The Breath of Being – A Self-Reflective Case Assessment on Mind, Body, Spirit

In Latin, the word spirit means breath, as well as spirit, as well as air. In many ways, this word perfectly embodies the essence of this course “Mind, Body, Spirit”; for the term is as much about the breath in our body, as our spirit which is synonymous to breath, as it is to air, or in other words, the space to which illumination can occur.One afternoon this Winter, I was walking with a friend who turned to me and said “Wake up!” Taken aback, I had no idea what she was talking about at first. As we began to banter about it, I realized this was the first stage of pre-contemplation. She had in fact initiated a conversation about something simple yet profound. That conversation in tandem with this course helped me to begin a process of contemplation.My ambivalence came in the form of questions- Had I not been in touch with each moment of my life? In what ways had I been suppressing my own life? What does it really mean to be ‘in the moment’? As I continued to ponder these questions, I realized that certain events in my life had led me to believe that in some ways whatever I did or said didn’t really matter in the world. Perhaps it was a form of learned helplessness as a result of living without a father who wanted to spend time with me and a mother too busy to notice.But through this interaction with my friend, I felt inspired to live a more conscious and present life. It wasn’t as if I had a follow up visit scheduled with her, but the next time we met I told her about my new sense of determination and asked for guidance. We walked to the bookstore together, and through the maze of many aisles, she selected a meditative book for me written by a famous Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk.With the new school term well underway, work and a whole of host of other responsibilities, I admit the book made it’s way into some unnoticed crevice of my room with haste. I intellectualized many reasons why I could not have time to read a book that I didn’t really have much interest in. The most important reason of all being that “This book isn’t going to tell me anything I don’t already know” – a quick and seemingly logical conclusion at the time.Then, one lone evening evening after our class, I found myself thumbing through the pages and I discovered I was right: this book wasn’t going to going to tell me anything I didn’t already know. It in fact, it told me everything I already knew…and how to know it better! Every story contained was about living in the present moment through even the most seemingly mundane of activities, and each became a story of relevance to me mirroring some facet in my own life. The risk of not ‘waking up’ began to seem more costly than I had anticipated and the possibility of living a richer life became a motivation beyond any extrinsic reward.Taking action, I decided to begin with something really simple: my breath. Who ever though the act of conscious breathing could be so intensive?! I’d sit down on the floor intent on savoring every breath in my body. No sooner had I started to inhale the speaker in my brain would make an announcement – “Must wash my dirty socks, buy a dozen eggs…” “No!” I’d remind myself. “I should be focusing on my breath” I spoke in self-reprimand. I’d try again: inhale, exha- “The dog is barking outside and if it doesn’t shut up…”Now it was staring to get personal.;) Noticing these cognitive distortions and with my emerging value for compassion as demonstrated in the storybook, I decided to let go of my self-judgments and reactive thought patterns. Instead, whenever I noticed myself falling into mental distractions, I gently refocus my intention on feeling my breath. There can be such an ease in the passage of air through our system, whether by way of our lungs or through our minds, and it enlivens the spirit. The more I practiced this meditation, the more I found myself noticing the breath contained in day-to-day routines.A couple weeks ago I awoke and decided that rather than rushing to turn on the morning news, I’d stop and admire the view out my window. Instead of dismissing the tree that usually obscures my city view, I suddenly noticed myself feeling moved by the air circulating through the crevice of each leaf pair. I realized that I wasn’t the only one breathing in this moment, but that all of life reverberates together.I shared my new found observation with my friend. As if she had already sat through each of our class lectures, she reflected back to me the new found sensations of my experiences. She kindly offered her support by suggesting a form of partnership in joining her weekly meditation group. I accepted. This is now my maintenance routine. Not one to be fueled by rote habit, but one of conscious choice to live without feeling helpless but able.It’s not so easy for me to be present in every moment. There are many times each day when I find myself falling back to ‘sleep’ -feeling bored, wishing time would pass a little sooner, anticipating some event yet to happen. These are all distractions from the now. When I slip into relapse, I go to my meditation group, pull out my book, or simply stop to feel my breath.This evening I am sitting here writing this paper about the journey of mind, body and spirit. All that I have learned and experienced in this term merges on to these pages as I breath. This is the spirit of Oneness.

How to Win at Positioning Your Travel and Tourism Destination

The process of creating an image or identity in the minds of consumers is called positioning. It’s very important to travel and tourism destinations because it helps make your destination more attractive to consumers than other similar destinations.The process of positioning involves market positioning, psychological positioning, and positioning approaches.Step 1: Market PositioningIn this step, you select a target market segment (market segmentation), which is probably the group of people that you already are seeing at your destination. But if you need new customers, you may want to look at other possible segments, and target them. For example, if you normally have families at your destination, you could target wealthy retirees as a new source of business.Now that you’ve selected a target market, you need to learn all about them. What do they like to do while on vacation? What do they want from a destination? Utilize surveys and focus groups to answer these questions and learn more about your target market. Money spent on that now will be well spent. You certainly don’t want to waste marketing dollars later on advertising the wrong message to your target audience. Make sure you find out what the right message will be, and don’t guess.The other thing you need to learn from your target market is how they already perceive your destination. What benefits do they think your destination provides? What beliefs do they already have about your destination? Are any of them negative? If so, what are they? You will need to counter those beliefs in your new position.Step: 2 Psychological PositioningNow that you understand your target audience, you can put that information together with your business goals and figure out what you will communicate to the market segment that will plant the right image in their minds about your destination.You can use physical attributes if they are unique. For example, Westin Hotels positioned itself with their industry-changing “Heavenly Bed” slogan. As the first hotel to offer premium mattresses and bedding, they had a unique physical attribute.Step 3: Positioning Approaches1) Head to Head Approach: Not recommended for most travel and tourism organizations, but it can be done. It’s more likely that you will:2) Relate Yourself to Market Leader: If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em! Avis Car Rentals did this with their slogan “We try harder.” Marriott, Hilton and Radisson have all employed this technique too, adding premium beds to their offerings, thereby hitching a ride on Westin’s gravy train.3) Price Value: Not to be mistaken for lowest price, which is usually avoided because consumers relate low price to low quality. Position for best value instead, using this approach.4) Users and Attributes: Associate your travel destination with a group of people, or with the reasons they might come to your destination.5) Destination Class: Can you associate yourself with a unique experience? Perhaps you are a tour operator that offers tours to the lost city of Atlantis. (If so, please contact me, I want to come…but you get the idea.)ConclusionYou are now well set up to position yourself for maximum competitive edge. Do bear in mind other factors that might influence your position, such as location, economics, politics, and lifestyle changes. Go for the gold and enjoy a position as market leader for your target market segment.

How To Qualify For A Free Personal Payday Loan – Even If You Have Bad Credit

If you need money fast and you have bad credit, you’re about to learn one of the best ways to get approved for a personal payday loan.You’ll also discover why applying for a payday loan online is safe and easy.I’ll share two simple strategies you can use to pay zero interest or fees on your personal loan… and… Boost your chances of getting approved for a payday loan – even if you have bad credit or no credit.Here’s how it works…Until recently, if you needed a bad credit personal loan, you had to drive across town. Then – on top of that – wait in line forever to get a loan. If you have kids with you, that’s a huge hassle!Not anymore.Now you can apply for a payday loan from the comfort of your home, know if you’re approved in minutes, and get fast cash wired into your bank account. No waiting in line. No driving across town.But, be forewarned –If You’re Not Careful, This Convenience Can Cost YouOnline payday lenders fall into three categories:Honest Lenders, Offering Honest Service – These companies don’t hide behind a web site. They give you their phone number and postal address, and they clearly disclose their loan terms. When you do business with them, you can rest assured your personal information is kept safe and you’re getting an honest deal.Dishonest Lenders, Who Sometimes Break The Law – Some online lenders charge more interest than state laws allow. Others lend money to people living in states where payday loans are outlawed – or to military personnel. And worse… Some aren’t lenders at all!… Just scam artists out to steal your hard-earned money and personal information. Fortunately, there aren’t too many scammers, but you still have to protect yourself.And, finally,Brokers Who Don’t Fund Payday Loans – The majority of bad credit loan sites on the Internet don’t lend money. They accept your application and forward it to lenders they’re affiliated with. While this seems like a good thing (lenders “competing” for your business), you lose of control over the application process. Do you really want to get a loan from a company you don’t research yourself? I didn’t think so.You may wonder…Are Online Payday Loans Worth It?Absolutely! Applying is fast and easy, and the money is zapped right into your account.The good news is, you can protect yourself by following these three precautions: First, only apply for a loan if the application page is secure. You can verify this if you see a closed padlock in the top-right or bottom-right corner of your screen. Second, never apply for a loan from a company that charges more than your state allows (usually no more than $25 per $100 borrowed.) And, Third, always be sure you can find a postal address, phone number and clearly-disclosed loan terms on their site within 15 seconds of landing on their homepage. If that information is too hard to find, they may be hiding something.When you follow these three simple rules, you’ll weed out 99% of the dishonest lenders and/or scam artists.Now that you know how to protect yourself when you get a bad credit personal loan, here’s how to get a fee-free loan.How to Get A Fee-Free Bad Credit Payday LoanJust as I promised, you’re now about to learn how to borrow money for free, even if you have bad credit.Because there are so many payday loan sites and only ten spots on Google’s first page for “payday loans”, lenders are working harder to attract your business.And that’s good news for you!In fact, there are a handful of honest companies that will give you your first loan free.Here’s how it usually works:
You apply for a loan online
If approved, your first loan (usually between $100-$500) is wired to your bank account within 1 business day
When you pay-off your loan, the loan fee is waived
What that means to you is…If you take out a loan and pay it off the first time it comes due (instead of rolling it over), you pay no fees! You can’t beat a fee-free payday loan, can you?If you take out a loan and roll it over (extend your loan when it comes due), you’ll pay a fee to roll-over your loan. However, when you finally pay-off your loan, your last loan fee will be waived.So, no matter what, you save money!And, bad credit is usually not a problem. That’s because most payday loan lenders don’t check your credit report. They may check with a company called TeleTrack to see if you have any other loans out – or – if you’ve defaulted on any payday loans in the past. But, recent bankruptcy and even some severe credit problems may not always get you turned down for a loan.Plus, since you can apply online, you can safely apply without worrying about the embarrassment of getting turned down face-to-face if you don’t meet their guidelines.You can apply for a fee-free payday loan today and find out fast if you’re approved.Here are two ways to find companies offering first time borrowers fee-free payday loans.Tip #1: Search Google for “Payday Loan First Loan Free” and see what comes up. Follow the advice I gave you above to protect yourself from scams or hassles.Tip #2: Or, search Google for “Payday Loan Reviews” and see what people say about popular online lenders, so you can make an informed decision.Online bad credit loans are a great option, and when you follow these simple rules, you can protect yourself and save money, too!