week period ending June 15, 2019, has risen 69% from the previous year, totaling $79.3 million in sales so far. “Suppliers, distributors, retailers, and most importantly consumers (especially younger consumers 21+), are continuing to warm up to, and accept canned wine formats. Canned wines are more prominent every day, and the data suggest this will be a long-lasting trend, not a fad,” explains Danny Brager, Nielsen Corporation.
Why The Can
Witnessing the success of the growing canned wine category, many producers have decided to launch their own labels. Stoller Family Estates has played an important role in Willamette Valley wines for decades. In 2018, in a decision to strategically separate their brands, “Canned Oregon was born from the idea that wine should complement an active lifestyle, planning to the sense of adventure and possibility evoked by Oregon,” shares Gary Mortensen, President Stoller Wine Group.
Napa Valley’s Sans Wine Company sought to expand the category to include premium wines. Launching in 2015, Sans produces their wines from organically (some certified) farmed vineyards, using only stainless steel fermentation and aging, feeling oak overpowers canned wines, believing this allows the true expression of each grape, vineyard, and AVA to be fully expressed. Our contribution is “premium wines packaged in cans—vineyard specific, variety specific, vintage dated wines,” explains Gina Schober, Co-founder, Sans Wine Company, adding, “We have found when tasted blind, our wines hold their own against bottled wine, no one can tell our wine was poured from a can.”
Texans, long-time friends and self-proclaimed rosé revivalists Chris Brundrett, co-founder of William Chris Vineyards, and Andrew Sides, co-founder of Lost Draw Cellars, decided to jump into the canned wine market with Yes We Can Wine, launching with a canned rosé. “We thought a lot about how active our families are with outdoor activities and cooking. We came to the conclusion we need to make a wine that goes great with tacos, outdoor adventures, and tastes delicious,” explains Brundrett.
To Can Or Not To Can
Each of these wineries see endless possibilities in canned wine. Underwood has continued to push the limits of their portfolio, adding a rosé in 2015, The Bubbles and Rosé Bubbles in 2016, Riesling Radler and Get It Girl in 2017, and Strawberry Cooler in 2018, 375ml, each $6 – $7 and sold in packs of four. While the Pinot Noir remains their top-selling can by volume, the Rosé Bubbles is leading by growth percentage. “There were already so many carbonated products in cans that it felt natural to explore a sparkling wine option,” explains Harms, adding, “the wine coolers evolved from wine-based cocktails we created for events, we realized consumers really liked lower ABV products, and we felt cans were a great way to bring wine coolers to market.”
By contrast, Sans Wine Company, each $12 – $25 for 375ml and sold in packs of three, seeks to push the limits on premium canned wine. Napa Valley grapes come with a hefty price tag. However, Schober explains when their customers understand they are receiving half a bottle of wine from an organic, single vineyard in Napa Valley, “a lightbulb goes off and they get it—recognizing the true value of our wines.”
Canned Oregon seeks high quality at a value prices, producing five different wines in 375ml cans, selling for $5.99 each. “Our goal is to over-deliver in quality for the price,” shares Mortensen, “challenging the perception that canned wine quality is sub-par.”
Who Buys Canned Wine
Not surprising, Millennials make up the highest consumer base for canned wines, but Gen Xers are embracing the category as well. What is surprising is canned wines are appealing to wine lovers of all levels, and beer drinkers too. Underwood’s consumer ranges from novice to oenophile to beer lover who seeks a portable way to bring wine outdoors or on the go, but also for those who want to a glass without committing to a bottle, 375 milliliters equates roughly to 2.5 glasses of wine.
Sans Wine Company is seeing consumers 45 years and older embracing their wines, due in part to “canned wines being available in almost every retail outlet and coverage by major wine publications gives the sector credibility,” shares Schober, forecasting “the movement as similar to screw-caps 15 years ago.”
Canned Oregon sales indicate active, social fine wine drinkers of all ages are embracing their wines. Additionally, they shares cocktail recipes on their web site as another way to have fun with the wines. “Cocktails aren’t something we would promote with our fine wines, but we know consumers are already making wine-based cocktails, so we embrace it with these fun wines,” explains Mortensen.
Sway credits their growing sales with size and portability. “Originally we had this whimsical vision of folks walking out of REI and stopping at the local grocery store to pick up some canned wines on their way to hike at the state park. While that happens, we realize consumers want to keep Sway in their refrigerators to have it ready for their ‘on the go’ needs,” shares Brundrett. Like others, they experience customers enjoying a can at home with dinner instead of opening a bottle of wine.
Future of Canned Wine
Although the future of this category is bright, it is marred by legislative uncertainty. Mike Veseth, The Wine Economist, notes the practicalities of this growing segment, “Some consumers see the conventional 750 milliliter bottles as too big a commitment, it’s not a surprise premium box and cans are growing quickly.” As younger consumers seek to include alcohol into their lifestyles Veseth recognizes the benefits of options, “With cans there is no need for everyone to share the same beverage—some can enjoy red, others white, or a beer, cider, spritzer, etc. Plus, the smaller size fits with the lower alcohol lifestyle, and are more efficiently recycled in some areas.”
The future uncertainty comes via the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) size restrictions. Beer and malt beverages have no restrictions as to the size of the container or individual sales. Canned wine, however, is currently restricted to either 187ml, 250ml, 375ml, or 500ml cans, with 187ml and 250ml only sold in multiples. Texas Tech University’s Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute published in its report, “Growth Of The Wine-In-A-Can Market,” a consumer desire for 187ml and 250ml to be available in single-serving cans. The TTB is considering revising its “Standards of Fill” code to expand canned wine size options. This will benefit consumers, likely increase sales, and lead to more headaches and paper work for producers.
Veseth recognizes two important advantages to the 250ml size can—“It is closer to a single serving size, and they are roughly equivalent to craft beer in cans in terms of alcohol percentage,” adding, “Since wine has a higher alcohol percentage, it needs a smaller container to have equivalent alcohol.” Studies indicate younger consumers are sensitive to alcohol percentages, if smaller cans of wine are approved for individual purchase by the TTB the strength of this category will continue to grow.
As for me, I am a canned wine convert. Of course, quality matters so I will proceed with caution, heeding what Brundrett shares regarding Sway, “We’re competing with wines made from concentrate, with added sugar, and spritzers with added ever clear and flavoring.” While I will do my diligence to insure quality, there is a place for canned wine in my active lifestyle and at my table.
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Shopping and consumer behaviourist Ken Hughes, investigates the concept of modern-day consumerism and how digital influences are shaping patient expectations and values, not just online but also in the real world – with immediacy, efficiency and hyper-personalisation
Ken Hughes is a consumer and shopper behaviourist and customer experience strategist.
At the Invisalign Growth Summit in Berlin earlier this year he had delegates laughing and crying during his presentation, and by popular demand will be the key note speaker, addressing UK dentists attending the Invisalign GP Forum on 14th September in London.
In advance of his appearance he spoke about the insights which he will be sharing with UK dentists at the Forum meeting.
‘I am going to talk about the importance of embedding a true customer experience in a business and aligning your business with the future values of our customers.
Focus on customer experience
‘I think the trends in healthcare are the same as the trends in society in general. Consumers today want things instantly. They want instant feedback on everything, so something like the Invisalign SmileView tool which gives them instant access to what their smile will look like is perfect. They demand authenticity and genuine experiences.
‘They want to be able to share their experiences with their peer network. So we need to stop thinking about our clinic as a centre of our operation and realise that it is actually their world, their experience we need to rejig and not the other way round.
‘So we will be having a great conversation about how we can actually bring patients’ interest to life, now that we can excite and delight our patients beyond their expectations. If we do that, they share their stories about their experience with us on their networks and our brand gets brought to life outside the clinic and that’s what we need, we need them telling their stories bringing us new business instead of us trying to fight for new business every day.
I think one of the main reasons dentists need to become more digital is that we now live in a ‘phygital world’, a physical and a digital world that collided. So that the next generation they just demand digitalisation so technology is not just an add-on, it is a must have, it is a hygiene factor and that goes from everything that happens inside the clinic but also the social media piece the digitalisation, the waiting room, so we need to reach outside of the clinic again into their world, into a digital world.
Become digitally relevant
I think a lot of medical practitioners aren’t business people. They are excellent clinicians and they need to get the support of good marketing people. And the practitioners are saying “how do I do it I do it myself?” No don’t do it yourself. There are marketing experts who are going to help you on social media, help you on digitalisation, help you digitalise your business, become digitally relevant.
If you cease to be relevant to your consumer, business is over, it is finished. So we have to stay relevant and digitalisation is a big part of that. And obviously there are partners like Invisalign and iTero, to help you, but it is also creating the execution of your customer experience, your clinic staff, what you can do to bring stuff to life, digitally. I think it is important to embrace the new world as otherwise it is game over.”
To hear Ken Hughes keynote address, view the full GP forum agenda or for more information please contact your Invisalign Territory Manager.
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Like some viticultural version of the Pied Piper, Kevin Buckler led Sunday a group of wine lovers down First Street in Petaluma.
Instead of playing a musical instrument, the founder and CEO of Adobe Road Wines carried a golden sledgehammer, which he then used to begin demolition on the old Bay Bridge Garage.
That riverfront parcel, between the Petaluma Yacht Club and a PG&E substation, will be the site of the 16,000-square-foot Adobe Road Winery, which is expected to open in a year.
Topped by a bell tower, the L-shaped, two-story mission-style building will include a tasting room, banquet facilities, a brick pizza oven and a production operation that will make some 5,000 cases of wine a year.
The winery also will be home to a motor sports gallery — a nod to Buckler’s roots as a race car driver.
He owns The Racers Group, whose drivers have won their class of the 24 Hours of Daytona four times.
That’s why the gallery will feature a section of banked track, 31 degrees steep, simulating the Daytona International Speedway.
Standing in the center of the soon-to-be razed garage at Sunday’s “Demolition Party,” Buckler told a group of several dozen investors and wine club members that he was standing “right in the middle of where the pizza oven is going to be.”
Motioning to the sturdy, redwood support beams above them, he explained that much of that lumber would be salvaged and used in the tasting room of the new building.
“We’re probably not saving any money,” he said. “But it’s the right thing to do, and it’ll be really cool.”
As Buckler talked about his vision for the new facility, the sledgehammer he wielded took on a kind of symbolic significance. By building a winery in the downtown of a midsized city, Adobe Road is breaking a Wine Country tradition.
“Why drive to some snooty Napa tasting room if you don’t have to?” he said. “The world’s changed. People have shorter attention spans. They want to have fun, and Petaluma’s fun.”
The winery will be a short walk from the Petaluma SMART train station near the corner of East Washington and Lakeville streets. During Buckler’s remarks, a SMART train whistle could be overheard in the background.
By the time the winery is complete, SMART’s extension to Larkspur Landing will be complete.
That will allow visitors to get on a ferry in San Francisco and then walk to a train that will deposit them in Petaluma less than 40 minutes later. With its banquet space and conference rooms, Adobe Road expects to attract corporate clients from San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.
“I want to be a good ambassador for Petaluma,” Buckler said. “With this awesome project, we’re going to get more people to see it.”
You can reach Staff Writer Austin Murphy at 707-521-5214 or email@example.com.
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